Tuesday

11th May 2021

Interview

2020: EU solidarity tested in face of Covid-19 pandemic

When decisive, coordinated action from EU institutions and member states was most needed to respond to the first coronavirus outbreaks, the bloc struggled to find a common and timely response. What lessons have been learned?

News in Brief

  1. Israeli rockets kill 20 people in Gaza retaliation
  2. No more EU expulsions likely over Russia bomb attacks
  3. EU ready to ignore Hungary veto on Hong Kong
  4. Borrell admits EU neglect of Western Balkans
  5. Macron accused of 'cowardice and deceit' in military letter
  6. EU citizens in UK applying for settled status face legal limbo
  7. Netherlands gives €2bn to offshore carbon storage project
  8. Germany will allow Johnson & Johnson vaccine for all ages

20 years of EUobserver

Our special anniversary magazine gives an overview of the major events of these past 20 years - and, for every event, we talked to one of the key players. It makes this magazine a document of recent EU history.

2016: Brexit - A shock to the system

In 2016, Britain became the first member state to leave the EU. The referendum sent shockwaves through Europe and changed UK politics. As the first casualties, EU and British citizens have been caught in limbo.

Interview

2013: Snowden was 'wake-up call' for GDPR

The contentious negotiations on the EU's data protection rules (GDPR), very much influenced by intense lobbying from the US, radically changed after whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that US intelligence services were collecting worldwide user-data.

Interview

2019: EU's Green Deal - a global 'gold standard'?

All EU action on the climate stands at the crossroads between domestic ambition and international cooperation - especially with the G20 countries, which are responsible for about 80 percent of all global emissions.

Interview

2018: Juncker: Far-right 'never had a chance' against the EU

The far-right rose in power over the span of 2017 and 2018. But for former EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, they never posed a real threat. "They are not right because their basic societal analysis is wrong," he said.

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Interview

2017: 'We're lucky Trump didn't know what he was doing'

Trump picked fights with everybody - except Russia and North Korea - in the past four years. But he lost, including his fight with reality, US journalist and historian Anne Applebaum said.

Interview

2012: EU's Nobel Peace Prize for 'fraternity between nations'

In 2012, the Norwegian Nobel Committee unanimously decided that developments in Europe after World War II represented the "fraternity between nations" and "peace congresses" cited by Alfred Nobel as criteria for the peace prize in his 1895 will.

Interview

2011: The 'Arab Spring' was a great dream

"I was a very regular girl, working in sales and marketing. No one in my family was politically active. There was no justice anywhere, but we all kept silent. For some reason, I started to feel angry about it."

Interview

2010: EU's new diplomacy in search of old élan?

EU diplomacy has changed from a man with a phone to "a very large ship", but growth in bulk came with loss of agility, French former diplomat, Pierre Vimont, said.

Interview

2007: Barroso: An insider's guide to the Lisbon Treaty

Jose Manuel Barroso was European Commission president before and after the Lisbon Treaty entered into force in December 2009. He discusses how it impacted his work and the broader implications for an expanding European Union.

Interview

2006: Bolkestein Directive - a 'Frankenstein' Europe needed?

It might have made sense economically, but the infamous Bolkestein Directive directly foreshadowed later tensions over migrant workers and highlighted social anxieties that became more dominant after the 2009 economic crisis.

Interview

2005: France and Netherlands vote against the Constitution

"Both referenda weren't about the constitution," Guy Verhofstadt says. "In France, it became a referendum on Jacques Chirac. In the Netherlands, it was about whether they paid too much - something some Dutch politicians have been repeating for 10 years."

Interview

2004: 'Big Bang' enlargement: A homecoming

As enthusiasm for further enlargement withers, Donald Tusk said it's in the EU's interests not to let China or Turkey replace Europe as the "attractive role model" for millions whose dreams of freedom are similar to his from decades ago.

Interview

2001: September 11 and the female Danish Imam

Sherin Khankan is a female Imam who runs the Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen. The idea for the mosque came a month before two planes slammed into the World Trade Center skyscrapers in New York on 11 September, 2001.