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  • Author: Michał Wojnarowicz, Szymon Zaręba
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 12 November 2019, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) issued a judgment on products from Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Golan Heights. It states that EU members are required to ensure that the origin is properly marked. The implementation of this requirement may cause disputes in the EU because of differences in Member States’ policies towards Israel. Tensions in relations with the U.S. are also possible, especially in the context of that country’s recent change in policy favouring the Israeli position on settlements. Hence, it is advisable for the EU to develop a uniform policy regarding imports and labelling of products from all occupied territories.
  • Topic: International Law, Territorial Disputes, European Union, Occupation, Judiciary, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North America, United States of America, West Bank, Golan Heights
  • Author: 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: 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: Jakub Pieńkowski, Tomasz Żornaczuk
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Initiated at the end of 2017, the Varna Quadrilateral is a forum for cooperation between Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania. It is intended to improve coordination of cross-border infrastructure and energy investments between the largest countries in southeastern Europe. Meetings to date also show that collaboration can have clear political elements. However, a half year after the inauguration of the new initiative, its future is in doubt due to the great differences between its members.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Łukasz Ogrodnik, Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Austrian government is implementing its energy and climate strategy to 2030, the aim of which is to stimulate the economy and achieve energy independence through the use of clean technologies. The strategy signals potential points of contention with Poland, including in nuclear and coal energy. At the same time, it indicates potential fields of cooperation regarding low-emission transport.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Renewable Energy, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Austria
  • Author: Marta Makowska, Melchior Szczepanik
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the draft multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027, the European Commission (EC) proposed a political conditionality mechanism through which EU funds could be suspended for countries violating the rule of law. If implemented, it would grant the EC new powers to control the condition of the rule of law in Member States, but it is based on imprecise criteria. Even though the EC has declared that the mechanism is designed to discipline state institutions responsible for breaches, it could be damaging mainly to the final beneficiaries of the funds.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Budget, European Union, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The approaches of the EU and India to the connectivity between Asia and Europe largely converge. Both the Union and the country emphasize the importance of maintaining the highest international standards in infrastructure projects, share similar concerns regarding China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and implement their own ambitious transregional transport projects in their respective neighbourhood. Comprehensive cooperation on connectivity may become a key element of their strategic partnership, help promote regulatory standards, and boost economic cooperation. Better connectivity between Europe and India is also in Poland’s interest.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Trade, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, South Asia, India, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marcela Szymanski, Małgorzata Pawłowska
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite the significant reduction of irregular migration to the European Union, the number of migrants arriving to Spain is increasing. In the national debate on this issue, the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez faces growing criticism from both the right and the left. Maintaining the current course in migration policy will require intensifying cooperation with Spain’s European partners. The Spanish authorities will reinforce the pressure on them to increase EU financial support for southern European countries and to find a European solution to asylum.
  • Topic: Migration, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, North Africa
  • Author: Sebastian Płóciennik
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Negotiations on the creation of common bank deposit insurance for the EU have been underway for more than three years. The deadlock is mainly due to Germany’s reluctance, afraid of the creation of a new financial transfer mechanism at the expense of its own economy. An opportunity for compromise is the December Euro Summit. If an agreement is reached, it would mean the finalisation of the banking union—a key area for the future of the eurozone.
  • Topic: Finance, Economy, Regional Integration, Banks
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, European Union
  • Author: Daniel Szeligowski, Veronika Jóźwiak
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The dispute over the rights of the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia is based on a fundamental difference of interests. While Ukraine aims to strengthen its citizens’ sense of belonging to the country, Hungary strives to extend the rights of the minority, which means there are no prospects for easing the tensions in the short term. What is more, further escalation is likely, since both parties use the dispute in domestic politics. The difference in Hungary’s and Poland’s approach to Ukraine will weigh on Polish-Hungarian relations.
  • Topic: Education, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, Minorities, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Hungary
  • Author: Łukasz Jurczyszyn
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The fight against terrorism is one of President Emmanuel Macron’s political priorities. Activities in this field are carried out in two main directions, one, in the country, through new institutions and regulations and, two, abroad, through military operations and by increasing development assistance in Africa and the Middle East. More and more evidence indicates that they have been having the expected operational and political effects. The number of detected and subverted terrorist plots is increasing and Macron’s initiatives in this area can count on considerable public support.
  • Topic: National Security, Terrorism, Islamic State, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, France, Africa
  • Author: Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In a communication of 12 April, the European Commission assessed the potential political and economic consequences of suspending visa exemption for U.S. citizens. Lacking pressure from individual EU Member States, the Commission discouraged such a move and gave the EU Council and European Parliament three months to take an official position. It seems almost certain that the measure of applying pressure on a non-EU country will not be used to help Poland and four other Member States obtain visa-free travel to the United States or other countries with a similar restriction. However, if current trends continue, Poland should join the U.S. Visa Waiver Programme in five years.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, European Union, Citizenship
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Damian Wnukowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The transformation of ASEAN into an economic community is a significant step in the organisation’s integration process. The project, formally launched at the beginning of 2016, aims at creation of a single market of more than 620 million people, loosens the flow of goods, services and investment, which should underpin regional economic growth and catch the attention of foreign businesses. However, obstacles to economic cooperation remain, such as limitations on the movement of labour or capital, which shows that the integration process is not yet complete. The EU, which can benefit from a well-functioning market in this region, should share its own experience to support the ASEAN integration process.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Politics, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Piotr Kościński
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: At a time when many European countries are strengthening border protection (including building walls), migrants will seek new avenues to Europe. In this context and of particular importance will be the policy of the authorities of Ukraine, which currently, and despite the still unstable situation in the country (war in the east and economic problems) could become the country of choice for migrants. Another problem for Kyiv may be internal migration. Both forms increase the risk of migration to EU countries such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, which are neighbours of Ukraine. In this situation, additional EU assistance to the authorities in Kyiv will be necessary.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During his first visit to Warsaw after re-election as prime minister of the UK, David Cameron found an ally in support of one of his ideas to reform the EU. Rafał Trzaskowski, the Polish minister for Europe, speaking on behalf of the Polish government, officially endorsed the British position to strengthen national parliaments in EU policymaking. Yet, the proposals to date either require treaty changes or are merely technical adjustments. In fact, much more could be achieved by enhancing the mechanisms of inter-parliamentary cooperation within the existing scope of the treaties. Although this would play very well with the current institutional climate of better regulation and more transparency, it also requires a genuine political will on the side of EU institutions and Member States, which seem to be the missing link.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, European Union
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Patryk Kuglel
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004 has made only modest achievements and needs a thorough rethink. Both sides must reset cooperation and base it on a more realistic footing centred on common interests, such as economic cooperation, global governance, development cooperation, and defence. The resumption of free trade negotiations, the organisation of a long overdue bilateral summit, and more frank dialogue on contentious issues is necessary in order to utilise the partnership’s potential. Poland may use this strategic drift to revitalise bilateral cooperation and play a more active role in reviving EU-India dialogue.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, India