International Politics

May 7, 2007

Blogs to be Graded…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 9:28 pm
  1. January 25, 2007 – TPMcafe:
  2. April 17, 2007 – So, not really the EU, but interesting nevertheless:
  3. May 7, 2007 – Germany and the Environment:
  4. May 7, 2007 – The EU and Yemen:
  5. End of April – commented on Sri Lanka draws flack from HRW over child soldiers:

The EU and Yemen

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 9:10 pm

This article discussed the role of the European Union in promoting peace and stability in Yemen.  The leaders of Yemen and the European Union discussed prospects of cooperation.  The situations of Iraq and Somalia were also discussed in the meetings.  The European commissioner prasied the democratic reforms which he saw in the region and reinforced that Europe would support development, democracy, and the electoral system in Yemen.  President Saleh “asserted the significance of the European Union’s role in settling peace in the Middle East through the adoption of the Arab Peace initiative and pressuring Israel to accept it for fair and comprehensive peace…He made it clear that peace would solve all conflicts, stabilize the region and strengthen efforts of fighting terrorism.”  He also asked the EU to play a strong role in helping with the reconciliation of Iraqi factions.

Personally, I found this article interesting.  However, I think that (much like human rights issues) the state itself should be held responsible.  I am well aware it is often not possible for the state to be responsible for everything, however, from what this article sounds like, it makes it sound as if much of the responsibility for democracy in Yemen is being put on the shoulders of the European Union.  I also think that it is important to go into any endeavor with perhaps more specific ideals than to “solve all conflicts, stabilize the region, and strengthen the efforts of fighting terrorism.”  I think that it is perhaps too ambitious to demand a peace that will “solve all conflicts” and that one can only be let down after going into something thinking that – just look at Richardson and her critique of Bush’s “War on Terror” and how it can never be won because of all the meaning in that phrase.

EU and UN

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 8:51 pm

I just wanted to post this to show the interaction between different Intergovernmental Organizations, as shown through the contributions of the EU to the UN.  In this particular clip, it is showing the effects of these contributions to the Development Goals and how they are affecting people in northern Uganda. 

Iran, EU, and nuclear talks

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 8:43 pm

This CNN article is from April 26, 2007 and describes talks between the EU and Iran about “how to break a deadlock over Tehran’s defiance of a U.N. Security Council demand to freeze uranium enrichment.”  Apparently these talks brought the men closer to “a united view” on how to deal with this issue.  They did not discuss the details of the talks but called them “a very positive, concrete first step.”  This interaction is just interesting in the context of the U.S. demands as well as the U.N. demands.  Iran claims the sanctions are illegal because they have the right to enrich uranium as per the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and say that nuclear power is the only thing that they want.  The U.S. and others, however, disagree on claims that since a program was kept secret for two decades there have been other suspicious activities.  It will be interesting to see how this issue continues as well as the role of the EU as a “facilitator” in this process. 

Germany and the Environment

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 8:16 pm

So, this blog post is not entirely about the European Union, but it does involve a member state: Germany.  The BBC article describes how more and more Germans are staying home for an “eco-holiday.”  Germans are staying in Germany in order to “cut down on their carbon emissions, to do their bit in the fight against global warming” so they take the train to destinations in Germany, rather than taking the plane somewhere else.  Many people are environmentally conscious and don’t want to pollute the enviroment by using a lot of plane travel.  However, the global warming phenomenon has also provided another reason for Germans taking their holidays closer to home – the climate there is getting warmer and warmer so it’s not necessary to travel elsewhere.  There’s a bit of an irony in the situation.

This observation ties back into an aspect of realism which we discussed in class.  Realists say that there will always be winners and losers, global warming just switches it around a bit (and you have to pay attention to how this shifts power.  IE: property values in Greenland would go up, so it is important to see how this new balance redistributes power).  In this particular instance, the tourism business is getting more and more business, which relates to this redistribution of “winners” and “losers.”  It is interesting to see the shifting of economic power on a smaller scale within Germany and the traditional vacation spots outside of Germany.

The EU and drug-resistant TB

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 8:03 pm

This BBC article describes the threat of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis in Eastern Europe and central Asia.  The headline reads that the “European Union ‘faces TB crisis’…putting EU states at risk of a deadly outbreak.”  Various organizations have recognized/become involved in the issue including hte Red Cross, the World Health Organization, and the Stop TB Partnership in Europe among others.  The drug-resistant TB has been found mainly in Baltic countries, eastern Europe, and central Asia, but it “now is without a doubt the most alarming tuberculosis situation on the continent since World War II.”  From the liberal viewpoint, although the disease is definately not a good development, there is promise of the various organizations working together with the aims of: boosting detection, infection control, and treatment.  This, along with many other diseases are truely becoming a global problem, and we need to learn to work together in order to effectively combat them.

Economy of the EU

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 6:58 pm

This information provided by the Basque News and Information Channel forcasts fast growth for the Euro as well as the economy of the EU.  The conomy is expected to expand faster than previously forcasted and the unemployment rate is supposed to drop to the lowest rate in 15 years.   The author also commented briefly about the United States dollar (against the Euro), as well as the the disclaimer that these forecasts are dependant upon other economies such as the U.S. and Asia.

This was just interesting, not just in the forcasting of the economy of the European Union, but also to see how intertwined economies of the world are currently.  For example, these forcasts can be “shadowed” if there is a downturn in the U.S. housing market – not the first thing I would have thought of when thinking about what affects the European Union.  Also, economies in Asia can prove to be a counterbalance to any changed in the United States. 

May 6, 2007

European Union in the Horn of Africa

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 11:03 pm

In this blog, the author discusses the merits of the new European Union Development Commissioner’s approach to the Eritrean government.  Although this “friendly” approach may seem strange because the Eritrean government has financed and armed militant and terrorist groups who fought against the Sudanese, Ethiopian, and Somali governments, this actually would help peace more because no matter what other governments (including the US) tell the Eritrean government, it will only create more bitterness and not help to solve anything.  Hopefully, the “condemnation and alienation” of the Eritrean government will continue to lessen, helping out with peace and stability, rather than the blame game.

Personally, I think that this is a wise approach, at least based on the information the author gives.  However, I also think that it is inappropriate to ignore the funding of terrorism and militants and play it off so easily.  It’s definately a question that I wouldn’t want to have to solve single-handedly!

Galileo satellites

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 10:55 pm

The Galileo project is “a developmental project in Europe to construct a communications system of about 30 satellites in space.”  This is intended to be operational in 2013 so that the Europeans will not be so dependant on the U.S. Global Positioning System.  There have been various problems, however, with the private corporations that were used which include arguments among the members, money, technical problems, etc.  The European Union now has three choices: 1. to completely take over the project, 2. finance it partially, or 3. to eliminate it.  The problem with completely taking over the project is that it will cause about 2.7 billion dollars more (in addition to the 2 billion already spent).

I’ve only usually heard of the  U.S. trying to reduce dependance on other countries: oil, resources, etc.  It’s definately interesting to see another viewpoint, and see other countries trying to reduce their dependance on U.S. services and products.

European Union Clip

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccloud @ 10:36 pm

 It’s interesting to see this viewpoint of the European Union – the institutions are portrayed more negatively than usually seen in the media.  This clip describes the EU as a “federal superstate” and shows the “disturbing, irrevocable implications this new government has for every citizen.”  It would be interesting to hear opinion on it!

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