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spotlight europe

Spotlight 2012
10 # 2012/01: The New EU. The Consequences of the Polish EU Presidency ( 457 Kb)
A new member state is usually confronted with an anxious question when it takes over the EU Presidency for the first time. “Are they up to the job?” At the end of the Polish Presidency one can heave a sigh of relief and say that they are certainly up to the job.
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Spotlight 2011
08 # 2011/05: Europe and the Arabellion in 2012 ( 540 Kb)
A year after the start of the Tunisian rebellion, Europe’s southern neighbourhood is in turmoil and in a state of upheaval. It is a paradoxical fact that the revolt by secular groups will bring Islamist parties to power for the first time. The transition from dictatorship to democracy is not a straightforward affair, and differs from country to country. Europe cer-tainly has good assistance programmes, but there is a need for more courage and greater coordination.
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09 #2011/04: La gobernanza económica europea: ¿dónde queda la dimensión social? ( 511 Kb)
Desde la crisis de Grecia, la Unión Europea ha estado trabajando en una arquitectura integral de gobernanza europea. Se quiere que la política común en la Unión Monetaria esté respaldada por una coordinación más sólida en materia de política económica y fiscal. El objetivo es que todos los Estados de la UE alcancen una mayor competitividad y cuenten con una mayor disciplina presupuestaria. Pero en este empeño, la política corre el riesgo de debilitar la cohesión social en la UE.
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10 #2011/03: Los países árabes: entre la revolución y la represión ( 403 Kb)
La primavera árabe no debe perder fuelle. La inercia del poder de los an-tiguos regímenes y la cuestión social amenazan con frenar o incluso as-fixiar las revoluciones, rebeliones y reformas. Europa en particular debe ejercer su influencia política.
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11 #2011/02: Who's next? The Eurozone in an Insolvency Trap ( 2385 Kb)
There is going to be a brand new euro, at least from 2013 onwards, and people are talking about the Grand Design of a new European Economic Governance. But after the collapse of Portugal one is led to ask whether the eurozone can actually make it to safety. And what happens when it gets there? At any rate, the danger of new crises is greater than it has ever been. The fact of the matter is that the euro is in an insolvency trap.
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12 #2011/01: How the European Union can Support Change in North Africa ( 527 Kb)
Change in Tunisia and Egypt was sudden and came as a surprise. The European Union should now provide pro-active support with the help of a transformation partnership. For this purpose it should as soon as possible subject the instruments and strategies that it has used hitherto to a tho-rough revision. Moreover, the EU should open its market for agricultural products from North Africa and the Middle East.
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Spotlight 2010
01 #2010/11: Britain's New Coalition Government ( 2185 Kb)
In May 2010 the British Conservative Party returned to power. Propped up by the Liberal Democrats as junior coalition partner, the new government has since then embarked on a radical programme of budgetary cuts, ringing in an age of fiscal austerity. Who are today’s Conservatives? What exactly are they doing? How stable is the coalition? And what does this mean for Britain’s role in the European Union?
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02 #2010/10: The Middle East as a Region of Opportunity ( 294 Kb)
The Middle East is more than a hotbed of conflict, war and terror. It is time the EU woke up to the opportunities this region has to offer. The four Es – economy, energy, environment and education–suggest numerous areas of cooperation in which Europe can become profitably involved. Furthermore, the six GCC states ought to play a greater role in the resolution of regional conflicts.
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03 #2010/09: Europe’s Fight Against Human Trafficking ( 2249 Kb)
Slavery in Europe? Forced labour in this day and age? Very few Europeans are aware of the fact that human trafficking and forced labour exist in their midst. The numerous events marking the European Day Against Human Trafficking on 18 October are hoping to draw attention to this untenable state of affairs. Even if most of us are unaware of the fact, in recent years human trafficking has become one of the most flourishing types of organized crime in Europe.
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05 #2010/07: A Revolution in Disguise: The European Citizens' Initiative ( 880 Kb)
The European Citizens’ Initiative is a feature of the Treaty of Lisbon that many people have as yet to discover. However, even though it has often been criticized as being a kind of bogus participation that is no more than a placebo, it may well change the European Union, for it contains the seeds of a European public sphere and European parties. In this respect the initiative has already been a success.
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06 #2010: spotlight europe special - From Global Payer to Global Player ( 2013 Kb)
On 8 July, at its last session before the summer recess, the European Parliament adopted with an overwhelming majority (549 for, 78 against, and 17 abstentions) the report of Elmar Brok on the “Proposal for a Council decision establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service.” Thus the new diplomatic service can now become a reality. However, it seems that a genuine common EU foreign policy has receded even further into the distance. That is what Stefani Weiss from the Bertelsmann Stiftung wrote in our June 2010 edition of Spotlight Europe. Her analysis was greeted with acclaim both in Brussels and throughout the EU. We interviewed the EP negotiators on the EEAS, Elmar Brok (EEP) and Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE), and asked them to tell us what they think about the new diplomatic service and the prospects of a truly comprehensive EU foreign policy.
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07 #2010/06: Spain and the end of European illusions ( 1914 Kb)
Spain was expecting its EU presidency of the EU Council to be a more pleasant experience. Looking back, these six months were totally dominated by the economic crisis, which put an abrupt end to a long boom period. The Spanish were baffled by the way that the actual problems were hyped up by the European media. One thing is certain: 25 years after it joined the European Community, the country faces major challenges – economical, political and social.
