• Expert Commentary

    Strategic Europe: Can the EU Do Business With Erdoğan?

    07 October 2015.  Every week, a selection of leading experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world. Francois Heisbourg, Chairman of the IISS It could, but it does not have to. EU leaders are scrambling to respond to the crisis, but they must be clear-eyed about the bigger picture. Erdoğan may sometimes behave like Putin. But, in key respects, he is not Putin...

  • Strategic Comments

    EU’s future tested by migrants, Greece and UK

    02 October 2015. 

    Recent crises reveal an increasing tendency among European Union members to pursue narrow national interests rather than to formulate and stick to common positions. Migrant flows, the Greek financial crisis and the forthcoming British referendum on membership all set the perceived domestic interests of one EU member country directly against those of another.

  • Survival

    The Euro: Irreversible or Conditional?

    22 September 2015.  It is hard to see how Europe’s political centre can survive the lifespan of the third Greek bailout. If it cannot, Greek exit from the euro will be back on the table.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Matthew Harries: Morons, Losers and Leaders

    14 September 2015.  I’ll tell you what happens with impossible promises. - Neil Kinnock, 1 October 1985. I ‘We cannot waste this defeat’, said Harriet Harman, interim Labour leader, after her party’s bitter loss in Britain’s May 2015 general election. ‘We will dare to look over the precipice at what happened.’ Looking over the precipice, Labour saw the smouldering wreckage of an election campaign. The post-mortem has been traumatic, not least because, as late as election...

  • Expert Commentary

    Financial Times: France cannot indulge the xenophobes on immigration

    28 August 2015.  By Francois Heisbourg, Chairman of the IISS Europe faces no greater challenge than the mass influx of refugees from conflicts in Syria and North Africa argues IISS Chairman Francois Heisbourg in The Financial Times.  Immigration, a more emotive issue than the Eurozone crisis, is ‘driving a wedge between EU populations and their governments, between member states and indeed between the EU itself and the values on which it was founded.’ France in particular...

  • Expert Commentary

    Strategic Europe: Is Schengen dead?

    26 August 2015.  By Francois Heisbourg, Chairman of the IISS In light of Europe’s refugee crisis and recent cross-border terrorist activity, our experts assess whether the EU’s Schengen Area, in which participating states have abolished border controls, should be dismantled. The Schengen Agreement shares a number of features with the eurozone. Like the euro, Schengen has proved to be poor at attaining some of its core objectives when put to the test. That has led to...

  • Expert Commentary

    Les Echos: L'Europe est incapable de gérer l'immigration en provenance du Moyen-Orient

    26 August 2015.  Les Echos interview with Francois Heisbourg, Chairman of the IISS LES ECHOS: L'accord conclu le 14 juillet à Vienne par les grandes puissances avec l'Iran ouvre-t-il une nouvelle page? FRANCOIS HEISBOURG: Cet accord change la donne dans le domaine nucléaire. On évite la nucléarisation de l'Iran et on préserve au Moyen-Orient - et dans le monde - le système de non-prolifération nucléaire. Ce qui est en soi absolument majeur. Car on voit mal...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Erik Jones: The European political centre cannot hold (but the EU can)

    21 August 2015.  Europe’s politicians have cleared the last hurdle in accepting Greece’s third financial bailout, but the voting was uncomfortable for everyone. The left-wing populist government in Greece relied on representatives from the more traditional centre-left and centre-right to cover for defections from the ruling coalition; the German government used Social Democrats within the ruling coalition to cover for defections from the chancellor’s own Christian Democrats; and the People's Party for Freedom...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Dana H. Allin: Egon Bahr and the legacy of Ostpolitik

    20 August 2015.  Egon Bahr, the intellectual father, together with his political partner Willy Brandt, of West Germany’s Ostpolitik, has died at the age of 93. I knew him slightly; he served on the advisory council of the Aspen Institute, Berlin, where I was Deputy Director until 1997. I also interviewed him for my first book, Cold War Illusions. Brandt’s and Bahr’s early-1970s policy of détente with the Soviet bloc aroused considerable anxiety...

  • Expert Commentary

    Tehran Times: Iran nuclear deal can open dialogue on issues of common interest

    13 August 2015.  Interview with Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme TEHRAN - Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the non-proliferation program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), believes that the nuclear deal between Iran and the West can create new opportunities for holding talks on “many issues of common interest”.  “Clearing away the nuclear obstacles opens the possibilities for dialogue between Iran and Western nations on other areas of mutual interest that has not...

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