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  • Author: Danielle Piatkiewicz, Miroslava Pisklová
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: It was noted that the pandemic has not brought about systemic change but has instead accelerated and exacerbated existing trends. Both the US and the EU see the pandemic furthering disagreements and on both sides of the Atlantic by causing rise to internal political divisions on how to tackle the pandemic. One of the big lessons of this global crisis is that collaboration is crucial. Not even powerful countries, such as the US, can tackle it on their own. Now more than ever, it is time to move beyond competition and focus on strengthening international cooperation, otherwise we risk a success of non-democratic actors seeking to undermine democracy and rule of law.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Multilateralism, Crisis Management, Transatlantic Relations, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Danielle Piatkiewicz, Miroslava Pisklová
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: After already enduring a 4-year term under United States’ President Trump, the future of the transatlantic relationship is at a critical junction. The US faces an upcoming election where the next administration can either further deteriorate relations or seek to rebuild and strengthen them. No matter the outcome, the future path will be intrinsically tied to how the transatlantic partners cope with the political, economic and security fallout of the global pandemic. Will the US return to the fold of multilateralism and restore an equitable world order in cooperation with the EU, or does the EU stand alone and will have to rapidly grow into a more influential geopolitical player? Or will relations continue their downward trajectories current and spur an accelerated retreat towards isolationist policies, creating space for external challengers like China and Russia to reassert their global positions and challenge the established order? This analysis will examine the current and upcoming challenges on the transatlantic horizon in regard to post-COVID economic recovery. Each region has proposed policies to tackle the current and upcoming economic aftermath of the pandemic, but as Europe outlines strong policies, the Trump administration’s approach has had dire consequences. The Biden campaign’s approach, on the other hand, shows similarities to that of Europe, evoking hope for a more harmonized approach that has proven successful in the past. This analysis will examine the US and EU’s diverging approaches to global issues, challenges and external challengers, such as Russia and China. As demonstrated by the Trump administration, the US is retreating on many of its multilateral and international commitments – how will the Transatlantic relationship look like if there is a second Trump term as opposed to if Biden takes over? Is the relationship irreparably damaged or can it be repaired? Finally, this paper will examine the future of transatlantic security under the framework of NATO’s 2030 reflection process and appraise how the new security landscape will look like post-COVID, especially as external threats mount and impact the Central and Eastern European front.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Multilateralism, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Lucie Vinařská
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Lucie Vinařská authored a policy paper for the 12th debate of the Prague Climate Talks series titled "European Green Deal: will it bring structural change?", which will take place online on EUROPEUM's Facebook. The European Union is now taking the lead on climate action when striving to transform Europe into the first climate-neutral continent. This aim is at the core of the European Green Deal, a new strategy introduced by the Commission in December 2019. While the European Union and the rest of the world’s community is mobilizing, the climate change and environmental degradation are reaching unprecedented heights and posing an existential threat to the whole world. Climate change is by its nature a trans-boundary issue that requires a coordinated action. The EU’s ambitious plan was introduced during a time of a “green boom”, when environmental issues were among top political priorities. But is this Deal really going to turn the tables?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Public Policy, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Ih his latest brief, our Vít Havelka discusses the topic of limits of the COVID-19 EU response and the subsidiarity principle. The subsidiarity principle is an often-debated topic among Czech Eurosceptic politicians. They usually argue that the European Union does not need more responsibility as the EU Member States can sufficiently substitute a joint EU approach, or that the new competences might threaten the national sovereignty. Paradoxically, Eurosceptics often accuse the EU of incompetence once a problem emerges that the EU has next to no power to tackle.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Sovereignty, European Union, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Linda Zeilina
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Linda Zeilina wrote a policy paper as a part of the Think Visegrad platform on the topic of sustainable finance and energy security of the Visegrád group countries. The coronavirus outbreak has made the unthinkable happen, with major economies grinding to a halt and international travel coming to a standstill. Now, it is time to think what is often seen as unthinkable: to reimagine economic models and energy systems, and to position the Visegrad countries well for the economic models of the future. By doing so, the region will also make itself much more secure and prosperous.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Finance, Coronavirus, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian Kvorning Lassen
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In his brief, our Christian Kvorning Lassen outlines the image of the European Union's actions during the COVID-19 outbreak, which are often misinterpreted or forgotten by Member States, with a focus on the Czech Republic. As a preface, it must be noted that this is not intended to be a critique of the Czech COVID-19 measures, which have been timely and so far reasonably efficient, nor is it an absolution of EU’s actions during the crisis. The old adage of “everything you do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything you did will seem inadequate afterwards” holds as much true to the EU as it does to Member States. However, once the crisis ends, the political struggle for the future of Europe and European democracy will erupt, which in turn will affect all citizens. The COVID-19 pandemic is already shaping up to become a deeper crisis of democracy, and the European Union. Some V4 leaders were swift to suggest sacrificing the European Green Deal and thereby future generations’ existential living conditions in the name of short-term economic recovery. Domestically, V4 political elites show no qualms about deceiving the public by claiming credit at home for EU initiatives or misrepresenting them, while at the same time decrying the EU as inactive and dysfunctional, conveniently forgetting to mention the numerous initiatives that the EU is launching within its competencies.
  • Topic: Public Opinion, European Union, Democracy, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Christian Kvorning Lassen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In his brief, Christian Kvorning Lassen writes that on January 26, the EU’s Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) warned Member States that Covid-19 infection spread in Europe would be probable and considerable. The EU offered in January to support Member States with purchasing of medical equipment, test kits, protective gear, and general support. Member States refused the EU’s help in January, stating that their health care systems were adequately prepared for the Virus.
  • Topic: Government, Crisis Management, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Vít Havelka
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In his brief, Vít Havelka writes about the Eurozone ministers first agreement on the response against the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. After several Eurogroup meetings, the finance ministers of the EU19 finally managed to agree on their first COVID-19-crisis response. They sign up to a package worth of 540 billion €, consisting of 200 billion € loans from the European Investment Bank, 240 billion € from the European Stability Mechanism, and 100 billion € kurzarbeit package proposed by the European Commission. The coronabonds fiercely wanted by Italy, Spain and Portugal have not been approved, leaving the discussion to EU leaders who are due to convene on the 24th April.
  • Topic: European Union, Finance, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jiří Lacina
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In his brief, Jiří Lacina explores the impact of COVID-19 on the future development of European integration and the role of Czechia in this development. The EU, its institutions and the Member States are working together to withstand the current pandemic and prepare for the economic crisis to follow. Simultaneously, ideas on the future arrangement of the EU are appearing. Two emerged on 9 April: one of monetary and the other of environmental nature – and both dealing with region’s economic recovery. For now, the Czech Republic is not engaging in any of them, and once again risks being left behind.
  • Topic: European Union, Economy, Crisis Management, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Danielle Piatkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In her brief, Danielle Piatkiewicz writes about the need of multilateral and international cooperation when the COVID-19 crisis ends. If the COVID-19 crisis will teach us anything, is that today’s society has never been more interconnected. The need for multilateral and international cooperation has proven to be vital for the communication and exchange of information, support and resources.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, World Health Organization, European Union, Multilateralism, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America, Global Markets
  • Author: Markéta Mlčúchová
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Reform of the EU budget is not necessarily of a technical character, rather it is a response to the growing Euroscepticism and populism within EU Member States. Besides restoring the citizens’ confidence and belief in the EU, it is necessary to ascertain that the budget of the EU is prepared and sufficiently agile to react to the growing global instability, migration flows, terrorism, and ensure both internal and external security, combat climate change and the financial drop caused by the exit of the UK. Despite the fact the EU budget has gone through multiple - mostly minor - reforms, those were inefficient in keeping it up with current times. In the context of the financial and migration crises, the budget was not prepared to react to unexpected developments... This contributed, inter alia, to loss of confidence among EU citizens and caused damage to the EU credibility. Reform of the revenue side of the budget is entirely legitimate and essential yet provides only a partial solution to the situation. Revenues reform should be, in any case, accompanied by a critical re-assessment of expenditures, as was emphasized by the EU Commission in its Reflection Paper, since a close link between the expenditures and revenues exists. Although this paper focuses exclusively on the side of revenues, it is important to underline that any reform concerning revenues would not be enough for a successful reform of the EU budget. Only a complex re-design of the whole system can restore the trust and bring about the desired results.
