Month: September 2020

Sophisticated tools – weak principles

With its ‘New Pact on Migration and Asylum’, the European Commission has taken on one of the most divisive and controversial issues within the bloc. And one that puts its own human rights record most prominently on the spot. The outcome are elaborate proposals, heavy on procedure but weak on moral principles and values, and …

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What should be done about the United Nations?

The global health, climate and economic crises have led to a deterioration of the world order as we knew it. The gap between current global challenges and global governance is widening and weakening the multilateral system. A new, fair and inclusive multilateralism for the 21st century must be invented, write Maria João Rodrigues and Conny …

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A too Teutonic talk

As we learned from the great British historian Eric Hobsbawm, tradition is something that is invented. The tradition of State of the Union (SOTEU) speeches by the European Commission president was invented in 2010, in the wake of the great financial crisis. It has always provided a panorama of EU policies, sending out open or …

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The 75th anniversary of the United Nations: the urgently needed reforms and their enemies

The Covid-19 crisis has shown the dramatic discrepancy between the scale of the current transnational challenges (public health, climate change, security, financial stability, extreme poverty, sustainable development, terrorism…) and the weakness of global governance. This gap was visible even before the pandemic, but became much more evident in early 2020. Simply defending the past multilateral …

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Making the UN more inclusive and democratic

The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year (UN75). Secretary-General António Guterres has invited everybody to discuss and propose measures for “renewing and strengthening” the world organisation. Notably, a UN Parliamentary Assembly and a World Citizens’ Initiative could be measures that increase its democratic base. Many papers and debates around UN75 focus on …

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Strengthening the EU’s role in the UN Security Council today

One of the hallmarks of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy is constructive and effective multilateralism. The United Nations serves as one of the principal platforms of EU foreign policy, including the protection of the EU’s values, fundamental interests, security, independence, and integrity. The EU’s performance, visibility and effectiveness on the world stage could …

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Regional organisations and UN reform: towards Multilateralism 2.0

Chapter VIII of the UN Charter foresees a role for regional arrangements in global governance of security, especially the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Charter though also foresees a clear hierarchy between the global and the regional levels: any enforcement action that involves a regional organisation can only be organised under the authorisation of the …

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Radically transforming the EU economy – and how to finance it

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed a simple truth: today’s model of globalised, financialised capitalism, teetering on a shaky foundation of vast debts and costly credit, cannot deliver human well-being. In order to reverse the course, a safe ecological load has to be fixed – a ‘Plimsoll line’, like the white line on vessels that shows …

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The time for a U-turn towards social and environmental justice is now

The time for adjustments and tinkering is over. Well before the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, inequalities and social injustice had mounted in most Western countries to a point where they produced widespread resentment and triggered an ‘authoritarian dynamic’: a rejection of diversity, a call for sanctioning outlying behaviour and for building walls to defend closed communities. …

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