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The 22 Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey published on 17 June makes interesting reading. US favourability rating • Overwhelmingly favourable in Western Europe: eg 73% in France and 63% in Germany. • Improved sharply in Russia (57%), up 13% since 2009, in China (58%), up 11% and in Japan (66%), up 7%. • Highly positive… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The German Marshall Fund of the US and The Centre Asie Ifri, held a joint seminar on 15 June on “Responding to China’s Rise: Balancing Hard and Soft Power”. The presentation by Gary Schmitt of the American Enterprise Institute was very disturbing. Although The AEI is ‘neocon’ in philosophy, I fear that much of what… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

“Kicking ass” is not a phrase Europeans would expect to hear from a President, but it is understandable why President Obama used it. What is not understandable is why he calls the company ‘British Petroleum” and not “BP”. Ironically, British Petroleum changed its name to BP after the merger with US oil giant Amoco in… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The credibility gap between the political class and the people is widening in most Member States, but there is no consensus as to what to do. The economic and financial challenges facing Europe require decisive leadership, but most national electoral systems make this difficult. The remedies to overcome the economic and financial crisis involve ‘pain… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Do the EU leaders really want strong external representation? The dispute over who should have represented the Union at the international talks on phasing out mercury in Stockholm on 7-11 June, puts this into doubt. The EU was unable to speak with a single voice, or even negotiate, at the First Session of the Intergovernmental… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Living three years in Iran, with extensive negotiating experience representing sometimes western companies and sometimes Iranian enterprises, taught me never to try to analyse Iranian thinking as if they were thought like us. The Iranian negotiating approach, whether natural or planned, is to confuse, enabling them to pick their way through confusion more easily than… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

BICCS (Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies invited 30 participants from 15 European institutes to participate in an intensive workshop, on 17-19 May, about China’s response to security challenges in Africa. The aim of this meeting was to examine the new security threats with which China has been confronted, the way China perceives these challenges… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Guy Verhofstadt, president of the European Parliament (EP) Liberal Democrats and former Belgian prime minister, briefed the European Policy Centre today on his vision for Europe. In his view the main underlying issue at stake is whether the EU uses the ‘Community method’ or intergovernmentalism. The Union will only progress if it reduces its intergovernmental… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

With all that is surprising us in the world of politics, my mind looks back at 1984. The French proposed Claude Cheysson as president of the European Commission. Margaret Thatcher vetoed the appointment and supported the candidature of Jacques Delors, in the mistaken belief that he was an economic liberal and more likely to steer… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick