EU Foreign Affairs

The Eurovision in Ukraine was an exercise in soft power

Eurovision 2017, held in Kyiv, may have lacked overt politicisation when it came to the performances showcased on stage, especially in comparison to previous years. But as Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz argues, the contest nevertheless delivered a carefully constructed ideological message about Ukraine’s European aspirations and its pride in its cultural heritage and traditions, while also signalling comradeship with the Slavic […]

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    Russia ups its game in the Balkans, but the West should avoid responding in kind

Russia ups its game in the Balkans, but the West should avoid responding in kind

Russia has recently been accused of stoking tensions in the Balkans by waging ‘information warfare’ in the region. Jarosław Wiśniewski writes that even if these allegations are true, the West should avoid responding in kind. Rather than engaging in the same tactics, the carrot of European integration should be used to exert greater influence.

Images of Vladimir Putin placed on an […]

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    West is best: How ‘stabilitocracy’ undermines democracy building in the Balkans

West is best: How ‘stabilitocracy’ undermines democracy building in the Balkans

Recent months have seen unrest in Macedonia, with a violent protest at the country’s parliament, while other countries in the Balkans such as Montenegro have also witnessed large anti-government protests. Srđa Pavlović argues that the West’s approach to the Balkans has suffered from what he terms ‘stabilitocracy’, with the EU and United States backing governments that promise stability, but have […]

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    Who are the protesters in Serbia, and what do they really want?

Who are the protesters in Serbia, and what do they really want?

Serbia’s recent presidential election, which was won by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, gave rise to a wave of protests in several urban centres across the country. But there is still a great deal of uncertainty over the identity and motivations of the protesters. As the demonstrations are about to resume after an Easter break, Maja Bjeloš traces the origins […]

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    Erdoğan accuses Germany of echoing the Nazis – but his own record on anti-Semitism is shameful

Erdoğan accuses Germany of echoing the Nazis – but his own record on anti-Semitism is shameful

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently generated controversy in Germany after he compared the actions of German officials with Nazis. The comments came following Germany’s decision to block political rallies linked to an upcoming referendum in Turkey on 16 April. Marc David Baer argues that the incident should be used to shine a light on the Turkish government’s own deployment of […]

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    Why China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative should be taken more seriously by the EU and how it can be an interregional success

Why China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative should be taken more seriously by the EU and how it can be an interregional success

The so called ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative is a plan by China to foster stronger cooperation and connectivity with other countries in Europe and Asia. Andreas Grimmel and Susanne My Giang shed light on the fact that the initiative has the potential to unlock a new kind of integration that focuses not only on bringing states within regions together, […]

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How western populism weakens democracy in Ukraine

What does the election of Donald Trump and the rise of ‘populist’ parties across Europe mean for Ukraine? Iryna Solonenko argues that populism in Europe, and in the West generally, plays into the hands of anti-democratic forces in the country, supporting Russia’s destabilising influence and threatening Ukraine’s democratic future.

During the Euromaidan protests in 2013/2014 and their aftermath, when the […]

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  • Permalink A sign at Tbilisi Airport celebrating the Association Agreement signed between the EU and Georgia, Credit: Max FrasGallery

    Four takeaways from Albania’s EU visa liberalisation journey for Georgia

Four takeaways from Albania’s EU visa liberalisation journey for Georgia

New rules allowing Georgian citizens to travel to the Schengen Area without a visa will come into full effect today. As Max Fras writes, EU visa liberalisation has been presented by the Georgian government as a major success story, but drawing on the experience of Albania, he presents four lessons that the country’s politicians should keep in mind now […]

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    Mehriban Aliyeva: The many faces of Azerbaijan’s First Lady and new Vice President

Mehriban Aliyeva: The many faces of Azerbaijan’s First Lady and new Vice President

On 21 February, Mehriban Aliyeva was appointed as the Vice President of Azerbaijan, a post that was created via a constitutional referendum in September 2016. But her appointment has generated controversy, not least because she was appointed by her husband, the current President, Ilham Aliyev. Arzu Geybullayeva writes that with the country’s economy badly hit by the recent fall […]

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The West needs to call Russia’s bluff in the Balkans

Some commentators have hinted at the imminence of another war in the Balkans, highlighting Russia’s supposed role in such an escalation. Dimitar Bechev argues that no such conflict is on the cards: Moscow is exploiting a vacuum left by the West’s retreating pull factor in the region, while autocrats in the Balkans are playing along. He writes that the EU should […]

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    If NAFTA fails, Canada should reach across the Atlantic to the UK

If NAFTA fails, Canada should reach across the Atlantic to the UK

The future of the North American Free Trade Agreement is looking increasingly uncertain under Donald Trump as president of the United States. In case NAFTA implodes, Armand de Mestral proposes the creation of the Atlantic Free Trade Area between Canada and the United Kingdom, in a framework involving Europe and the US.
NAFTA has been in force since 1994. It replaced […]

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    What does Trump’s war on the media mean for the future of political journalism?

