Coronavirus or not, Europe uses Albania to show it’s business as usual

by Rashmee

Posted on March 25, 2020


The European Union (EU) is trying business as usual, pandemic or not, and it’s using a hot-button issue – accession talks for Albania and North Macedonia – to do so. On Tuesday (March 24), EU foreign and Europe ministers discussed (by videoconference)  a proposal to open talks with the two Balkan countries. It was an … Continue reading “Coronavirus or not, Europe uses Albania to show it’s business as usual”

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Friday, the 13th: It’s taken a virus to show up European disunion

by Rashmee

Posted on March 13, 2020


Italy asked Germany to send face masks and testing kits. It was China that answered the call. (Beijing sent medical experts and promised the cheap and speedy provision of 2 million face masks, 20,000 protective suits and 1,000 respirators.) Members of the European Union (EU) have been violating their own rules. For instance, the cherished … Continue reading “Friday, the 13th: It’s taken a virus to show up European disunion”

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Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading

by Rashmee

Posted on November 26, 2019 / The National


Tomorrow, European officials will vote to confirm the new European Commission. If all goes well, the executive arm of the European bloc will begin its five-year term by the end of the week, just a few days before Nato’s 70th anniversary summit in London. The sequence of events throws into relief three key policy challenges … Continue reading “Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading”

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Europe does battle again with the demons of migration

by Rashmee

Posted on October 6, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Direct investment in countries that produce the most migrants is a strategically smart idea. A new migration plan soon goes before EU ministers. It’s already been agreed to in principle by Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Malta, all of which said they would automatically accept an equitable share of migrants rescued at sea. German Interior … Continue reading “Europe does battle again with the demons of migration”

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Europe just got less predictable

by Rashmee

Posted on May 31, 2019 / First Post


The Centre-right and centre-left took a beating in the EU elections. What else is in store? Europe has voted for its shared 751-seat parliament and contrary to the hype, there was no European revolution. The far-right did not take charge. Euroscepticism did not triumph. In fact, voter turnout surged to a 20-year high and the 28-country … Continue reading “Europe just got less predictable”

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A legitimating moment for European bigotry?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 19, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Opinion polls indicate a surge in support for the far right ahead of the elections, which could make it the second largest force in the European Parliament with up to 35% of all seats. The legitimating moment for European bigotry occurred when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was received by US President Donald Trump at … Continue reading “A legitimating moment for European bigotry?”

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At the rate European disunion is going, Britain won’t need to exit

by Rashmee

Posted on February 8, 2019


  Remember, before the Brexit referendum there was Viktor Orban. In 2014, two years before Britain voted narrowly to leave the European Union, the Hungarian leader was pledging to turn his country into an “illiberal” democracy. In effect, Mr Orban was exiting the EU in spirit, by fiat and without a referendum. Now, there is … Continue reading “At the rate European disunion is going, Britain won’t need to exit”

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Common sense for the greater common good is the only deal Britain needs

by Rashmee

Posted on November 15, 2018


Everyone’s talking about the impossible feat of Brexit with benefits. On November 14, Britain and the European Union (EU) published a draft divorce agreement, all of 585 pages. But that neither brings Brexit closer nor, in fact, the EU. Hours after Prime Minister Theresa May announced her cabinet had backed the Brexit plan, four ministers resigned, … Continue reading “Common sense for the greater common good is the only deal Britain needs”

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When did the West lose Turkey?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 7, 2018


Today is a good day to talk about Turkey, whose president meets his Iranian and Russian counterparts in Iran (September 7, Friday). For starters, let’s consider the state of US-Turkey relations. The US currently has a trade spat with China and Turkey but only one of them conducted talks. Guess which one? (Hint: It wasn’t Turkey). Indeed, … Continue reading “When did the West lose Turkey?”

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God save Britain if Boris Johnson symbolises principled Brexit-ism

by Rashmee

Posted on July 10, 2018


  The tragedy of our times is that Boris Johnson is seen as a principled leader of Brexiteers. Boris Johnson! A principled Brexiteer! Mr Johnson, it must be recalled, could’ve gone either way on the June 2016 EU referendum – he had written two signed newspaper columns, at a strategic point of the campaign. The … Continue reading “God save Britain if Boris Johnson symbolises principled Brexit-ism”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK