Expectations were high for the first in-person EU-ASEAN summit in years but the meeting agenda did not rise to the occassion. Despite having plenty of common ground, the bloc missed an opportunity to strengthen its commitment to ASEAN by leaving the big ticket items to the side.
Russia’s latest escalation of attacks against Ukraine appears to be driven by Putin’s desperation to end the war quickly. By contrast, these actions have further boosted Ukrainians’ morale in their fight for sovereignty.
After President Vladimir Putin announced a "partial" military mobilization of Russian reservists for his war in Ukraine, many people are fleeing the country. The EU seems unable to resolve internal divisions over open borders, mainly due to opposition from former Soviet countries.
The referendums are aimed at Ukraine and the Western countries, as well as the Russian public. President Vladimir Putin is trying to regain the military initiative as well as the political narrative.
While Yerevan seems to be in a weaker position and interested in negotiations, Baku is seeking to assert its advantage. The outbreak of a new conflict on Europe's borders would clearly be detrimental to EU security.
Ankara’s relationship with Moscow is becoming directly linked to his bid to win the Turkish elections in 2023. Meanwhile, a disruptive Turkey within NATO and President Erdogan’s continued balancing act with the Kremlin offer Putin a strategic advantage.
As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues without an end in sight, the question of diplomacy remains. Where is the political push to mediate and where will it come from?
Decarbonization is key to delivering the energy transition, but it requires a massive increase in the mining and extraction of minerals like lithium, graphite, and cobalt. The countries that control these resources may be able to shape geopolitical power dynamics to their own advantage.
Tolerating the torture and killings in Bucha, Borodyanka, and Kramatorsk is a danger to European democracy. Documenting these war crimes, along with changing Germany’s attitude toward appeasement, is one way the EU can actively support Ukraine.
Featuring Rosa Balfour and Corinna Hörst, the WIIS Brussels’s final podcast of 2021 highlights these experts’s experiences in the worlds of academia and European affairs. The episode also looks back on the challenges of European security, defense, and foreign affairs in 2021, and looks forward to the new year.