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  • Author: Michał Wojnarowicz, Szymon Zaręba
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 12 November 2019, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) issued a judgment on products from Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Golan Heights. It states that EU members are required to ensure that the origin is properly marked. The implementation of this requirement may cause disputes in the EU because of differences in Member States’ policies towards Israel. Tensions in relations with the U.S. are also possible, especially in the context of that country’s recent change in policy favouring the Israeli position on settlements. Hence, it is advisable for the EU to develop a uniform policy regarding imports and labelling of products from all occupied territories.
  • Topic: International Law, Territorial Disputes, European Union, Occupation, Judiciary, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North America, United States of America, West Bank, Golan Heights
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Trump administration recognises the “Indo-Pacific” region—which in official terminology has replaced “Asia-Pacific”—as the most important area for maintaining U.S. global dominance by confronting China. The anti-China approach in the American strategy is not shared by other countries that also are developing Indo-Pacific policy because they are concerned about the negative effects of the U.S.-China rivalry. The Americans will put pressure on their NATO and EU allies to more strongly support the achievement of U.S. goals in the region. However, the EU approach is closer to that of the Asian countries in seeking cooperation and strengthening the stability of a cooperative and rules-based regional order.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Geopolitics, Grand Strategy, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America, European Union, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Artur Kacprzyk
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Trump administration is sceptical about extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START, NST), which is to expire in 2021. It wants to sign a new deal with Russia and China covering all kinds of nuclear weapons. It will not be possible, however, to negotiate such a complex agreement before NST expires. In effect, there is a growing risk of a collapse of U.S.-Russia strategic arms control, which would negatively affect NATO as well: it would deepen both the divisions over the future of deterrence policy within the Alliance and the differences in the U.S. Congress on the modernisation of America’s nuclear forces.
  • Topic: NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, United States of America, North America
  • Author: Katarzyna Michalska, Małgorzata Pawłowska
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The migration agreement concluded in 2017 between Italy and Libya helped stem the refugee and mass-migration crisis. The agreement, with minor amendments, was extended on 4 November 2019 until the end of 2021. However, its implementation has resulted in human rights violations, which is contrary to EU values and law. Italy will not quit the deal because it views it as an effective instrument for reducing irregular migration.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Migration, Treaties and Agreements, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Europe, Libya, North Africa, Italy
  • Author: Sara Nowacka
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Iraq remains an area of rivalry between the U.S. and Iran. The latest example was the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad by the U.S. in January. The Iraqi parliament then demanded the withdrawal of all foreign military troops. However, the fear of the resurgence of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) and continued protests against Iranian influence, ongoing since October 2019, may lead the Iraqi authorities to alter their position. An alternative option to request a NATO mission to take over some of the activities of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS may be a good solution.
  • Topic: NATO, Military Affairs, Islamic State, Military Intervention, Qassem Soleimani
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Katarzyna Michalska
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The increase in irregular migration from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel has resulted in the transformation of Morocco from an emigration-only country into a transit and immigration one. EU support for Morocco focuses on the protection of the country’s borders, controlling the migration flow to Europe, and the implementation of readmission agreements. The EU also provides financial and technological support and helps to reform immigration policy. Due to the unstable humanitarian situation and growing number of refugees in Morocco, this cooperation should also include the Sahel region.
