Arlene Foster: “We are part of the UK as a nation-state. Whatever it decides it decides”.  Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

At last Northern Ireland is having a political debate on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave. The recent(...)

Further external interventions would provoke deeper regional upheavals and send more refugees and instability towards Europe.  ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

The Paris atrocities pose stark political choices in Europe and the Middle East, both of which are struggling with the fallout from Syria’s devastatin(...)

‘A 2012 Eurobarometer survey found 40 per cent of Irish people were able to hold a conversation in at least one foreign language, compared to an EU average of 54 per cent.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland fares badly in international comparisons of plurilingualism – an individual’s ability to speak at least two languages in addition to her mothe(...)

British prime minister David Cameron must  spell out the  major fields of EU reform he seeks. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

Ireland is learning how to live with the uncertainty and instability of a changing United Kingdom as that state decides whether to remain a member of (...)

The leaders of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia sign  the peace agreement on Bosnia in  December 1995 whilst world leaders look on. Photo: Getty.

Could Russia’s military intervention in Syria be the prelude to – or even enable – a regional peace deal similar to the 1995 Dayton Agreement, which b(...)

A  child sits in front of other migrants waiting for the lunch offered to them for the celebration of Eid-al-Adha in the village of Miratovac, south Serbia. Photograph: Hazir Reka/Reuters

“It is clear that the greatest tide of refugees and migrants is yet to come. Therefore we need to correct the policy of open doors and windows.” So sa(...)

‘Juncker’s initiative seeks to wrest power back to the Commission by invoking European values and citizenship norms. His argument that these values express the preferences of most Europeans echoes voices of leadership from other leaders such as Angela Merkel (above) and seems to resonate strongly with changing public opinion throughout the continent.’ Photograph:  Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Karl Kraus, the brilliant and iconoclastic Viennese journalist, used the front page of his paper Die Fackel in 1920 to print the names of those who ha(...)

Xi Jinping, China’s president,  makes the point that while China may look like a colossus to outsiders, its development is in fact highly uneven and on average its income remains a fraction of that in the more developed world. Photograph: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

The shudder on world stock markets this week following China’s devaluation of its currency has exposed a deeper fear: that its political leaders will (...)

 A dinghy overcrowded with Syrian migrants approaches a beach on the Greek island of Kos this week after crossing a part of the Aegean sea from Turkey to Greece. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

The appalling realities of mass migration from Syria’s civil war have been highlighted in images from Kos, where thousands of refugees are now arrivin(...)

Michael D Higgins: “We need to confront the hegemonic ethic of individualism and insatiable consumption at the roots of our behaviour and replace it with a new thinking”. The President was speaking at  the Consciouness Summit in Paris.  Photograph: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

Two news items about climate change illustrate how public opinion is becoming more aware of the dangers in a year of major choices about how to mitiga(...)