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.
The coronavirus pandemic has strained the EU’s efforts to promote democracy. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Western Balkans, where China and Russia have used vaccine diplomacy to strengthen their roles in the region.
The European Union must ensure the survival of Russian civil society that is now subject to unprecedented repression. It also needs a strategy to respond quickly in case a narrow window of opportunity for democratic change opens in Russia.
To reap the benefits of being valuable partners in promoting democracy abroad, the Visegrad Four countries must address democratic backsliding at home, improve coordination among themselves, and make bigger financial commitments.
The Americans and Europeans have to reconcile their differences in dealing with authoritarian regimes. This is an immense challenge facing these democracies.
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.
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 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.