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Europe Technology and infrastructure

HS2: Steadfast Progress or Slam the Brakes?

February 1, 2020: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that a high-speed rail link through the centre of England will be built, admitting it was a ‘controversial and difficult decision’. Behind schedule and over budget, the return on investment from this planned rail network is increasingly in doubt under the UK’s current economic conditions.

Europe Politics

Germany: Right-wing Extremism Within Law Enforcement

German law enforcement recently revealed that agents within its ranks exchanged neo-Nazi and racist content on chat groups. The discovery affirms on-going concerns that the police are downplaying the dangers stemming from right-wing extremism, considered to be the greatest threat to Germany’s security.  

Europe Politics

Europe’s Isolation against Russia

Vladimir Putin’s political assault on Europe comes from a meticulously crafted plan which was catalysed by Trump’s commandeering of the White House.  Since assuming office in 1999, Putin has led the country with a clear vision of restoring Russia’s Soviet stature. If Russia’s recent actions are any indication of their progress, then it’s safe to say Putin has come a long way.

Europe Politics

The Internal Market Bill: Updates on the UK-EU Brexit deal

Negotiations between the UK and EU over their post-Brexit relationship are now at risk of failing. This comes after the UK Government introduced the Internal Market Bill (IMB), the provisions of which amount to the breaking of international law, as it would enable UK ministers to implement regulations relating to state aid and customs procedures between Northern Ireland (NI) and Britain that are in breach of the UK’s obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA).

Europe Security

Belarus and Russia: Will Putin Back Lukashenko or Watch his Downfall?

Belarus and Russia have been experiencing a deterioration in their relationship for years now. However, the current protests sweeping Belarus in light of the elections of August 2020, which controversially found President Lukashenko to have secured 80% of the vote, could prove to be a turning point for the already tenuous alliance between the two former Soviet states. President Putin has hitherto been cautiously supportive of Lukashenko to the extent that Moscow is still able to exercise flexibility of action. Examining current and previous developments between the two states in light of the crisis in Ukraine in 2014, the best option for Putin remains to refrain from interference for the time being. 

Europe Security

EU: Recent Migrant Influx Questions The Block’s Policy

A summer surge in migrants during the global coronavirus pandemic proves to be challenging for the European Union. The block’s tougher stance on migration since the 2015 crisis will likely require adjustments, as an influx of migrants from the Middle East and Latin America burdens southern Member States. However, internal collision on the issue is unlikely to lead to substantial migration policy reforms. 

Europe Insights

Belarusian Protests: Russia’s Reluctance

Russia seems unlikely to intervene in anti-Lukashenko protests in Belarus, despite what most Western and Russian news sources report. Instead, they reluctantly stand on the sidelines, unwilling to oust the President, but unwilling to support him either.

Europe Natural resources and energy

Greece and Turkey: Energy Security Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean

Overlapping maritime claims and strategic energy interests have resulted in a clash between Greek and Turkish naval ships in the waters of Cyprus, mutual public hostilities. The high tensions and decades of antagonism between the two, however, are unlikely to result in open warfare. The recently discovered Eastern Mediterranean gas and oil fields, have inspired a powerful energy alliance between Greece, Cyprus and Israel, which challenges Turkey’s energy hub ambitions.

Europe Politics

Russia: Anti-Extremism Law Amendment Amid Protests in the Far East

A recent amendment to Russia’s anti-extremism legislation categorizes alienating territories from the country as extremism. The change arguably serves as a deterrent to the current mass protests in the Far East city of Khabarovsk, a persistent threat to the regime’s stability, as well as a new legal provision for anti-extremism legislation that has already been used.

Europe Politics

Italy Becomes More Anti-Immigrant and Anti-EU

Domestic and international events are increasing the appeal of nationalistic parties.