The EU’s inward-looking response to the coronavirus pandemic has dented the bloc’s credibility in the eyes of the Global South. To rebuild trust, the EU must renew its efforts in building more equal partnerships.
In 2021, the EU and members states put in place new policies and processes aimed at supporting democracy. This Annual Review summarizes how and where Europe is directing these funds, and what are the impacts.
Georgia’s cultural clashes have exacerbated the country's political polarization. These divisions challenge the country’s democratic processes and relations with Western partners.
In Europe, security and defense cooperation have long been the realm of member states and other security organizations like NATO. But recent efforts at the EU level have begun to create a European defense sector—which presents unique challenges and opportunities.
China’s presence has brought socioeconomic opportunities to Georgia, Greece, Hungary, and Romania. Yet it has exacerbated governance shortfalls, undermined elements of political and economic stability, and complicated the European Union’s ability to reach consensus on key issues.
Civil society groups are simultaneously responding to the pandemic’s direct impacts and looking to a post-pandemic future. Many economic, political, and geostrategic challenges are shaping their thinking and their strategies.
In a bid to gain political ground at home, Ankara has launched multiple military operations in Syria. These have laid the groundwork for a more aggressive, nationalist foreign policy with profound implications for relations with the United States, Russia, and the EU.
To fix their troubled relationship, the United States and Turkey should take gradual, concrete steps that build confidence and focus on common agendas.
Middle-power democracies should not tread water while waiting for the United States to address its own democratic crisis. They must help revamp global democracy support using their comparative strengths.
To get the transatlantic relationship back and on track and to ensure that it will remain relevant in the future, the United States and the European Union should prioritize putting forward concrete ideas and taking actionable steps on climate and energy, democracy and human rights, and digital technology issues.
Applying a feminist approach enables a comprehensive, inclusive, and human-centered EU policy toward Iran that reflects international power structures and focuses on all groups of people.
The EU needs a disinformation strategy that is adaptable and built to last.
EU officials must coordinate better to mount an effective collective response to disinformation campaigns and influence operations throughout Europe.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Europe and the West are grappling with a host of thorny dilemmas posed by disinformation and foreign influence operations.
For its AI ecosystem to thrive, Europe needs to find a way to protect its research base, encourage governments to be early adopters, foster its startup ecosystem, expand international links, and develop AI technologies as well as leverage their use efficiently.
The rift between Europe and the United States over Iran is deepening. To regain leverage, the Europeans should engage all eight Gulf states in talks about regional security and nonproliferation.
The EU Code of Practice on Disinformation was an important experiment that has now come to an end. But what should follow? Without a renewed focus on stakeholder engagement, efforts could stall, putting everyone at risk of disinformation attacks.
The EU’s assistance for civil society partners in Turkey, the Western Balkans, and Eastern Europe needs to evolve in response to the more challenging environments activists in these countries now face.
For the European Union to take the lead in global climate action, it will need to ensure a fair and inclusive transition with deeper democratic engagement.
The EU’s ambition is to become a more strategically autonomous security player. But this will require more attention to designing EU defense initiatives so they strengthen both European and transatlantic security.