EU Foreign Affairs

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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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    Eastern Partnership summit: Moldova’s difficult path toward European integration

Eastern Partnership summit: Moldova’s difficult path toward European integration

On 24 November, leaders from the EU’s member states and the six Eastern partner countries will gather in Brussels for the 2017 Eastern Partnership summit. Alexandru Damian writes on Moldova, noting that although the country has sought to develop close ties with the EU, the current political situation is threatening to derail its progress.

In the leadup to the 2017 […]

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    Weak but stable: The future of the EU’s Eastern Partnership ahead of the 2017 summit

Weak but stable: The future of the EU’s Eastern Partnership ahead of the 2017 summit

On 24 November, leaders from the EU’s member states and the six Eastern partner countries will gather in Brussels for the 2017 Eastern Partnership summit. Max Fras previews the summit and assesses what the future might hold for the Eastern Partnership given the delicate situation between the EU and some of its Eastern neighbours.

The upcoming Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit […]

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    A model for predicting future EU enlargements – and why most candidate states could be waiting some time

A model for predicting future EU enlargements – and why most candidate states could be waiting some time

The last state to join the European Union was Croatia in 2013, but when can current candidate states expect to secure their accession to the EU? Tina Freyburg and Tobias Böhmelt present results from a new study of the capacity of candidate states to meet accession criteria. They find that only one of the current candidate states (Macedonia) would […]

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Could Austria join the Visegrád Group?

The leader of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, has previously proposed that Austria could join the Visegrád Group of nations, which currently consists of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. With the FPÖ likely to become a junior member of the next Austrian government in coalition with the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), is this now […]

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What the EU could do to help ease the Rohingya crisis

Violence in Myanmar has resulted in more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims leaving the country and seeking refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. Ludovica Marchi argues that the EU should take advantage of its good relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to help ease the crisis. There is potential for the EU, as an advocate of human rights, to […]

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Understanding European Union science diplomacy

In recent decades, a great deal of attention has focused on the EU’s attempts to exert influence on the global stage, but one area which has received relatively little attention is the issue of so called ‘science diplomacy’. Alea López de San Román and Simon Schunz provide a detailed overview of what science diplomacy entails, and how the EU […]

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