Policy Brief: Beyond geopolitical Europe

Year of Publication
Seismic shifts, conflicts and instability have spurred a revival of the geopolitical discourse in international affairs. Russia's attack on Ukraine has exacerbated this development, raising the stakes for the EU to translate its rhetoric on 'geopolitical Europe' into action. The EU took some important steps and mobilised significant means to counter the aggression. However, it is questionable that the geopolitical paradigm, which focuses on power politics and spheres of influence, suits the EU's own identity, its cumbersome decision-making process and its lack of hard power. The EU has recognised that it needs to face new threats and challenges and that doing so requires a wider toolbox, including coercive instruments. But this does not mean endorsing a geopolitical mindset. A more strategic Europe would build on its experience and invest in its strengths, to create the conditions for dialogue and stability at the continental and global levels. Despite its current limitations, the recently established European Political Community can become a useful laboratory to test new forms of governance and a platform for the EU to affirm shared principles of co-existence in a competitive and contested world.