The war in Ukraine and the subsequent energy decoupling between Brussels and Moscow represent the greatest challenge so far vis-à-vis Europe’s green transition. Not only has the conflict highlighted how fossil fuels are still essential to power EU industries and day-to-day life, but the scramble for alternative sources has also diverted valuable resources from investment in renewables, forcing the Union to draft contingency plans.
Where is Tunisia heading, or, better yet, what is the outcome President Kais Saïed wishes to achieve with the founding of a so-called “new Republic”? Will the country grow into an innovative and reliable democracy or, instead, an autocracy disguised as a formally democratic regime? Saïed’s authoritarian measures over the past twelve months are not promising.
Europe seems to be waking up from a strategic nap it has been having since 1989. The pandemic interrupted supply chains and made the continent more aware of its dependence on Asian manufacturing, and just-in-time logistics. Then the barbaric aggression against Ukraine exposed its addiction to Russian energy resources, previously brought up only by a handful of Central European countries. Yanked by these abrupt changes, Europe is finally drafting a strategy in pursuit of real autonomy rather than just empty promises.
Il conflitto in Ucraina rende inadeguate le ambizioni di autonomia dell'UE in materia di semiconduttori. Per il futuro meglio puntare su più cooperazione con gli USA.
Nothing will ever be the same. It’s hard not to share such a clear yet simple assessment of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the short span of a few weeks, indeed a few days, ordinary human activities were disrupted. The impact was immediate and particularly visible in cities where traffic frenzy and traffic jams were suddenly replaced by deserted streets and unreal silence.
Franco-German relations have always been at the core of Paris’ European policy. With the 2019 Aachen Treaty, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel built on the 1963 Elysée Treaty and further strengthened their relations. Since the Covid-19 crisis, however, Paris has found itself more aligned with Rome than Berlin in many respects, as shown by a number of economic indicators. France’s average growth rate before the pandemic (2015-2019) was around 1.6%, just a bit lower than Germany’s (1.7%) and higher than Italy’s (1%).
Two years after the release of EU’s proposed strategy with Africa, and almost five years after the Abidjan summit, European and African leaders will finally meet again in Brussels on 17 and 18 February. The summit takes place in a context further challenged by the pandemic, which has exacerbated existing difficulties, putting the premises of the proposed “partnership of equals” to the test of reality.
The 5th and most recent European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit took place in Abidjan on 29-30 November 2017. Its focus was on investing in youth and managing migration/mobility. The 6th EU-AU Summit, due to take place in fall 2020, was postponed due to the global health crisis: it will finally take place 17-18 February 2022 in Brussels, under the French presidency of the Council of the EU and Senegalese chairmanship of the African Union (AU).
It is often said that Africa is not a country, but when it comes to Europe-Africa relations, we should always bear in mind that Europe is not either. The European Union (EU) is pursuing a fresh and ambitious strategy for the continent, while nearly all Member States carry out their own Africa policy autonomously.
Ever since, in March 2020, the European Union (EU) issued its proposed African strategy with the release of the Joint Communication Towards a new Comprehensive strategy with Africa, reference has been made to the 6th European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit, which was to be held in Brussels in the fall of the same year, as a topical moment for the redefinition of the partnership between the two continents.
The 6th EU-AU Summit, scheduled for the 17-18 February 2022 in Brussels, takes place at a rather extraordinary moment in the evolution of relations between Europe and Africa. Leaders from across both regions would do well in recognising the significance of this period, and should aim to provide a more robust sense of strategic direction for the partnership, particularly from a peace and security perspective.
With a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and becoming climate neutral by 2050, the European Green Deal sets out the response chosen by the EU and its Member States to tackle climate and environmental challenges.