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.
Ankara’s goal in dealing with Europe is to limit the future agenda to trade, economic matters, and refugee arrangements. In a diminishing space for civil society, academic freedom, and human rights, EU leaders are divided over what strategy to pursue with Turkey.
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.
The leaders of the EU’s institutions and member governments need Germany to shape a strategic policy toward Russia. But Chancellor Angela Merkel is not prepared to take on this task.
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.
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.
The EU has approved a new global human rights sanctions regime. But will national interests continue to prevent the union from effectively protecting people in places like Belarus, China, and Russia?
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.
The Digital Services Act will require social media platforms to share data with researchers. But to understand influence operations, the EU must facilitate longer-term research collaboration between industry and academia.
Smaller EU countries are punching above their weight in defending values and supporting pro-democracy forces in the EU’s neighborhood. They are preparing for the day after in Minsk and Moscow.
The poisoning of Alexei Navalny and his detention in Moscow should spur the EU into finally adopting a tough and united strategy toward the Russia of President Vladimir Putin.
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.
Brexit may well contribute to the breaking up of the United Kingdom. Only a brave gambler would bet on both Scotland and Northern Ireland still belonging to the UK in 2040.
The storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump should be enough of a warning. EU leaders must speak up about the fragility of their own democracy and democratic institutions in Europe.