The EU’s unity on Ukraine could unravel as energy prices soar and Germany continues to buy Russian gas. Berlin’s strategic and leadership is urgently needed.*
After a decade of crises in Europe, historic decisions were taken at the EU and NATO summits to strengthen the continent. To overcome today’s challenges, Brussels must confront the causes of its paralysis in the 2010s.
Granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova has earned the EU praise. But by keeping Western Balkan countries in the waiting room, the union is aggravating the region’s frustrations with Brussels.
Political wrangling and polarization continue to erode democracy in Georgia. But Tbilisi’s bid for EU membership gives Brussels leverage to help get the country back on track.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has created a new sense of urgency for Europe to invest in defense. While NATO remains the main collective defense organization, the EU should build capabilities to complement its efforts.
Ukraine’s membership bid has placed enlargement high on the EU’s agenda. The bloc must rethink the accession process to make it more effective while maintaining democratic and rule-of-law standards.
The EU needs to plan now for a new policy toward its Eastern neighbors. It cannot wait for Russia to end its destruction of Ukraine or destabilize other countries in the region.
As Russia continues its war in Ukraine, the EU’s security and defense policies are undergoing major shifts. Brussels may finally be getting real(ist) about hard power.
Russia’s war in Ukraine is making neutral Finland and Sweden seriously consider joining NATO. Such membership would strengthen the alliance’s defenses and greatly increase security in the Baltic region.
Geopolitical realities have changed considerably since 2017, when Macron was first elected. In his second term as president, the Russo-Ukrainian war will inform French—and European—thinking.
Contrary to expectations, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has not weakened Marine Le Pen’s electoral position. Nevertheless, the political context in which France’s Russia policy will be formulated has changed.
After Viktor Orbán’s landslide victory, the illiberal Hungary experiment will continue. Brussels must respond decisively to the erosion of democracy and media freedom.
For decades, EU citizens enjoyed peace, low food prices, and unlimited access to travel and consumer goods. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—and the deepening climate crisis—old habits and assumptions must change.
With energy prices rising, EU solidarity with Ukraine may start to wane. Sharing the war’s economic burden will be crucial for keeping the public on board.
Ukrainians fleeing their homes in cities under Russian bombardment have been met with kindness and solidarity in Poland. To fully restore its image in the EU, Warsaw must show it respects the values Ukraine is fighting for.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point for the EU. When boosting its capabilities and resilience, Europe must not neglect engagement with the wider world.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, no country in the EU’s Eastern neighborhood can feel secure about its future. Strengthening the resilience of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova must become the union's immediate priority.
Ten years after Strategic Europe was launched, the EU, with Germany playing a pivotal role, may finally start acting strategically. It will mean shattering illusions about war, peace, and stability.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have profound consequences for the stability of the region and for the future of European security, not to mention the immense human suffering. We asked Carnegie Europe’s scholars to give their assessment about how the military attack will fundamentally change the post-Cold War era.
Emmanuel Macron’s bid to build a “Europe that protects” is not misguided; it outflanks both the siege mentality of a defensive continent and the artlessness of a defenseless one. But it will remain a mere ambition if Europe fails to protect itself.