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  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: The American economic guru explains how he missed the signs that the economy was going off a cliff during the decade he was chairing "the Fed," the body that functions as the U.S. central bank. A strong believer that markets can self-regulate thanks to the enlightened self-interest of the players, he failed to recognize the danger signals of the U.S. financial collapse that also engulfed Europe.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: C. Boyden Gray
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Europe's worst energy vulnerability - natural gas - has environmental implications. Without more supplies, power for growth is likely to be fueled by coal and accelerate global warming. Russia could export more gas (and flare less) if the Kremlin broke up the domestic pipeline monopoly enjoyed by Gazprom. Europe could use its "competition authority" to challenge it.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Stuart Weaver
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Gazprom, the Russian monopoly, has been on a shopping spree to acquire commercial interests (and political leverage) in "downstream" gas and energy companies and distributors in Europe. Here is a partial list of those European holdings gleaned from the chapter entitled "Buying Europe: Purchase as Politics" in a new book on this monopolistic strategy by Janusz Bugajski.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: J. Robinson West
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: A practitioner in the oil and gas business warns that Europe's worst weakness regarding natural gas supplies comes from the absence of a free internal market in natural gas among the EU nations. Freeing up the flows in Europe would drastically reduce the rigidities that Gazprom exploits. A good investment would be gas storage facilities, but such infrastructure is costly.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Valentina Pop
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Responding to the emergence of a "new" sea as ice recedes in the Arctic, the Nordic Council has started planning for broader and more integrated systems that can monitor traffic and provide early-warning of accidents. Politically, this will be a precedent in bringing together NATO nations, EU countries and neutrals - with the potential for wider links that might include Russia.
  • Topic: NATO, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Norway
  • Author: Andrew Rasiej
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Obama's dazzling digital success is often reduced to his use of the web to mobilize voters. That was simply using new technology for an old process. The real innovation is much more radical, involving new forms of social networking and bottom-up pressures for "participatory democracy." Leaders need a new mind-set. The paradigm shift should be grasped in Europe, too.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Following his acceptance of The European Institute\'s Transatlantic Leadership Award at a December 2008 ceremony in Washington, DC, Chertoff sat down with European Affairs to reflect on his relations with European governments - which proved much more productive than many observers initially feared. He also shared his views on future challenges from Guantanamo to failed states, including the need for a new consensus on dealing with states that tolerate international terrorists on their soil.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: William J. Peterson Jr.
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Savage Century: Back to Barbarism By Thérèse Delpech, Translated By George Holoch Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 211 pages, $21.24 Reviewed by William J. Peterson Jr.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Korea
  • Author: Michael D. Mosettig
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: The King and the Cowboy By David Fromkin The Penguin Press, 256 pages, $25.95 Reviewed by Michael D. Mosettig.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Thea Backlar
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Vera and the Ambassador: Escape and Return By Vera and Donald Blinken SUNY Press, 350 pages, $24.95 Reviewed by Thea Backlar
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Michael Chertoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: A curious notion has emerged about how the United States has tried to navigate the seas of global security since the September 11 terrorist attacks. It depicts Washington as charting a solitary course characterized by premises, principles, and policies which diverge dramatically from those of other nations – notably its European allies.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Already the buzz this year in financial circles, sovereign wealth funds have been initially welcomed in the United States (and to a lesser degree in Europe) as white knights whose capital investments have helped rescue troubled financial institutions and other companies stricken by the credit-market crisis. But these funds, even as they are currently sought after by financially-bleeding companies, could easily become controversial with public opinion and regulators in the United States and European countries because of their potential political dimensions. The very fact of their emergence is a symptom of profound new shifts in the global financial order. To head off potential jingoist reactions against the proposed buy-ins by these new investors, there is a need to probe a set of questions about how these funds work and about whether rules can be reached – by mutual agreement – to ensure that the funds prove compatible with global capital movements.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: European Affairs traces the path that has brought a new, more statesmanlike tone to Polish foreign policy. As both Warsaw (and Prague) proceed with plans to accept the U.S. missile defense system, Sikorski sets the initiative in broader NATO context.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Government, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Poland
  • Author: Michael Mosettig
