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.
Belarus is illegally sending migrants to Lithuania and Poland in response to these governments’ outspoken criticism of Lukashenko’s crackdown on the opposition. This cynical strategy is prompting the EU to forge its own short-sighted migration policy.
Civil society groups are simultaneously responding to the pandemic’s direct impacts and looking to a post-pandemic future. Many economic, political, and geostrategic challenges are shaping their thinking and their strategies.
Numerous—sometimes competing—forms of democratic engagement have tried to answer the rallying cry for climate action. If harmonized, initiatives including depoliticized democracy, climate assemblies, and protest movements can bring Europe closer to green democracy.
Despite increased threats to civil liberties, judicial independence, and civil society over the past decade, efforts to defend and rethink Europe’s democratic practices have also surged. To maintain this momentum and ultimately reverse democratic erosion, a more ambitious agenda of political reform is required.
For Georgia’s ruling party, regime survival seems to trump all other considerations. Georgian Dream’s fight with Western partners and persistent political polarization risk undoing the country’s democratic progress.
To fix their troubled relationship, the United States and Turkey should take gradual, concrete steps that build confidence and focus on common agendas.
There will be no respite when European leaders return from a summer break punctuated by floods, cyber attacks, coronavirus, and challenges to the EU’s rule of law. All the more reason for them to explain to citizens what is at stake for Europe’s future.*
Chancellor Merkel’s last official visit to the White House holds a special political significance. President Biden has placed human rights and rule of law at the top of his agenda, just as these values are under attack from within and outside Europe.