european union

In the 18 months since the Lisbon Treaty created the European Union’s diplomatic service – the European External Action Service (EEAS) – there has been more talk than ever of Europe having a “single voice” in world affairs. The service became an urgent necessity with the “Arab Spring”...But a “foreign ministry” is not a foreign policy, and there is little sign that the EU will devise one anytime soon.

Europe's far right wing parties, whose views have become steadily more mainstream.. have strongly rejected Breivik's actions. However the crimes are bound to unleash some soul-searching generally in the EU where the far-right has been growing, tapping into an anti-foreigner sentiment...

The European Union - through the European External Action Service - should engage citizens, both inside the EU and around the globe, through the same medium which enabled protestors to topple autocrats and dictators. That being social media.

More than 750 million people have a Facebook account and more than 200 million people use Twitter, but the EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS) has only 4,132 followers on Twitter and 1,774 ‘likes’ on Facebook. The EEAS, the EU’s main foreign policy group, has all the presence of an ant on social media compared to Barrack Obama, who has more than 9 million Twitter followers.

Remember Czech artist David Cerny's "Entropa"? The sculpture, which showed stereotypes of all 27 EU member states, was perhaps the most memorable symbol of the otherwise ill-fated Czech EU presidency in the first half of 2009.

Harvard professor Joseph Nye talks of a world shaped by the shifting distribution of power from West to East and the growing dispersal of power from state to citizens.The “Arab Spring” is the most spectacular example...

The European Commission has pledged $14.5 million in emergency food aid to help 650,000 North Koreans at risk of dying from malnutrition. An EU mission visited the country last month and saw hospitals, kindergartens and state food distribution centers.

The financial crisis and Arab Spring migrants have given rise to a "new euroscepticism" inside the union, Polish leader Donald Tusk has warned as Poland takes over the EU presidency..Tusk said the Polish presidency "has enough energy" to fight the new EU-hostile trend.