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Foreign ministers convene in Brussels for NATO's 75th anniversary commemoration

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Germany's Central Bank confronts Nazi past and pledges 'never again'

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Europe Between Two Wars: EU foreign policy in 2023

Europe Between Two Wars: EU foreign policy in 2023 Europe Between Two Wars: EU foreign policy in 2023
  Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission,...
Read More...

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  On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted in favor of the migration pact, marking a significant milestone in EU migration policy. The...
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  Belgium, along with five other countries, is taking steps to enhance the security of cables, pipelines, and energy installations in the...
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Europe and US must stand together, says Nato chief Stoltenberg

Europe and US must stand together, says Nato chief Stoltenberg Europe and US must stand together, says Nato chief Stoltenberg
  Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of Nato, emphasized the mutual reliance between Europe and the US, stating that they are "stronger...
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Foreign ministers convene in Brussels for NATO's 75th anniversary commemoration

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Germany to incorporate questions on Israel and Jews into citizenship test

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In a proactive measure to combat antisemitism, Germany announces plans to include questions related to the Jewish religion and the State of...
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Navigating the modern landscape: EU policies and Jewish Community development

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On February 28, a presentation of the book by Dr. Oleg Kozerod titled "Modern EU Policy on Development and protection of Jewish communities:...
Read More...

Germany's Central Bank confronts Nazi past and pledges 'never again'

Germany's Central Bank confronts Nazi past and pledges 'never again' Germany's Central Bank confronts Nazi past and pledges 'never again'
Germany's Bundesbank has taken a significant step in addressing the Nazi legacy of its predecessor, unveiling new research that delves into...
Read More...

Belgium secures eleventh victory in World Student Diplomacy Championship

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  On March 14, 2024, Belgium clinched victory in the World Student Diplomacy Championship, a prestigious competition simulating the workings...
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The director of the official Leave campaign, Cummings is hailed as an innovative disruptor who will bring his win-at-all-costs mentality to delivering

Portrayed by actor Benedict Cumberbatch as a tortured genius in a TV drama this year about the EU referendum, the 47-year-old is not your typical political aide.

Famously described by ex-prime minister David Cameron as a “career psychopath”, Cummings is a divisive figure within British conservative circles who has made a host of enemies with his acid-tongued approach to political debate.

He has been compared to Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, and is similarly a keen student of military theories and tactics.

Cummings’ elevation, like Bannon’s, is seen as a risky move, with some sceptical that his uncompromising and caustic style can succeed at the heart of British government.

– ‘Strategically single-minded’ –

“Dominic Cummings is the disruptor’s disruptor — he’s strategically single-minded and ideologically iconoclastic,” said Tim Bale, politics professor at Queen Mary University of London, who featured him in his 2011 tome “The Conservative Party: from Thatcher to Cameron”.

“Civil servants and party apparatchiks may well have their noses put out of joint by his adviser, but for Johnson that’s a price well worth paying if he can hang on to (power) and get us out of the EU.”

Opposition parties have decried Cummings’ appointment, noting that he was found in contempt of parliament in March for refusing to appear before a committee probing fake news during the referendum campaign.

In trademark style, he dismissively accused its members of having “greater interest in grandstanding than truth-seeking”.

On a personal blog where he posts everything from political musings to lengthy treatises, Cummings argued last month that Britain’s current Brexit-fuelled political dysfunction was “a once in 50- or 100-year crisis” to be exploited.

“Such crises also are the waves that can be ridden to change things normally unchangeable,” Cummings wrote.

– ‘Us against them’ –

Born in Durham, northern England, to a father who worked as an oil rig project manager and a mother who was a special needs teacher, Cummings attended a local private school before winning admission to elite Oxford University.

A Russophile with a passion for Dostoyevsky, Cummings reportedly headed to the country after graduation and helped set up an airline in the 1990s which however failed to get off the ground.

After returning to Britain, he first cut his teeth in politics by spearheading several campaigns, including against Britain adopting the euro.

In an early sign of his take-no-prisoners approach, Cummings was made Conservative Party director of strategy in 2002 but left the role after eight months, branding then party leader Iain Duncan Smith “incompetent”.

He became special adviser to education minister Michael Gove — later a leading Brexiteer — making a name for himself by developing an “us against them” bunker mentality within the department towards the rest of government.

He is said to disdain Britain’s apolitical civil service, viewing it as a block on innovation.

– ‘Wild and unpredictable ride’ –

After a period in the political wilderness, Cummings was picked to lead the Brexit referendum campaign.

The victory crowned his reputation as a political maverick who could deliver against the odds.

The data-driven campaign used social media nimbly and was seen as reaching voters typically ignored by Britain’s main parties — something that could soon come in useful for Johnson as the likelihood of snap elections grows.

An admirer of 19th-century Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck and US fighter pilot and military strategist John Boyd, Cummings appears already to be deploying the latter’s core philosophy of trying to confuse opponents by defying expectations.

Johnson undertook an unexpectedly brutal cabinet reshuffle last week, while on Brexit he has surprised observers by making no immediate plans to travel to European capitals, insisting that Brussels must compromise first.

Cummings’ fingerprints are seen as all over the tactics.

Notably, he is pictured in the background of photos of Johnson entering Downing Street last week, standing out from other suited civil servants in jeans and a T-shirt.

Damian McBride, a former adviser to Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, said of Cummings’ early manoeuvres: “It all suggests a wild and unpredictable ride ahead”.afp

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