Strategic Thinking and Foreign Policy in the European Union 6

Catherine Ashton visiting war-thorn Benghazi

What EUrope is today increasingly depends on where one sits and assesses the situation.  I’m afraid this is quite a prosaic thing to say; an American will surely see a different thing in the EU than a Sub-Saharan African or an Asian. However dull this may sound Europe should consider applying this approach every time the question of a common European Union strategy in world affairs comes up.  What I mean by this can be considered to be a double-edged sword, as too much concern on how one sees you and what one wants from you may lead you to have doubts about your own identity.  But still, EU has enough doubts in this respect already, so maybe it is high time to try a thorough process of self-assessment through the eyes of others.

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Authoritarian regimes thrive in the UN Human Rights Council 10

At the beginning of this month, two very troubling reports on the state of democracy in the world have been released almost simultaneously, and both are concerned with the highest locus of legitimacy and authority when dealing with democracy and human rights, the UN and, most specifically, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the successor of the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) since 2006. The first research is Freedom House’s annual report on the activity of UNHRC and the second was released by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). This article will present the conclusions of these two reports, briefly corroborating their results with the most recent Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Report (2008) scores on political rights and civil liberties (a scale from 1 to 7, 1 for the highest degree of freedom, and 7 for the lowest level). More…