A bimonthly magazine on international affairs, edited in Germany's capital

App articles

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Russia’s president is more a product of the Russian political landscape than its architect.

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Berlin wakes up to the challenges of Russia’s online offensive.

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The landmark exhibition that wasn’t has dampened German-Iranian relations.

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Atlanticists need to prepare for a new era – and fast.

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The “Orbánization” of the Visegrád group seems to have hit the buffers.

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Winning the Dutch elections may not be enough for the far-right leader.

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How to make the EU-Turkey agreement stick – and apply its lesson to African migrants taking the perilous sea-route to Italy.

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Something very disruptive is going on in the political sphere, warns Simon Hegelich, professor for political data science.

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Damage control isn’t the only answer to the Trump presidency. Europe has to take its fate into its own hands.

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How strong are populists on social media?

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The West’s open societies are under attack. It’s time to brace for a fight.

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The office of Marieluise Beck, a veteran Green member of the Bundestag and vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was hacked two years ago by the FSB. Then her party deselected her.

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The ambitions of the People’s Liberation Army are beginning to approach Europe’s backyard.

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Poland’s new strong men prefer to style themselves as persecuted outsiders.

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Our January/February issue on digital manipulation is out now.

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Europe and Donald Trump – the contents of our new issue.

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What links Donald Trump’s victory, the Brexit vote, and support for Marine Le Pen’s Front National?

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The “unthinkable” has happened – again. The consequences for Europe and the world loom large.

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Here’s what a Trump presidency could mean for Europe.

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Political uncertainty in Washington makes the necessity of a common European defense more urgent than ever.

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Trump supporters voted to shatter America’s static political landscape. They may end up with a spectrum familiar to Europeans.

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This fall, Germany’s chancellor has been facing mutiny within her own ranks. But Angela Merkel has decided to fight.

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Spain’s new-old prime minister has weathered every storm that’s come his way, but major challenges remain.

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What’s next for the European Union?

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Italy is heading to the polls to vote on constitutional reform on December 4 – and the EU will be watching closely if yet another member descends into political chaos.

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras started out as the far-left David taking on the EU-IMF Goliath. Now he is seen as Berlin’s poodle.

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It began life as a variant of Grexit. Fours years on and a referendum later, the term is still devoid of meaning.

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It might seem like Russians stand firmly behind their president. Not so, says opposition leader Ilya Yashin. But the opposition has trouble making itself heard.

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It was obvious from the start that the Minsk II agreement for eastern Ukraine would fail to reach its targets. As long as sanctions are in place, however, it serves a purpose.

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Iraq has become the first test case for Germany’s ambition to pursue more robust crisis management policies. It’s been a promising start.

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The UN’s controversial new ambassador on men, Merkel, and miniskirts.

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Our issue on the new ideological front line in domestic and international politics is out now.

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Public opinion polls on the EU-Turkey relationship show the depth of the problem.

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The post-1945 international system is under pressure, not least by forces in the West. With the right steps taken, however, it can endure

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How to deal with those political forces insufficiently described as populist.

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Right-wing populism in France, the Netherlands, and Northern Europe.

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Come spring, who will become France’s next president? The non-conformist former minister of the economy has more than an outside chance.

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German politicians undermine the European Union.

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The West’s first task: reassuring Turkey of its place in the world.

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The extent of political purges in Turkey after the failed coup confronts the EU with thorny questions.

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Political journalism’s love affair with a newly minted word must end now.

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Germany’s new security white paper is a big step for a country still largely averse to strategic thinking.

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Some issues in Germany’s security white paper need clarification before the Franco-German couple works hand-in-glove on defense.

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The PiS government is reconfiguring Polish foreign policy, but the looming Brexit poses new questions.

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The German-Polish relationship needs a good dose of pragmatism.

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Greece’s former finance minister defends his record and explains how to save Europe.

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The Brexit age divide is a continent-wide phenomenon.

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Berlin and Brussels would do well to think deeply about the consequences and finer points of the EU-UK divorce.

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Views from Germany, France, and Poland.

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How the United Kingdom’s departure will affect its foreign and security policy.

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The former Polish prime minister may become the man to negotiate Britain’s exit from the EU.

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Is Angela Merkel’s coalition partner banking on foreign policy as an election winner?

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The EU can help stabilize North Africa and the Middle East. Here’s how.

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Lawmakers from the Islamist Ennahda party on turning Tunisia into a democracy.

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There is no need to apologizze for the EU’s migration policy, but there’s still room for improvement.

