The limits of “no, no, no”: Why the Dutch are so ambivalent about Europe (ECFR)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is stuck between European partners urging him to engage in Europe at this critical moment and a growing chorus at home threatening to punish him if he does so.

Caroline de Gruyter

Why Europe needs a recovery plan for strategic autonomy (ECFR)

Just as they have on the economic recovery, Berlin and Paris must overcome their differences and present a courageous plan to create a Europe that takes decisive geopolitical action.

Jana PuglierinUlrike Esther Franke

Reviving the revolutionaries: How Trump’s maximum pressure is shifting Iran’s domestic politics (ECFR)

  • Europeans wish to persuade Iran to compromise on strategic issues – but, unless they understand the dynamics of domestic Iranian politics, they will not get far.
  • Three main power blocs compete to influence Iran’s supreme leader, including the ‘modernisers’, who were instrumental in building the case internally for the nuclear deal. The US ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has placed them on the back foot.
  • Improving the economy remains the most pressing issue in Iran. Without a Western economic offer, the other two power blocs – the conservative ‘Principlists’ and IRGC-linked ‘securocrats’ – will continue their recent ascendancy and press for a confrontational ‘maximum resistance’ response.
  • Immediately after the US presidential election, Europeans should embark on shuttle diplomacy with Washington and Tehran to agree an interim deal on the nuclear issue. This could also strengthen modernisers ahead of Iran’s own presidential race in 2021.

Ellie Geranmayeh

Serbia and coronavirus propaganda: High time for a transactional EU (ECFR)

It is time for the EU to direct much more of its financial assistance through channels other than highly corrupt governments that consistently violate European norms and standards.

Majda RugeNicu Popescu

Ukraine and the oligarchs: Endless delays to reform (ECFR)

The coronavirus has hit Ukraine hard, but the IMF has promised the country less funding than seemed likely only months ago. Self-interested oligarchs are delaying necessary new reforms and pushing back against those Ukraine has already made.

Andrew Wilson

China, America, and how Europe can deal with war by economic means (ECFR)

Great power rivalry has not abated even amid the coronavirus. To survive the economic conflict between China and the US, Europe must make its preparations now.

Jonathan Hackenbroich

A contest of extremes: Biden’s and Trump’s opposing positions on Russia (ECFR)

The 2020 election will likely determine whether America seeks a deal with Russia to carve up Europe into spheres of influence or launches a new, ideological cold war against the country.

Jeremy Shapiro