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European Press Review Feb 21 2024

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ES. Vienna, February 22, 2024

Eurotopics looks into what seem to be Julian Assange’s dwindling chances of avoiding his last years in an American prison. Differing views on whether it matters. There’s discussion of Ursula von der Leyen’s bid for another term as Commission President.

The future of the brave and remarkable widow of Alexei Navalny is also much in the news. Can Julia really take over his Herculean struggle against Putin and his morally rotten and murderous kleptocracy?

And what about Europe getting its act together in defence following  Donald Trump’s suggestion that Russia should feel free to attack NATO countries that don’t pay their dues?

With news of EU ministers proposing to protect ships from attacks in the Red Sea, the press review highlights a tough call to arms by my former colleague, the UK journalist and would-be politician Edward Lucas. “Much mocked in the past, the European Commission is now the best (albeit alarmingly slender) hope for coordinating the continent’s defense,” he writes. “The mooted new post of a European defense commissioner… has not yet been agreed, let alone filled. But problems are already piled, smouldering, on the newcomer’s desk.” 


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