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500th Blog post

Three years on: state of EU-China relations When I posted my first blog exactly three years ago on 11 October 2007, not for one moment did I anticipate 500. But I confess that I enjoy it – I hope a pleasure I share with you. Watching the US, in particular during the Obama election, it… » read more

It is a poor reflection on the EU’s China activities if the latest available organigrarmme is nearly five years old and there is no agreement as to how many Dialogues, Working Groups (WG) etc there are. It indicates a serious lack of coordination. The structure of EU-China relations according to the Commission in December 2005… » read more

Despite the changed circumstances, the debate over the effectiveness of the ‘Community method’ as compared with ‘intergovernmentalism’, rages on. Those who regard themselves as ‘true believers’ see the Community method as the Holy Grail. There is a belief that the Community method equates to Jean Monnet’s methodology. The European Council is anathema to them as… » read more

The EU Summit has come and gone, but was hijacked over the Roma dispute. This meant that little time was spent on discussing strategies towards third countries, including China. There was an inconclusive discussion at the recent informal foreign ministers’ meeting. We do know how the EU High Representative for Foreign & Security Policy/Commission Vice… » read more

• Many fewer Poles than other EU respondents approve of Obama’s handling of international policies. • Given the choice between accepting a nuclear Iran and taking military action, 64% of Americans and 43% of Europeans favour military action. • Fewer than 20% of EU and US citizens believe that China plays a positive role internationally.… » read more

The Commission President delivered to the European Parliament on 7 September his first State of the Union Message. This comprised a catalogue of current problems without offering concrete remedies. Implementation is the problem. President Barroso has a great opportunity in his second term to make a mark. But he should focus on a small number… » read more

‘Political’ blogging in Europe lags considerably behind the activity in the US. But the positive trend is clear. Independent bloggers writing about EU policy are nipping at the heels of their big media rivals, according to a survey on the EU’s English-language blogosphere recently carried out by Waggener Edstrom – “Brussels Blogger Study 2010″. Recent… » read more

The credibility gap between the political class and the people is widening in most Member States, but there is no consensus as to what to do. The economic and financial challenges facing Europe require decisive leadership, but most national electoral systems make this difficult. The remedies to overcome the economic and financial crisis involve ‘pain… » read more

Do the EU leaders really want strong external representation? The dispute over who should have represented the Union at the international talks on phasing out mercury in Stockholm on 7-11 June, puts this into doubt. The EU was unable to speak with a single voice, or even negotiate, at the First Session of the Intergovernmental… » read more

BICCS (Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies invited 30 participants from 15 European institutes to participate in an intensive workshop, on 17-19 May, about China’s response to security challenges in Africa. The aim of this meeting was to examine the new security threats with which China has been confronted, the way China perceives these challenges… » read more

Some EU bloggers, from time to time, tend to promote the use of Web 2.0 tools – social media – to develop a so-called European online public space. They will certainly recognize themselves. Actually, they are easily recognizable for using that kind of expressions which I extracted directly from the Web 2.0 Bullshit Generator: “post… » read more

Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced on 31 March the Commission’s 2010 Programme, with 34 strategic priorities, under four main elements: 1. Tackling the economic crisis and sustaining Europe’s social market economy. 2. Building a citizens’ agenda which puts people at the heart of European action. 3. Developing an ambitious and coherent external agenda with… » read more

The Schuman Plan of 9 May 1950 heralded 60 years of peace, stability and prosperity. One death in Sarajevo in 1914 led to millions of deaths in Europe; thousands of deaths in Sarajevo in the 1990s did not for one moment affect the stability of western Europe. Much has changed during these 60 years in… » read more

Downright scandalous

We had been forced led to believe by the powers that be that the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty (by hook and by crook) was meant to signal the end of the EU’s internal wrangling and launch the EU into a new decade more outward looking and firmly foc…

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