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  • Author: Carly Kabot
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: History is the storyteller that holds all truth, yet when she speaks, much of mankind closes its ears. Hasan Nuhanović, a survivor of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide committed by a Bosnian Serb militia, narrates his family’s harrowing journey through Bosnia in The Last Refuge: A True Story of War, Survival, and Life under Seige in Srebrenica. Though Nuhanović’s story is tragic, it is not uncommon. He makes this clear from the beginning, writing, “I did not write this book to tell my own story” (5). Rather, his story embodies the experiences of eight thousand Bosniaks who were executed by Serb forces on July 11, 1995, and brings to mind the millions of genocide victims worldwide who have been mercilessly slaughtered in the past century.
  • Topic: Genocide, War, History, Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Serbia, Srebrenica
  • Author: Theresa Reidy
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage through a national referendum vote. The decision to introduce equal marriage received a great deal of attention, and not just because it was the first positive referendum decision on this issue; the vote was also preceded by a citizens’ assembly which recommended the referendum and endorsed a “yes” vote. The resounding victory for the liberal position provided definitive evidence of Ireland’s shift from a conservative, inward-looking European periphery state to a modern, liberal, and inclusive republic.
  • Topic: Religion, Culture, Domestic politics, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ireland, European Union
  • Author: Scott M. Thomas, Anthony O'Mahony
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In February 2019, Pope Francis became the first pope to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Like John-Paul II before him, he has also visited Egypt, and he went to Morocco in March 2019. The pope participated in a colloquium on “human fraternity” and interreligious dialogue sponsored by the UAE-based Muslim Council of Elders—the brain-child of Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the most important Sunni Muslim university in the world. The Council of Elders sponsors initiatives to engage young Muslims on Islamist ideology by promoting a more “authentic” interpretation of Islam. Islamist violence—with its beheadings and mass executions—has provoked disgust across the Muslim world and is causing young Muslims to become more distant from their imams and mosques. It is becoming clear to many Muslim intellectuals in Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon that, in order to defeat Islamism, there needs to be greater dialogue and coexistence with Christians. Pope Francis is attempting to lead the way, extending his “culture of encounter.”
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Culture, Violence, Catholic Church
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Vatican city
  • Author: Richard L. Morningstar
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On November 18, the Georgetown School of Foreign Service welcomed former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Richard Morningstar for a conversation on energy security in the Caspian region. Prior to the event, GJIA sat down with Ambassador Morningstar to discuss the intersection of energy and geopolitics, legacies from the Soviet Union, and energy security challenges facing Central Asian states.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Geopolitics, Interview
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Soviet Union, Caspian Sea, United States of America
  • Author: Helen McEntee
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On December 5, 2019, Georgetown University welcomed Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee, to the conference “Bridging the Atlantic: Ireland’s Role in EU-US Relations after Brexit.” Following the event, GJIA and The Europe Desk sat down with Minister McEntee to discuss the Good Friday Agreement, Brexit, and transatlantic relations. The Europe Desk is a podcast launched by the BMW Center for German and European Studies where leading experts discuss the most pertinent issues facing Europe and transatlantic cooperation today.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Negotiation, Interview
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland
  • Author: Yuriy Danyk, Chad Michael Briggs, Tamara Maliarchuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The conflict in Ukraine has received renewed attention in Washington D.C., and it is worth considering the relevance of this conflict to US national security interests. The open conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014 has been part of a larger hybrid war, including political and information warfare, cyber warfare, assassinations, promotion of corruption, and traditional (kinetic) warfare carried out by destructive geopolitical actors (DGAs) [1]. The conventional conflict cannot be taken out of context, and it is the less visible and “dark” aspects of hybrid warfare that should particularly worry the United States. Hybrid warfare consists of a wide spectrum of attacks, from conventional to covert, carried out to destabilize one’s opponent. Rather than being isolated incidents, cyber attacks often represent part of a wide spectrum of coordinated, offensive strategies against countries like Ukraine and the United States.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Cybersecurity, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: What’s new? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy came to power in 2019 promising to bring peace to Ukraine’s Donbas region, where government and Russian-backed separatist forces are locked in low-level combat. Yet a full, sustained ceasefire remains elusive. Although casualties have dropped from their 2014-2015 peak, fighting continues to kill soldiers and civilians. Why does it matter? Each of the warring parties wants a ceasefire but only if it will lead to peace on its own terms. All prefer to tolerate continued fighting rather than stop the shooting under conditions they deem unfavourable. What should be done? A comprehensive ceasefire is likely unattainable under today’s political conditions. In its absence, the parties should pursue sectoral bilateral disengagements with clear humanitarian and related goals, even as they seek a durable political settlement through talks.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Peace, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The threat of coronavirus looms large in six self-declared republics that have broken away from post-Soviet states. War and isolation have corroded health care infrastructure, while obstructing the inflow of assistance. International actors should work with local and regional leaders to let life-saving aid through. What’s new? Isolated and scarred by war, six de facto statelets that claim independence from successor states to the Soviet Union are acutely vulnerable to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why does it matter? Immediate and long-term suffering will not only cost lives but could also harden divides between these entities and the states that claim them, posing further obstacles to eventual normalisation and peace. What should be done? All parties and stakeholders should cooperate across front lines to ensure international humanitarian access, the only way to stave off suffering in the near and longer term.
  • Topic: Health Care Policy, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Post-Soviet Europe
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Trafficking – a catch-all term for illicit movement of goods and people – has long sustained livelihoods in northern Niger. But conflicts are emerging due to heightened competition and European pressure to curb migration. Authorities should persevere in managing the extralegal exchange to contain violence. What’s new? Niger’s informal systems for managing violence related to drug, gold and people trafficking in the country’s north are under strain – due in part to European pressure to curb migration and in part to increased competition over drug transport routes. The discovery of gold could bring new challenges. Why does it matter? Tacit understandings between the authorities and traffickers pose dangers, namely the state’s criminalisation as illicit trade and politics become more intertwined. But the collapse of those understandings would be still more perilous: if trafficking disputes descend into strife, they could destabilise Niger as they have neighbouring Mali. What should be done? Niger should reinforce its conflict management systems. Action against traffickers should focus on those who are heavily armed or engage in violence. Niamey and external actors should reinvigorate the north’s formal economy. European leaders should ensure that their policies avoid upsetting practices that have allowed Niger to escape major bloodshed.
  • Topic: Economy, Trafficking , Conflict, Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Niger
  • Author: Stefano Manservisi
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As the Coronavirus pandemic expands, and peak contagion remains uncertain, policy responses are gradually emerging, being implemented in a number of domains. The crisis has several important implications, but two are currently dominating the headlines: individual health and the sustainability of national healthcare systems, and the economic fallout from the pandemic.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Finance, International Development, Development Aid, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Alessandro Marrone, Ottavia Credi
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will have consequences on every aspect of the European societies, including the defence sector. The extent to which it will impact the military budgets is heavily discussed, with optimists trusting in slightly decreased investments and pessimists anticipating severe downturns. The fulfilment of NATO capability goals will be at stake, while allies will bring further diversified security needs to the Alliance’s agenda. The EU will have to cope with both pandemic and economic recession for the sake of its own security and stability, without sacrificing the European Defence Fund which could rather be part of a EU-wide plan for industrial and economic re-launch. This report summarizes the main findings of the IAI webinar hold on 8 April 2020 and participated by 22 experts and practitioners from Italy and other European countries.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Military Spending, Transatlantic Relations, Coronavirus, Defense Industry
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Christine Nissen, Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Jakob Linnet Schmidt, Mikkel Runge Olesen, Hans Mouritzen, Jon Rahbek-Cemmensen, Rasmus Brun Pedersen, Graham Butler, Louise Riis Andersen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Danish defence opt-out will hamper the protection of Danish interests if, in the future, there is dynamic integration, working towards increased European strategic autonomy. Conversely, the defence opt-out will be less important if the EU’s defence cooperation stagnates or is rolled back, for example due to internal disagreement among the member states. These were the main findings in the external DIIS report from 2019 that has now been translated to English. The report was commissioned by the Danish government in November 2018 and focuses on the development in the EU in the field of security and defence policy cooperation and its significance for Denmark. Picking up from the last DIIS report (2008), the new report focuses in particular on the period following the launch of the EU’s global strategy in the summer of2016. The analysis is based on interviews with experts, officials and representatives from the EU, NATO, Denmark and other Member States, as well as case files in the archive of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, official documents, and existing research.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Mikkel Funder, Lily Salloum Lindegaard, Esbern Friis-Hanse, Marie Ladekjær Gravesen
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change has a severe impact on the livelihoods and economies of developing countries and will constrain achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals on virtually all fronts. While efforts to reduce emissions are obviously vital, it is equally critical that societies adapt to the already ongoing impact of climate change. Integrating climate change adaptation broadly into development cooperation is therefore a pressing issue and has never been more relevant. Discussion of the relationship between climate change adaptation and development and how to ‘mainstream’ adaptation into development support is not new. However, uncertainty persists regarding the ways and extent to which adaptation should be addressed as part of broader development efforts. This new DIIS Report seeks to address the integration of adaptation and development, with a particular focus on Denmark’s development cooperation. The report discusses the linkages between adaptation and development, examines the approaches of selected development actors, and discusses selected trends in Denmark’s funding to climate change adaptation. The report concludes that despite challenges there are currently good opportunities and a growing momentum among key actors towards finally integrating adaptation and development. Denmark should take a global leading role in this by making climate action a main aim in development cooperation, and by adopting approaches that address climate change and development in an integrated manner from the outset of policy development and -programming.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Jean-loup Samaan
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph explores the emerging challenge of nonstate actors’ anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) strategies and their implications for the United States and its allies by looking at two regions, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, with case studies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, and separatist groups in Ukraine.
