Posts Tagged

EU

On August 22, 2012, German Chancellor Angela Merkel conducted an important one-day visit to Moldova to celebrate 20 years of German-Moldovan cooperation. Some of the key topics of discussion during her visit were a potential resolution of the Transnistrian conflict, triggered by the self-proclaimed independence of this Moldovan region in 1990 and suspended by the 1992 ceasefire, as well as Moldova’s integration into the European Union (EU). Indicative of the importance of this visit was the fact that the German Chancellor took part in the visit personally, rather than sending a lower ranking representative to address her Moldovan counterpart. Most commentators who have analyzed Merkel’s visit have played down its importance, arguing it merely represents a strengthened effort to resolve …

What matters more: who you think you are or who others think you are? Addressing a major gap in IR scholarship, the importance of identity in influencing state behaviour was first elucidated by writers within the Constructivist school of thought, most notable among whom was Alexander Wendt. In his seminal article “Anarchy is what states make of it”, Wendt draws attention to the significance of identity by employing the metaphor of “the looking-glass self”, arguing that states form identities of themselves through their interactions with other states: that “the self is a reflection of an actor’s socialization”(Wendt 1992:404). Such a theory seems to predict that a state’s identity and how others perceive it should bear correlation. How, then, do we …

As 25 of the EU’s 27 member states signed the fiscal treaty designed to put a line under the euro crisis on a grey and misty Brussels morning, the mood at the summit was low key and low energy (the UK and the Czech Republic the two non-signatories). Politicians and officials alike did their best to spin that the crisis was past. French President Nicolas Sarkozy at his press conference, insisted ‘ we are turning the page on the financial crisis’ and that Europe had shown how fast it can move, bringing the treaty in just three months after the idea was launched at the December summit 3 months before. But Sarkozy himself looked tired and pale, rather than his …
Jean Claude Piris

Last week the Centre for International Studies held an excellent discussion panel (shortly to be made into a podcast) with Jean-Claude Piris (author and former Director General of the Legal Service of the Council Secretariat), discussing his new book, Towards a Two Speed Europe. Jean-Claude Piris, who has worked for many years in the highest echelons of European law-making and treaty formulation, is far more qualified than your blogger to evaluate the various implications of a formalisation of the currently observable divergence in paths of the European centre and its periphery. I shall not, therefore, attempt to evaluate his arguments from the point either of a lawyer or a European policymaker. I’m neither. Rather, I write merely as a citizen of …