Reuniting Europe

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No press point is to be held today (24 January) following the meeting between Commission President Barroso and Islam Karimov, president of Uzbekistan. Barroso receives Karimov in an unprecedented move to engage with an authoritarian leader who has been in charge since 1990 and stands accused of massive violations of human rights. The Commission explained… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

The Commission has been reluctant to comment why poligamy was not mentioned in the 2010 report on Turkey’s EU progress, in spite of the fact that a recent report speaks of nearly 187,000 women in Turkey, a candidate country for EU membership, are in polygamous marriages. The practice is indeed illegal in Turkey, but it… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

It’s amazing how much EU enlargement-related stories are in fact about corruption. Have a look at the Enlargement section homepage at EurActiv: It’s true that there is some enlargement fatigue after Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007. But the candidate countries themselves are not making their case easier. Croatia maybe is on the right track… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Several questions were asked by journalists today regarding the EU’s position on the Tunisian “jasmine revolution“, no real answer was given by Ashton’s spokesperson. One of the questions was: can we take it, if the EU expresses support for the Tunisia revolution, that it also supports the opposition against other oppressive regimes in Morocco, Algiers,… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Have you seen the Hungarian Presidency carpet in the Council building in Brussels, hosting the ministers’ and EU leaders regular meetings? Here it is, I made the photo yesterday: The centrepiece is a map of the Habsburg empire from 1848, known at that period as Austrian empire, and later, from 1867 to 1918, as Austria-Hungary.… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Romania may leave the francophony organisation if France rejects its bid to join Shengen, the border-free area of the EU, on the grounds of persisting corruption. The person who said so is from opposition in Romania, but he is also a former foreign minister, known to play ball with the government in Bucharest on all… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Portugal is a small European country as China likes them. Chinese President Hu Jintao offered generous help over the week-end on the occasion of a state visit to Lisbon, in a moment when Germany, France and other eurozone countries are pushing Portugal to seek an EU-IMF assistance programme, following Greece and Ireland. In the sixties… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Ukraine: a Tito strategy?

Ukraine wants a free trade deal both with the EU and Russia, as the country’s foreign minister Konstantyn Gryshchenko recently told us. A kind of deja-vu? The new leadership of Ukraine appears to pursue the same strategy as Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito. Yugoslavia benefited a lot both from the USSR and from the West, due… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev