Pan-Europa-Express

European politics is more than the collection of 28 national sentiments, more than the theme of yet another Sonntagsrede, more than the regular summit of national chief executives. Way more than this.

It almost went unnoticed in today”s hearing of Johannes Hahn, Commissioner-designate for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, in front of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs commitee. But a little sentence will surely make for further discussion. In the fade out of one of his many statements on the challenges in Bosnia, Mr Hahn said, that… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

Until the end of 2013 ships that were operating in civil capacity were forbidden according to Italian law to come to the aid of refugee boats in dire straits. If, let’s say, a fisherman boat were to sight one of those notorious unseaworthy but still helplessly overcrowded boats, it would veer away and abandon its… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

Notoriously, David Cameron is ready to do everything in order to stay in Downing Street after next year’s general election. With his latest proposition, however, he sets new standards in terms of unreason and is directly threating Europe as value-based community at its very core. Mr Cameron and his party intend to sideline the European… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

The European elections in May saw a number of winners. The biggest amongst them, however, can be found in Rome. The young Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, is set to become for the Socialists what Angela Merkel is for Christian Democrats. It was in February, when the then-Mayor of Florence schemingly rided himself from his… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

With Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Union got its first elected major offical. Voter’s will has eventually prevailed over backroom-ism in Brussel, ushering a new era in the unification of Europe. The debate on his nomination in previous weeks turned into an unprecendented common display of democratic will, that might have ultimately sealed this turning point.… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

With Angela Merkel’s recent shift, all doubts seems to have abolished that Jean-Claude Juncker, Spitzenkandidat of the winning EPP, will become the next president of the European Commission. On Tuesday last week, Juncker has already had a simple majority in the European Council, according to Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann. Other reports claim that the British… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

The EU’s disagreement when it comes to foreign policy has a long history – just as much as the criticism at it. The disagreement, however, enters a hole new dimension when it is not leading towards inaction or at least ineffectiveness, like in most cases, but when in turns against the very own attitude. Last… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

What is it that tempts Recep Tayyip Erdogon to destroy his own legacy of modernisation, by allowing protests for the saving of a park in Istanbul to escalate to an extend that people are being killed, by blocking Twitter and YouTube or, more recently, by using the victory speech in the municipal election primarily to… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

On December 5th 1994 the so called Budapest Memorandum has been signed. London, Washington and Moscow commited themselves to respect the independence and sovereign borders of Ukraine. On February 28th 2014 Russian soldiers occupied the Ukrainian peninsular of Crimea. The agreement was broken leaving the world on a path into the remake of a conflict… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald

The EU foreign ministers made it. In an unprecended act, they were able to broker an agreement between President Viktor Yanukowych and the opposition to avoid the worst. The tinderbox called Ukraine remains calm – at least for now. The agreement allows for the re-implementation of the 2004 constitution, full scale investigation of the crimes… » read more

Posted by Bernhard Schinwald