EU leaders must either decide to act jointly as the European Union or leave Libya’s future in the hands of Russia and Turkey—with dangerous consequences for NATO and for Europe’s security.
Faced with no shortage of domestic challenges, Erdogan is expanding Turkey’s role in the Eastern Mediterranean—and antagonizing Europe in turn.
The EU must seize on the strategic opportunity presented by the coronavirus pandemic to take the initiative away from Russia and Turkey in Libya.
For Europe, the internal economic shock created by the coronavirus is set to be compounded by an external security shock triggered by the economic collapse of its neighborhood.
The EU is a global actor, particularly in the areas of trade, sanctions, and assistance, but its neighboring regions remain the main focus of its external policy.
Greece’s borders are sealed off, Europe is becoming a fortress, and most EU countries are turning their backs on refugees; so much for Europe’s values and adherence to international law.
Instead of Europe becoming a serious foreign policy actor, Turkey and the war in Syria are weakening the credibility of both NATO and the EU—while the suffering continues in Idlib.
The EU earned international recognition for its role in the Iran deal negotiations. Now, Europeans must raise their game with continuous high-level diplomacy—while preparing for further escalation in the Middle East.
By using state-of-the-art early-warning models, the recent outbreaks of deadly violence in Mali and Ukraine could probably have been predicted.
The efforts to end the war in Libya is a test of German leadership. It might even be the beginning of a new role for Germany, which can no longer afford to let others do the diplomacy and the fighting.