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Geostrategic Europe

Stories related to European foreign policy and Europe as a global power.

Monday Commentary: Why Central Asia matters
Very often, Central Asia is referred to as Russia’s back yard, even though today the region feels more like China’s front garden. But whilst the two “inseparable” friends, compete for influence and resources, the five Central Asian countries have set on a course to integrate themselves in global processes, break out of their geographic - and more importantly their geo-political constraints - and deliver better for their people. In this week's Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu, Dennis Sammut says that the Central Asian states have been reaching out to the EU and the US, whilst domestically some of them have embarked on deep reforms considered all but unimaginable until recently. The visit of European Council president Charles Michel to the region on 27-28 October marked a high point in a new phase in the relationship between the EU and Central Asia. In Kazakhstan, Michel not only met the Kazakh leadership, but also held a summit with the five Central Asian leaders in Astana, before travelling to Uzbekistan. For both the Central Asians and for the EU this is a watershed moment, and the beginning of a long journey. Europe’s approach to Central Asia needs to be respectful, both to the five countries themselves, and to their existing partners. Arrogance, even of the intellectual kind will simply backfire. But respect does not mean meekness. As a heavyweight in international relations, even if for the moment its economic weight dwarfs its political weight, the EU needs to approach Central Asia neither as a supplicant, nor as a benefactor, but simply as a reliable partner. Furthermore, this partnership needs to be diverse, multi-tiered and nuanced. It must take in relations with citizens, where Europe has much to offer both in terms of being a model, but also in terms of what it can share in areas such as education, innovation, youth welfare, women’s rights and diversity.
dennis2020 Mon, 10/31/2022 - 07:35 Michel in Tashkent to cement EU-Uzbekistan ties

European Council president, Charles Michel was in Tashkent on Friday (28 October) for talks with Uzbek president Mirziyoyev.

Once considered a parriah in the international system because of gross human rights abuses, Uzbekistan has in recent years adopted a trajectory for reform, and of opening up to the world. Good relations with the EU are now an important pillar of Uzbek foreign policy.

For the EU too relations with Uzbekistan are increasingly important given the Union's strategy towards Central Asia.

dennis2020 Sat, 10/29/2022 - 09:36

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‘Hard versus Soft Power: Is it time for an EU army?’

‘Hard versus Soft Power: Is it time for an EU army?’

LINKS Europe in collaboration with The City of The Hague, and with the support of The Hague Humanity Hub, hosted the fifth in a series of clusters of events titled ‘Conversations on the future of Europe in the world’ on Thursday, 3 February 2022. The event was hosted online from the LINKS Europe office in the The Hague, and around 50 participants joined. The series ‘Conversations on the future of Europe in the world’ contributes to the debate in the framework of the EU’s ‘Conference on the future of Europe’ process.
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Event
'The EU and the process of reform and renewal in the Eastern Neighbourhood: six countries, six nuances and a giant elephant in the room'

'The EU and the process of reform and renewal in the Eastern Neighbourhood: six countries, six nuances and a giant elephant in the room'

The conference, 'The EU and its Eastern Neighbourhood', was held over three sessions at The Hague Humanity Hub (city centre) in The Hague on Tuesday 23 November 2021. The first session addressed the topic, 'The EU and the process of reform and renewal in the Eastern Neighbourhood: six countries, six nuances and a giant elephant in the room'. Read the summary here.
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News
France takes over presidency of EU for the next six months

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Interview
GEU Podcast: Supporting the rule of law in Ukraine – with Dr Valentyn Gvozdiy and Brian Mefford

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In this episode of Global Europe Unpacked, produced in collaboration with the City of The Hague, Will Murray speaks to Brian Mefford – a long-time observer of Ukraine, based in Kiev – about the state of the rule of law in Ukraine and the biggest challenges it faces; how it is affected by Russian interference; and what more could be done by the country’s Western partners to support and promote the rule of law there. Will then speaks to the vice-president of the Ukrainian National Bar Association, Dr Valentyn Gvozdiy, about what his institution does to support the rule of law in Ukraine; his perspective on the issues that Ukraine faces; and what he believes Ukraine can offer the EU when it comes to justice and the rule of law.
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News
Borrell: "Europe's security is under threat"

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The EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, in a statement on Wednesday (22 December), said Russia's actions in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus have created new threats and fears of invasion, and that Europe was today under threat. Borrell's statement was in response to Russia's recent attempts to re-define Europe's security architecture. On Wednesday, Borrell also discussed the situation with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
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Interview
GEU Podcast: The Conference on the Future of Europe: let your voice be heard – with Didier Herbert and Saskia Bruines

GEU Podcast: The Conference on the Future of Europe: let your voice be heard – with Didier Herbert and Saskia Bruines

In this introductory episode for series two of Global Europe Unpacked, produced in collaboration with the City of The Hague, Will Murray speaks to the Head of Representation for the European Commission in the Netherlands, Didier Herbert, about how the Conference on the Future of Europe is taking shape, and how people can – and why they should – get involved. Will then shares a conversation with The Hague’s Deputy Mayor, Saskia Bruines, about the importance of bridging the gap between the local and the international, and how her city of peace and justice is contributing to the initiative.
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News
Michel hosts Pashinyan and Aliyev for talks on the evolving situation in the South Caucasus

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A statement posted late on Tuesday on the website of the European Council stated that "President Michel assured both leaders of the EU’s commitment to work closely with Armenia and Azerbaijan in overcoming conflict, creating cooperation and an atmosphere of trust, with a view to sustainable peace in the region ultimately underpinned by a comprehensive peace agreement".
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Analysis
The 6th Eastern Partnership summit is a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its Eastern Neighbours

The 6th Eastern Partnership summit is a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its Eastern Neighbours

The summit of the leaders of the European Union and of the countries of the Eastern Partnership takes place in Brussels tomorrow (Wednesday, 15 December). It promises to be a defining moment in the relationship between the EU and its neighbours to the east: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In this analysis, the research team of commonspace.eu explore the issues under discussion and explore why for the first time an EaP summit has attracted considerable public attention.