The 5th Eastern Partnership Summit is an opportunity to promote conflict resolution in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood. The initiative brings closer together EU citizens and people afflicted by post-Soviet frozen conflicts, and compels Brussels to engage in mediation whilst defending the territorial integrity of its Partners. In Ukraine, the Union faces the challenge of pre–empting the freezing of a conflict.
After the British people demonstrated their will to leave the EU in a referendum in June 2016, many questions arose on the future of the EU. In particular, the security and defence of the Union, in which the United Kingdom has always played a crucial role, will become a highly important issue for the 27 remaining Member States.
In a bold move that created a political list eponymously named after himself, the 30-year old Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz broke up Austria’s entrenched political order. He re-centered the conservative party – which had been in urgent need of reform – towards himself. This appraisal seeks to identify some factors of the continued success Kurz had been enjoying ever since he entered high governmental posts at the age of 24, but it also raises questions about how personalized politics further weakens the Austrian political parties.
The EU’s cultural policy is characterized by a structural oxymoron: The EU pursues European identity-building via a national framework. While the locus of EU cultural policies is delegated onto co-opted national organizations, the main share of successful identity-building discourse is arrogated by the EU. It is the eternal dialectic between Member States and supranational interests that leads to this institutional conundrum. The EU Prize for Literature serves as an illustration.
In the Visegrád countries, traditional Armenian cross-stones (or khachkars) are silently countering Azerbaijan’s major role as a future gas provider to the EU. The diaspora-funded activities often obtain local governments' support for their seemingly unharmful nature. However, the khachkars have the potential to subtly and enduringly change the public’s perceptions in the V4, whose governments are seen as crucial drivers behind the EU’s Eastern Partnership.
The Visegrad countries’ total ODA flows have increased impressively between 2007 and 2014, the main recipients of which are those Eastern Partnership states which directly border the EU, especially Ukraine. The Visegrad Group’s joint aid programme focusing on the EaP countries - the “Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership” - funds specific projects related to the development of civil society in the EaP states. A strengthening of the common Visegrad framework for the coordination of development assistance efforts would be possible in order to channel development assistance in a more efficient and integrated manner.
A bridge from North Africa to Europe to save the lives of thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean. What sounds like a concrete political decision to end the humanitarian catastrophe at Europe's shores is in fact the most recent art work by the Berlin-based Centre for Political Beauty. Interview with the Centre's Chief of Staff Cesy Leonard by Annamária Tóth
Major policy and legal chances have happened in a range of European countries in 2013 and early 2014, and the coming months will see some major votes on the question. How does the “abortion debate” look like in Europe today and what does it say about European societies and politics?
Talking of the decline of the Left and the Right has become commonplace in European politics. The message is the same: they are are “old” categories which make little sense nowadays. If we accept as true the common knowledge of the convergence of the Left and the Right, there are two questions to be asked about it: the first is “why could this have happened” while the second is “is there anything that can be done about it?”
In many European nation-states, traditional left and right-wing parties are increasingly challenged, by voters who express their dissatisfaction by not going to the polls or voting for newly emerged and/or extremist parties, and by these parties, which present themselves as an alternative. But neither of these challenges has fundamentally threatened neither the left-right cleavage nor the existence of traditional left and right wing parties in any member state.