JOINT Briefs

A Critical Juncture: EU’s Venezuela Policy Following the War in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine accelerated a global energy crisis just as the world was beginning to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Venezuela has the largest crude oil and the eighth largest gas reserves in the world and can therefore offer an alternative for Europe to replace its fossil fuels imports from Russia. The problem is, […]

JOINT Papers

How to Reduce the Impact of Internal Contestation, Regional Fragmentation and Multipolar Competition on EU Foreign and Security Policy

In a Union of 27 member states, differences in (geo)political interests, socio-economic realities, historical trajectories and national identity construction constantly threaten the internal unity and thus also the external coherence of EUFSP. The following three factors and their mutually reinforcing interplay appear to have a significant impact on the creation and shaping of EU foreign […]

JOINT Briefs

Resolving Libya’s Legitimacy Crisis: 2023 Elections as a Pathway for Peace and Democratisation?

Beyond having an internationally recognised government, Libya is in dire need of a legitimate administration to take it a step away from political stagnation and division. A legal framework and a roadmap associated with a timetable for Libya’s elections in 2023 is therefore paramount, although caution is required – as to not be too hasty. […]

JOINT Papers

Tackling the Constraints on EU Foreign Policy towards Ukraine: From Strategic Denial to Geopolitical Awakening

This report explores the evolution of EU policy towards Ukraine, with major turning points occurring in 2004, 2014 and February 2022 when Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started. The dominant constraining factor in the case of Ukraine was multipolar (or rather bipolar) competition between the EU and Russia over the European political, economic and security […]

JOINT Papers

Ethiopia and the Tigray War: Limits and Challenges of EU Policy in a Fragmented and Contested Region

The Horn of Africa is a main item in the Africa policy of the European Union. The EU and its member states have traditionally considered Ethiopia, due to its population, economic size and military capacities, the strategic partner for regional stability. This assumption has led the Europeans to turn a blind eye to Ethiopia’s internal […]

JOINT Papers

The Vicious Circle of Fragmentation: The EU and the Limits of Its Approach to Libya

Due to the weak state structures inherited by Qadhafi’s regime, Libya has entered a vicious cycle of fragmentation since 2011, as sub-national and regional players have engaged in a competition for resources and power. The involvement of several international actors has exacerbated these dynamics, turning Libya into a proxy conflict. EU action in Libya has […]

JOINT Papers

The Unfulfilled Promise of EU Foreign and Security Policy towards Iran

With the 2015 nuclear deal dead in all but name, Iran is getting closer to Russia and more repressive at home, while EU member states’ priorities about the Islamic Republic now extend beyond nuclear proliferation to human rights and European security. This shift in priorities cements a re-orientation of the EU’s approach to Iran from […]

JOINT Papers

Stalled by Division: EU Internal Contestation over the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Since 1980, Europe’s policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has served as a major barometer of the Union’s ability to formulate an autonomous and cohesive foreign policy. This paper reflects on the impact of the factors that hamper the effectiveness and coherence of EUFSP towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While there is broad consensus that the EU […]

JOINT Papers

The EU Trapped in the Venezuelan Labyrinth: Challenges to Finding a Way Out

This report explores how EU Foreign and Security Policy towards the political crisis in Venezuela can be assessed against the backdrop of diverging positions within the EU and as well as between the EU, the United States and other powers. The EU’s Venezuela policy has been anchored in three main pillars: first, supporting dialogue platforms […]

JOINT Papers

Syria: A Multifaceted and Challenging Crisis for EU Foreign and Security Policy

The Syrian civil war has been among the most intractable crises for the EU. An interplay of multi-level domestic and regional fragmentation and multipolar competition has constrained the ability of the EU and its member states to impact events on the ground. Since 2011, the EU has tried to promote a political transition through a […]

JOINT Papers

The South China Sea and Indo-Pacific in an Era of “Multipolar” Competition: A More Targeted EU Response?

A longstanding territorial dispute between claimants in the South China Sea now finds itself nested within a new imagined “Indo-Pacific” region, which itself has become a key theatre in a deepening great power conflict. The EU is geographically distant and a relative newcomer to the strategic terrain in these two regions, yet it cannot afford […]

JOINT Briefs

Russia’s War on Ukraine: Two Inconvenient Truths for the EU

Following a spectacular Ukrainian counteroffensive and the retaking of Kherson, the war in Europe’s east has moved into a new phase. The immediate focus is now shifting to the chilling effects of winter – both on the frontline and on Western morale. That said, the EU and its member states are now confronted with two […]


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