For too long, the EU has neglected Viktor Orbán’s attack on its fundamental values. Brussels must use its financial leverage to halt Hungary’s democratic decline.
Most Western assistance to Ukraine, including weapons and training, has come from individual NATO member states. But without the alliance, this support would be less coordinated and not as substantial.
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.
EU member states have no shared vision of how to deal with Russia as it continues its attack on Ukraine. Rushing to end the war at all costs could have devastating consequences for Kyiv and Europe.
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.
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.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted preexisting global divisions. It has also fueled grievances over the West’s double standards when it comes to the treatment of refugees.
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.
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West has imposed sanctions of an unprecedented scale. While these raise the cost of war for Moscow, on their own they are unlikely to change Putin’s calculations.
Belarus is instrumental in Russia’s ongoing military attack on Ukraine. Developments since the 2020 rigged election in Belarus and the forthcoming changes to its constitution reflect Lukashenko’s growing dependence on Putin.*
President Macron’s diplomatic overtures to end the Ukraine-Russia crisis won him cautious praise but also drew criticism. While some EU member states are skeptical of Paris, the alternatives to French leadership are few.
Germany’s refusal to provide military assistance to Ukraine has baffled many of its European and NATO allies. If Berlin does not adopt a bolder, unambiguous stance toward Russia, it will undermine the West’s deterrence efforts.
Faced with Russia’s military threat against Ukraine and demands for NATO to stop further expansion, the West wants a dialogue with Moscow. Diplomatic efforts that are not underpinned by hard power may not be enough to avert a war.
The EU’s Eastern Partnership has brought tangible benefits to its member countries but does not reflect today’s geopolitical realities. The approaching summit is a chance to tailor the initiative to partners’ diverging needs.
Most European leaders are disillusioned with Russia. But continuing divisions inside the EU over how to deal with the Kremlin prevent a coherent Russia strategy and play into the hands of Putin.
Europe is facing soaring gas prices. To avoid further crises, the EU should speed up its transition to renewables, reduce dependence on Russia, and formulate a coherent energy policy.
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.
Berlin’s ability and willingness to lead Europe cannot be taken for granted. Any new coalition will first have to overcome major internal differences on climate, foreign policy, and defense before tackling the EU’s future direction.
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.