Foreign policy & defence

Can the EU's Strategic Compass steer European defence?

30 September 2020
The EU’s planned ‘Strategic Compass’ will define its security and defence ambitions. Though not a panacea, it could give European defence more coherence and should help foster a common strategic outlook among member-states.

Europe, the US and China: A love-hate triangle?

Sophia Besch, Ian Bond, Leonard Schuette
21 September 2020
The EU risks being caught between an increasingly hostile US and China. It must manage relations with both in order to protect the rules-based global order.

Is development aid a victim of the EU budget deal?

Khrystyna Parandii
15 September 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the Commission’s plans to reform its development policy. But though the EU will provide less external assistance than planned, its administration can be improved.
Lukashenka fights for survival

Lukashenka fights for survival

13 August 2020
There was never any doubt who would ‘win’ Belarus’s presidential election. But the country is undergoing profound changes – which pose dilemmas for both Russia and the EU.
Can the EU and Turkey avoid more confrontation?

Can the EU and Turkey avoid more confrontation?

10 August 2020
Tensions between Europe and Turkey are rising. The EU should forge a firm common stance with London and Washington, while keeping the door open for better relations.

Bulletin issue 133 - August/September 2020

Sophia Besch, Christian Odendahl, Luigi Scazzieri, John Springford
27 July 2020

Will Germany rethink defence, too?

Sophia Besch, Christian Odendahl
27 July 2020
COVID-19 has forced Germany to rethink its economic orthodoxy. A similar rethink of its defence and security outlook will take time. 

What future for a 'geopolitical' Europe?

27 July 2020
Ursula von der Leyen wants her Commission to be ‘geopolitical’. COVID-19 is likely to make this harder, while also underlining its importance.

Rethinking the EU's approach towards its southern neighbours

10 July 2020
COVID-19 will exacerbate the failures of EU policy towards its southern neighbours. Europe needs to rethink its approach, taking on more responsibility for security and making its neighbours a more ambitious offer.

Trump sounds the retreat: Can European defence advance?

26 June 2020
Donald Trump may not succeed in withdrawing US troops from Germany this year, but Europeans cannot assume that the Americans will stay forever.

Hand-wringing for Hong Kong: What else can the EU do?

11 June 2020
The EU should not be indifferent to what is happening in Hong Kong. China’s willingness to violate Hong Kong’s autonomy is part of a pattern of increasingly confrontational behaviour.

Putin hits a bad patch

07 May 2020
Putin may have thought 2020 was going to be an excellent year for him. Instead, he has to deal with the oil price crash and COVID-19.

Gas heats up the eastern Mediterranean

23 April 2020
Disagreements over who gets to exploit gas in the eastern Mediterranean have raised tensions in the region, led to EU sanctions on Turkey, and made resolving the Libyan conflict more difficult. Much is now riding on Ankara’s next moves.

The EU's new Libya operation is flawed

08 April 2020
The EU’s new Libya operation follows years of criticism that the Union has not done enough to end the conflict.

The COVID-19 pandemic: The EU must think and act globally

27 March 2020
European leaders are naturally focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their own continent. But a global crisis demands more than local solutions; the EU should do more beyond its borders.

Turkey and the EU: Preserving transactional co-operation

26 March 2020
Despite growing tensions with Turkey on many issues, it is in the EU’s interest to renew co-operation on migration with Ankara. The Union should also try to shift the relationship in a less confrontational direction.

Can the EU's defence ambitions survive budget cuts?

Sophia Besch
26 March 2020
The proposed cuts to the EU’s defence budget will not put an end to the EU’s ambitions. But they show that, on defence, the Union is only as effective as member-states allow it to be.

Will courting Putin always end in tears?

03 March 2020
Putin is good at persuading Western leaders that bad relations with Russia are their fault. They should defend their interests better, but also keep talking to Russia.