The inconclusive first round of Poland’s presidential election showed a Polish leader and government undoing the gains of joining the European Union. The EU can take some of the blame.
The U.S. decision to withdraw 9,500 troops from Germany exacerbates tensions in the transatlantic relationship. Could it also focus the EU’s attention on the need for a serious defense policy?
Before the coronavirus pandemic, European security and defense cooperation reached a new level of ambition. With dark clouds building on many fronts, the EU must safeguard strategic autonomy and ensure democratic quality in defense integration.
As European countries emerge from lockdown, Europe needs to prepare for the geostrategic shifts that will take place in the post-coronavirus world.
The silver lining to the uncertainty and chaos of the coronavirus pandemic is that EU member states are more aware than ever of the need for cooperation.
With the pandemic messing up the Brexit negotiations and weakening the British prime minister, prospects for a wide-ranging UK-EU deal by the end of 2020 are vanishing fast.
Germany is emerging from the first phase of the pandemic with some scars, but broadly in good shape. When Berlin takes over the EU presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to show the way toward a reinvigorated and more dynamic EU.
Europe is well placed to push for reforms of global cooperation and governance after the coronavirus pandemic. But to do that, Europe itself must change first.
By trying to manage the financial fallout of the coronavirus without also providing democratic reform, the EU will unleash another cycle of the legitimacy problems it has suffered since the eurozone crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic will harm European defense strategically, politically, and financially. To mitigate these consequences, Europeans must start shaping joint and immediate answers.