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08 #2010/05: External Action Service. Much Ado About Nothing. ( 477 Kb)
The European External Action Service is now a reality, though a genuine common EU foreign policy has receded into the distance. The member states are simply afraid of surrendering their sovereignty in this area. After a seemingly endless debate about the composition of the EEAS, it is now time for some hard thinking in conceptual and strategic terms about how the service can be beneficial for both the member states and the EU as a whole.
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09 #2010/04: The Economic Crisis in Central and Eastern Europe ( 2193 Kb)
The “Greek sickness” and the parlous financial situation of the southern EU member states have prompted suggestions that the EU has reached the end of its tether. Such arguments increasingly assign an important role to the purported differences between the various European cultures, and contrast the undisciplined and profligate south with the reform-oriented and frugal Germanic north. How does the new flexible and Slav-dominated east of Europe fit into this scheme?
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10 #2010/03: Elections in Iraq: The impact on US-EU cooperation ( 346 Kb)
2010 is a crucial year for Iraq. The number of attacks significantly dropped, yet the threat of terrorism and civil war remains. Despite diverging interests and opinions, the U.S. and the EU have to intensify cooperation. Only coordinated civil aid will enable Iraq to become a stable country.
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11 #2010/02: Lisbon – A Second Shot ( 340 Kb)
Yesterday it was the turn of the Lisbon Agenda. Tomorrow it will be that of EU 2020. This new economic strategy is primarily aimed at producing sustained growth. So far, so good. However, the crucial issue is to readjust the basic governance. The 2020 strategy requires genuine benchmarking, a European Council of Economic Experts, and more research funding in the European Union’s budget.
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12 #2010/01: Cooperation with the Kremlin ( 663 Kb)
The proposal from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev for a new European security architecture enlivened the debate about the relationship between the EU and Russia. Yet, under the term security, the Russians understand something different than the EU with her concept of soft power. New forums are needed in order to finally come to a common understanding about future affairs in the region.
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Spotlight 2009
01 #2009/12: Forget Copenhagen ( 639 Kb)
Next week’s Climate Summit in Copenhagen presents the opportunity to establish a global response to climate change – an opportunity that most likely will be wasted. Yet, although dismal prospects for a follow-up are deplorable, failure in Copenhagen must not be the excuse for Europe to be inactive. Rather, the motto must be: forget Copenhagen, don’t wait for the world – get your act together on your own.
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01a #2009/I: Europe's new Balance of Power ( 3589 Kb)
After years of tussle the Lisbon Treaty has now come into effect. That means new posts, new incumbents at the top and a change in the distribution of power in the European Union. How much weight do the most important politicians in Brussels put on the scales?
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02 #2009/11: Yet another president ( 418 Kb)
The Treaty of Lisbon does not bestow a president on Europe, but at least the European Council is getting one. The character of the new office will be determined to some extent by the incumbent. Now that the squabbling about the treaty is over, the European Union badly needs someone who is genuinely a people’s president.
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06 #2009/07: Presidential Elections in Iran: Is Cooperation possible? ( 471 Kb)
It is time for a rapprochement between Iran, its neighbours and the West. Concessions will have to be made on all sides. Iran will obtain recognition of its system of government and its role as a regional power. On the other hand, there will be comprehensive and strict controls on the Iranian nuclear programme.
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07 #2009/06: EU Eastern Partnership: Fine, but what about Russia? ( 290 Kb)
Despite its undeniable “birth pangs,” the Eastern Partnership symbolizes a change of paradigms in the foreign policy of the EU, which, after the inception of the Union for the Mediterranean in the summer of 2008, is now venturing on a new and qualitatively different approach to its eastern neighbourhood. Furthermore, five years after the enlargement of the EU this strategy creates a new situation in eastern Europe, and places its own approach to Russia on a firmer footing.
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08 #2009/05: It's hip to be a euro-critic ( 204 Kb)
In the area of European policymaking, established parties are nowadays also confronted with pressure from the left-wing and right-wing fringes of the political spectrum. The fact is that, try as they might, they cannot explain away all the negative results of EU policymaking. Instead of fighting a communications war from their entrenched positions, the supporters of European integration should recognize that there are contradictions in European policies which need to be dealt with frankly on a political level.
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09 #2009/04: Europe's bold new story ( 624 Kb)
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall Europe has been restructured to form a new and united entity. During this period the policymaking of the European Union was characterized by enlargement and deepening. However, enlargement has now passed its peak, and deepening, which was supposed to have come about by reforming the EU treaties, has still not materialized. The EU needs some new guidelines.
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10 #2009/03: Roma Integration in Europe - Mission (Im)possible? ( 578 Kb)
The Roma people are the largest ethnic minority in the European Union. However, in many EU member states they have not been sufficiently in-tegrated. Recently there have been disagreements between EU states on the Roma – the treatment of the Roma has led to a dispute between Italy and Romania. This analysis provides a short survey of the situation of the Roma in Europe and of past European initiatives.
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11 #2009/02: After Gaza: A Common Dialogue Platform for the Middle East ( 868 Kb)
If one wants to have peace in the Middle East, one will have to persuade all of the actors to sit around a table and to talk about all of the conflicts. Secret negotiations are just as ineffectual as the exclusion of certain ac-tors. Only a common platform for dialogue will enable the European Un-ion and above all the U.S. to fulfil their peacemaking mission.
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12 #2009/01: Kosovo 2009: Uncertain Future ( 378 Kb)
The status of Kosovo continues to controversial. Pristina and Belgrade are now even more at loggerheads than they were before the Kosovar Declaration of Independence in February 2008. Diverging interests in the EU and the United Nations have paralyzed the work of the international community. It is clear that the EU needs a new policy with which to create stability and make for clarity. Pristina must show some responsibility if it does not wish to jeopardize the future of Kosovo.
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