Errant European

Note: Other than the fact that (1) George Bush is no longer US President and (2) Jean-Claude Juncker is available, if asked… other than those two facts, my post in Avuncular American of 14 March 2008 still stands: “Europe’s First President: Charisma vs. Competence?” Oh yes, and this: the idea that David Miliband is bandied… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Brussels was the venue of a very important human rights conference this past week, but it took place in an academic setting, out of the spotlight but hopefully not entirely unnoticed. ULB’s conference on 20 October, “Terrorism Lists, Executive Powers, and Human Rights,” organised by the European Centre for Constitutional & Human Rights” (ECCHR), aimed… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Europe is in Eurasia… It wouldn’t be autumn in Brussels without its slew of conferences to welcome the city’s “policy wonks” back from a long summer of frivolity. This week’s all-day conclave devoted to “The New European Parliament: What Priorities for Foreign Affairs, Security, and Defence?” covered a lot of ground, especially when the subtitle… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

24 hours after Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Middle East peace is “impossible” and, especially helpfully in case that message appeared overly pessimistic, that many countries “have learned to live with” a permanent state of war, the Nobel Committee has awarded the 2009 Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama. The President’s personal… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Note: This article appears in the current issue of “Together Magazine,” a Brussels bi-monthly distributed among the European institutions. For a change, it’s not really political, since the general theme of the issue was luxury. Enjoy your weekend! ————- Luxury – especially if its antonym is “discomfort” – cannot surely be all bad. Carried to… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Spanish writer/director Gerardo Olivares’ film 14 Kilómetros tells us how far the Moroccan coastline is separated from Spain. Tantalizingly close, visible from your window whether you’re in Tangier on the African side or Tarifa on the European coast. But if you are one of the thousands of desperate African migrants who has spent your last… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Throughout August and September, Europe’s cities, regions, and nations have been marking various “heritage,” “open house,” or “patrimoine” days. This weekend it is Brussels’ turn, but we also intend to take in some sites in northern France. Value for money doesn’t get much better: most of the sites are free, and some only open for… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

The 8th annual Transatlantic Trends survey of European and American attitudes is out. I must first qualify “European,” which includes non-EU Turkey (which is not even in Europe, according to many), but does not include a number of EU countries. No Scandinavians, no Baltics? Likewise, “American” is just that: the US’s North American partners in… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus