European leaders attend a conference to demonstrate their support for Ukraine.

Recent developments in the U.S. have reinvigorated the debate over Europe’s ability to defend itself. Now, after having relied for decades on U.S. support while collectively free-riding on U.S. capabilities, Europeans will have to shoulder a much more significant burden in European security themselves in the foreseeable future.

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni speaks at the start of the Italy-Africa summit.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni used the annual Italy-Africa gathering—upgraded to a summit this year—to strategically frame her government’s new approach to Africa. However, the inherent contradictions of the event were not entirely concealed, revealing challenges that will necessitate nuanced approaches to resolve.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni receives Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The latest European Union leaders meeting was the perfect illustration of how the far-right parties that are gaining popularity across the continent may converge in their positions on most domestic issues, particularly immigration, but remain sharply divided over the question of supporting Ukraine amid its war with Russia.

Geert Wilders.

Last week, negotiations in the Netherlands to form a government led by Geert Wilders and his Euroskeptic, anti-immigrant party collapsed, leaving the country’s political future uncertain. But even as Wilders’ chances of forging a strong governing coalition seemed to crumble, polls show he has become more popular than ever.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The recent panic over European military self-reliance has fostered an internal shift in attitudes toward the EU among far-right movements. As they warm to a more-powerful Brussels in the hope that they can shape the EU’s agenda, what once seemed like clear ideological battlelines have become increasingly blurred.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Hungarian Prime Minister Orban’s capitulation in his standoff with the EU over aid to Ukraine revealed the extent to which his embrace of anti-liberal culture wars is a tactical gambit he is willing to ditch whenever it is necessary to protect EU handouts that fund the corrupt patronage networks on which his regime relies.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Last week’s defeat of a controversial amnesty measure underscores the difficulties facing Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Having deftly engineered an improbable return to office after last year’s elections, Sanchez now finds himself at the head of a coalition even more unruly than his previous complex, multiparty alliance.