State of the Art of the EU and the French Presidency


I. EU-Russian relations and the Georgian crisis
II. European Energy Policy
III. The future of the EU’s transatlantic relations
IV. Potential solutions for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty
V. Europe’s South-Eastern Strategy
VI. Franco-German dynamics with respect to the domestic situations
VII. Outlook of the European Year 2009


The French Presidency has more or less dropped its initial agenda and has turned nearly exclusively to crisis management with respect to the two major crises the EU stumbled into in the course of the second half of 2008, one domestic, and one external:

1. The institutional crisis after the Irish ‘no’ of June 2008
2. The breakout of the Russian-Georgian war.

The launch of the Mediterranean Union at the beginning of the French Presidency at the EU-Summit in Paris 13th and 14th July was, in a way, the only element of the French presidential agenda successfully achieved on plan so far.

Indeed, the Summit was a success at the end, despite the critic and the tensions that have been accompanying the idea of a Mediterranean Union (MU). In March 2008, Franco-German differences about the shape of the MU had led to a serious clash between the two countries and to speculations that the MU would not be put into place. Until late, observers thought that France would not be able to gather most of the Heads of States and Governments of the Mediterranean countries. But finally, with admittedly huge last-minute efforts, France succeeded to choreograph a surprisingly good Summit-event, wit spectacular pictures, i.e. Israeli Prime-Minister Olmert and Palestinian leader Abbas driving together into the court of Elysée-Palace.

Also in terms of content, the MU finally suited most European governments. It is the overall opinion, that the South of Europe deserves more attention. The moment France had agreed to integrate the MU project into the framework of the Barcelona-Process – especially with respect to the financing – and to open the future general secretariat of the MU to other than Southern EU-countries after two years time, the most ardent dispute points had been clarified and the project had been finally supported by all EU member states. The secretariat will now be opened and start to work on the endorsed working program. In a year’s time, the foreign ministers of the EU and the ones of the Mediterranean countries will meet again for an evaluation summit after the first year of existence. In 2010, another summit of Heads of states and governments shall take place again. However, a fair assessment will need to acknowledge that the launch of the MU had no lasting effect so far and the risk is that the idea will not keep the momentum, but fade away as one of the multiple projects of the EU.

Soon after the launch – and in the middle of European holiday season – the Georgian-Russian conflict broke out and turned around the initial goals of the French presidency. France was in the necessity to go for immediate crisis management, rather than focusing on the EU agenda of energy and climate change or other more routine-business.

In addition, over the summer, the financial crisis took much larger amplitude than expected and is now supposed to have a huge impact on European (banking) markets, but also the broader European Lisbon – and globalization agenda, meaning the modernization of the European economy. It can therefore be expected that the next October council under the French presidency will dedicate some time to discuss the impact of the financial crisis on Europe, whereas concrete solutions for the ratification crisis of the Lisbon treaty due to the Irish ‘no’-vote are not likely to come during the French Presidency. The official agenda for the October Summit indicates that the first topics are Irish proposals on the Lisbon Treaty, but it is not likely that much progress can be achieved (see chapter III). The second topic of the agenda is the European Pact for Migration and Asylum, which is likely to be passed as prepared and without political problems. Key points of the ‘Pact for Migration and Asylum’ are:

- The steering of migration with respects to the job-market needs of the receiver-countries;
- Enhanced ‘return-politics’ of illegal migrants and sharper boarder controls;
- A common asylum-policy and partnerships with origin- and transit-countries.

The third point on the agenda of the October EU-council is the Lexus-nexus between financial crises, economic forecast, energy prices and food-shortage that the Heads of States and Governments want to discuss.

I. EU-Russian relations and the Georgian crisis

It was known since long that the ‘frozen-conflict’ region in the European neighborhood was highly unstable, but the outburst of the Russian-Georgian conflict came to everybody’s surprise. In the retro perspective, even though the EU had to face a lot of critic, it becomes nevertheless clear that the sheer fact that the EU succeeded in getting a common position on the Georgian crisis in its resolution of August 13th was and s a huge success for the French presidency which should not be underestimated. The same accounts for the extraordinary EU-council meeting on September, 1st.

