Yearly Archive: 2014

Albania: the Status is here!

After having been rejected three times by the European Council, Albania has finally been granted candidate country status, a crucial step in its transition to democracy since 1991 and its aspiration to become a part of the EU. Although it is very likely that the small Western Balkans country [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The strange triad: the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia

This Sunday is the deadline for the US and Iran to agree on limiting the latter’s nuclear programme to peaceful purposes. The current context is one in which the relations between Washington and Tehran, that had been interrupted since the 1979 hostage crisis, have again come to the fore, [...]

Cameron defeated, EU tries to minimise damages

After the May elections to the European Parliament, the distance in seats between the European People’s Party and the social democrats significantly decreased in comparison to the previous term (from 78 to 30). This time, the EPP obtained 221 seats and the S&D 191, not to mention the latter [...]

The BRICS bank: the first big move in China’s global weiqi game

The coming weekend a number of senior officials of the BRICS will arrive to Brazil. Most of them will try to attend the football world cup final on Sunday, but enjoying the atmosphere of the Maracaná stadium will not be the highlight of their visit. After the weekend they [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The English (and British) question in Scotland

There are just 72 days to go to the referendum on the independence of Scotland on 18 September. Although the victory of the “no” seems assured, this kind of vote is loaded by the devil. Despite the campaign of both sides, polls have not moved much in recent months, [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The European Commission’s politicisation

The EU’s institutions have experienced a further tectonic shift that can enhance and at the same time disrupt the most original elements involved in the process of European integration: the Commission. In proposing Spitzenkandidaten for the presidency of the European Commission, the European Parliament and its main political families [...]

The “Bleu Marine” failure

The recent elections to the European Parliament have left even worse sensations for traditional parties than expected. Right-wing anti-EU parties have won in France, Britain and Denmark. Overall, Eurosceptic and Europhobe parties have gained over 20% of the seats in the Parliament and they now have political momentum. The [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Iraq’s failures

A forgotten duo is making a comeback: Sykes-Picot. In 1916 these two civil servants, one British and the other French, designed –ie, divided up– the map of the Middle East between their countries’ respective areas of influence, creating artificial states such as Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. It was part [...]

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