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Latgale’s “No” to the European Union – The Reasons Behind the Divide 

Author:Providus

Residents along the border remember Soviet times with nostalgia as the time when they sold all their produce to Russia. Some of these people apparently still have some small hope that the old times will suddenly return, but the EU dashed this hope. Read

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Sobering up on both sides of the Atlantic 

Author:Providus

Everybody concerned has learned the lessons and is going through a kind of ‘hang-over’, if you like, after the excessive emotions and divisions we had earlier in the year. On both sides of the Atlantic, I feel a sobering up. Read

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Estonia: Wise tactics or dumb luck? 

Author:Providus

Perhaps that was the strategy of the state-sponsored campaign - to let EU-sceptics waste all their arguments before the pro-EU side seriously entered the battlefield? Read

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The EU is a Compromise of Compromises 

Author:Providus

I think that the Convention has already shown that an enlarged EU of 25 is very different from the Union of 15 because I don’t think that most of the newcomers will be very afraid of expressing their thoughts. I don’t think that they would “use the opportunity to shut up” when France or Germany is saying something that they believe is important and the others have to follow. Read

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We Will Unite the Continent in the End! 

Author:Providus

You are not acceding to a market, you are acceding to a political Union that is more political than 10 years ago and most likely will be more political in 10 years. If you want a political Union to function, you have to give it the institutional means to do so. If that means renouncing a couple of votes in the Council or the rotating presidency, I think that is a price worth paying. Read

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I’m Not Interested in Difficulties, I’m Interested in Results 

Author:Providus

It was always my recommendation that the BPCC’s director must be an expatriate - not just the director, but also the senior managers. This director should lead the bureau for at least the first 3 years in order to train the personnel. Read

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Many believe corruption saved Russia 

Author:Providus

Bureaucrats in Russia see the opportunities of the market economy: opportunities of regulation, influence and corruption. This corruption involves a very strange phenomenon - it is not a problem of state-capture, but of business-capture, where the state is capturing business. Read

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Demonstrating the Voluntary Sector’s Impact in the UK 

Author:Providus

Unlike the private and public sectors, the voluntary sector lacks any other means of measuring its performance, like share prices, profits and election results, hence the need for some kind of performance measurement system tailored to the sector. Read

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Poland’s Referendum – choosing between a sin and a miracle? 1

Author:Dace Akule

A leading EU-sceptical movement sent a letter allegedly written to a Byelorussian mother by her son living in the EU. In the letter posted at the end of 2005, the son complains about the high prices and asks for one kilo of real, natural ham. Read

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Transatlantic Relations: A crisis, but not a rift 

Author:Providus

I was very critical of Germany when it announced that it would not send its forces to Iraq under any circumstances. In diplomacy and politics it is very important to keep one’s options open. On the other hand, I did understand the Latvian reaction. I can understand some of the leading politicians, who – based on their personal biographies – felt that an autocratic leader should be disciplined. Read