In difference to the Iraq crisis, the EU got a common position despite huge internal differences on Russia. Whereas Poland, the Baltic States, Sweden and the UK favor a rather tough approach towards Russia, similar to the US position, Germany, France and Italy do have a more differentiated approach, in which the new danger stemming from Russia and its clearly anti-democratic and hawky tendencies are not ignored, but is flanked by a strong wish to keep Russia as a strategic partner and to not close the doors of dialogue.

Especially the German position was much differentiated. The interview of former Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, in the German weekly ‘Der Spiegel’, in which he called Michael Saakashvilis behavior ‘hazardous’, was probably the most outspoken defense of Russia and Vladimir Putin’s behavior. However, Klaus Mangold, the head of the German ‘Eastern Commission of the German Economy’ also largely defended Russia in a prominent TV-interview, and argued that Russia will and must remain a strategic partner of Germany, due to the economic ties. Germany would not be more depended from Russia than Russia from Germany. Even broader, the political establishment in Germany is perfectly split on Russia between those who want to cut relations to Russia and those who want to remain strategic ties. The cleavage goes through the Grand Coalition, with Merkel being more on the ‘human-rights’-side, and Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, being more on the ‘strategic-partner’-side; but it also goes through the middle of especially the CDU, where positions from prominent deputie are not in with respect to Russia. It is on the SPD-side that the position tends to be also much in favor of keeping doors open with Russia.

This is the more interesting, as the German position contrasts with much with the main-stream position of the US. Leading US-journals or American analysts pointed to the sole responsibility of Russia, demanded a strong course towards Russia and urged Europe to open NATO and the EU for Georgian membership, what precisely France and Germany together had refused to accept at the last NATO-Summit in Bucharest in April 2008. At an event of the German Council of Foreign Relations (DGAP), Hans-Ulrich Klose said that Europe and the US do not agree any longer on Russia; and that transatlantic relations would be under strain on Russia, especially if Senator McCain should win the elections.

The common position of the EU should therefore not been taken for granted – especially as some European countries tend to sign with the US - and the achievement of the French Presidency, perhaps more in terms of content than in terms of style, is broadly acknowledged. The Chancellery admitted that Nikolas Sarkozy’s very pushy style to drive the agenda on the Georgia conflict when he negotiated the cease-fire agreement did not please the chancellor, who had scheduled her own visit to Georgia only four days later. However, German officials do except that France needed to act quickly on behalf of the European Union. When Angela Merkel somehow changed her position on Georgia’s potential NATO-Membership after her trip, this had taken place in narrow concertation with the French presidency. By this time, it was clear that the EU would need to take over much more responsibility for the region and would also need to get much bolder in what it expects from Russia as much as in what it could do for and offer to Georgia.

It was clear that, in preparation of the extraordinary EU-summit on September 1st, Germany took a leading role in a well-orchestred cooperation with France. France and Germany were both together the broker of this deal, both committed to keep the EU together and to avoid a split at all price. Germany and France, hence, needed to respect the more Russia-hostile positions of the Baltic countries and Poland; but tried to forge a realistic consensus. I.e. it was mainly Germany who argued against sanctions against Russia, which at some point had been considered, as much as a postponement, if not suspension of the just shortly started negotiations on the Partnership- and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Russia. None of this happened so far, although Russia did not fully comply with the stipulations of the cease-fire agreement. There is evidence that the French presidency is now changing course in the Russia policy of the EU, taking a tougher stance. On the hand, through the commitment to a donor conference and European contribution to the reconstruction of Georgia infrastructure, Europe has quickly shown engagement.