  • Topic: Migration, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Refugees, Borders, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, North Africa, Morocco, Sahel
  • Author: Marcin Terlikowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European Defence Fund (EDF) is the EU’s newly established defence-industrial policy tool. It will enable co-financing from the Union’s budget collaborative research on defence technologies and joint-capability development programmes. Its goal is to strengthen the EU’s defence industry and, thereby, its military capacity. Implemented since 2017 only in a limited form, the EDF is planned to go full-fledged in 2021–2027. Yet, it will not bring the expected results if its budget remains limited and no consensus is found on the issue of the access of non-EU NATO states to the fund.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Politics, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Łukasz Maślanka
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron initiated a Franco-Russian dialogue aimed at improving bilateral relations, as well as EU-Russia relations. This effort could be confounded by the growing Russian engagement in Africa, mainly through their military, business, and propaganda activities. These are increasingly harmful to France, which traditionally engages in the politics and economies of African states. The French government hasn’t yet prepared any coherent strategy vis-à-vis the Russian challenge, preferring to wait it out.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Europe, Eurasia, France
  • Author: Marek Wąsiński, Mateusz Piotrowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The coronavirus outbreak is spreading throughout the United States. After its initial underestimation of the threat, the Trump administration has acted to fight against the pandemic, including the introduction of a national emergency. The effectiveness of these actions will be an important factor in whether Trump is re-elected. The limits on social life despite the enormous financial support from the government and the Federal Reserve have dramatically slowed the economy, heading into a recession. Public debt will increase much more rapidly, which may force budget cuts in the coming years.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Health, Financial Crisis, Health Care Policy, Crisis Management, Donald Trump, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sebastian Płóciennik
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The prospect of dire economic repercussions from the coronavirus pandemic has prompted the German government to expand its intervention tools. The latest package puts the emphasis on helping the smallest companies and self-employed, offering more loan guarantees, as well as the possibility of temporary state purchases of shares in companies. The crisis is a challenge for fiscal policy—it will lead to a large deficit in public finances and to rising pressure on the German government to accept joint financial measures in the eurozone.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Fiscal Policy, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Karol Wasilewski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Turkey has sent aid to fight the COVID-19 pandemic to more than 20 countries. Although the gesture has a humanitarian dimension, it is also calculated to achieve political and economic benefits in the future. The challenge to these plans is the dynamics of the pandemic in Turkey, which may force the authorities to focus on the internal situation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Humanitarian Aid, Coronavirus, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Kinga Raś
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: At the end of January 2020, the Latvian government approved the country’s climate neutrality strategy until 2050, and in March it supported even more ambitious EU targets for reducing emissions. These declarations are connected with the need for a thorough transformation of the economy. The Latvian authorities combine these changes with the outlook for economic growth, including the development of the newest technologies in the energy sector. Latvia’s approach, subordinated to climate action, coincides with the policy of other countries in the region, but differs from the Polish vision of energy transformation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Government, Europe Union, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Latvia
  • Author: Marcin Andrzej Piotrowski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Iran’s official figures on cases and deaths from COVID-19 (the disease resulting from coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2) do not reflect the real scale of the pandemic in that country, which might be among the hardest hit in the world. The pandemic will deepen the economic crisis and disfunction of the state, becoming a challenge to Iran’s ruling elite. The regime might survive thanks to the security apparatus and, in parallel, continue its support of Shia militias in Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, and the Syrian government. Only the succession of power after Ali Khamenei will be the real test of the coherence of the Iranian elite, and in case of disruption, it might result in the collapse of Iran’s theocracy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Government, Health, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Elites
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Yemen, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic
  • Author: Damian Wnukowski, Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic and efforts to suppress it (the Great Lockdown) will lead to the collapse of the global economy. In the short term, the reduction in production and consumption in the countries most affected by the pandemic will lead to a global recession. In the long run, the crisis may result in a partial retreat from globalisation, higher indebtedness, and narrowing the differences in economic potential between the EU and the U.S., and China. A positive side effect may be the acceleration of the development of the digital economy, including the services market.
  • Topic: European Union, Economy, Global Financial Crisis, Coronavirus, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Michał Wojnarowicz
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia is strengthening its relations with both the Palestinian Authority leadership and Hamas in Gaza Strip. It is part of Russia’s consistent strategy towards the Middle East to build a network of influence among regional actors and boost its image as an attractive political partner. In developing relations with the Palestinians, Russia exploits Israel’s sensitivity to Russian activity in Syria, poor relations between Palestine and the U.S., and the deadlock in the peace process.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Grand Strategy, Hamas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Karol Wasilewski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The agreement signed on 5 March between Russia and Turkey has halted the offensive by the Syrian army on Idlib and led to a new division of influence in the province. Both Turkey and Russia are using the truce to strengthen their military presence in this territory. The coronavirus pandemic may delay the resumption of fighting in Idlib, giving the EU time to prepare for a renewed escalation and attempts by Turkey to instrumentally use an exodus of Syrian refugees to exert pressure on the Union.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Syrian War, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Sara Nowacka
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The activity of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a state-financed organisation of around 60 militias, deepens the political crisis in Iraq. This was mirrored in their brutal suppression of anti-government protests and a series of attacks between PMF Kataib Hezbollah (KH) forces and U.S. troops. The structure of the PMF and their political influence in Iraq and abroad prevent the state from controlling the militias. This hinders attempts to calm the ongoing protests in Iraq and threatens the security of the military missions present there. The absorption of PMF members directly into the army and demobilisation of some militias could counteract this.
