EU foreign affairs (including defence, development aid and trade) and the European neighbourhood

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    Moldova’s political crisis is calling the country’s commitment to European integration into question

Moldova’s political crisis is calling the country’s commitment to European integration into question

The EU has voiced criticism of Moldova following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to invalidate recent mayoral elections in Chisinau. Alexandru Damian explains that with parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year, there is concern in the West at the direction the current government is taking, and the possibility of the pro-Russian Party of Socialists winning power.

EU-Moldova […]

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    Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

The 2018 Western Balkans Summit was held in London on 9-10 July. As Denisa Kostovicova explains, there was hope that the summit might officially launch a regional fact-finding commission – RECOM – which would record the victims of human rights violations to help aid the reconciliation process in the region. However, even though the summit put legacy issues on […]

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    Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump

Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump

Many of the protests that took place against Donald Trump during his visit to the UK focused on his policies toward refugees. Amanda Russell Beattie, Gemma Bird and Patrycja Rozbicka argue that while the protesters were right to voice opposition to Trump’s policies, the treatment of refugees at Europe’s borders is just as worthy of criticism.

Donald Trump arrived in […]

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    Book Review: 1917: War, Peace, Revolution by David Stevenson

Book Review: 1917: War, Peace, Revolution by David Stevenson

In 1917: War, Peace and Revolution, David Stevenson offers a detailed and well-structured narrative of the complex, interlocking events of this fateful year, with an eye to their subsequent impact on the unfolding twentieth century. Stevenson’s masterful account should be essential reading for anyone with a particular interest in the First World War, recommends Benjamin Law. 
1917: War, Peace, Revolution. David Stevenson. Oxford University Press. 2017.
Find this book: 
Last year […]

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    The UAE’s presence in the Balkans: Commercial interest, geopolitical calculations, or a meeting point between ‘sultanism’ and authoritarianism?

The UAE’s presence in the Balkans: Commercial interest, geopolitical calculations, or a meeting point between ‘sultanism’ and authoritarianism?

In recent years, the United Arab Emirates has been increasingly active as an investment partner in the Western Balkans. Tena Prelec traces the involvement of the UAE in the region, and examines how western actors have responded to its presence. Given the limited geopolitical significance of the country’s involvement, there is little justification for concerns about the UAE ‘taking up […]

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    Book Review: Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity by Akbar Ahmed

Book Review: Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity by Akbar Ahmed

In Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity, Akbar Ahmed scrutinises the experiences of Muslims living in European nations that are facing challenge to their hegemonic position in a global age. This is no ordinary book project, writes Tahir Abbas, praising the unprecedented wealth of information contained in this gripping, engaging and immersive study.
Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity. Akbar Ahmed. Brookings […]

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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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    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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