This paper is not the place to analyze in detail the sequences of the Russian-Georgian war, which are also much disputed in the details. Also, the American role to back Saakashvili is discussed and remains unclear for the time being. But it is important to underscore that Europe is in a total revision of its policy towards Russia; that the EU is called to take greater care of its Eastern neighborhood and that European credibility in foreign policy is at stake. Therefore, the French presidency attaches its utmost biggest energy to this conflict and the future positioning of the EU towards Russia. On 8th October, the EU-Commission is due to present an evaluation of its Russia strategy.

Germany clearly opposes - although Merkel’s statement from 10th August could have been interpreted that way – the NATO accession of Georgia as consequence of the war. It would lead the article 5 guarantee of NATO ad absurdum. The EU would ultimately not defend Georgia – nor would the US. In case of a Russian attack with Georgia being NATO member – and neither the US nor Europe reacting – this would mean the definite death of NATO.

In more general terms, the German position that will be essential for the common EU position on Russia – can be resumed as follows: Russia is clearly too central for Germany to cut relations. However, it is also clear that Russia crossed the Rubicon when it attacked Russia. If Russia complies now (retreat of troops etc), the German assessment is that the conflict on South-Ossetia and Abkhazia will be somehow ‘frozen’ again (‘Cypriotisation’ of the conflict) without any clear solutions – or the reach of the status quo ante in some due time to come. The real question for Germany is now, whether the ‘Georgian case’ has been the one exception of Russian policy in its near neighborhood; or whether Russia makes a pattern or a method out of it in the month to come (with respect to other ‘frozen conflict zones, i.e. Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan), but especially with respect to Ukraine. Therefore, Ukraine – and Russia’s behavior towards Ukraine – would be key in the next month and there is a clear risk of Russian agitation in Ukraine. The EU would not be able to accept one wrong move of Russia towards Ukraine, also because the US would not permit it. But the solutions in which relationship Ukraine wants to live with both, the EU and Russia, need to come from the Ukraine itself and a EU-membership perspective cannot be the answer (for now). The EU can and wants to help stabilizing Ukraine through cooperation, trade, exports and opening of markets, but the real stabilization efforts needs to come from Ukraine itself (i.e. constitutional reform!). The policy of Germany is oriented to avoid anything that could further split the country into East- and West- Ukraine. It would be wrong to assume that if the West-Ukraine can be pulled into the ‘camp of the West’, East-Ukraine would follow. Unfortunately, this would precisely be the strategy of (some in) the US, so that there is a real need for better EU-US understanding on what to do with Ukraine. Germany is committed to bring this question up at the EUs October Council meeting.

II. European Energy Policy

The problems with Russia lead to problems in the shaping of a European Energy Policy. The negotiations of the Partnership- and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Russia had been blocked for quite a while because of Lithuania and only in March an agreement had been reached to pursue the talks. Now, further talks with Russia will depend on full compliance of Russia with the cease-fire agreement that the French Presidency has negotiated on behalf of the EU in August. Germany clearly opts for not suspending durably the PCA-talks, but this position is difficult within in the EU, especially (again) with respect to Lithuania. In the German view, EU talks with Russia are the only way to give countries like Lithuania a say – and ultimately influence – on the EU position towards Russia. If countries like Lithuania refuse talks with Russia, the alternative for countries like Germany (but also France or Italy) – who are not willing to accept cutting down talks with Russia – is ultimately to ‘go alone’ with Russia. Therefore, the German reasoning is that especially countries like Lithuania should have an utmost interest in a common position towards Russia, because for them this would be the only way to shape EU-policies and to not be circumvented by Germany and others. In this case, Lithuania alone would have no speaking-channel towards Russia. However, German officials strengthen that the engagement into talks needs to be worded in a way that is does not mean a de facto recognition of South-Ossetia’s and Abkhazia’s independence.

