Little joy - Croatia's path to the EU

In preparing to become the EU's 28th member state in July 2013, Croatia struggles with high unemployment and an ailing industry, among many other problems. Few are in the mood to celebrate. READ MORE

Denmark's Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal: True watermark of a democracy is the protection of minorities and their rights

All citizens must be able to exercise their right to expression and assembly. Including, for instance, sexual minorities. If this right, one of the cornerstones of a democracy, is threatened, it is the state's duty to defend it, says Denmark's Minister of Foreign Affairs Villy Søvndal. The minister, who came to Vilnius on Friday, wished Lithuania to achieve tangible results during its presidency over the Council of the European Union, something to benefit Europe's citizens and businesses. READ MORE

Sweden: a special NATO partner?

Among the policy agendas advanced during his tenure as NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been a robust advocate for the creation of new and enhanced partnerships for the Alliance. Many states have cultivated closer ties to NATO during his leadership, including Australia, Ireland, South Korea, New Zealand and Mongolia. But Sweden certainly ranks near the top among those whose bonds have been strengthened and improved. READ MORE

Post-Soviet underworld rushes to Europe

By Ian Begg

Has anyone counted how many criminals in Europe received immunity just because they share the values ​​of democracy? But it is time to compile such a list. It will be fun and will get a high ranking in the media. Lucky crooks, murderers, thievish officials - who just is not in this ranking. And they will combine two key factors: the first - millions of dollars in assets, and the second - a fanatical devotion to the cause of democracy. READ MORE

Why Does Ukraine Matter to the EU?


By Olga Shumylo-Tapiola

Some adults turn their noses up at the question of “why,” believing it to be childish. And when it comes to the EU’s foreign policy, especially in its Eastern neighborhood, the question is considered simply inappropriate. That the EU will engage with its Eastern neighbors is just a given today. Take Ukraine. The EU has made a significant political investment in Kyiv over the years but has not given much thought to why Ukraine matters. READ MORE

EU travel restrictions will be eased for Ukrainians and Moldovans

Travel to the EU is set to become easier for people from Ukraine and Moldova after MEPs approved plans for visa exemptions for holders of biometric service passports and a simplification of requirements demonstrating the purpose of their journey. EU citizens are already exempt from visa requirements when travelling to these countries. We talked to Claude Moraes and Marian Jean Marinescu, the two MEPs in charge, about why they support these amendments to the existing visa facilitation agreements. READ MORE

North Africa Instability Affects European Energy Security

By Ioannis Michaletos

The North African region has played a decisive role over the past few years in shaping global political agendas. It is the birthplace of the Arab Spring (Tunisia) and the region often most affected by Islamist terrorist groups in the wider MENA area. Terrorism impacts the energy security of the European Union, and has the potential to become a source of significant instability in the near future. READ MORE

Sino-European ties benefit from in-depth talks

By Qin Zhongwei

In-depth party-to-party exchanges and dialogue between China and Europe should play a unique role in narrowing differences and enhancing the Sino-European comprehensive strategic partnership, a senior official of the Communist Party of China said on Thursday. READ MORE

France on high security alert after Boston bombs

In the wake of the Boston marathon bombs, French interior minister Manuel Valls has asked French police and security forces to increase their vigilance immediately and reinforce preventative operations, especially around public buildings, as a priority. READ MORE

In Vilnius, Lithuanian And Serbian Foreign Ministers Sign A Memorandum For Cooperation In The Field Of European Integration

On 16 April, the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius and the Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivan Mrkić signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of European integration on behalf of the Governments, which, according to Linkevičius, should further the mutually beneficial cooperation. READ MORE