Two, as it were, external issues competed for the attention of EU leaders at the council summit of 24-25 October, away from the main  issue of European competitiveness. The first was the eastern partnership, and the dim prospect of a spat with Russia over dominance of the in-between countries; Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and the like. The second was migration.

Brought into sharp focus by the recent tragedies off the Italian island of Lampedusa, there is an accelerated feeling that Europe n...

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