Donald Tusk, the newly elected President of the European Council, is hardly a surprising nomination. His candidacy had been considered in the bidding process for several months, although he kept distancing himself from the recurring rumours about his plan to move to a new job in Brussels. But who is he? A moderate, compromise-seeking leader with strong political talents, or a waving flag, conforming to where the wind blows from?
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“Against the vast majority of my countrymen… in the name of humanity and civilisation, I protest against our share in the destruction of Germany. A month ago Europe was a peaceful comity of nations: if an Englishman killed a German, he was hanged. Now, if an Englishman kills a German, or if a German kills an Englishman, he is a patriot who has deserved well of his country.” Bertrand Russell
“We see men living with their skulls blown open; we see soldiers run with their two feet cut off …Still the little piece of convulsed earth in which we lie is held. We have yielded no more than a few hundred yards of it as a prize to the enemy. But on every yard there lies a dead man.” Erich Maria Remarque
The word [Economic] ‘crisis’ or ‘The Crisis’ has been a fixture of global and European headlines since 2008. The World Financial Crisis (although this continues to change) became the European Sovereign Debt Crisis and still forms the fundamental base for many policies being adopted at European level, as well as a mantra for many Eurosceptics, who recently increased their presence in the EU’s policy machine. 100 years ago to this day, 28. July 1914, crisis was also the mot de jour. The July Crisis was the final tipping point before the Ausbruch of the First World War – the first shots of which were fired “today” between Austrian and Serbian forces – the first of the many great traumas Europe, and the wider world, were set to endure in the 20. Century.