Ankara Signaled Frustration by Playing "Spoiler" Role between NATO and EU

It’s been a banner few months for Turkish foreign policy:

  • Despite all the weight the U.S., France, Britain, and Germany could bring to bear, Turkey voted against the International Atomic Energy Agency findings sanctioning Iran’s nuclear program, the only NATO ally to do so;
  • Russian Prime Minister Medvedev visited Ankara to initiate a “full-scale strategic partnership,” to include Turkey’s purchase of a Russian-built nuclear power plant and cooperation on an oil pipeline to the Mediterranean;
  • Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made explicit Turkey’s “multi-dimensional foreign policy” in an article published in the U.S.;
  • In conjunction with Brazil, Turkey negotiated an agreement with Tehran involving reprocessing of some of Iran’s stock of enriched uranium into nuclear fuel – an agreement basically aimed at preventing UN sanctions against Iran.


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Obama Team Seeks to Engage with the Court -- a Fence-Straddling Position as a “Non-Signatory” Participant

The International Criminal Court (ICC) represents a manifest irony in U.S. foreign policy. While Washington has defiantly refused to join the tide of broad international acceptance and join the ICC or submit to its jurisdiction, the U.S. has traditionally been a strong supporter (and sometimes even a leader) in international efforts to bring to justice those individuals and states guilty of war crimes and atrocities -- precisely the kinds of crimes the ICC was created to prosecute.   The U.S. leadership was critically important in the prosecution of German and Japanese officials after World War II and in support for tribunals dealing with the genocides in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

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The European Institute held a meeting with The Honorable Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and The Honorable Bart Gordon, Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss the pivotal roles that research and innovation play in spurring sustainable economic growth and job creation. The first Commissioner responsible for Innovation, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn emphatically stressed the importance of greater transatlantic cooperation, saying that the case for collaboration in research and innovation has never been greater. A new European Research and Innovation Strategy will be  formulated by this fall, and will seek to encourage both private investment and public-private initiatives to meet the 3% of GDP target for R&D. Chairman Gordon, author of the America COMPETES Act, which must be re-authorized this year, echoed the importance of increased investment in research and development in the U.S. within the next ten years, as well as the need for greater international cooperation. Both Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn and Chairman Gordon agreed that increased transatlantic cooperation is not only important to the development of their respective research and innovation agendas, but central to the transatlantic partnership’s ability to shape the future of global R&D.  The discussion was moderated by Dr. Michael Nelson, Visiting Professor of Internet Studies at Georgetown University.

The 2010 British parliamentary election matters because:

  • Of its potential repercussions for Europe and for transatlantic relations, notably on Afghanistan;
  • The next government will face great challenges, not only to rebuild the economy but also trust in the political class after the shocking scandals that affected all parties.

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Initiative Underscores New Reach of This EU Institution

Keen to exercise some new muscle gained in the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament has been quick off the mark to send its own man to Washington to work with Congress. The new liaison office – an overseas first for the parliament – will be formally inaugurated in the U.S. capital at the end of April. This initiative has long been encouraged by proponents of denser dialogue between Brussels and Washington, who have long pressed the need for more contacts between legislators from the EU and Washington. (A matching U.S. initiative, to open a Congressional office in Brussels, has always fallen on deaf ears on Capitol Hill.)

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