The European Union has hardly covered itself with glory over the Libyan crisis, but as events unfold we may be witnessing a far more effective performance than seemed likely just two weeks ago. One thing has become clear though: hopes of creating a serious EU defence capability for the future have taken a serious knock. [...]
So the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee has approved the set-up of Europe’s foreign service, as negotiated in Madrid two weeks ago. Formal agreement is expected in plenary after the holidays, allowing the European External Action Service (EEAS) to be operational by the end of the year. Creation of the EEAS is potentially the most [...]
Is it business or politics? The official EU line is that the confrontation between Russia and the Ukraine on gas supplies is a commercial dispute which does not call for political intervention. This is far removed from the accusations of “pipeline politics” directed at Russia during the 2006 dispute.
Requests by the parties for the EU [...]
I see that the French National Assembly has agreed a compromise proposal on the accession referendum, which will give the President the power to opt for the people or the parliament to approve Turkish membership.
The clause requiring a popular vote for any new accession increasing the EU population by 5 per cent will remain [...]
I may be sceptical about the timetable for EU enlargement of the European Union following Ireland’s referendum, but there has been one welcome development as France takes over the presidency: the French Senate has voted by 297 votes to seven to scrap the obligation to hold a national referendum over Turkish membership.
The issue is [...]