The European Union’s member states are locked in some heated debates this week about Europe’s energy future. The discussions involve about 10 different pieces of legislation, but they center on one fundamental question: Should the EU be technologically neutral about how it meets its climate targets?
Western Europe Archive
After his reelection in April 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to pursue consensus to advance his agenda. Less than a year later, however, millions of protesters have paralyzed the country, after Macron forced through a pension reform over widespread popular opposition and a lack of votes in parliament.
A day of nationwide strikes against French President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans, which would lift the French retirement age by two years, has paralyzed France. The big question now is whether Macron will blink and retract the law, which he pushed through last week without a parliamentary vote.
The effects of the migration surge to the EU are being keenly felt at the union’s internal borders. For months now, “temporary” border checks have been imposed to stop people-smugglers from bringing migrants into the EU via the Balkan route. Now tensions are heating up ahead of a leaders summit next week to discuss the issue.
A star TV presenter and the BBC became embroiled in the controversy over dehumanizing rhetoric used by British Home Secretary Suella Braverman to describe refugees last week. The dispute called further attention to the government’s immigration policies, which are contravening international law and out of step with the British public.
The flow of people across the Mediterranean has been fueled by the social turmoil experienced by societies on both sides of the sea in the past decade. It’s clear that these societies are inextricably linked when it comes to politics and economic development, and nowhere is this more apparent than Italy, Libya and Tunisia.
When Nayib Bukele was elected president of El Salvador four years ago, many observers hoped it might signal the start of a new era for the country, one characterized by accountability for the military and the defense of human rights. It’s hard to imagine how those hopes could have been more bitterly disappointed.
European officials are whispering nervously about this week’s reports that a pro-Ukraine group, and not Russia, may have been behind the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline. Should that be proven, it would create an immensely awkward diplomatic headache for Europe, particularly the countries through which the pipeline passes.
Last week, the U.K. reached a new agreement with the European Union aimed at resolving their long-running dispute over trade rules for Northern Ireland under the Brexit divorce deal. But it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to satisfy unionists in Northern Ireland as well as hard-line Brexiteers in London.
The European Union’s integration has often been driven by crisis. At the same time, not every problem confronting European policymakers has led to further integration. It is only when specific external threats become intertwined with tensions inside the EU that a moment of crisis can present policymakers with an existential choice.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has largely chosen caution over confrontation in Rome’s foreign policy. But when it comes to Italy’s position on the war in Ukraine, and by extension its bilateral relationship with Russia, her administration’s emphasis on continuity seems to be diverging from domestic public opinion.
Lawmakers in Brussels are going through the details of the Windsor Framework deal, a proposed adjustment to the Northern Ireland protocol, announced by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday. The key question they’re asking: Has the European Union compromised too much?
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and a delegation of government officials recently met with their Moroccan counterparts for the first time in eight years, in an effort to mend relations amid tensions over territorial issues and migration. But the timing of the summit was awkward, due to concerns over Morocco’s human rights record.