Administrative Affairs

Pompeo threatens to sanction countries that allow Iranian tanker to drop anchor

-
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will take every action it can to prevent an Iranian oil tanker that left Gibraltar on Monday from delivering oil to Syria in contravention of current American...

Italian PM Conte resigns

-
After weeks of coalition turmoil between the increasingly popular Lega party and their governing partners, the 5-Star Movement, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation on Tuesday afternoon saying, 'this government ends here". Conte's...

Ze’s perfect storm

-
Volodymyr Zelensky, or “Ze”, as he is called by his supporters, started his entry into the Ukrainian politics earlier this year by impressively winning the presidential election in April. On July 21, the former...

Ursula von der Leyen is the new president-elect of the European Commission

-
Ursula von der Leyen, Germany's current defence minister, has won the backing of enough Members of the European Parliament to be named the president-elect of the European Commission. The 60-year old, Brussels-born German, a close ally...

Europe can help restore Ukraine’s trust after PACE decision

-
The recent decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – to return the Russian delegation to full parliamentary assembly activities sparked an extremely negative reaction from the majority of...

Weber drops EU top job bid as Europe’s leaders abandon Spitzenkandidat process

-
The group president of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber, has ended his bid to become president of the European Commission after the leaders of the EU moved to abandon the lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidaten, system. During the EPP Group...

Europe can help Georgia’s protestors preserve the country’s hard-won freedom

-
There are not a lot of things in this world that we agree on. Left or Right. For or against immigration. Netflix or the big screen. Still, there are a few that we do...

Making peace with violence and a disinformation machine

-
On 24 June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) reinstalled Russia’s voting rights in the institution charged with upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The rights were suspended...

What Putin’s new citizenship initiative would mean for Ukraine

-
Since the recent presidential elections ended in a landslide victory for Volodymyr Zelensky some signs of a possible political and economic revival have been noticed in Ukraine. The very electoral victory of the Zelensky...

EU considers freezing Customs Union negotiations with Turkey

-
Amid growing concerns about the aggressive offshore drilling activities that are currently being carried out near the Cypriot coast by the Turkish government, the European Union is mulling putting Ankara's accession chapters under discussion ahead of the European Council...

Zelensky must choose battles wisely to avoid a political Mexican Standoff

-
One evening in the hot summer of 2015 anyone who was someone in the political circles in Kyiv gathered at the residence of Simon Smith, the UK ambassador, as he was moving to his...

Enlargement, going back to square one

-
North Macedonia and Albania are inexorably tied by the delay in their long course to join Europe, yet for different reasons. Albania has the perpetual problem of narcotics production that cannot be overcome unless Tirana...

In defence of the Spitzenkandidaten process

-
Emmanuel Macron is right when he does not trust that Manfred Werber would be a good President of the European Commission. I would certainly not vote for Weber: during his campaign he remained grey,...

Zelensky restores Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship

-
Just over a week after being inaugurated as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky issued an executive order on Tuesday that overturned a July 2017 decree by his successor, Petro Poroshenko, that illegally stripped Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili...

All the world is a stage and Zelensky has yet to play his biggest...

-
Actors have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts. Volodymyr Zelensky, a professional actor, was propelled into the Ukrainian presidency winning 73% of the votes. During his campaign, he...

EU watchdog fines Fitch €5.13m over conflict of interest

-
The EU’s market watchdog the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has fined ratings agency Fitch a record €5.13 million for violating the bloc's rules on avoiding conflicts of interest. ESMA found that between June 2013 and...

House of Commons rejects May’s deal for third time

-
A third vote on the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement was overwhelmingly rejected by the British House of Commons on 29 March by a 344 to 286 vote, leaving the open the question of general election...

EU releases €27 million in humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan

-
The European Commission will provide €2 million worth of assistance the most vulnerable families affected by devastating floods in Afghanistan which devastated large parts of the country in early March. The funds will be used to provide...

NATO’s Stoltenberg says Georgia is still on track to eventually join the alliance

-
At a time when relations between certain NATO allies appears to be strained, the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was in the small South Caucasus nation of Georgia to reassure the country’s military establishment that...

