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.
With twenty months left until Turkey’s legislative and presidential elections, the political debate will be fierce. The West may choose to sit it out rather than see its relationship with Ankara deteriorate even further.
Belarus is illegally sending migrants to Lithuania and Poland in response to these governments’ outspoken criticism of Lukashenko’s crackdown on the opposition. This cynical strategy is prompting the EU to forge its own short-sighted migration policy.
For Georgia’s ruling party, regime survival seems to trump all other considerations. Georgian Dream’s fight with Western partners and persistent political polarization risk undoing the country’s democratic progress.
Western governments must be clear that any eventual engagement with the Taliban will have strict conditions, including respect for women’s rights. Speaking to the Taliban leadership should not be equated with legitimizing the new regime.
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 European Union must ensure the survival of Russian civil society that is now subject to unprecedented repression. It also needs a strategy to respond quickly in case a narrow window of opportunity for democratic change opens in Russia.
The Americans and Europeans have to reconcile their differences in dealing with authoritarian regimes. This is an immense challenge facing these democracies.
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.
It took the hijacking of a plane and the kidnapping of a journalist to shake Europe out of its complacency over Belarus. Beyond sanctions, the EU’s response should include supporting Belarusian society and reconsidering Nord Stream 2.
The renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas should be a catalyst for ending the unsustainable status quo in the region. Negotiating a ceasefire and rebuilding trust will require an immense diplomatic effort by the United States and regional actors.
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 Europeans have paid lip service to a two-state solution based on an independent Palestine alongside Israel. But without a clear plan to make it happen, such a solution will remain unattainable.
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.
Biden’s recognition of the killing and deportation of Armenians as genocide has caused outrage in Turkey. Dealing with a nation’s past is immensely complex. It can only be done by a country’s leaders and citizens.
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.
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.
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 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.