Words and Deeds

COVID-19, the EU’s External Action and the Future of the Eastern Partnership

16 July 2020

The EU should provide space and possibility for the front-running states to advance in their European aspirations. At the same time, differentiation based on ‘more for more’ should not simply become a byword for rewarding the state apparatus, but we must also ensure to provide space for the aspirations of the civil society.

The globalised world, as we know it, is facing unprecedented challenges. In a way, the lack of COVID-19 tests was symbolic of the failure of globalisation to stand the resilience test.

The pandemic and its effects have laid bare the immense loopholes and fractures in its basic construction, as well as in our way of conducting foreign policy, not least in our immediate neighbourhood.

In the aftermath of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, Western think tanks and analysts started to gradually point to the dangers of the growing challenge of Russia and China, and the ability of Russia to interfere into our internal affairs – including elections (the very core of our value system and democracy) but also the growing corrosive influence of Chinese investment in the EU, in our neighbourhood and beyond.

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