Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Security & Defence

Swedish Submarine Search Signals Sub Par Stockholm Capabilities

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By James Krotz For over a week, the Royal Swedish Navy and Air Force have been frantically looking for a suspected Russian submarine in Ingaro Bay, the main port approach to the wharves of Stockholm.  On Thursday, the search was finally called off, ending the largest Swedish naval operation since the end of the Cold […]

Power shift? The EU’s pivot to Asia

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Over the last two decades, the world has witnessed the economic resurgence of Asia and the region is now a top priority in all global players’ agenda. In 2011, the US made official their strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific, and decided to strengthen their trade relationships and their diplomatic presence with a heightened security presence. […]

EU-NATO Relations: Quo Vadis?

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The political crisis unravelling in Ukraine earlier this year has brought to the fore the precarious nature of the “European security architecture” in the post-Cold War period.   Many would agree that the current crisis in Ukraine is an angry reaction on Moscow’s part to maintain its influence in what is known as the post-Soviet […]

Dependence on Russian Energy and Eurosceptic MEPs: A Wicked Problem or a Joint Solution?

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 Events in the first half of 2014 are likely to present somewhat of a headache to those working in Europe’s climate and energy sector, but they could also provide a solution. Much of Europe is addicted to Russian energy imports, impinging the continent’s ability to isolate Russia as a result of its recent engagement with […]

Why the UK needs the EU (and vice versa)

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Making the case that the United Kingdom (UK) needs the European Union (EU) and vice versa is at the forefront of current electoral debates in the UK. During a passionate electoral hustings event at the University of East Anglia last night, candidates clashed over visions for a federal European Union (Andrew Duff, MEP, Lib Dem), […]

The ghosts of Libya in Crimea: EU’s continued Weakness in Crisis Response.

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This post will demonstrate that the on-going crisis in the Crimea has once again exposed the EU’s weakness in crisis response by highlighting the inability of its member states to adopt a coherent and effective response to an external crisis. This is due to the structure of the Union where conflicting interests of member states […]

Question of Strategic Partnership and the EU

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The question of strategic partnership has been brought up when assessing EU’s foreign policy relations with the United States, Russia, and China. In particular, the debate surrounds the EU’s ambiguous relationship with China, often marred by political hostility exhibited by the United States. EU-China relations have been officially declared as a strategic partnership. Does the EU […]

Normative Power and Vested Interests – The Case of EU and China’s Arms Trade Policy

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Normative Power and the EU  The human rights agenda features heavily on the rhetoric and policies of the EU, and thus enables the EU to capitalize on a new identity, formed by shared idealistic values held by member states. European Union is unable to exert its identity as a strong and legitimate normative power because security […]

The EU’s Impotence on all Things Except Economic Diplomacy

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The recent case on the annexation of Crimea and the EU’s flaccid non-response, at least militarily, highlights the relative impotence of the EU in matters of “high politics”. Should onlookers be surprised by such an emasculation on the part of the EU? It is worth considering that the EU first started out as the European […]

Ukraine: EU has to step up its game

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Addressing the situation in Ukraine is an obvious choice for this blog’s first post. The next few days are critical for the country’s future. In addition to revolutionary turmoil, financial meltdown and secessionist movements, the new interim Ukrainian government now faces an invasion of its territory by Russia, which is threatening to annex the region […]

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