  • Topic: Non State Actors, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Hezbollah, Houthis, Hamas
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon, United States of America
  • Author: Ilaria Maselli, Bart van Ark
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board and ERT have established a collaboration to create a new measure of CEO Confidence for Europe. The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™ for Europe by ERT for the first half of 2020 is 34 (on a scale from 0 to 100). The report examines the survey results including CEO views about business and economic conditions now, conditions in six months, and the prospects for their own industry. The negative sentiment among business leaders resulted from the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 crisis which delivered a severe supply shock to the economy in Europe and around the world.
  • Topic: Economy, Business , COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Kenneth Geers
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: There is only one internet and only one cyberspace connecting individuals, enterprises, and nations all over the world. Ever more frequently, this shared space is coming under attack from malicious actors, both state and non-state, who are seeking to exploit cyberspace’s shared infrastructure for their own ends. Addressing cybersecurity threats is therefore an international problem that requires an international solution. But given the myriad of threats faced in the cyber domain and the ambiguous borders that exist there, how can states best address these challenges and ensure the safety of their own networks and people? In this new report from the Scowcroft Center’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, Cyber Statecraft Initiative senior fellow Kenneth Geers argues that the best way for democratic states to defend their own cyber networks is to leverage the multinational strength of political and military alliances like NATO and the European Union. Alliances like NATO give democracies an advantage over their authoritarian rivals by providing already established mechanisms for multinational cooperation. Alliances are therefore better equipped to tackle the inherently international challenges of cybersecurity. To illustrate the impact of alliances on cybersecurity, Geers uses events in Ukraine as a case study, comparing the Ukrainian government’s efforts to defend against Russian cyberattacks shortly after the 2014 revolution with measures taken in cooperation with partners to defend the 2019 presidential election. Geers illustrates how collective action in 2019 produced improved security outcomes compared to efforts taken by Ukraine alone. Building on these lessons, Geers argues that the only structures likely to produce tangible results in cybersecurity are those within political and military alliances. Indeed, the only credible cyber superpower is a robust alliance. The report then offers a series of recommendations on how NATO and the EU can promote trust and collaboration among Allies and partners to build a more effective cyber alliance.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Cybersecurity, Internet, Non-Traditional Threats
  • Political Geography: Europe, Northern Europe
  • Author: Bastien Revel
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since 2014, Turkey has not only hosted the world’s largest refugee population but has also modeled a best practice for the global refugee policy discussion. Turkey’s experience on the key issues such as jobs and employment should be examined as lessons for both refugee hosting countries and donor countries alike. The country has provided Syrians under Temporary Protection the right to access work permits and formal employment. Facilitating self-reliance for such a large number of refugees’ households remains a challenging task, even in the medium to long-term. This is especially the case in a context where increasing levels of unemployment in Turkey compounded by the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have posed a serious challenge to job creation and increased competition for available opportunities. Many Syrians living in Turkey experiencing partial or complete loss of income while incurring higher expenses, which is compounded for most households by a lack of savings. Addressing these challenges requires to draw lessons learnt at both policy and operational level to effectively support access to livelihoods opportunities. This notably involves fostering greater engagement and partnership with the private sector, on the one hand, and exploring innovative solutions such as e-work and online livelihoods opportunities on the other. The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be an important test on the government’s and their international partners’ relevance and flexibility and their ability to quickly step up efforts in that direction. In this context, UNDP Turkey—a longstanding development partner and the co-lead of the Refugee and Resilience Response Plan (3RP)—joined hands with the Atlantic Council’s program on Turkey—”Atlantic Council IN TURKEY”—to explore policy options to foster socioeconomic inclusion among Syrians under Temporary Protection. Building on the experience and expertise of both organizations, our joint policy report : “Turkey’s Refugee Resilience: Expanding and Improving Solutions for the Economic Inclusion of Syrians in Turkey” aims at outlining pragmatic and innovative options to facilitate refugees’ access to decent employment so as to contribute to our common objective to #leavenoonebehind.
  • Topic: Migration, Science and Technology, United Nations, Women, Refugees, Economic growth, Youth, Conflict, Syrian War, Crisis Management, Resilience
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Lauren Speranza
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Tackling hybrid threats, particularly from state actors such as Russia and China, remains one of the greatest challenges for the transatlantic community. Hybrid threats have gained more traction among policymakers and publics across Europe and the United States, especially in a world with COVID-19. Over the last five years, Euro-Atlantic nations and institutions, such as NATO and the European Union (EU), have taken important steps to respond to hybrid issues. But, as hybrid threats become more prominent in the future, policymakers must move toward a more coherent, effective, and proactive strategy for countering Russian and Chinese hybrid threats. To develop such a transatlantic counter-hybrid strategy for Russia and China, this paper argues that two major things need to happen. First, transatlantic policymakers have to build a common strategic concept to guide collective thinking on hybrid threats. Second, transatlantic policymakers need to take a range of practical actions in service of that strategic concept. In a strategic concept for countering Russian and Chinese hybrid threats, Lauren Speranza offers five strategic priorities that could form the basis of this strategic concept and presents a series of constructive steps that NATO, the EU, and nations can take, in cooperation with the private sector and civil society, to enhance their counter-hybrid capabilities against Russia and China.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Politics, Science and Technology, European Union, Innovation, Resilience, Non-Traditional Threats
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Hans Binnendijk, Conor Rodihan
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The conventional military threat from Russia towards Europe most acutely affects a number of frontline Nordic and Baltic states from the Barents Sea in the Arctic through the Baltic Sea region: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. Since Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, these countries, in concert with other Euro-Atlantic allies and partners, have concentrated on strengthening their own defenses and on developing and enhancing eight sets of different defense cooperation arrangements. As the only two non-NATO and militarily nonaligned nations in the region, Finland and Sweden’s role in regional security and their level of cooperation with these and other partners poses challenges as well as opportunities for deterrence and defense in Europe’s northeast. These two countries have particularly emphasized cooperation with partners as they seek to build an interlocking web of security relationships to improve defense in the region. The core arrangements within this network include: The Finnish-Swedish bilateral defense relationship; Nordic Defense Cooperation; Nordic-Baltic Eight; The Northern Group; NATO Partnerships; The European Union; Ad hoc arrangements such as the Joint Expeditionary Force; Framework Nations Concept, and European Intervention Initiative; Finnish-Swedish-US trilateral and bilateral defense cooperation. These “geometries of deterrence” vary in scope, scale, and membership, but taken together, they enhance a range of important components of deterrence. In Geometries of Deterrence, Hans Binnendijk and Conor Rodihan assess the contributions of each of these arrangements against an ideal or “gold standard” for conventional military deterrence, before evaluating the arrangements collectively and offering recommendations to further strengthen deterrence for Finland, Sweden, and indeed for all of Northeastern Europe.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Northern Europe
  • Author: Richard L. Morningstar, András Simonyi, Olga Khakova, Jennifer T. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Transatlantic cooperation is essential to European energy security, which is and should remain a key national security priority for the United States. European energy security is crucial for the maintenance of a strong European economy and for European political stability, both of which are in the best interests of the United States. The new report from the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, European Energy Security and the Critical Role of Transatlantic Energy Cooperation: Final Report and Recommendations, by Richard L. Morningstar, András Simonyi, Olga Khakova, and Jennifer T. Gordon, provides insights into how the United States and European Union (EU) can work together to strengthen European energy security. The Global Energy Center’s new report recommends that the United States and the EU focus their energy cooperation in several areas that will benefit the EU’s efforts to meet climate targets and that, at the same time, will also bolster energy security. These areas include: the development of competitive and transparent energy markets; the identification of alternative energy sources and routes; collaboration on new energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and coordination of a transatlantic financing strategy. Additionally, new energy infrastructure, interconnected grids, the European Green Deal, and broader geopolitical challenges also represent areas of opportunity for cooperation between the United States and the EU.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Paul Hofhuis
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Green COVID-19 Recovery and Transatlantic Leadership: What Are the Prospects? OCTOBER 20, 2020 By: Paul Hofhuis, Senior Research Associate, Clingendael Institute As the US presidential election rapidly approaches, an important question is the prospects for (renewed) transatlantic cooperation, especially in the areas of green recovery to the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, tackling climate change, and addressing these issues through multilateral approaches. In analyzing ambitions and initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic in three connected policy arenas, this brief argues that while a Democratic victory provides greater opportunity for collaboration, underlying structures for cooperation among societal stakeholders in the United States need to be reinvigorated to diminish polarization in society, which could continue to block the transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, European Union, Leadership, Economy, Green Technology, Transatlantic Relations, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Remco van de Pas
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The global scale of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its response is unprecedented. This Clingendael Report applies Dani Rodrik’s framework of Globalization’s political trilemma to analyze the current response to the pandemic. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis he argued that any recovery measures would have to balance off state power with economic integration and democracy. Based on values of democratic governance and human dignity this report charts principles on how to move forward beyond the emergency phase into recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The report makes a plea to Dutch and European policymakers for safeguarding and upholding democratic values in the response to and recovery of the Covid-19 emergency. The political trilemma indicates that a renewed primacy of state sovereignty, combined with hyper-globalization being on the defense, requires political resistance and bold choices to uphold democratic governance principles for the urgent and difficult policy actions required during the recovery. The momentum is now to act and uphold a united European solidarity response and leadership. If the EU fails to do so, it risks disintegration and marginalization in a volatile multi-polar global order. Covid-19 is not merely a ‘crisis’ that will pass by. This is a new permanence that requires a redefinition of the European social contract while recognizing its interconnectedness with the rest of world.
