Because of Russia, the EU will choose to thread carefully in its reaction to the tumultuous events taking place in Belarus. Moscow will remain the decisive player as the United States stays on the sidelines.
The revolution taking place in Belarus on the European Union’s doorstep shows the enduring appeal of freedom, democracy, and courage. The reactions of the EU and Russia will test these aspirations.
With a multitude of elections having occurred in Europe since, these governmental efforts can provide valuable lessons for the United States as it gears up for its presidential election in November.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a trigger for many autocrats to step up repressive measures. But the poor handling of the pandemic by many non-democratic governments, as well as the longer term economic fallout, spells longer-term political trouble for them.
In Russia and Belarus, civil societies are uniting faster than the two countries themselves.
In the chaotic early weeks of the pandemic, when Europe was ground zero for the international spread of the coronavirus, European unity seemed a distant prospect. But Merkel’s leadership combined with a gigantic recovery fund have helped the EU bounce back.
On the precipice of fragmentation, can the world escape further economic downturn by refining existing systems or is more dramatic change necessary?
The EU has muddled along for years despite a problematic mismatch between its central powers and those of individual member countries. Now, a multi-billion-euro recovery fund has forced the bloc to grasp the nettle.
Countries with populist governments have been especially badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But beware: the virus is unlikely to kill off populism. To rid the world of populism, its root causes must be addressed.
How can the United States and the European Union best lead and steward global efforts to prevent natural disasters by protecting our fragile ocean, including its high seas that are owned by no one, but shared by everyone?