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: The European Commission functions like many governments: like cabinet ministers, commissions come and go with their ideas. But the civil servants stay, keeping control of the process. If it weren't true, this amusing and edifying excursion might be a satire.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jacqueline Grapin
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: We recently lost one of the most respected figures in Europe, just at a time when he would have been most needed. Bronislaw Geremek, who died in a car accident in Brussels in July, was a former Polish foreign minister and then a distinguished member of the European Parliament. Historically, he was a pivotal figure in the fight of the Solidarity movement to end Communist rule in Poland and one of the leading statesmen of the democratic era that followed. A professor of history who had become Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland before being elected to the European Parliament, at 76, Geremek was in full stride as a man who had distilled personal and political wisdom from his involvement in history both as an historian and as an actor in European developments. He was a friend of the United States and one of the most ardent supporters of the European Union, who was Chairman of the Jean Monnet Foundation in Lausanne. I remember meeting him by chance as we were both literally running down the street in the center of Warsaw on the 14th of July 1997, trying to reach in time the place where President Bill Clinton was going to address a huge crowd a few minutes later. All the buildings were decorated with American flags, and the crowds were full of excitement. It struck me that this high official - recognizable to everyone with his white beard - could walk freely in a public street, without a limousine or bodyguards: at every corner in the old city, people of all walks of life greeted him naturally. On his visits to The European Institute in Washington, he always conveyed his dedication to the goal of turning politics into a noble art. A difficult challenge, but perhaps not impossible. At this juncture, amid confusion about how to surmount the crisis for the EU caused by the negative vote of the Irish electorate on the Lisbon Treaty, it is worth remembering the advice given by Professor Geremek in an article that appeared in Le Monde almost simultaneously with his death.1 He stressed that every effort should be made to ensure that the treaty be ratified in all the other EU countries where it is signed. Don't ask the Irish people to vote on this again, Geremek said in substance, because the outcome of the Irish referendum should be respected and governments should not try to bypass the popular will. He recommended that the other 26 governments should do their best to ratify the treaty: whatever else, the result will be a text signed and ratified in a majority of the other 26 member states. In effect, a majority will have approved the Lisbon treaty, and that will add legitimacy for the European Council to proceed, together with the European Commission and the European Parliament, to implement some measures which do not require changes in the existing treaty. For instance, the Council can decide that the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (now Javier Solana) will from now on permanently chair the Council of Foreign Ministers and be responsible for a newly created European Foreign Service. Similarly, the European Council could decide that the President of the European Commission will chair the meetings of the European Council. While not fully representing the EU abroad, the President of the European Commission would represent the European institutions. The European Council could also propose that the European Parliament be recognized as having the right to propose legislative initiatives on the basis of public petitions (that garner, for example, one million signatures). The European Parliament could also be encouraged to take initiatives to reinforce its cooperation with the national parliaments in preparing European legislation. Increasing the rights of the European Parliament could be done by unanimous decisions of the European Council. Of course, there are changes that cannot be accomplished without a new treaty, particularly with regard to the voting system in the Council. Geremek was particularly firm that the principle of unanimity should be changed. It reminded him of a similar historical disposition in 18th-century Poland, the liberum veto that had led the country to political disaster. For the EU now to produce a new, more practical majoritysystem and to decide one or two questions that cannot be settled with the existing treaties, he suggested a new approach. Instead of bundling texts of existing treaties into a complex new proposal to be put to the public, two or three clear questions should be submitted to voters in all 27 EU member countries at the same time - for instance, on the election days for the European Parliament in June 2009. Such a process would be consistent with democratic principles. Moreover, at a moment when Russia's actions press the Old Europe and the New Europe to agree among themselves and with the United States, the West cannot afford to cling blindly to institutional arrangements that everyone knows are inadequate to the needs of the situation. Enlargement has not reduced the EU's ability to make decisions as much as many expected, but the rules of the treaty of Nice from 2001, which was supposed to be temporary and short-lived, must be improved. Both Europe and the United States feel the need for an efficient decision-making machinery in the EU at a juncture when both face the same challenges - defining relations with Russia, China, and the emerging economies; ensuring energy security; boosting economic growth; fighting terrorism and poverty; stabilizing the Middle East. It is tempting for sovereign European nations and for the powerful United States to let the role of the European institutions be minimized. But Europeans and Americans would be better served if they sought to share an ambitious vision of what the European Union should be able to provide - and how.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Lisbon