Articles & Published Letters - 2009
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Reflections on the appointments of the EU's two top jobs - Conservative Home, November 24th 2009
When I first heard the news that EU leaders had appointed Herman van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton to the two top jobs (semi-permanent EU President and High Representative) created by the Lisbon treaty, I was both astonished and angry.
Westminster's responsibilities under the Lisbon treaty - Conservative Home, November 18th 2009
The Lisbon treaty will become a reality whether we like or not in just a couple of weeks. I have written before about the need for a future Conservative government to engage pragmatically and constructively with the EU under the new architecture presented by Lisbon.
Engaging constructively with the EU’s new foreign policy role under Lisbon - Conservative Home, November 10th 2009
Whether we like it or not, the Lisbon treaty will soon become law. David Cameron, having opposed the treaty vigorously, has rightly said that as Prime Minister he will not be able to unpick a treaty that has already been adopted by all the member states of the European Union and is the established legal order of the EU institutions.
Diplomacy Could Fool the World or Change the Caucasus - New Europe, September 19th 2009
Relations between Turkey and Armenia have been overshadowed by the Armenian genocide for close to a hundred years. So the protocols signed last Saturday (10 October), aimed at establishing diplomatic relations and opening the common border, represent a remarkable peak in relations between those two countries. The question is whether the protocols will have a chance of ever being implemented.
Why our new party is not eurosceptic but “euro-realist” - Europe’s World, October 13th 2009
The debate in the European Parliament over euroscepticism amused many of us on the centre-right. In the days of de Tocqueville or John Stuart Mill, scepticism stood for constructive critical thinking, but these days the term euroscepticism
is a stick used by federalists to attack anyone in Brussels, who lacks enthusiasm
about the European Commission’s newest initiative.
Stabilizing the Horn - Project Syndicate, September 22nd 2009
After almost two decades as a failed state torn by civil war, perhaps the world should begin to admit that Somalia – as it is currently constructed – is beyond repair.
The EU cannot afford to abandon Ukraine - Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Ukraine), September 5th 2009
The experience of the Cold War taught us that the best way to handle relations with Russia is from a position of unity and strength. Russia has historically projected these values internally and in the wider world, and therefore respects unity and strength in others. Russia’s instincts are always to look for weaknesses in other nations to exploit and domestic disputes to stoke.
The Europeans should bring their last dictator in from the cold - Daily Star (Lebanon), May 9th 2009
The European Union recently embarked on a policy of "constructive engagement" with Belarus. None too soon. Previously, EU policy was to isolate Belarus, which itself was seeking isolation. That policy achieved almost nothing, save for bolstering the country's authoritarian leader, President Aleksander Lukashenko.
Somaliland offers hope to the Horn of Africa - Financial Times, May 3rd 2009
Your otherwise prescient editorial about the hopelessness of Somalia (“Tackling pirates the hard way”, April 29) omitted one of the few options that could actually bring some stability to the Horn of Africa: greater international engagement with Somaliland.
The 'energy weapon' can be a double-edged sword - The Daily Star (Lebanon), February 6th 2009
Has the "energy weapon" of the 1970s - the withholding of energy supplies for political ends - returned? Using oil or gas as a political weapon is easier said than done, of course, but this year's renewal of the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute, and the resulting cutoff of supplies to much of the European Union, should concentrate minds on the EU's need to disarm those who would use the energy weapon.
Russia's gas diplomacy underlines the need for an EU external energy security policy - Conservative Home, January 10th 2009
Russia's use of gas as a diplomatic weapon by totally and unilaterally interrupting its gas flow to Ukraine has once again proved why we need a common EU external energy security policy. Also why we need to diversify our own energy sources both geographically and the mix, as we currently only import less than 5% of our gas currently from Russia compared to the EU average of 25%, but this is predicted to grow.
Reviving Muslim democracy - The Independent (Bangladesh}, January 1st 2009
As fears about the Islamisation of politics in the Muslim world grow, Bangladesh, with the world's fourth-largest Muslim population (126 million), has moved dramatically in the opposite direction.