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A Geopolitical Commission - What lies behind it?

A brief look into the next steps for the geopolitical EU Commission

February 6, 2020

By : Viola Scordia & Antoine Michon


The future of the European Union’s Commission will be geopolitical, as promoted by President Ursula Von der Leyen herself. The ‘geopolitical’ designation is outlined in the political guidelines of her agenda for a Europe that strives for more, as well as in the mission letters to her fellow Commissioners. Paramount to this is the heightened accent put on foreign policy considerations which arises clearly from the strengthened role of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP). As such, a stronger Union in the World remains one amongst eight political priorities -each overviewed by one Vice President. However, the number of steps announced by President Von der Leyen clearly points to increased international presence as the key overarching objective…

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Lebanon’s Autumn of Unity

A Country Reborn, A State on the Brink

November 20, 2019

By : Julian Vierlinger


It has now been a month that the failure of the Lebanese government to handle a range of severe bushfires has ignited the Lebanese population’s rage against its notoriously corrupt political class. The lion’s share of the establishment has effectively been ruling the country ever since the end of the civil war, where warlords became parliamentarians and reconstructed the Lebanese state on the lines of inter-sectarian bargaining and intra sectarian nepotism. The protests were as swift as they were efficient: under the slogan “All of them means all of them”, the population flooded the streets, demanding an overhaul of the system, commencing with the replacement of government, parliament and high public functionaries. The ruling classes’ reaction was swift, too: in a typical strategy for the country, the political establishment attempted to co-opt the demonstrations by joining the protestors, to delegitimise the protest by claiming it to be a ploy of foreign interventionism, or to firstly spark sectarian tensions in order to secondly claim its position as the sole guarantee for sectarian peace in the country…

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“The Spirits that We Called, Now our Commands Ignore.”

Turkey’s incursion into Syria, the EU’s condemnation thereof, and the expectable weaponisation of a short sighted deal.

October 27, 2019
By : Julian Vierlinger

By now one could safely say that there has been a fair amount of precedent for actions in complete absence of precedent when it comes to foreign policy decisions of the White House. The US abandonment of an important strategic ally in the fight against violent Jihadism — the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces — is yet another instantiation of this logic. With the outcome of both the current ambitions of impeachment and next year’s presidential election more than unclear, it seems to be high time to abandon the long standing European reliance on American firepower to protect Europe from MENA unrest, and to replace it with a European policy that takes matters into its own hands. In order to do so, however, the Union has to stop compromising its bargaining power for the sake of short-term solutions to problems that need long-term strategies. The EU’s 2016 agreement with Turkey, widely reported as the “refugee deal”, is a prime example of such a course of action…

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Advocating for a coherent
European foreign policy in
the MENA region

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