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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 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 Security

A Strategic Autonomy for Europe?

Back in late September, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, gave a speech stating the importance for the EU to move towards a strategic autonomy for Europe. This increasing cooperation is not supported by all and appears to depend on Biden’s future foreign policy for Europe.

Economics International

The Uncertain Future of the EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement

In June 2020, the EU and the Mercosur trade bloc, which consists of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, concluded negotiations over the Political Dialogue and Cooperation part of their Association Agreement, after the free trade section was completed in June 2019. With a number of EU member states and civil society organisations voicing concerns about the environmental impact of the deal, its ratification is becoming more unlikely in the short-term.

Covid-19 Europe

Sweden Might Avoid a Second Wave, But at What Cost?

Sweden has taken a notably lax approach to dealing with Coronavirus, avoiding lockdowns and trying to act as if all were normal. However, this apparent indifference to the worldwide pandemic has born costs to Sweden’s international reputation, and the economic benefits appear somewhat smaller than hoped.

International Politics

The Future of the Transatlantic Alliance

The Transatlantic Alliance has been the cornerstone of the post-WW2 world order. However, this historic, long-established friendship between the world’s two largest economies has become strained in recent years and is currently at a crossroads. Pulling the blocs apart is resentment over uneven military spending between the US and Europe has been emphatically echoed in Washington by both the Right and the Left. However, further trade wars are not in the Alliance’s interests, tempering isolationist concerns.

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

Italy Becomes More Anti-Immigrant and Anti-EU

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

Europe Politics

Hungary: Coronavirus and Orban’s Power Play

For Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, the coronavirus pandemic is another opportunity to pursue his approach of power politics in a democracy, that is increasingly at odds with the EU’s values.

Asia Pacific Europe

EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement: Vietnam’s Competitive Gains

Given the recent slowdown in trade growth in major economies, Vietnam remains an outlier. The country’s import-export turnover crossed USD 500 billion in 2019.