The EU and ASEAN need each other to counterbalance the geopolitical rivalry playing out between China and the United States. A strong partnership requires better communication by Brussels.
The EU’s failure to forge an effective migration and asylum policy undermines European integration and benefits the far right. Protecting EU external borders cannot come at the expense of migrants’ rights and lives.
Many countries critical to the global effort to tackle climate change have poor human rights records. Democracies must find ways to ensure progress on both fronts.
Berlin’s pursuit of economic and political ties with Beijing and Moscow has created dangerous dependencies. A change in strategy would benefit both Germany and the EU.
Amid soaring energy prices, Russia’s continued war in Ukraine, and tensions over Taiwan, the EU will have no respite. The bloc mustn’t let internal crises distract from strategically dealing with external challenges.
Beijing has gone to great lengths to punish Lithuania for opening a Taiwanese representative office. In the long run, China’s tactics may end up making the EU stronger and more resilient.
A rift in Kazakhstan’s elite has violently played out in the streets of the country. Foreign troop support may have kept President Tokayev in power, but it has also linked his political future to Vladimir Putin.
The global arms control regime is disintegrating. To reverse this trend, Europe and the United States will have to find a way to engage both Russia and China.
Unconvinced by the EU’s stance toward an increasingly assertive China, Australia has sidelined Europe in its approach to the Indo-Pacific. This places Canberra’s trade and diplomatic relations with Europe at risk.
Blaming NATO and the United States for the West’s failure in Afghanistan won’t help Europe establish a credible security and defense policy. Its continued absence leaves the EU’s citizens and neighborhoods vulnerable.
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.
The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban lays bare Europe’s lack of strategic foresight and dangerous dependence on the United States. The EU must address its shortcomings or risk losing the ability to defend its values and interests.
At the latest NATO summit, allies jointly identified China as a systemic challenge to alliance security. But diverging views on China’s challenge among the partners hinder a consensus on NATO action.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The EU’s new investment deal with China robs the bloc of leverage, contradicts its policy of working closely with the United States on Beijing, and makes a mockery of Europe’s commitment to values.
International politics saw a surge in new words and a return of old expressions. Going through some of them gives us a flavor of the year of 2020, which few of us will look back to with nostalgia.*