Tag: external affairs

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The need for a European Army: Member States split between desire and aversion

The formation of a European army has been seen as an objective to be realised by some Member States, such as France and Germany, though others disregard this project as being unnecessary. In a changing world order where long-time allies are not as trustworthy as they used to be, achieving military independence represents a key factor to guarantee the security of the bloc.

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Afghanistan: a security and humanitarian dilemma for Western powers

On the night of 15 August, the Taliban entered the presidential palace in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul after Western countries withdrew their military presence and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, leaving Afghans in despair. With the Taliban taking over Kabul and seizing control over virtually all of the country, Western powers have been evacuating their citizens and staff from Afghanistan. The only countries willing to remain in Afghanistan are non-Western nations, such as Russia and China. What does this mean practically for the European Union (EU) and its member states? And where does the EU stand? Those are the questions that have been arising in the last couple of days, but before answering them, let’s first understand why Western forces were engaged in Afghanistan.

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A free, one-way ticket to Minsk: Belarus accused of sending thousands of migrants across Lithuanian border

Since 1 June 2021, more than 1,000 migrants have attempted to cross the border from Belarus to Lithuania. Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Simonyte claimed that, over the past month and a half, more migrants have tried to cross the state borders than in the last four years combined. The Lithuanian State Border Guard Service has declared a state of emergency and has started to build a fence on the almost 700km long border.

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The EU’s expanding sanctions regime against Belarus

On Sunday, a Belarusian military jet forced a Ryanair plane to perform an emergency landing in Minsk, even though the plane was en route to Lithuania from Greece. The reason for the seven-hour long detour turned out to be the arrest of Belarusian opposition journalist Roman Protasevich, who was on board the plane. In what has been an unusually quick response, EU leaders have strongly condemned the action and arrest of Prostasevich and his partner, and  planned further sanctions for President Lukashenko’s circle.