Western Europe

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Snapshot,
Jakob Mischke and Andreas Umland

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, inherited a long German tradition of bracketing human rights concerns when dealing with Russia. But Steinmeier's forceful response to the Ukraine crisis signals that German foreign policy is entering a very new era.

Snapshot,
Lukas Kaelin

Earlier this year, Swiss voted to amend their constitution so that the government could regulate immigration from neighboring European countries. If Bern follows through, the days of unrestricted labor movement -- a requirement for Switzerland’s continued bilateral relationship with the European Union -- will be over.

Postscript,
Brenda Shaffer

Officials have proposed speeding up U.S. natural gas exports to Europe to help shield the continent from the Ukraine crisis, which could disrupt Russian gas deliveries to the region. But Ukraine is not Europe's biggest problem. More troubling are its unhelpful energy policies and insufficient pipeline system, which prevent it from using the extra gas it already has.

Snapshot,
Mitchell A. Orenstein

For a long time, France and Germany have had the most say over Europe's trajectory. But as the EU tries to move eastward, including to places like Ukraine, it is Germany and Russia that will decide who is in and who is out -- and under what terms.

Snapshot,
Kathleen R. McNamara

The situation in Ukraine cuts to the heart of the EU's promise -- and challenges -- as a foreign policy actor. The union still has a powerful pull for many countries, but it is sorely limited in its ability to respond to crises. It might not be able to wrest Crimea forcibly from a determined Putin, for example, but its emphasis on human security and international law will have a stealthy impact on Ukraine's evolution for years to come.

Comment, 2014
Jan-Werner Müller

Ten years ago, eight eastern European states joined the European Union, seemingly locking them onto an upward developmental trajectory. But now this supposed triumph is in serious doubt, as most those countries are experiencing profound political crises.

Video,

Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, sits down with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Snapshot,
David A. Bell

France’s stated reasons for intervention have changed over the years. But if France wants genuinely to establish itself as a leader in purely humanitarian interventions, it should do so anywhere but Africa.

Snapshot,
Anand Menon

In recent years, Europe’s defense deficit has dramatically worsened -- that is to say, its military capabilities have deteriorated as its military needs have increased. But Europeans have been in denial about the way forward: They must finally agree to collaborate on defense policy.

Postscript,
Jonas Grätz

Yanukovych's decision to snub the EU has made his job a lot harder. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens have taken to the streets in support of European values, his own political base has lost trust in him, and Russia may soon decide it prefers to work with a less toxic partner. The EU might just come out of all of this a winner.

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