Why this is critical for Kosovo

Today, Serbia and Kosovo stand at the brink of a catastrophe. It is urgent for European powers to act in time and in a way that can pre-empt it. And the EU must acknowledge that a dialogue based on the promise of EU integration cannot work without this promise being credible.

Today, Serbia and Kosovo stand at the brink of a catastrophe. It is urgent for European powers to act in time and in a way that can pre-empt it. And the EU must acknowledge that a dialogue based on the promise of EU integration cannot work without…

Why every European should care

Azerbaijan’s “Caviar Diplomacy” of systematic bribing to downplay Azerbaijan’s human rights record has led to investigations and convictions in several EU member states. So far, however, the main culprit has escaped unscathed. It is time that the Committee of Ministers investigate Azerbaijan’s role in the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the Council of Europe.

Azerbaijan’s “Caviar Diplomacy” of systematic bribing to downplay Azerbaijan’s human rights record has led to investigations and convictions in several EU member states. So far, however, the main culprit has escaped unscathed. It is time that the…

From the Channel to Rwanda

A court ruling shows a way for the UK and other European governments to combine migration control with respect for the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

A court ruling shows a way for the UK and other European governments to combine migration control with respect for the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

How the EU and Turkey must cooperate in their mutual interest

The EU-Turkey statement in March 2016 has drastically brought down numbers of people trying to cross the Aegean and thereby also the numbers of people drowning. Then it broke down in March 2020. What is needed now is a revised statement 2.0 that addresses the shortcomings and builds on the successes of the first statement.

The EU-Turkey statement in March 2016 has drastically brought down numbers of people trying to cross the Aegean and thereby also the numbers of people drowning. Then it broke down in March 2020. What is needed now is a revised statement 2.0 that…

Saving the Refugee Convention

A humane global refugee system is one where more, not fewer, countries offer refugee protection. At this moment such a world seems more elusive than ever. So what is to be done?

A humane global refugee system is one where more, not fewer, countries offer refugee protection. At this moment such a world seems more elusive than ever. So what is to be done?

Observations on Europe

I live in Berlin. It is from here, the very centre of modern Europe, that I observe the world. Some of these observations I will share on this blog.

I live in Berlin. It is from here, the very centre of modern Europe, that I observe the world. Some of these observations I will share on this blog.

A powerful signal to Russia that its horrific blackmail will fail

Thank You Payments for hosting Ukrainian refugees will not only cover basic needs but will also send a powerful signal to Russia that its blackmail will fail.

Thank You Payments for hosting Ukrainian refugees will not only cover basic needs but will also send a powerful signal to Russia that its blackmail will fail.

Addressing threats to economic cohesion and to democracy

Europeans need to find better ways to defend the values enshrined in their treaties, not with pious words and empty threats, but in the language of power and money that politicians like Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban will understand.

Europeans need to find better ways to defend the values enshrined in their treaties, not with pious words and empty threats, but in the language of power and money that politicians like Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban will understand.

How the EU can address the crisis of the accession process

North Macedonia has been blocked on its accession path for more than a decade. It is no outlier. All Western Balkan states are stuck. Their accession process resembles a bus without wheels, with North Macedonia discussing conditions for moving up a row of seats inside a vehicle going nowhere. It is time for the EU to enhance the process by offering all European democracies membership in the European Single Market as a credible interim goal.

North Macedonia has been blocked on its accession path for more than a decade. It is no outlier. All Western Balkan states are stuck. Their accession process resembles a bus without wheels, with North Macedonia discussing conditions for moving up…

For a merit-based EU accession process with a credible goal

The EU should offer membership in the Single Market, including the four freedoms, as a credible and reachable interim goal to Ukraine, Moldova, and any of the six Western Balkan nations interested in it.

The EU should offer membership in the Single Market, including the four freedoms, as a credible and reachable interim goal to Ukraine, Moldova, and any of the six Western Balkan nations interested in it.

The European Commission should return to the ECJ

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has forced Poland to undo some steps in the demolition of judicial independence. But Poland's judiciary is still under siege. No member state of the EU has ever gone as far in subjugating its courts to executive control. EU member states and all parliamentary groups should support the European Commission and the Court in their ongoing battle to protect the rule of law in Poland.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has forced Poland to undo some steps in the demolition of judicial independence. But Poland's judiciary is still under siege. No member state of the EU has ever gone as far in subjugating its courts to executive…

Regular access and fast return

A humane and effective policy is urgently needed to reduce irregular migration from Africa across the Mediterranean. A coalition of EU member states should establish joint asylum centres at the EU’s external borders. After fair and quick procedures, those not in need of protection should be returned to their home countries. Those in need of protection should be taken in by the members of this coalition. African countries of origin need to be offered tangible benefits to turn them into partners.

A humane and effective policy is urgently needed to reduce irregular migration from Africa across the Mediterranean. A coalition of EU member states should establish joint asylum centres at the EU’s external borders. After fair and quick…