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Enlarging, deepening, re-positioning – the European equation ahead

By granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova and by recommitting to the EU membership of the Western Balkans, the European Union opened a new phase of its enlargement which will redesign the European political map again. It was undoubtedly the right decision to assert European sovereignty and also to welcome an embattled country which is showing with bravery that it belongs to the European future and not to a war of the past. A war of the past in Europe because it combines the clash of empires of WW I with the clash of political regimes of WW II. The future in Europe is being created by the values of freedom, equality, solidarity, democracy and sustainability and by a process of European integration which involves enlargement but also deepening. Deepening is a pre-condition for successful enlargement. But as enlargement has now become a political and moral imperative, the issue today is not about choosing between one or another. It is rather about how to make both with a new approach.

A European Confederation: a common political platform for peace

Ukraine has filed its application to join the EU. Brussels and the other European capitals have encouraged its ambition eagerly. Recently, Italian leading newspaper Corriere della Sera featured an interview by Prime Minister Mario Draghi recalling the significance of the self-determination of the Ukrainian people. People who chose the ‘ultimate’ referendum – between life and […]

Europe under test in 2022

We are entering 2022 with the feeling that we have narrowly escaped a shipwreck and are now clinging to a piece of wood – knowing that new waves of the virus may come with their retinue of implications, and looking for references to know in which direction to swim. To set the direction to take, […]

The EU-Western Balkans summit: is there any hope?

The EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia on 6 October ended with a renewed sense of heightened impatience with the blockages in the accession processes of the six candidate countries. There is an urgent need for the economic and investment plan, that was proposed exactly one year ago, to materialise – especially as it is a […]

The EU should enlarge to the Western Balkans now

The EU needs a new policy towards the Western Balkans. It should enlarge to all countries of the region now if it wants to prevent other powers from taking advantage. Left without a concrete prospect of joining the EU, the countries of the Western Balkans are becoming less European and less democratic. The European Union […]

Role model no more

To mark the start of the six-month EU Council presidency of Slovenia, a grandiose musical and ballet performance was arranged on Lake Bled. This reminded me of my own very first visit to Slovenia, which was also linked to music, though with a much more modest profile. As an unassuming clarinet player in the wind […]

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