  • Topic: Security, Non State Actors, Islamic State, Protests, Militias
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Michał Wojnarowicz
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Israel took early preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic that contributed to low infection and mortality rates. This allowed lifting the restrictions and restarting the economy at the end of April. The cooperation undertaken with the Palestinian Authority helped limit the spread of COVID-19 across the Palestinian territories. The successful fight against the spread of the coronavirus in Israel has strengthened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the newly earned support may be halted by the impending economic slowdown.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Coronavirus, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Anna Maria Dyner
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Outside its borders, Russia has military bases in the post-Soviet space and in Syria. The main goal is to increase Russian military security and political influence in countries in which these bases are located. Despite economic difficulties related to the drop in oil and gas prices and the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia will maintain its network of bases, which it considers an important element of influence.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Military Strategy, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Jakub Benedyczak
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: COVID-19 has become an opportunity for the Russian authorities to increase repressive measures and test Chinese solutions for digital control of society. Most of the solutions will probably be maintained after the pandemic eases, especially given the deepening economic crisis and potential of protests.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Surveillance, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia
  • Author: Sara Nowacka
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The fight against the spread of the coronavirus in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has forced cooperation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, which were in conflict within the GCC. At the same time, the UAE took advantage of other countries’ need for support in countering COVID-19 to strengthen relations with China, Iran, and Syria, among others. The UAE’s activity emphasizes its ambition for domination of the region, which may lead to a new dispute within the GCC between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Marcin Przychodniak
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China’s cooperation with the Western Balkans through the “17+1” format and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), among others, is primarily political. In the economic sphere, Chinese investments are to a large extent only declarations, and trade is marginal in comparison to cooperation with the EU or others. China’s goals are to gain political influence in future EU countries and limit their cooperation with the U.S. Competition with China in the region requires more intense EU-U.S. cooperation, made more difficult by the pandemic.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Investment, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Balkans
  • Author: Paweł Markiewicz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Arctic has become another contested area between the U.S., Russia, and China. The region’s growing importance for global trade and American security means the U.S. goal is largely to maintain freedom of navigation in the Arctic. For this reason, the Trump administration strives to increase American capacities to operate in the Arctic. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will delay implementing these plans; nevertheless, they will be achieved in the long term and the U.S. will also expect support in the Arctic from NATO allies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Bartlomiej Znojek
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The spread rate of COVID-19 in Brazil is increasing and the policies of the federal government, headed by President Jair Bolsonaro, do not contribute to a slowdown in the pandemic. Bolsonaro downplays the threat and rejects restrictive measures as he priori-tises support for the economy. He has clashed with state governors who introduced restrictions and with the Federal Supreme Court, which defended their autonomy. The deteriorating situation in Brazil amid the pandemic and political situation diminish Bolsonaro’s chances of re-election in 2022 and may strain his government’s relations with EU partners.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Politics, Health Care Policy, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Jair Bolsonaro
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Jędrzej Czerep
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: May’s parliamentary elections in South Africa, a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), will change the directions of its foreign policy. The victory by the African National Congress (ANC) was made possible by the popularity of the current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who will emphasize the international dimension of policy. In his new term, he will focus on regaining the trust of foreign investors, strengthening the country’s pro-Western course, supporting multilateralism, and reform of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, International Law, Politics, Elections, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Małgorzata Pawłowska, Melchior Szczepanik
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: ND won the election with 39.9% of the votes. The governing left-wing Syriza took 31.5% while 8.1% voted for the Movement for Change (KINAL), a coalition built around PASOK, the main left-wing party before the last economic crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics, Elections
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Veronika Jóźwiak
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Hungarian-Russian economic relations are based on the energy industry. Hungary’s efforts to build closer political relations with Russia after 2010 did not result in a marked increase in bilateral trade, investment, or greater Russian influence outside the energy sector. EU economic sanctions imposed on Russia and the introduction of counter-sanctions in 2014 caused a significant drop in Hungarian exports to Russia. However, this has not resulted in substantial losses to the Hungarian economy.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions, European Union, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Hungary
  • Author: Mateusz Piotrowski
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The U.S. will create a new branch of the armed forces to conduct operations in space. This is a response to the increased threat from China and Russia, which are rapidly developing space systems for military use. As a result of the U.S. actions, NATO adopted its first space policy. The effects of this policy also oblige allies who do not have space capabilities and who will have to work out their own policy towards this domain.
  • Topic: NATO, Science and Technology, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Space Force, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tomasz Żornaczuk
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This year, Germany participated for the second time in a Three Seas Initiative (TSI) summit as an observer. Its participation is motivated by the desire to strengthen cooperation with Central European countries and reduce divisions in the EU. It also aims to limit U.S. economic ambitions in the region, with TSI a potential key vehicle for them. Germany’s efforts to gain membership should be seen as a foreign policy goal. Its success could contribute to influencing infrastructure priorities in Central Europe, if implemented under the TSI.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, North America, Central Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Sara Nowacka
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The population of Egypt, the EU’s second-most populous neighbour after Russia, will soon exceed 100 million. The fast pace of the population growth together with the country’s inefficient economy could spur new crises caused by rising unemployment and difficult access to drinking water and food resources, and by politics. The Egyptian government, in cooperation with the EU, U.S., and UN, launched programmes aimed at reducing the fertility rate. Limiting the pace of Egypt’s population growth should weaken factors inciting further destabilisation of the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Topic: Demographics, Natural Resources, Unemployment, Population Growth
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The U.S. cancellation of peace talks with the Taliban means that the presidential election in Afghanistan planned for 28 September will take place in an environment of an escalating civil war. The most important challenge for the authorities is to ensure the security and credibility of the electoral process. Although the elections carry the risk of deepening the internal political crisis, they can also strengthen the position of the new president in possible government negotiations with the Taliban, which would give the country a chance to launch an intra-Afghan peace process. Western partners can support this approach by confirming their support for the new authorities and intensifying military pressure on the Taliban.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Elections, Taliban, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Jakub Pieńkowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The close alliance between Romania and the U.S. is focused on defence. Their cooperation also extends to energy issues, particularly nuclear energy, gas transit to the Balkans, and extraction from Black Sea deposits. However, Romania’s interests in energy security are only partially convergent with the U.S. goals of eliminating China’s and Russia’s influence in the region and becoming a key gas supplier to Central Europe.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Nuclear Power, Gas
  • Political Geography: Europe, Romania, North America, United States of America, Black Sea
  • Author: Arkadiusz Legieć
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In none of the conflicts in the post-Soviet area have so many foreign fighters participated than in the conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014. It is estimated that more than 17,000 fighters from 55 countries have fought there on either side. Those fighting on the Russian side pose a special challenge to Ukraine’s security and to neighbouring countries because these fighters can engage in terrorism or other radical actions and are part of Russia’s hybrid warfare.
