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The whirlwind state visit of President Nicolas and Carla Sarkozy to the UK is over. What are its lasting implications? The rhetoric on these grand occasions is not necessarily converted into action. It is especially difficult to interpret the nature of Sarkozian initiatives and their durability. The President clearly seeks to bring France closer to… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Surely the EU can agree a common policy on the Olympic Games? The European foreign ministers are attending tomorrow and Saturday an informal (Gymnich) meeting at Brdo, Slovenia. Tibet is on the agenda. It might have been thought that it is in everyone’s interests that the EU 27 agree their approach to calls for a… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The European Parliament emergency debate yesterday on Tibet began with a tough statement by President Hans-Geert Pöttering, continued with two measured statements on behalf of the Council and Commission, and followed by a series of all-party diatribes by MEPs. We were treated to the same inaccurate presentation of alleged facts that we have become accustomed… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

What’s in a name?

Will the NATO summit in Bucharest in April invite the (Former Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonia to join NATO, together with Albania and Croatia? The answer is ‘No’ unless Greece lifts its veto on the country joining NATO. The strategic reason for the veto is that the dispute over its name should first be resolved. The… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The international implications of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision (Medellin v Texas) that President Bush had no power to tell the state of Texas to reopen a death penalty case, need careful study. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled in 2004 that 51 Mexican nationals sentenced to death in the US were… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I commend you to read the briefing on Tibet in today’s ‘The Economist’. The briefing has been written by James Miles, its Beijing correspondent, who happened to be there and was allowed to stay from 12 to 19 March. Nowhere are European and Chinese misperceptions further apart than over the Dalai Lama and Tibet. It… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

My EPC colleagues, Antonio Missiroli and Jérôme Bacquias, have just written an interesting paper following the resignation of Markos Kyprianou and the one-month ‘unpaid leave’ taken by Franco Frattini, speculating that these may not be the last to leave the Barroso team prior to October 2009. A comparable trend emerged in the final months of… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

There must be something fundamentally wrong with a world when • submortgage losses are estimated at $300-400bn • one stealth bomber costs $1.2bn • one country is spending annually $150bn in Iraq • over one million people do not have access to clean water.

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The FT Harris poll revealed that a clear majority of the combined citizens of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK believes that the EU must choose a high profile figure as its first president, such as Angela Merkel or Tony Blair. This would rule out Jean-Claude Juncker and Anders Fogh Rasmussen. However, Merkel still appears… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Security First

That great Communitarian, Amitai Etzioni, compellingly argues that the first priority in foreign policy is to provide basic security, not to democratize (Security First, 2007, Yale University Press). He argues for a “muscular, moral foreign policy” for the United States. Security cannot, however, be mainly based on military forces, police and other methods of law… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick