European Union

The European Political Community in a Global Context

Since its inauguration by 44 heads of state and government during the Czech EU Council Presidency in Prague on 6 October 2022, the European Political Community (EPC) has been discussed and analysed by many political scientists across Europe. There has, of course, been no consensus. Some welcomed the French initiative as the right format at the right time; others criticized it as a non-inclusive, ‘Macron-only’ project. Nearly everyone, however, tried to compare the EPC to the European Union, whose framework and decision-making are in desperate need of institutional reform. In this sense, the EPC has blended into a European and EU enlargement context. Fair enough!

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The European Political Community 2022—New Wine in Old Bottles?

With the aggressive attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the course of European history has changed. War in Europe is back. War waged by a great power against its neighbour has returned to European soil. The European security architecture—established after the end of the Cold War and built as a pan-European code of conduct—has been disrupted by Putin’s unjustified and aggressive invasion. The principles of democracy, human rights, rule of law, market economy, good neighbourly relations, and territorial integrity have been brought into question. And the European Union’s response to this challenge is the European Political Community.

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Europe’s Indo-Pacific Tilt: Estonian and Japanese Interests

Reshaped by the new great power competition, the international order has been undergoing revolutionary transformations. Revanchist Russia has unleashed a barbarian war against a sovereign European nation, while increasingly militarised and contentious China looms as a not-so-insidious threat in the Indo-Pacific. In response to these shifting dynamics and mounting geopolitical tensions, Europe is now awakening to the new reality and paying greater attention to the far-away region.

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Building European Security Against Russia – A View From Estonia

With Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, major conventional war returned to Europe in a manner unseen since the two world wars and the end of the Cold War—three occasions during the 20th century when the borders, norms, institutions, and balance of power ordering interstate relations on the continent and beyond experienced an unparalleled upheaval.

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AP / Scanpix

Georgia’s Quiet Withdrawal From the West

In the same way that it is difficult to say whether a single event in the last few decades marks Russia’s decisive breaking away from democratic path of development, it is difficult to say the same about the events of the last decade in Georgia. Nevertheless, this breaking away has taken place, although Estonia, the European Union, the United States, all Georgia’s Western friends have made powerless attempts to keep Georgia on track.

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Developing Nuclear Energy in Estonia: An Amplifier of Strategic Partnership with the United States?

Estonia’s climate neutrality commitments and its simultaneous pursuit of national security mean that it will need to develop and cultivate new zero- or low-carbon, affordable, secure and safe domestic sources of energy. Nuclear energy is increasingly regarded as one of the critical ingredients of successful transition to climate-neutral energy system and as a viable part of the future decarbonised mix of energy supply. Therefore, Estonia is officially considering the possibility to adopt nuclear energy generated by new-design Small Modular Reactors (SMR).

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10 Briefs on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Russia’s war in Ukraine has undoubtedly been game-changing for Europe’s security, challenging the long-held beliefs and assumptions of many Western nations and prompting dramatic shifts in policy, for example, in Germany, Finland, and Sweden. The war’s conduct has also produced significant surprises, not least the unexpectedly poor performance of Russia’s supposedly reformed military.

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Estonia’s Co-operation With the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood: Strategic Objectives and Focus

The countries of the Middle East and North Africa are often viewed by Europeans primarily through the lens of security, but in order to address security problems, it is necessary to focus on the economic and social development of these countries. The EU seeks to promote cooperation and spread democratic values through the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which was established in 2004. Although the negative developments in the region reflect the ineffectiveness of the ENP, its goals continue to be important. For Estonia, the ENP is a significant framework that creates solidarity among the priorities of different member states and lays down common goals.

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Taiwan and Europe – Far Away, Not Worlds Apart

Global tensions between the United States and China peaked following the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 2–3 August visit to Taiwan. People around the world held their breaths as speculations over a possible US – China war mounted. The visit concluded peacefully as Pelosi left Taiwan. High tensions remained.

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Europe’s Nuclear Energy Vulnerability

While a ban on Russian oil and gas is being actively discussed in the EU and US, there is no such conversation about the civil nuclear energy supply chain from Russia to Western countries. Rosatom’s supply and construction contracts in Europe have so far allowed it to avoid sanctions. Europe’s energy conversation will also need to include its dependence on Russia’s nuclear capacity.

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