Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

Germany, Europe, and Russia

European unity is indivisible. When one nation is intimidated or ostracized, all are not free. Every aspect of our shared culture, if not the last century of shared suffering, confirms that for us.

So a prime objective of the European Union is to promote stability and security through a dynamic structure of economic and political inter-dependence in which all nations have a vested interest. But such a structure is lacking today between the EU and Russia, to the detriment of all the countries that lie between them. Thus it is vitally important that Germany has made this a central issue for its EU presidency, which is just beginning.

With high prices for crude oil and natural gas bloating its coffers, Russia is once again aggressively confronting the small and still relatively weak states that fled the eroding Soviet empire 15 years ago. Given the residual economic and institutional ties born of the Soviet era, Russia’s external influence in this region remains enormous. But Russia is also now extending its grasp of energy markets beyond those of its immediate neighbors.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.;
  1. marin8_Bernd von Jutrczenkapicture alliance via Getty Images_germanyfinanceminister Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images

    Germany Can Reduce Its External Surplus

    Dalia Marin

    For years, Germany's ballooning current-account surplus has rankled the rest of the world, and German policymakers have thrown up their hands as if powerless to do anything about it. But the external imbalance is a result of policies that are fully within the government's power to change.

  2. op_campanella7_Aurelien MeunierGetty Images_billgatesrichardbransonthumbsup Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

    Abolish the Billionaires?

    Edoardo Campanella

    Even many of the wealthiest Americans would agree that the United States needs to overhaul its tax policies to restore a sense of social justice. But, notes Edoardo Campanella, Future of the World Fellow at IE University's Center for the Governance of Change, such reforms would not be enough to restart the engines of social mobility and promote greater equality of opportunity.