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The country of poets and thinkers wants to be seen thinking. It may be sinking.

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The decline of social democratic parties is reversible if they find new answers to questions of economic competence and identity politics.

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Seven ways that Moscow misunderstand the European Union.

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There is little in the way of a common agenda when Berlin takes over the G20 presidency from Beijing.

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The Co-Chair of Europe’s Green Parties on broken status quo politics and the (culinary) temptations of Brussels.

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The battle for TTIP looks to be increasingly uphill, at least in Germany.

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How the German government has been coping with the refugee crisis, and still is.

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From Willkommenskultur to German angst – and back?

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Paris views the refugee crisis through a different lens than Berlin.

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Thousands of refugees are stuck in Greece.

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The Italian government has put together a contingency plan to address a possible new wave of refugees coming from the South.

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The veteran of the Soviet school of diplomacy serves largely as the figurehead for a foreign policy beyond his control.

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What the Panama Papers have revealed about the Russian President’s rule.

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The EU should maintain – and strengthen – sanctions on Russia.

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The obfuscating misuse of the English term is troubling not least because “hot spot” previously referred to the kind of place refugees are escaping.

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The European Union needs to develop a “strategic capacity”.

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A few ideas NATO might want to consider when it holds its Warsaw summit in July.

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The future of Syria remains of vital importance to France, but there is little Paris can do.

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Germany is still as a “geo-economic power”.

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Contrary to doomsday scenarios, the Chinese leadership appears well-equipped to manage lower growth.

Why are films and television indulging a sudden nostalgia for the era?

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European attitudes on Brexit and refugees.

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How to stop Europe’s cracks from widening.

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Angela Merkel’s fight to keep the EU united.

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If David Cameron manages to avoid a Brexit, the United Kingdom could play a constructive role in Europe again.

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Europeans have to invest more in a joined-up common foreign policy.

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Poland’s “prezes” is steering his country firmly to the right.

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The EU’s biggest problem is the disappearance of an equal partner for Germany.

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Merkel’s critics at home and abroad are still landing few punches.

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Moscow’s warnings of a “new Cold War” are out of sync with today’s realities.

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Greece’s “self-evident revolution” (Η επανάσταση του αυτονόητου) stumbles over its children’s basic understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong.

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The United Nations is set up in a way that is outdated, a fact apparent in the composition of the Security Council. Can the system be reorganized?

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Poland’s former foreign minister argues that Berlin needs to lead through EU institutions, not solo, and won’t spill the beans about Oxford’s Bullingdon Club.

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Of the 100 top high-tech companies worldwide, only eight are based in Europe. Why are we lagging behind? It’s our risk-averse nature, says Airbus Group CEO TOM ENDERS.

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The question of whether sending ground troops to fight IS is dividing Europe.

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Europe has fallen behind the United States and Asia in a number of areas that will be key to economic success in the future. The EU will have to take a few key steps if it is to make up lost ground.

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The “convergence machine” was designed to build wealth within the continent while helping its lagging members catch up. Now, however, the same mechanisms are rendering the currency union less flexible.

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It has become the economistʼs holy grail – but competitiveness is too nebulous to guide policy. Increasing productivity should be Europe’s real concern, and this requires a comprehensive reform agenda.

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There are lessons to be learned from the terror attacks on Paris, says ROBERT MUNKS, Editor of IHS Janeʼs Intelligence Review. Military budgets and more manpower alone will not tackle IS’s dark appeal to vulnerable youths.

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After hundreds of thousands of dead, and millions of refugees, the EU urgently needs to take the lead in ending the brutal civil war in Syria that has transformed the country into a geopolitical battleground.

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The opportunity to establish a no-fly zone has passed. Any Western intervention should now focus on a no-bomb zone to protect civilians and on weakening Bashar al-Assad.

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Two approaches to policymaking are currently competing: one prefers to smash problems as they arise, while the other would rather disentangle them. Which one makes sense, and when?

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IS is more of a sect than a terrorist organization, isolating its members and providing them with an end-of-days ideology. Reintegration of IS fighters will be nearly impossible.

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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has long advocated a dramatic break from the country’s political past. Such straightforwardness, however, does not suit most politicians – especially the cerchiobottisti, who make much ado but do not do much.

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Syriza’s election was supposed to mark a new direction for Greece. Instead, conditions have steadily worsened. The country is in dire eco-nomic shape and faces the brunt of the refugee crisis.

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The “One Belt, One Road” project is about more than securing China’s economic future: it is a serious attempt on the part of Beijing to introduce a new form of diplomacy.

