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The EU’s multilateral ambitions: the why and the how

On 17 February, the High Representative Josep Borrell and the European Commission released a Joint Communication on strengthening the EU’s contribution to rules-based multilateralism: on first sight a document in the continuity of previous ones, but also one that reveals important changes in how the EU sees itself on the international stage. One might question […]

“Strategic Autonomy”, a new European concept

The last European Council raised “strategic autonomy” to the level of a central concept for a new phase of the European project. The implications will be multiple not only for external, but also for internal policies. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed multiple weaknesses of European integration: failures in supply chains in vital products, public health […]

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 […]

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 […]

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