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Europe Natural resources and energy

Energy Transition in the European Union: Great Challenges and Opportunities

Transition towards low carbon energy systems remains to be a challenge for the European Union. Europe is faced with economic, social and environmental costs of having fragmented national energy markets despite the ambitious “European Green Deal” agenda of Von der Leyen’s Commission, which positions the EU as a leader in global climate action through comprehensive decarbonization policies. A net reduction target of minimum 55% from the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions was  agreed on Wednesday 21st of April by European co-legislators under the framework for European Climate Law. Nonetheless, curbing GHG emissions necessitates regional concerted action for transition from fossil fuel economies to renewable energy based systems in order to face the transboundary effects of climate change. 

Europe Politics

The Domino Effect of Normalizing Violence Against Women: Why Turkey’s Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention Has Become the Norm Rather Than the Exception

Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention has been highly criticized by the European Union and human rights advocates. However, Turkey is not the first and most likely not the last country to opt out of the Convention on preventing and combating gender-based violence. Whereas much of the focus has been on Erdogan’s political motivations behind the decision, the issue of violence against women in Central and Eastern Europe in relation to the Istanbul Convention remains in the shadows and requires further attention.

Eurasia Europe Politics

Were Sanctions by the EU the Right Move?

On 2nd March 2021, the EU announced sanctions on four Russian citizens for human rights violations. The continuing saga of Navalny’s imprisonment and the treatment of protestors by the Russian government has forced the international community to respond but are sanctions the right response? 

Europe Politics

Bulgaria’s pre-electoral tensions: From constitutional crisis to institutional trench war

In late summer 2020, people took to the streets of Bulgaria in their thousands to protest against the current cabinet. They shook Bulgaria with demands for the immediate resignation of PM Boyko Borisov and Attorney General Ivan Geshev. Shortly after, the standoff began to slowly but steadily evolve into a constitutional crisis. In 2021, events have morphed even further into an institutional trench war. The upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections hold the keys to the Sofia’s future.

Europe Finance

EU treaty instrument may mitigate risk of money laundering in the single market

The European Commission is planning to use Article 116 of TFEU in order to clamp down on multinational companies using favourable tax schemes in some EU member states to their advantage. The treaty instrument is designed to mitigate the risks associated with foreign subsidies that distort competition in the single market.

Europe Security

Nagorno Karabakh – The Conflict in Perspective

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is often wrongfully seen as another post-Soviet frozen conflict in both academia and in policy-making circles. Although the conflict is indeed a product of specific preconditions and deliberate Soviet policies, it differs from other protracted ethno-political conflicts like in Georgia or Moldova. Gaining a deeper understanding of how this conflict came about, and its underlying causes, is essential for understanding the current episode of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

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.

Debate Corner Europe Security

Cuts in the European Defence Fund’s budget: at what cost?

The European Defence Fund (EDF) was originally intended as a key measure for achieving European strategic autonomy. Its downsizing is putting future EU military and industrial capabilities into question, while highlighting the permanent lack of defence cooperation between EU member states.

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 Technology and infrastructure

HS2: Steadfast Progress or Slam the Brakes?

February 1, 2020: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that a high-speed rail link through the centre of England will be built, admitting it was a ‘controversial and difficult decision’. Behind schedule and over budget, the return on investment from this planned rail network is increasingly in doubt under the UK’s current economic conditions.