April 12, 2011

Where Is German Foreign Policy Heading?

Do A. Merkel and G. Westerwelle want to be remembered as the architects of an "armchair" foreign policy? 

The nuclear disaster in Fukushima and the decision for air strikes on Lybia: These two recent events are decisive for the current status quo of German Foreign policy. The slogan is mainly attributed to the tighter dependence on the outcome of the local elections in two main Bundesländer, namely Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. Therefore, the German government, led by the two coalition partners, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) under Angela Merkel as Federal chancellor and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) with Guido Westerwelle as foreign minister, adopted a wait-and-see attitude in the German Foreign policy.


Februar 10, 2011

Eastern EU Members "go for color" and accept responsibility for Eastern Partnership countries

For nearly two decades, the Eastern EU Members enjoy the advantage of democracy. Since 2004 all of them are able to enjoy the same benefits as full EU Members. It is time to break that stranglehold of the past of beeing a kind of second-class member and to create a new democratic environment that applies to all Eastern neighbours of the European Union. The whole development in the Eastern Partnership countries open a window of opportunity to come to a sustainable and durable influence on the European Eastern policy.


Februar 01, 2011

The European Union and Belarus: "Policy of Critical Engagement"?

General view of the meeting.
Foto: Photographic service of the Council
of the EU ©European Communities
The selective employment of "sticks", namely imposing sanctions until the rest of the EU demands are fulfilled, and "carrots", namely support for the civil society, has been a part of the Council's conclusion. After a foreign ministers' meeting on Monday (31 January 2011), this decision has been made:


Januar 11, 2011

Rendez-vous with the last dictatorship in Europe: Belarus

Belarus and the Eastern Partnership

The transformation process after the collapse of the Soviet Union leaded to a kind of rapprochement of many Eastern European countries to united Europe. Among the new neighbouring countries after the Eastern enlargement in 2004 and 2007, Belarus remains an exception in many respects with its supposed neutrality and autoctrative style of governance. Nearly 1250 kilometres forming the common border of the European Union with Belarus. But after the era of European enlargement and the increased dominance of territory and borders in the path toward national political and economic strength of Russia, the real test for Belarus' transition lies in the overcoming of two different political approaches: the European Neighbourhood Policy's "ring of friends" and the Russian "near abroad" policy.


Januar 05, 2011

2011 - A Year for the Eastern Partnership?

2011 could be a crucial year for the development of the EU's Eastern Partnership. There are some initial steps towards deeper rapprochement, but 2011 could be a year where the EU and the partner countries should show their will for.

Javier Solana, José Manuel Barroso and Mirek Topolánek
during their speeches at the Eastern Partnership Summit.
Foto: Photographic service of the Council of the EU ©
European Communities
Eastern Partnership - Background

The EU's Eastern Partnership was initially a Polish-Swedish initiative but was taken over by the European Commission in December 2008 and endorsed by the European Council in March 2009, under the Czech EU Presidency. It aims to complete the Union's foreign policy towards Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus by developing a specific Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The countries concerned are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.