Chancellor Merkel’s last official visit to the White House holds a special political significance. President Biden has placed human rights and rule of law at the top of his agenda, just as these values are under attack from within and outside Europe.
The coming months may well see more bitterness and friction in UK-EU relations. These tensions threaten to unravel the fragile 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which has largely kept violence at bay in Northern Ireland.
EU funding mobilized for the Western Balkans’ green transformation could ultimately flow right into the coffers of Russia and China. The European Commission cannot ignore the geopolitical implications of its Green Agenda for the region.
The European Union must ensure the survival of Russian civil society that is now subject to unprecedented repression. It also needs a strategy to respond quickly in case a narrow window of opportunity for democratic change opens in Russia.
A defining feature of Russia’s leadership is the refusal to deal with the country’s Stalinist past. Until the Kremlin stops whitewashing history, a politically stable relationship between Europe and Russia cannot exist.
With the election of a hardliner as Iranian president, eight years of European thinking that Tehran could be a partner will come to an end. It’s time for the EU to address not only the nuclear file but also regional security threats.
At the latest NATO summit, allies jointly identified China as a systemic challenge to alliance security. But diverging views on China’s challenge among the partners hinder a consensus on NATO action.
The Americans and Europeans have to reconcile their differences in dealing with authoritarian regimes. This is an immense challenge facing these democracies.
At the NATO summit, President Biden will have to deal with Donald Trump’s pernicious legacy. The biggest challenges include Russia and Turkey, both of which have undermined the alliance solidarity.
The completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline deals Russia several cards that weaken Germany, divide Europe, and blackmail Ukraine. If the EU is to engage globally, it must stop serving as Moscow’s playground.
EU sanctions will not change Belarusian leader Lukashenko’s determination to cling to power, but they send an important signal. To avoid isolating ordinary citizens, the EU must combine sanctions with enhanced support for Belarusian civil society.
The EU is preparing a new deforestation package with international dimensions. After failing to meet its target of halting deforestation by 2020, this time the union must be aggressively ambitious. That means changing business-as-usual strategic and geo-economic behavior.
It took the hijacking of a plane and the kidnapping of a journalist to shake Europe out of its complacency over Belarus. Beyond sanctions, the EU’s response should include supporting Belarusian society and reconsidering Nord Stream 2.
The EU’s hollow statements expressing “concern” over the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflagration will not deter either party. Unless the Europeans use what little leverage they have, they can forget about having a strategic role in the region.
The renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas should be a catalyst for ending the unsustainable status quo in the region. Negotiating a ceasefire and rebuilding trust will require an immense diplomatic effort by the United States and regional actors.
The EU prides itself on being a bold climate leader with the aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But the union is banking on incremental change. The world simply cannot afford such timid action, or indeed hypocrisy.
The Europeans have paid lip service to a two-state solution based on an independent Palestine alongside Israel. But without a clear plan to make it happen, such a solution will remain unattainable.
Globally, EU assistance has been slow to materialize. Supporting countries in dire need of coronavirus vaccines—through both the provision of vaccines and the sharing of patents—would project the union's soft power capacity.
Biden’s recognition of the killing and deportation of Armenians as genocide has caused outrage in Turkey. Dealing with a nation’s past is immensely complex. It can only be done by a country’s leaders and citizens.
Russia is bound to have prepared for different military scenarios in Ukraine. Spreading uncertainty is an essential part of Putin’s policy.