brianbeary-august2011On June 26, the political leaders of the EU’s 28 member states will gather near the fields of Flanders in Ypres, Belgium, for a working summit. The meeting will take place on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event that plunged Europe into the chaos and destruction of World War 1. The leaders will visit In Flanders Fields Museum, which presents the story of the “Great War,” and the Menin Gate Memorial, which commemorates the millions of soldiers who lost their lives in the war.

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The First World War has produced a bounty of books, fiction and nonfiction, as well as poetry still recited in the English-speaking world. The bounty shows no signs of slowing as the anniversary approaches. Here's a sampling.

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larrybarrettAmerica now seems increasingly uneasy with its role of global savior of first resort. And Europeans wonder what a more isolationist U.S. means for them.

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armensahakyanphotoAlthough all eyes have been on Ukraine, many of the issues raised there are present in another former soviet republic—Georgia. Both Georgia and Ukraine border Russia and seek stronger ties with the West. In 2008 and 2014, Georgia and Ukraine respectively began experiencing increasing political and economic pressures from Russia in an attempt to prevent the states from leaving its sphere of influence. The pretext for intervention in both cases was the protection of Russian citizens and Russian speakers. Interestingly, both crises happened in the backdrop of the successful Olympic Games.

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antoineripollEditor’s Note:  Later this week,  from Thursday May 22 and through Sunday May 25, in accordance with national election laws,  Europeans in 28 EU member states will go to the polls to elect  751  members of the European Parliament for a new five year term.  This is the first parliamentary election since the enactment of the new and more powerful role for the Parliament in the Lisbon Treaty which is the governing document for the EU.

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