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Europe Security

Russia: Next Moves?

There are growing concerns that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine, with satellite imagery confirming the build-up of the Russian military on the eastern border of Ukraine and Russia. Fears have been raised about the potential escalation of conflict by senior officials in both the United States and the EU. Would Russia invade Ukraine?

Europe Politics

Germany’s New Government: Meet the Cabinet

Two months after Germany’s federal election, and as expected, the three parties which form the “traffic light” coalition agreed upon the terms of their cooperation. The Greens, Liberals and Social Democrats, branded green, yellow and red, respectively, will form the next federal administration, headed by Olaf Scholz, team red’s candidate for Chancellor. While there are few surprises in the allocation of ministries, some significant changes are coming down the track. What this means for policy shifts in the main departments of the administration is explored below.

Europe Politics

Watchdog Report and Corruption Discourse in London

The recent resurgence of the debate around the often cosy relationship between elected Members of the UK’s House of Commons and private sector actors has been dominating headlines. It throws into sharp relief the issues around paid work by MPs alongside their parliamentary duties and essential role of advocating for their own constituents. Despite the UK’s consistently high ranking on Transparency International’s corruption index (CPI), which measures perceived corruption as assessed by experts in academia and industry, continued coverage of ‘sleaze’ (hereafter corruption) and undue influence risk damaging the UK’s reputation on an international stage.

Environment Europe

European Union: Wildfires Ask Burning Questions on Disaster Prevention

As global warming accelerates climate change, Europe is experiencing more wildfires. Despite a downward trend in fires in Mediterranean Europe, record heat waves in the Summer of 2021 have caused the region to erupt in flames once more. Mediterranean economies are particularly vulnerable to wildfire damage and illustrate how the European Union should focus as much on fire prevention as on combatting blazes. 

Europe Politics

Europe’s Energy Dependence on Russia Leaves Moldova Vulnerable

The global surge in demand for natural gas following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions has had a devastating impact on Moldova’s energy security. Chisinau had no choice but to enter into negotiations with the Russian state-owned gas giant, Gazprom, to restore its energy supplies. As Russia is set to increase its share of European gas imports in Nord Stream 2, the EU must find a way to help protect Moldova from further Russian pressure.

Europe Technology and infrastructure

Will Tech Regulations Curb Poland’s Technological Progress?

Poland has been strengthening partnerships with large American tech companies to facilitate cloud adoption in the past few years. However, simultaneously, Polish authorities have been following Brussel’s lead in regulating tech giants and working on adopting proposals intended to curb their market power. Taking the EU’s tech regulation proposals a step further, the Polish government also proposed a bill intended to prevent social media platforms from blocking or deleting certain posts. Stringent tech regulations might create an unfavorable business environment for tech companies who have been expanding their operations in Poland, and may stifle technological innovation.

Europe Politics

Germany’s Recent Election: The Unlikely Power Brokers

The opening of Germany’s 20th legislative period on 26th October 2021 made headlines for many of the reasons most German Bundestag elections do – Germany’s global economic might and political influence in the EU, the world’s largest trading bloc. It also signalled the departure of the country’s longstanding Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as the head of the government, having held the position since 2005. However, aside from the long-anticipated exit of one of Europe’s most familiar political figures, this election also marks the consolidation of political trends set in motion long before voters cast their ballots this September.

Europe Security

Ukraine: In the Middle of Great Power Politics

Under pro-Western President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine has made substantial progress in its drive for EU and NATO membership. However, domestic successes have been overshadowed by the increasingly difficult international position Kiev finds itself in. Russia remains a security threat as the frozen conflict in the Donbass persists; yet the US appears to be pulling support, most notably by lifting sanctions concerning Nord Stream 2. China, a major trading partner and vital vaccine supplier, is offering a hand to Ukraine. But at what cost?  

Europe Politics

French Cultural Pass Encourages Youth to Spend on the Arts

On May 21st 2021, French president Emmanuel Macron announced the Culture Pass. This program  provides €300 to all 18 year olds with the provision that it must be spent on French culture. This money will promote French culture among the nation’s youth and support an industry hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Europe Politics

Rutte for Fourth Term? Splintered Dutch Political Landscape

Approaching 7 months since the last Dutch general election, new cabinet formations have been marred by internal struggles, ministerial scandals, and political betrayals hampering party leaders from partaking in constructive discussions. The current and now demissionary Rutte III cabinet holds the record for the longest cabinet formation in Dutch history: a whopping 225 days, a situation politicians hoped they would never encounter again. However, Rutte’s aspirations to become the Netherlands longest-serving Prime Minister, in combination with the country’s fragmented political landscape, means Dutch citizens must brace themselves for a long formation if not new elections. Recent breakthroughs to restart the current coalition have signaled a possible end to formations, but if it falls through, new elections are inevitable.