This Alert assesses the current state of EU-Russia relations. What attempts have been made by the Union to balance confrontation with engagement? Can the newly adopted process of ‘selective engagement’ yield results?
The EUISS conducts its research both topically and regionally, focusing on key issues of strategic importance to EU foreign policy. Alongside the immediate priorities in the EU's neighbourhood, the EU also focuses on emerging regions such as the Far East, as well as on traditional allies such as the United States.
The EU’s relations with the ‘Middle East Region’ actually cover three different but overlapping areas, each of which has its own peculiarities and distinctive relationship with Europe. They are the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf Region.
Russia and eastern neighbours
Russia is the biggest neighbour of the European Union – and one of its most difficult partners. The EU’s Eastern neighbourhood is a region in transition. Diverging foreign policy orientations, frozen conflicts, and low levels of inter-state cooperation further fragment and polarise the region.
The diversity of the African continent and its states, the distinct privileged historical links that exist between some Member States and their former colonies, and the corresponding cultural and linguistic affinities, all represent an extraordinary potential for cooperation, and this extends to the as yet barely developed area of peace and security.
Reflecting the evolving priorities of EU foreign policy, the EUISS has begun developing research on Asia. The aspects the Institute focuses on are: the global implications of the rise of China and India, China’s role in Africa and the Middle East, security and international relations in East Asia, and non-proliferation.
EU policy in the Western Balkans is based on stabilisation through integration. Following the 1999 crisis in Kosovo and NATO intervention, the EU member states recognised that a comprehensive policy for the whole region was needed, and in 2000 the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) was launched.
The strength of EU-US relations rests on historical bonds, converging interests and commonality of values. Cooperating with the US represents an important aspect of almost all areas of EU foreign policy. Elsewhere across the Atlantic, rising powers such as Brazil and Mexico are also of increasing importance.
Although the comprehensiveness of the EU’s approach to addressing the South Sudanese crisis has set a positive precedent, the costly disbursement of over €414m in crisis-response financing is a stark reminder of the need to re-invest in peace.
Presidential attempts to extend term limits in the Great Lakes region have resuscitated a debate over their impact on security. But beyond these presidential predicaments, questions have been raised over the erosion of democratic accountability across the region.
In the wake of the Arab Spring, this Chaillot Paper examines the role played by the different national armies in the Arab world, and their long history of involvement in matters beyond the military realm. As this study shows, the Arab Spring has marked a watershed in how Arab military forces are perceived: one way or the other, they have once again become the political actors they were prior to the 1970s.
In June 2003 the EU-Western Balkans summit resulted in the Thessaloniki Declaration, affirming unequivocally that ‘the future of the Balkans is within the European Union’. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the declaration, and on the eve of Croatia’s accession to the EU, this publication assesses the progress that the countries of the Western Balkans have made on the path to European integration in the past decade.
China is poised to become the EU’s most important commercial partner, while simultaneously being a serious challenger in trade and a competitor for resources. It is against the backdrop of this dichotomy that this report offers a number of suggestions to assist EU policymakers in developing a more coherent approach towards China.