  • Topic: Globalization, European Union, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Dragana Bajić, Wouter Zweers
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: In the context of the global crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, free, impartial and professional media reporting has become ever more important. This represents an issue in Serbia, considering its ongoing decline in media freedom as confirmed by independent international reports. The conditions for practising professional journalism have been degraded for years and the Serbian media sector has faced numerous challenges, including political control over the mainstream media, low financial sustainability of media outlets and related high dependence on state funding, as well as a lack of transparency of that funding. Obscure media ownership and privatisation issues are yet another reason for concern. Additionally, the safety of journalists is problematic as the number of pressures, threats and attacks has grown since 2013, but the impunity phenomenon remains present. All these factors lead to a general state of censorship and self-censorship in the media in Serbia. This Clingendael report presents the most prominent problems that the media sector in Serbia faces today. It argues that the flawed media landscape is the major factor leading to poor and biased reporting on topics related to the EU, the US and Russia. It observes media bias as a phenomenon in which media coverage presents inaccurate, unbalanced and/or unfair views with an intention to affect reader opinions in a particular direction. The analysis places a special focus on what such reporting means for the EU, given its strategic and communication goals for Serbia and the Western Balkans region.
  • Topic: European Union, Media, Freedom of Press
  • Political Geography: Europe, Serbia
  • Author: Adriaan Schout, Ingrid Blankesteijn
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Enforcement is a major challenge in the EU’s multilevel system. Solving the tensions between sovereignty and interdependencies requires internalisation of the core values and objectives embodied in EU legislation. Internalisation depends on strong involvement in all phases of policy-making through teamwork. States in the EU’s multilevel administrative system have to regard themselves as fully responsible for EU policies. High levels of interaction among experts in enforcement contribute to the required professional cultures. In organisational terms, a multilevel (subsidiarity-based) administrative system is based on cooperation in which the centre (the Commission and/or EU agencies) assumes essential managerial roles without eroding the integrity of the member countries. Subsidiarity is generally seen as a legal principle. This paper presents the practical governance consequences of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is well grounded in the EU treaties. Yet, the implications are little understood by policymakers when it comes to creating the conditions for effective EU policies at the shop floor of national administrations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Law Enforcement, Border Control, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wouter Zweers, Vladimir Shopov, Frans-Paul van der Putten, Mirela Petkova, Maarten Lemstra
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: This Clingendael Report explores whether and how China’s approach to the six non-European Union (EU) countries of the Western Balkans (the WB6) relates to EU interests. It focuses in particular on the question of whether China’s influence affects the behaviour of the WB6 governments in ways that run counter to the EU’s objectives in the region. China engages with the Western Balkans primarily as a financier of infrastructure and a source of direct investment. This is in line with China’s main strategic objective for the Western Balkans – that is, to develop the Land–Sea Express Corridor, a component of its Belt and Road Initiative, aimed at improving China–EU connectivity. This report proposes a number of actions based on recognising the developmental needs of countries in the Western Balkans, and accepting that China’s economic involvement is inevitable and potentially beneficial for such developmental needs. In particular, the EU should maximise accession conditionality as a tool to influence the conditions under which China is involved in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Direct Investment, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The annual report includes an overview of Bruegel’s research, governance and financial statements, and takes stock of Bruegel’s accomplishments and impact during 2019. Bruegel will continue to work to develop a proactive European strategy to deal with all the challenges ahead, providing free and open access to its research.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Leigh, Beth Thompson, Reinhilde Veugelers
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This report sets out what the Wellcome Trust and Bruegel have learned from a project to simulate a negotiation process between the UK and EU to create a post-Brexit research and innovation agreement. Our negotiating scenario assumed that the UK had left the EU with a withdrawal agreement, and that the negotiation was taking place during a ‘standstill’ transition period.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Governance, European Union, Research, Brexit, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Transition
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Carla Hobbs
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Covid-19 has revealed the critical importance of technology for economic and health resilience, making Europe’s digital transformation and sovereignty a question of existential importance. Rising US-China tensions are an additional incentive for Europe to develop its own digital capabilities; it risks becoming a battleground in their struggle for tech and industrial supremacy. Democratic governments – keen to preserve an open market in digital services while protecting the interests of citizens – find the European model an increasingly attractive alternative to the US and Chinese approaches. The EU cannot continue to rely on its regulatory power but must become a tech superpower in its own right. Referees do not win the game. Europe missed the first wave of technology but must take advantage of the next, in which it has competitive advantages such as in edge computing. EU member states lack a common position on tech issues or even a shared understanding of the strategic importance of digital technologies, such as on broadband rollout or application of AI.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Sovereignty, Power Politics, European Union, Artificial Intelligence, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Hanan Shai
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Amid the debate on the coronavirus crisis, there is broad agreement on three issues: The nation-state has failed to check the spread of the virus, quickly and with few people being infected, by using its autonomous capabilities, which turned out to be meager. Trans-state bodies that derived their economic capabilities from the state have failed in their role of assisting it. The idea of globalism is fundamentally true, and the problems that have emerged in the crisis must be remedied by strengthening the states and, at the same time, as concluded by French President Emmanuel Macron, the trans-state bodies. This study contends that globalism in its current form has failed and collapsed, just as communism and other social frameworks failed and collapsed before it. The reason for their collapse was that all of them were based on delusory utopian ideas. These utopian ideas are grounded in a dominant European liberal discipline whose founders abandoned the scientific revolution at the beginning of its path, abjured rational thought, and continued, like the church, to adhere to faith-based thought, feelings of the heart, and delusions of the imagination. Another liberal discipline, less well-known, is the rational one. Committed to truth and to the absolute laws of nature, it was adopted by the Anglo-Saxon democracies, which, thanks to its values, experienced long periods of growth and prosperity. On three occasions this discipline could be mobilized to help rescue Europe from calamities that its utopian conceptions had caused.
  • Topic: Health, Global Focus, State, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Zuzana Stuchlíková
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: EUROPEUM's associate research fellow Zuzana Stuchlíková describes the impact of COVID-19 on the Conference on the Future of Europe in her EU Monitor. The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is one of the flagship projects of Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission, introduced the aftermath of the 2019 EP election and aimed at connecting citizens with various EU stakeholders and empowering them in the European project. However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it and preparations are restarting only now. A closer look shows that one year into the project, it lacks a clear vision. Key questions remain unanswered – what will be the format? Who will lead the negotiations? What should be the role of European institutions? And is the question of a treaty change completely off the table? The EU needs to open the essential questions and continue the dialogue on the future of Europe, despite the ongoing obstacles in the form of a global pandemic. However, only with a deep consensus on what the stated objectives of the conference is, how do they are achivable, how it is financed and how it is ensured that the implementation of the conclusions of it can be implemented can it mature from an ambitious idea to a viable project. It is essential that the CoFoE’s launch is not rushed at the expense of readiness - good will on its own is not enough and a rushed start could lead to a PR disaster that could further hamper European citizens’ trust in the EU institutions.
  • Topic: European Union, Institutions, Conference, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: This text deals with the topic of the European Union's response to COVID-19 and how it is perceived by Czech society. As of 13th August 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 179 000 European lives out of 1,8 million who contracted with the virus1 . Most of the European states issued lockdowns, significantly curtailing economic activity. This resulted in the deepest recorded recession in the EU, reaching negative 11,9% GDP growth in the second quarter of 2020. . ▪ As a reaction to the ongoing economic crisis, the European Council decided to create a joint €750 billion recovery fund called Next Generation EU that should be financed by loans and repaid after 2027, a significant step that might mitigate the poor perception of the EU actions during the initial weeks of the health crisis. Significant EU criticism appeared in Italy; leading international outlets started discussing whether Europe had lost Italy.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Opinion, European Union, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The latest article from Vít Havelka aims to explain how the Czech population perceives the EU Climate Policy and especially the European Green Deal. Czechs are sceptical about European ability to influence global emissions. The common sentiment is that there is China, the US and India who produce larger amounts of global pollution, and thus even if Europe transformed into a climate-neutral economy, the process of climate change would continue more or less unabated.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Adrian Blazquez
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Adrian Blazquez's latest policy paper deals with the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). More precisely, he focuses on the aspects of unanimous and qualified majority voting, international security commitments, and common strategic culture of the EU. When analysing the influence of the European Union in world politics, some voices argue that the EU often fails to position itself as a relevant and credible player on the international system. This lack of effectiveness in foreign policy stems from two main factors: conflicting national interests and strategic assessments, and the unanimity rule required in Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) decisions. The first one is a mantra that reaches its maximum expression with the assumption that Southern countries are concerned about Africa and the Middle East while Eastern countries’ main focus is Russia. Unanimity is a principle that governs decision-making processes in CFSP. While foreign and security policy in the European Union remain an “area of intergovernmental bargaining” instead of one under the control of the supranational model, the forging of an EU strategic culture will be difficult to achieve. The state of play is more that of 27 differentiated strategic cultures with diverging approaches.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Katerina Davidova, Vít Havelka, Jana Juzová, Christian Kvorning Lassen, Danielle Piatkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: On the occasion of the anniversary of the ninth European Parliament elections, which took place from 23 to 26 May 2019, experts of EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy prepared five analyses reflecting on the past year in the key areas: climate, multiannual financial framework, migration, geopolitics and European Union enlargement. The experts of EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy weigh in with analyses in their respective fields – climate, multi-annual financial framework, migration, geopolitics and EU enlargement – of the first year since the European elections. It is our hope that this review of the first year of unprecedented upheaval will be an opportunity to reflect both on the past year, but also the challenges of tomorrow.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Migration, European Union, Geopolitics, Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: On May 28th 2017, the German Chancellor surprised the world with a statement calling on Europe to ‘take its fate into own hand’, adding “the era in which we could fully rely on others is over to some extent”. Pundits perceived her speech as a landmark change in a long-term European defence paradigm. Since the end of the WWII, the European security depended on the United States, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the American defence shield was further broadened to former soviet satellites in Central Europe. However, the last years were marked by a growing rift between the EU and the US. The departure of the UK from the European Union underlined the crisis of European defence structures as the EU would lose a member state with the strongest European army, a seat in Security Council, and large part of its nuclear arsenal. As a result, the European leaders gathered shortly after the Brexit vote in Bratislava and decided they would launch PESCO, a voluntary defence cooperation on project basis. The aim was not only to renew the integrational process after the Brexit blow, but also to strengthen European defence research and provide the EU with missing hard power.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Migration, Public Opinion, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In his latest EU monitor, Vít Havelka examines the attitude of the general Czech public towards the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework. At the beginning of May 2018, the European Commission introduced its proposal of the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-27. Since then, the EU member states as well as the European Parliament have been intensively negotiating about each aspect of the Commission´s draft without being able to reach an agreement. Consequently, the talks will slip into 2020, probably being finalized no earlier than summer 2020 during the German presidency of the European Council. The following article is therefore meant to provide the reader with an understanding of what ordinary Czechs think of the MFF negotiations and what should the EU budget finance. The text is predominantly based on standard public opinion poll conducted by STEM Agency in cooperation with EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in October 2019. The sample consisted of 1002 respondents, combining PAPI and CAPI questioning. The quantitative research was supplemented with qualitative questioning in form of focus groups conducted at the beginning of November 2019.
