War in Ukraine: EU must reposition itself

The fighting directly on the EU's external border, the huge numbers of refugees arriving from Ukraine and the severing of political, economic and travel ties with Russia pose new challenges, but also bring opportunities for Europe, says the press.

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Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

A way forward for asylum policy

For Der Tagesspiegel the German foreign minister's proposal to airlift refugees arriving at the EU's external borders to other countries in the Union makes good sense:

“Baerbock's proposal could help to bridge old rifts in the long-standing dispute over EU asylum policy. Countries like Spain, Italy and Greece could ease Poland and Hungary's burden in taking in those seeking protection. ... But it should not be forgotten that it is precisely these Mediterranean countries that have been demanding burden-sharing in refugee policy for years. ... If Baerbock's plan is implemented, it would only be fair for Warsaw and Budapest to show their appreciation in the debate on long-term EU asylum policy.”

Dienas Bizness (LV) /

Latvia now on the periphery

The hardened fronts have put Latvia firmly on the periphery, business paper Dienas bizness notes:

“After the closure of our borders with Russia and Belarus we can no longer serve as a bridge between East and West. At least for a certain time we will be on the edge of Europe. All the attention is focused on the situation in Ukraine, and it is clear that this will remain so for years. Because after the war, everyone will try to help Ukraine recover from its losses.”

Azonnali (HU) /

Against Putin, but with a heavy heart

Foreign policy expert András Hettyey can understand Hungary's rapprochement with Russia in emotional terms. He writes in Azonnali:

“While [Hungary's government] faces anger and criticism in the West, it receives respect, praise and attention in the East. We shouldn't believe that politicians like to be received with hostility and isolated again and again. ... However, I am not trying to say that Hungarian foreign policy is driven by emotions alone, or that Hungary's decision-makers follow no 'rational' or 'objective' Hungarian interests: Budapest has condemned Russian aggression and voted for a number of sanctions against Russia.”