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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.  

Europe Politics

Brexit: Will Labour launch a vote of no confidence?

The previous two years have taught that anything can emerge from the mire of Brexit, but it does appear that a Labour motion of no confidence will be little more than a last ditch (and ultimately futile) effort to exert its influence over Brexit from the increasingly distant opposition benches. While Labour would be apt to measure the risks and advantages of a general election, it is far more likely that a no confidence bid will be counted by all observers as a symbolic show of discontent by an opposition which has had virtually no impact on the Brexit process to date.

Eurasia Europe Security

The Ukraine conflict in 2019: Prospects for de-escalation look remote

It has been almost five years since the signing of the Minsk Agreements, which represent the only existing conduit for the gradual de-escalation of this conflict. Increasing ceasefire violations and obstruction of monitoring suggest that de-escalation remains unlikely.

Europe Politics

Brexit Agreement delays make extreme outcomes more likely

Theresa May’s decision to delay the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons and go back to the EU seeking more concessions has increased the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s exit from the European Union. This article evaluates the probabilities of various Brexit scenarios that could take place in light of this recent development.

Europe Politics

Macedonia’s missing Prime Minister

On 13 November Nikola Gruevski, the ex-Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), sought asylum in Hungary after his appeal against a prison sentence for corruption failed. His escape and asylum bid will have significant consequences for both FYROM and Europe.

Europe Politics

America done, Europe to go: What 2019 elections have in store for the EU’s future

With American elections finished, the European Union finds itself in a brightening electoral spotlight. Broad forces impacting continental politics, when viewed through a domestic lens in key countries, offer clues to what the European Parliament could look like after Europe heads to the polls in May.

Europe Politics

The challenge of far-right Ukrainian militias

Ukraine’s far-right has proven active in recent months and this has led to unease. Several groups have openly expressed admiration for National Socialism and used Neo-Nazi symbols in demonstrations. Ukrainians have warily greeted the influence of these elements. This article analyses the impact of these actions.

Europe Natural resources and energy

Russia is gradually developing its Arctic LNG strategy

Due to its geographic location, natural resource extraction in the Arctic circle is strategically important for Russia’s overall energy strategy. At the same time, Russia is gradually shifting away from the traditional state-controlled gas trade through pipelines and is increasing its LNG production.

Europe Politics

Yellow Vests and the threat to Macron’s Presidency

Protesters labelled the ‘yellow vests’ have challenged the fuel tax policy put forth by President Macron, resulting in riots and violence. What is the outlook in the near term?