Stanley's blog

The new EU Diplomatic Service

An interesting Konrad Adenauer Stiftung debate on Wednesday, led by Elmar Brok, MEP, prompts me to offer some reflections on the planned new European External Action Service and the EU High Representative for Foreign & Security Policy. (ugh! I will go on referring to them as EU Diplomatic Service and Foreign Policy Chief). The earlier… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Comments are specially invited, even if only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ Alain Lamasourre (in his comment of) came up with a great idea for the appointment of the President of the European Council, which is expected to be decided during the French Presidency (July to December 2008). In a nutshell: Candidates are invited to declare themselves… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Eight months after becoming prime minister, Gordon Brown has deigned to visit the Commission in Brussels. Whatever his views of Brussels, the Commission, the European Union or indeed of non-Anglophone foreigners, this is not the way to win friends and influence people. But then, there has up to now been no indication that he wants… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Recognition of Kosovo’s independence is an unfortunate solution, but there is currently no better a solution. It is easy to say that EU foreign policy has failed because we could not unanimously agree this recognition. But is it to be expected that Spain and Cyprus could join in? Or some of the central European states?… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The 366 page report of the Party School entitled “Storming the Fortress” was delivered shortly after the Party’s Five Year Congress in October 2007 but is only now being sold in bookshops. This is not the first Party School report pointing to systematic governance problems and grassroots anger at corruption. It reflects an ongoing debate… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The process to appoint the triumvirate of European Council President, Commission President and Foreign Policy Chief/Commission Vice-President is complicated enough with timing problems. Assuming that the Lisbon Treaty will be ratified and come into force on 1 January 2009, the European Council President and the Foreign Policy Chief will need to be agreed this year… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

German parliamentary ratification of the Lisbon Treaty is assured in good time, but nevertheless Germany may prevent the new treaty coming into force on 1 January 2008. A contradiction? No. According to the German daily newspaper Die Welt, Peter Gauweiler of the CSU and Left Party politicians are considering challenging the ratification before the country’s… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the appointment of the 2009-2014 European Commission may not be widely realised. The President will be proposed by the European Council, after consultation and acting by a qualified majority, taking into account the elections to the European Parliament. He/she has to be appointed by an absolute majority of… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Kennedy 45 years on

I urge the next President of the United States to read and apply the extraordinarily current words of John F Kennedy in Philadelphia on 4 July 1962: “But I will say here and now, on this Day of Independence, that the United States will be ready for a Declaration of Interdependence, that we will be… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Understanding Islam

The great thing about Karen Armstrong’s ‘ISLAM: A Short History’ is that it is short (161 pages) and clearly written. The book is a must for those who need to understand more about Islam than they do – which means most of us. I’m a fan of the author, who converted me with her ‘A… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick