OPINIONS

March 3, 2017

The European Union has a unique set of foreign and security policy tools, including development, trade, and military elements. In theory, this toolbox allows for a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention and resolution as well as sustainable post-conflict stabilization. But the EU has not been very good at employing this toolbox coherently. This is...

February 18, 2017

The question is not so much whether the crisis of the liberal order is exaggerated as whether policymakers realize that there is a crisis and what they do about it. In every crisis lies an opportunity.

The transatlantic partners and the West in general face many crises, internally as well as externally. The disruptive impact of the newly elected U.S. presi...

February 1, 2017

Perhaps British Prime Minister Theresa May thought that U.S. President Donald Trump could do with some sound advice from the old continent. That hope was quickly proven as wishful thinking last week: just as May was warning of the need to abide by values, Trump was signing executive orders to allow waterboarding and to shut borders to religiously identifi...

January 27, 2017

Europeans must urgently draw lessons from the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Dismissing people who are attracted to political extremes as racists, misogynists, chauvinists, or backward protectionists is dangerous, particularly as the Netherlands, France, and Germany go to the polls this year. Elites must stop grabbing on to the status quo for dear life....

December 20, 2016

It’s a familiar dance now. The news breaks. Social media goes crazy. Rumours circulate. Foul play is confirmed. Political leaders howl their indignation. We change our Facebook profile pictures. We are Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, Nice.

The right is quick to point out that the alleged perpetrator is an immigrant, the left rushes in to downplay that he is a Mus...

December 2, 2016

Sometimes I think Tammy Wynette got it wrong when she sang that “sometimes it’s hard to be a woman”. In the year 2016 it still is hard to be a woman, especially if you want to get to the very top. Just ask Hillary Rodham Clinton. But that does not mean we should stop trying.

Clinton did not become US President – nor therefore leader of the free world. And...

November 7, 2016

How many of you feel that we are at a critical turning point in our world? In the field of international security, there is not a single paper or presentation that does not start from the premise that our security environment has significantly changed. We talk regularly of the “new normal”, the “post post-modern” security environment – not necessarily wit...

October 21, 2016

A recent conversation with a European defense industry representative quickly turned to the difficulty of defining common military requirements among EU countries and thus of developing common defense procurement programs. Many Brussels-bubble defense geeks, myself included, believed the global financial crisis would lead to more defense cooperation. We w...

June 29, 2016

The word “heartbroken” trended on my Facebook feed this Friday. The emotion with which Europeans, Brits included, reacted to the result of the British referendum was overwhelming. I too am profoundly heartbroken – I may have left it over a decade ago, but the UK remains my second home, in heart and mind. My British friends and family have contributed to b...

May 27, 2016

It is a widely held belief that some circles in the Brussels bubble are quick to judge. This dismissive culture stifles new ideas before they have a chance to be tested, take off, and become effective. 

This is what is happening to the post of the gender advisor to the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the woman who got the post. 

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