Friday 27 May 2022 | 13:03 | SYDNEY
What's happening on

European Union

Ukraine: The view from Warsaw

This week I was in Warsaw listening to experts on regional strategy and security. It was clear that Poland sees itself as Ukraine’s champion. Beyond the immediate emergency response following Russia’s invasion, Poland is acting as Ukraine’s advocate in building support both across NATO and EU

A required update for the EU-US Trade and Tech Council

The second EU-US Trade and Technology Council meeting took place in Paris at the weekend. An outcome of the EU-US Summit in June 2021, the TTC was established to strengthen and coordinate transatlantic cooperation and develop values-based approaches to global trade, economic and technology issues

European neutrality is dying out

Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine has had the opposite effect of his desire to divide Europe. Former neutrals – Finland, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland – are evaluating their traditional non-alignment policy. Ireland might change, too, shifting from its longstanding “

How to speak green: Europe’s new energy taxonomy

It could “destroy the future of our children,” claimed Austria’s Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler. “We believe this technology is too dangerous,” said German government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann. Luxembourg’s Energy Minister Claude Turmes called it a “provocation”. Were

Europe is finally getting serious about China

On 1 December, the European Commission unveiled its Global Gateway Strategy, a new scheme which will mobilise “up to €300 billion” in investments between 2021 and 2027. At first glance, the Global Gateway looks like another entry in an increasingly crowded field of competitors to China’s

Germany and Europe: “Ampel” time for reform

It’s coalition time in Germany. At the 26 September election, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), led by the current Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, emerged as the largest party, with 25.7 per cent of the vote. Everything now points to a Scholz-led government, in combination with the liberal

Europe and the South China Sea 

In the 16th century the Portuguese were the first Europeans to navigate the South China Sea and lay eyes upon the thousands of islands and reefs that lay in these waters. Long years have passed since the days in which European navies played a major role in the seas of Asia. However, in recent years

Lukashenko running on empty

Belarusian autocrat Alexander Lukashenko is under pressure and increasingly isolated. That makes him more dangerous. And it poses challenges, as well as opportunities, for his only ally, Russia. In August 2020, mass public protests calling for political change engulfed Belarus. The

Europe turns away from asylum-seekers

Lapped by clear waters, Chios is one of five main islands wedged in the northern Aegean Sea, a stone’s throw from Turkey. Seen from the plane, the island’s interior is dotted with quaint olive groves and walled medieval villages. On the jagged coastline stone watchtowers perch facing out to sea

Believing Biden

At the conclusion of US President Joe Biden’s one-week visit across the continent and to the United Kingdom, Europeans appear to believe in the need to push back against the authoritarian China of Xi Jinping – a faith evident despite their mutual economic interests with Beijing along with a fear

Covid vaccines: Charity begins at home

There has – rightly – been a strong reaction in Australia and more broadly to the Italian government decision, endorsed by the European Union and some of its leaders, not to permit AstraZeneca to export 250,000 contracted doses of its Covid vaccine to Australia. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi

Russia vs the EU

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell visited Moscow this month intending to lodge a strong protest against the treatment of dissident Alexei Navalny and his supporters in Russia. Not surprisingly, this was forcefully rebutted by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei

She won’t be right with “Australian-style” Brexit

As if 2020 has not been challenging enough, the United Kingdom is currently facing the prospect of ending its Brexit transition period on 31 December without a trade deal with the European Union. As post-Brexit negotiations on a UK–EU deal have continued without a breakthrough, the claim that the

The outlines of a European policy on the Indo-Pacific

The Netherlands recently published its first official strategy paper for the Indo-Pacific, just ten weeks after Germany had brought out its own. The two countries are now part of a club of three in Europe, after France led the way in 2018. In the diplomatic world, this feels like lightning speed

Europe, united in recovery – for now

It took four days and a “historical” summit for the heads of states and governments of Europe to finally agree on the recovery plan that should help the European Union face the devastating consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Celebrated by a recovery in local stocks, the agreement last week

Turkey: Not a team player

Turkey is increasingly becoming the piece of the NATO puzzle that just won’t fit. President Recep Erdoğan’s particular brand of Turkish nationalist populism has earned him criticism from most NATO members at one time or another. Turkey’s plans for European Union membership seem increasingly

Covid-19 exposes the need for a European constitution

As Europe begins to emerge from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, another crisis seems to be looming. The German Constitutional Court last week threatened to block the Bundesbank from taking part in the EU stimulus program to save the Euro, in a challenge to European unity. The reaction

Europe under threat

The novel coronavirus Covid-19 dominates not only the media headlines in Europe but the everyday life of just about anybody. In the federalist European Union, it is still up to the individual states, often also their parts – Bundesländer, Départements, Provincie, or whatever they are called –

Brexit: “Do or die”

Over the past few weeks, breathless British journalists have published verbatim the private words and long missives of a person known as “No. 10 Source”, who on close inspection is almost certainly Dominic Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Chief of Staff. Cummings attracted public

Brexit: Deal or no deal

On 31 October, the UK is once again due to leave the European Union. This is the third such deadline this year. It is possible that there will be a fourth, should the European Council be asked yet again to extend the UK’s membership to provide time for it to leave in an orderly rather than

Houses divided

Many of The Interpreter’s readers are experts on the theory and conduct of international relations. So, quite reasonably, they look at armed conflict through the lens of inter-state relations, where one state resorts to the use (or the threat of use) of armed force to prevail over another. For

Europe and the Anglosphere drifting apart

Beyond the somewhat confusing continental results of this month’s elections to the European Parliament, a longstanding trend becomes clearer. Britain is trying to go alone on its nationalist and conservative way, mirroring the US and Australia. At least on the Monday morning after the

The last straw for Theresa May

After Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and David Cameron, Theresa May is the latest Conservative Prime Minister to have been undermined by her inability to manage the divisions within her party over Europe. May tried to achieve something that was always going to be difficult, respecting the outcome

The greatest British political crisis of modern times

Brexit appears to be approaching a bewildering denouement. Prime Minister Theresa May has reached a dead end with a negotiated deal that met the criteria for leaving the European Union and would have done so in an orderly fashion but satisfied very few. Hard-line Leavers considered it so much

Brexit: Britain’s Commonwealth pivot is nothing new

In the midst of Britain’s painful extraction from the European Union, a saga which deepened this week with a second parliamentary defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit deal, key figures on the Conservative right harbour a quiet hope that the Commonwealth will come to the rescue. Notwithstanding the

Fisheries and Brexit – a slippery affair

Despite accounting for a mere 0.12% the UK’s overall economic output, fisheries is one of the most contentious issues in the Brexit jumble. Highly politicised, negotiations on the future fisheries regime could tarnish the overall outcome of British departure from the EU. Issues of British

Pages