European Leaders Ready to Shrink the EU

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The EU needs to unify quickly—and the easiest way forward is for a core group to leave the rest behind.

European leaders agreed last week that a core group of European nations must move rapidly toward unity, leaving the rest of the 28-member bloc behind. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at an EU summit in Malta on February 3, “The history of recent years has shown that there will be a multi-speed EU, and not all members will participate in the same steps of integration.” Continue reading

The EU’s Second Ring

BERLIN/KIEV/BERN (Own report) – In the aftermath of the Western-oriented putsch in Kiev, German politicians are preparing German public opinion for the disastrous deterioration of the Ukraine economic situation. Even though it was most recently suggested that the country could only expect a thriving development by linking up to the EU, it is now – truthfully – being announced that Ukraine is practically bankrupt. The CDU European parliamentarian, Elmar Brok, predicts “difficult times” ahead: “It has never rained gold coins, except in fairy tales.” In fact back in the fall, experts had already indicated that, because of its out-dated industry, the Ukraine would have to expect dramatic economic slumps if it signs the EU Association Agreements – unemployment and poverty would dramatically rise. In a position paper, the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) is now proposing the introduction of a special status in EU ties for the Ukraine as well as other countries, such as Turkey. This sort of EU “second ring” would also permit the economic integration of such countries as Switzerland, which politically resists joining the EU. The SWP contends that these plans could also be used for Catalonia, should it secede from Spain and Scotland, from Britain. Continue reading

EU to Consider Intervention in Bosnia if Tension Escalates

Slowly but surely, although further political, social and economic integration is needed, yet underway, an alternative to NATO is being formed and receiving training piece by piece: The European Army.

An eventual escalation of tension in Bosnia might result in intervention of EU forces, a high official warned Sunday.

Valentin InzkoHigh Representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, told Austrian media that the situation in the country will be analyzed next Tuesday. Continue reading

France’s triumphant ‘Joan of Arc’ vows to bring back franc and destroy euro

Marine Le Pen is spoiling for a fight. The leader of France’s Front National vows to smash the existing order of Europe and force the break-up of monetary union, if she wins the next election.

It is no longer an implausible prospect. “We cannot be seduced,” she said, brimming with confidence after her party secured 46pc of the vote in a by-election earthquake a week ago. Her candidate trounced the ruling Socialists in their own bastion of Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

The euro ceases to exist the moment that France leaves, and that is our incredible strength. What are they going to do, send in tanks?” she told the Daily Telegraph at the Front National’s headquarters, an unmarked building tucked away in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. Her office is small and workaday, almost austere. Continue reading

The Balkan chessboard: Russia’s ruble diplomacy and EU interests

In 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that “a power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would entail Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent”. His book The Grand Chessboard was indeed a major contribution to geopolitical studies. Depicting the new challenges for US foreign policy in a multipolar world, Brzezinski identifies the geopolitical Achilles’ heel of the 21st century in the area he designated as the Global Balkans, i.e. “the swathe of Eurasia between Europe and the Far East.” Continue reading