×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 166

Edit

Irish Celebrate the Birth of their Republic, and Quarrel about the Political Future (4/1)

Email Print
By Ben Antenore, European Affairs
 
As Irish citizens commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising against Great Britain, the current Republic is struggling as a governing coalition still does not exist after the general elections of February.
 
One hundred years ago on April 24, 1916, the Easter Rising occurred when 1,200 rebels seized some of the main administrative buildings in central Dublin. One of these buildings, the General Post Office, became the rebel headquarters. That same afternoon, Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the rebellion, proclaimed the birth of the Irish Republic and the formation of a provisional independent government.
Read more...
 
Edit

Polish and Czech Leaders Converge in D.C. (3/31)

Email Print
By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour
 
It seemed a far cry from the heady days after the 1989 collapse of communism in Central Europe, when the leaders of the Polish and Czechoslovakian peaceful revolutions--Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel-- received rapturous welcomes in Congress and elsewhere in Washington.
 
Now, 27 years later, Poland's current head of state and the prime minister of the Czech Republic have come to the Washington in the wings of a global nuclear security summit.  They used their trips also to speak to respectful crowds at think tanks, while much of the U.S. capital's attention has been focused on a Mideast in flames and a rising China and Asia.
Read more...
 
Edit

An Appreciation: Jean-Luc Robert (1963-2016), First Counselor European Parliament Liaison Office (EPLO) to U.S. Congress (3/25)

Email Print

By Brian Beary, Contributing Editor European Affairs

jean luc.robert1“Jean-Luc was not only a friend but a terrific colleague,” said Institute President Joelle Attinger, speaking of Jean-Luc Robert, who died recently. “He fully believed in the European Project, and even more so, in the pivotal role that the Parliament plays in bridging the democratic deficit between the European electorate and the EU's institutions. To that end, he paid political ideology little mind. What mattered to Jean-Luc was getting the best of the Parliament before policymakers in Washington so the latter could better appreciate the caliber of the EU's legislative branch and gain fuller understanding of how and why it was approaching policy issues in the manner it was.”

Read more...
 
Edit

A Dispatch from the Brexit Frontline (3/18)

Email Print

By Geoffrey Lewis, Resident of Duddenhoe End in Essex, UK

Duddenhoe End village hall was crowded and noisy with chatter on Friday evening. The local Conservatives were gathered to debate Europe - in or out. This is a Tory family matter and a family row. Neither Labour nor Lib Dems seem split on the question, although they have plenty of other things to worry about. Everyone in the hall was wearing the casual uniform of the Home Counties: check shirts, blazers or tweed jackets, and they were raring to go. There were tables in two rows laid for supper. This was free with wine, all the gift of the lady organizers, and so a full house was guaranteed.

Read more...
 
Edit

EU Companies Race for Deals in Post-Sanction Iran (3/9)

Email Print

By Ben Antenore, European Affairs

As international sanctions are lifted in the wake of the nuclear deal, European companies are rushing to have first access to the lucrative, almost 80-million-person strong Iranian economy. Because of U.S. imposed sanctions unrelated to the nuclear deal, dating back to 1979, U.S. companies are mostly on the sidelines.

Read more...
 
Edit

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski’s View on Ukraine (3/4)

Email Print
By Jacqueline Grapin, Chairman of the Board & Founder of The European Institute
 
At the conference on EU’s Eastern neighborhood policy organized by the Jean Monnet Foundation at the University of Lausanne on February 25, Aleksander Kwasniewski, who served as the President of Poland from 1995 to 2005, spoke openly about the situation in Ukraine. His testimony is particularly interesting because few people have his long experience and deep knowledge of how the Russian regime and Ukraine interact. While he believes that Crimea’s status is now frozen for decades, the outcome of the situation in Ukraine remains to be seen.
Read more...
 

Can the Schengen Agreement Survive the EU Refugee Crisis? (2/18)

Email Print

By Ben Antenore, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

 As the EU has been tested by the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorist attack so has one of its proudest policies – the Schengen Agreement. 
 
Read more...
 
Edit

German Government Proposes, Controversially, to Limit Use of Cash Payments (2/11)

Email Print

By Ben Antenore, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

Last week, the German Finance Ministry proposed limiting cash payments in Germany to €5,000. The objective is to combat money laundering and better monitor the financing of terrorism. Throughout Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, there has been a move towards the elimination of cash as a method of payment. In Italy, the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti limited cash payments to €1,000 in an effort to stop tax evasion in 2011. Italy loses €100 billion in unpaid taxes every year. Since then, however, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government has raised limits to €2,999.99.

Read more...
 
Edit

The End of Cash Money? (2/4)

Email Print

By Ben Antenore, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

Two nations, Norway and Sweden, are making serious moves toward the abolition of paper-based money.

On January 22, Norway’s largest bank DNB called for an end to the usage of cash. In an interview with newspaper Verdens Gang, DNB executive Trond Bentestuen spoke of the dangers and uncontrollable nature of paper currency: “Today, there is approximately 50 billion kroner in circulation and [central bank] Norges Bank can only account for 40 percent of its use. That means that 60 percent of money usage is outside of any control. We believe that is due to under-the-table money and laundering.” For Bentestuen and DNB then, the only solution to fighting money laundering and other illicit practices is a total phasing out of cash. He supported this conclusion with data, citing that only about 6 percent of Norweigans use cash daily and, of that small number, usage is skewed highly toward the elderly.

