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.
Despite the fallout over AUKUS, France does not intend to withdraw from the Indo-Pacific. The diplomatic crisis has given President Macron a chance to make his country’s voice heard on a major geostrategic issue.
Unconvinced by the EU’s stance toward an increasingly assertive China, Australia has sidelined Europe in its approach to the Indo-Pacific. This places Canberra’s trade and diplomatic relations with Europe at risk.
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 military alliance forged between the United States, Australia, and the UK at the expense of France will lead to new alignments and could profoundly impact the transatlantic relationship. The United States and its European allies should know what’s at stake.
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.
For Georgia’s ruling party, regime survival seems to trump all other considerations. Georgian Dream’s fight with Western partners and persistent political polarization risk undoing the country’s democratic progress.
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 German chancellor’s legacy with regard to Russia and Ukraine is mixed, if not contradictory. Still, her successor is unlikely to show the same level of interest, commitment, or clout in their relations with Kiev and Moscow.
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.
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.