December 20, 2002
The European Union formally invited 10 mostly Eastern European nations into the club recently. . . . But the event was overshadowed by the invitation pointedly not issued. . . . Turkey will have to wait, said the EU. Yes, Europe said, Turkey has made progress in reforming its economy and by outlawing the death penalty, but more needs to be done. . . . The EU is entitled to insist that Turkey be measured by the same criteria as any other potential member. But Turkey then is entitled to an invitation.
June 20, 2003 |
When former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing toasted the European Union's draft constitution with Bollinger champagne and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" last week after chairing the EU constitutional convention, he crowed that the much-debated document would last the next 50 years. By then, will the dream of a powerful and united Europe be any closer? As EU leaders meet in Greece today to consider the new constitution, intended to help revamp the organization as it enlarges from 15 to 25 members, Europe is suffering the pain of growth.
July 6, 2015 |
When July Fourth rolls around, I always think of my grandparents, who emigrated to the "land of the free" from Russia, which undoubtedly saved their lives and enabled mine. Needless to say, I believe immigrants are a source of America's strength. But this year, when musing on immigration, my thoughts turn to the record numbers of desperate migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean in flimsy boats organized by Libyan smugglers. More than 137,000 refugees crossed from January to June, landing in Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain, an 83 percent increase from the same period in 2014.
July 10, 2015 |
The photo is shocking. A 77-year-old Greek retiree sits sobbing on the ground outside a bank with his passbook and identity card thrown on the ground. He had queued for hours at four failing banks but was unable to withdraw his pension of $178. Not surprisingly, the photo of Giorgios Chatzifotiadis went viral. But the image illustrates much more than the suffering of ordinary Greeks. This pensioner's despair symbolizes the limits of a decades-old effort to meld European nations into one community based on shared democratic values.
August 19, 2004
Three cheers for President Bush's plan to start bringing American troops home from bases in Europe and Asia ("70,000 overseas troops to leave," Aug. 17). This action is long overdue. There is no question that after World War II and at the start of the Cold War we needed troops in Germany as a first line of defense against Soviet attack. Now that the Cold War has ended and the European Union has been ratified, we need not continue our presence there. Since 1945, we have poured trillions into foreign economies while closing bases and reducing troop strength in the United States.
February 2, 2015 |
Most Americans born after World War II take peace and democracy in Western Europe for granted. Enfolded in the European Union, France and Germany became allies and Spain absorbed democratic values. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, former communist countries joined the fold and embraced parliamentary norms. But we forget all too easily that the 70 years since 1945 are an anomaly for Europe, whose previous 150 years of history were marked by war, ideological strife, and revolution.
November 14, 2011 |
ROME - Economist Mario Monti accepted the monumental task yesterday of trying to form a new government that can rescue Italy from financial ruin, expressing confidence that the nation can beat the crisis if its people pull together. His selection came a day after Silvio Berlusconi reluctantly resigned as premier, bowing out after world markets pummeled Italy's borrowing ability, reflecting a loss of faith in the 75-year-old media mogul's leadership. Berlusconi quit after the Italian parliament approved new reform measures demanded by the European Union and central bank officials - but even those are not considered enough to right Italy's ailing economy.
July 25, 2010
Michael Burri teaches at the University of Pennsylvania In 2006, foreign-policy oddsmakers were touting the European Union. Global trends, they argued, were redistributing the balance of power, and the Europeans were on track to win. Mark Leonard summed up this thinking in his book Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century . What a difference four years makes. Today, few outside Brussels expect a fast track for Europe. Rattled by the euro crisis, boxed in by demographic challenges, and increasingly risk-averse, Europe is choosing to become, as scholar Ivan Krastev puts it, a "retired power.
September 22, 2013 |
In terms of foreign aid, it felt like a bit of role reversal Friday at the University City Science Center. An audience of science center reps, scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs heard about funding opportunities, not from their own country with an eye to expanding globally, but money coming from the European Union. That's right: The 28 countries that make up the European Union have put up 70 billion euros, or more than $90 billion, to promote science and research aimed largely at bolstering Europe's position in the world but also with an eye to tackling issues of global significance as well, such as climate change.
August 2, 2014 |
While both the U.S. and the European Union have begun to ratchet up economic sanctions on Russian banks and other interests following the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, the reaction of the Russian government so far has been muted, a panel of Dechert L.L.P. lawyers said in a conference call Thursday. Thus, the potential for a sharply escalating trade war apparently has been averted - at least for now. The conflict between the U.S. and European governments and Russia over Russian support for separatist rebels in Ukraine already has had damaging consequences for the Russian economy, said Dechert partner Laura Brank, and concern by the Russians over further harm from western sanctions has tended to weigh against retaliation.