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Unequal best friends – China, Russia, and the war over Ukraine

We all remember the image of the two lonely dictators at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Putin was the only international leader to attend, and he was courted accordingly. In return, he was allowed to take back home with him new trade contracts and the promise of ‘unlimited friendship’. Nevertheless, China cannot have been enthusiastic […]

Rebutting the assaults on gender equality

Tackling gender-based violence, on which an EU directive proposal is being published today on the occasion of International Women’s Day, is key to restoring momentum to the feminist cause. On this day, it is also opportune to recall the origins of this celebration, which date back to more than a hundred years ago, when it […]

The EU should rise to rescue a European democratic nation from foreign tyranny

In front of many incredulous eyes across the world, the Russian president Vladimir Putin has deployed a full attack on Ukraine. The attack is in line with his long-maturated plan to build a Eurasian sphere of influence. According to his narrative, which takes its roots in the experience and the legends of the Russian empire, […]

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 […]

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