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  • Author: Patryk Kuglel
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004 has made only modest achievements and needs a thorough rethink. Both sides must reset cooperation and base it on a more realistic footing centred on common interests, such as economic cooperation, global governance, development cooperation, and defence. The resumption of free trade negotiations, the organisation of a long overdue bilateral summit, and more frank dialogue on contentious issues is necessary in order to utilise the partnership’s potential. Poland may use this strategic drift to revitalise bilateral cooperation and play a more active role in reviving EU-India dialogue.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, India
  • Author: Patryk Sasnal
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Syrians constitute the biggest national group migrating to Europe in 2015, according to Frontex. Of all the social diversity within a single society, two generalised profiles of a Syrian refugee can be inferred from available information: a poorer, rural worker based in camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, and a richer, middle-class professional living outside of refugee camps, recently migrating to Europe via the Greece and Western Balkans route. While Europe has so far received the best of the Syrian society, poorer Syrians may also be on the move without an immediate and substantial improvement of educational infrastructure and their legal labour market status in host countries.
  • Topic: Civil War, Economics, Migration, Poverty, Refugee Issues, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Kacper Rękawek
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Terrorists constantly seek the spotlight and attacking major sporting events constitutes a seemingly perfect springboard for global notoriety. As the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi are nearing, the global public is understandably concerned about the July 2013 North Caucasian jihadi threats to either disrupt the Games or prevent them altogether. Are the recent Volgograd bombings all the terrorists could muster in anticipation of the Olympics or is there more to come? It is worth analysing some of the options the Caucasus Emirate might be considering in relation to their stated intent to disrupt or force the cancellation of the Olympics. All of the options are derived from information on previous terrorist attacks on other sporting events that could provide clues for counter-terrorism authorities in Russia and neighbouring countries to use when securing these Olympics.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, International Organization, Terrorism, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Sebastian Plóciennik
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although the euro has survived the most severe phase of the current crisis, its future is still uncertain. The fate of the common currency will depend not only on the condition of the European economy, but also the priorities of its biggest player—Germany. So far that country has been strong enough to enforce its own vision of integration based on neoliberal reforms and austerity measures. Since the side effects of this prescription have been rising costs and risks, Berlin's new government will consider a range of different solutions, including in extremis a controlled and partial break-up of the Eurozone. For Poland, this volatility creates a challenging environment with risks, but also creates chances for Warsaw to increase its influence over the evolution of EU integration in this field.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Nicolas Levi
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Ever since previous North Korean leader Kim Jong-il passed away in December 2011, concerns about the new North Korean regime have been growing. Although the international community has worried mainly about the country's foreign policy, especially nuclear and missile threats, recent news about a purge in the North Korean leadership has brought to the fore the question of the regime's internal stability. Kim Jong-un has been steadily building a new system of governance, giving more power to the Korean Workers' Party apparatus at the expense of the armed forces. He has also shown interest in boosting North Korea's economy. In foreign and security policy, however, in the short term, North Korea is likely to continue on its previous uncompromising course.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Communism, Economics, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Adriana Skorupska, Konrad Zasztowt
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: If Georgia is to remain the leader among post-Soviet countries in terms of successful democratisation, it must conduct an effective decentralisation of power. During its nine years in power, President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement rather oversaw a consolidation of power. The transfer of power to the Georgian Dream coalition in 2012 raised hopes that real decentralisation might happen. Poland has been engaged for years in the transfer of know-how and best practices in the field of local democracy building to its Caucasian partner. It should continue its support to the government in Tbilisi. This, however, should be combined with a constructive critique of Georgian reformers’ actions.
