Europe’s Flawed Reliance on Soft Power – Carnegie Europe

While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destr...

While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At a time of increasing austerity and defense spending cut-backs in Europe, this is a must-read article from the influential global think-tank, Carnegie Europe.

via Europe’s Flawed Reliance on Soft Power – Carnegie Europe.

With Russia bullying on gas and the growing threat of radical Islam, the article makes a great deal of sense to me. This article should be read along with the Carnegie sister article that argues in favor of a more robust European foreign policy.

Europe seems to be a plug and play component of NATO, and with changing US foreign priorities, I fear that it is time for Europe to think again about an effective defensive deterrent.

Any thoughts?


European Commission – Press release – Energy: EU invests €647 million in key energy infrastructure

This important press announcement from the European Commission (EC) is worth a read. Check it out!

via European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – Energy: EU invests €647 million in key energy infrastructure.

I have mixed views on this announcement.

I am encouraged that the European Commission is announcing infrastructure investment. This will help to kick-start theEuropean economy and perhaps help to stop it from falling into dangerous deflation. Secondly, investment in energy infrastructure is important because Europe is weak and vulnerable on energy.

However, I am concerned that Europe does not have an effective energy strategy. Without an effective strategy, I question how the EC chose the projects for investment? I worry about the power of political lobbying and corruption.

Also I do not understand why Cyprus was excluded from the list receiving investment funds? Cyprus desperately needs investment and has large offshore gas fields, which could be a strategic alternative to gas from Russia? Also it would make strategic sense to combine infrastructure for both Cyprus and Israel with adjacent gas fields.

As has been highlighted many times on this blog, Europe urgently needs a robust energy strategy – for me, there’s too much focus on green issues and compliance  – armed with an effective strategy, policies will need to be crafted to expedite delivery, along with appropriate controls to  guarantee value-for-money.