Budget negotiations are the political nemesis of Western democracies. As President Barack Obama and Congress engage in preliminary skirmishes over the fiscal cliff, the Europe Union too has drawn fierce battle lines over this week’s European Council meeting, which will discuss the next seven-year budget (2014–2020), the multiannual financial framework (MFF).
As the United States and Turkey enter the third decade following the end of the Cold War, they are enjoying a new era in their long partnership. Their cooperation has recently been enhanced by overlapping perspectives on the unprecedented transformation sweeping the Middle East as well as in a number of other regional and functional areas.
Georgia successfully passed its democratic election test, as the parliamentary ballot on October 1, 2012 was declared competitive, credible, and peaceful by international monitors. The peaceful transfer of power between government and opposition was an unprecedented event in the post-Soviet world and could serve as a model for other aspiring or evolving democracies.
The final presidential debate saw Republican candidate Mitt Romney again describe Russia in hostile terms. Romney qualified but did not repudiate his earlier remark that Russia was the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe,” and he hammered President Obama for allegedly wearing “rose colored glasses” in dealing with Moscow.
Attending conferences in Europe and the United States over the past three years, I have been struck by the increasing Western preoccupation with Asia's rise, the growing influence of the rising powers of Asia, and the challenge they pose to Western values and norms governing international institutions.
Europe’s unprecedented period of peace, social stability, and prosperity may be coming to an end. So, what comes next? The manner in which it resolves the eurocrisis will determine whether Europe transitions to a resurgent continent; muddles through; or enters an age of disarray.
How would you like to go down in history as the person who “lost Europe,” “lost Germany,” or simultaneously lost both? This is the question that Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany may face sooner rather than later.
What would the end of European integration really mean geopolitically? Thinking through and prioritizing the consequences yield five of the utmost importance, but whether they are modest or seismic would depend on the way failure happens.
German and Greek soccer players take the field on Friday evening in Poland in the quarterfinals of the Euro 2012 soccer championship. It will be Europe’s largest economy and creditor versus the continent’s weakest economy and most indebted nation. Yes, it is a European analyst’s dream matchup.