Student Paper: “Showing teeth or hoping for peace: European Union as a powerful geopolitical actor in wartime”, Anhelina Shablovska

As part of the prize of the TEPSA Student Contest 2023, we are publishing the three best policy papers we received from applicants. To learn more about the TEPSA Student Contest 2023 click here, and to read the other papers, head over to our ‘Student Papers’ section of the TEPSA website!

The EU had successes and failures in strengthening its geopolitical stature. The Union has applied multiple sanctions and demonstrated readiness to tackle energy dependency. Nevertheless, there is a long way ahead of the EU for it to consolidate a strong geopolitical position. Member States should raise military spending, deepen international cooperation between each other, and provide sufficient education on EU matters to the citizens.

It goes without saying that most of the European countries won the geographical lottery. Especially Western, Central and Northern counties of the European Union (EU) are safely shielded from the tragedy of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, etc. (Marshall, 2021). Because of such a fortunate location, countries can use fertile land, a soft climate and convenient access to the sea. Yet, there is a difference between geographical and geopolitical factors. When analysing the history of the European continent from 2014 to 2023, the threat of Eastern politics becomes apparent. Hence, it is vital for the EU policymakers to stay alert to not just the economic or ideological, but also the geopolitical status of the Union in the global arena. When one talks about the strength of the EU, one would seldom mention geopolitical reputation as its component. In fact, the Russian invasion of Ukraine displayed the weaknesses of the peaceful European mindset (Lehme, 2020). While EU leaders might have perceived peace and cooperation as the general will of humanity.