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The EU’s Commissioner for Competition on taking on the likes of Google and knitting elephants.

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Who is handling the European refugee crisis well?

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The EU is battling three major crises – with Germany in the lead in every case. But so far Berlin has not been able to create momentum for building a stronger Europe.

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Long seen as a reluctant player, Berlin is assuming greater responsibilities for two reasons: foreign policy has finally arrived on Germany’s domestic scene, and its partners are not ready to step up.

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An executive power like the US exercises a completely different leadership style than a consensus-based power like Germany. Leaders on both sides should keep this in mind.

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Germany, along with the rest of the world, seems surprised by the principled stance Angela Merkel has taken in the refugee crisis. Looking over her record, however, the German Chancellor has never shied from putting her values on the line.

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The refugee crisis in Europe is a modern tragedy playing out in three acts: the problem has been introduced, and now the main characters are locked in confrontation. But the conclusion remains uncertain.

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The refugees entering the EU are changing the countries that accept them – and those that do not. One of the Eastern European refuseniks, Poland, has been forced to confront uncomfortable questions.

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France’s President François Hollande is being criticized for not shielding the French from Germany’s “irresponsible” refugee policy. In fact, France does little to alleviate the crisis.

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After the Germans initially greeted refugees with euphoria, one old phenotype of German political discourse has returned, en masse: the “bearer of reservations.”

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The EU needs to develop the capacity to respond to the Kremlin’s new soft power offensive both at home and abroad.

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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is everyone’s darling at the moment, but the international community would do better to approach Tehran with greater caution.

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Iran has the potential to be everything the hype insists it is – the last frontier market to fall to global capitalism. European firms are well-positioned to benefit. But realities on the ground are still dire.

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Slowing growth in China carries repercussions, not least for the country itself. Four scenarios could result from responses Beijing might adopt.

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It should come as no surprise that Europeans are increasingly worried about the mounting immigration crisis.

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Ukraine has made significant headway reforming its economy since the revolution. But quite a bit remains to be done, and the short-term outlook is grim.

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A kleptocratic regime, mighty oligarchs – Ukraine was an economic mess before the revolution. Ricardo Giucci and Robert Kirchner, who advise the Ukrainian government, discuss Ukraine’s to-do list.

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Berlin is more deeply engaged in solving the situation in eastern Ukraine than ever before in an international conflict. State Secretary of the German Foreign Office Markus Ederer on the attempts to make “Minsk” work.

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A project to memorialize five Holocaust mass grave sites in western Ukraine is helping pave the road to democracy and reexamine the country’s troubled past.

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The president of the European Central Bank has a tough balancing act to pull off – do too little and the common currency will fall apart; too much, and European policy-makers won’t take steps necessary to strengthen it.

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Twenty-five years after German reunification, the European Union is struggling to come to terms with the consequences of that profound shift – as is Germany itself.

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Berlin has been vilified for its handling of Greece, but 2015 has actually been a banner year for German diplomacy: de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine, finding agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, and avoiding a Grexit.

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Without TTIP Europe’s competitiveness in the global market is in danger, especially in light of the TPP agreement the US is negotiating with Asia.

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Think that a “Merkel doctrine” is an oxymoron? Wrong: Ertüchtigung – loosely, “help for self help” – sounds outdated even to German ears, but the concept behind it is useful today.

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The Greek rescue package has postponed Europe’s reckoning, but one thing is clear: the euro lacks a supporting foundation.

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The EU is experiencing the worst storm since its inception, says Norbert Röttgen, chair of the German Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee.

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Long overdue, the EU has started strategic reflections on what its global strategy could look like.

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Sweden’s former PM and foreign minister on being undiplomatic on Twitter.

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The notion of “European solidarity” cuts many ways; right now, it needs to be applied to the EU’s two most pressing problems, Greece and refugees.

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Nothing embodies the growing distance between Greece and the 18 other eurozone members like the personal relationship between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras: a drama in three acts.

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The fallout with Greece has shown the complexity of governing the eurozone. The time to address the euro’s weaknesses and keep Europe’s single currency credible is now.

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The real dividing line in the debate about Greece and the euro is whether Germany and Europe should give in to Athens’ demands, or force Greece to reform? Interestingly, both camps are firmly pro-European.

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American experts have no shortage of suggestions for how Europeans could save Greece and ultimately fix the euro crisis. Yet most of the commentary is as uninformed as it is critical.

