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Europe Risk Pulse

Fortress Europe? Protectionism and populism raise political risk in the European Union

Is Europe starting to close its doors to foreign competitors? Recent calls to establish “European Champions” in the wake of the U.S.-led trade wars and an attempt to invigorate flagging economies suggest that Europe is starting to pull up the drawbridge of Fortress Europe. Increasing populism throughout the EU, especially in core economic leaders such as Germany and France, are driving political leaders away from globalist principles and towards a more nationalistic economic strategy. As formerly staunch globalists leave center stage and attacks are made on the existing competition structure in the EU, what political risk might foreign firms face in Europe in the near and mid-term future as these political and economic protectionist movements play out?

Europe Politics

France and Italy: Growing tensions in Europe

France recalled its ambassador to Rome this month, for the first time since 1940, in a move which exemplifies a deepening diplomatic rift with Italy. Discord has been rumbling for months. This article explains why recent relations have become strained and how they could play out during 2019.

Europe Politics

Irish backstop: PM risks future of the Union

New assurances regarding the backstop will likely secure Brexit, but it would also inflame nationalist passions in Ireland which would threaten the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom

Europe Politics

Greece ends Macedonia name dispute

On 25 January, the Greek Parliament ratified the Prespa Agreement, thereby ending a 28-year-long dispute over the name of Greece’s northern neighbour. This heralds a new start in Greek-Macedonian relations, but it also has important international implications, including for the NATO and Russia.

Europe Security

Brexit effect on security in the UK

The downstream effects of Brexit, and particularly a no-deal Brexit, have harrowing consequences for the safety of Britons. If there is no deal on 29 March, the UK’s counterterrorism and policing operations risk being significantly burdened by borders  and hindered by restrictions on intelligence sharing.

Europe Politics

How can Britain escape the Brexit impasse?

With less than seventy days between now and the 29th March, time is running out to reach a deal. Precedent shows that Theresa May isn’t willing to compromise or adopt cross-party consensus, and the risk of a Corbyn government shirks her party away from an election. Parliament taking control or a referendum are the most likely solutions to the impasse.

Europe Politics

Will inflexibility on Brexit undermine the EU?

The UK’s current struggles over Brexit have greatly increased the likelihood of a hard exit from the EU, an outcome no one wants. The EU has adamantly refused to renegotiate any part of the Brexit agreement, which seems likely to hurt the EU’s legitimacy in the long term.

Europe Politics

Serbia takes to the streets

Since November 30, anti-government protests have been held across Serbia, including seven in the capital city of Belgrade. Thousands of people have attended. Previous protest campaigns against the current government have failed to bring real change. Will these protests be any different?

Europe Risk Pulse

Press freedom and political risk in Central and Eastern Europe

The continuing erosion of press freedom in Central and Eastern Europe should raise alarms among business leaders that operate in the region. Growing media consolidation, autocratic critiques of journalism and prosecutions against reporters are all undermining the ability of observers to get solid business intelligence. In the absence of a free press, political risk is rising in these European markets.

Europe Security

Kosovo: Creating a full army out of its security force

Last December, the Government of Kosovo declared that it is turning the Kosovo Security Force into a fully fledged army. This development greatly concerns Serbia, which still maintains that Albanian-dominated Kosovo is Serbian territory.