Eurasia Dialogue passes into oblivion

-
With an eye on boosting its profile amongst key players on the international stage, the First Connecting Eurasia Dialogue in Brussels ended its 15 March summit with barely a whimper as representatives from the...

Georgia is an investor’s graveyard masquerading as a business utopia

-
For over four years, we, the American investors of Iconia Capital LLC, have had our construction business halted by powerful extra-legal and corrupt influences in the Republic of Georgia. Since starting our first project...

Where are you from?

-
The bell rings and the halls erupt with the sounds of chatter and excitement as hundreds of children run to the dusty courtyard for recess. I joined them to play football but the game...

A new ‘European Renaissance’

-
French President Emmanuel Macron’s “letter to the citizens” laid out to the more than 500 million people of the European Union his recipe for what Macron dramatically labelled a new “European Renaissance”. Just a few weeks before the...

EU tells Bosnia to be ‘realistic’ about future membership

-
In the run-up to the release of the European Commission’s opinion about the Bosnia and Herzegovina readiness to join the EU, Brussel’s Commissioner for Enlargement negotiations and Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn made clear on March 4...

Estonia set to have first female prime minister as pro-Western party and women make...

-
Estonia's opposition centre-right Reform Party smashed the pre-election polling projections to secure a resounding victory over the ruling centre-left government of Prime Minister Juri Ratas, making a major triumph for the victorious party's pro-Western leader, Kaja...

US restores diplomatic status for EU delegation in Washington

-
The US' ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland put an end to a dispute between the Americans and the European Union over diplomatic protocol with an announcement early on March 4 which said that Washington had "effective...

Hungary blocks joint EU-Arab League statement over migration issue

-
The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini had hoped to secure a leadership role for the 28 members of the European Union in their relations with the members of the...

MEPs want to prohibit trade with countries that still have death penalty

-
Speaking at the opening of seventh World Congress Against the Death Penalty on February 5, a number of European Parliamentarians took the opportunity to demand that the EU prohibit trade with countries who still...

Welcome North Macedonia!

-
As most readers will know, the contentious Greek ratification procedure for the Prespes Agreement ended with its passage in a vote January 25, with a margin of just three votes (153/300).  That deal, signed...

EU reiterates support but offers little else to Georgia’s new president

-
In an effort to reinforce Georgian government’s claim that it wants to continue with plans to integrate further with the West, the small South Caucasus nation’s president, Salome Zurabishvili, made her first official visit...

Davos: US’ Pompeo champions a globalisation that only serves national interests

-
Addressing the World Economic Forum via video conference, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear on January 22 that Washington has embarked on a project of reviewing whether pre-existing alliances, including NATO and...

Overestimating the EU economy

-
The European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the OECD predict that, on average, the European Union’s economy will grow by 1.9% next year, a rate that is broadly consistent with the average of...

The Eurozone’s solidarity fallacy

-
Since 2010, many measures have been adopted to “crisis-proof” the eurozone. In addition to tighter budgetary rules and the start of a banking union, new efforts are underway to strengthen the European Stability Mechanism...

Brussels to extend access to Swiss stock exchanges until mid-2019

-
The European Commission has confirmed the effective extension of access to Swiss stock exchanges until June 2019, which effectively puts an end to a threat by the EU executive to cut Switzerland off from having...

Tech companies warn of turbulence ahead as EU-US work on trade deal

-
The internet as we know it may still end. That is the stark warning delivered by a consortium of major technology companies - Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others - to the US Trade Representative...

Name Dispute: Independent Greeks on the rocks

-
The ratification process for the Prespes Agreement, signed by Greece and Macedonia/FYROM last June in attempt to resolve the Name Dispute between them, rolls steadily forward in Skopje.  That country’s parliamentary speaker estimates the...

The revolution Europe needs

-
The spontaneous street protests in Paris over the past month come almost exactly 50 years after the mass revolt of May 1968. But that is not to say the two events are comparable. Les événements...