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If we want to keep the Europe we have – we must change it. The European Union needs more integration, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel must lead the way.

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As the European Union shows signs of fraying at the edges, some in France are questioning its core.

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As the balance of power shifts away from the United States, favoring China and others, the European Union must adapt to a new world order – and try to be a major player.

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Europe urgently needs to become a credible actor in international affairs – but to play its role, it has to do a better job framing its stage, its story, and its audience.

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In the past 25 years, Russia has gone from being the defining member of the Eastern bloc to a European integration project, only to shift east once again – this time toward China. In which camp will it end up?

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The peculiar ways President Vladimir Putin’s regime understands Russia’s past are feeding the current conflict with the West.

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After forteen years of a mostly fruitless war, and with the conflict still unresolved, the NATO coalition members have had different takeaways from the attempt at nation-building in the Hindu Kush.

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Yemen is headed for all-out civil war, another theater of the sadly familiar cast of proxy wars, sectarian violence, state collapse, and militia rule. The only actors who will prosper are the likes of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

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The Estonian president on austerity and difficult neighbors.

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NATO’s Secretary General on expecting the unexpected and how to relax in snow-deprived Brussels.

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Recent polls show: Europeans want more independence from the United States, Germans in particular. However, Washington is still by far the preferred partner.

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The extent to which the United States and Europe doubt the worth of their own systems and values has become self-destructive.

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Pride in past achievements is great but far from good enough. The West needs to pursue a bold, imaginative agenda, lead an effort to redesign the international system, and make it work better.

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The latest “scandal” over NSA support from Germany’s foreign intelligence service reveals Berlin’s political class as ever willing to ride the tiger of German anger toward the Americans – and score cheap political points.

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When “polite people” do impolite things, they can redraw the map of Europe. After facilitating the annexation of Crimea, Russia’s “gentlemen soldiers” have become a national meme.

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The European Council in April missed another chance to create an effective refugee and migration policy. The new Commission agenda at least acknowledges: Rescued people need to be put somewhere.

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Athen’s and Moscow’s tactical coupling of the Greece crisis and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is upping the ante for the EU. Geopolitical thinking, once passé in Germany, is experiencing a comeback.

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Even three decades after joining the EU, Greece is still ruled by feudal Ottoman tendencies.

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Recent conflicts have shown that European security won’t work without a hybrid security policy. Here’s what a triad of deterrence, resilience, and defense could look like.

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It’s clear that Europe needs a new relationship with Moscow. But it cannot be one that sacrifices European values of democracy and self-determination for stability.

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The crisis in Ukraine has forced the West to reconsider how it defends international law. As tensions in South East Asia grow, can Berlin apply the same lessons to a European Asia policy?

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Greece’s new Syriza government may alarm Brussels, but there is more behind Greece’s affinity for Russia than can be explained by party alliances alone – as polls have shown, keeping Athens in line on Russia policy may be trickier than expected.

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Europe needs to craft a short-term strategy to contain Moscow’s power and a long-term strategy to reengage with Russian interests. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke said, “To endure is all.”

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It will be hard for the EU to admit that its postmodern dream of an eternally peaceful European security order is out of reach. But given Russia’s aggression, that is what it must learn to do – while bolstering its defenses.

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Setting a positive agenda, reaching out to Russia’s remaining civil society, and pursuing a mixture of containment and engagement can build a more effective relationship with Russia over a long time frame.

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If the West really wants to build a new relationship, then it has to understand Russia much better than it does today. Here are a few recommendations on what to avoid when patching up relations with Moscow.

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Germany’s old Russia policy, an attempt to build a “modernizing partnership,” is dead and should be buried. The beginning of 2015 saw Berlin searching for a new way forward, informed by recent events.

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Since reunification Germany’s partners have prodded the country to take on a leadership role in security policy. Now Germany’s finally agreed to take a seat at the table – as long as it is not the head.

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Syriza’s election in Greece turned discussion in Europe once more to 
the possibility of a Grexit. Cutting Athens loose, however, would not help Greece, and do little to repair the eurozone’s remaining problems.

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The United Kingdom has been accused recently of stepping off the international stage, leaving Germany and France to run the show. The notion of British retreat, however, needs a more nuanced assessment.

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Mainstream politicians need to stop pressing the snooze button and 
wake up: Protest politics and xenophobic populism are endangering Europe’s liberal democracies and open societies. They must be addressed.

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Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Chinese foreign policy is 
becoming more ambitious. Consequently, new China policies are 
needed. Europe should build on past German successes.