Transatlantic Trends 2014: What Does It Tell Us about Poland? (9/15)

Email Print

By Marcin Bylica, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

As a Polish graduate student with a strong interest in transatlantic relations I was particularly interested in results from Poland in the recent Transatlantic Trends survey, a yearly poll conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Read more...
 

New Poll on Scottish Independence Referendum Shakes Britain (9/10)

Email Print

By European Affairs

The referendum on Scottish independence from Great Britain scheduled for September 18, has been one of the most intensely polled, with over 90 “scientific” polls conducted since the vote was scheduled two years ago.   And until this past weekend every poll showed the “no” vote (against independence) prevailing, although in recent weeks the margin of “no” lead has narrowed.

Read more...
 

Jumpstarting the Eurozone: Maestro Draghi’s New Ouverture (9/8)

Email Print

 

By James David Spellman, Principal Strategic Communications LLC.

The European Central Bank last week (September 4) unexpectedly lowered interests rates again and pushed bank deposit rates slightly more deeply into negative territory, as low inflation, weak growth, and sluggish lending to businesses suggested the Eurozone’s recovery was “losing momentum,” President Mario Draghi said. While the rate cuts grabbed the headlines, more significant are two new initiatives Draghi also unveiled to pump money into the region’s economy. Immediately afterward, the euro tumbled, bond yields fell, and stocks rallied.

Read more...
 

The War of the Roses—The French Government Reshuffles (8/28)

Email Print

By Jacqueline Grapin, Founder and Chairman of The European Institute, Writing from Paris

The symbol of the French socialist party is a rose, with each group on the left claiming to be personified by the rose. But recent political events demonstrate that several roses do not always make a bouquet.

Read more...
 

Multiple Challenges for Bulgaria (8/8)

Email Print

By Kelsey Fraser, Editorial Assistant

The EU’s poorest member state, Bulgaria, has been buffeted by serious economic and political issues this year-- the ongoing battle over the status of the Bulgarian portion of the South Stream pipeline, a renewed banking crisis and the recent resignation of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski on July 24. President Rosen Plevneliev has called for a snap election on October 5th of this year.

Read more...
 

The EU’s Newest Association Agreements – Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine (8/5)

Email Print

By Kelsey Fraser, Editorial Assistant

The recent signing of association agreements between the European Union and the nations of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia signal a serious commitment by these former Soviet bloc countries to become more politically and economically aligned with the west.

All three of the agreements include the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) which will open up markets for most goods and services. In order to facilitate sustainable growth, the EU will provide frameworks for improving the current trade situation, modernizing the agricultural sector and providing guidance for better regulation of the financial sector in these countries.

Read more...
 
Edit

A Social Media First—Presidential War Threats via Twitter (8/8)

Email Print

By Armen V. Sahakyan

In what will go down in cyber history as a social media first— president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev threatened Armenia and Nagorono-Karabakh Republics with resurgence of war via Twitter. Screen shot of actual message is below:

Read more...
 

Russian Sanctions Pose Particular Strains on Aspiring EU and NATO Candidate States (7/3)

Email Print

By Lauren Gieseke, Editorial Assistant

When the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia on March 17, Catherine Ashton announced that Montenegro, Iceland, and Albania—all EU candidate or potential candidate states—would also participate with the EU and three other non-EU European nations (Norway, Lichtenstein, and Moldova) in imposing targeted restrictions upon certain Russian and Ukrainian individuals. Brussels encouraged participation from other nonmember states, but the invitation for cooperation on this issue was not universally accepted. For example, Serbia an EU candidate state, did not join the EU sanctions restrictions.

 

Read more...
 
Edit

New U.S. Ambassador to EU Anthony Gardner Lays out Priorities (6/26)

Email Print

By Lauren Gieseke, Editorial Assistant

U.S.  Ambassador to the European Union, Anthony Luzzatto Gardner gave a major speech (full text) last week in Brussels, outlining his four top priorities in furthering relations between the United States and the European Union.  The first two require immediate focus, he said, while the latter two have a longer term perspective.

Read more...
 
Edit

Google Prepares to Comply with ECJ’s “Right to be Forgotten” (6/25)

Email Print

By Kelsey Fraser and Lauren Gieseke, Editorial Assistants

Within 24 hours of the European Court of Justice’s ruling on the so-called “right to be forgotten,” Google received over 12,000 individual requests for the exclusion of links to personal data from search results. EU citizens can now request the removal of such information via an online form (found here).

Read more...
 
Edit

Luhansk Appeals for “Recognition” (6/20)

Email Print

By Lauren Gieseke, Editorial Assistant

The self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) has taken a bold and defiant move in its drive for independence from Ukraine by issuing letters to 15 states and entities seeking acknowledgment of LPR “as a sovereign independent state.” This follows a similar request sent to the UN in mid-May which was summarily denied.
Read more...
 