  • Topic: Public Opinion, European Union, Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Adrian Blazquez
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In his latest EU monitor, Adrian Blazquez examines the the European cooperation in the Sahel strip. The Sahel region is often known as the European southern border. This area is a hotbed of violence and instability where weak states are overwhelmed by a myriad of ethnic conflicts and the proliferation of extremist groups. Local governments are largely unable to control their borders.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Affairs, European Union, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Karel Barták
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The European Commission proposed in May 2018 to continue implementing the Creative Europe programme even more in the next budgetary period 2021-2027. This problematics is the main topic of Karel Barták's latest EU Monitor. The European Commission proposed in May 2018 to continue implementing the Creative Europe programme in the next budgetary period 2021-2027 with an envelope of 1,85 billion euros. Should the Member States agree, it would mean an increase of 26,5 percent compared to the current budget (2014-2020). Most of the money should go as usual to the audiovisual part of the programme (MEDIA), with emphasis on distribution of European films outside their country of origin. In the „culture“ part of the programme the draft mentions as priorities music, publishing, cultural heritage and architecture.
  • Topic: Culture, Budget, European Union, Investment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: This study is mainly based on a series of 12 brief surveys by Behavio research agency and on longitudinal research by STEM Institute for Empirical Research. The expert’s inputs were provided by EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy. The Czech Republic could serve as a kind of laboratory for investigating anti-EU sentiments. Czechs’ perception of the EU membership is the poorest of all the EU citizens, (mere 33 % view it as a good thing). Not even half of the adult Czech population (47 %) would vote to stay in the EU, despite having a booming economy and bearing almost no impact of the migration crisis. Moreover, the Czech economy is strongly export-oriented and benefits from the EU budget. Thus these negative sentiments seem to be very much about emotions and image. Czechs’ feelings toward the EU are similar to other Visegrad (V4) countries in many ways, but these similarities are less prominent than one would expect – especially in the case of Slovakia, where attitudes towards NATO and the EU are reversed. In many aspects, Czech Eurosceptics have been more influenced by British and Italian politicians than by their counterparts in Slovakia, Hungary or Poland. The popularity of the EU in the Czech Republic has been very volatile over the past 15 years. It was even modest at the beginning and the first disillusion came soon after the country’s accession, but was quickly countered by the Czech presidency of EU in 2009. EU’s image dropped again during the global economic downturn and the Eurozone crisis, which played a relatively strong role in the 2010 national election campaign. The migration crisis worsened negative sentiments even further, despite having little direct effect on the country. The recently observed increase in popularity can be mostly attributed to the country’s economic growth.
  • Topic: Public Opinion, European Union, Survey
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Over the past 5 years, the Czech Republic has experienced unprecedented GDP growth, moving the country from 83% of EU average GDP in 2013 to 91% of the EU average GDP in 2019. At the same time, the Czech wage increased by more than 7% in 2013 in the last three years. This phenomenon is addressed by our Vít Havelka in the latest issue of the EU Monitor. The following decade will likely be determining for the future success of the Czech Republic. The global economy and its supply chains are undergoing a significant shift; Asian states are slowly becoming innovative leaders rather than being a cheap labour pool. Furthermore, the Czech Republic is heavily dependent on the automotive industry3, which is under pressure not only by stricter emission regulation, but also disruptive market change such as autonomous systems, digitalization and electrification. It is likely that old market strategies will prove obsolete as it happened in case of cell phones. Along with the changing global economy, the Czech Republic is nearing to a point where it will not be fully able to rely on the EU Cohesion Policy anymore. The country has reached the threshold of 90% EU ́s average GDP, and if the current economic development remains the same, the Czech Republic will not have access to Cohesion Funds after the coming MFF, and it will receive significantly less money from the EU budget. The problem is that regional disparities within the Czech Republic remain high, especially between the capital city Prague and the rest of the country. Simultaneously, since the EU accession in 2004, the Czech Republic relied mainly on the EU Cohesion Policy in terms of providing funding for regions, supplementing the EU ́s activity only with minor national contributions. As a result, the country does not have a well-developed culture of regional policy that would be nationally funded, and there is not even a discussion in the media about national solidarity with disadvantaged regions. The following paper aims at discussing a possible way forward for the Czech Republic, especially in the context of expected changes in global economy and simultaneous decrease of EU Funding that could help mitigate the impact of economic disruptions. The focus will be laid on possible If the whole automotive left the Czech Republic, Deloitte estimates that the Czech GDP would decrease by 25% and 1,4 million Czechs would lose their reaction to lower income from the EU, as it is presumed that a solid regional policy is crucial in maintaining internal cohesion and contributes to mitigation of economic turbulences.
  • Topic: European Union, GDP, Global Political Economy, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Danielle Piatkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In her latest EU monitor, Danielle Piatkiewicz explores the future of Central and Eastern European security after Brexit. January 31st will begin the long-awaited legal withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. As the UK disengages politically, Europe’s existing security structure will undergo reconstruction as EU Member States reevaluate their future without the UK as active members established security including CSDP, NATO, PESCO, among others. As the UK seeks bilateral partnerships post-Brexit, steadfast security consumers like Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) should gauge how Brexit will affect their security region. With external threats mounting in the East, the CEE region relies heavily on the existing security blanket that Europe and NATO have provided. As one of the strongest European militaries, an engaged or disengaged UK will certainly affect the security environment, but it will be up to how the EU and CEE countries react and adapt, that will impact the future security of their region once Brexit takes effect.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Czech Republic, Central Europe
  • Author: Dina Fakoussa, Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Even though the Moroccan king’s readiness to introduce reforms in response to the mass protests in 2011 has prevented the kind of radical change occurring in many other countries in the MENA region and has maintained the country’s relative stability, Morocco’s social peace remains fragile. Social unrest has flared recurrently, most prominently in the Rif region, as socio-economic grievances persist. The country continues to suffer from significant regional disparities, a poor education system, and high unemployment, especially among the young.
  • Topic: Education, Migration, Employment, Protests, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Dina Fakoussa, Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Jordan’s stability is severely challenged by socio-economic hardship. The country is plagued by high un-employment rates, an alarming debt-to-GDP ratio of around 94 percent, corruption, and dismal social ser-vices. The fight against terrorism has also resulted in further infringement of rights such as freedom of expression. These grievances have led to a series of protests and strikes in the past two years; the latest strike by teachers has had a far-reaching impact on the public.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Terrorism, Employment, Economy, Freedom of Expression, Protests, Unemployment, Social Cohesion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Sofia Koller
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The transnational dimension of violent extremism calls for a comprehensive approach to prevention. International exchange of knowledge is crucial to enable an effective response. In addition, while more and more countries have increasingly focused on the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) (as opposed to purely repressive counter terrorism measures), actors need to be able to understand and demonstrate which measures work as well as how and why they do.
  • Topic: Security, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Georgios Kolliarakis, Isabella Hermann
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: This report presents the findings of the Interdisciplinary Research Group “Responsibility: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence” of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Technology and Global Affairs research area of DGAP. In September 2019, they brought leading experts from research and academia together with policy makers and representatives of standardization authorities and technology organizations to set framework conditions for a European anticipatory governance regime for artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, European Union, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniela Schwarzer, Shahin Vallée
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The recent ruling of the German Constitutional Court on the ECB was an economic and political bombshell. The deep controversy that resulted – within Germany and on a European scale – illustrates that the ambiguity surrounding the euro area’s legal order and architecture may have reached its limit. The ruling, combined with the plan to build a fiscal capacity to address the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis, presents the EU with an important opportunity to complete and solidify the euro area.
  • Topic: European Union, Constitution, Economy, Fiscal Policy, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Sofia Koller
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: InFoEx is a joint project of the Research Center for Migration, Integration and Asylum of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). In the course of 2019 and 2020, InFoEx brings together best practices and scientific findings from tertiary prevention in Germany and abroad. The aim of the project is to gather empirical findings on (de)radicalization processes, with a focus on their practical applicability for deradicalization work. To this end, the BAMF Research Centre initiated a network of research fellows who are embedded at local advice centers and research institutions partnering with the BAMF Advice Centre “Radicalisation.”
  • Topic: Migration, Radicalization, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Germany, Syria
  • Author: Barry Eichengreen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: What kind of economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis should we expect? Attempts to answer this question must start by acknowledging an unusually high degree of uncertainty about the immediate future. There is uncertainty about the recurrence of the virus, about how policy makers will balance public health and economic goals, and about the ability of governments to ramp up their capacity to test, trace and isolate the infected, thereby making it safe for others to return to work. Further sources of uncertainty include the behavioral responses of households and investors, the sustainability of the extraordinary monetary and fiscal policies adopted in response to the crisis, and the extent to which economic organization will change in the new public-health environment. These aspects of the current crisis and their contrasts with crises past suggest that recovery from the Covid-19 crisis will be bumpy, subdued and above all uncertain, and that it will differ in Europe and the United States.