  • Topic: Climate Change, European Union, Carbon Tax, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jana Juzová
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The discussion on the future of EU enlargement was opened again this year. After yet another disappointment for Albania and North Macedonia at the European Council’s session in October, the discussion turned towards a revision of the enlargement methodology. The argument that the enlargement process needs to undergo a reform, put forward by France as a justification of its October veto for Albania and North Macedonia, is based on the fact that the current process is not delivering adequately. That is true especially for the current frontrunners, Montenegro and Serbia, setting a bad example for other candidate countries in the region and giving more reasons to oppose enlargement to some already sceptical EU Member States. Both countries’ progress on the accession path has recently slowed down significantly, with some suggesting that the current low number of chapters that are being opened and closed, and progress only on “technical” rather than substantial matters, is due to the serious problems both countries have in the area of rule of law and democratic standards.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Author: Štěpán Vaškevič
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Štěpán Vaškevič in his policy paper examines an often neglected activity in climate policies - waste management and its impact on climate change. How is the Czech republic really standing when it comes to this phenomena? And what are the further perspectives? Climate change is a multidimensional issue in both its origins and its solutions as well. The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into human activity often neglected in climate policies – waste management and its impact on climate change. The paper will map main streams of greenhouse gas emissions in waste management sector with a focus on landfills, analyze existing approaches for improvement via optics of circular economy and make notes on existing obstacles and opportunities in Czechia.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Waste, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Shang-Yen Lee, Christian Kvorning Lassen
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The latest policy paper by our Shang-Yen Lee and Christian Kvorning Lassen focuses on the reform of Dublin IV regulation under the Common European Asylum System and its prospects after the EP elections. The reform of Dublin IV regulation under the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) has stagnated for years, leaving the EU ill-prepared for future migration and asylum challenges. A reform of Dublin IV is a prerequisite to a comprehensive CEAS reform towards greater solidarity and fairer sharing of responsibilities between the Member States, yet divisions between Parliament and Commission as well as liberal and ‘illiberal’ fault lines have complicated the reform process. The EP elections will most likely stagnate the process further due to a surge in nationalist Eurosceptic MEP’s, which could delay CEAS reform for the foreseeable future, to the detriment of the EU.
  • Topic: Reform, Elections, European Union, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jana Juzová
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The example of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia referred to also as the “Velvet Divorce”, in the early 1990s, often serves as a model of peaceful dissolution of a joint state. While the context of the joint Czechoslovak state and its split as well as the shared history of Czechs and Slovaks is very different from that of the Western Balkan countries, due to its peaceful, well-managed preparation as well as the implementation and establishment of “above-standard” friendly relations after the dissolution, for which is Czechoslovakia studied as a model example and compared to other states’ dissolutions, it would be impossible not to include it among the cases studied in this project.
  • Topic: International Relations, History, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans, Czech Republic
  • Author: Adam Balcer, Klaus Ziemer
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the “Reconciliation and Remembrance” seminar, which aims to share the experience of Polish-German reconciliation as an inspiration for improving relations between the Western Balkan nations and overcoming historical barriers. The project is implemented in cooperation with the Krzyżowa Foundation and the German Embassy. Certainly, Polish-German reconciliation may serve to a certain degree as a source of inspiration for the similar processes taking place in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: International Relations, History, Conflict, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Germany, Balkans
  • Author: Nikolett Garai, Tomás Strázay
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Slovak-Hungarian relations have constantly been the most sensitive in the V4. The relationship between Slovakia and Hungary was problematic already in the 1990s even though the fall of communist regimes in Central Europe and the prospects of integration in Euro-Atlantic structures promised the possibility of a new era of reconciliation. It became evident that membership on multi-lateral platforms - like the EU or V4 - alone could not be the panacea solving all problematic issues between Slovakia and Hungary as tensions continued to be exacerbated after the EU accession while V4 cooperation deliberately avoided sensitive bilateral issues.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, European Union, History , Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary, Slovakia
  • Author: Martin Michelot
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Transatlantic cooperation has, ever since the election of President Donald Trump, been a topic of contention and concern in Europe, and created a lot of questions regarding whether the fundamentals of the transatlantic relationship were being questioned. Concerns about US engagement in NATO, a potential dissonant threat perception towards and relationship with China and Russia, and the tensions around trade agreements, and in general a perceived defiance of international liberal order are all issues that have ranked high on the agenda of European leaders since early 2017, and that continue to represent - among other issues - topics that require a deeper discussion at the political and the expert level.
  • Topic: NATO, Engagement , Transatlantic Relations, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Lucia Najšlová
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: At a time when the Visegrad Group (V4) is becoming a more ambitious regional bloc, several policymakers and analysts have floated the idea of deepening a dialogue with Turkey, a country of tremendous importance for the EU, and one that is enjoying unprecedented interest of policymakers, business circles and publics at large.2 Perhaps this should not come as a surprise – although the V4’s approach to the refugee crisis left some Western EU leaders questioning whether accepting the Eastern Europeans in the 2004 enlargement was a mistake – the V4 has a track-record of constructive engagement in the EU neighborhoods, and consistent support for further enlargement, including Turkey’s accession.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey