The Bear's Lair

Archives for EU foreign policy

With the final results from Egypt’s six week parliamentary elections tricking in, all talk is about the strong election performance of the two main Islamic parties. With 43.7% of the vote, the Freedom and Justice Party (the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood) was the clear winner, although the ultra-conservative Nour party surprised many by… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

The Scramble For Europe

A recent paper by François Godement and Jona Parello-Plesner describes in rather startling terms how China is “buying” up Europe. According to the authors, the main components of this new wave of Chinese activity are: 1) China’s purchases of European countries’ sovereign debt 2) The acquisition of European companies by their technology-hungry Chinese counterparts 3)… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

“Kazakhstan is a partner that we can work with, even if not necessarily an easy one” (EU Commission Official – 2010). The EU’s operations in Kazakhstan try to be both pragmatic and values-based. Like the US and China, Brussels has been keen to bolster economic and energy cooperation with a fast-growing regional giant. On the… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

The EU keeps two battle groups on standby for six months at a time, and has done since January 2007. However, having been on standby for more than four years, the battle groups have the air of a solution looking for a problem. The EU is often criticized for lacking a “hard” side to its… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

The following post was contributed by Mario Giuseppe Varrenti. Mario holds an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy Studies from the College of Europe. Mario will soon take up a traineeship post in DG DEVCO, electoral assistance in the European Commission. More than two months since the second round of elections in Cote d’Ivoire, the… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

Asian, European, or both? Kazakhstan can be safely called a true Eurasian country. A founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation who plays football in the UEFA European Championships. Its president Nursultan Nazarbayev likes to say that Kazakhstan is regaining its former Silk Road function as a bridge between the two continents and has planned… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

To the casual observer, Kazakhstan can be a tricky country to get to grips with. In 2010 they scored a major diplomatic coup by becoming the first post-Soviet country to chair the OSCE, where they hosted the stagnant organisation’s first summit in 11 years. While its neighbour Kyrgyzstan descended in chaos, Kazakhstan seemeed an oasis… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

Ankara aiming for influence

NATO’s Lisbon summit led to calls from Turkey for a right to consultations on the EU’s CSDP, while EU officials retorted that it is impossible for Ankara to have any say in the planning of EU military missions (EUObserver, November 21). Although there are some channels of influence for third countries participating in the CSDP,… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn