Theme

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

Filter archive

Editor's choice
Opinion
Josep Borrell explains why the Indo-Pacific Region matters for Europe

Josep Borrell explains why the Indo-Pacific Region matters for Europe

EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has just returned from Indonesia where he met the country's leaders, and also had talks with ASEAN – the regional grouping of South East Asian countries. Writing on his blog, Borrell explains why the Indo-Pacific Region is so important for Europe. He argues that, "If we want to be a geopolitical actor, we also have to be perceived as a political and security actor in the region, not just as a development cooperation, trading or investment partner."
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: Thirty years since regaining its independence, Georgia remains committed to restoring fully its European roots and territorial integrity

Opinion: Thirty years since regaining its independence, Georgia remains committed to restoring fully its European roots and territorial integrity

On 26 May 1918, Georgia gained its independence from the Russian Empire. Now, 30 years after reclaiming it from the Soviet Union, a sovereign Georgia remains committed to restoring its territorial integrity and taking its place in the Euro-Atlantic community, writes Giorgi Nakashidze in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.
Editor's choice
Commentary
Commentary: A shaken EU fires opening shots in long war of attrition with Belarus

Commentary: A shaken EU fires opening shots in long war of attrition with Belarus

The united European response to the brazen Belarusian snatching of an opposition figure from a commercial airplane of a European airline flying between two European capitals was swift and strong. Nothing dramatic will happen overnight as a result, but make no mistake about it, this was the opening shot of what is likely to be a long and messy war of attrition against Belarus that may last for years. On Belarus now, the EU's mind is set. The process will start and will be sustained.
Editor's choice
Editorial
Editorial: On Belarus, the EU must now act quickly and decisively

Editorial: On Belarus, the EU must now act quickly and decisively

The forced diversion by Belarus of a flight between two EU member states on Sunday (23 May) constitutes an act of international piracy at the heart of Europe. Under President Lukashenko, Belarus is now a pirate state, and must be treated like one. This will undoubtedly cause some pain to the Belarusian people who are not to blame for the recklessness of their leader, but this is now inevitable. 
Editor's choice
News
Strong EU response after Russia issues travel bans against eight prominent EU officials

Strong EU response after Russia issues travel bans against eight prominent EU officials

"This decision is the latest, striking demonstration of how the Russian Federation has chosen confrontation with the EU instead of agreeing to redress the negative trajectory of our bilateral relations", a joint statement issued by the three main EU institutions said on Friday.