Daily Archives: April 2, 2009

Tony Barber

The European Parliament recommended this week that the European Union’s 27 governments, when negotiating a new long-term partnership agreement with Russia, should ask Moscow to provide assurances that it will not use force against its neighbours, as it did in Georgia last August.

The parliament passed the recommendation, which was drawn up by Janusz Onyszkiewicz, a Polish liberal and former leading activist in the independent trade union Solidarity in the Communist era, by 416 votes to 80 with 147 abstentions.

Tony Barber

Just as sunny weather has come to Brussels for the first time this year, so have the first signs that the European Union is weaning itself off its addiction to ever more frequent summits. True, today’s G20 event in London is the mother of all summits, and there are plenty of Europeans at it (too many, some non-Europeans might say).

But other planned summits are being downgraded or won’t be particularly grand occasions. Back in February Mirek Topolanek, the recently deposed Czech premier, announced he intended to hold two emergency anti-recession summits – one to uphold the EU’s free trade and single market principles against the threats of protectionism and economic nationalism, and the other on employment. The first meeting took place in Brussels on March 1 and didn’t get good reviews from summit critics in the European media. Read more