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.*
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.
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.
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.
Brexit Britain is discovering that its influence and ability to tackle global challenges have diminished. As reality sinks in, it could change the way Britain thinks and acts—very possibly for the better.
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.
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.
As she nears the end of her last term as Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel should revert to toughening the EU’s stance on human rights. Making them subservient to trade and economic ties discredits the EU.
Three factors explain why most European countries have found it difficult to deal with the pandemic: an unsuitable level of integration, an inability to make rapid decisions, and a breakdown of trust between governments and the governed.
On March 26, the German Constitutional Court ordered the country’s president not to sign off on legislation to ratify the EU’s €750 billion post-coronavirus recovery fund. At stake is Europe’s ability to recover after the pandemic is over.
The loud boasts of defiance by the British government toward the EU have given way to the quieter language of negotiation. The outcome will determine just how much post-Brexit sovereignty London will have.
The Western Balkans’ brain drain and EU accession are mutually exclusive. If accession is a serious goal, the EU must take responsibility as the key beneficiary of that brain drain and share the burden of finding a solution.
It should, but it won’t. The EU’s post-pandemic recovery fund will help the union’s economies get off the ground. But as for integrating Europe’s foreign, security, and digitization policies, the political will and strategic ambition are absent.
Europe will have to juggle environmental concerns, access to resources, and the Arctic’s growing geostrategic role. This will require cooperation with all the major players, including China, if the region is to remain stable and peaceful.
When Joe Biden takes office as U.S. president, the EU will have four years to fireproof and rebuild relations with America. The EU must make an energetic investment in saving its most important relationship.
The EU’s new investment deal with China robs the bloc of leverage, contradicts its policy of working closely with the United States on Beijing, and makes a mockery of Europe’s commitment to values.