By exclusively targeting foreign citizens, the Transnistrian “Order of Friendship” is confined to a limited scope: The tiny republic enjoys recognition only by a few Russian-backed breakaway regions. The recipients therefore consist of disputed leaders from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, some Russian politicians with influential NGOs, and a Soviet-era singer whose connection with the Donbass placed him on the EU’s list of sanctioned people. The political logic revealed in the government’s implicit criteria for “awardworthiness” is that of a narrow understanding of diplomacy.
Why do China and Poland view each other as significant partners under the 16+1 formula? Based on a comparative analysis of the two countries’ respective goals and expectations, this article will put forth possible explanations, and point towards options the Chinese government could address to promote the Sino-Polish cooperation a step further.
Russia and Turkey agreed to build the Turkish Stream pipeline in August 2016. This is beneficial to Bulgaria and Greece, for they aim to turn into a regional gas hub. What is more, potential supplies of LNG, shale gas, and natural gas from Azerbaijan realistically fuel their ambitions. Despite the V4’s opposing stakes in energy policy (not wanting to “lose” Ukraine), talks about a Graeco-Bulgarian Anti-Visegrad Alliance are exaggerated.
In the Visegrád countries, traditional Armenian cross-stones (or khachkars) are silently countering Azerbaijan’s major role as a future gas provider to the EU. The diaspora-funded activities often obtain local governments' support for their seemingly unharmful nature. However, the khachkars have the potential to subtly and enduringly change the public’s perceptions in the V4, whose governments are seen as crucial drivers behind the EU’s Eastern Partnership.
The Visegrad countries’ total ODA flows have increased impressively between 2007 and 2014, the main recipients of which are those Eastern Partnership states which directly border the EU, especially Ukraine. The Visegrad Group’s joint aid programme focusing on the EaP countries - the “Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership” - funds specific projects related to the development of civil society in the EaP states. A strengthening of the common Visegrad framework for the coordination of development assistance efforts would be possible in order to channel development assistance in a more efficient and integrated manner.
Though the Hungarian minority in the West of Ukraine is not the largest one in the country, it could still play a crucial role during the current crisis in Ukraine. The minority’s quests could become an asset for Russia. The far-right Jobbik (the third largest party in Hungary financed by Russia) has already shown its will to get Ukrainian Transcarpathia back. This ambition is highly unrealistic; nevertheless, it could, in theory, lead to more separatist discourses, which would weaken the country even more.
A bridge from North Africa to Europe to save the lives of thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean. What sounds like a concrete political decision to end the humanitarian catastrophe at Europe's shores is in fact the most recent art work by the Berlin-based Centre for Political Beauty. Interview with the Centre's Chief of Staff Cesy Leonard by Annamária Tóth
This article aims to glance beyond the legal and administrative dimensions of EU enlargement and integration and examine conceptions and expressions of identity, suggesting the possibility that, although it is always difficult to judge success and failure in foreign policy making, the notion of identity, if approached with caution, can provide with useful hints for understanding challenges in external and internal EU politics. In this light, a few years down the line, what challenges has enlargement posed to the EU in terms of identity?
From May 27th, 2013 we have been witnessing protests at Gezi Park in Istanbul, that were started by only 50 Environmentalists who were against to a plan to redevelop Istanbul's Gezi Park into a complex with new mosque and shopping centre. At a conference in Istanbul in June, EU Commissioner Štefan Füle echoed the statements of many other political leaders and claimed “Peaceful demonstrations constitute a legitimate way for these groups to express their views in a democratic society. Excessive use of force by police against these demonstrations has no place in such a democracy.”