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The EU and Belarus: doing less might be better

It is easy to call for EU action in crises at the borders of the bloc. And in the case of Belarus, these calls have been made again. But the European Union must acknowledge that the Belarusian case cannot be considered without thinking of Russia, and that in some crises it has little political weight. […]

Sophisticated tools – weak principles

With its ‘New Pact on Migration and Asylum’, the European Commission has taken on one of the most divisive and controversial issues within the bloc. And one that puts its own human rights record most prominently on the spot. The outcome are elaborate proposals, heavy on procedure but weak on moral principles and values, and […]

What should be done about the United Nations?

The global health, climate and economic crises have led to a deterioration of the world order as we knew it. The gap between current global challenges and global governance is widening and weakening the multilateral system. A new, fair and inclusive multilateralism for the 21st century must be invented, write Maria João Rodrigues and Conny […]

A too Teutonic talk

As we learned from the great British historian Eric Hobsbawm, tradition is something that is invented. The tradition of State of the Union (SOTEU) speeches by the European Commission president was invented in 2010, in the wake of the great financial crisis. It has always provided a panorama of EU policies, sending out open or […]

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations: the urgently needed reforms and their enemies

The Covid-19 crisis has shown the dramatic discrepancy between the scale of the current transnational challenges (public health, climate change, security, financial stability, extreme poverty, sustainable development, terrorism…) and the weakness of global governance. This gap was visible even before the pandemic, but became much more evident in early 2020. Simply defending the past multilateral […]

Making the UN more inclusive and democratic

The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year (UN75). Secretary-General António Guterres has invited everybody to discuss and propose measures for “renewing and strengthening” the world organisation. Notably, a UN Parliamentary Assembly and a World Citizens’ Initiative could be measures that increase its democratic base. Many papers and debates around UN75 focus on […]