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 Conference on the Future of Europe is built on a haphazard compromise between competing visions, institutional rivalries, and the role of citizens. As such, it is unlikely to provide solutions to the many challenges facing the EU.
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.
Poland and the EU are locked in a bitter battle over the rule of law. At stake is something so fundamental to both sides: the meaning and exercise of sovereignty.
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.
Russia is bound to have prepared for different military scenarios in Ukraine. Spreading uncertainty is an essential part of Putin’s policy.
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.
The EU should back a coordinated global industrial strategy, including vaccine production facilities across the world, otherwise China will plug the gap. That means challenging private-sector patent monopolies.
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.
EU governments are undermining the rule of law, independent judiciaries, and vibrant media. What a bonus for Russia’s and China’s efforts to weaken and divide Europe.
Europe’s messy handling of the second and third waves of the coronavirus pandemic and the stalling of vaccination programs highlight the EU’s deep contradictions. The union’s ability to bounce back—let alone bounce back better—is now in question.
The Biden administration is making the defense of human rights one of its foreign policy priorities. Other democracies, particularly in Europe, should actively support this shift.
Brexit is destabilizing Northern Ireland. London’s pursuit of a hard Brexit and the return of border politics could unravel the historic 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended the province’s conflict. It might need the United States to rescue the accord.
Germany is struggling to contain a pandemic that has laid bare intrinsic weaknesses of Europe’s largest economy and its once indomitable leader. The next German chancellor won’t have much time to repair the damage.
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.
Jan Litynski, a leading dissident under Poland’s communist regime and later a passionate defender of the rule of law, will be buried on March 10 in Warsaw. The values and principles he fought for are now under threat more than ever before.
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.
When it should be dealing with issues of global importance, Georgia’s government seems intent on shredding the country’s democratic credentials and waging an acrimonious political civil war on its domestic opponents.
Josep Borrell’s trip to Moscow confirmed the miserable state of European foreign policy, which lacks strategy and direction. Starting with Germany, member states need to think beyond their own national interests.
After the undignified scramble for protective equipment in the pandemic’s early stages, the EU’s collective approach to coronavirus vaccines was the right strategy—even if avoidable mistakes were made.