European Union

Swedish Defacement

According to one definition, defacement is a type of vandalism that involves damaging the appearance or surface of something. The object of damage may be architecture, books, paintings, sculpture or other forms of art. It may also be a nation.

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Europe Beware! It is Happening Again!

History is repeating itself! The Germans are marching once again in their zealous campaign to gain dominion over Europe. Those that would think the Germans simple enough to repeat the mistakes made seventy years ago – when they last sallied forth in order to subjugate Europe – couldn’t be more wrong. This enemy, devious and full of low cunning, has devised a convoluted strategy of such brilliance that it is beyond the comprehension of mortal men to unravel. Nonetheless, I will herein try to bring the details of this devilish scheme to the light of day.

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Defence industrial policy: A potential new strand of Estonia’s ‘soft power’ within NATO and the EU?

In mid-February, the Estonian Ministry of Defence (MoD) rolled out its defence industrial policy for 2013-2022 – a document outlining the ends, means and ways of building a defence industrial base in Estonia. The document responded to the expectations of a number of enterprises seeking to develop products and services for the armed forces and for security organisations such as the police and the border guard. Commendably, and very much in the spirit of ’broad-based defence’ and comprehensive security, the strategy includes the Estonian Ministry of the Interior and its agencies as important stakeholders.

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The EU should look at the big picture and show Turkey a light at the end of the tunnel

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said that Turkey has begun considering alternatives to joining the EU. One of the alternatives might be joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Current membership of the SCO consists of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. There are also observers such as India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia. None of the SCO’s full members can be considered democratic by Western standards.

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The serious business of space

For the last five years, January has been the month when European politicians, policy experts, entrepreneurs and scientists congregate in Brussels to discuss outer space matters. Annual European Space Conference under the patronage of the three presidents (EU Commission‘s, Council‘s and Parliament‘s) has become a highlight event for the European space sector as well as a grand networking opportunity for everyone involved. Wherever one sits in the “value chain” — in the upstream of creating new technologies for space exploration and exploitation, or in the downstream of creating and using new applications, or in the pervasive current of policymaking and execution — this is the time and place to be and mingle. As Estonia is about to become a space nation, by virtue of putting the ESTCube-1 (nano)satellite into low orbit in a short while (not to mention having recently become a full member of the European Interparliamentary Space Conference and, a few years ago, a cooperating state with the European Space Agency), this is not the forum to be missed for its policy and business folk.

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Nothing New on the German front? Part II

Having sketched out the security challenges facing Germany and the upcoming decisions that have to be made by the new administration in Part I of this analysis, I will now set out to discuss how Germany’s policy stance will develop under the new leadership.

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St. Petersburg Dialogue: German Policy and European Fears

In the aftermath of Angela Merkel’s annual meeting with her Russian counterpart many a gloomy prophecy as to the far reaching implications of this meeting has been given voice. Whether it be speculation about the return of Germany to pre World-War realpolitik and power aspirations, or the pending end of NATO and European integration due to Germany’s positioning in between the US and Russia, fear and apprehension has found many expressions. In the following I will first establish what was really spoken of and agreed upon during the summit. Secondly, I will briefly analyze the German position in light of the current European security structure.

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Germany’s New Security Strategy

Presidendivalimiste eelhääletuste karussell hakkab lõpule jõudma. Vabariiklased on panustanud peatselt 72-aastasele John McCainile ja küsimuse all on üksnes see, kas tegemist on Ronald Reagani või Bob Dole’i klooniga. Praegu kaldub kõik viitavat rohkem Dole’i poole, kuigi Viagra reklaamis pole McCaini veel osalemas nähtud. Vabariiklastel ei ole pakkuda seda, mida omal ajal pakkus jõuliselt Ronald Reagan ja mida praegustest kandidaatidest on suutnud ainult Obama – muutusi. McCaini võidu korral korduks võimu Putinilt Medvedjevile ülemineku analoog, kus sisuliselt jätkuks George Bushi kolmas ametiaeg. Võib-olla ainult uute tegijatega. Noam Chomsky on nimetanud McCaini Bushist isegi ohtlikumaks, sest tegemist olevat klassikalise sõjardiga, kes eelistab sõjalise jõu kasutamist läbirääkimistele. Kuigi Tiit Made oli möödunud nädala Terevisioonis valmis McCaini juba järgmiseks presidendiks kuulutama, valib presidendi õnneks Ameerika Ühendriikide rahvas ja see protseduur toimub veidi teistmoodi kui NLKP peasekretäri valimine. Mina julgeks pigem väita, et Obama ja Clintoni terav vastasseis on teinud McCaini konkurentsivõimeliseks, hoolimata sellest et George W. Bushi toetusprotsendid on valitseva presidendi kohta erakordselt madalad ja kindlat pole siin hetkel veel midagi.

Demokraatidel on järele jäänud veel kuus eelvalimist. Hoolimata tugevast survest, võitis Obama Põhja-Carolinas 56%:42% ja kaotas Indianas vaid 49%:51%. Huvitav fakt, et lahtistel Indiana eelvalimistel toetas Clintonit enamus osalenud vabariiklastest. See võib viidata Russ Limbaughi üleskutsele vabariiklastele toetada Clintonit, kuna Obama olevat McCainile ohtlikum konkurent.

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Germany and NATO enlargement

Germany has once again maneuvered itself into a precarious position as obstructer of the spread of peace and prosperity and common sense, a coddler of Russia and an antagonizer of allies. A position unpleasant to have and difficult to defend and hold indeed.

This unfortunate episode began with Chancellor Schröder and his pro-Putin policies and rhetoric, which resulted in the Baltic-Sea-pipeline project and his retirement into Russian payroll; a disaster of yet unforeseeable magnitude for Germany and the EU.

Germany’s eastern neighbors, having suffered under decades of Russian occupation and domination, hold a very different view on how to deal with Russia and, understandably, feel more than a little discomfort when a fellow European state puts its own interests vis-à-vis Russia above a common approach. This has resulted in much disgruntlement.

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