With the upcoming US presidential elections in November 2012, the race for the White House is in full gear as both Democratic and Republican Parties are currently holding primaries. The first Republican presidential debate was held on May 5th of last year, followed by more than 25 others. As with any election, it is as interesting to see what is being talked about, as it is to see what is left out. So, what are Republican candidates saying (or not) about Europe?
Guido Westerwelle, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, once claimed that “the long-term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control.” The current situation looks rather different: an intergovernmental “Common Security and Defence Policy” (CSDP) lacking parliamentary control. How far are we from Westerwelle’s dream?
Traditionally relying on the United States for equipment, technology and logistical support since 1945, the British government signed a milestone treaty with France on 4 November 2010 that would bind the two countries to an unprecedented extent since the Second World War. Just 8 months after this, the Libyan people decided to put this new partnership to a test. What is this partnership and how did it come to existence ? How was it affected by the Libyan intervention ? Will it succeed or fail to deliver ?
One of the actual creators of the common electricity market, the Pentalateral Energy Forum is considered one of the most-advanced operational structures for Energy in Europe aiming at a further integration of electricity markets and the development of common approaches in guaranteeing the security of supply. Its activities have grown to become highly elaborated in the recent years, and as a consequence, ever greater expectations are being placed on it.
On 30 November 2016, the European Commission released the latest legislative initiative in the energy field entitled “Clean Energy for all Europeans”. It aims to make the energy transition efficient, smooth and engaging. Its core resides in the Winter Package, which addresses the electricity markets, the renewable energy markets and the energy efficiency issue. How efficient is the EU in integrating national energy markets while trying to provide cleaner energy for tomorrow’s and today’s consumers?
Despite the creation of many legal instruments over the last sixty years, energy policy in the EU remains mainly defined at the national level. Energy policy is linked with the vital security of the state. Therefore, the integration of energy policies in the EU is closely related to the issue of delegating national sovereignty to supranational institutions. The reluctance of governments to commit such a transfer of sovereignty is better understood in the light of the concept of energy security. Specifically, understanding how national decision makers conceptualize energy security brings light on the “diverging national interests” that jeopardize the fulfilment of the European Energy Union.
EU member states all use Twitter for public diplomacy purposes, but they have disparate abilities to influence and rally support. When tweeting about security and defence, the most influential are mostly Western European countries and overwhelmingly in favour of more integration, whereas CEE countries are under–represented and the dissenters virtually inaudible. The 2017 NATO Summit serves as an illustration.
Is the use of social media really a way for public institutions to reach a foreign population, engage in a two-way discussion and achieve one’s foreign policy goal? Or is it a lure of modernity that risks backfiring if not used well? With the largest Internet users’ community and the apparition of netizens, able to influence to some degree state policies, China is an interesting laboratory for EU digital diplomacy.
Despite the widely discussed transatlantic rift, strong transatlantic relations continue to be of military, economic and strategic importance for Europe. Europe remains dependent on US security guarantees even as their value appears to cease for the other side. It has much to lose, but only limited capacity to act on its own in an increasingly multipolar world. Yet, an American withdrawal from the Old Continent, and consequently, a weakened Europe ultimately are two sides of the same coin.
In his latest book, Is the EU Doomed?, Jan Zielonka, Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford and Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow at St Antony's College, analyses the future of integration in a crisis-ridden Europe. He talks to Annamária Tóth about the crisis and the way out, European integration without the EU and why the Juncker Commission should step down.