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Defense Coronavirus CSS Blog

The New EU Budget and Defense: Narrowing the Capabilities-Expectations Gap

Image courtesy of Guillaume Périgois/Unsplash.

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The EU as a foreign policy and security actor is often haunted by the “capabilities-expectation gap”, referring to the discrepancy between the expectations citizens and states have about the EU’s international role and what the EU is actually able to deliver. The gap consists of three main components: available instruments, resources, and the ability to agree.

The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will go down in history as the EU’s coronavirus budget – unprecedented in volume and the raising of joint debt. It features several new defense initiatives complementing the EU’s long-standing efforts to narrow the capabilities-expectations gap. While the budget places promising new instruments at the EU’s disposal, the trimming of resources initially allocated and unchanged decision-making procedures significantly dim the prospects for those initiatives to deliver the expected results. If these projects are to bear fruit, they must be prioritized and interlinked with existing programs and supported by strong financial commitments by the member states.

Categories
Economy CSS Blog

The Western Balkans within Europe

This graphic maps the Western Balkans in Europe focusing on their GDP. With the exceptions of Croatia and Slovenia, the Western Balkans are unable to achieve growth rates that enable it to catch up with EU averages. The average GDP per capita for the six countries is half that of Central European countries and only one quarter of that of Western Europe.

For insights on the Western Balkans between the EU, NATO, Russia & China, read more of Henrik Larsen’s CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.

Categories
Trade CSS Blog

Eurasia’s Trade Partners

 

This graphic illustrates the total values of Eurasian countries’ trade with China, the EU, Russia and the rest of the world – including imports and exports – between October 2018 and September 2019.

For an insight into the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on Eurasia, read Benno Zogg’s chapter in Strategic Trends 2020, which can be found here.

Categories
Security Coronavirus CSS Blog

Lifting Border-closures in Europe: More Coordination, Less National Go-it-Alones

Image courtesy of author

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

Managing the supply of essential goods and the flow of seasonal workers during the corona crisis is challenging many European states.  A coordinated approach towards lifting border closures is required. At this stage, gradually opening borders between mildly affected neighboring regions could mean that Schengen could co-exist with the coronavirus.

Categories
Economy Coronavirus CSS Blog

EU Foreign Direct Investment Screening: Protecting Strategic Assets and Technology During the Corona Crisis

Image courtesy of François Genon/Unsplash

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The criticality of medical goods and volatility of European economies resulting from the corona crisis increase the risk of opportunistic acquisitions of strategic assets and technology via foreign direct investments (FDI). The EU Commission and Member States are stepping up the protection of European economies to contain the fallout of the crisis.