European bureaucrats are clearly not keeping pace with the geopolitical dynamics of the modern world. While the U.S. and China are expanding their spheres of influence in the Pacific, and Russia is working to create a Eurasian bloc, the EU actually fell out of big geopolitical games, limiting the expansion of its own influence and being fully concentrated on the internal redistribution of political and economic powers. Ignoring the European aspirations and foreign policy ambitions of Turkey and Ukraine, the EU shows geopolitical improvidence, limiting its own ability to conduct more effective policy in the Middle East and former Soviet space. READ MORE
Outsiders find the polish-lithuanian spat the most incomprehensible in europe. How come two countries with so much common history and so many common interests get on so badly? Is it just the appalling personal chemistry between some senior officials? Or is it, absurdly, about spelling? Poles in Lithuania want to spell their names using letters like ł and ę in official documents. (We can't use them, or most other diacritics, in the print edition of the Economist because our typeface doesn't have those characters). READ MORE
While the Arctic region represents a seminal opportunity to move closer to a Euro-Atlantic Security Community, other aspects of the energy equation are more open-ended. Given the elaborate interdependence of European gas and oil consumers and Russian and Caspian gas and oil suppliers, if these issues are addressed constructively, a basis should exist for cooperation here as well. Still, in contrast to the four decades before, over the last ten years, the tension stirred by gas cutoffs and the jousting over pipeline routes demonstrate energy’s potential role to impede efforts to draw the countries of the Euro-Atlantic region together. Hence, in contemplating a path to the larger goal, a minimum, first-order objective must be to minimize the possibility of energy relations adding obstacles to what inevitably will be a difficult road. READ MORE
The European Union has asked New Delhi to use its influence to draw Iran back into talks over its disputed nuclear ambitions, Indian TV channels said on Friday. READ MORE
Reaction of Armenian citizens on the decision of the Senate of France to criminalize the responsibility for denial of genocide was extremely emotional. It was up to that some participants of the action "Merci, France!", who gathered by the building of the embassy in Yerevan tried to kiss the hand of French Ambassador coming out to them, which confused the diplomat greatly. Some excuse for such “Eastern spontaneity” although can be the fact that in Turkey and Azerbaijan emotions (naturally negative) are also extreme. One of Baku radio stations, for example, banned French music in its air. READ MORE
The measures introduced by the European Central Bank last December, especially the Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO), have relieved the liquidity problems of European banks, but have not cured the financing disadvantage of the highly indebted member states. Since high-risk premiums on government bonds endanger the capital adequacy of banks, half a solution is not enough. READ MORE
Danish Environment Minister Ida Auken has an ambitious agenda for her country's EU presidency, including global leadership on sustainable development. The Socialist politician says she sees no conflict between environmental regulation and spurring economic growth in Europe.
Ida Auken has been Denmark’s minister for environment since October. A member of the Socialist People’s Party, she was elected to the Danish Parliament in November 2007 and is a former chairwoman of the body’s environment committee. READ MORE