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.
On 14th October, the European Parliament in Brussels opened its new visitor’s centre called “Parlamentarium”. As explained throughout the exhibition, it is the result of a long process of discussion inside the institution about what it should exactly be: an exhibition about the daily work of the European Parliament or a more general one displaying European history?
Vlora Çitaku the Minister for European Integration of Kosovo has already introduced herself as a very charming leader representing the younger political generation in Kosovo. One has to admit that this sounds really promising. Why does Kosovo need the European Union and what possible future prospects does it have today when the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia has become so edgy?
Europe launched the Galileo project, designed to give the continent -and the world- the most accurate and entirely civilian positioning system. But as with any European project, it is now more than five years late and costing extra billions every year. Have we become so warry of the United States that we are preparing for World War III ? Do we really need this system or is it already obsolete even before completion ?
And here we go again, we're back the Major years. It has been 38 years, 9 months and 24 days since the United Kingdom of Great Britain joined the EEC. But originally a meaningless debate triggered only through petition, the issue of Britain's membership has erupted into a full-scale Conservative rebellion defying the Prime Minister while 70% of Britons are demanding a referendum. Just like John Major did, David Cameron's leadership is under heavy threat. What did Major face ? What are the stakes and what does it mean about the current state of mind of politicians and public opinion ?
Traditionally relying on the United States for equipment, technology and logistical support since 1945, the British government signed a milestone treaty with France on 4 November 2010 that would bind the two countries to an unprecedented extent since the Second World War. Just 8 months after this, the Libyan people decided to put this new partnership to a test. What is this partnership and how did it come to existence ? How was it affected by the Libyan intervention ? Will it succeed or fail to deliver ?
Guido Westerwelle, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, once claimed that “the long-term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control.” The current situation looks rather different: an intergovernmental “Common Security and Defence Policy” (CSDP) lacking parliamentary control. How far are we from Westerwelle’s dream?
The question of a European memory has become one of the great axis of European integration since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Commemorations of this event have actually been a way for the Polish government to protest the omission of Solidarity and its contribution the fall of puppet Communist regimes in Europe from the official European Commission video.
The memory of the Armenian Genocide occupies a special place in Turkish history. What questions are raised by the feeling of guilt that can surrounds this episode ?
Prof. Ayhan Kaya, Director of European Institute of Istanbul Bilgi University speaks about the importance of researching European memory. He underlined that what is concealed in memory is very much linked to the present time with reference to the transformative effect of the European Union on Turkey.