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Environment Europe

UK Conservative Leadership: Climate Policy?

Recent unprecedented temperatures experienced within the United Kingdom – recorded as exceeding 40 degrees celsius for the first time – exemplify the increasing likelihood and intensity of severe heatwave events in the region as a result of climate change. This comes not long after the publishing of a new Progress Report by the independent Climate Change Committee (CCC), which highlights major failures in delivery of policy commitments vital to achieving the UK’s climate goals. With the Conservative leadership race in its final stage, Conservative party members are left with two choices, former chancellor Rishi Sunak and former foreign secretary, Liz Truss, but what of their commitments to a net-zero UK?

Africa Europe Natural resources and energy Security

Nigeria: An emerging strategic partner to Europe’s energy transition

Nigeria could be emerging as a key strategic partner to Europe’s energy transition, and the Franco-Nigerian relationship is at its heart.

Europe Security

“De-Nazification is an Absolute Must”: Moscow’s Narrative in Ukraine

Russia’s propaganda narrative of ‘de-nazifying’ Ukraine has begun to undergo a linguistic de-securitization of sorts, in parallel with the Kremlin’s focus on more minimalist objectives as part of its ‘special military operation’. Any further linguistic de-vilification of the Ukrainian side will be key to a successful negotiation process between Kyiv and Moscow, since Putin cannot afford to be seen, especially domestically, as negotiating with ‘neo-Nazis’.

Europe International Security

Opinion: UK-EU cooperation in the Balkans

While the focus of the West has been rightly on providing military and diplomatic support to Ukraine, NATO and the European Union cannot afford to take their eyes off the Western Balkans. It is crucial to see this moment of crisis as not only an attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, but as a wider Russian test of the durability of the postwar European security order. As EU and Western Balkan leaders hold their summit in June, the regional stabilisation process in southeastern Europe has never been more important. 

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.