Tag Archives: European Union

The EU’s Blacklisting of Hezbollah: Grandstanding or Game-changer?

Commentary by Bart Hesseling – 25 July 2013

hezbOn 22 July, the European Union’s 28 foreign ministers unanimously decided to place the ‘military wing’ of the Lebanese Hezbollah on a list of what it considers terrorist organizations, to loud cheers from Washington and Tel Aviv. It is a classic case of coherent policy giving way to political expediency. Beyond the political posturing, it doesn’t help to improve the situation in the countries directly affected, Syria and Lebanon. Continue reading


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What the ‘End’ of the European Union Could Mean for the Middle East

By Riccardo Dugulin – 27 November 2011

At the beginning of September, President Sarkozy and Mr. Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, visited Libya. For better or for worse, France and the United Kingdom will remain intrinsically linked to the Libyan conflict. On another level, European institutions have grown largely ineffective with regard to the Syrian quagmire. Restrictions and sanctions have been implemented through decisions taken by the Council of the European Union, with the last round of sanctions implemented on the 14th of November. 2011. Banning arm sales and imposing travel restrictions and asset freezes to a very limited number of regime officials, does not send a message of strength and determination from EU officials. These two tendencies present a clear dichotomy: the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty first was represented by an increased presence of the EU in the broader region through the development of its European Neighborhood Policy. Recently, this mindset has diminished, with national governments slowly retaking their share of foreign policy independence. Amidst the worst political and economic crisis the EU has known since its inception, national interest, both domestic and foreign, is forcing its way back into the game. Continue reading

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