  • Topic: War, Bilateral Relations, Armed Forces, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Michał Wojnarowicz
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The significance of the Eastern Mediterranean for Israel has increased in the last decade, an outcome of interlocking factors associated with the civil war in Syria, the deterioration of relations with Turkey, and discoveries of new gas fields. The effectiveness of Israeli policy, especially in energy issues, depends on strengthening relations with the states of the region, such as Egypt or Cyprus. Hence, regional cooperation will deepen, which may have a positive impact on Israel-EU relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Agnieszka Legucka, Jędrzej Czerep
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia’s increasing presence in Africa is motivated by global political ambitions and economic goals. To expand its influence, Russia is involved in local conflicts and fuels anti-Western sentiment. Competing with EU and U.S. countries, it is simultaneously becoming an important security partner for many African governments. An obstacle to Russia further increasing its presence in Africa is its weak economic condition, which not only limits the possibility of economic expansion on the continent but also its interference in internal political processes in African countries.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, African Union
  • Author: Kinga Raś
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although in June, Estonia along with Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary blocked a political consensus statement in the European Council regarding the EU’s goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, in October, the country accepted the deadline. Estonia, despite relying on burning oil shale, has decided to embark on a difficult energy transition. This means that, among the EU Member States, support for ambitious EU climate policy is growing.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Gas
  • Political Geography: Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Central Europe
  • Author: Arkadiusz Legieć
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: As a result of the change of power in Armenia in 2018, the Armenian-Azerbaijani talks on the territorial and ethnic conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh have intensified. However, they have not yielded results because the authorities of both countries are under strong internal public pressure, limiting the possibility of compromise. Russia is using the conflict as an instrument of political influence towards both countries. Strengthening the involvement of French and U.S. diplomacy in the work of the Minsk Group and increasing its importance would limit Russia’s role as the main mediator in the conflict.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Territorial Disputes, Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, France, Armenia, Azerbaijan, United States of America
  • Author: Małgorzata Pawłowska
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: President Emmanuel Macron’s opposition to the start of accession talks between the EU and Albania and Northern Macedonia may lead Germany to revise its current policy towards the Western Balkans. Germany will try to influence France’s position but, at the same time, it may decide to develop bilateral relations with the countries of the region and existing forms of cooperation in which Poland may be a partner.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Germany, Balkans, Macedonia, Albania
  • Author: Sara Nowacka
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In October, mass protests over poor living conditions and Iran’s influence on the country’s internal policy erupted in Iraq. Brutal attempts to quell the demonstrations led to the escalation of violence. On 30 November, Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi resigned, which was one of the demands of the demonstrators supported by the prominent Shiite spiritual leader in Iraq Ali al-Sistani. The PM’s resignation, the proposal of reforms put forward by the president of Iraq, and the UN plan to stabilise the country backed by Sistani indicate the possibility of abolishing the model of consensual democracy prevailing in Iraq.
  • Topic: Corruption, Politics, Elections, Protests
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Bartlomiej Znojek
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 10 December, Alberto Fernández from the centre-left Everyone’s Front took over as the president of Argentina. His main challenge will be to end the economic crisis. His government will give up on the pro-market policies of its predecessors and try to renegotiate the foreign debt terms and attract investors. Argentina’s position on regional cooperation may lead to tension, in particular, within Mercosur. While the new government will seek stronger cooperation with the EU, its scepticism of the EU-Mercosur agreement may complicate the document’s ratification in Argentina.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: Bartosz Bieliszczuk, Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Fyk
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Polish Institute of International Affairs together with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs present the report Nordic-Baltic Security in Times of Uncertainty: The Defense-Energy Nexus. The report shows that energy and defence in the Nordic-Baltic region are closely interrelated. During the Cold War, the energy cooperation of Western European countries with the USSR was seen as an element of strengthening the status quo and reducing the risk of conflict. In the new strategic situation, when Russia is interested in regaining the status of regional and global power, there is a real threat that Kremlin will use Europe's dependence on Russian gas to divide NATO and the EU. The Russian military advantage in the region, the ability to block access to Alliance forces and the ability to influence its members through energy blackmail may encourage Russia to test NATO's credibility, increasing the risk of conflict in the region. NATO's ability to deter Russia creates a natural platform of cooperation for Norway and Poland. Both states should also be interested in reducing the Alliance's dependence on Russian energy resources.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Nordic Nations
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 15 August 2017, India celebrated the 70th anniversary of independence. In that time, it has changed from a newly post-colonial, underdeveloped, and famine-suffering state to one of the largest economies in the world and an emerging power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accession in 2014 marked a new stage in the reforms and transformation of the country to release its potential and accelerate development. As the latest large economy to open to more foreign investment and international cooperation, India offers huge business opportunities. This report introduces the reforms and programmes implemented in India that indicate opportunities for Polish companies interested in this market. Prepared as a guidebook, the report also formulates recommendations for businesses and the Polish administration to strengthen cooperation with India (available only in Polish).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Poland
  • Author: Łukasz Ogrodnik, Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Austrian government is implementing its energy and climate strategy to 2030, the aim of which is to stimulate the economy and achieve energy independence through the use of clean technologies. The strategy signals potential points of contention with Poland, including in nuclear and coal energy. At the same time, it indicates potential fields of cooperation regarding low-emission transport.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Renewable Energy, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Austria
  • Author: Marta Makowska, Melchior Szczepanik
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the draft multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027, the European Commission (EC) proposed a political conditionality mechanism through which EU funds could be suspended for countries violating the rule of law. If implemented, it would grant the EC new powers to control the condition of the rule of law in Member States, but it is based on imprecise criteria. Even though the EC has declared that the mechanism is designed to discipline state institutions responsible for breaches, it could be damaging mainly to the final beneficiaries of the funds.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Budget, European Union, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The approaches of the EU and India to the connectivity between Asia and Europe largely converge. Both the Union and the country emphasize the importance of maintaining the highest international standards in infrastructure projects, share similar concerns regarding China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and implement their own ambitious transregional transport projects in their respective neighbourhood. Comprehensive cooperation on connectivity may become a key element of their strategic partnership, help promote regulatory standards, and boost economic cooperation. Better connectivity between Europe and India is also in Poland’s interest.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Trade, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, South Asia, India, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marcela Szymanski, Małgorzata Pawłowska
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite the significant reduction of irregular migration to the European Union, the number of migrants arriving to Spain is increasing. In the national debate on this issue, the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez faces growing criticism from both the right and the left. Maintaining the current course in migration policy will require intensifying cooperation with Spain’s European partners. The Spanish authorities will reinforce the pressure on them to increase EU financial support for southern European countries and to find a European solution to asylum.
