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  • Author: Justyna Szczudlik
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Asia could be described as the world’s great construction site, and is already the focus of a scramble for infrastructure projects. Among countries competing for investments are not only China with its Silk Road initiative, but also Korea, Japan, India and ASEAN, which have prepared their own infrastructural strategies. The plethora of initiatives may have a positive impact on Asia, offering diverse solutions to the infrastructural bottleneck and reforms of existing institutions and modes of assistance. But there is also the risk that fierce competition may result in unprofitable projects, while economic slowdown could cause a decline in funding. For Europe these initiatives create opportunities to take part in new projects, but the EU should be aware that the projects will be implemented mainly in Asia and by Asian countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Anna Maria Dyner, Natalia Ryabova
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Belarusian accession to the Common Economic Space (CES) was forced by two factors-the 2011 crisis and the necessity to gain cheap energy resources. Although Russia fulfilled its promises, decreasing gas and oil prices, Belarus is now feeling the negative results of the integration. According to CES rules, Belarusian authorities will have to tighten monetary policy, and reduce social spending and public financing of state-owned enterprises. The situation may be improved by foreign investments, but among the three CES countries, Belarus is the least attractive, especially since Russia joined the WTO and the because of the possible accession of Kazakhstan in the near future. Because of the need to carry out the major reforms in Belarus, the European Union has a greater chance to influence the situation in that country, for example by supporting modernisation projects.
  • Topic: Development, Oil, Natural Resources, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lidia Puka
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Indian decisions regarding the country's energy mix have global consequences. For this reason it is of paramount importance whether Indian declarations to take on climate change mitigation efforts could, indeed, mean a shift away from a fossil fuels-dominated energy mix and towards the deployment of renewable energy sources.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Development, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Anna Maria Dyner
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Belarus faces a serious economic and financial crisis, which may have a significant impact on the political transformation of that country. Because of increases in living costs, which are part of the aftermath of the devaluation of the Belarusian ruble and rapidly rising inflation, an explosion of mass public protests is forecast for the autumn. However, it is not expected that the protests will bring about a rapid (pro-European) turn in the political situation in Belarus. Moreover, the weakness of the opposition, which after the presidential election of 2010 became even more divided than before and still has no charismatic leader, is not propitious to radical, pro-European changes.
  • Topic: Economics, Social Stratification, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Karol Kujawa
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For several months, we have witnessed rapid change in the countries of North Africa. Researchers and politicians have raised questions about the future of Arab countries once the revolution has run its course. Will the new authorities attempt to build a theocratic state or will they follow the example of Turkey and implement democratic reforms? The latter choice is becoming increasingly popular in the Arab world. This article will address the key questions that come up in connection with Turkey and Arab countries, including: the source of Turkey's popularity in the Arab world, what do they have in common, what divides them and, finally, whether Turkey could become a model for Arab countries.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Ryszarda Formuszewicz, Marcin Terlikowski.
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 18 May, after two and a half months in office, defence Minister Thomas de Maizière presented updated cornerstones of the ongoing Bundeswehr reform, which has been rebranded as a “reorientation” (Neujustierung). On the same day, new Defence Policy Guidelines (DPG) were published, replacing the previous document of 2003. The core message directed to internal public opinion and to international partners both disappointed and displeased with Germany's troubled record in the security policy domain is laid out in the title of the DPG: “Safeguarding National Interests – Assuming International Responsibility – Shaping Security Together.” The DPG delivered a conceptual foundation for the armed forces' transformation process, which will now be based on defined security policy assumptions—a feature lacking in the original reform announced in 2010 under the pressure of a financial consolidation plan. The document is both an outcome of the deteriorating German stance on the international security stage and an opportunity to push Berlin on the road towards assuming a new, more visible role, as a security actor.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Asia