“One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.” – Otto von Bismarck (1888)The events that trigger change i(...)

‘Marine Le Pen and  Geert Wilders recently have agreed to form a continental anti-European alliance aimed at wrecking the EU from within.’ Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

As we cast our ballots in the European elections in 20 days’ time the chances are that most of us will not be asking ourselves the question “whither E(...)

Iraqi elections are seen as a “democratic watershed”, though they  may lead to deepening tensions. Above, municipal workers clean up at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad. Photograph: Thaier al-Sudani/ Reuters

When voters flocked to the polls throughout Afghanistan in unexpectedly large and enthusiastic numbers 10 days ago, they were doing far more th(...)

There was an unofficial referendum this week in a major European country, and a vote for secession by a region with its own distinct culture, l(...)

In truth realpolitik dictates there’s not a lot that the West can actually do about making Vladimir Putin “pay a price” for his Ukraine adventu(...)

German Social Democrat Martin Schulz: engaged in a “slightly democratic” gambit. Photograph: Reuters

For years the struggle between Europe’s institutions has been one of the real dynamics of EU politics, although often wrongly seen as periphera(...)

Viktor Orban: out on a political limb over attitude to Hungary’s war record and its interpretation. Photograph: Reuters

Viktor Orban’s brand of conservative nationalism, and what some EU partners fear are his questionable democratic values, have put Hungary’s prime mini(...)

 Bill Clinton introduces newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, at City Hall in New York on New Year’s Day. Photograph: Reuters

All politics is local. But the local can be decidedly national, even international. Boris Johnson’s London mayoralty acquired national significance be(...)

When police on Tuesday raided the home of Baris Guler, son of Turkey’s interior minister and the man responsible for the police, they found large quan(...)

Roddy Doyle signed the appeal, which will be carried in 27 newspapers worldwide

Five Nobel literature laureates are among 560 international writers who today have put their names to an appeal, “A stand for democracy in the digital(...)