Germany objects that in this context, especially Lithuania – in difference to the other Baltic countries – puts itself into the role of a ‘victim-country’. Nobody within the EU wants to deliver Lithuania to the Russian risks, but Lithuania needs to understand that it is perfectly hedged in the EU and within NATO. Lithuania, however, tries apparently to make use of its ‘victim-position’ to squeeze economic privileges out of the EU. Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia all had guaranteed to close their old-fashioned (Chernobyl-style) nuclear power plants, when signing the accession treaties to the EU, and they all got large economic compensations in the order of 1,3 Billion Euro for doing so and to develop alternative energy resources.

However, Lithuania still refuses to close its nuclear power plant Ignalina, although a new power plant has already been built. Lithuania still wants to produce the rather cheap energy – and to sell it also to Euro with dumping prices – as the energy of the old nuclear power plant, due to the fact there are no more investment costs to cover – is relatively cheap and Lithuania does not want to give up this competitive advantage on the European energy market. The new power plant therefore is not yet attached to the energy net. Germany, however, does not want to allow this and requests that Lithuania fully respects its European engagements, if Lithuania on the other side requests full political, moral, military and financial backing of the EU in its relations with Russia. For Germany, this is a question of fundamental EU solidarity with goes in two directions and cannot be a ‘one-way’-street. Most likely, this question will be debated at the EU’s forthcoming October Summit. And it is likely that this – at first glance rather tiny German-Lithuanian conflicts – will have a high impact on the overall EU-Russia policy; or the difficulties that the EU will have in the next month to reach a common position on Russia.

Another question Germany wants to bring up at this Summit is the question of energy reserves, requesting that all countries should care for and have their own energy reserves for three month in terms of gas or oil. This is a cost question and for Germany there is no point that some EU-countries shoulder the costs of having energy reserves, but are forced to share them in a crisis with those who refuse to shoulder the costs for their own reserves. Real EU solidarity would request common efforts for energy reserves and market criteria should apply. On the other hand, Germany has no intention to exclude i.e. the Baltic countries (or Poland) from ‘national’ energy deals with Russia and would perfectly agree a scenario in which the Baltic countries and/ or Poland get special pipeline access to the North Stream pipeline that is under construction.

In terms of broader energy policy consideration, Germany will oppose all tendencies that European Energy Policy goes straight into the direction of ‘Plan-economy’. At the October Council meeting of the EU, Germany will therefore shape the Council resolution in a way that there is no competence of the EU to dictate where a country gets its energy from and how much: ‘The EU must not regulate where a country gets its gas from’. By the same token, Germany will not accept European regulations on questions like energy mix (i.e. the share of nuclear energy, coal etc); nor will it accept to reduce its own gas import from Russia. There is a clear refusal to accept a central management of energy resources through the EU, and German officials state clearly that there should not be a community competence on energy for the EU: ‘The EU does not decide where we buy’.

III. The future of the EU’s transatlantic relations and external policies of the EU

The Georgian crisis has put on the table the EU’S external relation policies at large, meaning the EU’S positioning towards Russia as well as the US; or with respect to crisis regions such as Afghanistan, Iran or the Middle East; and, in more general terms, Europe’s responsibility and its involvement in the big global challenges such as climate change, energy security or the reform of the multilateral system. Never before, the external pressure on the EU has been so high.

The sharp deterioration of relations with Russia through the conflict on Georgia has brought the French Presidency to rethink the EU’s relationship with the US and to push for a renewal of US-European relations after the US-elections. If Russia falls apart as a partner, the US come back. France analyses very clearly that for all major crisis the EU is involved – Afghanistan, Iran, Middle-East – a solution can only be found together with the US.

France is therefore aiming for a very strong claim for a renewed and re-energized transatlantic alliance – something that in this form one would never had expected from a French government and that suits current American positions. It goes along with other moves in French foreign policy, through which France had already signaled that it wants to change course with respect to the US, i.e. its commitment to join the military structure of NATO.

