Russia’s concept of the “near abroad” is a doctrine that helps explain Moscow’s foreign policy both toward those states once formed part of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire’s historic rivals, including Turkey, Poland, and China.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has done more than most to put Germany’s armed forces, and the country at large, on a geopolitical course.
If Europe has ambitions to shape the future of its neighborhood, rather than just accept it, it must redefine its role in the Middle East and take action now.
There is a growing consensus that the EU has to become a geopolitical actor. To achieve this goal, numerous constraints will need to be overcome. Priorities include defining its position vis-à-vis the incoming Biden administration—and China.
With chances for European-Russian cooperation slim, containment must remain the focus of the EU’s policy vis-à-vis Moscow.
The United States is withdrawing from the world, Russia and China are moving into vacuums, and new power centers around the globe are emerging. In response, Germany and Europe need to become truly global players.
At first glance, it seems simple: whoever wins the CDU leadership in January will then become the next German chancellor. However, there are still a few obstacles on the actual path to succeed Merkel.
In the Brexit negotiations presently on knife’s edge, climate issues play a minor role. However, concerns around them mirror the obstacles. Both sides should realize they are essentially on the same team.
The United States and China have by far the most visual economic and political influence in Southeast Asia. Yet, the EU is also failing to gain ground in comparison to other “middle powers” like Japan.
Germany’s relationship with the United States needs a reset. US President-elect Joe Biden’s initiatives on climate protection and democracy promotion are good starting points. Berlin, meanwhile, should think about reforming its defense ministry and cancel Nord Stream 2.
Europe has to move beyond toxic debates about “autonomy” or “sovereignty” toward tangible policies.
The election of Joe Biden gives Europe the chance to reinvent the transatlantic relationship. To fully embrace this opportunity, the EU should offer the incoming US administration some concrete proposals in several areas.