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

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    Despite Ukraine and legal disputes, the EU is unlikely to break from its reliance on Russian gas imports

Despite Ukraine and legal disputes, the EU is unlikely to break from its reliance on Russian gas imports

EU-Russia gas relations face a number of challenges, most notably the fallout from the Ukraine crisis, the impact of plans for new Russian pipelines, and recent legal disputes between Gazprom and the European Commission. Marco Siddi writes that despite protracted disagreement on these three issues, the two sides’ interdependence makes it likely that gas trade will continue without major […]

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    The refugee crisis underlines the absurdity of Western Balkans states being outside of the EU

The refugee crisis underlines the absurdity of Western Balkans states being outside of the EU

Representatives of governments from the Western Balkans held their second annual Western Balkans summit in Vienna on 27 August. Florian Bieber provides an overview of the summit, noting that the talks were dominated by the ongoing refugee crisis and could not address creeping authoritarianism in the region.

The Viennese Hofburg makes for a grand setting for any summit. When […]

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Finding an interim solution in Crimea should be a priority before any long-term decision is made about the region’s future

The Crimean parliament has voted in favour of the region seceding from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation. If Russia agrees to this request, it is expected that a referendum will be held in Crimea on 16 March. Tatyana Malyarenko and Stefan Wolff assess opinion polling data in Crimea and write on the potential options for the region’s future. They […]

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The events of recent days mean that Russia now holds all the cards over the secession of Crimea from Ukraine

On Saturday, Russia’s parliament approved the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine, while a referendum has been called in Crimea to determine the territory’s future. Jim Hughes traces the history behind the current crisis, noting that the situation has its roots in the international management of secession during the 1990s. He argues that while much will depend on the wording […]

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The EU should abandon ‘soft power’ in Ukraine and adopt a new approach focused on geostrategic concerns

Ukraine’s refusal to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union has been seen as a significant blow for the EU’s neighbourhood strategy. André Härtel writes that this failure stems from the EU’s misunderstanding of Ukrainian politics, its inability to act coherently on foreign policy, and its preoccupation with normative aims such as democratisation. He argues that the EU requires […]

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Relaxing the EU’s Common Position on Cuba would allow Europe to play a more active role in shaping the country’s development

Since 1996, the EU’s Common Position on Cuba has made relations with the country contingent on democratic reforms. William M. LeoGrande assesses whether the EU’s current approach requires updating in light of recent developments within Cuba. He writes that with the United States’ influence undermined by years of hostile policies toward the country, a more conciliatory approach could allow Europe […]

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