Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for External Relations

Italy and the Euro

The change of government in Italy calls into question the German leadership of the European Union, which was myopic at best. Italy has never benefited from the introduction of the euro. Its GDP per capita after the introduction of the common currency has stagnated. German-imposed austerity measures and the lack of solidarity among member countries… » read more

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A Bad Case of Ottomanism

When the AKP Islamic Party came to power in Turkey at the turn of the century, the event was saluted by many specialists as a victory for political Islam. For an entire decade, Turkey became a model of Islamic democracy envied by many in the Arab world. The 2011 revolutions were ignited by the hope… » read more

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The current North Korean threat highlights one of the most troubling shortcomings facing today’s Western governments : the almost total inability of diplomacy to help solve such crises. For thousands of years, various states in different periods of history have nurtured the development of a special class of bureaucrats, employed exclusively in the diplomatic service.… » read more

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Remember Montesquieu and his “doux commerce” ? “L’effet naturel du commerce est de porter à la paix. Deux nations qui négocient ensemble, se rendent réciproquement dépendantes: si l’une a intérêt d’acheter, l’autre a intérêt de vendre; et toutes les unions sont fondées sur des besoins mutuelles. Mais si l’esprit de commerce unit les nations, il… » read more

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Polish President Andrzej Duda’s Three Seas Initiative project is a logical outcome of the European Union’s eastward expansion since the turn of the millennium. To observers in the former Soviet satellite states of Central and Eastern Europe, the expansion of the EU looks very much like a “drang nach Osten” affair minus the tanks, that… » read more

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News has it that White House foreign policy aides are toying with the idea of partitioning Libya in three, roughly copying the Ottoman Empire’s former administrative entities in the region. As the “America First” political philosophy seems to have lost its appeal for the Trump team’s policymakers, there is now a flurry of initiatives on… » read more

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I’m not going to write about Bratislava’s informal September summit, for nothing of substance regarding the future of the Union has been decided there. Fact is, EU political leaders have delayed important decisions for the spring of 2017, after the results of the American elections are in. Why does the next American president matter ?… » read more

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Pew research data released a few days ago indicates a growing dissatisfaction with the EU even in countries like France and the Netherlands, founding members of the Union. It would be easy, of course, to blame the spread of euroscepticism on Brexit, on the 2008 financial debacle or last year’s migration crisis. In fact, as… » read more

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During the 90’s, the uncontested dean of American diplomacy, the late George Kennan, fulminated against NATO’s expansion eastwards, which he considered both unnecessary and potentially dangerous for the security of the United States. The Clinton and Bush administrations did not heed sound professional advice and now the Baltics’ inclusion into NATO is creating major headaches… » read more

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