Georgia’s Orthodox Church was critical to the formation of the country’s identity and restoration of lost statehood in the 1990s. Today, Georgia must reconcile its conservative views with its ambitions for European integration.
Europe must be ready to support the creation of a regional mechanism for collective security in the Persian Gulf when the opportunity arises. Launching initial talks on concrete issues such as maritime security and nuclear safety would be a good first step toward conflict de-escalation and confidence-building.
The coronavirus pandemic has strained the EU’s efforts to promote democracy. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Western Balkans, where China and Russia have used vaccine diplomacy to strengthen their roles in the region.
To reap the benefits of being valuable partners in promoting democracy abroad, the Visegrad Four countries must address democratic backsliding at home, improve coordination among themselves, and make bigger financial commitments.
Russia’s steady development of military capabilities on the ground, in the air, and at sea has enhanced its overall military posture in the region. This experience, and lack of resistance from NATO, is likely to enhance Russia’s military posture and ambitions outside the Mediterranean.
Ethno-nationalist tendencies dating back to the Soviet period have alienated Georgia’s ethnic minority groups. Integrating them into the country’s political, economic, and cultural life is essential for successful nation-building in Georgia.
Russia’s activities in the Mediterranean have created new challenges for Europe’s energy interests and NATO’s defense architecture. Today’s transatlantic efforts should focus on NATO’s policy in the region, the Russia-Turkey relationship, and multilateral conflict resolution in Libya and Syria.
Divisive public discourse in Georgia about the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia has hurt broader peacebuilding prospects and obscured the issues faced by the communities in these territories.
The speed and pragmatism with which the EU brokered an agreement to end Georgia’s recent political crisis deserves praise. The union should take this opportunity to reflect on the role of mediation in its democracy-support strategies.
Georgians’ collective memory has been shaped by pride in their struggle for independence since 1989 and fear of existential threats. This narrative has overshadowed other domestic challenges and increased Georgia’s reliance on individual leaders.
Palestinian elections slated for 2021 offer the EU a chance to reassess its engagement. That means linking financial support to democratic values and supporting civil society.
In the French city of Orléans, citizens, experts, and politicians are working together to advance climate transition in an innovative form of public engagement that aims for a new type of “social contract” around climate action.
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.