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June -- July 2010

As ICC Starts Major Review, Can U.S. and EU Cooperate?

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Obama Team Seeks to Engage with the Court -- a Fence-Straddling Position as a “Non-Signatory” Participant

The International Criminal Court (ICC) represents a manifest irony in U.S. foreign policy. While Washington has defiantly refused to join the tide of broad international acceptance and join the ICC or submit to its jurisdiction, the U.S. has traditionally been a strong supporter (and sometimes even a leader) in international efforts to bring to justice those individuals and states guilty of war crimes and atrocities -- precisely the kinds of crimes the ICC was created to prosecute.   The U.S. leadership was critically important in the prosecution of German and Japanese officials after World War II and in support for tribunals dealing with the genocides in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.


Turkey Shifts Away from the West

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Ankara Signaled Frustration by Playing "Spoiler" Role between NATO and EU

It’s been a banner few months for Turkish foreign policy:

  • Despite all the weight the U.S., France, Britain, and Germany could bring to bear, Turkey voted against the International Atomic Energy Agency findings sanctioning Iran’s nuclear program, the only NATO ally to do so;
  • Russian Prime Minister Medvedev visited Ankara to initiate a “full-scale strategic partnership,” to include Turkey’s purchase of a Russian-built nuclear power plant and cooperation on an oil pipeline to the Mediterranean;
  • Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made explicit Turkey’s “multi-dimensional foreign policy” in an article published in the U.S.;
  • In conjunction with Brazil, Turkey negotiated an agreement with Tehran involving reprocessing of some of Iran’s stock of enriched uranium into nuclear fuel – an agreement basically aimed at preventing UN sanctions against Iran.



A Once and Future Vision of Europe? Wise Men’s Report Offered Pre-Crisis Agenda

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EU Faces Decline Unless it Makes Radical Reforms, High-Level Group Warns

“Bad timing” was the rueful general reaction this month when an ambitious forward-looking report, "Europe 2030", was presented to the President of the European Council of the EU for consideration by the European Council leaders in June. The product of a year’s consultations by a wise men’s group, led by Spain’s former prime minister Felipe Gonzalez, the 46-page document concluded that Europe has lost its political momentum and risks falling into a deepening decline unless its leadership can convince European voters to embrace a more sweeping, unifying strategy to marshal the full potential of the 27-nation bloc. By the time of its release, the new agenda was threatened with obsolescence – or perhaps increased urgency – by the economic torment wrenching at European unity. The outcome of this crisis may do so more than any well-reasoned action program to shape the EU’s future in the coming decades. But the goals of the report, if it is not completely overlooked in the current tumult, could usefully shape European actions and attitudes in making big decisions under the pressure of unfolding events.


Letter from Dublin: Irish Resigned To Working Through Hardship

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Feeling Guilty About Their Personal Profligacy, Irish Exasperated by Impunity of Bankers – and Taunts From Greek Streets.

This month Vincent Brown, a famously testy Irish television personality, took his show out to Tallaght, a Dublin working-class suburb, to assess the mood of the Irish working class. As the district with the highest “No” votes in the first Lisbon Treaty referendum, Tallaght became the research lab for visiting media struggling to explain Ireland’s antipathy. Like the rest of the country, it recanted in favor of “Yes” at the second vote in October 2009. So are Tallaght folk happy about their decision? The answer is a “no” that mixes frustration with bafflement. The mood was voiced succinctly by a local who told Brown: “They said we’d get jobs, but where are they?” In Tallaght’s situation, six months after a referendum campaign that urged them to “Vote Yes to Recovery; Yes to Jobs; Yes to Lisbon,”  they see only falling incomes, crashing employment, with 170,000 home-owners “under water” on their mortgages, “ghost” housing estates emptied of their occupants, withering main streets, ongoing threats to welfare benefits and little hope.

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