JOINT Briefs

The EU Strategic Compass: A Blueprint for a European Defensive and Securitisation Policy

On 21 March 2022, the Council of the European Union released the Strategic Compass for Security and Defence.[1] The document provides a thorough assessment of international affairs and is meant to guide the development of the EU security and defence agenda for the next decade. The Strategic Compass has been hailed as a framework for […]

JOINT Briefs

The War in Ukraine and Studying the EU as a Security Actor

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the most serious conflict on the European continent since the Balkan wars of the 1990s, if not since World War II. The amount of military and civilian casualties, displaced persons and material destruction after two months of war is astonishing. Unlike the Balkan wars, the direct involvement […]

JOINT Briefs

Russia–Ukraine Talks and the Indispensable Role of the US and Europe

Vladimir Putin’s imperialist war of conquest in Ukraine is about to enter its fifth week. Russia’s failure to shock and awe Ukraine’s government and armed forces into submission through a poorly executed Blitzkrieg has morphed into a slow and ever more brutal three-front campaign. While Russian forces struggle to make strides in the north and […]

JOINT Papers

A Joined-Up Union, a Stronger Europe. A Conceptual Framework to Investigate EU Foreign and Security Policy in a Complex and Contested World

Fractious domestic debates, the fragmentation of regional politics and growing interstate competition all affect the capacity of the EU to forge a joined-up and sustainable foreign and security policy (EUFSP) in crises and conflicts. The problem is amplified by EUFSP governance structures, which have evolved irregularly, with a multiplicity of actors resorting to an increasingly […]

JOINT Briefs

The EU and the Ukraine War: Making Sense of the Rise of a “Geopolitical” Union

By ordering Russian armed forces into Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has arguably made the greatest blunder of his twenty-two-year long rule. The Russian president seems to have underestimated not just Ukraine’s capacity to resist the invasion, but also the resolve of the United States and its partners to oppose it.[1] If that is indeed the […]

JOINT Briefs

Europe’s Post-Cold War Order Is No More

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognise the independence of the self-styled separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas[1] may very well be the beginning of the end of Ukraine as an independent nation. For Ukraine, a nation of almost 44 million people, catastrophe looms large on the horizon. For Europe, these events […]

JOINT Briefs

The Continued Downturn of US–China Relations and Beijing’s Approach to the Ukraine Crisis

Summit proves fruitless or even ominous In spite of a few concrete instances of cooperation – all quite limited, indecisive and likely temporary – the 16 November 2021 online summit between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden demonstrated how wide the disagreements between China and the United States are, how difficult it is for both […]

JOINT Briefs

The Return of US Leadership in Europe: Biden and the Russia Crisis

In dealing with Russia’s aggressive policies towards Ukraine, US President Joe Biden has put up a powerful display of competent crisis management. While it may not be enough to stop President Vladimir Putin from escalating, Biden’s policy has nonetheless re-affirmed US leadership in Europe. Communication strategy Starting last autumn, the Biden administration kept warning its […]

JOINT Briefs

Biden’s Foreign Policy Casts a Long Shadow

Upon taking office as US president, Joseph R. Biden vowed he would bring the United States back to the centre of the international stage[1] after the erratic course followed by Donald Trump. One year later, it can hardly be said that he has been successful. Governance hurdles Under Biden, the United States has again become […]

JOINT Briefs

Laying the Groundwork for Peace in a Fragmented Libya

Libya is fragmented, and this fragmentation raises questions about legitimacy for whoever emerges as the winner of the presidential elections, now scheduled for early 2022. Legitimacy is one of the underlying challenges that engenders post-election conflict in many African societies. To avoid post-election conflict in Libya, stakeholders like the European Union, by way of anticipation, […]

JOINT Papers

Multi-Layered Actions? Sustaining Partnerships in the EU Integrated Approach to Conflicts and Crises

The European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy can be conceptualised as “multi-layered” action. Multi-layeredness refers to two interrelated ways of intervening in crises abroad, which the EU has articulated in the so-called Integrated Approach to crises and conflicts. First is the need for the EU and its member states to partner with diverse stakeholders acting […]

JOINT Briefs

The Italy–France Treaty is an Example of Wise Diplomacy

The recently concluded Treaty on Enhanced Cooperation between France and Italy[1] has created some interest in Europe. Dubbed the “Quirinale Treaty” after the sumptuous residential palace of the Italian president of the Republic where the signing ceremony was held, the agreement is indeed a significant development. It could preside over an expansion and deepening of […]

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