The EU is struggling to speak with one voice following a massive loss of life in Libya over the weekend and the regime's vow to fight protesters to the "to the last bullet. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has spoken of her "extreme concern," while Rome does not want to "disturb" strongman Moammar Gaddafi and Prague has warned of a "catastrophe" if he falls. READ MORE
A one-day summit held 16 September will be remembered for a dramatic clash between Nicolas Sarkozy and José Manuel Barroso over the expulsions of Roma by France. In an institutional crisis that is still ongoing, the French president spoke of an "insult" to his nation, while the European Commission tried to show a new, more courageous face. READ MORE
At the beginning of July, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus signed a number of protocols establishing a customs union between the three countries. The union, scheduled to be fully operational in January 2012, will create a single common market of about 170 million people and represents the latest of several attempts by Moscow to create an effective trade bloc with its newly independent neighbors since the break-up of the Soviet Union. In addition to the economic ties maintained through the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Russia first committed to a union with Belarus in 1994. READ MORE
The fact that a meeting of NATO countries on the issues of strategy in Afghanistan in early February was held in Turkey's Istanbul looks symbolic enough. Turkey as a member of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance is the most eastern of its member countries not only geographically, but it is closest to the Muslim East by mentality. On the other hand, Turkey aims to join the EU, though it faces the resistance from some countries, first of all France. Istanbul – the former Constantinople – is officially included on the list of the European Capitals of Culture this year. As we know, the city is located in the western part of Turkey and, what's more important, is not only a treasury of Islamic religion and culture, but also one of the historic centers of Christian Civilization. READ MORE
Did you know that there were elections in Germany a month ago? Were you aware that the German Socialists were soundly defeated? Had you realized that there was now a new government in Germany? No? Then give credit -- both for the victory and the fact that you haven't heard about it -- to Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany. READ MORE
Inside the European pipeline fantasy that became a real-life gas war with Russia.
When Joschka Fischer's lucrative new job as the "political communications advisor" to a consortium of European energy companies was leaked to a German business publication this summer, there was one comment that stood out. "Welcome to the club," said Gerhard Schröder, an even more highly paid advocate for the other side in Europe's increasingly politicized energy war.
Schröder's remark was short, snide -- and very much to the point. For eight years, the two men had led Germany together, with Schröder ruling as its center-left chancellor and Fischer as his foreign minister. Their long-running partnership had survived a particularly complicated era in post-Cold War Europe, and publicly Fischer had always been supportive, even telling Der Spiegel that Schröder "will go down in the history books as a great chancellor." READ MORE
Persistent long-term struggle of “Gazprom” against potential construction of Nabucco pipeline has failed. In Ankara the Heads of Turkish, Austrian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian Governments signed an intergovernmental agreement on the project of the gas pipeline that will deliver gas from Caspian region to Europe round Russia. Meanwhile Germany also engaged with this project didn’t put its sign under the agreement as it is not a transiting state. READ MORE