France wants to restore the value-basis and the confidence between Europe and the US. Only a common set of values and an uncompromised defense of international law and multilateralism would be the way and means to stem against realpolitik, as pursuit by especially Russia, but also China. France (on behalf of the French Presidency) now sketches out common EU-US approaches for common external policies towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Middle-East, Iran and Russia, with a strong focus on human rights and security aspects, including new agreements on disarmament treaties; beyond this, France suggests common approaches between the US and Europe on issues like climate change or the reform of the multilateral system.

III. Potential solutions for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty

After the Irish ‘no’, it had been expected that the French Presidency would try to very quickly find a solutions and come up with possible solutions as early as at the October Summit. In the meantime, this assessment has changed. New Irish polls indicate that, if the Irish were to vote again in some time soon, the ‘no’-vote would even been higher than in June 2008. Initially, speculations assumed that it would be possible to organize another referendum in Ireland in spring 2009. As the Lisbon Treaty also changes the seats of the European deputies per country, March 2009 would be the last moment to adopt the Lisbon treaty, if the European elections of June 2009 should be run under the Lisbon treaty. The French idea was to prepare the territory for a new Irish vote already in October, but at the latest at the December council. However, after Nicolas Sarkozy’s trip to Ireland over in July 2008, it became clear that Ireland cannot be pressured and that the French Presidency would not be able to present any concrete steps to be taken on the ratification issue. 71% of Irish people pronounced against a second vote, and 62% of those who would vote again would go for a ’no’. Given these results, the institutional crisis of the EU is clearly not longer a priority for the French Presidency in the immediate term.

Interestingly enough, there are also rumors that the Irish ‘no’ campaign has largely been sponsored and pushed by anti-European movements from Austria to the UK and that even neo-conservative Americans have tried to torpedo the ratification of Lisbon in order to weaken the EU. As the Irish referendum is the only device for all EU-hostile groups to stop the ratification of Lisbon, it can be expected that the next Irish referendum – if there is a second – will be under high scrutiny. In addition, the entourage of Mr Cameron, who has chances to win the next parliamentarian elections in the UK in spring 2010, is doubtful whether or not Mr Cameron would submit the Lisbon treaty – in case of another Irish vote – also to a referendum in the UK, although formally the British Parliament has already ratified the treaty last June. Of course, another referendum in the UK would mean an enormous hurdle for the Lisbon Treaty.

The forthcoming Czech EU-Presidency in the 1st half of 2009 has therefore already put strong emphasis on solving the institutional crisis, as no major steps are expected for the French Presidency. Beyond the Irish ‘no’-vote, Poland, the Czech Republic itself, but also Germany are still faced with the problem that plaints have been brought to their constitutional courts. In Germany, this legal handicap is a formal one, as officials are eager to underscore. Mr. Gauweiler, CSU, has appealed the Bundesverfassungsgericht (constitutional court) to make the case that the Lisbon Treaty is not in concordance with the German basic law. The German government needed to suspend for the time being all activities to prepare for the stipulations resulting of Lisbon, i.e. preparations to establish the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the President of the Republic, Horst Köhler, did not yet sign the law in order to wait for the court’s decision – which however, seems more a formal problem, as there is no risks that the German court will oppose Lisbon. The situation is similar in the Czech Republic and in Poland. Legal experts say that the Czech Republic and Poland will follow the German course. Once Germany has formally solved its legal problem with Lisbon, solutions will follow in both countries. The real problem therefore remains the Irish ‘no’ and no solution is in view before 2010.

IV. Europe’s South-Eastern Strategy

It is interesting to note that – behind the scenes – one can detect slight changes of the French position on EU-enlargement. France has been one of the most prominent defenders of a ‘core’-Europe and has been more or openly against further enlargement of the EU in the past decade, under the previous governments. It was also France that never had been truly committed to give a clear enlargement perspective to the countries of the Western Balkans. And it was France that changed its constitution in early 2005 stipulating that any newcomer to the EU would be submitted to a French referendum, a move clearly seen to torpedo Turkish EU-membership.

