European Union

Analysis: Global Politics at a Turning Point – Part 1

President Barack Obama’s Nowroz greeting to the Iranian people earlier this year was the first clear indication to the world that the United States and Iran were very close to agreement on the contents of the nuclear agreement they had been working towards for the previous 16 months.

Opinion: The Bursting of Europe’s Biofuels Bubble

Last week, the European Union reached a momentous decision to finally agree a reform to its disastrous biofuels legislation, signalling Europe’s U-turn on the burning of crops for biofuels.

EU Calls for Paradigm Shift in Development Cooperation

In the run-up to the international Conference on Financing for Development from Jul. 13 to 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the European Union has called for a “true paradigm shift” in global development cooperation.

Opinion: The West and Its Self-Assumed Right to Intervene

The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.

No Woman, No World

Almost exactly two years ago, on the morning of Apr. 24, over 3,600 workers – 80 percent of them young women between the ages of 18 and 20 – refused to enter the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, because there were large ominous cracks in the walls. They were beaten with sticks and forced to enter.

Tribunal Ruling Could Dent “Monster Boat” Trawling in West African Waters

It was five in the afternoon and Buba Badjie, a boat captain, had just brought his catch to the shore. He had spent twelve hours at sea off Bakau, a major fish landing site in The Gambia.

EU Inaction Accused of Costing Lives in the Mediterranean

“The unbearable number of lives lost at sea will only grow if the European Union does not act now to ensure search-and-rescue operations across the Mediterranean,” Human Rights Watch warned Apr. 15.

Opinion: Moment of Truth for the Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize is about to bow out to critics. As of Jan. 1, the Oslo-based Norwegian Nobel Committee that selects the winners has a new secretary, Olav Njølstad, who announced that “changes loom” in a recent interview.

Land Seizures Speeding Up, Leaving Africans Homeless and Landless

There is a new scramble for Africa, with ordinary people facing displacement by the affluent and the powerful as huge tracts of land on the continent are grabbed by a minority, rights activists here say.

Opinion: Where Does Nigeria Go From Here?

After several tension-filled months, a majority of Nigerians swept in an opposition leader and former military man, Muhammadu Buhari, to succeed incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, whose failure to contain a terrorist wave in the northern states doomed his re-election chances.

Opinion: World Leaders Lack Ambition to Tackle Climate Crisis

World governments expect to agree to a new global treaty to combat climate change in Paris in December. As the catastrophic impacts of climate change become more evident, so too escalates the urgency to act.

Opinion: Cuba and the European Union – The Thaw Begins

The visit to Cuba of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Mar. 23-24, and the forthcoming visit in May planned by French President François Hollande, have fast-tracked the agenda of relations between the European Union and Cuba.

Opinion: Foreign Policy is in the Hands of Sleepwalkers

The United Kingdom has been accused of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.

Mixed Prospects for LGBT Rights in Central and Eastern Europe

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups in Central and Eastern Europe, which still faced mixed prospects as they fight for rights and acceptance, are now taking some heart from the “failure” of a referendum in Slovakia, a member of the European Union.

Opinion: Greece and the Germanisation of Europe

At last, on Tuesday Feb. 24, the Eurogroup (of eurozone finance ministers) approved the Greek government’s commitment to a programme of reforms in return for extending the country’s bailout deal.

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