Ukraine and Europe: Much Depends on the Dutch

The future of Europe is being decided this week in the Netherlands. Perhaps you thought that the European Union’s fate would be voted up or down in June, when the United Kingdom holds its referendum on continued membership. The “leave now” constituency in the UK currently holds a four-point lead, though much depends on whether younger British voters who are more EU-friendly will actually...
read more

Thinking Outside the European Box

Europe has a deal on the table to address the current refugee crisis. This week, European leaders are gathering to discuss the particulars. Although the rough outline has already come under some withering criticism for being incompatible with international law, it may represent the best effort to achieve some consensus among an EU membership that has wildly divergent views. The proposed deal...
read more

Poland’s Tea Party Movement

On a rainy day in April 1990, I journeyed to the outskirts of Warsaw to one of those functional Communist-era apartment building complexes to meet with Antoni Macierewicz. The opposition leader’s apartment contrasted sharply with its grim institutional surroundings. It was an aristocratic enclave full of books, antiques, and prints on the wall. Macierewicz himself exuded an Old World kind of...
read more

Eastern Europe: Return to Normality?

IT HAS BEEN THE FATE of Central and Eastern Europe — that wedge of territory between what was once the Soviet Union to the east and the European Community to the west — to wrestle with its own “abnormality.” For nearly five decades, the region experienced varying degrees of Soviet-style Communism, from the relatively liberal version enjoyed in Hungary to the more Stalinist model endured...
read more

The New Middle Passage

Peter, a Sierra Leone migrant living in Hungary, is one of the lucky ones. He has a job. He has a supportive community of friends. After seven years in the country, the Hungarian government approved his application for asylum. He started a very successful NGO devoted to helping other migrants make a new life in Hungary. I interviewed Peter in Budapest two years ago. It was not exactly the best of...
read more

Greece, Iran, and the Rules of the Game

Alexis Tsipras had a choice. As the leader of the fledgling Syriza government in Greece, he could have told the European Union to stuff its austerity plan. He could have taken the risk that the EU would offer a better deal to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Or, failing that, he could have navigated his country into the uncharted waters of economic independence. But he chose to “follow the...
read more