Nr 22/23 • Juuli/august 2005

The CSCE/OSCE and We

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Riina Kionka takes a look at the role of this organisation in the recent history of the Baltic states. It is an irony of history that many mechanisms, which were designed to support us, later turned against us.

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The EU and the British Presidency

Sometimes fate plays tricks on people and this can happen to institutions as well. The fact that it is precisely the UK that is taking over the presidency at a time when the EU is facing one of its worst crises ever – if not the very worst – is ironic in a strange way. In the aftermath of the French and Dutch negative votes on the Constitution, the EU would seem to need, if nothing else, a leadership that is sympathetic to the basic goals and values of European integration, yet that is the one thing that the British are not well equipped to provide.

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Europe’s Paralysing and Dangerous Deadlocks

Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxemburg’s sly and student-like PM, could hardly conceal his embitterment during a press conference after the last marathon session of the EU Summit on 16-17 June. “I feel sad and embarrassed. [”¦] I will explain to President Bush how powerful Europe is,” he said sarcastically, referring to a forthcoming meeting at the White House. Juncker, President of the European Council and a respected veteran in European politics who has been in office since January 1995, was saddled with the thankless task of finding a way out of a double deadlock: the pending ratification of the European Constitution and the 2007-2013 EU budget. Since the most prominent fighting cocks – Britain, France and Holland – weren’t really interested in Juncker’s well-intentioned mediation proposals with regard to the second problem, the Brussels Summit ended in a complete fiasco.

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English summary

In this issue of Diplomaatia, Siim Kallas, the European Commissioner from Estonia, writes about the European Union and historical memory. In his opinion, it is the historical memory of European nations that, to a great extent, holds the EU together and has inspired many EU policies in various areas. Kallas argues that a weakening of memory – and the Estonian Commissioner detects early signs of this – does not bode well for the EU.

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English summary

The summer issue of Diplomaatia discusses the current crises in the European Union. Estonian MEP Toomas Hendrik Ilves argues that it is the new member states that suffer the most from the Union’s failure to agree on how to go forward, hence it is also in the interest of the new member states to try to build stronger coalitions and greater solidarity inside the EU. In this new situation, Ilves believes, Estonia’s interests coincide much more with those of other new members than with the interests of the older ones: “Before accession, all candidate countries competed with each other, mutual communication was often replaced by discussions with Brussels. (—)

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