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

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    How Covid-19 is deepening democratic backsliding and geopolitical competition in the Western Balkans

How Covid-19 is deepening democratic backsliding and geopolitical competition in the Western Balkans

Several countries in the Western Balkans have responded to the Covid-19 outbreak with draconian measures that entail a further erosion of democracy, writes Natasha Wunsch. She argues the pandemic is shining a spotlight on the impact of geopolitical competition in the Western Balkans, where authoritarian forces are undermining the EU’s democracy promotion efforts.

The Western Balkans are facing dire economic […]

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    VE Day and the Covid-19 outbreak: Two historical moments that have shaped the world

VE Day and the Covid-19 outbreak: Two historical moments that have shaped the world

The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) was marked on 8 May against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Effie G. H. Pedaliu writes that much like the end of the Second World War, Covid-19 will constitute a landmark moment, with future historians likely to draw a line between life before and life after the […]

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    Book Review: Sharing the Burden: The Armenian Question, Humanitarian Intervention and Anglo-American Visions of Global Order by Charlie Laderman

Book Review: Sharing the Burden: The Armenian Question, Humanitarian Intervention and Anglo-American Visions of Global Order by Charlie Laderman

On 24 April each year, many communities across the world come together to commemorate the mass killing of the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Grant Golub reviews Sharing the Burden: The Armenian Question, Humanitarian Intervention and Anglo-American Visions of Global Order, in which Charlie Laderman shows how the US and British responses to the atrocities were intimately tied up with […]

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Book Review: The Force of Non-Violence by Judith Butler

In The Force of Non-Violence, Judith Butler challenges the prevailing ways in which violence and nonviolence have been understood, arguing that the distinction between the two has been founded on a harmful individualist paradigm. The book inspires a cautious yet hopeful optimism as it calls for a new interpretation of violence, and with it, a new imagining of nonviolence as a collective form […]

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Beating Covid-19: The problem with national lockdowns

Lockdowns have now become a fact of life for many countries across the world, but even if they succeed in halting the spread of Covid-19, are they sustainable? Martin J. Bull argues that lockdowns pose major challenges for European countries and the approach pursued by South Korea may need to be explored as a long-term solution.

Are ‘authoritarian-style’ lockdowns, involving […]

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    Greek-Turkish border crisis: Refugees are paying the price for the EU’s failure to reform its asylum system

Greek-Turkish border crisis: Refugees are paying the price for the EU’s failure to reform its asylum system

At the end of February, Turkey announced that it would no longer enforce a deal reached with the EU in 2016 to block irregular migration routes into Greece. Nicoletta Enria and Sarah Gerwens write that the resulting crisis at the Greek-Turkish border highlights the failure of the EU to effectively reform its asylum system.

In late February, before COVID-19 began […]

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    Despite a clear EU strategy, significant challenges still lie ahead for China-EU relations

Despite a clear EU strategy, significant challenges still lie ahead for China-EU relations

Representatives from 17 Central and Eastern European countries are set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April at a ‘17+1’ summit. Daniel Quirk writes that the summit might reinvigorate EU concerns over Chinese ambitions in Europe and could motivate EU officials to continue advocating a stricter approach toward China-EU relations.

The last decade saw significant inconsistencies in China-EU […]

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    Five minutes with Katharina Borchert: “Online advertising has created a surveillance economy”

Five minutes with Katharina Borchert: “Online advertising has created a surveillance economy”

The growth of online communication has raised important questions about privacy, free speech and the governance of the internet. In an interview for EUROPP, Katharina Borchert, the former CEO of Spiegel Online and current Chief Innovation Officer at Mozilla, discusses the pressing need for data protection online, and why tech companies have a responsibility to prevent the exploitation of […]

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    Book Review: Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers

Book Review: Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers

In Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers, David Scott FitzGerald argues that the rich democracies of the Global North have developed ways to evade the spirit of international humanitarian laws when it comes to migration, whilst simultaneously de jure adhering to them. With a rich empirical basis and a clear, accessible style, this compelling and topical book will appeal to […]

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    Book Review: The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security edited by Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True

Book Review: The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security edited by Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True

In The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security, editors Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True bring together 93 contributors to capture the ever-growing volume of scholarship that has developed since the passing of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in October 2000. Columba Achilleos-Sarll recommends this as an extensive, timely contribution to the study of the WPS agenda, which maps […]

