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.
Incoming U.S. president Joe Biden offers a chance to renew transatlantic ties and forge a common EU-U.S. policy toward China. But for that to happen, the Europeans must agree on how to deal with Beijing.
Europe’s leaders cannot expect a free ride from the incoming Biden presidency. It’s time to prepare the ground on security, defense, and strategy if the changing transatlantic relationship is to remain relevant.
The rivalry between China and the United States over climate change gives the EU a unique opportunity to become a strategic, global player on this issue.
Angela Merkel, in her last stint as German chancellor, can still make a major difference for her country’s—and Europe’s—policy toward Belarus and Russia.
Neither values nor geopolitics played any role when EU leaders agreed to spend their way out of the coronavirus crisis at a marathon summit. Once again, Europe as a strategic player has been postponed.*
Europe is immersed in the world around it. But in order to strengthen the EU’s global role, the European Council will need to understand the deep connection between domestic struggles and international ambitions.
Citizens’ assemblies have sprouted up in several European countries. It remains to be seen whether they can efficiently boost governments’ responses to climate change.
From arms control to trade, the post-1945 order is crumbling fast. To protect its democratic way of life, Europe must create new global alliances built to deal with a post-pandemic world.
How to deal with the economic costs of the coronavirus is dividing the eurozone countries once again.