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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.

Middle East/North Africa

Morocco exhibits stable growth but faces ongoing challenges

Morocco faces both substantial challenges and growth opportunities in the coming years, and will need to grapple with some deeply rooted challenges.

Latin America Politics

Conflict in Nicaragua escalates to new levels

Following the violent repression of peaceful protests during the months of April and early May, Nicaragua has seen an increase in violations of human rights and a regression of political freedoms.

Economics Europe

Can Kosovo’s tariffs on Bosnia and Serbia last?

On 21st November, Kosovo imposed a 100% tariff on all goods produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, increasing the 10% tariffs that were imposed on 6th November. The tariffs contradict the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) of which all three territories are signatories. Kosovo has issued similar tariffs before and regularly claims that its products are not treated equally in other CEFTA members’ markets, but it is also seeking to use tariffs for political purposes.

Europe Politics

The Orthodox schism: religion as a political instrument

On 15th October, the Russian Orthodox Church announced that it had severed  ties to the Patriarchate of Constantinople after the Patriarch declared that he would grant the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autocephaly, meaning independence from the Russian Church. Until this declaration, the only Orthodox Church in Ukraine that was officially recognized by other Patriarchates was administered from Moscow. While this may seem at first glance to be primarily a religious matter, it is in fact deeply political in nature.

Europe

Kosovo and Serbia: is a land swap a real possibility?

Both President Vučić of Serbia and President Thaçi of Kosovo have recently mentioned a land swap as a way of resolving their territories’ long standing dispute. So what would a land swap involve, and how likely is it to happen?

Europe Politics

Turkey’s expedited European extraditions

Turkey’s ongoing effort to dismantle the supporters for Fethullah Gülen has underlined its influence in southeast Europe, where multiple countries have hurried to comply with requested Turkish extraditions. This raises hard questions

Middle East/North Africa Natural resources and energy

The Special Purpose Vehicle and the future of the Iran deal

In yet another sign of the US’ waning global leadership role on the Iran nuclear deal, the EU, Russia and China have set up an alternate payment mechanism called the Special Purpose Vehicle or SPV as a means to bypass any additional US sanctions.

Europe Politics

The dragon over Visegrad: China in central Europe

China’s modern successor to the Silk Road – the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – has received heavy criticism from the West as a tool that could be used to divide Europe through economic influence. Just how well-established is China’s influence in Central Europe – and does Chinese investment represent a threat?

Europe Politics

Matteo Salvini and the risk of populism

Recent disputes between Italy’s interior minister and the EU are symptomatic of the failure of member states and the EU as an institution to live up to their ideals.