EU reform could give democracy promotion a lift


It’s time for a pan-European union that encompasses all of the continent’s sovereign countries at different levels of integration, writes Carnegie Europe analyst Cornelius Adebahr:

The most basic integration level would be about rights and democracy as currently embodied in the Council of Europe. Its 47 members have all signed the European Convention on Human Rights. Fusing this body’s work in the name of 800 million Europeans with the EU’s own rights mechanisms would give human rights and democracy promotion a much-needed lift. It would also offer a chance to reset EU relations with Russia: negotiating with Moscow to stay in would be a way to mend fences, while Russia’s refusal to remain would be a clear sign that the country does not share basic European values.

It’s also time for U.S. leaders and Europe’s political class to recognize that a return to nation-states in Europe does not have to end in tragedy, argues Jakub Grygiel, a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis. On the contrary, Europe will be able to meet its most pressing security challenges only when it abandons the fantasy of continental unity and embraces its geopolitical pluralism, he writes for Foreign Affairs:

Washington need not fear the dissolution of the EU. Fully sovereign European states may prove more adept than the union at warding off the various threats on its frontiers. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the EU had no answer besides sanctions and vague calls for more dialogue. The European states that border Russia have found little reassurance in the union, which explains why they have sought the help of NATO and U.S. forces. Yet where the EU has failed, individual countries may fare better. Only patriotism has the kind of powerful and popular appeal that can mobilize Europe’s citizens to rearm against their threatening neighbors. People are far more willing to fight for their country—for their history, their soil, their common religious identity—than they are for an abstract regional body created by fiat.


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