Before we all get caught up in World Cup and ignore everything else for a month, a few items that will be calling for our attention when we get back.
* All of the problems that the EU Constitutional Treaty was supposed to solve are still there, and they still need to be solved. A rotating presidency that a given country holds once every twelve to twenty years is no way to run a railroad.
* Germany and Finland will likely have joint initiatives for EU approaches to Russia, which they will pursue through the year that the two countries hold the Union’s presidency. Expect more of these. In fact, the EU may well develop something like the OSCE’s various troikas, in which the previous, current and incoming officeholders work together to build continuity into rotating positions.
* Ukraine still wants to be a member. As does Turkey. And a passel of smaller countries.
* Belarus is in a “pre-1989 situation,” according to a former Slovak foreign minister who has been active in democracy promotion throughout the region. For his pains, he has been banned from travel to Belarus. Orange methods are not going to topple Lukashenka; it’s time to study up on the Solidarnosc playbook.
* What Lisbon Agenda?
Any other suggestions from the floor?