Now, however, due to a much more complex geo-strategic positioning of the EU between Russia, Turkey, Central-Asia and Iran, and with the energy/ pipeline-questions getting ever more important, it seems as if France is quietly changing position. French officials start to voice that of course the Balkan countries must join the EU and soon. The EU should go for visa-regulations with the Balkan countries soon and Balkan countries should soon get a date for membership, and this largely before 2014. The Turkish case is more complex. It’s too soon to talk explicitly of full membership – hence, Turkey clearly needs a European perspective. This does not resemble to what is normally the discourse of the UMP party on European enlargement. The UMP party (the French conservatives) is one of the most reluctant parties against further enlargement, so slight changes in the wording on enlargement should not be taken for granted.

Shifts in French policy can be explained through three things: First, France, particularly Nicolas Sarkozy, wants to please the US. Second, with Russia becoming an extremely difficult partner for Europe, there is a fear that Europe cannot afford to lose the two most important and biggest countries in its neighborhood altogether. And third, with President Sarkozy being keen on playing a major role in the Middle-East, France is realizing that good relations to Turkey might be very helpful, i.e. with respect to Syria.

The French policy shift fits into the plans for the Swedish EU presidency to bring enlargement polices back to action. Swedish government officials say that enlargement will be the cornerstone of the forthcoming Swedish presidency in the 2nd half of 2009. One central idea would be to make a package out of Turkey and the Balkan countries and to bring them into the EU at ones, as it would not be possible to take the Balkan countries first, leaving Turkey again behind. Binding essentially Serbia and Turkey together would also make it difficult for France to go for a referendum on enlargement, as France is pro-Serbian and would not like to vote on Serbia, but would be squeezed it were to vote on Turkey alone. It can therefore be expected that further commitment of the EU towards the Balkan countries will happen during the Swedish Presidency.

V. Franco-German dynamics with respect to the domestic situations

The Franco-German engine is finally getting closer together after a rather difficult starting period right after Nikolas Sarkozy’s election and a first year of problematic relations. With smaller – and not really experienced countries – like Sweden and the Czech Republic taking over the EU-Presidency in 2009, France and Germany will have an indirect function of a leadership-role to provide. The Czech Republic is working together extremely close with the two. It is clear that, with respect to the major new orientation of the EU to come (Russia, US and new US-administration, neighborhood policies), the grand orientation or commitment will and needs to come from France and Germany.

However, in 2009, there will be a new US-administration, EP-elections, a new EU-Commission, German elections (and elections in the UZK in spring 2010), let alone that a difficult relationship towards Russia will need to be managed in the middle of a lasting financial crises which’s impact on Europe is quite unknown for the moment, and with growing concerns to the overall economic environment in Europe, let alone energy prices and security. France and Germany will have the difficult task to combine the increasingly difficult aspect of internal European integration (social Europe, migration, wealth, economic growth etc) and the broader geo-strategic dimension of the EU (Mediterranean Union, South-Eastern enlargement, neighborhood policies).

It is not that there is no awareness of these problems or that Franco-German cooperation is principally under strain. Even if most say that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy do not really like each other, they perfectly work together on a very pragmatic level. However, it is hard to assess whether or not France and Germany will find the energy and the dynamics to develop commonly a ‘big picture’ for the future of the European integration process. Even if the cooperation is good first glance, there is beneath the surface a growing skepticism in Germany with respect to its cooperation with France. Also, France may suffer quite more from the financial crisis due to a different structure from its economy, which may put France much under strain with respect to its domestic situation and turn away interest from Europe once the presidency is over.

The problem, official voices say, is that France feels increasingly marginalized within Europe and ‘always needs to win’, i.e. when it comes down to European industry cooperation in European Security and Defense Policy. In short, the German ‘trust-level’ towards France is reduced, and French attempts to out pass Ms Merkel making France the ‘must-go’ country within Europe displease many in the German European and foreign policy establishment. Franco-German relations are therefore also at a turning point and the tandem needs to be enlarged.

VI. Outlook of the European Year in 2009

The institutional gridlock will derange the European Union over the course of the year 2009, which, in many respects, is likely to become a difficult year for the EU. Firstly, without formal ratification, it will be impossible to implement those stipulations of the Lisbon Treaty that the EU needs most, especially the European External Action Service (EEAS) and progress in European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) through structured cooperation.

Secondly, given recent trends in national or regional elections – i.e. in Bavaria and Austria on September 28th – here are growing fears that the EP elections may also see sharp fissures in the European party system with the major European parties (European Peoples Party, PPE; and European Socialists) that would lose with respect to the more radical parties at the left or right wing of the political spectrum.

The very fact that most likely no solution on the Lisbon Treaty will be found will give the Czech Presidency a difficult time and will leave this presidency with un unclear set of priorities, including the difficulty to welcome a new Commission that may only have interim character. The Czechs will have the difficult task to pursue the difficult relationship the EU has with Russia and to shape the new agenda for transatlantic relations with a new US-administration.

Ulrike Guérot

1 The MU working program will have a special focus on energy security, counter-terrorism, immigration and trade.
2 The official council agenda is at
3 Exact content can be found at
4 Der Spiegel, August 11th, 2008
5 Dr. Klaus Mangold, Ostausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft, in the TV-Talk-Show ‘Anne Will’ on Sunday, 10th August
6 Ron Asmus: ‘New Purposes, New Plumbing: ‘Rebuilding the Atlantic Alliance’, in: American Interest, November/ December 2008; Ron Asmus and Tod Lindberg: ‘Global Ambition of the European Project’. Powers and Principles. International leadership in a shrinking world. Working Paper of the Stanley Foundation, September 2008; Jörg Himmelreich: ‘Großreich Putin. Russland fällt zurück in zaristische System – und schadet sich damit selbst’, Internationale Politik, Oktober 2008.
7 ‘Der Krieg in Georgien’, Panel-Discussion organized by the German Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin, 22nd August 2008.
8 Especially the Baltic countries and Poland; and, to a lesser extent, Sweden and the UK.
9 See Spiegel-online, 17th August
10 See i.e. Nicu Popescu, Andrew Wilson and Mark Leonard: ‘Can the EU win the piece in Georgia’, ECFR-Policy Brief, 25th August 2008
11 See: ‘Paris stellt Russlandpolitik der EU in Frage. Frankreich hält Anbindung an Europa gescheitert‘, in: Financial Times Germany, 22the September 2008.
12 The very fact that François Fillon, the French Prime Minister, has already announced Franco-Russian talks for November 2008 in a press conference last week points precisely into the direction that France also would opt for a ‘go-alone’ strategy in case that there is no EU agreement.
13 Ron Asmus: ‘New Purposes, new Plombers’, op. cit.
14 See opinion poll by ‚openeurope‘. Poll amongst 1000 representative Irish people, 21th und 23th July, details at
15 This is so, because national parliaments need some three month in average to adopt national election laws for the EP-elections to the Lisbon stipulations.
16 See poll ‘openeurope’, op. cit (footnote 23)
17 See: Economist / certain ideas of Europe blog, June 26th or
18 Similarly, the idea of a Mediterranean Union had, at least at the beginning, a clear spin to put Turkey rather in the MU than in the EU.
19 i.e. France has been refused to participate in the consortium of the Nabucco-Pipeline if it does not favor Turkish membership in the EU.
20 ‚The challenges of the EU in the 21st century‘. Conference organized by Aspen France, in cooperation with La Fondation pour vie Politique (Fondapol) and the OECD, Paris, 19/ 20th October 2008.
21 European Conference of CIDOB and ESI (European Stability Initiative): ‚EU-enlargement: is all still going well?‘ in Barcelona, 20/ 21th September