We need also to focus on global soft power when discussing Europe post-Brexit and when implementing the EU Global Strategy.
Instability outside the borders of the Europe brings more instability to the Europe itself and vice versa.
We can protect ourselves but not fully, as shown by terrorist acts creating havoc in European countries. Europe also needs to interact with the world not least through trade. And the necessity of globalisation has not been an issue in the UK referendum where many have pointed to an increasing need for interaction in the Commonwealth.
Security is a requirement for globalisation. As can be shown in many countries there is also need for positive perceptions on the part of the population. Citizens of European countries need to be at least tolerated by residents when being present on the ground in different capacities, doing business, as aid workers et cetera.
To a certain extent, this is an issue of soft power, of perceptions through the media. It is clear that weaknesses in the support of Europe and the EU inside the continent risk projecting less positive images of Europe to the outside. It should be noted that the Leave campaign in the UK did not only focus on the EU but a number of other European countries being arguably less democratic and more bureaucratic than the UK.
The discourse on popular referenda will now continue inside the European Union with heightened intensity.
For the UK the net effect of the referendum is clearly a huge loss also in terms of soft power. It is possible that this will also be the outcome of future referenda in Europe of a similar nature. Losses on the part of individual European countries risk quickly to translate into losses on the level of the European Union and the level of the West. And since the West has an indispensable role for peace and prosperity in the world this is a bad development.
The last public opinion poll in Sweden taken after the Brexit referendum showing a strong support for the European Union membership may reflect this wisdom.
We need to think about this when discussing the EU Global Strategy, which will come on the table in the coming days.
More is at stake than risking shooting ourselves in the foot.
see more at lelundin.org
It can be assumed that diplomats in member states, in EU structures are ordered to work overtime these days to produce briefings on the way ahead after Brexit.
Gradually one can expect a shift in the use of paradigms for those briefings. Significantly, there will be a requirement to think out-of-the-box and apply a comprehensive approach – this is not business as usual.
For the time being, most people will be trying to map negative consequences. After that they will be focusing on damage limitation. Then there would be an effort to develop contingency planning. But importantly there are already now voices in the public debate who focus on new options for the EU - in the absence of the UK.
The consequences will be many and may only be discovered as time passes. In some areas, prospects immediately look very gloomy, such as in enlargement negotiations, where a strong voice for enlargement of the EU already now effectively is disabled. What this will mean for EU Turkey relations, or for the Balkans is very unclear but most protagonist of enlargement would probably deem the situation as negative
It may be useful to take as a contrasting example the area of CSDP. Here many who want to develop a more autonomous role for the EU in defence will start thinking more freely than was possible with UK as a member. Remember that the initial parameters for CSDP to a large extent were defined in an agreement between the French and British leaders in 1998 at St Malo. One of the main demands from the British side at the time was no operational military planning inside the EU in Brussels. This was by preference to be done through NATO and led by the deputy SACEUR, who normally is a Brit. It can be assumed that one or several EU countries will refuse such an arrangement for future EU military operations. So we might see more autonomous military operations in the future lead from the EU buildings in Brussels.
Secondly, as regards procurement of defence capabilities a UK defence ministry official, Nick Witney took the lead in setting up the European defence agency as a fundamentally intergovernmental structure which was not supposed to be funded or led by the Commission. Basic assumptions in this context may again come under discussions as the need to make defence spending more effective grows.
Thirdly on a more general, level the issue of security guarantees as they existed during the time of the Western European Union may again come on the table.
Fourth, it is already obvious that more emphasis on EU military operations and perhaps even standing military capabilities will increase, as already indicated by a President Juncker and the German government.
Smaller countries may seek to block some of these developments but may see themselves unable to counter threats to locate such arrangements (like the euro cooperation) outside EU structures which would further strengthen the inner circle of EU members constituting a coalition of the willing.
So in the end many may - from different perspectives - also see new options opening up for the future. Some of the thoughts in this direction were already put on the table before the referendum here..
The short answer probably is Iran, Russia and Hezbollah. A lot of overviews have been made on this topic but more attention probably needs to be given to the terminological question - what does "support" mean? Does it as in the case of China include preventing UNSC action? Should it include preventing support to Assads opponents? Balancing acts?
In the Guardian article below from 2015 an effort is made to be more nuanced. Further down - click on images to get to the source articles.
With everything else happening inside and outside Europe it is of course easy to lose sight of developments in the Balkans. News about this seem to drown in the media noise. Experts on the issue, however, in the last years have stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to the issue, arguing that it is not enough to look through the prism of enlargement alone; there is a looming crisis. The last meeting of EU Foreign Ministers on 20 June highlighted the problem. Below is some material which can help to zoom out not only on the country itself but the more general developments on the Balkan. Nothing can be taken for granted even in this region when it comes to further EU enlargement, peace and prosperity.
Clearly there will be a need for a systematic contingency planning as #Brexit implementation starts. Follow and contribute to the mind map below! Click and follow the links. Source documents at the bottom of the mind-map. Just a start - will be considerably developed.
The issue of the follow-up to the sanctions related to Crimea has almost drowned in the media frenzy about football, Brexit, Trump, et cetera. So here are some of the key references in chronological order on my website and on Twitter. And here is my page on sanctions. For further reference you can search my pages here.
So far the issue appears on 14 webpages on my site which illustrates the implications from a comprehensive approach perspective. And it is not only the issue of Russia. See the clickable weblinks in the mindmap below:
But first: here is the decision in brief to prolong:
And here the official overview:
And here is one of many analyses of effects:
Earlier coverage on this site include the following images which illustrate the volatility of our assumptions on the oil price and its implications. Which is your view now for the rest of 2016?
The Nigerian leadership pledged to counter this terrorist organisation. What is the current situation? Below some links and data to help you zoom out Click on the image below to get to my Boko Haram page with live Twitter feed:
The Nigerian President in front of the European Parliament Feb 2016:
The Crisis group report from May - Boko Haram still a threat - Click on image to get to full report:
On the Abuja Summit: