The power of perspective: Why EU membership still matters in the Western Balkans (ECFR)

  • Aspiring EU members must resolve outstanding disputes as part of the membership process. This has proved a powerful tool over the years.
  • Resolving bilateral problems, including border disputes, is especially crucial in the Western Balkans, where they are numerous.
  • France’s October 2019 veto of accession talks for North Macedonia and Albania has already weakened Western Balkans publics’ trust in the EU.
  • Should the EU’s influence wane, nationalist leaders will exacerbate tensions with neighbouring countries. The future of North Macedonia’s Prespa Agreement with Greece is under threat, and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Montenegro could also prove a potential flashpoint.
  • The EU should demonstrate its commitment to the Western Balkans by encouraging countries there to resolve their outstanding disputes, both to make them better candidates and to strengthen security in the region

Beáta Huszka

European Autonomy Under Germany (Valdai Discussion Club)

Recently Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined the key topics concerning German and European politics. She is preparing to hand over the baton not only to her successors in Berlin, but also to give clear signals to the EU’s new leaders and to her external partners in Washington, Beijing, and Moscow.

Dmitry Danilov

Odds Still Stacked against Working Women in Europe (Global Policy)

International Women’s Day on March 8 is around the corner again, offering Europe’s decision makers a fresh chance for Europe to admit that women still lag men in the workplace. Childcare provision is often in short supply and women are still much less likely than men to sit in the boss’ chair – but is Europe moving in the right direction?

By Jess Smee

Drilling at Gunpoint: EU Sanctions on Turkey (Valdai Discussion Club)

The January meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council focused, in part, on Turkey’s oil and gas drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean. High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the Working Party of Foreign Relations Counsellors (RELEX) is about to complete its package of sanctions against Turkey. It is compiling a list of individuals and companies on which restrictions will be imposed.

Yulia Timofeeva

Out of the slow lane: How Europe can meet the challenge of AI (ECFR)

EU member states need to turn their declarations of intent about international cooperation on technological sovereignty into real projects.

Ulrike Esther Franke

The Hazards of Holocaust Remembrance in Europe (BESA Center)

The received wisdom that greater Holocaust awareness automatically translates into policies and attitudes favorable to European Jews and the Jewish state is dubious at best. As assimilation and antisemitism hollow out Jewish communities on the Continent, Holocaust remembrance in Europe may well cease to help Jews altogether.


EU needs refresh attitude toward trade ties with China (Global Times)

Proponents of free trade have found themselves on the defensive over the last several years as various forms of neo-protectionism have crept to the center of mainstream politics in a number of Western countries. In spite of this, January of 2020 has seen three major breakthroughs when it comes to achieving win-win results in international trade according to a fair-rules-based system.

By Adam Garrie

Christian Democracy or Illiberal Democracy? (Project-Syndicate)

In considering whether to expel the increasingly illiberal Fidesz party, the European People’s Party must not allow Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to hold himself out as a representative of Christian Democracy. True Christian Democrats reject chauvinistic nationalism and have been indispensable to European integration.

Jan-Werner Mueller is Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author, most recently, of Furcht und Freiheit (Fear and Freedom), which was awarded the Bavarian Book Prize.

Podcast: Europe’s far-right surge unstoppable ? Case of Germany (Clingendael)

In this podcast Dr. Matthias Quent, author of “Deutschland Rechts Aussen” and Dr. André Krouwel, Lecturer of Comparative Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and founder of ‘Kieskompas’ discuss the AfD, economic precarity and populism in Europe with our moderator and Senior Research Fellow, Rem Korteweg.