Nagorno Karabkh Fighting Flares up as World Leaders call for Peace

The United Nations Security Council met earlier today for an emergency debate called by Belgium and supported by France, Germany and Britain on the military conflict in Nagorno Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Both countries have been locked in dispute for decades over the region, which belongs to Azerbaijan but is administered by Armenia.  Following…

Stand with Belarus – it’s a matter of principle

“Don’t leave Belarus alone!” That was the message of a conference organised by New Europeans with human rights campaigners from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia to mark International Democracy Day, 15 September, writes Roger Casale. In a moving address from her home outside Minsk, Olga Zubrilova, explained how she had become involved in the democratic movement…

Protests Escalate in Belarus

Ahead of tomorrow’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting to be held by video link, demonstrations in protest against the violent actions of the authorities have mushroomed in Belarus. Schools, hospitals and state owned factories across the country have gone on strike. Street demonstrations have continued with women young and old wearing white and carrying flowers marching…

The Citizens of Belarus Have Spoken. Will the EU Support Them?

We publish here in full an open letter signed by the 8 MEPs: Manfred Weber, Sandra Kalniete, David McAllister, Andrius Kubilius, Michael Gahler, Miriam Lexmann, Andrzej Halicki, Radosław Sikorski, “Belarusians supporting democracy who long for change are the moral victors of yesterday’s election. The result is clear: the majority of Belarus voted against Mr Lukashenko and in…

Human Rights in Azerbaijan

The S&D Group vice-president, Kati Piri has voiced concern at  “unsettling developments” on human rights in Azerbaijan: She told this website, “We are alarmed by credible reports of severe torture inflicted by Azerbaijani law enforcement agencies on Fuad Gahramanli, the deputy chair of the opposition People’s Front of Azerbaijan (PFA) party. “Gahramanli is one among dozens of…

Elections In North Macedonia

Early parliamentary elections took place in North Macedonia on 15 July, in the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a public statement Josep Borrell the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy has commended North Macedonia’s citizens for exercising their right to vote. The EEAS reported that according to the preliminary findings and…

Hand-wringing for Hong Kong: What else can the EU do?

By Ian Bond China’s decision to impose a new security law on Hong Kong has been driven off Europe’s front pages by racial tension and violence in America and elsewhere. Beijing may think that it has got away with curtailing Hong Kong’s autonomy. EU leaders may think that having (feebly) protested, they can focus again on…

Developing Europe’s Defence

The European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Steering Board in the composition of Defence Ministers discussed today how to sustain EU capability development in times of disruptive challenges. Defence Ministers pointed to the need for more collaborative projects, efficiency gains and economies of scale as the most effective way of navigating the current crisis while ensuring that…

#StandwithHongKong

Tomorrow, 11th June, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a closed consultation on EU-China Relations with Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the EEAS. In a statement last week, the ECR Group expressed its grave concerns about the unilateral introduction of national security legislation by Beijing against Hong…