Democratic reform in Myanmar has suffered a grave setback. The EU’s response to the military coup must be strong enough to reverse the political crisis and restore and renew democracy in Myanmar.
Branding Europe as a unique civilization undermines the EU’s attractiveness to the rest of the world. Europe is better served by reckoning with its colonial history and underlining the universality of human rights.
Despite its ambitions, modern Georgia continues to wait for Europe’s full embrace. To turn romantic notions into more concrete realities, the next generation of Georgians must carve out a special place for themselves on the margins of Europe.
EU-UK cooperation on foreign policy will be hampered by the emotional and political fallout from a difficult divorce and boosted by a renewed transatlantic relationship. In the longer term, external challenges and the internal policy trends will determine the scope for working together.
Venezuela is mired in a prolonged, multifaceted crisis. The EU should embrace a framework focused on conflict resolution to foster a more coordinated international response.
While strategic autonomy seems firmly set to guide EU foreign policy, it carries significant risks—especially for democratic values. If it takes autonomy too far, the EU may find itself less able to advance, and achieve, its foreign policy goals.
The EU is changing its internal rules for allocating funds to avoid bankrolling authoritarianism. It should do the same for its external aid.
The EU can engage and show solidarity with protesters against the Lukashenko regime in Belarus by providing its civil society with coaching, technology transfers, and financial resources.
The November 2020 ceasefire agreement halted the war over Nagorny Karabakh, but a sustainable peace agreement remains far from reach. By providing economic support and fostering dialogue and reconciliation, international actors can play a role in this long-term project.
Some European governments have curtailed core democratic freedoms, at times going beyond necessary pandemic precautions. But civil society is holding these restrictions in check.
Turkey’s eroding democracy and assertive foreign policy loom large on the international stage. In 2021, the EU and the United States must protect their interests by containing Turkey’s disruptive behavior while maintaining economic and security ties.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict interrupted Armenia’s reform movement and restricted civil liberties. To prevent the fragile transition from unraveling further, the EU should step up its engagement and democracy support along three priorities.
In spite of its authoritarian practices, Ethiopia has attracted billions in international aid. The November 2020 conflict in the northern Tigray region should prompt a recalibration of the development model, which promotes economic gains without political inclusion.
The EU’s new human rights sanctions regime is a major step forward. Yet the union needs to better establish how the regime connects to the rest of the its foreign policy.
In spite of the return of power politics, the hope for a rules-based international order is not dead. Relaunching multilateralism together with like-minded partners around the world should therefore remain at the center of Europe’s foreign policy.
Climate assemblies can help unlock more effective action against climate change, but improvements are needed in how they are run.
The EU is poised to release new policies to bolster democracy in a digital age. How well these policies fare will depend on how well Europe tackles domestic challenges to democracy.
The coronavirus has accelerated a negative trend toward a more polarized and fragmented world. While movement restrictions have momentarily diminished effective diplomacy, the pandemic could help shape a more agile diplomatic craft.
The European Parliament should be an important source of democratic oversight and accountability as the EU continues to pursue greater security and defense integration.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, European security and defense cooperation reached a new level of ambition. With dark clouds building on many fronts, the EU must safeguard strategic autonomy and ensure democratic quality in defense integration.