Do we need a Commissioner for #Enlargement?

Sweden’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Carl Bildt, as well as other diplomats, have expressed their concern over the decision of the new President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker to abolish the position of EU Commissioner for Enlargement. In this respect, what are the possible motives for Junker to take such a decision and what is the message left to the candidate member-states?

(more…)

Mogherini’s First Priority

A recent report from Euractiv Greece unveiled an ambiguous position of the European Commission regarding the question of alignment of candidate member-states Serbia and Turkey with the EU against Russia with reference to bans in food imports. Similar news reports of the past couple of weeks pointed out that both countries have benefited from the current embargo on food supply from the EU, increasing their exports to Russia and gaining a comparative advantage. In this respect, the following question comes in mind: Should the EU’s stance be a denominator for candidate member-states when such crises see the light or we should expect a more lenient approach, accepting the temporary free-riding?

(more…)

A Regional Clash in Ukraine in not that far

A couple of months ago, the crisis in Ukraine could look like a common escalation between the Ukrainian and the Russian forces in a power projection game where Moscow should definitely want to win at any cost. This scenario is completely abandoned as the ongoing escalation has taken a rather structural character both in terms of army mobilization, diplomatic intervention, and timing. Timing is very important in war, as in economy, the market or in politics; in the case of Ukraine the time for a regional escalation has possibly arrived, entangling the European Union (EU) as well.

(more…)

Could İhsanoğlu challenge Erdoğan?

In August 10, Turkey holds its presidential election. This is the first time in the political history of the country that the President is going to be elected directly by the electorate, and not through the internal vote of the Parliament. Meantime, this election brings something new in the political landscape of Turkey: the candidacy of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, endorsed by five opposition parties, to compete Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Is he going to challenge Turkey’s PM with success or is İhsanoğlu candidacy the critical element of a wider project?

(more…)

#respectmyvote: One President, Many Political Messages

The election of Jean-Claude Junker as President of the European Commission -unless he is not ratified by the European Parliament on November 1st-  is literally a win of democracy for the European Union (EU). Mr Junker was the candidate with EPP and as long as his party won in the elections for the European Parliament, he physically comes into power. This was also the reason why candidates were selected for the first time in the EU history to run the presidential campaign and be nominated for the highest position in the European institutional system. We can definitely agree that Junker did not win the impressions, unlike Guy Verhofstadt for instance, or that he did not have any freshness in his speech, but this is history now.

(more…)

The Greek Presidency in the Council of the European Union: Assessment Report

Bridging Europe has conducted an independent assessment report on the deeds and performance of the Greek Presidency in the Council of the European Union for the first semester of 2014. In the 19-page informative paper, the research team of Bridging Europe, focused on the special project of the organization (Hellenic Presidency in the CEU), has enriched the core analysis with facts and figures for all policy sections entailed in the priority programme of the Presidency.

(more…)

#respectmyvote: Should Junker be the next President of the EU Commission?

Discussions behind the doors have been set on fire regarding the position of the next President of the EU Commission. This process was believed to belong to the past, being the norm for decades in the Council of the European Union. In other words, until this latest campaign, which was the first electoral race for the Head of the Commission since the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the political figure to represent the European Union globally and executing the powers assigned by the EU Commission was decided on the grounds of what the most powerful leaders of the EU wanted: a mild President? a powerful President? an accommodating figure? In all cases, the voice of the European citizens was never heard. What about now?

(more…)

The new political landscape in Greece after #EP2014

After the local and municipal elections in Greece, that coincided with European Parliament Elections on May 2014, a new political landscape has been formed. For the country that has been struggling the most among EU28, the re-balancing of political powers and their effect in the midst of economic recession can only provide positive signs for the years to come. The most striking conclusion that we can make in advance, is that the next government -whenever this might occur- will be formed under a broader coalition alliance with more than two parties participating. The major differences from 2012 national elections, when New Democracy, PASOK, and Democratic Left formed a coalition government, is that this time the core line of the government will be stemming from the Left, and that ideological fragmentation, that used to be so destructive for politics in Greece, seems to be soon abandoned and replaced by a spirit of mutual understanding.

(more…)

#EP2014: Interview with Ms Eva Kaili, Candidate MEP with PES

Ms Eva Kaili is President of the Research Centre for Equality and Equal Chances of the Greek Ministry of Interior, former Deputy of the Greek Parliament (2007-12) with PASOK, PhD candidate in International Political Economy in Piraeus University, journalist, architect, communication and IR consultant. Ms Kaili is vigorously involved in social action, most notably for the support of young people, environmental awareness, and against women trafficking. Ms Kaili is candidate MEP with the alliance “Olive Tree – Democratic Alignment” in Greece, endorsed by the Party of European Socialists (PES).

(more…)

#EP2014: Interview with Mrs Photini Tomai, Candidate MEP with EPP

Mrs Photini Tomai is Director of the Service of Diplomatic and Historical Archives of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under her administration, and with close cooperation with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the work of documenting the properties of the Greek communities in Turkey has been efficiently finalized. Mrs Tomai has been National Delegate of Greece in three international organizations and written extensively for the restitution of the victims of Nazism and the Holocaust, amongst other crucial topics of Greek, European, and global concern. Mrs Tomai is candidate MEP with New Democracy (ND – EPP political group) in Greece.

(more…)

Advertisement