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.
The German chancellor’s legacy with regard to Russia and Ukraine is mixed, if not contradictory. Still, her successor is unlikely to show the same level of interest, commitment, or clout in their relations with Kiev and Moscow.
Georgia’s Orthodox Church was critical to the formation of the country’s identity and restoration of lost statehood in the 1990s. Today, Georgia must reconcile its conservative views with its ambitions for European integration.
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.
A defining feature of Russia’s leadership is the refusal to deal with the country’s Stalinist past. Until the Kremlin stops whitewashing history, a politically stable relationship between Europe and Russia cannot exist.
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.
Ethno-nationalist tendencies dating back to the Soviet period have alienated Georgia’s ethnic minority groups. Integrating them into the country’s political, economic, and cultural life is essential for successful nation-building in Georgia.
The completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline deals Russia several cards that weaken Germany, divide Europe, and blackmail Ukraine. If the EU is to engage globally, it must stop serving as Moscow’s playground.
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.
Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on the post–Lisbon Treaty development of the European Union’s foreign policy, with a specific focus on relations between the EU and member states.
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