On 6th March the 28 leaders of Europe issued an ultimatum to Russia, exhorting it to negotiate an immediate solution to the crisis in Ukraine otherwise it would have suffer increasingly severe sanctions. To increase pressure EU leaders agreed on a progressive, three-stage strategy. The first, which is an immediate one is the suspension of negotiations on the liberalisation of visas and a new EU/Russia cooperation agreement. If results do not ensue rapidly the EU will opt for additional measures targeting Russian leaders and businesses in the shape of visa restrictions, the freezing of assets or the cancellation of the next EU/Russia Summit planned to take place in June in Sochi. Finally "any further bid by Russia to destabilise" Ukraine would lead to "serious and extensive consequences" for EU/Russia relations. In this regard economic sanctions have been spoken of.
On the occasion of the EPP Group's Study Days on 6th and 7th March 2014 in Dublin, Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation has been invited to take part in a debate on the theme of "Restoring Confidence in Europe" alongside Paschal Donohoe, Irish Minister responsible for European Affairs, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, the Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
On the occasion of Women's Day on 8th March the Robert Schuman Foundation has published a text by Pascale Joannin entitled "Women's Europe: for parity in the newly elected institutions of the European Union in 2014". 2014 is a decisive year for Europe because all of the institutions will be elected anew (Parliament, Commission, High Representative for Foreign Affairs, President of the European Council). It is an opportunity for the European Union to implement the measures set out in the treaties which provide for equality between men and women: two women out of the four as the head of the institutions and 14 commissioners out of the 28.
In an editorial published on his site Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation believes that the repeated use of armed force in Europe recalls dangerous, historic precedents that require firm response and direct, determined negotiations between Europeans.
On 27th February Philippe de Suremain, former Ambassador for France in Ukraine 2002-2005 and member of the Robert Schuman Foundation's Scientific Committee gave an interview in Le Figaro in which he calls for the development of a new partnership with Kiev. In his opinion "Ukraine deserves more than just Europe's consideration."
Just tree months before the European Elections on 22nd-25th May 2014 the Robert Schuman Foundation has launched its internet site devoted to the European election. It provides all the information you need to understand the European Parliament (its history, its organisation, its powers and its work) as well as the voting system in the European elections. The site has an on-line interactive map offering all kinds of political, economic information, procedures and electoral rules together with the results of the 2009 elections across the Member States. In a few weeks time you will be able to follow the electoral campaign in each Union State thanks to detailed, regular analyses on the part of our 28 correspondents. A Twitter thread will complete this service. Don't delay, connect up! The website will be soon available in English.