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Michael Leigh



Articles by Michael Leigh

Vaccine diplomacy: soft power lessons from China and Russia?

April 27, 2021

The rocky start to the European Union’s vaccination rollout has allowed Moscow and Beijing to score political points in the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe.
By:
Michael Leigh
Date: April 27, 2021
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

As COVID-19 continues to rage throughout Europe, China and Russia seem to be giving the European Union lessons in soft power on its home ground. Several EU members and countries nearby are turning to Beijing and Moscow for additional supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, faced with discontent at the slowness of the EU’s own vaccination rollout, supply shortages, delivery bottlenecks, poor communication and concerns about vaccine safety.
China’s vaccine deliveries come with soft-power messages. Beijing is providing its vaccine free to Chinese

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An appropriate European Union response to tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean

August 28, 2020

If the European Union can mediate effectively to resolve current Greek-Turkish tensions over energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, it could also provide an opportunity to tackle more deep-rooted problems.
The European Union is seeking to mediate in a naval confrontation on its doorstep, in the Eastern Mediterranean, which involves NATO partners Greece and Turkey, as well as EU member Cyprus. EU foreign ministers are discussing the issue and, without de-escalation, sanctions against Turkey could be implemented. But so far, the two most powerful EU nations have adopted a ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach that conveys different and confusing messages – and has not prevented escalation. Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the added authority of holding the EU’s six-month revolving presidency, has

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A tale of two pandemics

June 23, 2020

The two narratives briefly examined here cast light on different aspects of the EU in the times of Covid-19. Euroskeptic nationalists typically propagate claims of EU failure but have been rather subdued during the pandemic as mainstream governments have taken over their trademark policy of closing borders to foreigners. Nonetheless, the grip on power of several pro-EU mainstream leaders, including President Emmanuel Macron in France, Prime Minister Conte in Italy and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Spain, remains tenuous.
By:
Michael Leigh
Date: June 23, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Two contrasting narratives concerning the impact of Covid-19 on the European Union are prevalent in Europe today. One depicts the epidemic as accelerating existing trends

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