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Europe Politics

Zelensky’s fall from grace

After taking the Ukrainian political stage by storm, President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Servant of the People party faced off and lost to “mayoral” parties in the October 2020 local elections. Zelensky, falling short of providing Ukraine with the vigorous reformist policy he promised in his presidential campaign, has been gradually losing support from the public, threatening his and his party’s future in Ukrainian politics.

Economics Europe

Britain’s Economic Outlook – Navigating Brexit

As news of the last-minute trade deal with the EU emerged, right-wing commentators in publications such as The Spectator embraced it with cautious optimism. Johnson’s administration will not be leaping into the dark, but the economic costs of the pandemic and Brexit, irrespective of the trade deal, will likely pave the way for a bleak decade. 

Europe Politics

Poland: Heading Towards ‘Polexit’?

Conflicts between the Polish government and the EU have raised concerns over their future relationship. Poland, once a shining example of post-communist recovery, has damaged its international reputation through controversial reforms and political battles with the EU, most recently attempting to block the EU budget. But are we heading towards ‘Polexit’?

Europe Technology and infrastructure

UK Government Announces New National Cyber Force

Recently, the UK government announced its plans to take more offensive steps in its approach to cybersecurity. The announcement is further evidence of a gradually emerging trend exhibited by nation states: an increasing openness about their offensive cyber operations. This behaviour is likely to become the norm as many of the motivators for such an offensive stance — hybrid warfare, cyber espionage, and disinformation campaigns –only continue to grow.

Environment Europe

The Bulgarian Energy Market between Subsidies and Challenges

Many know Bulgaria as the poorest country in the EU. The country consistently lags behind its Western partners and ranks the lowest in a variety of areas. From disposable income to media freedom, as well as corruption and trust in the government. However, there seems to be an area in which Bulgaria is outperforming the EU average: green development. A combination of subsidies and ponderous growth has fostered this outcome, but the way ahead is not guaranteed.

Europe Security

Jihadist Terrorism: Italy the Next Target?

An often-overlooked aspect of Jihadist terrorism in Europe is Italy’s exceptionalism in avoiding it. Does this come down to mere luck, or is Italy taking a different, more effective approach to counter-terrorism? And, most importantly, how long is Italy going to be able to keep this up?

Europe Politics

Reality of Post-Communist Transitions Risks Entrenching EU-Central Europe Divide

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, argue that new powers handed to the European Commission, allowing the EU to withhold payments of the €750bn Covid recovery package from member states that fail to meet EU standards on the rule of law, are a politically motivated attempt to target their countries. 

Europe Politics

Belarus: Democratic awakening in stalemate

While Belarusian strongman Lukashenko has held onto power since the highly contested August 2020 presidential election, public discontent with the regime has persisted in the face of police brutality and human rights abuses. As the West increases sanctions on Belarusian officials and the Kremlin’s support transforms into pressure, it is critical to assess whether Europe’s last authoritarian stronghold will survive in 2021.

Europe Security

Absence of an EU-Turkey strategic partnership undermines regional security

The European Council summit in December 2020 presented an opportunity for Brussels to formalise a strategic partnership with Turkey to manage the crises in the Eastern Mediterranean, Syria and Libya. Instead, it exposed divergence between France and Germany over how the EU should confront Ankara’s assertive foreign policy. Whilst French President Macron is in favour of putting strong pressure on Turkey’s President Erdogan, German Chancellor Merkel believes that it is vital to remain open to dialogue. This lack of strategic clarity puts regional security at risk given the importance of Turkish cooperation with Brussels over handling common issues in irregular migration and local conflict.

Europe Politics

A New Italian Hard-Right Coalition

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Italian hard-right Brothers of Italy party, is successfully presenting herself as a viable, palatable and credible coalition candidate for the rightwing Northern League party, whose leader’s current reputation as an unreliable careerist is costing the League crucial votes.