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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.

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.

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.