Florian Bieber

1914: The true "Nullstunde" of Europe

In the self-understanding of the European Union, the history of European integration is linked with the end of World War 2 and post-war reconstruction. May 8, 1945 is considered as Europe’s “Nullstunde” or zero hour. However, the June 28, 1914 is better suited to mark the start of today's European project. But the 28th June is a difficult, more uncomfortable date: If ‘Europe’ started on 8 May 1945, so it can be understood as a story of economic success, political stability and progress. Although by invoking the concept of the EU as a ‘peace project’, one recognizes World War Two and the...

What the elections mean for Serbian democracy

When Aleksandar Vučić gave his victory speech on Sunday, after the resounding victory of his Progressive Party, his seriousness seemed in no proportion to his success. For the first time, since the second multi-party elections in 1992, can a single party govern the country alone. With 48.34% of the vote and 156 (of 250) seats in parliament, the party does not require a coalition partner, unless it wants a majority to the change the constitution.  There are dangers in this victory, both for the victor and for the Serbian democracy. First, Vučić and his party might have won a Pyrrhic...

Forgetting Enlargement

Not long ago, the DG for Enlargement moved to a new address, from 200 to 15, Rue de la Loi, Brussels. What seems like a question of logistics, not policy, matters. Never in the past twenty years has enlargement fallen to such a low priority for the European Union. The old address of the Directorate General for Enlargement was the Berlaymont, the centre of the Commission—symbolizing the centrality and importance of the enlargement process for the EU. Now, it is housed in a non-descript office building a few hundred meters away. This symbolic removal from the center of EU and the Commission’...

Pages