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  • Targeted Killing of European Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Syria and Iraq

    Library blog - October 25, 2017

    In recent years, a significant number of European nationals have travelled to Syria or Iraq to train and fight with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS). This flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) has posed serious security concerns for Europe, in particular with regards to the threat posed by FTFs returning to Europe to carry out terrorist attacks. In this context, it appears that a number of States have resorted to targeted strikes against their citizens in Syria and Iraq.

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  • Breakthrough in the Debate about the Nature of the EU

    Library blog - October 5, 2017

    In January 2013, PM David Cameron delivered a speech on Europe in which he announced his decision to give the people a say on British membership of the EU. His address, which triggered a series of blogs on this website about the nature of the EU, contained a remarkable dichotomy. In the ensuing debate, the EU proved to be unable to defend itself against the accusations of its opponents that it forms a ‘Fourth Reich’, a modern Leviathan or even the reincarnation of the medieval Golem of Prague.

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  • China’s Ascendency as Vanguard of Traditional Knowledge in International Law Fora

    Library blog - August 24, 2017

    The People’s Republic of China has made great strides towards a commercial rule of law in regard to intellectual property law. International law has helped raise the bar for the protection and enforcement standards of intellectual property law in China. Now, that China has realized the potential of intellectual property law for innovation, culture and commerce it has become a vocal advocate in international law fora to reform intellectual property law in line with their ideas about Traditional Knowledge.

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  • Acquiring the Site of the Peace Palace, the Hustle and Bustle

    Library blog - August 3, 2017

    On July 30, we marked the 110 anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone ceremony in the Peace Palace. Since the first foundation stone of the Peace Palace was laid 110 years ago, the Peace Palace has become an icon of peace and justice for the city of The Hague. However, acquiring the building location for the Peace Palace at the border of Scheveningen, on the estate Zorgvliet, was not that simple. Here is the fascinating story.

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  • Are Syria and Iraq the Middle Eastern Bloodlands?

    Library blog - July 20, 2017

    Deir az-Zor is a sleepy town on the banks of the Euphrates in the Syrian desert, and did not ring much of a bell for most non-Syrians. Except for Armenians. During the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the Ottoman government deported hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians to Deir az-Zor, where they were left to die or were killed outright. A German diplomat who was stationed in that area wrote that the Armenians were “slaughtered like sheep”. To the casual observer this looked allegorical or even hyperbolical, in any case unreal, removed far away in geography, time, and culture. Until recent times, when ISIS videos surfaced online. And again the desert soil of Deir az-Zor shone red with blood, and once more the word ‘Deir az-Zor’ served as a symbol of bloodshed.

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  • The Blind Spot of the White Paper

    Library blog - June 1, 2017

    It is conventional wisdom in Brussels and the wider European Union that a good crisis should never be wasted. Since the start of this century, however, the European Union has been besieged by such a variety of crises that it seems to be haunted by its own version of the ten biblical plagues. The constitutional crisis, which had been caused by the rejection of the so-called Constitution for Europe in 2005 by the French and Dutch electorates, was solved through the Lisbon Treaty of 2007. Hardly had the new treaty entered into force or the financial or sovereign debt crisis erupted. It pushed the euro and the EU to the brink of collapse, but the migration crisis was already pressing before the euro crisis had been brought under control. This combination of crises resulted in a Crisis of Confidence between the EU and its citizens.

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  • Essay on the Future of the European Union

    Library blog - June 1, 2017

    The lesson of Brexit The erosion of trust in the EU has been galvanised by the Bloomsberg Speech on Europe of 23 January 2013, in which Prime-Minister David Cameron announced his intention to organise a referendum about British membership of the EU. In his speech Mr Cameron created a peculiar dichotomy, which the EU has […]

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  • Fethiye Çetin and her grandmother

    Legacies of the Armenian Genocide: Family Stories of Survivors

    Library blog - April 24, 2017

    Today, 24 April, marks the 102nd commemoration of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1916. Often, debates on the Armenian Genocide center around demographic data of lost Armenian lives in the genocide and overlook the fact how each killing affected a family irreversibly. Mass atrocities and deportations weighed on families, disrupting relationships between relatives, husbands and wives, as well as parents and children. Survivors of the genocide lost contact with their family members and were scattered into various regions, from the Middle East, Russia and Europe to the American and Australian continents. This blog focuses on separated survivors of the Armenian Genocide and how sometimes their descendant families are reunited.

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  • Turkey: Constitutional Referendum during a State of Emergency

    Library blog - March 30, 2017

    Turkey’s upcoming constitutional referendum on 16 April 2017 is deeply polarizing Turkish society and concurrently threatening its foreign relations with Western allies. According to the latest polls, the battle for the constitutional reform package is a neck and neck race, with the opposition having a slight lead for now. So far neither side has taken a convincing lead but if president Erdoğan gains the necessary support for the referendum, eighteen amendments will alter the Turkish constitution in a way that will grant the president sweeping powers and mark the biggest changes since the inception of the 93-year old Turkish Republic. Prior to the referendum, Turkey’s already brittle democracy had been dealt a huge blow by the declaration of the State of Emergency after the failed coup in July 2016, which initiated a purge of nearly unprecedented scale.

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  • A Present for the EU at 60

    Library blog - March 9, 2017

    On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the EU seems to be besieged by problems, challenges and disasters. Recently, leading proponents of the EU expressed the belief that their Union is tormented by a modern version of the biblical plagues of Egypt. However, the EU will be well-advised to use the occasion for taking a long, hard look at itself. Notably, the way in which the EU presents itself on the Europaserver is indicative for its lack of self-confidence.

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