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Geostrategic Europe

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Turkey rules out support for Sweden NATO bid after Stockholm protests
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said that Sweden should not expect support from Ankara over its bid to join NATO following protests in Stockholm at the weekend. Surrounded by police for his protection, on Saturday (21 January) Danish-Swedish, far-right, anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan burned the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm while making disparaging remarks about immigrants and Islam. This incensed President Erdogan who criticised the Swedish authorities for letting the stunt happen. “It is clear that those who allowed such vileness to take place in front of our embassy can no longer expect any charity from us regarding their NATO membership application,” Erdogan said on Monday (23 January). Another bone of contention between Sweden and Turkey regarding the former's accession to NATO concerns the Kurdish question. Later on Saturday following Paludan's stunt, there was a pro-Kurdish demonstration in Stockholm where flags of various Kurdish groups were waved, including that of the Kurdish Workers' Party, or the PKK. The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey, and although it is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, its symbols are not banned in Sweden.
patrickn97 Mon, 01/23/2023 - 18:53 Monday Commentary: Why Central Asia matters
Very often, Central Asia is referred to as Russia’s back yard, even though today the region feels more like China’s front garden. But whilst the two “inseparable” friends, compete for influence and resources, the five Central Asian countries have set on a course to integrate themselves in global processes, break out of their geographic - and more importantly their geo-political constraints - and deliver better for their people. In this week's Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu, Dennis Sammut says that the Central Asian states have been reaching out to the EU and the US, whilst domestically some of them have embarked on deep reforms considered all but unimaginable until recently. The visit of European Council president Charles Michel to the region on 27-28 October marked a high point in a new phase in the relationship between the EU and Central Asia. In Kazakhstan, Michel not only met the Kazakh leadership, but also held a summit with the five Central Asian leaders in Astana, before travelling to Uzbekistan. For both the Central Asians and for the EU this is a watershed moment, and the beginning of a long journey. Europe’s approach to Central Asia needs to be respectful, both to the five countries themselves, and to their existing partners. Arrogance, even of the intellectual kind will simply backfire. But respect does not mean meekness. As a heavyweight in international relations, even if for the moment its economic weight dwarfs its political weight, the EU needs to approach Central Asia neither as a supplicant, nor as a benefactor, but simply as a reliable partner. Furthermore, this partnership needs to be diverse, multi-tiered and nuanced. It must take in relations with citizens, where Europe has much to offer both in terms of being a model, but also in terms of what it can share in areas such as education, innovation, youth welfare, women’s rights and diversity.
dennis2020 Mon, 10/31/2022 - 07:35

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Analysis
The 6th Eastern Partnership summit is a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its Eastern Neighbours

The 6th Eastern Partnership summit is a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its Eastern Neighbours

The summit of the leaders of the European Union and of the countries of the Eastern Partnership takes place in Brussels tomorrow (Wednesday, 15 December). It promises to be a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its neighbours to the east: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In this analysis, the research team of commonspace.eu explore the issues under discussion and explore why for the first time an EaP summit has attracted considerable public attention.
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News
French President Macron presents top priorities for French EU Presidency

French President Macron presents top priorities for French EU Presidency

"The right to asylum is a credit to our continent, but it is precisely in order to prevent this right from being abused that we must be able to guard our borders", Macron stated whilst presenting his country's priorities during its six-month presidency of the EU which starts in January. For this purpose, France wants to take the initiative to reform the Schengen zone.
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News
Scholz first overseas trip as Chancellor puts emphasis on Germany's support for Europe

Scholz first overseas trip as Chancellor puts emphasis on Germany's support for Europe

The new Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, made his first overseas trip on Friday, visiting Paris for a meeting with French president Emanuel Macron, and later making his first official visit to Brussels as the new leader of Germany to meet with the heads of the EU institutions
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News
 Armenian and Azerbaijani experts send joint recommendations on process of confidence-building in the South Caucasus to Eastern Partnership summit

Armenian and Azerbaijani experts send joint recommendations on process of confidence-building in the South Caucasus to Eastern Partnership summit

In their letter to European Council President, Charles Michel, the experts say that the EU Eastern Partnership Summit on 15 December offers an opportunity for a qualitative step forward in the process of peace in the South Caucasus.
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Commentary
Commentary: Important moment for Europe's "Strategic Compass for security and defence"

Commentary: Important moment for Europe's "Strategic Compass for security and defence"

The "Strategic Compass" is designed to answer three questions: Which challenges and threats does Europe face? How can the EU better pool its assets and manage them effectively? And what is the best way to project Europe's influence both as a regional and global actor
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Opinion
Opinion: Josep Borrell on the Conference on the future of Europe and what citizens want for Europe’s global role

Opinion: Josep Borrell on the Conference on the future of Europe and what citizens want for Europe’s global role

"The 'Conference on the Future of Europe' was launched in Spring this year to open a new debate with citizens to address Europe's challenges and priorities. Listening to citizens and giving them a say is also highly relevant when it comes to foreign and security policy. Citizens are expecting more from us, so we should heed their call for action and results", EU High Representative Josep Borrell wrote on his blog
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Opinion
Opinion: For the EU strategic autonomy is as yet only an aspiration, but one worth pursuing

Opinion: For the EU strategic autonomy is as yet only an aspiration, but one worth pursuing

The establishment of AUKUS, and subsequent submarine dispute, has exposed once more the EU's strategic vulnerability. At present the EU has no common foreign policy and no European armed forces capability, and strategic autonomy remains an illusion. But it is not a wrong goal to pursue, argues Maximiliaan van Lange in this op-ed.
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Editorial
Commentary: The West needs more than a charm offensive if it wants to maintain its relevance in the GCC space

Commentary: The West needs more than a charm offensive if it wants to maintain its relevance in the GCC space

Throughout the oil boom in the last quarter of the 20th century and since, the GCC countries were seen in the United States, Britain, France and elsewhere in Europe through the prism of being major oil exporters and arms importers. Western countries and the Arab Gulf monarchies need each other. But for their friendship to last it needs to be rebuilt on a different basis than has been the case so far.