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Der Nachbar ist zurück. Im Januar saß ich wie elektrifiziert vor dem Fernseher, habe keine Nachrichtsendung verpasst und habe mit den Tunesiern gefeiert. Im Februar habe ich mit den Ägyptern gebangt und gejubelt. Im März hat mich das Beben, die Welle und das Nukleardesaster in Japan geschockt.

Out of all the countries rocked by revolts and revolutions, one group stands apart. Its members are rich in oil and gas reserves and derive most of their national income not from the taxes levied on their citizens, but from the proceeds obtained from oil and gas exports. This fiscal peculiarity is not restricted to… » read more

Whilst the military intervention in Libya continues to hold the attention of the international media, neighbouring Tunisia has embarked on the road to democracy. Thousands of civil society personalities have decided to work together to rid the country of Ben Ali’s nefarious legacy and to rebuild the Tunisian political system from the ground up.

Syria will be the most repressive regime surviving in the Mediterranean after the hoped-for end of the Gaddafi clan. Since 1967 the “Assad Dynasty” has been in control of the country. An all-pervasive secret police and a powerful army have been able to impose “stability” ever since the Hama massacre in 1982.

UN Resolution no.1973 authorising the humanitarian intervention in Libya could rightly be considered as one of the Security Council’s most important decisions to date. It came at a crucial moment in the multilateral organisation’s history, when the UN’s very existence was threatened by US unilateralism, as advocated by a cohort of American IR experts led… » read more

Should European fighter aircraft be bombing and strafing tanks and killing soldiers across the EU’s southern borders? Is there a better way, a way to peace? Can Europe’s greatest success be applied across North Africa? The greatest event in recent European history — perhaps in all of European history over the last recorded two thousand… » read more

Ganz Europa in Afrika?

Die Büchse der Pandora der Libyen-Krise ist geöffnet worden. Es wird jetzt unwiderruflich ein verwirrender und schmerzhafter Prozess sein, egal ob die Krise mit dem Sturz Gaddafis oder der Teilung Libyens endet.

Since the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union is the only global actor which has enshrined in its constitution the obligation of member countries to abide by United Nations norms and resolutions, affirming in no uncertain terms the Union’s commitment to multilateralism.

The European Union has hardly covered itself with glory over the Libyan crisis, but as events unfold we may be witnessing a far more effective performance than seemed likely just two weeks ago. One thing has become clear though: hopes of creating a serious EU defence capability for the future have taken a serious knock.

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