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Europe Insights

Opinion: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine in Context

History provides the vital context to explain why events have come to pass in the international arena. Why did Russia invade Ukraine? Why might conflict in that region persist? In the current conflict, many commentators look to the past few decades as the source of aggression. But, Russian aggression is shaped not exclusively by events in the recent past. Russia today does not embody a civilisation of just the last 30 or 100 years.

Debate Corner Europe Politics

Does Scotland Need the EU?

Scottish independence is trusted back into the spotlight after the Brexit referendum, and EU membership is key to that dream. However, Britain does not oppose Scottish independence alone, as Scotland leaving the UK and joining the EU helps Catalonia argue for their own independence from Spain.

Europe Security

Political Tensions and Russian Influence: Threats to Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Rising tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are dragging the country into its most precarious political situation since the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. In early October 2021, Milorad Dodik – Bosnian Serb leader and member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency – announced plans to form an independent Bosnian Serb Army and pull out of joint state institutions. With international presence in the region waning, unresolved rivalries and opposing interests among the various ethnic groups have resurfaced. Combined with political interference from both Russia and Serbia, the situation threatens to damage the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995.

Europe Politics

Opinion: Leveling Up Britain: Long-awaited White Paper Details Promised Post-Brexit Economic Policy

In the first week of February 2022, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published a long-awaited White Paper. The White Paper details a series of promised policies espoused by the Conservative Party aimed at helping grow the UK’s economy, while balancing regional inequalities.

Europe Insights Politics

Italy’s Presidential Election: What Comes Next?

On 29 January 2022, after eight rounds of voting, Italy re-elected Sergio Mattarella as President of the Republic. To many, this result came as a surprise, because Mattarella himself had clearly expressed his intention to step down based on moral grounds: while not expressly forbidden by the Constitution, the re-election of an incumbent head of state should be avoided–as then President Antonio Segni put it in a speech delivered in 1963 and recently cited by Mattarella–because the sheer possibility of it may create incentives for the incumbent to engage in acts meant to favor his or her re-election, de facto calling into question the impartiality of the President.

Europe Politics

Opinion: Valerie Pecresse: France’s new Challenger for the Elysée

2022 is a significant year for France. France starts the year with the Council of the European Union presidency. France’s agenda for the next six months is ambitious and could begin a new era in Europe if successful. But, more critically, France is holding it’s presidential election.

Europe Politics

The Georgian Dream, Saakashvili, and the E.U.

In November 2020, Georgia’s incumbent Georgian Dream party won a third term in parliamentary elections with 48% of the vote. The country’s main opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), condemned the result as “illegitimate.” Georgia has since been gripped by a political crisis: a democratic retreat, the return of controversial former prime minister Mikheil Saakashvili, and disputes with the EU have all fanned the flames of political tension. Yet as Georgia’s young democracy comes under pressure, it remains a country with favourable conditions for a prosperous and open future.

Europe Politics Security

Opinion: Germany’s Influence on European Unity

In the build up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western nations were clear on where they stood on the issue. Between funneling weapons into Ukraine to threatening severe economic sanctions, many EU and NATO members vowed to punish Russia. One country that has been largely absent from this strong and clear response is Germany, who seeks to mitigate the domestic risks that punishing Russia entails. This self-interested position risks harming EU unity at a time when it’s needed most.

Economics Europe

Celtic Tiger’s Hunt for Territory

Since partition in 1921, the Irish border has economically, politically, and culturally divided the island. Despite this, cross-border relationships have formed and evolved. Governments have a strong hand in promoting or denouncing said evolution, with development funds and projects historically being the most effective and visible means. However, as Brexit disrupts the status quo, private funds are gaining influence over the cross-border relationship. This article will analyze the implications of economic fluctuations on Northern Ireland’s political stability and the subsequent ramifications for British politics.

Europe Security

Risk Factors for Svalbard Conflict between Russia and Norway

The unique provisions of the Treaty of Svalbard, NATO ambiguity on the status of Svalbard, and mounting geopolitical tensions between Russia and Norway signify a realistic probability of outright violation of Norwegian sovereignty over Svalbard in the medium to long-term.