Everyone had seen it coming, but when it finally happened it was nonetheless shocking. Last year’s political crisis on a possible referendum in Bosnia and Herzegovina was yet another painful sign of the ongoing political stagnation of the country. The EU’s standard rulebook for the Balkan countries matches uneasily with the peculiar political situation of Bosnia. Not only should the EU step up its efforts, but it should also increase its legitimacy in the country.
Armin Theophil Wegner (1886 –1978) was a German soldier and medic in World War who came to be a witness of the Armenian genocide, taking numbers of photographs in the Armenian deportation camps. Ayşegül Şah Bozdoğan, a philosopher of Istanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi, tells his story and reflects upon it.
Europe has recently been rocked by an international scandal that entangled an ex-KGB man wanted for ordering mass killings in Lithuania, named Michail Golovatov, Austrian law, Lithuanian institutions and the unity as well as the standing of the European Union. At the core of this event was the fact that Austrian officials set free the soviet Officer just a few hours after his arrest in Vienna. We have decided to find out how two scholars of different subjects who originate from the post-Soviet countries and who gained their education at western universities would evaluate this situation.
The past and present of EU-Moldova relations can be framed between two main periods: February 2005, when the joint ENP Action Plan was launched to trigger the first stage of cooperation; and January 2010, when the EU and Moldova started negotiations on an Association Agreement. In this timeline the European Union has continually increased the volume of assistance provided to Moldova, with numbers reaching about 100 million Euros annually until 2013, according to the data provided by the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Nevertheless, the real perspectives of EU integration of Moldova are just as unclear now as they were six years ago. How did these perspectives develop over time and to what extent were the reforms truly implemented in Moldova? And, generally speaking, is the EU integration of the country a feasible idea in the near or far future ?
July 2011 marked the beginning of the Polish presidency of the European Union. Strenghtening the CSDP is one of the targets put forward. However, already during its accession process to the EU, Poland has been keen on getting involved in the transformation of the European Security and Defence Policy and has continued to do so since it became a member. Nonetheless, one must not forget the weight NATO and the USA have in the Polish Army.
Throughout Belarus nowadays, mass protests are organized through social media. The organizers of these protests might however never be successful. This once again confirms that the opposition in Belarus enjoys minimal support among the population.
According to the Constitution, Belarus is a democratic state. The reality is however somewhat different. The opposition’s representatives define the current Belarusian regime as authoritarian and the national government also admits that Belarusian 'democracy' is significantly different from the western concept. What are the causes of these differences?
Ivo Slosarcik is a professor of European and International law at the Charles University of Prague (Jean Monnet Center of Excellence). He also participated in founding the Institute for European policy EUROPEUM. During the Czech Presidency of the European Union, he was a member of the advisory committee of the Czech Vice-Prime minister, Alexander Vondra. In this interview, M. Slosarcik draws up his assessment of the Czech Presidency and his view on the future of the rotating Presidency.
On May 21st 2006, Montenegro chose by referendum to become an independent state, splitting up the state union with Serbia, forged in 2001 in the wake of the break-up of Yugoslavia. However, the « yes » campaign won by only a narrow majority (55.5%), and political antagonisms reflected a genuine divide within society. Yet, almost 5 years later, the country seems to have done better than expected.
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?