After much foot-dragging, the European Commission proposed a cap on the price it will pay for natural gas yesterday. Fifteen of the union’s members had proposed such a cap to limit Russian energy revenues due to spiking gas prices since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but a group of members led by Germany are opposed to it.
The initial inability of many in the West to fully grasp the scale of what is now unfolding in Iran is the product of three dynamics that reflect deeper problems with how the EU and U.S. engage with the wider world. To avoid repeating those mistakes, the West needs to mitigate such distortions of perceptions and policy.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two successive waves of Russian “war refugees” have descended upon countries in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus. The response from the receiving countries to date has been mixed, ranging from a welcoming attitude to downright hostility, in part due to the economic impact of the new arrivals.
As the U.N. COP27 Climate Change Summit enters its final days, all eyes are on delegations from rich, industrialized countries to see if they will continue to resist demands from developing countries in the Global South for “loss and damage” payments, which would compensate them for the impacts of climate change.
The strategic and economic importance of the Black Sea region has made it the center of conflict for centuries, and several factors make it unlikely that it will suddenly find stability when the war in Ukraine ends. As a result, the EU and U.S. should be developing contingency plans to ensure stability in the Black Sea region now.
Financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles included in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act are leading to renewed trade frictions with the EU. While those tensions are significant in and of themselves, they mask deeper problems with how the IRA and climate legislation more generally fit into the global trade regime.
The return of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister has raised the question of whether he will revisit Israel’s neutrality over the war in Ukraine. But he is unlikely to, for a simple reason: Israel fears that aligning against Russia in Ukraine would curtail its freedom to operate against Iranian forces and proxies in Syria.
The liberal European order has been under attack from within and without in recent years. The EU became a convenient punching bag for opportunistic politicians in many of its member countries, and centrist political parties are being challenged by a populist wave that may not have yet crested. The work to rebuild trans-Atlantic ties with the U.S. under President Joe Biden has begun, even as Russia’s attempts to destabilize the European order have not abated.
As the remaining results of this week’s midterm congressional elections in the U.S. continue to trickle in, the EU’s leadership is assessing the outcome’s implications for the trans-Atlantic relationship, now that the opposition Republican Party appears on track to win back control of at least one, if not both, chambers of Congress.
For decades, British commentators have expressed concern over other societies that have faced death spirals of governance. Now it is beginning to dawn on many senior political figures in the U.K. that their own system may be drifting dangerously close to the kind of existential crisis they used to think could only happen elsewhere.
Geopolitical tensions will dominate next week’s G-20 summit, as major world leaders convene amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, a heightened U.S.-China strategic rivalry and growing estrangement between the Global North and South. To save the forum from irrelevance, the West must deliver on priorities that matter to the Global South.
Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Russian men have fled the country to avoid being pressed into military service. In response, several European nations have barred Russian asylum-seekers from entering the country. But arguments for barring Russian draft-dodgers don’t stand up to scrutiny.
Since June, a series of strikes by railway workers represent the U.K.’s largest industrial action in decades. Long dormant, British trade unions are hitting their stride again, and the leadership and grassroots members are mobilized. Yet their resurgence poses a peculiar set of challenges for both of the U.K.’s dominant parties.
Boris Johnson finally delivered a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU on Jan. 1, 2021, more than four years after British voters narrowly voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum. But the deep divisions that delivering Brexit opened up have remade the U.K.’s political landscape and show no signs of healing. Meanwhile, the future of the U.K.’s trade relations with the U.S. and the rest of the world, as well as its global role, remain as uncertain now as they did before Brexit.
Italy’s new far-right prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, is in Brussels today for her first meetings with EU leaders. Such pro forma courtesy visits to Brussels are commonplace, but hers raises the question of how the bloc’s other leaders will manage the optics of working closely with Italy’s first far-right leader since World War II.
Sweden’s September elections ushered in a new government that promptly mothballed the country’s “feminist foreign policy” adopted in 2014. This unfortunate development, however, is an opportunity for everyone interested in promoting gender equality globally to rethink what a feminist foreign policy can and must do.