December 2012

Catalonia, Scotland, and Flanders Force Separatism Back on the EU Agenda

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With the eurozone’s woes still dominating headlines four years after the crisis began, it would be natural to assume that the European Union’s economic challenges were the most significant issue affecting its member states. But while the euro crisis has been simmering, separatist movements championed by charismatic leaders have patiently gathered strength in places such as Catalonia, Scotland, and Flanders.

Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds

By Mustafa Aydin

The U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC) released its latest report on Dec. 10, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” in order to provide a framework for thinking about the future. Although it was principally authored by the NIC’s leading global futurist, Mat Burrows, it does not seek to predict the future, an impossible feat, but rather sketch an outline for possible futures. The main contours of the report are so familiar by now from similar reports that there are few new ideas; even though it talks about “tectonic shifts” there is certainly nothing shocking.

Georgia after Parliamentary elections: which road to take?

By Aivaras Bagdonas

During the parliamentary polls in October the opposition coalition block Georgian Dream with its leader billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili defeated the United National Movement of Mikhail Saakashvili. After the elections public space of the country was full of various forecasts, including the fears on possible Georgia‘s return to Russia‘s influence.

Russia-France: Balance of Economy and Policy

By Mikhail Agadzhanyan

Russia proceeds with the course of development of special relations with the biggest economies and leading political centers of continental Europe. Interaction with Germany and Italy promotes within quite predictable sphere of energy cooperation. As for France, then the trade scopes of Russian-French cooperation within absolute numbers fall behind from Russian-German and Russian-Italian analogues, but it possesses a pretty significant peculiarity. Moscow and Paris strive to diverse their economic relations.

Lithuanian Foreign Vice-Minister: Serbia’s Progress Has To Be Evaluated Based Solely On The Facts And Merits

At the meeting of the General Affairs Council on 11 December in Brussels, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Vytautas Leškevičius stressed that it was in the EU interest to make an objective evaluation of Serbia’s progress based solely on the facts and own merits.