I recently sat by chance in a plane with a College of Europe alumnus of my own promotion (Copernicus) who happens to work at the European Parliament (EP). After exchanging news of common friends I told him about a paper I recently wrote on how to tackle youth absenteeism in the elections to the European Parliament. When he asked me to summarise my conclusions and recommendations he was shocked by my remark that national leaders should publicly debate the main policy decisions in the EP. He interrupted me to say “Luis, that’s already done, national leaders and the chairman of the European Council come to the EP before and after the Councils”. Even though this is not exactly what I meant, I think that the anecdote is telling about the lack of visibility of the EP. If someone teaching and researching on European politics vaguely remembers about the EP in holding the European Council to account, there are high chances that the general public is not aware of the role of the Parliament in the EU. Continue reading
L’Union européenne (UE) veut devenir un acteur global. Elle le répète comme un mantra dans ses déclarations officielles et officieuses et elle est passée à l’acte au moyen du fameux Traité de Lisbonne (décembre 2009), qui réforme ses structures et instruments pour mieux contribuer à cette fin. Dans un monde complexe, interdépendant et aux changements ultra-rapides, les dirigeants politiques européens ont besoin d’une action extérieure unifiée et cohérente pour contrer l’influence grandissante de nouveaux pouvoirs extrêmement compétitifs. But wait, there’s more!
Ukraine and Georgia, two states between East and West, are of interest for the European Union, for Russia and for the United States. Kiev and Tbilisi have not written their future yet, but we could make some prospects according to the current geopolitics of the region. Will Ukraine and Georgia make advances towards the European integration or will they stay under the Russian influence? Continue reading