What does Trump’s war on the media mean for the future of political journalism?

Donald Trump has been highly critical of the American media since taking office as President. George Kassimeris suggests that the media establishment were partly responsible for this reaction given their critical coverage of Trump’s campaign, but that the President’s continued attacks on the media are now a core part of his survival strategy.

The on-going toxic vendetta between President Trump […]

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    Mastering Trump’s mastermind: Sebastian Gorka and the struggle between Islam and the West

Mastering Trump’s mastermind: Sebastian Gorka and the struggle between Islam and the West

British-born Sebastian Gorka was appointed as Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States by Donald Trump in January and is viewed as one of the key figures behind the President’s national security strategy. Steve Fuller presents an analysis of Gorka’s world-view, writing that his conception of an ideological struggle between Islamic jihadism and the West may ultimately […]

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    Trump and the Balkan Princes: What Trump’s presidency means for South East Europe

Trump and the Balkan Princes: What Trump’s presidency means for South East Europe

Donald Trump’s presidency has already raised a number of major questions about the United States’ relationship with its key allies and neighbours. But what impact will his administration have on the Balkans? Florian Bieber outlines four reasons why Trump’s presidency will matter for the region, building on his previous article ‘Ten rules by a 21st-century Machiavelli for the Balkan Prince’.

Niccolò […]

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    Why Trump’s Wall is not racist, the Muslim ban is, and why the difference matters

Why Trump’s Wall is not racist, the Muslim ban is, and why the difference matters

In his short time in office, President Trump has signed an order to construct his long-promised border wall with Mexico, and another which would stop refugees from entering the US and placed a 90-day ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries. Eric Kaufmann writes that Trump’s Muslim ban classifies as ‘racist’ as it is based on an irrational fear of […]

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    The dam is burst: Trump has legitimised the politically incorrect

The dam is burst: Trump has legitimised the politically incorrect

Protests took place in a number of cities across the world following the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President. Laura Tedesco writes that Trump’s election undid many of the advances that had been achieved in promoting tolerance for minorities, and that responding to this new political climate will be far from straightforward – but that it is a […]

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    The Kremlin doesn’t promote autocracy – it simply trolls whomever it dislikes

The Kremlin doesn’t promote autocracy – it simply trolls whomever it dislikes

Russia is often accused of undermining democracy, particularly in former Soviet states. The recent reports of Russian-sponsored hacking in the US have led some to go further and claim it is actively promoting autocracy. But Nelli Babayan argues that Vladimir Putin’s chief aim is to demonstrate Russia’s strength – and probably to undermine US and EU democracies, rather than […]

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President Trump’s inaugural address: Expert reactions

On Friday 20 January, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. His inaugural address, hinting at a radical departure from previous US policies with potentially big repercussions on all other continents, sent shock waves throughout the globe. Expert contributors give their rapid reaction to the inaugural address. 

Remarkably pessimistic, remarkably despondent: Thomas Leeper – LSE Government
Trump’s speech […]

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    Andrei Tsygankov: “The US establishment, not the Kremlin, is undermining normalisation with Russia”

Andrei Tsygankov: “The US establishment, not the Kremlin, is undermining normalisation with Russia”

The release of an intelligence report on Russian interference in the US presidential election, alongside allegations of links between Donald Trump and the Kremlin, have strained US-Russia relations. Andrei P. Tsygankov argues that there remains a deep-rooted fear of Russia within the American establishment, but that Donald Trump’s election provides an opportunity for the two countries to normalise their […]

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Will Trump matter for the EU’s policy priorities?

The reaction in the EU to Donald Trump’s election was largely negative, as several political figures expressed concern at the consequences of a Trump presidency for Europe. Hrant Kostanyan and Mikkel Barslund provide a comprehensive overview of Trump’s potential impact on the EU’s policy priorities. They argue that the fundamental international challenges Europe faces will only be marginally affected […]

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