Tag Archives: EU

The case for the EU having an external action service

EU High Representative and EC Vice-President Catherine Ashton steps down from leading the European External Action Service in late 2014. She has presented her review of the organisation and how to make it more efficient. But despite her best efforts the basic case for the EEAS remains unclear to many. Winning that case depends not on efficiency alone but on whether the EEAS meets an important need.  Continue reading

The state of the world

Today is publication day for the new edition of The State of the World Atlas. It presents information about the world – economics, politics, conflict, health, environment and demography – in a variety of forms, primarily in maps and other visuals, also in text. If you will excuse me, I want to introduce it to you. Continue reading

The EU’s Nobel Peace Prize

Today, Monday 10 December, in Oslo City Hall and then in the banqueting rooms of the Grand Hotel in the evening, the European Union receives and celebrates the Nobel Peace Prize 2012.

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EU leaders: where’s the headline energy?

EU government leaders have put no headline energy into trying to end the warfare torturing eastern Congo for the past month. And you can’t blame that on being distracted by Israel retaliating against random rocket attacks from Gaza with an 8-day bombardment until Egypt brokered the ceasefire on 21 November. Heads of EU governments weren’t headline visible on Gaza either. They’re distracted by other things. Continue reading

Looking at some peacebuilding assumptions

My most recent post (29 Jan) reflected about peacebuilding inside the bounds of the European Union as well as outside. My thinking grew out of International Alert’s recently started work  in the UK. Going a bit further,  some more thoughts have appeared in the online magazine and discussion forum, openDemocracy. What follows is an abridged version. Continue reading

Peacebuilding IN Europe?

In 2001 – a different time and a different world – the EU Gothenburg summit agreed to make the prevention of violent conflict a priority for the EU. Measured by money, it’s now the world’s biggest player in peacebuilding. But look around Europe now and we can ask, should peacebuilding also start to be a priority inside the EU? Continue reading

Egypt and the outside powers

Now it is clear that Hosni Mubarak’s three decade presidency of Egypt cannot survive much longer, outside powers are visibly positioning themselves for the next phase. Hubristic temptations are clear but not everybody’s falling for them. Continue reading

EEAS update

News from Brussels: Council and Parliament still want the Commission’s policy and planning officers for peacebuilding and crisis response to transfer to the External Action service.  Continue reading

EAS: officially launched but the tussle continues

The EU’s new External Action Service was officially launched on 1 December as High Representative Catherine Ashton addressed a meeting of EU ambassadors. But the tussle over whether it will include key peacebuilding staff from the Commission continues (see my post of 22 Nov). The Commission’s position hasn’t changed and neither has the Parliament’s. Continue reading

Time to rescue the EU’s External Action Service from the European Commission

The air in Brussels is thick with a storm over the European External Action Service, basically caused by the European Commission trying to break its word. Continue reading