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Posts Tagged ‘EU’

Pooling and Sharing – another lesson from Europe’s North

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Recently I came across an interesting piece of information: eight countries from Europe’s north are pooling resources… diplomatic resources. As the political integration in other fields is staggering, notably in economic governance, foreign, security and defence policy, small countries without ambitions to rule over the continent may have found the right formula. It is not the first time Nordic and Baltic EU member states pool resources. Over the last few years they have been joining forces to form early warning systems and joint air patrols, just to mention a few.

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Pooling, Sharing and European Defence Integration

July 13, 2011 1 comment

Photo: AP

The hot potato these days in Security and Defence debates in the EU is “pooling and sharing“. Refered to as “smart defence” in the NATO circle, this term refers to using common existing or planner resources to provide defence capabilities at the disposal of several member states. Triggered by the more and more political nature of the EU and its Foreign Policy, the process got a boost because of the severe cuts in defence spending as a result of the crisis. Many countries, especially the smaller and newer member states, but also military giants like the UK, are forced to discontinue procurement programs or to decommission capabilities. Worse, for political reasons governments often cut funding for Research and Technology thus shooting themselves in the foot in the long run.

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Libya in Blood, Italy unmoved

February 22, 2011 1 comment

Libya is in blood. Gadaffi is killing his own people. The wave of Arab Democratic Revolutions will be one daystudied in history books and their transition in political science. And so will be studied the response of the democracies. One of them shines so bright at this moment – Italy saw nothing wrong in the mass killings on squares in Bengazi and Tripoli.

The response of Italy, the closest Europeanneighbour of Libya was: let Gadaffi do good and he will make constitutional reforms. In the words of Italy’s foreign minsiter and (oh, such a shame) EU’s former deputy president of the Comission Franco Frattini:

“Italy as you know is the closest neighbour of both Tunisia and Libya so we are extremely concerned about the repercussions on the migratory situation in the southern Mediterranean,”

Appealing. This is all I can say.

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NATO before the summit: how much does Turkish friendship cost?

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

That Turkey is the main hurdle for developing more successful Common Security and Defence Policy in the EU there is no doubt. Neither there is about whether it is a committed NATO member and a strong European and US ally at the gate of the Middle East. Until Now.

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Burma’s elections: dictatorship in retreat – not yet

November 14, 2010 2 comments

This week’s elections in Burma marked a new beginning for the country. 20 years after the legitimate winner Aung San Suu Kyi and her party the National League for Democracy were denied the right to govern, the military junta organised elections. Yet far from free and fair.

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As bad as it can get

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Westerwelle and Erdogan in Turkey

 

It is not about Turkey – it is about Germany. If you were someone in government appointing        the head of the judiciary, half of the members of the upper house, the commanders of all the armed forces, Friday prayer leaders and the head of radio and TV you would be Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran. Nowadays this is a bad thing in Europe and in the US. But if you were a president of another country appointing 14 out of the 17 Constitutional judges, it is ok. Or is it ? 

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Attention: Nagorno Karabakh

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

I regret that it gets harder and harder to write this blog not least because there are so many things to write about.

One of them is something few people tend to discuss these days – the frozen conflicts, and the one in Nagorno Karabakh in particular.

I think it will not be long before international diplomacy focuses its attention in the South Caucasus again. And just like the last time, it may be because of a conflict. Then however, it will be too late to comment and warn. In order not to face the harsh realities of negotiating seize-fire in the middle of a fierce conventional war, one would rather not leave the frozen conflicts on their own. Because they tend to defrost once  in a  while.

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