Edit

Unusual Voting Rules for Scottish Independence Referendum (6/12)

Email Print

By Kelsey Fraser, Editorial Assistant

The upcoming referendum on Scottish independence comes with some unusual rules on voter eligibility.

Under the Referendum Franchise Bill which governs voter eligibility in September’s vote, the voting age for the referendum, and only for the referendum, has been lowered from 18 to 16. [1] The pro-“yes for independence” leaders support the younger age eligibility and say that young people, younger than the usual voting age, have the most at stake in determining the future of Scotland.

Read more...
 
Edit

Schedule of Events After the Election of a New European Parliament (6/11)

Email Print

By Véran Bérard-Quélin, Editorial Assistant

Last month’s European Parliamentary elections (May 22nd-25th) have triggered changes at the top of the European Union’s governing institutions, including the Presidency of the European Commission, the Presidency of the European Council, as well as the Presidency of the European Parliament.
Read more...
 
Edit

‘Super Mario’s’ New ‘Big Bazooka’: ‘Negative’ Rates and Credit Easing (6/5)

Email Print

By James D. Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications, LLC

Telegraphing for months the likelihood of an unprecedented “pre-emptive” strike against deflation, the European Central Bank president today (June 5) finally announced one unorthodox step: widely anticipated “negative” interest rates to weaken the Euro. He also introduced targeted measures to boost cheap credit for small and medium-sized businesses, the EU’s locomotives for growth, pledging interest rates will remain low "possibly for longer than previously seen."

Read more...
 
Edit

EU Election --Something Good Out of Something Bad (5/27)

Email Print

By Jacqueline Grapin, Founder and Co-Chair of The European Institute 

The arrival of the Front National (FN) led by Marine Le Pen in first place (24.9 %) among the choices of the French electorate in the European elections is not an earthquake, but it is disturbing. 

Is France, the country of human rights and universalism, properly represented by a neo-fascist movement, particularly as it coincides with the arrival of a populist wave of Eurosceptic parties in the European parliament? The truth is that the vote is mostly a protest against the inability of the socialist and the conservative governing parties to provide the solutions to existing socio-economic challenges, and a revolt against the inability of the European Union to properly protect its citizens against immigration and wild international trade movements.

Read more...
 
Edit

Ukraine Crisis Moves OSCE Out of Shadows (5/19)

Email Print

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

For two decades its 2,800 employees have toiled in relative obscurity, working on projects from democracy building to press freedom in the outer reaches of Europe and Central Asia. Now, thanks to the Ukraine crisis, the  Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with a budget of 144.8 million Euros finds itself playing a key role in trying to defuse Europe's most dangerous confrontation since the end of the Cold War.

Read more...
 
Edit

EU High Court Ruling for Privacy Sends Shock Waves through Internet (5/14)

Email Print

By James D. Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications, LLC

Europe’s highest court has strengthened privacy safeguards by requiring Google to remove when requested Web links for individuals, setting a precedent that gives credence to the “right to be forgotten” on the internet, a right the European Commission wants to introduce explicitly into law.[1]

Read more...
 
Edit

Ukraine Has Forced Russia to Regard the EU as Strategic Rival (5/2)

Email Print
By Mike Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour

In the U.S. press there has been an undertone of commentary that missteps by the European Union helped provoke the Ukraine crisis that has now engulfed the trans-Atlantic alliance. The gist of the criticism is that the EU leadership, handling accession negotiations with Ukraine, failed to foresee how its accession offer would provoke an aggressive Russian response.

Read more...
 
Edit

Settlement Talks Perking in Cyprus (4/11)

Email Print

By Hannah Morris, Editorial Assistant

Serious settlement talks are underway to finally resolve one of Europe’s most intractable disputes: the Cyprus Problem.

Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis, lead negotiator for the Greek-Cypriot community, came to Washington last week with what he called “a new story to tell,” one that just may result in a united Cyprus as a bi-zonal bi-communal federal state. The cautious optimism that permeated Mavroyiannis’ demeanor stems from his perception that after forty years of false starts, all the relevant parties – Cyprus, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), Turkey, the US, Greece, and the EU appear to be ready to search again for a settlement that has proven so elusive over the years.

Read more...
 

UPDATE: ECB Holds Key Rates Steady but Open to “QE” (4/3)

Email Print
By James David Spellman, Principal Strategic Communications LLC

Although pressure has been rising to address the perils of low inflation, the European Central Bank held rates steady (April 3) at its meeting, but its president, Mario Draghi, emphasized the bank stands united in taking steps, including unconventional ones that include asset purchases, to combat inflation.

Read more...