Read more...
 
Edit

Perspectives—Letter from Berlin. A Heavy Debate about the Refugees Has Germans in a Severe Identity Crisis. (1/20)

Email Print

By Markus Ziener, Berlin Professor of Journalism

In Cologne on New Year's Eve there was no terrorist attack and no one got killed. But the massive assaults on women by a huge crowd with many asylum seekers has sent a nation into shock. The shock is multi-dimensional and deep: Germans are rubbing their eyes about a helpless police that was incapable to upholding the law. They are shocked about the criminal behavior of people Germany had welcomed and opened the doors for. But most of all: Germany is wondering about the values the country stands for – and whether they can be defended.

Read more...
 
Edit

Britain's ”Back” With Some Messages for Its Allies (12/11)

Email Print

By Michael D. Mosettig, Former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour

Bolstered by last week's parliamentary vote authorizing military action in Syria, Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has been in Washington with a double set of messages:first, his country is back as a key player on the international scene and second, key British allies should not let emotions get in the way of good policy.

Read more...
 

Climate Action: In the Streets, If Not at the Negotiating Table (12/8)

Email Print

WalterNicklen2015By Walter Nicklin in Paris

Regardless of the content and shape of the final climate agreement negotiated here in Paris, the two-week conference called COP21 has brought together disparate individuals and groups from around the world with alternative visions of a future without fossils fuels and carbon emissions: a kind of global town hall.

Read more...
 
Edit

Perspective: The Unfolding Refugee Crisis (12/3)

Email Print

By Chris Matteo

While addressing the European Parliament in mid-October, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz maintained that, '''Willkommenskultur' is prevailing over growing fear and scepticism.'' At this point only a few weeks later, Mr. Schultz would perhaps admit that this sentiment is fading even in his own country, much less around the rest of the EU.

Read more...
 
Edit

COP21: The First Week of Climate Conference (12/3)

Email Print

By Walter Nicklin in Paris

A few days into the much anticipated 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,  the mood here in Paris seems more optimistic than not.  That’s at least partly due to having defined “success” downward, as the parties long ago recognized: (1) that a formally binding treaty (especially given domestic U.S. politics) would be all but impossible; (2) that strictly limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celius above preindustrial levels, a goal originally proposed by the European Union two decades ago, should not be the conference’s top-down organizing principle.

Read more...
 

Will Climate Action Be Another Casualty of the Paris Terror Attacks? (11/20)

Email Print

WalterNicklen2015By Walter Nicklin

With less than the two weeks to go before the COP21, the Paris attacks have perhaps done more harm to the UN conference than U.S. climate-change deniers could ever have hoped to achieve -- a perverse and happy outcome for the fossil-fuel-dependent Islamic State, which, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, derives $40 million a month producing and exporting oil.

Read more...
 

American in Paris – Thoughts on the Terror Attack & What May Follow (11/17)

Email Print

By Paul Horne

Editor’s Note: These comments are from an American international political economist and long-time resident in Paris where he is now.

Paris – Nov. 16, 2015. Three days after jihadists massacred at least 130 people and wounded 350 in Paris, France is facing another shock: How to deal with the consequences of Daesh’s attack on French and European society.

Read more...
 
Edit

CIA Director John Brennan on the Paris Attacks (11/16)

Email Print

By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS’s The News Hour

Despite the events in Paris, CIA Director John Brennan kept his commitment to open a think tank conference 60 hours after the deadly attacks. But show up he did for a discussion that included the suggestion that some European governments re-think their post-Snowden curbs on intelligence gathering but rejecting suggestions that the European Union would have to end its policies of free movement.

Read more...
 

The opening salvo: Cameron’s wish list for Europe (11/13)

Email Print
The British Prime Minister David Cameron has finally announced what he would like to achieve by negotiating with the European Union about Britain’s future role in the EU. Or has he? In a letter sent to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk there is little to suggest that Cameron is about to enter the decisive phase of the negotiations on the basis of a specific list of detailed requests. Cameron outlines some generic and already well-known areas in which Britain would like to see progress.
Read more...
 
Edit

After the Torpor, Green Shoots? ‘Modest Recovery’ Forecast for Europe as Global Economic Outlook Strengthens despite Emerging Markets Difficulties (11/9)

Email Print

By James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

Despite global economic difficulties, especially those spilling over from the downturn in China and other emerging markets, a modest recovery is forecast for Europe next year. These “green shoots” come as the European Central Bank decides in early December whether to expand its programs to jumpstart economic growth and avoid deflation, “quantitative easing 2.”

Read more...
 
Edit

Europe Looks at TPP Approval as Mostly Positive for TTIP (10/30)

Email Print

 By Owen Phelps, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

On the morning of October 5th, the United States and 11 Pacific Ocean nations, comprising 40% of the world’s economy, finalized a landmark free trade agreement (FTA) that has been seven years in the making.

Read more...