The completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline deals Russia several cards that weaken Germany, divide Europe, and blackmail Ukraine. If the EU is to engage globally, it must stop serving as Moscow’s playground.
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.
The EU is preparing a new deforestation package with international dimensions. After failing to meet its target of halting deforestation by 2020, this time the union must be aggressively ambitious. That means changing business-as-usual strategic and geo-economic behavior.
Brexit Britain is discovering that its influence and ability to tackle global challenges have diminished. As reality sinks in, it could change the way Britain thinks and acts—very possibly for the better.
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 EU’s hollow statements expressing “concern” over the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflagration will not deter either party. Unless the Europeans use what little leverage they have, they can forget about having a strategic role in the region.
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 EU prides itself on being a bold climate leader with the aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But the union is banking on incremental change. The world simply cannot afford such timid action, or indeed hypocrisy.
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.