Friends of Europe

Freedom of thought 12-11-2018

Pakistan, democracy and the demise of the independent press

Pakistan's new military-supported government is targeting independent media and poses a grave threat to the country's democracy, writes Shada Islam.
Freedom of thought 31-08-2018

Geert Wilders wins, Muslims lose in latest Prophet Mohammed cartoon furore

Geert Wilders is back in the headlines, thanks to a controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoon competition, which has caused a furore in Pakistan. But the race for Europe's toughest anti-Muslim politician has several other contestants, writes Shada Islam.
Global Europe 04-07-2018

Trump is wrong: Guns alone don’t make a superpower

Since his election, US President Donald Trump has been wreaking havoc wherever he goes and his next target is most probably NATO, warns Shada Islam.
Future EU 26-06-2018

Defuse this explosive migration summit with a strategic EU study

If ever an EU summit seemed doomed, it's this week's immigration showdown. Governments like to imply that the 'migrant crisis' is at an end but in truth, it's just starting, and Europe needs a strategy and a common EU-wide approach, writes Gilles Merritt.
Global Europe 19-06-2018

The EU has to broaden its alliances to shape the new world order

Enough tears have been shed, egos and emotions shaken and obituaries written about the transatlantic relationship. It is time to move on. So wipe the tears, stop the whining and turn over a new page. The US has embarked on a new journey, and the EU should do the same, writes Shada Islam.
Global Europe 12-06-2018

EU should revive TTIP, retaliation only helps Trump’s re-election

The EU's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has made a cardinal error in opting to play US President Donald Trump at his own game and introducing tariffs on American products, argues Giles Merrit.
Africa 06-06-2018

Africa-Europe ties need a reset – but not just because of migration

Europe and Africa need a partnership which should focus on the new realities in both regions. Europe can become the region's main partner during its transformative revolution if it listens to civil society representatives, writes Shada Islam.
Elections 15-05-2018

It’s not too early for Barnier to throw his hat in the ring

Not to beat about the bushes, Michel Barnier should succeed Jean-Claude Juncker. Not just because his handling of the Brexit process has enlarged his stature, but for a number of other cogent reasons, writes Gilles Merritt.
Brexit 10-04-2018

The bigger EU problems hidden by Brexit

Brexit's focus on minutiae is an unnecessary distraction from the more pressing challenges Europe must meet. Unity is crucial to Europe's security and well-being, writes Giles Merritt.
Economy & Jobs 20-03-2018

As Trump plays with fire, EU should lead on global trade

As America retreats after Trump's plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, the world is moving on. Now is the time for the EU to take the lead in maintaining the global trade system, writes Shada Islam.
Elections 13-03-2018

Why not hold all of Europe’s elections on the same day?

Here's a sharp knife to cut through the tangled knot of Europe's politics ‒ let's hold all national parliamentary elections on the same day as voting for the European Parliament, writes Giles Merritt.  
Future EU 27-02-2018

What the EU must do to be loved and admired

The European Union is in need of a rebranding. Giles Merritt suggests ways the European Commission can go about doing that while helping save the European project.
Global Europe 20-02-2018

They talk of war but it’s their own citizens these ‘strong’ men fear most

In the current geopolitical context, European support for those fighting for human dignity is more important than ever, writes Shada Islam.

Brussels must bite the bullet on a common EU migration policy

The EU Commission is soon to re-enter the conflict over immigration. Whether it will do so timidly or in a blaze of political courage remains to be seen when it unveils ideas for a 'European Labour Authority," writes Giles Merritt.
Politics 05-02-2018

Let’s end our pygmy politics so we can have a proper EU foreign policy

The next "foreign minister" at the head of the EEAS, must be a heavy-hitter with the authority and courage to rally EU governments behind a recognisable foreign policy on global challenges, writes Giles Merritt.
Future EU 10-01-2018

‘Last chance’: Juncker has only 2018 to deliver the goods

This is the year when Jean-Claude Juncker's ‘Last Chance’ Commission must chalk up worthwhile achievements and shake off the sense of inertia that already risks turning into full retreat, argue Giles Merritt and Shada Islam.
Development Policy 21-11-2017

Africa’s young people need inspirational leaders, not old autocrats

Investing in youth is essential for Africa’s future, but what's even more essential is to let inspirational and transformational leaders to come forth, writes Shada Islam.
Development Policy 31-10-2017

Wishful thinking underpins the EU’s new Africa plan

There has been a significant mood change among European policymakers. Far from seeing Africa as a charity case, they have come to recognise it as a security threat: doing more to develop Africa's ailing economies is rising fast up the EU agenda, writes Giles Merritt.
Future EU 06-10-2017

Give the regions more EU power to save the euro and defeat populism

Elections across Europe show Europe's political parties to be increasingly defined by how nationalistic they are. Confronting this and reinstating progressive politics is essential, and can best be done by giving more power to Europe's regions, urges Giles Merritt.
Brexit 05-09-2017

Brexit clinches ‘mission impossible’ by highlighting EU’s value

This summer has seen the ‘Brexit effect’ quietly gathering momentum, so much so that it's shaping into one of the most spectacular own-goals of European history, on a par with Germany's Third Reich or the Russian Revolution, writes Giles Merritt.
Politics 07-06-2017

Thanks, Trump, for forcing Europe to rethink its own security

It’s time to look on the bright side of Donald Trump’s presidency, with Europeans being forced to reconsider policy assumptions that have gone unchallenged for far too long, writes Giles Merritt.
Global Europe 10-11-2016

Why the EU must craft a tough pre-Trump agenda

Lulled by the opinion polls and its own wishful thinking, Europe expected US foreign policy continuity following a Hillary Clinton victory. Now, Europeans must awaken to the unpredictable change and volatility a Donald Trump presidency will bring, warns Giles Merritt.

Brexit 01-06-2016

Brexit: an opportunity to be exploited

As the referendum looms large on the horizon, there are two ways of facing the threat of Brexit: despondency or trying to make something positive out of the situation, writes Robert Cox.
Future EU 25-05-2016

Oi, Eurocrats! Time to wake up to the virtues of bad news

A fatal weakness of the European Commission is its officials’ faith in good news. Their misguided thinking is that by trumpeting what they think are the EU’s most positive aspects they can counter escalating eurosceptism, writes Giles Merritt.