  • Topic: Migration, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, North Africa
  • Author: Sebastian Płóciennik
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Negotiations on the creation of common bank deposit insurance for the EU have been underway for more than three years. The deadlock is mainly due to Germany’s reluctance, afraid of the creation of a new financial transfer mechanism at the expense of its own economy. An opportunity for compromise is the December Euro Summit. If an agreement is reached, it would mean the finalisation of the banking union—a key area for the future of the eurozone.
  • Topic: Finance, Economy, Regional Integration, Banks
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, European Union
  • Author: Daniel Szeligowski, Veronika Jóźwiak
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The dispute over the rights of the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia is based on a fundamental difference of interests. While Ukraine aims to strengthen its citizens’ sense of belonging to the country, Hungary strives to extend the rights of the minority, which means there are no prospects for easing the tensions in the short term. What is more, further escalation is likely, since both parties use the dispute in domestic politics. The difference in Hungary’s and Poland’s approach to Ukraine will weigh on Polish-Hungarian relations.
  • Topic: Education, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, Minorities, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Hungary
  • Author: Andrzej Dąbrowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Democratic Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the U.S. “midterm” elections, although the Republican Party retained its majority in the Senate. The Republicans’ defeat will weaken President Donald Trump, who will have to seek common ground with the Democrats, for example, on the budget. The Democrats will try to undermine Trump administration policy using the powers of Congressional oversight and by obstructing legislation sent to the House by the Republican majority in the Senate.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics, Elections, Domestic politics, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Łukasz Jurczyszyn
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The fight against terrorism is one of President Emmanuel Macron’s political priorities. Activities in this field are carried out in two main directions, one, in the country, through new institutions and regulations and, two, abroad, through military operations and by increasing development assistance in Africa and the Middle East. More and more evidence indicates that they have been having the expected operational and political effects. The number of detected and subverted terrorist plots is increasing and Macron’s initiatives in this area can count on considerable public support.
  • Topic: National Security, Terrorism, Islamic State, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, France, Africa
  • Author: Kinga Raś
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Lithuania wants to become independent from Russia and increase the self-sufficiency and the competitiveness of its energy sector. The basis for its transformation and modernisation will be, inter alia, renewable energy sources, of which the role in the energy balance is increasing in line with EU requirements. At the same time, Lithuania intends to introduce innovations that will increase energy efficiency. These activities may stimulate stronger cooperation with Poland, which Lithuania perceives as one of its most important partners.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Science and Technology, European Union, Trade, Modernization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Poland, Lithuania
  • Author: Anna Maria Dyner
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the NATO Warsaw Summit, during which the decision to deploy four multinational battalion-sized battle groups on the Alliance’s Eastern Flank was taken, Russia has significantly developed its military capabilities in the country’s western areas. This raises serious challenges both for members of the Alliance and for countries in-between, including Ukraine. The effectiveness of deterrence against Russia will depend on the political cohesion of the Alliance and the further strengthening of its military capabilities on the Eastern Flank.
  • Topic: NATO, Military Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine