John Peet talks about the controversial relationship between the UK and the EU in his article. The UK is undoubtedly the most reluctant Member State and the country that voices the most complaints about agricultural policy, regulations, budget, etc. Why is this so? In the 1950s, the British saw themselves as a world power rather than just another European nation. For this reason, they have always seen their relationship with the EU as a cost-benefit transactional exchange. Will the referendum scheduled for 2016 be able to make the British more supportive of the EU?
Even though Europe and Asia are kilometers apart on the map, their mutual trade dependency keeps them linked. Thomas Christiansen describes the nature of this relationship and the obstacles it has overcome in his article. He also argues that the relationship between Asia and Europe has a solid foundation and will strengthen even further over time.
Daron Acemoglu and Murat Üçer have written an article on the progress of Turkish economic growth and believe 2007 was the turnaround year. Is this connected to the qualitative reversal of economic institutions? The authors believe that this institutional reversal is consequence of a turnaround in political factors. What has been the impact of EU guidance and the subsequent collapse of Turkey-EU relations?
What is Russia’s place in Europe? Russian ambivalence is an important aspect of their cultural history and identity. Do they belong to the West or to the East? Orlando Figes explains in his article how Russia’s geographic location has led to a sense of inferiority among Russians and to resentment against Europe, and how this has been part of Russia’s national consciousness for a long time.
Europe’s external challenges
The world is moving to the East and Europe is no longer at the center, says Javier Solana in his article. Member States alone cannot compete with large emerging powers. There is only one way for European countries to participate in global decision-making: together. This need for greater integration in foreign policy is enhanced by the major risks which arise along all of the Union’s borders. All Member States must be involved, leaving aside the particular interests of each of them.