Catalonia: Facing a Difficult Choice

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By Sergei Khenkin

The parties supporting Catalonian independence from the rest of Spain dominate that autonomous community. A referendum on self-determination is scheduled for November 9, 2014. However, according to the Constitution, no entity can hold a referendum without the consent of Spanish authorities or without a permit for a national referendum. This provision of the Basic Law was recently confirmed by the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish Parliament, and the Spanish Constitutional Court, which prohibited Catalonia from holding this referendum. Nevertheless, the regional authorities continue to try and achieve this goal. The currently acute situation is quite dangerous, particularly with regards to the unpredictability of both sides.

EU and US strengthen dialogue on JHA issues

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Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, Charalampos Athanasiou and Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection, Vassilis Kikilias chaired, on 25 June, in Athens, an EU–US Ministerial meeting on Justice and Home affairs (JHA). A number of issues critical to the European Union and the United States were discussed, such as data protection, migration, terrorism and judicial cooperation.

The PM should make a policy for defence

By Pravin Sawhney

Despite his good intentions and out-of-the-box approach on defence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will, ironically, be preparing India to fight the last war better. Reason: No one has told him that like other ministries, even defence needs a policy, which he has to formulate, before acquisition of armament begins. Otherwise, it will be putting the cart before the horse. The best thing about making a policy will be that the armed forces will be able to do more with less money as the defence services will be compelled to review their capacities, capabilities and doctrines.

Borderlands: The View Beyond Ukraine

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By George Friedman

I traveled between Poland and Azerbaijan during a rare period when the forces that shape Europe appear to be in flux, and most of the countries I visited are re-evaluating their positions. The overwhelming sense was anxiety. Observers from countries such as Poland make little effort to hide it. Those from places such as Turkey, which is larger and not directly in the line of fire, look at Ukraine as an undercurrent rather than the dominant theme. But from Poland to Azerbaijan, I heard two questions: Are the Russians on the move? And what can these countries do to protect themselves?