Much of the debate around Europe’s global strategy ahead of the December European Union Summit, might appear to those of us in the UK to be missing the point. Have those self- absorbed diplomats in Brussels failed to notice that the UK has always been wary about more common foreign policy, and that the discussion here is about whether we want to continue as members of the European Union club at all? And, surely, if the UK is not part of the project, European power looks very different: one less seat at the UN Security Council; the loss of one of the EU’s few powers who still retain military capacity capable of decisive interventions; and the loss of the UK’s huge diplomatic network, and historical, trade and linguistic ties across the world. Not to mention the fallout which the EU would be dealing with on the global stage if the UK decides to go it alone in 2017 – international
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On the eve of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius we recorded a new special episode of our "World in 30 minutes" podcast. The summit in Vilnius was supposed to be a historic one - with Ukraine signing a "Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement" ( DCFTA) with the EU. But last week Ukraine rejected the deal following unprecedented Russian pressure. So why did it happen - and what next for the EU-Ukraine relations? To find out I talked to Hryhoriy Nemyria - the Chairman of the Committee on European Integration in the Ukrainian Parliament - and Alexander Gabuev, a journalist with the Russian newspaper Kommersant. I am also joined by ECFR's Stefan Meister who has quite a few ideas how the EU could improve its Eastern Partnership policy. If you are interested in the Eastern Partnership, the EU's neighborhood or Russian politics make sure to follow the work of ECFR's Wider
Does Europe need a global strategy? Ten years ago European leaders approved a security strategy based upon a world that seemed so much more amenable to European interests and values. The subsequent decade has seen the world change enormously, and in a new ECFR paper our experts outline the case for a new strategy for the new world that we find ourselves in.
We recently published three short podcasts looking at some of the issues involved. In the first one, Susi Dennison (one of the authors of the ECFR paper) makes the case that a strategic rethink is overdue.
“Ahead of the December European Council, which is planning to reflect upon strategy and defence questions, there seems to be some enthusiasm across the European member states for that discussion not to be anchored solely in questions around military and defence capacity, but to look more broadly at what Europe’s interests
Two years ago the armed uprising in Libya succeeded in overthrowing Colonel Gaddafi - but how successful has Libya been in laying the foundations of a genuine democratic transition? This was the over-arching question at a Black Coffee Morning this week in ECFR's London office, but the questions kept coming:
How important is the security situation? Is that situation improving? How can EU countries and institutions help, and how much will be up to the Libyans themselves? And what is the silver lining when Libyans take to the streets in protest?
Two men attempted to answer the questions - Sir Dominic Asquith, who served as Britain's ambassador to Libya, Egypt and Iraq, and ECFR's own Mattia Toaldo. First, here's a short ECFR podcast with Mattia's introduction:
And if you're interested in hearing the entire meeting, here's the audio:
In early July, ECFR published a brief about "Xi Jinping’s China" which argued that Mr Xi, after six months of power, had accumulated more power than any of his predecessors since Mao. That judgement was questioned, in so far as Deng Xiaoping is seen in the West as the paramount leader of China’s reform era since 1978. Indeed, Xi Jinping cannot match the lingering influence of Deng, whose pronouncements in many ways have become Party dogmas – and therefore the law of the land.
People forget, of course, that Deng Xiaoping’s initial path towards reform was far from a straight line. By coincidence, a study recently published by Frederick Carl Teiwes and Warren Sun about the key years of 1978-1980 shows a much more conventional Deng than generally believed in economic terms, ready to support then chairman Hua Guofeng and his mobilisational "mini-Great Leap" policies.
Deng’s push was
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