The EU has lost a great deal of its standing and influence in the Western Balkans. Domestic political elites consolidate their power through ever-tightening control over civic space. Why do millions of euros in governance and civil society assistance have failed to support robust democracies?
The rapid development of Indonesia’s palm oil industry, particularly over the last four decades, which to some extent has been ‘development at all costs’, has generated significant revenues but has caused simultaneously massive environmental degradation. Human rights violations in palm oil plantations are also widely documented.
The need to balance humanitarian responses and legal obligations while ‘ending’ irregular migratory journeys has overwhelmed the EU for the past three years. A patchwork of policies emerged as a response to the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015. Who undertakes the responsibility for search and rescue, disembarkation and asylum processing?
The Sargentini report showed divisions between Eastern and Western European countries as well as between left and right wing tendencies. It also evidenced that illiberal policies have to face political consequences at European level. Other governments such as Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, though, make less a public display of their illiberal steps.
Two major issues in the Syrien conflict are the strenght of the IS and migration flows. The country needs stability and the EU should contribute to the resolution of the conflict. However, will peace talks and humanitarian assistance be able to bring stability?
Theresa May lacks support, the Conservative UK government is divided such as the British Left and positions are most ambiguous! Difficult premises to negotiate a country's future: ‘If Corbyn and his allies are serious about social and economic justice then the first thing they can do is to prevent Brexit.’
Orbán openly threatens the EPP and uses the topic of migration as a pretext to gain credit and form new alliances in the EU. He also continues buidling an illiberal state passing a legal and constitutional package which is deadly for democratic institutions. However ignoring Orban only creates a huge wave of democratic backsliding in the EU.
With an unleashed US president seemingly determined to destroy tried and trusted transatlantic ties along with the multilateral order that the United States created together with its Western European allies after WWII, the European Union finds itself more and more on its own. The EU has to (re)define what role it wants to play in a global context and in its neighbourhood. In light of the loss of important military and soft power through Brexit and the ongoing internal crisis characterised by Euroscepticism and right-wing populism, this prospect is uninviting, but urgency and necessity are obvious.
In this web dossier, we will focus on three topics: the Western Balkans enlargement strategy; the conflicts in the Middle East (Jerusalem, Syria), the refugee crisis and the transatlantic tug-of-war.
The EU has to (re)define what role it wants to play in a global context and in its neighbourhood. In this web dossier, we will focus on three topics: the Western Balkans enlargement strategy; the conflicts in the Middle East (Jerusalem, Syria), the refugee crisis and the transatlantic tug-of-war.
The disappointment of Europeans grows with the tone and manner of Trump’s behaviour, his disregard for European arguments against trade restrictions as well as the fact that he broke an international agreement and threatens European businesses with secondary sanctions. But how can a divided Europe keep up with the US?