A leadership void created by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s passive approach to continental affairs has now seeped into the Franco-German relationship, threatening to destabilize the central motor of European integration. Scholz visited Paris yesterday in what appears to be a failed attempt to patch up tensions.
Western Europe Archive
Giorgia Meloni became Italy’s new prime minister and the first woman to hold the position on Friday, ushering in a new era in which she will be the conductor of Italian politics’ cacophonous chorus. The drama already promises to be intense, even as the country braces itself for ferocious economic headwinds.
It is not polite, as Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas put it in June, to say, “I told you so.” But the West had a “Russia problem” long before it had a “Putin problem.” The Baltic states warned Europe and the rest of the world about this. The world didn’t listen. And Ukrainians have paid a horrible price as a result.
Liz Truss resigned as British prime minister on Thursday just 44 days after assuming office. Though she tried valiantly to hold on, she ultimately failed to reassure the markets or her Conservative Party MPs of her ability to end the political and economic chaos unleashed by the release of her government’s fiscal plan last month.
EU leaders are gathered in Brussels, where they are locked in a heated discussion about Europe’s energy crisis. But as they try to hammer out an agreement, they’re also keeping a nervous eye on the protests brewing in France over inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, which could tip over into widespread civil unrest.
Until recently, many observers expected the war in Ukraine would end with a deal, once the equilibrium point between Russia’s military setbacks in Ukraine and Europe’s growing economic crisis was found. The events of the past month have called into question whether such an equilibrium can and will be reached.
Five years after Catalonia’s leaders sought to break away from Spain through an illegal referendum, the independence movement has lost steam and the region’s separatist governing coalition has fallen apart. The story of how the Catalan government arrived at this moment can be told through three key dates over the past two months.
In July and September, Albania suffered two cyberattacks attributed by the U.S. to Iranian state cyber actors. But Albania is not Iran’s first victim. Among the world’s cyber powers, the Iranians have been among the most aggressive in using hacking for coercion. And while still relatively unskilled, Iran is a dangerous cyber actor.
NATO defense ministers pledged more air defense systems for Ukraine and strongly condemned Russia’s targeting of Ukrainian civilians in missile attacks in response to the bombing of a bridge in Crimea last week. But Kyiv continues to complain that some EU countries are not doing enough to deliver military aid quickly enough.
As European countries prepared for a sharp drop in natural gas supplies and an impending energy crisis, the Netherlands announced it would slash production at one of the world’s largest natural gas fields. The announcement reflects the competing priorities across Europe, pitting climate goals against the energy crisis.
The scale of the military effort in support of Ukraine’s struggle for survival has provided stark evidence of how distorted U.S. and European defense priorities have been over the past two decades. The war in Ukraine has served as a reminder that the U.S. and Europe must fundamentally reassess how they prepare for war.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marked an opportunity for Germany and Poland to converge around their shared interests in the face of a common threat. But developments since then have resurfaced the many lingering questions regarding the two countries’ differences, which often reflect broader divides across the continent.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s pet project, the European Political Community, held its inaugural summit in Prague, Czech Republic, this week. The gathering marked a diplomatic success for Macron, who had floated the idea of a forum comprising all of Europe’s democracies, both inside and outside the European Union, back in May.
Europe’s eyes were fixed on Prague today for the inaugural summit of the European Political Community assembling all of continental Europe’s leaders, besides Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. But tomorrow’s European Council meeting focusing on Europe’s energy crisis is expected to deliver more tangible outcomes.
Few institutions in British political life have seemed more indestructible than the Conservative Party. But Prime Minister Liz Truss’ chaotic first month in office has shattered what remained of the party’s reputation for economic competence. Now a pillar of British political life for 200 years is now facing electoral extinction.