EU Foreign Affairs

Three lessons from Erdoğan’s rally in Sarajevo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a rally in Sarajevo on 20 May ahead of the upcoming Turkish elections scheduled for 24 June. Vuk Vuksanovic draws three lessons from the rally: that Turkey is in the process of adopting a more assertive approach to foreign policy in the Balkans; that Erdoğan is intent on using foreign policy in the […]

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    Book Review: Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus by Gerard Toal

Book Review: Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus by Gerard Toal

In Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus, Gerard Toal offers a detailed geopolitical account of the Russian conflicts with Georgia and Ukraine in 2008 and 2014 respectively. While questioning some aspects of the book’s analysis, April Curtis welcomes this as a highly nuanced work that will enable readers to have a deeper awareness of how Russia views its role in […]

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Turkey vs Greece: Is war a real possibility?

Tensions have escalated between Greece and Turkey in recent months over territorial disputes in the Aegean, with a collision between a Turkish cargo ship and a Greek war ship on 4 May prompting a nervous response from some observers. Thimios Tzallas writes that although there are incentives for Greek and Turkish politicians to give the impression they are playing […]

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    Assessing the impact of new European defence initiatives on transatlantic relations

Assessing the impact of new European defence initiatives on transatlantic relations

The European Union is in the process of implementing a number of new defence initiatives, notably a new Permanent Structured Cooperation on security and defence (PESCO) and a European Defence Fund. Antonio Calcara examines how these new initiatives are likely to affect relations with the United States, with some figures in the US already expressing concern that the new […]

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Why Russia is economically weak and politically strong

In GDP terms, the Russian economy is much smaller than that of the EU, yet from a political and military perspective, Russia is a major player in global affairs. Paul De Grauwe argues that Europe grants Russia this power by leaving defence as a matter for each of its constituent nations, instead of having a combined army.

Moscow, Credit: greg westfall (CC BY 2.0)
A few […]

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    Russian concessions to Europe are unlikely, and European concessions to Russia are useless

Russian concessions to Europe are unlikely, and European concessions to Russia are useless

Is there any prospect of an end to the deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia? Irina Busygina explains that Vladimir Putin’s strategy for maintaining domestic support has focused on the construction of external threats and the promotion of an image of ‘Russian greatness’ on the international stage. But by putting foreign policy in the service of domestic […]

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    Syria: How global leaders have made intervention all about themselves

Syria: How global leaders have made intervention all about themselves

Both France and the UK participated in strikes against suspected chemical weapons facilities in Syria. John Gaffney writes that in both countries the action was met with majority disapproval among the public. However, while French President Emmanuel Macron managed to spin the story into a positive one about his own leadership, Theresa May’s position in the UK has exposed her to greater criticism.

Credit: Garry […]

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    How the evolving international environment affects EU member states’ positions toward Russia

How the evolving international environment affects EU member states’ positions toward Russia

EU states have reacted in varying ways to the nerve agent attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal, with some states expelling Russian diplomats, and others adopting a more cautious response. Drawing on a recent report, Marco Siddi assesses some of the reasons that underpin the differing approaches of EU states in their relations with Russia.

Credit: kremlin.ru
In the aftermath of […]

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    We must rethink Russia’s propaganda machine in order to reset the dynamic that drives it

We must rethink Russia’s propaganda machine in order to reset the dynamic that drives it

To understand how Russian propaganda works, we first have to discard the idea that the Kremlin is in charge of a coordinated media machine acting together with cyber-warriors to attack a single audience. Stephen Hutchings explains why Russian media discourses are much more complicated than often presented.

The theme of propaganda dominated much British media coverage of the Skripal […]

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    Short-termist and self-defeating: Assessing the EU’s response to the crisis in Libya

Short-termist and self-defeating: Assessing the EU’s response to the crisis in Libya

Political instability in Libya is viewed as one of the key contributing factors to Europe’s migration crisis, and the EU has taken an active role in addressing the problem. But how effective have the EU’s efforts been in Libya? Based on new research, Luca Raineri highlights some key failings in the EU’s approach, noting that there has been a […]

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    No easy options: How the UK could put pressure on Russia over the Skripal attack

No easy options: How the UK could put pressure on Russia over the Skripal attack

France, Germany, the UK and the United States have released a joint-statement indicating that they believe it is highly likely there was Russian involvement in the nerve agent attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal. But what further action could the UK take against Russia? Cristian Nitoiu identifies three options, all of which would carry potential negative consequences.

Theresa May, Credit: […]

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    Why Putin won’t attempt to ‘integrate’ Estonia and Latvia into the Russian Federation

Why Putin won’t attempt to ‘integrate’ Estonia and Latvia into the Russian Federation

Following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, there were fears that Estonia and Latvia could be dragged into a similar crisis due to the large numbers of ethnic Russians living in each state. But as Michele E. Commercio highlights, the unique history of Estonia and Latvia has produced a very different situation to that in Ukraine, with both […]

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Do male climate change sceptics have a problem with women?

Although clearly not all climate change sceptics are male, writes Bob Ward, it does appear that those who most intensely promote climate change denial are usually male, and routinely refer to female climate scientists in a dismissive way. He provides some evidence for his argument.

Credit: Edgar Crook (CC BY-NC 2.0)
On 20 February, the Global Warming Policy Foundation launched a […]

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    We can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change

We can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change

Given the difficulties associated with governments coming to an agreement on how to tackle climate change effectively, some observers have suggested the solution may come from market forces and corporate innovation. Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg argue that the world cannot rely on corporations to tackle climate change as the demands of radical decarbonisation still clash fundamentally with the imperatives of […]

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    Donald Trump’s rhetoric has only highlighted the already growing rift between the EU and the US

Donald Trump’s rhetoric has only highlighted the already growing rift between the EU and the US

On the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency, the future of the transatlantic relationship is as uncertain as ever. According to Lisa ten Brinke, the rift between the EU and the US began before Trump entered the Oval Office, and this is not likely to change any time soon. 

Just over one year ago, the world watched as Donald Trump […]

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How coherent is EU cybersecurity policy?

Recent security breaches at major companies and cyber-attacks such as the WannaCry ransomware attack have put cybersecurity firmly on the EU’s political agenda. But how coherent an actor is the EU in the field of cybersecurity? Drawing on a recent study, Andre Barrinha and Helena Farrand-Carrapico write that there remains a lack of cohesion in EU cybersecurity policy, with […]

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    We need to understand why states object to the presence of foreign-funded NGOs

We need to understand why states object to the presence of foreign-funded NGOs

More and more countries restrict how NGOs operate, often by limiting their funding. The response is frequently to argue that these restrictions flout international law or amount to crackdowns on the opposition. Annika E Poppe and Jonas Wolff argue that the objections to NGO activity need to be taken seriously. In Egypt, for example, they are rooted in concerns about sovereignty and foreign […]

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    Assessing the EU enlargement process and the dismal state of media freedom in the Balkan candidate states

Assessing the EU enlargement process and the dismal state of media freedom in the Balkan candidate states

How should the EU deal with the issue of media freedom in candidate states? Discussing former Yugoslav states, Beáta Huszka highlights that the EU enlargement conditions concerned with sensitive issues of national identity are often those perceived as the most challenging to meet. However, recent developments in countries like Serbia suggest this may no longer be the case. Serbia has shown greater […]

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    The WTO and plurilateralism: What lessons can we draw from the EU’s experience with ‘differentiated integration’?

The WTO and plurilateralism: What lessons can we draw from the EU’s experience with ‘differentiated integration’?

The World Trade Organization will hold a ministerial conference in Buenos Aires from 10-13 December. One of the key topics on the agenda will be the nature of WTO negotiations and whether the WTO should make greater use of so called ‘plurilateral agreements’ which involve some, but not all WTO members. Robert Basedow writes that the WTO could learn […]

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    What monsters like General Mladić can teach us about human conflict

What monsters like General Mladić can teach us about human conflict

Ratko Mladić, the former Bosnian Serb general, was found guilty of genocide and war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 22 November. George Kassimeris argues that as long as there is war and human conflict, there will always be people willing to commit atrocities in exchange for power and privilege. But if we […]

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