Region

EU plus

Stories in this section cover the EU-27 countries plus the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and the Balkan Countries (Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia).

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News
Progress in EU hosted talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Progress in EU hosted talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan

A third round of meetings between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan hosted by the European Union in Brussels have resulted in progress on a range of issues as the two countries work to resolve the long standing conflict between them. European Council president, Charles Michel welcomed president Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and prime minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia for another meeting in trilateral format on Sunday (22 May). He later described the talks as "frank and productive". In a statement to the media late on Sunday night Michel said the talks focused on the situation in the South Caucasus and the development of EU relations with both countries as well as the broader region. Summarising the meeting, Michel said "the discussion was frank and productive. We reviewed the entire set of issues. We had a detailed discussion on humanitarian issues, including demining, and efforts to free detainees and address the fate of missing persons." He listed a number of outcomes from the meeting including on border issues, connectivity, on a future peace agreement and on socio economic development. In conclusion president Michel said that he also stressed the importance of preparing the populations for long-term sustainable peace. The EU is ready to step up its support. "We agreed to remain in close contact and will meet again in the same format by July/August." 

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Event
‘Hard versus Soft Power: Is it time for an EU army?’

‘Hard versus Soft Power: Is it time for an EU army?’

LINKS Europe in collaboration with The City of The Hague, and with the support of The Hague Humanity Hub, hosted the fifth in a series of clusters of events titled ‘Conversations on the future of Europe in the world’ on Thursday, 3 February 2022. The event was hosted online from the LINKS Europe office in the The Hague, and around 50 participants joined. The series ‘Conversations on the future of Europe in the world’ contributes to the debate in the framework of the EU’s ‘Conference on the future of Europe’ process.
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News
A day of high diplomacy: Macron meets Putin in Moscow, Scholz in Washington for talks with Biden

A day of high diplomacy: Macron meets Putin in Moscow, Scholz in Washington for talks with Biden

Monday was a day of high diplomacy as leaders scrambled to try to avoid war in Europe.  Nonetheless western countries continue to assess that the prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine remains real, and could happen at any moment. The Pentagon said on Monday (7 February) that Russia continued its military buildup on the border with Ukraine over the weekend.
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Opinion
Opinion: Adapting to new realities, the EU boosts its role in the South Caucasus

Opinion: Adapting to new realities, the EU boosts its role in the South Caucasus

"The EU’s reconsideration of its policies towards Armenia and Azerbaijan and its pursuit of a more balanced approach is likely to buttress the EU’s place in the post-war peace process and help it to play a more impactful mediating role", writes Vasif Husseynov in this op-ed. "If successful, this promises to have larger regional, and possibly geopolitical implications, for the South Caucasus, since the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations have so far been pursued mainly through the sole mediation of Russia".
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News
Socialists win comfortably in Portugal's elections

Socialists win comfortably in Portugal's elections

Portugal's centre-left Socialists won an outright parliamentary majority in Sunday's snap general election, securing a strong new mandate for Prime Minister Antonio Costa. Speaking after results from exit polls were announced, Costa said the party had won 117 or 118 seats in the 230-seat parliament, up from 108 won in the 2019 election, and his supporters erupted in loud celebrations, singing old revolutionary anthem "Grandola" and waving flags.
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News
Sergio Mattarella elected president of Italy for second term

Sergio Mattarella elected president of Italy for second term

Messages of congratulations are pouring in from all over Europe and beyond to the Palazzo del Qurinale in Rome following the news that Sergio Mattarella has been re-elected as president of Italy for a second term, breaking a political stalemate that threatened to bring the country to a new political crisis.