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Geostrategic Europe

Stories related to European foreign policy and Europe as a global power.

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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Opinion: The South Caucasus needs more EU, less Russia, and a better life for all the people of the region

Opinion: The South Caucasus needs more EU, less Russia, and a better life for all the people of the region

The European Union has indicated it is re-enforcing its engagement with the South Caucasus, including on the thorny issues of conflict resolution. Dennis Sammut argues in this op-ed that this is timely and necessary. The region needs more EU, less Russia and prospects for a better quality of life for all its people. For this to happen the EU needs to be more strategic in its approach to the region and there is no longer place for hesitation and ambiguity, he argues.
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Slovenia takes over the EU presidency for the next six months

Slovenia takes over the EU presidency for the next six months

Slovenia took over today (1 July) the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union. The country takes over the EU Presidency from Portugal. This is the second time Slovenia holds the EU presidency since it joined the European Union in 2004. It held the presidency the first time in 2008. The Presidency of the European Union changes every six months.
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Germany hosts Berlin II conference on Libya

Germany hosts Berlin II conference on Libya

Germany hosted the Second Berlin Conference On Libya (Berlin II) on Wednesday (23 June) to discuss the Libyan peace process and ways the international community can support the transitional government as it prepared for elections in December and deals with key economic and security files. The conference was hosted by the German government and the United Nations.