Sunday Readings

Time To Reform The EU’s Foreign Policy Approach
From Syria to Ukraine to the crisis of migrants streaming into Europe, global crises are multiplying at a rapid pace and the European Union has demonstrated its inability to handle the complex foreign engagements. What is needed now is patience and a set of clear reforms to reinvigorate the EU’s external action, says Pierre Virmont of Carnegie Europe.

“To make its foreign policy work, the EU needs to focus on three key tasks: crafting a comprehensive political vision, improving capacities, and developing a more assertive mind-set. These efforts will require a considerable amount of commitment and patience, but they by no means represent an impossible challenge,” he writes.

Virmont suggests in the short-term, the EU should concentrate on creating conditions that allow the current system to run more smoothly, while considering longer-term goals, including a comprehensive political vision for EU foreign policy and how to foster a more assertive mind-set.

Global Population To Reach 9.7 Billion By 2050
The current world population of 7.3 billion is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to a new United Nations report, “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision“, released last week.

China and India remain the two largest countries in the world, each with more than 1 billion people, representing 19 and 18 percent of the world’s population, respectively. But by 2022, the population of India is expected to surpass that of China.

Currently, among the ten largest countries in the world, one is in Africa (Nigeria), five are in Asia (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan), two are in Latin America (Brazil and Mexico), one is in Northern America (USA), and one is in Europe (Russian Federation).

India is expected to exceed China in terms of population within seven years.

The report finds fertility rates are declining which could have policy implications globally. The “upward shift in the age distribution challenges the sustainability of social protection systems, in particular old–‐age pension and health care systems. For many countries today, and probably for most countries in the long run, the major concern about their demographic situation will be in relation to population ageing, not growth,” said John Wilmoth, Director of the UN’s Population Division.

The Importance Of US Leadership
Almost 25 years after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Richard Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations reflects on lessons of the “last classic war,” the importance of US leadership and the value of multilateralism, and the wisdom of limited goals.

 

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