Netherlands still pushes stick for Schengen membership Bulgaria

Foto: Grensovergang tussen Roemenië en Bulgarije bij Lom – Wikimedia Commons   Bulgarije, Roemenië en Kroatië zouden op 1 januari 2023 alle drie toetreden tot de Schengenzone, die vrij verkeer van personen en goederen tussen leden mogelijk maakt. Echter, in november 2022 spraken Nederland en Oostenrijk een veto uit voor toetreding van Bulgarije, Oostenrijk als […]

New European publication on the way forward in Ukraine

Russia's aggression against Ukraine in February 2022 shocked the world and brought great devastation and trauma. The war continues in 2023, characterised by an unruly Ukraine, fighting courageously and energetically for its sovereignty, rule of law and self-determination. Western forces, with the European Union at the forefront, play an important role in [...]

How do we do deal with migration?

The shipwreck off the Greek coast that killed hundreds of people last week is the deadliest accident in the Mediterranean in years. This is yet another maritime disaster as a result of European migration policies. For instance, many illegal pushbacks of migrants take place by the European border agency FRONTEX and by southern European countries themselves. [...]

EU milestones in Bosnia and Kosovo underline importance of European engagement

Photo: The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France (Flickr) After a long period of limbo, the war in Ukraine brought a turnaround in European efforts to integrate the Western Balkans into the EU. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the next country to take a step towards EU membership. At the same time, Kosovo is also trying to make a [...]

How walls are still seen as a solution in 'Fortress Europe'

Today marks exactly 23 years since the Berlin Wall fell. For Europe, it seemed the impetus to blur borders and bet on unity and free mobilisation. Divisions caused by physical walls seemed to be a thing of the past. Today, however, walls are on the rise again Between Poland and [...]

Climate summit COP27 in Egypt: dubious endorsement of al-Sisi's democratic facade

Al-Sisi in 2015 at COP21 in Paris (source: Flickr) Next Sunday, politicians, policymakers, activists and journalists from around the world will travel to the Egyptian coastal town of Sharm el-Sheikh for COP27. This year, for the first time since 2016, the international climate summit will take place in a (North) African city. The location is hopeful that climate priorities for the [...]

Palestinian human rights secondary to Dutch trade interests during Rutte visit

Mark Rutte visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories last week, on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 October. During his visit, the focus was on strengthening ties with Israel, Israeli business and the (relatively impotent) Palestinian Authority, while Palestinian human rights activists were skipped. A questionable programme in a [...]

AIV advice: Cabinet, make clear what is at stake in Ukraine

Photo: solidarity demonstration by Dutch people with Ukraine on Dam Square, February 2022 On 7 July, the House of Representatives asked the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) to write an urgent opinion on the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Today, 20 October, the AIV issued a number of urgent recommendations. The gist of the advice? The government [...]

Approaching winter opens Europe's gas labyrinth

As winter approaches, European countries are increasingly concerned about where their energy should come from. While Hungary, Serbia and Turkey are negotiating to open Russia's gas tap, other countries are instead relying on their neighbours' reserves. Last week, available [...]