Foreign policy & defence

Gas heats up the eastern Mediterranean

23 April 2020
Disagreements over who gets to exploit gas in the eastern Mediterranean have raised tensions in the region, led to EU sanctions on Turkey, and made resolving the Libyan conflict more difficult. Much is now riding on Ankara’s next moves.

The EU's new Libya operation is flawed

08 April 2020
The EU’s new Libya operation follows years of criticism that the Union has not done enough to end the conflict.

The COVID-19 pandemic: The EU must think and act globally

27 March 2020
European leaders are naturally focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their own continent. But a global crisis demands more than local solutions; the EU should do more beyond its borders.

Turkey and the EU: Preserving transactional co-operation

26 March 2020
Despite growing tensions with Turkey on many issues, it is in the EU’s interest to renew co-operation on migration with Ankara. The Union should also try to shift the relationship in a less confrontational direction.

Can the EU's defence ambitions survive budget cuts?

26 March 2020
The proposed cuts to the EU’s defence budget will not put an end to the EU’s ambitions. But they show that, on defence, the Union is only as effective as member-states allow it to be.

Will courting Putin always end in tears?

03 March 2020
Putin is good at persuading Western leaders that bad relations with Russia are their fault. They should defend their interests better, but also keep talking to Russia.

Can Europe overcome its paralysis on Israel and Palestine?

Beth Oppenheim
26 February 2020
Despite Trump, the EU can still play a leading role in promoting a just resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. To influence, the Union will need to go beyond statements.

Is the time ripe for the EU to rethink its relations with Belarus?

Khrystyna Parandii
24 February 2020
The EU’s policy towards Belarus has been unambitious. Although Moscow’s recent push for Belarus-Russia integration may open new opportunities for EU engagement, rewards may be slow to appear.

Can France and Germany steer Europe to success? Annual report 2019

06 February 2020
The CER's annual report features an essay on the state Franco-German friendship. It also describes some of the CER’s achievements in 2019, including the increasingly prominent role played by our Brussels and Berlin offices.

The EU and US must work together to end the siege of Tripoli

30 January 2020
The conflict in Libya is spiralling out of control despite the recent Berlin conference. Europeans need to work with the US to pressure regional powers to stop fuelling fighting.

UK foreign and security policy after Brexit

27 January 2020
Since the 19th century, Britain has seen alliances as temporary and interests as permanent. But Brexit will dissolve a partnership, while simultaneously harming the UK’s domestic and external security interests.

Will the Normandy Four summit bring "peace for our time" to Ukraine?

Khrystyna Parandii
05 December 2019
The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany will meet in Paris on December 9th to discuss how to end the Donbas conflict. But this summit brings both opportunities and risks.

Defence without direction

28 November 2019
The EU is strengthening its defence capabilities, but Europeans risk losing sight of how they want to use them.

Towards a European Security Council?

27 November 2019
France and Germany have discussed forming a ‘European Security Council’ to strengthen European foreign policy and co-ordinate closely with the UK after Brexit. While it could make Europe stronger, it may also prove divisive.

One step closer to a rupture: Europe, the US and Turkey

17 October 2019
Turkey’s relations with the EU and US are in freefall after its new offensive in northern Syria. The EU should do what it can to avoid a broader rupture between Ankara and the West.

Can Josep Borrell get EU foreign policy off the ground?

30 September 2019
The EU’s new foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, may struggle to co-ordinate the Union’s external activities in the face of rival European commissioners and unruly member-states. 

Up in arms: Warring over Europe's arms export regime

Sophia Besch, Beth Oppenheim
10 September 2019
The European Union's poorly co-ordinated arms export policy is undermining Europe's foreign policy, credibility as a principled power and defence industry. The EU should take steps to move towards convergence.

Will the 'Servant of the People' be the master of Ukraine?

31 July 2019
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, now has a parliamentary majority behind him. The West can help to ensure he uses it to enact much-needed reforms.