April 2001 - During the EU summit in Nice last December, America's allies seemingly resolved the longstanding issue regarding the relationship between the new European Rapid Reaction Force (ERRF) and NATO. In exchange for the reaction force's use of NATO assets for peacekeeping, NATO would be guaranteed the de facto first right of refusal before the deployment of the European force could be considered. In addition, the reaction force would not duplicate NATO planning, thus precluding the development of two competing and parallel defense structures.
November 2002 - There are moments in life when a development that one does not find particularly desirable may generate a great sense of relief and even elation. Once a struggle is over, the side effects of its outcome may be seen and appreciated as the harbinger of a new and hopefully auspicious beginning.
On the 6th of March 2009, a conference was held at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies (RUSI) in London, entitled: "Combating International Terrorism: Turkey's Added Value." The conference brought together British and Turkish officials and various experts to explore areas of cooperation in counter-terrorism between Turkey and the UK. The format of the conference was based on the UK Government's strategy for countering international terrorism, with the same sub-headings of: Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare. A version of this paper will be published in a forthcoming R.U.S.I.( Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies) report on Turkey and Counter-Terrorism.The presentation concentrated on strategies to ‘Prevent' international terrorism. The focus of the session was on tackling disadvantages and supporting reform; the socio-economic investment schemes under GAP (the Great Anatolia Project); and the impact of EU membership criteria, or EU ‘conditionality' on the democratic reform process in Turkey. The paper's focus concentrated on the impact of EU conditionality and recent political crises in Turkey on the political reform process as a measure to prevent terrorism.
Aug./Sept. 2001 - As the 21st century opens, Greece and Turkey may face the best opportunity in years to settle their outstanding differences. That was not so during most of the 1990s. Experts feared that the end of the Soviet threat, which had overshadowed bilateral differences, would expose their rivalry to more nationalistic tension.
337. Language Politics and Language Policies in the Contemporary Western Balkans: Infinitives, Turkisms and EUrolinguisticsJul 07, 2011
April 2007 - Although the Western Balkans today is generally construed as Albania and former Yugoslavia, from the point of view of Balkan linguistics, Greece is also in this region. Here I shall examine some recent policy and political developments through the prisms of linguistics and of language ideology, i.e., the ways people think about language. Because language is both act and artifact—it exists in documents and the minds of speakers but at the same time it is constituted by everyday practices—the intersections of linguistics and politics are complex. This is true in Western Europe no less than in the Western Balkans, as can be seen, for example, in official French persecution of regional languages from 1794 to 1951, the 1972 statement of Georges Pompidou, then President of France, that there was no place for regional languages in France, the exclusion of Breton schools from French public funding in 2002 (Mercator-Education: Breton, 2003), the recent contretemps over the use of Occitanian in examinations ("L'occitan interdit en Ile de France?" Communique: Federacion dels Ensenhaires de Lengua e Cutlura d'Oc, 31 October 2006), etc. It can even be argued that EU ideologies of inclusiveness are being reflected in certain types of linguistic research that peripheralize the Balkans. In order to provide the necessary context for the following discussion, I will give a brief outline of some basics of Balkan linguistics.
October 2003 - The European Union (EU) is widely recognized as the international actor with the most potential influence in promoting ethnic reconciliation, shoring up democracy and supporting the economic revitalization of the Balkans. The EU's influence is immediate—providing humanitarian aid, economic assistance, market access and political support. It is also long-term—shaping the tenor of domestic politics by offering the prospect of EU membership. The prospect of EU membership may be more diffuse, but it is ultimately more powerful. It provides substantial and consistent incentives for political moderation and reform on the part of elites in the Balkans and also in Turkey. The World Bank's 2001 report noted that its strategy for the region is "built upon the assumption that a credible commitment to integration with European and global structures, especially the European Union, is a critical ingredient of success, as it will serve as an external driver of reform and intra-regional integration."