Dempsey is a nonresident senior fellow at Carnegie Europe and editor in chief of Strategic Europe.
Judy Dempsey is a nonresident senior fellow at Carnegie Europe and editor in chief of the Strategic Europe blog. She is also the author of the book The Merkel Phenomenon (Das Phänomen Merkel, Körber-Stiftung Edition, 2013).
She worked for the International Herald Tribune from 2004 to 2011 as its Germany and East European Correspondent and from 2011 to September 2013 as columnist. Dempsey was the diplomatic correspondent for the Financial Times in Brussels from 2001 onward, covering NATO and European Union enlargement. Between 1990 and 2001, she served as Jerusalem bureau chief (1996–2001), Berlin correspondent (1992–1996), and Eastern European correspondent in London (1990–1992) for the Financial Times. During the 1980s, Dempsey reported on Central and Eastern Europe for the Financial Times, the Irish Times, and the Economist.
Dempsey graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, where she studied history and political science. She has contributed to several books on Eastern Europe, including Developments in Central and East European Politics (Palgrave Macmillan and Duke University Press, 2007) and The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe: A Handbook (Frederick Muller Ltd, 1985). Dempsey is also the recipient of the 2021 Ernest Udina Prize to the European Trajectory, awarded by the European Journalists Association in Catalonia.
The EU remains the Western Balkans’ primary trading partner and investor. But failing to step up engagement and deliver on enlargement promises will come at a high cost and benefit the likes of Russia and China.
Belarus is illegally sending migrants to Lithuania and Poland in response to these governments’ outspoken criticism of Lukashenko’s crackdown on the opposition. This cynical strategy is prompting the EU to forge its own short-sighted migration policy.
Berlin’s ability and willingness to lead Europe cannot be taken for granted. Any new coalition will first have to overcome major internal differences on climate, foreign policy, and defense before tackling the EU’s future direction.
Germany’s next chancellor will have to finally define Berlin’s security and defense interests. That means addressing the future of U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in the country and the desperate need to modernize Germany’s armed forces.
The chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has left European capitals skeptical about such missions and critical of American leadership. The debacle should lead to frank discussions about NATO’s role and the EU’s defense ambitions.
This German federal election is crucial for Europe’s future. Angela Merkel’s successor has the choice of leading Europe toward more integration and strategic relevance or abetting its gradual, inexorable decline.
Blaming NATO and the United States for the West’s failure in Afghanistan won’t help Europe establish a credible security and defense policy. Its continued absence leaves the EU’s citizens and neighborhoods vulnerable.
Western governments must be clear that any eventual engagement with the Taliban will have strict conditions, including respect for women’s rights. Speaking to the Taliban leadership should not be equated with legitimizing the new regime.
The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban lays bare Europe’s lack of strategic foresight and dangerous dependence on the United States. The EU must address its shortcomings or risk losing the ability to defend its values and interests.
There will be no respite when European leaders return from a summer break punctuated by floods, cyber attacks, coronavirus, and challenges to the EU’s rule of law. All the more reason for them to explain to citizens what is at stake for Europe’s future.*