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.
While the principal concern about democracy during the coronavirus pandemic has been that European governments will be tempted to hold on to their new executive powers, pressure to restore democracy may now be propelling a predatory and polarized politics.
The EU is a global actor, particularly in the areas of trade, sanctions, and assistance, but its neighboring regions remain the main focus of its external policy.
While France and Germany will factor prominently in the post-Brexit EU, other European countries are forming informal, ad hoc blocs to lobby for their respective interests.
As the United States confronts China more directly, Merkel is exploring deeper cooperation with Xi. Economic upheaval from the coronavirus could reinforce the temptation in Berlin to keep Beijing close.
Civil society organizations throughout Europe are not taking authoritarian encroachment sitting down. Instead, they are finding creative ways to fight back.
The EU’s traditional business model is not fit for a world of power politics. Whether the EU can protect its interests and values in this new situation will depend on stronger and more decisive leadership.
No matter who wins in November, turning back the clock to 2016 will not be possible. European trust in U.S. leadership has been irreparably damaged.
China and the EU face enormous challenges in 2020: human rights, Huawei, and beyond. The EU is taking a tougher stand—what does this mean for the EU-China relationship?
Today’s Turkey is more nationalist and more inclined to assert its political and military power than in recent years. To deal with Ankara, NATO and the EU must be firm, resolute, and yet cooperative.
For the EU to assert itself as a genuine geopolitical player, it must develop a more flexible and nuanced view of responding to world challenges. What is needed is a reenergized mind-set from a union that is not in denial but determined to act.
Fifteen years after the 2004 enlargement, the EU still behaves as two halves rather than a whole. The real source of tensions is unfamiliarity with the nature of East-West differences rather than the differences themselves.
Trump and Brexit are challenging Europe’s defense cooperation. The incoming European Commission will need to devote time and effort to make up for any shortfall.
The European Commission has become more involved in EU defense policy. To see changes implemented, however, it must prove it can help the EU develop into a more capable defense actor.
Getting national legislators more involved in EU affairs could help the European Parliament boost its legitimacy in the eyes of voters.
Brexit opens up many geopolitical questions. Not in the least, the UK, the EU, and the United States will have to decide how to work together or independently.
In Europe, initiatives to increase citizen participation have made substantial progress, but there are severe difficulties to overcome if these participative forums are to address the core issues of democratic decline and contribute more significantly to its restoration.
Four years ago, the AfD had seemed to fade from the political picture. Its recent rise has stopped for now, but Germany is not immune to far-right politics.
Despite growing divergences between Turkey and its Western allies, neither side can afford for political, economic, and security relations to deteriorate beyond a certain point.
Despite President Emmanuel Macron’s conciliatory measures, it is unclear whether his grand gesture will lead to permanent democratic reforms. His familiar positions and the wider political environment suggest many roadblocks ahead.