  • Topic: Crisis Management, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Thibaud Deruelle
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Europe is among the most affected regions in the world by the spread of COVID-19. The continent was designated in March 2020 as the new epicenter of the pandemic and Europe’s recovery strategy to the crisis seems to be threatened by a lack of solidarity. This paper analyses how the European Union (EU) governance system has – so far – conditioned the construction of a modest coordinated European response to the crisis. It examines how the insufficiencies of the EU governance system have – so far – conditioned the construction of a modest coordinated European response to the crisis. It suggests that COVID-19 is a learning opportunity(1) rather than a make-or-break event. Crises in the EU are important catalysts of change(2) and offer a propitious context for policy learning.(3) This paper suggests that COVID-19 is a learning opportunity rather than a make-or-break event. Two lessons are highlighted: first, this crisis shows that if Europeans bet on solidarity as an incentive to cooperate, their chances to produce prompt and ambitious responses are slim and overshadowed by power-struggles on what the governance of the EU ought to be. Second, while the crisis started as a public health problem, the crux of the debate is now centered on a common economic recovery strategy. The challenge ahead will be to avoid that lessons learned about public health are cannibalized by economic affairs.
  • Topic: Governance, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Raphaël Danino-Perraud
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Although it is still marginal, the market for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing. According to the French Institute of Petroleum and Renewable Energies (IFPEN, Institut Français du Pétrole et des Énergies Renouvelables), EVs accounted for a little more than 2% of the light vehicle market in 2019. This was up by 54% compared to 2018, but EVs still only represent 0.8% of the global car fleet. That said, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates EVs could make up between 15% and 30% of vehicle sales in 2030. However, while European manufacturers have so far developed EVs such as the Renault Zoé or the BMW i3, they are highly dependent on Asian companies for the supply and manufacture of materials for cells and electric batteries, such as nickel, cobalt, lithium used to build precursors, or cathodes and their components. Asia provides more than 90% of world car battery output, half of which comes from China alone. European dependence is not only related to the manufacture of batteries, but occurs throughout much of their value chain, from extraction and processing of raw materials to the preparation of necessary treatment processes for recycling. The recycling market for batteries from small electronic objects (smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.) has also been led by Asian countries.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Business , Recycling
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Élie Tenenbaum, Morgan Paglia, Nathalie Ruffié
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: France is one of the few nations in the world to benefit from a permanent global military presence. With more than 10,000 military personnel from all three services, deployed across the five continents and the three main oceanic basins, it benefits from the second largest network of prepositioned forces in the world. This global military posture is structured around five “presence forces”, based in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates, as well as five “sovereignty forces” in the dependent overseas territories of the Antilles, French Guyana, Southern Indian Ocean, New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Over the past twenty years, this unique force posture has been hit by a series of deep budgetary cuts, translating into staff reductions and persisting delays in equipment delivery. As a result, the current military presence is under serious strain, as some capability are now weighing on the ability of these prepositioned forces to contribute as much as they could to the five strategic functions reiterated in the 2017 Strategic Review. These considerations are all the more important given the coming demographic, climatic, economic, geopolitical, and of course military challenges that will dramatically constrain the operational environment of the French forces in the coming years.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Armed Forces, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, France, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Tilman Altenburg, Xiao Chen, Wilfried Lütkenhorst, Cornelia Staritz, Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The Discussion Paper examines the opportunities that the rising industrial wages in China will bring for Africa. China has been the industrial workbench of the global economy for decades. However, its competitive advantages are waning, particularly for labour-intensive assembly activities in the clothing, shoe, electronics and toy industries. The Chinese government estimates that up to 81 million low-cost industrial jobs are at risk of relocation to other countries - unless China can keep the companies in the country through automation. Against this background, three complementary studies were carried out. The first examines where the automation technology for clothing and footwear production stands today; the second, how clothing companies in China deal with the cost pressure: to what extent they automate, relocate within China or abroad and how great is the interest in Africa as a production location. The third part is devoted to Africa’s competitiveness in clothing assemly, with empirical findings from Ethiopia and Madagascar. The Discussion Paper shows that the manufacture of clothing can already be robotized today, but that for sewing, robotization will probably remain more expensive than manual labor in the next 15-20 years. China’s companies are investing heavily in the automation of all other production processes and at the same time shifting production to neighbouring Asian countries. In Africa, only Ethiopia is currently competitive in the manufacture of clothing, and here too there are significant institutional difficulties in absorbing large amounts of direct investment.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Labor Issues, Foreign Direct Investment, Exports, Automation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Germany, Ethiopia, Madagascar
  • Author: Axel Berger, Sören Hilbrich, Gabriele Köhler
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20) have placed increasing emphasis on gender equality. As part of this focus, the member states of both institutions have set out a series of objectives aimed at advancing gender equality. This report examines the degree to which these goals have been implemented in Germany. First, the gender equality goals that both institutions have set out since 2009 are presented and systematised. The report then investigates the current state of progress in Germany and describes measures that have already been undertaken to implement the goals.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, G20, Women, Inequality, G7
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Frederik Stender, Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Jakob Schwab
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This study provides early ex-post empirical evidence on the effects of provisionally applied Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on two-way trade flows between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Employing the gravity model of trade, we do not find a general EPA effect on total exports from ACP countries to the EU nor on total exports from the EU to ACP countries. We do, however, find heterogeneous effects when focusing on specific agreements and economic sectors. While the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), which concluded several years ahead of the other EPAs in 2008, if anything, reduced imports from the EU overall, the provisional application of the other EPAs seems to have at least partly led to increased imports from the EU to some partner countries. More specifically, the estimation results suggest an increase in the total imports from the EU only in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) EPA partner countries. On the sectoral level, by comparison, we find increases in the EU’s agricultural exports to SADC, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the Pacific. Lastly, in the area of manufactures trade, we find decreases of exports of the ESA and SADC countries to the EU, but increases in imports from the EU into SADC countries. While this early assessment of the EPA effects merits attention given the importance of monitoring future implications of these agreements, it is still too early for a final verdict on the EPAs’ effects and future research is needed to investigate the mid- and long-term consequences of these agreements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Manufacturing, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Africa, Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, European Union
  • Author: Maximilian Müngersdorff, Tim Stoffel
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP) is a tool to use the market power of the public sector to trigger private companies to provide socially responsible products and services. In this sense, SRPP contributes to achieving SDG 12 of the Agenda 2030 (“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”). However, while regulations at EU level and within the member states encourage SRPP, German municipalities lack effective implementation of social criteria in their tenders. This gap seriously decreases the triggering effect of the country’s procurement expenditures of which municipalities account for more than 50 per cent. By triangulating interview data with secondary literature, this paper identifies success factors and triggers for the introduction and consolidation of SRPP practices in German municipalities. Our research shows that there is not one gold standard of implementing SRPP in a municipality (as suggested by most existing toolboxes and handbooks on the topic). Rather, our paper presents a compilation of various different entry points from which practitioners may embark on fitting pathways. Beyond this, we have translated the most crucial success factors and triggers into nine recommendations for political action, for example, with regard to clear and ambitious regulations; measures to ensure broad support for SRPP within the municipal administration; and approaches for a more strategic procurement management. Our research also highlights the role played by individuals, that is, the importance of personal commitment for successful implementation of SRPP. This finding, however, is problematic when it comes to transferring and upscaling good practices. To reach a high level of broad and ambitious SRPP action, the balance between individual, regulatory and institutional measures has to change for the benefit of the latter two.
  • Topic: Governance, Regulation, Business , Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Tim Stoffel
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Public Procurement is a highly regulated process ruled by a complex legal framework. It comprises not only national but also, increasingly, sub- and supranational regulations, giving rise to a multi-level regulatory governance of public procurement. The integration of sustainability aspects into public procurement, as called for in goal 12.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda 2030, needs to take this multi-level character into account. This reports focuses on social considerations, which are a central part of sustainable procurement – whether with a domestic focus or along international value chains. Social considerations have been somewhat neglected in Europe, whereas they feature prominently in procurement regulations in many countries of the Global South, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The advanced process of regional integration in the European Union (EU) and the progress made towards integration in some regional economic communities in Sub-Saharan Africa call for deeper analyses of the influence of the higher levels of the regulatory framework on the lower levels. The question is whether public entities, from the national down to the local level, are required or at least have the option to integrate socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) into their procurement processes and tenders, or at least have the option to do so. This report is conducted as part of the project “Municipalities Promoting and Shaping Sustainable Value Creation (MUPASS) - Public Procurement for Fair and Sustainable Production”, implemented by DIE in cooperation with Service Agency Municipalities in One World (SKEW) with funds from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and compares public procurement in Germany and Kenya. In both countries, the multi-level regulatory frameworks allow for SRPP regulations and practices ar the national and sub-national levels of government. There is, however, an implementation gap for SRPP in Germany and Kenya that appears to be independent from the specifics of the respective regulatory framework. To tackle this, supportive measures, such as capacity building, are key. Furthermore, Regional economic communities, such as the EU and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), can play a role in promoting SRPP, even without introducing mandatory provisions. At the other end of the multi-level regulatory spectrum, municipalities in the EU had and have an important role in SRPP implementation, that might be replicable by sub-national public entities in Kenya and other contexts.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Regulation, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Europe, Germany
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Israel/Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI)
  • Abstract: Following the Erasmus Global Partnerships MENA Forum, hosted in Rabat, Morocco, 25 Youth Organizations from MENA and Europe have come together to co-draft Joint Policy Report & Recommendations – “Fostering EU-MENA Cooperation through Youth Empowerment and Innovation to advance the Sustainable Development”. This Joint Policy Paper, co-signed by entrepreneurs and NGOs from MENA and Europe, offers our own contribution to the policy conversations, in an effort to co-create a new environment where young people from all backgrounds are supported to achieve their full potential as leaders, entrepreneurs and peace-builders.
