After Turkey's 17th general elections held on 12 June 2011, the first Turkish EU Ministry was established in Turkey. The former chief negotiator Egemen Bağış became the first Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator on the Establishment of the Ministry of EU Affairs. Since it is supposed to replace the Secretariat General for the EU Affairs, many EU experts and politicians, not only in Turkey but also in the EU, consider that it constitutes a significant institutional improvement.
Throughout Belarus nowadays, mass protests are organized through social media. The organizers of these protests might however never be successful. This once again confirms that the opposition in Belarus enjoys minimal support among the population.
According to the Constitution, Belarus is a democratic state. The reality is however somewhat different. The opposition’s representatives define the current Belarusian regime as authoritarian and the national government also admits that Belarusian 'democracy' is significantly different from the western concept. What are the causes of these differences?
Relations between the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom have traditionally been tense. At the root of this long-enduring antagonism, we can find deeply entrenched Cold War legacies and an accumulation of irritating events further tensing relations between the Kremlin and Downing Street. In this article, we will first present the evolution of relations between Russia and the UK since Blair to then understand the stance of contemporary interactions, that is since David Cameron became Prime Minister.
On May 21st 2006, Montenegro chose by referendum to become an independent state, splitting up the state union with Serbia, forged in 2001 in the wake of the break-up of Yugoslavia. However, the « yes » campaign won by only a narrow majority (55.5%), and political antagonisms reflected a genuine divide within society. Yet, almost 5 years later, the country seems to have done better than expected.
On March 27th, under UN Resolution 1973, NATO became responsible for the whole military intervention in Libya. Despite Europeans' attempts to set up a Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), the Atlantic Alliance appears once again as the most credible military actor in Europe and in its neighbourhood. What does this mean for the relationship between NATO and ESDP and the issue of burden-sharing?
Does the governing Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) have a Hidden Agenda? Is it currently involved in a phase of "dissimulation waiting for the right moment" to introduce the Sharia law in Turkey? There are some people, especially from the Kemalist establishment, that claim it is the case. Without the ambition to arbitrate the debate, this short overview provides several explanatory elements to the use of the Hidden Agenda thread in Turkey.
The AKP, the Justice and Development Party, was created in Turkey in 2001 and won the general elections in 2002 with 34.3% of votes. While some see the AKP as a model of moderate Islam within more or less democratic framework, others regard it with suspicion as a party having a “hidden agenda” aiming to restore Sharia law in Turkey. How to explain the AKP’s discourse and success?
In the aftermath of the Orange Revolution of 2004 and following the Ukraine-Russia energy crises of 2005-09, the country’s ‘Western shift’ towards the EU appeared to be a mere question of time. Five years later, these expectations turned out to be too optimistic. How to explain the ‘enlargement fatigue’ on both sides of the frontier between Ukraine and the EU? And what influence can the UK have on the process?
What is the Turkish public’s degree of optimism regarding EU-Turkey relations after this endless process of accession negotiations that is intermittently re-launched without ever being concluded? Does the Turkish public, today, actually want Turkey to be a member of the Union? Do the recent claims that Turkey lost its faith in the West reflect the truth?