The coronavirus pandemic is prompting contrasting trends in European democracy. While the crisis is aggravating many stresses that afflict democracy in Europe, it is also propelling democratic efforts in a number of areas.
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’s new geopolitical narrative is based on some questionable assumptions about EU foreign policy. To avoid uncertainty over Europe’s international identity, its leaders must define a modern and innovative form of geopolitics.
Faced with no shortage of domestic challenges, Erdogan is expanding Turkey’s role in the Eastern Mediterranean—and antagonizing Europe in turn.
Germany is emerging from the first phase of the pandemic with some scars, but broadly in good shape. When Berlin takes over the EU presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to show the way toward a reinvigorated and more dynamic EU.
For a European Union with geopolitical ambitions, revamping its Iran policy into a regional Gulf strategy would be a good place to start.
While the coronavirus crisis has helped UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s approval rating, it hasn’t helped his party, and British voters are now losing faith in the government’s handling of it.
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.
By trying to manage the financial fallout of the coronavirus without also providing democratic reform, the EU will unleash another cycle of the legitimacy problems it has suffered since the eurozone crisis.
The new leader of the Labour Party has already established full control of his party. He now has the power to set its course for the next years—but he must deal with two urgent challenges first.
For Europe, the internal economic shock created by the coronavirus is set to be compounded by an external security shock triggered by the economic collapse of its neighborhood.
As the United States puts pressure on Europe to cut down on its trade ties with Iran, Tehran has already set its sights eastward. To remain a player, the Europeans have to step up their game.
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.
The coronavirus pandemic is putting the liberal script under immense pressure—but it could prosper again if democracies radically reorder their priorities during and after this crisis.
The EU has gone through many crises over the past decades. But the coronavirus pandemic could well be the ultimate acid test of its resilience as a community based on solidarity and common values.
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.
The leader of Europe’s largest economy has pleaded with German citizens to take the coronavirus seriously. Her recent address provides a path for democracies everywhere.
The coronavirus outbreak raises questions about how to cope with crises both within Europe and well outside its borders.