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    A mixed record: Assessing Ukraine’s domestic reforms under Volodymyr Zelenskiy

A mixed record: Assessing Ukraine’s domestic reforms under Volodymyr Zelenskiy

The so called ‘Normandy Four’, incorporating the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, met on 9 December in Paris to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Ryhor Nizhnikau and Arkady Moshes write that alongside the conflict resolution process, it is also vital to assess how Ukraine’s domestic situation has developed since the election of Volodymyr Zelenskiy as President […]

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    Lessons from East Germany: How authoritarian states can use international travellers to promote their interests

Lessons from East Germany: How authoritarian states can use international travellers to promote their interests

Authoritarian regimes typically place restrictions on the ability of citizens to travel abroad. Astrid Hedin maps the bureaucratic procedures of the former East Germany, showing how travel controls were organised to screen travellers, shape political narratives, and harvest information on western counterparts. These travel controls remain part of the institutional heritage and bureaucratic traditions of authoritarian post-communist states today.

Recently, […]

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    Macron closed the door on Albania, but Tirana’s youth has opened a window to Europe

Macron closed the door on Albania, but Tirana’s youth has opened a window to Europe

The city of Tirana has been awarded the title of European Youth Capital for 2022. Epidamn Zeqo, Director of Strategic Planning and Implementation of Priorities for the Municipality of Tirana, explains what the award means for the city and for Albania as a whole. He writes that despite disappointment at the EU’s decision to block the start of membership […]

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    Serbia’s deal with the Eurasian Economic Union: A triumph of foreign policy over economics

Serbia’s deal with the Eurasian Economic Union: A triumph of foreign policy over economics

Serbia recently signed a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Vuk Vuksanovic writes that although the deal was praised by some politicians for opening up new economic opportunities, the economic impact is likely to be minimal for both Serbia and the EAEU. He argues the real aim of the agreement from Serbia’s perspective was to use […]

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    Book Review: Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World by Krishan Kumar

Book Review: Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World by Krishan Kumar

In Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World, Krishan Kumar analyses five key historical empires – the Ottoman, the Habsburg, the Russian/Soviet, the British and the French – making the case for how the ideas and ideologies of each shaped their mode of imperial rule and enduring influence. Due to a lack of clarity in the book’s central thesis and its […]

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    The US-China trade war: Risks and opportunities for the EU and the United Kingdom

The US-China trade war: Risks and opportunities for the EU and the United Kingdom

The trade war between the United States and China has already had an impact on European economies. And as Robert Basedow explains, with the conflict centred on global economic and political leadership, it is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future. This will create important challenges and opportunities for both the EU and the UK in the coming […]

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    Lessons from pre-Brexit Britain: What makes for effective norm advocacy in the EU’s international cooperation policies?

Lessons from pre-Brexit Britain: What makes for effective norm advocacy in the EU’s international cooperation policies?

The next decade will see renewed efforts from the EU to address a number of pressing global trends by strengthening international partnerships. Yet the EU will also be faced with the challenge of building cooperation within Europe in the aftermath of Brexit. Sebastian Steingass examines British participation in EU norm advocacy in international development cooperation prior to the Brexit […]

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    Book Review: Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance by David Macfadyen et al

Book Review: Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance by David Macfadyen et al

In Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance, David Macfadyen et al show how the emergence of an international bureaucracy of civil servants and their role in the development of the League of Nations rested on Eric Drummond and the early internationalists around him. This book provides a much-needed historical and biographical perspective on the […]

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What next for Brazil-EU relations?

It has been a mixed summer for relations between Brazil and Europe. In June, the EU and the South American economic bloc Mercosur reached agreement on a free trade deal, but a diplomatic rift has since emerged between Brazil and France over the environment. Miriam Gomes Saraiva writes that implementing the EU-Mercosur agreement now rests on successfully balancing Brazil’s […]

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    Italy and Malta are not the villains of Europe’s migration crisis

Italy and Malta are not the villains of Europe’s migration crisis

Since 2018, Italy and Malta have restricted access to their ports for NGO migrant rescue vessels. Nadia Petroni writes that while both countries have faced criticism for this policy, it should be noted that since the 1990s, most EU member states have erected barriers along their borders to prevent irregular migration. There is therefore a degree of hypocrisy in […]

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