  • Topic: European Union, Partnerships, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: James Sherr
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: The aims of this report are to explain Ukraine’s consolidation, resilience and determination to make its own decisions despite great asymmetries of power and Russia’s exploitation of its vulnerabilities and divisions; to describe why President Volodymyr Zelensky represents an opportunity as well as a challenge to Russia; and to set out necessary and realistic goals for the West.
  • Topic: Security, History, Resilience, Non-Traditional Threats
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Andrew A. Michta
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: Andrew A. Michta argues that the governments of Central and Eastern European countries will need to weigh the benefit to them of continued economic engagement with China, especially in the area of 5G.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Economy, Transatlantic Relations, 5G
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Artur Kacprzyk, Lukasz Kulesa
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: While the countries of NATO’s north-eastern flank—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland—are correctly putting emphasis in their security policy on strengthening deterrence, they need to take a more proactive stance on arms control. Although current prospects are not promising in the light of Russian violations and circumventions of existing treaties, demand for greater engagement with Russia on arms control is growing among NATO nations. Without a constructive input from the flank countries, NATO’s arms-control agenda and the actions of individual European Allies could become detached from deterrence efforts and weaken NATO cohesion. The north-eastern countries should thus identify and promote balanced solutions that can be used to increase the region’s security.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia
  • Author: Kristi Raik
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: In January 2020, Estonia became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term. The international environment, meanwhile, is becoming increasingly challenging for multilateral cooperation and a rules-based global order. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the lack of global leadership, previously provided by the US, and inability of the UNSC to mobilise international cooperation. In recent years, European cooperation in the UNSC has increased, while transatlantic tensions and great-power rivalry have grown. Estonia has taken an active role in shaping the joint positions of EU states in the UNSC, for example on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), Ukraine and Syria. The case of the MEPP in particular illustrates that it has become more difficult to reconcile good transatlantic relations with a consistent commitment to the EU, multilateralism and international law. It is in Estonia’s interest to work towards as much consensus as possible between Europe and the US and, on issues where this is not feasible, to avoid exacerbating the tensions. At the same time, Estonia has a strong interest in being consistent on international law, even if at times this means disagreeing with its most important security ally. The dilemma for Estonia and the EU as a whole is how to work to maintain the rules-based order while simultaneously adapting to its erosion and change. The EU should move on from joint statements to more action and the generation of a real ability to enforce international law and resolve conflicts, especially in its own neighbourhood. The need for Europe’s active role in tackling global problems has also been evident during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, United Nations, European Union, UN Security Council, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Tomas Jermalavicius, Priit Mändmaa, Emma Hakala, Tomas Janeliūnas, Juris Ozoliņš, Krystian Kowalewski
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: By coincidence perhaps more than design, the ‘winds of change’ in the twelve months between autumn 2018 and 2019 ushered in new governments—whether through national elections or through coalition reshuffling—in five Baltic Sea littoral states: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Yet, amidst sometimes rather turbulent domestic political debates, one key cluster of topics was virtually absent: energy security and climate policy. With the vital exception of Finland—a state with a relatively strong Green movement and long tradition of climate and environmental activism—no country saw climate or energy security targets raised as key campaign issues. To the extent that energy security and climate topics were mentioned at all, they either were minimized due to parties’ fear of alienating key voting blocs (as with the coal mining sector in Poland), confined to energy stakeholders and technical audiences due their complexity (as with electricity desynchronisation in the Baltic countries) or completely assimilated into a cross-party foreign policy consensus (as in the universal opposition in Lithuania to the Astravyets nuclear power plant project in Belarus). While domestic factors—including perceived national interests in ensuring energy self-sufficiency—contributed to a serious case of policy inertia, small and interconnected countries do not of course exist in a vacuum. Accordingly, international factors—from the continuing use of energy policy as an instrument of geopolitical power by Russia, to the growing consensus in the EU in favor of more ambitious climate targets—have done more to raise the salience of these issues, especially after the von der Leyen Commission took office in Brussels at the end of 2019 and put forward the so-called European Green Deal. These exogenous factors have finally, for instance, triggered a broader reassessment in Estonia of that country’s rather leisurely planned phase-out of oil shale power generation, while pushing political leaders in all five countries at least rhetorically to embrace the goal of a carbon-neutral future (albeit with considerable differences in timelines and methodology). Amidst a volatile international economic and geopolitical context that—since the time work began on this report—now includes a major global pandemic and a dramatic fall in fossil fuel demand and prices, the region’s political and economic leaders clearly cannot count on being able to make their policy selections in a vacuum. While the goal of an integrated regional energy market is closer than ever to being achieved, regional cooperation still has much to be desired; differing attitudes to issues both technical (e.g. harmonising natural gas regulations, which has left Lithuania outside a new regional market) or fundamental (importing third-country electricity generated without regard to EU climate or pollution standards) leave all five countries less able to respond to challenges ahead. While the region’s countries have largely relied on Brussels to broker compromises (often with the help of considerable funding), in a post-pandemic world, both the political bandwidth and financial resources will likely be constrained. In its country sections, this report captures a valuable snapshot of the relative inertia as well as the degree of evolution of the energy and climate policies of the five countries in the face of that year’s fairly calm international context. Given the significant economic, human, and political changes underway as a result of the pandemic, however, it is an open question to what extent the region can weather the far more turbulent times ahead. The political and societal willingness to pursue the energy transition to a carbon-neutral future through new—more ambitious and certainly more expensive—energy and climate policies as a response to the climate emergency will very much depend on how the impact of the pandemic plays out globally, in Europe and in the Baltic area. It will also require strong leadership from a new generation of political, business and societal leaders able to see green recovery as a major opportunity for their nations in terms of economic development, social welfare and national security.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Environment, Politics, Governance, European Union, Economy, Sustainability, Resilience
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Baltic States
  • Author: Piret Kuusik
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: Strengths and power come from within. While the US still dominates in terms of power of attraction, its fraught domestic situation undermines its global standing. This analysis focuses on the countries in the Nordic-Baltic region – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden – and assesses how they are adapting to President Donald Trump administration’s foreign policy and the changing role of the US in the world. President Trump has stirred the current world order and the US foreign policy. Previous long-term and broad US foreign policy has become narrow and shallow. Immediate gain has become the new measure of success in US external relations; setting the direction and interests of US foreign policy. To the region and Europe at large, this has been a shake-up which consequences have not been thoroughly analysed and debated in the public space. The analysis hopes to serve as an opener to a broader debate in Estonia and in the Nordic-Baltic region about the US’s changing role and the following consequences. The analysis desires to advance regional cooperation and shared thinking; helping policy-makers, journalists, researchers and politicians to contribute to the future discussions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Transatlantic Relations, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America, Baltic States
  • Author: Heather Grabbe
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report is a rallying cry for Europeans to pull together and mobilize the EU’s assets to manage the three biggest changes of our times. Each section briefly diagnoses the consequences of climate change, aging populations, and digital revolutions and then explores the role the EU could play in supporting the inevitable transitions. The purpose is not to provide a detailed blueprint for each transition, but rather to launch a new kind of debate about the EU—a debate that does not revolve around how to tweak the current institutions but instead how to address a reordered set of priorities
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dean Vuletic
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After winning the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) with her song “Toy” (inspired by the #MeToo movement), Netta Barzilai issued the declaration, “Next year in Jerusalem!” By using the traditional Jewish phrase, she was suggesting that the 2019 ESC would be held in that city.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Culture, Music
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Mohanad Hage Ali
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Syrian conflict has magnified threats to minorities with long-term implications both within and beyond Syria’s borders. The deployment of excessive firepower by the Russian and Iranian-backed Assad regime, and the concurrent rise of Islamic extremism have had both direct and indirect impacts on minorities. Local, regional, and international actors have weaponized minority groups to bolster their influence, further intensifying schisms in the Syrian social fabric and in the international community as a whole. The flow of one million Syrian refugees to Europe between 2015 and 2016 strengthened an already powerful wave of anti-immigration, nationalist populism throughout the continent and across the Atlantic. As an openly Islamophobic and, more implicitly, anti-Semitic movement, the wave has contributed to widening the scope of the Syrian conflict’s schismatic effects beyond the country’s borders.
  • Topic: Minorities, Violent Extremism, Refugees, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Rebuilding war-torn Syria poses a formidable challenge for European governments, which are unwilling to legitimise the Damascus regime by funding reconstruction. Instead, the EU and its member states could consider bankrolling small projects without regime involvement and testing an approach that trades aid for reforms. What’s new? The Syrian war is drawing to a close, but whether the regime in Damascus can also win the peace is uncertain. Few appear willing or able to invest significantly in reconstruction, and Europe, which could make substantial funds available, is withholding support absent a genuine political transition. Why does it matter? Without reconstruction, Syrians’ living conditions could deteriorate and leave the country’s recovery indefinitely postponed, perpetuating current instability. Yet many European leaders believe reconstruction support without substantial reforms could have a similar effect, empowering a regime intent on repression, not reconciliation. What should be done? Europe should consider supporting small-scale rehabilitation projects on condition of no regime interference. It could also test an incremental incentives-based approach – a progressive lifting of sanctions, gradual normalisation of relations and staggered disbursement of reconstruction funds – in exchange for political reforms and regime steps to ease repressive and discriminatory practices.