  • Topic: Communism, Reform, Democracy
  • Author: Beata Ociepka
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Diplomacy has been changing dramatically in recent years as a result of an adjustment to more interconnected and hybrid international relations. One of the signs of this change is more stress put on soft-power tools as public diplomacy. Classic diplomacy has shifted from the domain of politics to the public sphere, where public opinion is formed. Formerly latent diplomacy has become public diplomacy with the effect of a more symmetric conduct of international political communication. Poland’s public diplomacy is conditioned by the country’s size and its status as a “new” EU Member State, but there are lessons to be learned from strategies adopted by other countries in the European Union, particularly in the fields of culture, development aid, and education.
  • Author: Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Fyk, Ryszarda Formuszewicz
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU’s new energy and climate framework for 2030 is an exercise in reconciling Europe’s green agenda with its need for renewed competitiveness—as well as the domestic concerns of Member States. As the energy policies of Poland and Germany are shaped by EU policy, the 2030 policy proposal might serve as an opportunity for a shift towards bolstered bilateral cooperation. The conditions for this are twofold: mutual understanding and thinking outside the box. The publication is a part of the project “The German ‘Energiewende’ from Different Perspectives” carried out by the Polish Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Poland.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, European Union
  • Author: Ryszarda Formuszewicz
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The tougher tone in Germany’s policy towards Russia reflects changes in Berlin’s perception of the eastern giant and in its own self-perception as a power willing to play a more active international role. This readiness for leadership could cement Germany’s status as a key international player whilst handing it the influence necessary to secure its own primary economic interests vis-à-vis Russia. However, it will also require Germany to critically address the long-standing premises of its policy towards Russia, and its appetite to overturn old assumptions remains limited. Lessons drawn by Germany now, in particular with regards to the causes of the Ukraine crisis, will prevail as a guideline for its Russia policy, and as such will also be decisive in the prospects for Polish–German cooperation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Power Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Germany
  • Author: Damian Wnukowski, Artur Gradziuk
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: At the beginning of 2014, the European Union and China launched negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty that would launch the next stage in economic relations between them. Although both approach numerous issues differently, they have also strong incentives to seek compromise. Reaching an agreement on investment topics could be a significant step towards creating a favourable environment for cooperation and resolving most contentious sticking points in bilateral relations in the near future. It could also become a template for future similar EU agreements.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, China, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, European Union
  • Author: Katarzyna Kubiak
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process aims for the international coordination of efforts to improve nuclear security. However, in the absence of globally binding norms, mechanisms, accountability and transparency, nuclear security principally remains a national matter. The Central European states, in particular Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Ukraine, are part of the NSS success story. The key drivers have been the Central European states’ longing for recognition as part of the West, the personal engagement of individuals in the governmental apparatus, and the fact that cooperation on nuclear security enables intensified relation-building with the United States. Taking into account their past achievements, the states of Central Europe can also play an important role in advancing the continuity of the NSS process and leading by example with contributions to nuclear security at the regional level
  • Topic: Security, Treaties and Agreements, Governance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Central Europe
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Eurasian integration has been formally elevated to a new level. On 29 May, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed in Astana the founding treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union. However, problems related to integration, enlargement and international cooperation with the EEU indicate the effort is far from a point of no return. Despite the upbeat mood in Moscow, integration remains weak and selective, and in several important fields has been shelved until 2025. At the same time, the enlargement process has encountered security-related obstacles and triggered additional costs for Russia.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Maya Rostowska
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite the reigning consensus that the Russian economy is facing trouble ahead, some indicators suggest that the situation is not as dire as first appeared. Moreover, it may seem that the fiscal situation in the country—particularly its copious foreign currency reserves and substantial sovereign wealth funds—could still help extricate Russia from its economic difficulties. However, the very difficult budgetary situation in the regions and the staggering levels of debt of its companies suggest that economic problems could hit the country hard. Investors should remain vigilant of social and political tensions and the possible further deterioration of the business environment in Russia.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Politics, Governance, Budget
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Elzbieta Kaca, Roderick Parkes, Anita Emőke Sobják
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU is inevitably a geopolitical player, but it seeks to avoid fulfilling this role by all means. This has resulted in increased instability in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region. In order to bring healthy political choices to its troubled eastern neighbourhood, the EU should follow a 12-point plan focusing on a more nuanced policy towards Russia, stronger regional ties between Eastern partners, tailored EU conditionalities and an integration approach better suited to EaP countries, as well as improving EU political capacities in the region.
