European Council on Foreign Relations

The politics and economics of sanctions against Russia

Vladimir Putin, it is clear, has a particularly old fashioned view of power: it can always be distilled into something resembling an arm wrestle involving gunboats, ununiformed military specialists, and the odd tank on the odd street corner. The EU, it is clear, is not in the same game. How then, can it have a foreign policy impact when dealing with those who talk loudly and feel free to use the big stick they routinely brandish?

One answer is of course sanctions. They are the frontline response of the EU to the Kremlin over events in Crimea. But they are also controversial: do they work and - if so - how can they be crafted to achieve the best outcome? ECFR's Wider Europe team held a seminar to discuss these and other related issues. The two main speakers were Mark Galeotti of New York University and Timothy Ash of Standard Bank. I packaged up their main thoughts into two clear

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George Soros Q&A part 2

Is the EU a failed experiment? What is the impact of European disintegration on Eastern Europe? What would happen if creditor countries left the euro? Are Europe's citizens ignorant about the costs of leaving the single currency? Has the EU had a firm plan for how it wanted to deal with Ukraine?

These were some of the questions thrown by journalists at George Soros at an ECFR press conference. I've collected Mr Soros' answers together in the second of two podcasts, and you can listen to it here:

You can also listen to the first set of Mr Soros' answers to journalists' questions in podcast form here:

And don't forget that you can subscribe to ECFR's podcasts through software like itunes, or keep track of them on our podcast page, www.ecfr.eu/podcasts

 

US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan

Drones are now a fact of military (and civilian) life, but are the norms and laws of warfare able to cope with their use? In recent months three important studies on the subject have been published: "Drones and targeted Killing: defining a European position" by ECFR's Anthony Dworkin; "Between a Drone and Al Qaeda" by Letta Tayler of Human Rights Watch; and "Will I be next?" by Mustafa Qadri of Amnesty International.

A recent ECFR event heard from all three authors, with Letta concentrating on Yemen, Mustafa on Pakistan, and Anthony chairing. You can hear the entire audio from the event here:

 
 

We've also just published a shorter podcast with part of the presentations given by both Letta and Mustafa:

 

 

Does Europe need a global strategy?

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

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Europe’s energy security depends upon Turkish democracy

In recent years, there has been a conviction in the business and policy-making communities that Turkey’s Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) economic performance and political authority would ensure the country remained an island of stability in a critical but turbulent region. Given well-documented shortcomings in Turkey’s democratic performance, this approach meant a trade-off between stability and liberal democracy. Recent, widespread protests steeped in demands for inclusion by increasingly alienated segments of Turkey’s public suggest the government must choose between stability via mounting authoritarianism or via consolidating its democracy. Turkish society is ripe for the latter. By choosing full democratisation, Ankara can reap benefits not only at home but also externally, confirming Turkey’s position as a political and economic powerhouse as well as an energy hub in the

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