Negotiating with a pointed gun - Sanctions, appeasement and the role of Russia in the Council of Europe
Legislators in Strasbourg will be voting on changes to PACE’s powers to sanction the parliamentary delegations of states violating human rights, democracy and the rule of law. They will also be voting on something much bigger: the relevance and credibility of the Council of Europe itself.
The European Union urgently needs a credible policy on asylum and border management. It must combine effective control of external land and sea borders with respect for existing international and EU refugee law.
In February 2018 Viktor Orban gave a carefully crafted speech on the eve of recent Hungarian elections, appealing to (West) European leaders to "reverse" the presence of Muslims in their cities. No wonder that the first to congratulate Orban following his election victory in April were Europe's racist and far-right parties.
No member state of the EU has ever gone as far in subjugating its courts to executive control as the current Polish government has done. The Polish case is a test whether it is possible to create a Soviet-style justice system, where the control of courts, prosecutors and judges lies with the executive and a single party, in an EU member state.
Daha önce hiçbir AB üyesi devlet, mahkemelerini yürütmenin denetimine Polonya hükûmeti kadar sokmadı. Polonya örneği, bir AB üyesi ülkede Sovyet tarzı bir yargı düzeni, yani mahkemelerin, savcıların ve hâkimlerin üzerinde denetimin yürütmeye ve tek bir partiye verildiği bir düzenin kurulup kurulamayacağının adeta bir denemesi.
The EU, and Italy especially, remains a magnet, as almost nobody who arrives is ever returned, regardless of the decisions of asylum bodies. The political debate returns like a pendulum to earlier experiences of agreements with North African states (Tunisia and Libya) as the only way to stop boats arriving.
Bosnian democracy is safe. This should have been obvious all along. But then again, many obvious things have often been obscured when it comes to the work of Bosnian institutions. On this, as one previous occasions, the rational approach is the same: don't believe the hype. Bosnian democracy will not end in October.
The challenge for Greek and EU policy makers is clear: to ensure humane reception conditions in line with EU standards for every asylum seeker and migrant who arrives on the islands. If the average time people spend on the islands were 2 months only, and arrivals were below 3,000 a month, the accommodation capacity needed on all islands would be 6,000.
"Amsterdam in the Mediterranean" – How a Dutch-style asylum system can help resolve the Mediterranean refugee crisis
Leaders across the EU are looking for a fast, effective and humane asylum system; a system which determines quickly, but thoroughly, who needs protection; creates disincentives for people to get into boats; and manages to return those who are found not to need protection within a short period of time.