  • Topic: Foreign Aid, Reconstruction, European Union, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Russia and the separatists it backs in Ukraine’s east are no longer quite on the same page, especially since the Kremlin abandoned ideas of annexing the breakaway republics or recognising their independence. The rift gives the new Ukrainian president an opportunity for outreach to the east’s embattled population, including by relaxing the trade embargo. What’s new? Russia’s gradual retreat from any plans to annex parts of eastern Ukraine has opened schisms between Moscow and its separatist proxies in the region. Why does it matter? For Kyiv, these divides could create opportunities to restart dialogue with the people of the east. Such contacts, in turn, could help lay the groundwork for Ukraine’s unification. What should be done? The rift between Moscow and its proxies should inform new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s policies. Kyiv should look to rebuild relations with the inhabitants of separatist-held areas, by easing the economic blockade on the east and increasing outreach to the population there.
  • Topic: Non State Actors, Geopolitics, Conflict, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Andrea Dessì
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This study on Libya is one of a series of reports prepared within the framework of the EU-LISTCO project, funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. Libya is a special case within the EU-LISTCO project. It is in the western region of North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Algeria and Tunisia to the west, Chad and Niger to the south, Sudan to the south-east and Egypt to the east. The security and stability of Libya is fundamental for the economic and political future of Europe, particularly in relation to migration, radicalisation and political economy. Because of the NATO-led intervention that brought about the collapse of the Libyan Arab al-Jamahiriyah, the country has now entered an interrelated social, economic and political crisis, and violence has been simmering for the past eight years. While the collapse of the previous government has been beneficial for some, numerous armed political actors now control the Libyan territory, supported and funded by external powers that often have contradictory political agendas. The purpose of this report is to answer the following research questions: what is the background of areas of limited statehood and contested order in Libya?; how and when can areas of limited statehood and contested order in Libya turn into governance breakdown and/or violent conflict, and how can these threats affect the security of the EU?; what are the resilience mechanisms in Libya?
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Political stability, State, Crisis Management, Resilience
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Libya
  • Author: Sine Plambech, Maria Brus Pedersen
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In recent decades, news media all over the world have increasingly covered the issue of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a notoriously complex subject involving migration, border politics, gender, consent, agency and morality. Yet, simplistic ideas and framings of human trafficking often end up shaping broader understandings of human trafficking in policy and the public sphere. This report is written by DIIS Senior Researcher Sine Plambech and journalist Maria Brus Pedersen. The aim is not only to provide insights into the framing of human trafficking in the Danish media, but furthermore to serve as a learning tool for journalists covering human trafficking. An analysis of this type has not been undertaken in Denmark before and thus provides the reader with new insights into the evolution of how the Danish media framed human trafficking from 2010 to 2019. The report has three main findings: First, the framing of human trafficking in the Danish media has changed significantly over the past decade, from mainly covering human trafficking solely as a matter of prostitution and a human rights issue for women in 2010 to becoming an issue of migration with security and legal implications in 2019. As such there has been a development away from a focus on women’s ‘bodies’ to a focus on ‘borders’ and migration politics. Secondly, in comparison to 2010, today the media more commonly describe the trafficking of men to forced labor and human trafficking generally to other sectors than prostitution. Yet, the framing continues to be significantly gendered. Though identified victims of trafficking in Denmark are most usually migrants, the men are framed primarily as migrant workers in exploitative situations, whereas the women are described as victims of trafficking. This gendered framing derives primarily from the perspective that prostitution is victimizing by default and is not seen as a kind of work. Thirdly, despite the more nuanced framing, a simplistic sensationalist language still risks dehumanizing and overshadowing the complexity of human trafficking. In particular, this is because it is the media, rather than those who have been identified as victims of trafficking, who use these terms to describe their situation, as some of the journalists also confirmed. The report has a number of suggestions for journalists covering issues of human trafficking, some of them being; Be cautious with language. There is often a difference between the language used by politicians and NGOs and the language used by migrant workers to describe their situations. Sensationalist language like ‘prostitutes’, ‘sex slaves’ and ‘meat markets’ are loaded terms that contribute to marginalization and stigmatization. Migrant workers are not only victims of trafficking, they have agency in respect of their own migration trajectories: the one does not exclude the other. Human trafficking can be used as a yardstick for many different political agendas: consider which agendas you might be contributing to. Consider using counter narratives, activist reporting and investigative journalism as these approaches contribute to expanding our understanding of human trafficking.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Migration, Media, Borders, Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Jessica Larsen
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In the light of the EU’s recent initiative to step up its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) framework, a new DIIS report by Researcher Jessica Larsen examines the role of the EU as security actor in the maritime domain. The report analyses the EU’s maritime security operations so far undertaken under the CSDP, the counter-piracy operation ATALANTA in the Indian Ocean and the counter-smuggling operation SOPHIA in the Mediterranean Sea. The report finds that the EU filled a range of roles at sea, in particular as a: first responder, because the EU established operations ahead of other more obvious security actors, such as NATO and the US broad responder, because the EU applied its characteristic integrated approach of combining military and civilian policy instruments to address the security issue legitimate responder (to some extent), because the EU was able to use its political and diplomatic arm to establish bilateral agreements that sought to ensure the rule of law in operations and engage regional state authorities While the EU has pursued a comprehensive role in addressing maritime crime, the report argues that the EU on a strategic and operational level is neglecting a range of geopolitical tensions currently playing out in various maritime domains. The report argues that the EU needs to acknowledge this more explicitly. As the EU seeks to step up its common security and defence policy, the report calls for dedicated analysis of and decision-making about how the EU as security actor wishes to face this development and position itself in the maritime domain on both strategic and operational levels.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Migration, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Mikkel Runge Olesen, Camilla Tenna Nørup Sørensen
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Arctic is increasingly becoming a region marked by great power competition between the US, Russia and China. This has caused trouble for the Nordic countries in the Arctic, who has had to handle and defuse both potential tensions with both Russia and China, and at the same manage relations with the US – their great power protector – whose new approach to the Artic now openly focuses on Russian and China as strategic competitors in the Arctic. Building on interviews, official documents and the existing literature, this report looks into the experiences from Finland, Norway and Iceland in dealing with this dilemma with the aim of identifying points for consideration by Denmark.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Arctic
  • Author: Jessica Larsen, Christine Nissen
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In December 2018, Denmark published a new priority paper guiding its future engagement in the Gulf of Guinea to combat piracy and other types of maritime crime. Against such background, this DIIS report presents the main challenges to maritime security in the region and maps the actors and activities addressing it in order to draw out the role that Denmark should play in this context. The report shed light on the regional and international strategies and interventions that are at play at a time when Denmark is a relatively new actor in the process of defining its role in the region’s maritime security infrastructure. As such, the report offers Denmark three sets of pointers for how to prioritise its activities in the Gulf of Guinea: ■ Regionalise engagement by promoting local ownership ■ Focus on the ‘in between’ by enhancing coordination and deconfliction ■ Look landward by strengthening legal structures
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Fragile States
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Dalibor Rohac, Matt Browne, Max Bergmann, Ismaël Emelien, Karin Svanborg-Sjövall, Andreas Johansson Heinö, Agata Stremecka
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Since 2016, concern over the resurgence of illiberal populist political parties and movements has been palpable in Europe and the United States. The election of Donald Trump, the United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union, and the electoral advances of far-right parties in many European states, including France and Germany, created the sense that populist parties were a new, unstoppable political force in democratic politics.1 Yet in 2019, the notion that populist parties are the future of European politics seems far less certain. The term “populism” itself may have outlived its usefulness. Originally, it referred to parties and leaders who described themselves as true voices of the people against self-serving, out-of-touch elites—and it was prone to run roughshod over established political norms and institutions. Over the past three years, differences in approaches, tactics, and outlooks between different populist parties have emerged, making it clear that there is no clear populist governing strategy. Accordingly, beyond disrupting the current order, anti-establishment political forces in Europe share no actual transnational policy agenda. Yet populist and anti-establishment forces have upended European politics and contributed to fragmentation and uncertainty. As the example of the record turnout in the 2019 European parliamentary election illustrates,2 the EU itself has become an important dividing line for voters. The high turnout and raucous nature of the 2019 election portends animated debates over European policies. Gone are the days when the EU could move initiatives forward without much public attention or concern. In short, Jean Monnet’s “salami-slicing” method of incremental, technocratically driven European integration3 is dead. A more engaged and aware European public is in itself a positive development. Yet simultaneously, for better or worse, the sudden salience of European policies can present an obstacle to policy initiatives that otherwise would be seen as uncontroversial. Just as partisan divisions in the United States have plagued Washington with significant policy paralysis, the emergence of a similarly contentious and partisan politics in Europe may make it hard for Brussels to act. Europe has proven resilient over the past decade, but that resilience should not be taken for granted. The EU largely has failed to address its structural weaknesses that were exposed following the 2008 financial and fiscal crisis, meaning that the EU would confront a future economic crisis with the same limited toolbox it had in 2008.4 To make matters worse, influential populist actors could also obstruct swift action while benefiting politically at home from the EU’s failings. Unlike only a few years ago, fears of the EU’s sudden unraveling seem farfetched. Yet a protracted death by a thousand cuts, caused by populist leaders undermining EU rules and norms, remains a distinct possibility. The new instability of European politics poses a real challenge to the trans-Atlantic alliance. Unity among free and democratic states of the West is hard to sustain in the current political environment on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet at a time when the alliance faces a rising challenge from autocratic powers such as China and Russia, the case for unity and cooperation is stronger now than at any point since the end of the Cold War. This report seeks to chart a course for the EU and for the trans-Atlantic alliance, while acknowledging that the anti-establishment sentiments that reverberate through European politics are here to stay. While there is a strong case to be made for a Europe that works together to defend democratic values at home and abroad as well as a trans-Atlantic alliance that is willing to work in proactive partnership to tackle big global challenges—from climate change to terrorism to nuclear proliferation—that goal is still a long way off.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Authoritarianism, European Union, Populism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia
