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.
Despite the fallout over AUKUS, France does not intend to withdraw from the Indo-Pacific. The diplomatic crisis has given President Macron a chance to make his country’s voice heard on a major geostrategic issue.
COP26 provides a forum for deliberating about climate adaptation, but such global meetings must also account for the needs of developing nations. A narrow climate agenda will only perpetuate divisions between postindustrial and developing countries.
Berlin’s ability and willingness to lead Europe cannot be taken for granted. Any new coalition will first have to overcome major internal differences on climate, foreign policy, and defense before tackling the EU’s future direction.
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.
Illusions about the UK’s special relationship with the United States and a supposedly painless Brexit have been shed. The inability of Boris Johnson’s government to face up to that makes it impossible to define a new role for Britain in the world.
To fulfill its ambition of becoming an effective geopolitical power, the EU should place ecological security and diplomacy at the heart of its foreign and security policy. This approach should entail practical and innovative strategies that pursue systemic regeneration at home and abroad.
The coming months may well see more bitterness and friction in UK-EU relations. These tensions threaten to unravel the fragile 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which has largely kept violence at bay in Northern Ireland.
EU funding mobilized for the Western Balkans’ green transformation could ultimately flow right into the coffers of Russia and China. The European Commission cannot ignore the geopolitical implications of its Green Agenda for the region.