Atlantic Update 5/4/11


The European Union becomes "almost" a full member of the United Nations, gaining the rights to speak on the floor of the General Assembly, submit amendments, and make proposals. Portugal receives its bail out and Europe’s reaction to the death of Osama bin Laden is analyzed.


Europe’s day of shame (El Pais)

In the fight against terror, writes the Düsseldorfer Handelsblatt, America stands alone. Europe, preoccupied with how it can withdraw from Afghanistan, should be ashamed of its inaction. Since 11 September 2001 there have been 16,000 bomb attacks, writes the chief editor of the business journal on its front page. The consequence: 110,000 dead. Most were not soldiers, but mothers, fathers and children. That is reason enough for Gabor Steingart to defend the war on terror with all the force necessary. But America is leading that battle on its own, without the support of the Europeans.(Full text in Spanish)

EU wins new powers at UN, transforming global body (EU Observer)

EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy will now be able to address the United Nations no differently from US President Barack Obama, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez or Russia’s Dimitri Medvedev. In order to win the vote, the EU had to agree to changes to the global organisation that transforms the UN from an assembly of nation states into a body that also offers representation rights to regional blocs as well, including potentially the African Union, the Arab League and the South American Union.

Portugal to Receive 78 Billion Euro Bailout (Spiegel)

Lisbon has reached an agreement with the EU and the IMF to receive 78 billion euros in aid over the next three years to assist it with a crippling debt load. But with Portugal’s government in flux and euro-zone approval dependent on suddenly euroskeptic Finland, final approval is far from a sure thing.

Back home with mum (De Volkskrant)

Confronted by unemployment and the economic crisis, young Greeks are being forced to give up their nascent independence and return home to live with their parents, where they benefit from the same ethos of familial support whose excesses have contributed much to the crisis.(Full text in Dutch)

EU moves to tighten border controls in Schengen zone (BBC News)

EU governments in the passport-free Schengen zone would be able to reimpose border controls when faced with extraordinary flows of migrants, under new European Commission proposals. The Commission stressed that such border checks should be temporary. The move reflects concern about the arrival in Italy this year of about 25,000 illegal migrants from North Africa, most of them Tunisians.

Still from Venus? (The Economist)

WHEN France and Britain took the lead in the air war over Libya, with America quickly taking the back seat, one might briefly have been able to challenge Robert Kagan’s bon mot summarising attitudes to military action on the two sides of the Atlantic: Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus.

Russia, NATO to sign consolidated glossary of cooperation in Brussels (RIA Novosti)

Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov and NATO Military Committee Chairman Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola will sign the NATO-Russia Council’s Consolidated Glossary of Cooperation in Brussels on Wednesday, a spokesman for NATO’s Military Committee, Massimo Panizza, said. The document will be signed during a meeting of the commanders of the general staffs of all of the 29 member states of the Russia-NATO Council, which will be held in the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Romania hosts US missile shield, discloses details (Euractiv)

Romanian President Traian Basescu announced today (3 May) the precise location of missile interceptors forming part of a planned US missile shield over Europe. He also announced that an airbase and the country’s main sea port would be at the disposal of US troops.


‘Europeans Find the Ground Zero Celebrations Somewhat Embarrassing’ (Spiegel)

The death of Osama bin Laden has raised important questions about how far a country can go in the desire for revenge. In a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, German political scientist Herfried Münkler discusses whether democracies can carry out targeted killings and talks about the "unthinking naïveté" of the American celebrations at Ground Zero.

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