Certainly, the theme of this week is the rise of far right in France. The results of a new French poll about potential 2012 presidential candidates offers quantitative support to the emerging consensus that under Marine Le Pen, the French far right is a force to be reckoned with. The new poll has shocked French and European political circles and Western media analysts by showing a far right candidate coming in first place (23 percent of voting intentions). But, according to Jean-Yves Camus, a specialist on France’s far right, the poll’s biggest flaw is the absence of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn – or DSK, as the French call him — as the likely Socialist candidate.
Estonia’s centre-right coalition government won out Sunday in the Baltic state’s general election after winning a clear majority in parliament with a total of 56 seats, according to results from the national electoral commission.
Predictably, Ramzan Kadyrov was elected for the second consecutive mandat, the president of Chechnya, an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. Itar-Tass agency reports that Chechen MPs voted unanimously for Kadyrov’s candidacy. The president said that Chechen Republic is part of the Russian Federation and the Chechen people is its defender.
Faithful to a discrete policy like the ostrich with head in the sand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania on March 8 will have a new round of US bilateral negotiations on anti-missile shield. According to an announcement posted on the website of the institution, the Romanian delegation will be headed by Bogdan Aurescu Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs in the Foreign Ministry, and will have an inter-institutional structure. The U.S. delegation will be headed by Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for arms control.
The two delegations will continue, given the positive results of previous rounds, the negotiation of the legal framework which will regulate bilateral cooperation in missile defense. The program will include a meeting between the heads of two delegations to discuss security issues of common interest.
The Political Quarterly 2011 Annual Lecture – David Miliband – Why is the European Left Losing Elections?
8 March 2011, 6.30pm, Old Theatre, London School of Economics and Political Science; “For the first time since the First World War, governments in Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Italy come from the centre-right. Is this just an accidental quirk of fate or is it more serious?” An interesting debate in full accord with the theme of the week.
Also, Serbia and Kosovo on March 8 have first round of direct negotiations, mediated by the EU.
A leading expert on contemporary Egypt, the historian and writer Tewfik Aclimandos, as well as Egypt’s ambassador to France Nasser Kamel will be among those taking part in an exchange of views on the situation in Egypt at a meeting of the Sub-Committee on the Middle East of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Paris on 8 March 2011 – 3 p.m. Council of Europe office in Paris (55 Avenue Kléber, Paris 16ème, métro: Boissière).
A current affairs debate on co-operation between the Council of Europe and emerging democracies in the Arab World will be a highlight of a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Paris on 11 March 2011. Other topics to be debated include an opinion on the Draft Council of Europe Convention to Prevent and Combat Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, preserving the environment in the Mediterranean, the need for a global consideration of the human rights implications of biometrics, and “Genetically modified organisms: a solution for the future?”
The parliamentarians will also discuss social measures, education and rehabilition for young offenders as well as the situation of the inhabitants of Rhodes and Kos with a Turkish cultural background. There will also be a report on a code of conduct for rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly.