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Europe Security

Absence of an EU-Turkey strategic partnership undermines regional security

The European Council summit in December 2020 presented an opportunity for Brussels to formalise a strategic partnership with Turkey to manage the crises in the Eastern Mediterranean, Syria and Libya. Instead, it exposed divergence between France and Germany over how the EU should confront Ankara’s assertive foreign policy. Whilst French President Macron is in favour of putting strong pressure on Turkey’s President Erdogan, German Chancellor Merkel believes that it is vital to remain open to dialogue. This lack of strategic clarity puts regional security at risk given the importance of Turkish cooperation with Brussels over handling common issues in irregular migration and local conflict.

Europe Under The Radar

Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence: the case of Europe

Nuclear disarmament has always been a very sensitive and divisive issue among the EU Member States. But in a world with less credible US security guarantees and a more assertive Russia in the East, a revived debate on a EU nuclear deterrent, which would either rely on the British or French nuclear arsenals, cannot be avoided, as it could potentially equal to the final stage of a well-structured European defence arrangement. 

Europe Politics

Macron’s fight for Freedom of Speech

President Emmanuel Macron used a warlike tone following the recent terrorist attacks that have hit France. Assuring that fear would change sides, the President’s position has sparked a strong response with a call to boycott in several Muslim countries, and several communities have led ‘anti-France’ movements. 

International Security

300,000 Sailors Stranded at Sea Amid Global Pandemic

The UN has recently called for the international community to rescue the crews of commercial ships, gas and oil platforms, and other workers out at sea who have been instructed to keep working, without relief, due to Covid-19.

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Rebuilding the Port of Beirut: a competition for geopolitical influence

In the wake of the explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital on 4 August 2020, multiple countries made offers to participate in the reconstruction of the Port of Beirut alongside sending their condolences. Far from being disinterested acts of solidarity, these propositions constitute strategic moves in a geopolitical game for greater influence over the Eastern Mediterranean. France is likely to stand out from the rest of the competition due to its historical and cultural ties to Lebanon, its current involvement in pushing for reforms in the country and its geopolitical position.

Europe Security

Russia and Ukraine: Nothing good lies ahead?

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decision to sign the Steinmeier formula has allowed peace talks between Russia and Ukraine to resume. However, a few months after the Normandy Four summit, the chances of reaching a solution for the protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine remains unlikely.

Security Under The Radar

Prospects for EU-ASEAN Security Ties

Ambiguity persists over how ASEAN-EU security relations in Indo-Pacific may evolve given the announcement of ‘strategic partnership’ between the two blocs.

Economics Europe

EU-Mercosur FTA: Threats and Challenges

When the European Commission announced the signing of the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement, it sounded like a done deal. However, the provisional text must be ratified by all the parliaments of adhering countries, including the European Parliament and Council.

Economics Europe

The Truth about European Champions

If the EU wants to compete globally, it must shed its emphasis on competition rules and relax its stringent merger regulations to favour the rise of European corporate champions.

Europe Politics

Where do the Yellow Vests stand?

More violence has broken out in France over President Macron’s proposed reforms. Will the Yellow Vests movement fade or is the unrest set to continue? Much depends on Macron’s image and the movement he is able to put together.