The European Union sees itself as an advocate of the “soft power” approach in its external relations. The author argues that, due to the presence of an increasingly assertive Russia in the Black Sea region, this policy is no longer sustainable. The urgent need for a common stance towards Russia –but not to be confused with a stance against Russia– is not the author’s wishful thinking but is rather a necessity unless the EU is ready to withdraw as an actor from its Eastern neighborhood. The sooner the EU realizes the need to integrate more “hard power” components in its strategy, the more it will be able to adequately confront the current challenges in the Black Sea region.
Please click here to read the text in full