  • Topic: Self Determination, European Union, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Artur Kacprzyk
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the context of the Ukraine crisis, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Romania have called for significant strengthening of NATO’s deterrence and defence policy and for permanent deployments of Allied troops in the region. This position is, however, not shared by the rest of the Central and Eastern European NATO members. Similar to Western European countries, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia do not feel as threatened by Russia’s actions and do not support moves that could damage their political and economic relations with Moscow. Fundamental differences among the current positions of the regional Allies indicate a profound divide between Central and Eastern European NATO members.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Economics, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Sebastian Płóciennik
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The recent expansionary course of the European Central Bank confuses Germany. Getting the southern members of the eurozone out of recession is important, but the price could be damage to domestic savings, fading enthusiasm for reforms in the eurozone and more lax approaches to inflation in the future. In addition, the anti-deflationary bias in the eurozone can mark a point from which the traditional German macroeconomic preferences stop pushing themselves forward. Berlin needs allies to defend those preferences and Poland seems to be among them.
  • Author: Kacper Rękawek
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is the oldest socio-political movement active in Egypt. Its members and structures are now undergoing one of the most severe crackdowns in its history, at the hands of an Egyptian government that constituted itself in the aftermath of a popular revolt followed by a coup against a short period of MB rule in 2013. The MB, however, although dispersed and fragmented, is still not defeated, and faces options related to its future political trajectory. This paper discusses these options and concludes that the MB is most likely to ready itself for a “long struggle” scenario that would amount to waiting out the period of repression and reconstituting itself on a bottom-up basis.
  • Author: Tomas Profant
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Czech and Polish banking systems are similar in many aspects, such as the predominance of euro area banks in the market and a strong banking supervisory authority. These common features of banking systems translate to similar Czech and Polish positions towards the Banking Union. Their main proposals are to include the specificity of so-called host countries and to maintain the strong position of national supervisory authorities. Although Poland and the Czech Republic will have more reasons to sign up to the Banking Union if they join the euro, these countries should continue to stress the importance of maintaining financial independence between parent banks abroad and their branches and subsidiaries in Poland or the Czech Republic. These countries should promote their monitoring systems as effective methods of providing financial security
  • Author: Patryk Toporowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: By introducing a one-year embargo on the import of some food and agricultural products, Russia will have to substitute old channels for new ones on an unprecedented scale. With the exception of Belarus, there are few options to increase imports from suppliers close to Russia’s biggest cities. Within the country’s broader neighbourhood, China and Turkey offer some potential, whereas Latin America would be considered a more distant source for food. However, the change in trade patterns would have its price. Not only will Russia risk growing inflation but also it will increase its dependency on China, which can settle for good Moscow’s role as a minor partner of Beijing.
  • Author: Ana Uzelac, Patrycja Sasnal
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The worst humanitarian crisis of this century so far is unfolding daily in Europe's closest neighbourhood. Some 10 million Syrians and Iraqis have been displaced by sectarian conflicts over the past three years, and are living suspended lives in camps or makeshift shelters across the Middle East. It is as if all of Austria or Hungary was forced out of their homes. The fate of displaced Syrians and Iraqis is not only a moral dilemma for Europeans, it is a future security threat in the making. If abandoned and unassisted they risk becoming radicalised in the future, creating a potential recruitment and support base for anti-European extremism. Although the EU, and especially its better-off Member States, have already done a lot to assist the region with the refugee flow, response to the crisis should be expanded further, tailored and diversified. It should also be shouldered equitably by all EU members, in proportion to their size and national income. This crisis is too big and its consequences too far-reaching for any EU member to opt out.