As Ukrainians headed to the polls for a parliamentary election on October 28, 2012, the country’s future was once again put into uncertainty. The governing party of the supposedly pro-Russian President Viktor F. Yanukovich, gained victory despite strong support for pro-western opposition parties and an unexpectedly strong rise of the ultranationalists. How is the election’s outcome going to influence the EU-Ukraine-Russia Triangle and the future direction of Ukraine?
Posts Tagged ‘ Enlargement ’
Rethinking the EU’s future: Two players of a game, Turkey and the EU It is very likely to hear a joke from International Relations students in Turkey: “Even Venezuela will become a member of the EU before Turkey does”. It has been a long time since the Turkish authorities have expressed their desire to join the [...]
Recent elections in EU member states have seen the rise of eurosceptic parties, often causing even established pro-European parties to run campaigns distancing them from the Union. The parliamentary elections in Poland between the pro-European government parties and the national-conservative opposition might have turned the tide, as euroscepticism has failed to convince voters. Five reasons why the re-election of the PO-PSL government is good news for the EU.
At least 16 Kosovo Serbs and 4 NATO Peacekeepers were injured during clashes at a disputed border crossing. Violence in Northern Kosovo has flared up again after the situation seemed to have stabilized somehow after the end of the Balkan wars. What makes things worse is that this alarming situation might cause Serbia to lose its EU membership candidate status: Serbia now faces a dilemma: its national pride on the one hand and its possible European membership on the other.
Ratko Mladic is caught, but Serbia has not changed much. Instead of acting as though the country is steadily moving toward the European Union, Europe’s leaders should reject Serbia until it truly deals with its past. The popular Serbian support for a genocidal general is signaling a clear message that it has all but done so.
“Turkey is not in Europe”. If you have ever found yourself in a discussion on the future of the EU enlargement and the Turkish case, I bet you have heard this over and over again. I did hear this a lot from the Turko-skeptics and every time I ask them the simplest yet most complicated question: which Europe are we talking about?
Iran and Turkey are getting closer than ever and enjoying a unique growth in trade and energy cooperation. Nationals of the two countries are enjoying visa free travel and there are plans to use Turkish/Iranian currencies for trade instead of US dollars. Does this mean an ideological convergence of the two? Are they becoming the same despite their sharp religious (Sunni vs. Shi’a) and political (secular vs. Islamic) differences?
Are Turks and “Europeans” virtually disconnected from each other politically, economically and socially? Claiming a disconnection is a popular phenomena shared by many of the critics of Turkish membership to the EU. It is fascinating that the myth of disconnection is still around even though there is no historical or contemporary evidence to support it.
A country with a 70+ million mostly Muslim population is at the doorsteps of the EU: the Turks! What do we know about them and how much of what we know actually reflects reality? It is not time to talk about who they are but about who they are not. Let’s analyze some of the European myths about “the other” starting with the “Trojan Horse” analogy.
The recent history of the countries that used to make up Yugoslavia is one of extreme violence and severe bloodshed. Integration into the European Union is a desirable step to assure peace and stability in the region. But this will not come without problems. Can we prevent that age-old bilateral problems and enmities will be inherited by the daily functioning of the EU?