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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.

Latin America Politics Security

Forever War: The Unfulfilled Peace in Colombia

Despite the signing of a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla organization in June 2016, Colombia continues to struggle with armed violence by far-left guerrilla groups including the ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) and FARC dissidents, as well as by right wing paramilitaries and criminal cartels. The causes of this continued violence are numerous and range from the attitude of the Duque administration towards the peace agreement, to the situation in neighbouring Venezuela.

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.

Africa Security

Conflict Moves West in Mali, Towards the Senegalese Border

The Katiba Macina, a jihadist group originating in the Mopti region in Mali, has started in the recent months to settle in the Kayes region, in the West of Mali. This situation threatens to extend the Malian unrest into neighboring countries, particularly Senegal, which has been safe up to now from attacks by jihadist brigades.

Asia Pacific She Said

Yayasan Rama Sesana and the Quest for Female Reproductive Health in Bali

Yayasan Rama Sesana is a non-profit organization in Bali, Indonesia, which helps vulnerable women in both urban and rural areas take care of their reproductive health by educating them about healthy behaviors and by providing them with donation-based health services at its community centers and mobile clinics. As a service for women from mostly women, the organization aims to create a healthier generation through female empowerment. We spoke to founder, director and general practitioner Dr. Luh Putu Upadisari about her inspiring work and her vision. Through her work, more than 72,000 people have received educational and health services, which have contributed to increased community knowledge, female empowerment and gender equality.

China Politics

The West Watches for a Sino-Russian Military Alliance

As a way to counterbalance a newly unified West under the Biden administration, China and Russia are steadily closing ranks. What was once a relatively cold relationship between Beijing and Moscow is now gradually evolving into a tacit, yet firm, geo-political and military cooperation.

Latin America Politics

Latin America – Russia’s Game in 2021: an Outlook

Latin America is at a turning point and there will be a lot at stake for Russia’s influence building in the region in 2021. The instability created by an unprecedented recession and an increased political polarisation in what promises to be a hectic electoral year as well as a more active US foreign policy after Trump’s neglect will probably increase Moscow’s appetite for the subcontinent.

Europe Politics

Italy: Will the Government Fall (Again)?

Amid a global pandemic and with 209 billion euros to be spent to counter the effects of the economic downturn (-9.9% GDP), the Italian government is facing yet another crisis. Will this lead to the third change in the executive in less than three years? Or will the majority find a compromise before it is too late?