  • Author: Derek Scissors
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Official Chinese economic data are often the only game in town, but they are untrust­worthy. Sometimes they prove inaccurate; during downturns they are falsified outright. Finding inconsistency in official statistics demonstrates the problem but offers no solution, since it is rarely clear which series is better. Examining 15 major indicators for importance and reliability shows that growth in gross domestic product (GDP) and GDP per capita should be deemphasized. To illustrate, China’s GDP per capita is twice as high as official per capita disposable income. The latter can be spent; the former is an accounting result. Another conclusion: Arguably the most valuable indicators are the worst measured. Debt is reasonably estimated at present, but factor productivity and human capital are vital to medium-term performance and receive far too little attention.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Monetary Policy, GDP, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Beijing
  • Author: Jeffrey L. Caton
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: publication cover In 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the DoD Cyber Strategy which explicitly calls for a comprehensive strategy to provide credible deterrence in cyberspace against threats from key state and nonstate actors. To be effective, such activities must be coordinated with ongoing deterrence efforts in the physical realm, especially those of near-peers impacting critical global regions such as China in the Asia-Pacific region and Russia in Europe. It is important for the U.S. Army to identify and plan for any unique roles that they may provide to these endeavors. This study explores the evolving concept of deterrence in cyberspace in three major areas: • First, the monograph addresses the question: What is the current U.S. deterrence posture for cyberspace? The discussion includes an assessment of relevant current national and DoD policies and concepts as well as an examination of key issues for cyber deterrence found in professional literature. • Second, it examines the question: What are the Army’s roles in cyberspace deterrence? This section provides background information on how Army cyber forces operate and examines the potential contributions of these forces to the deterrence efforts in cyberspace as well as in the broader context of strategic deterrence. The section also addresses how the priority of these contributions may change with escalating levels of conflict. • Third, the monograph provides recommendations for changing or adapting the DoD and Army responsibilities to better define and implement the evolving concepts and actions supporting deterrence in the dynamic domain of cyberspace.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Non State Actors, Cybersecurity, Army
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Michael A. Hunzeker, Alexander Lanoszka
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) face daunting challenges in the Baltic region. Russia is behaving aggressively. Its military is more capable than it has been at any point since the end of the Cold War. More importantly, Russia is finding creative ways to subvert the status quo and to sow discord without triggering Article 5 of NATO, which declares that an attack against one member is an attack against all. These problems are formidable, but we have reason to be optimistic. Far from shattering NATO’s cohesion and undermining its resolve, Russian aggression has reinvigorated the alliance. Nor is Russia an unstoppable adversary. It has many weaknesses. Indeed, Russian fears over those vulnerabilities might be driving its aggressive foreign policy. Even if this is not the case and Russia is indeed a relentless predator, it is nevertheless a vulnerable one. The United States and its NATO allies can take advantage of these vulnerabilities. After assessing Russian intentions, capabilities, and limitation, this monograph recommends a hedging strategy to improve early detection capabilities, enhance deterrence in unprovocative ways, and improve regional defenses against a hybrid threat. Achieving these goals should help the United States deter Russia and reassure regional allies more effectively while managing our own worst fears.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War, Military Strategy, Landpower, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Russia’s annexation of Crimea and intervention in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, alarmed not only Western-leaning states in Central Europe and the Baltic but also Moscow’s traditional allies. These events signaled that Moscow is now willing and capable of using direct military force against perceived strategic threats in its self-proclaimed region of vested interests. With the exception of Ukraine and the Baltic States, this Letort Paper examines how Russia’s front-line states have adjusted their foreign policy posture since 2014. Belarus, Moldova, the states of Central Asia and the South Caucasus calculate the benefits and risks in their relationship with Moscow and either make concessions or strengthen their defenses accordingly to avoid triggering a Russian reaction. This Letort Paper provides a range of policy recommendations intended to maximize the opportunities of a new alignment with the West for these states while minimizing the risk of Russia, using again, those capabilities it has demonstrated in Ukraine and Syria.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Olena Tregub
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Euromaidan protests that toppled the government of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Ukrainian activists and civil society organizations have pressed hard for anti-corruption reforms and greater openness and transparency in the public sector. Five years later, however, corruption remains a fixture of civic life—and a majority of Ukrainians believe the fight against corruption has been a failure. This new report reviews the changes that have taken place in the anti-corruption movement since the Euromaidan and identifies practical actions the international community can take to support reform efforts in Ukraine.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Governance, Reform, Democracy, Rule of Law, Protests, Accountability, Transparency, Justice
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Daniel R. Russel, Blake Berger
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Launched in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a highly ambitious development effort that would sew together infrastructure projects across more than 70 countries. Estimated to comprise of more than USD $1 trillion in Chinese investment, the BRI is arguably China's broadest economic engagement effort with the rest of the world — enhancing its connectivity through Southeast, South, Central, and West Asia; Africa; Europe; and South America. The Asia Society Policy Institute project – Navigating the Belt and Road Initiative – examines BRI with the aim of setting forth actionable recommendations for how China and partner countries can help ensure that BRI projects yield beneficial and sustainable developmental, economic, environmental, civic, and social outcomes. The project includes a report by the same name, which is available for download below, as well as an interactive visualization of 12 recommended practices and their specific implementation steps, intended outcomes, and relevant Chinese and international precedents. (For interactive content see: https://asiasociety.org/policy-institute/belt-and-road-initiative)
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Soft Power, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Investment, Economic Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, Asia, South America, Southeast Asia, West Asia
  • Author: Stephanie Savell
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: This new map shows for the first time that the United States is now combating terrorism in 40 percent of the world’s nations.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Counter-terrorism, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anne De Tinguy, Annie Daubenton, Olivier Ferrando, Sophie Hohmann, Jacques Lévesque, Nicolas Mazzuchi, Gaïdz Minassian, Thierry Pasquet, Tania Sollogoub, Julien Thorez
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Regards sur l’Eurasie. L’année politique est une publication annuelle du Centre de recherches internationales de Sciences Po (CERI) dirigée par Anne de Tinguy. Elle propose des clefs de compréhension des événements et des phénomènes qui marquent de leur empreinte les évolutions d’une région, l’espace postsoviétique, en profonde mutation depuis l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique en 1991. Forte d’une approche transversale qui ne prétend nullement à l’exhaustivité, elle vise à identifier les grands facteurs explicatifs, les dynamiques régionales et les enjeux sous-jacents.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Health, International Security, Natural Resources, Conflict, Multilateralism, Europeanization, Political Science, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: Franklin D. Kramer
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The world is now witnessing the rise of China, which has a global reach and real implications for the transatlantic community. As new challenges and opportunities unfold, the United States is seeking to formulate an adapted approach to China in cooperation with its closest allies and partners in Europe. In his latest report, Managed Competition: Meeting China’s challenge in a multi-vector world, Atlantic Council distinguished fellow Franklin D. Kramer suggests a strategic approach of “managed competition” to meet the full spectrum of challenges posed by China, including economic and innovation, diplomatic and influence, and security, both hybrid and conventional military. Kramer argues that a successful economics and innovation strategy will require substantially enhanced efforts to support innovation. It will also demand a multi-tier economic approach differentiating strategic sectors and those sectors affected by market distortions from those sectors that would benefit from reciprocal access of commercial products and services to commercial entities allowing for generally free trade in those arenas. In the diplomatic and influence arenas, key elements include multilateral efforts with close US allies and coordination of activities to counter disinformation and subversion. In the security arena, undertaking assurance, resilience, and deterrence measures will be necessary when responding to both hybrid and conventional challenges. Resolution of “one world” challenges, such as climate change, requires the involvement of so significant a factor as China presents. This report is the first publication in a new body of work led by the Scowcroft Center’s Transatlantic Security Initiative focused on understanding and managing the implications of China’s rise for the transatlantic community.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anton Barbashin, Alexander Graef
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Over the course of the last decade Russian foreign policy has taken critical turns, surprising not only the entire international community but also Russia’s own foreign policy experts. Arguably, the most notable turn came in March 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, setting in motion developments that are continuously shaping Russia, its neighbors, and, to a certain degree, global affairs. Clearly, Russia’s post-Crimean foreign policy does not exist in a vacuum. Its ramifications are colliding with regional and global trends that are effectively destabilizing the post-Cold War international order, creating uncertainties that are defining the contemporary international moment. In this report, we deal with those whose job it is to explain the logic of Russia’s foreign policy turns and to analyze global trends and their meaning for Russia and the rest of the world. Although these experts, as a rule, do not directly influence political decision-making, their debates, as Graeme Herd argues, “set the parameters for foreign policy choices” and “shape elite and public perceptions of the international environment” in Russia.1 Especially in times of crisis and rapid change ideas produced at some earlier stage by experts and think tanks external to the state bureaucracy can suddenly obtain instrumental value and direct policy options. In Part 1, we briefly discuss the role of think tanks in Russian foreign policymaking and present the landscape of Russian think tanks working on foreign policy issues. We distinguish among three basic institutional forms: academic and university-based think tanks, private think tanks, and state-sponsored think tanks. Highlighting the diversity of organizations, we then focus on four state-sponsored think tanks whose size, political contacts, and financial means allow them to dominate the think tank scene in Russia and that represent different ideological angles of a broad, yet also comparatively volatile mainstream: the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP), the Valdai Discussion Club, the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), and the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI). Part 2 follows this selection by looking at Russian foreign policy debates since 2014. We consider how experts writing for these four organizations have approached three major themes: the evolution of the concept of Greater Europe and European Union (EU)-Russia relations, the establishment of the Greater Eurasia narrative in the context of Russia’s declared pivot to the East, and the concepts of multipolarity and the liberal world order.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Diplomacy, Norms
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia