In the aftermath of the Orange Revolution of 2004 and following the Ukraine-Russia energy crises of 2005-09, the country’s ‘Western shift’ towards the EU appeared to be a mere question of time. Five years later, these expectations turned out to be too optimistic. How to explain the ‘enlargement fatigue’ on both sides of the frontier between Ukraine and the EU? And what influence can the UK have on the process?
What is the Turkish public’s degree of optimism regarding EU-Turkey relations after this endless process of accession negotiations that is intermittently re-launched without ever being concluded? Does the Turkish public, today, actually want Turkey to be a member of the Union? Do the recent claims that Turkey lost its faith in the West reflect the truth?
Zeynep Özler, a Turkish expert for the Economic Development Foundation (IKV), sets out her viewpoint about Turkey's situation within the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
Many remember the European Union presidency of French leader Sarkozy and its strong management of the Russia-Georgia conflict in August 2008. During one summer, the EU seemed at last to act like a global player. Yet some analysts suggest that the influence of France and the EU on the solution of the crisis was clearly overrated.
According to statistics, Belarusians tend to leave their country to study in Western countries. They also seem to prefer European universities. Belarusian authorities are doing everything to encourage students to study "at home". But how is this care expressed?
Serbia is getting closer and closer to an official candidacy for EU membership. It is now waiting for the Commission to give the green light in 2011. In the meantime, one may read the Progress Report which reviews the situation. True, Serbia has made strong steps so far, but at least two strides are needed: the arrest of war criminals Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić, and above all, a more constructive attitude towards Kosovo.
Many argue nowadays that the importance of the UK/US relationship has lessened with the end of the Cold War. On 26th June 2010, Damon Wilson, President of the Atlantic Council and Director of the International Security Program, claimed that “following 60 years of cooperation and success, the political, economic and military pillars of the special relationship are stressed today”. How the special relationship can adapt to new challenges?
Veiko Spolitis is both Estonian and Latvian. He's an academic working in Rīgas Stradiņa universitātes (Latvia) and in Helsinki University (Finland). He is the ideal person to explain to us the debate about the European Union's enlargement to Turkey from the shores of the Baltic Sea.
A new perspective has emerged in the current negociations for Turkey's accession to the EU. Egemen Bagis, the Chief EU Negociator, now refers to the "Norwegian model": in case of a "yes" from the EU, a national referendum would take place in Turkey and have the last word upon the accession... Is this model relevant? Einar Wigen, a Norwegian researcher, provides us with an in-depth analysis of the matter