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StratCom tools: US international broadcasting

01-02-2017

US international broadcasting has been a key instrument in the country's strategic communications (StratCom) toolbox since World War II. Whereas growing propaganda efforts from foreign state and non-state actors have boosted calls for reforms, there is uncertainty over the future US direction.

US international broadcasting has been a key instrument in the country's strategic communications (StratCom) toolbox since World War II. Whereas growing propaganda efforts from foreign state and non-state actors have boosted calls for reforms, there is uncertainty over the future US direction.

Arctic continental shelf claims: Mapping interests in the circumpolar North

09-01-2017

As climate change has led to record sea ice decline, the Arctic has resurfaced as a region of global geopolitical relevance. The visibility of Arctic issues has increased, with international attention zooming in on the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole. The Arctic – one of the least populated areas on Earth – has been a peaceful and stable arena for growing intergovernmental and non-governmental cooperation since the end of the Cold War. However, potential competition for natural resources and new ...

As climate change has led to record sea ice decline, the Arctic has resurfaced as a region of global geopolitical relevance. The visibility of Arctic issues has increased, with international attention zooming in on the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole. The Arctic – one of the least populated areas on Earth – has been a peaceful and stable arena for growing intergovernmental and non-governmental cooperation since the end of the Cold War. However, potential competition for natural resources and new navigation routes has sharpened the focus on divisions between the states that have coasts on the Arctic Ocean. Overlapping continental shelf claims, combined with Russia's increasing assertiveness, have sparked concern over potential new or rekindled disputes. The focus on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – the international 'constitution for the oceans', which also regulates the Arctic Ocean – has increased accordingly. At the same time, the importance of the Arctic as an element in national identities and narratives plays a key role in the discourse on national Arctic policies, which are aimed at both international and domestic audiences, thus linking geopolitics and emotions.

Ahead of the EU-Ukraine Summit: Increasing pressure for progress

21-11-2016

Three years ago, on 21 November 2013, Ukraine's then President, Viktor Yanukovich, caved in to Russian pressure and decided against signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The following 'revolution of dignity' paved the way for his ousting on 22 February 2014, igniting hope among Ukrainian citizens for a future closer to the European Union. The Ukraine crisis catapulted the country to the forefront of the EU policy agenda, triggering sanctions on Russia over its illegal annexation of Crimea ...

Three years ago, on 21 November 2013, Ukraine's then President, Viktor Yanukovich, caved in to Russian pressure and decided against signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The following 'revolution of dignity' paved the way for his ousting on 22 February 2014, igniting hope among Ukrainian citizens for a future closer to the European Union. The Ukraine crisis catapulted the country to the forefront of the EU policy agenda, triggering sanctions on Russia over its illegal annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and its role in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Since then, the EU has significantly boosted its support to Ukraine, which – despite the on-going hybrid war – has continued to make progress on its path towards European integration. The way forward in EU-Ukraine relations – including visa liberalisation, implementation of the Minsk agreements as well as reforms and anti-corruption measures in Ukraine – will be the focus of the EU-Ukraine Summit due to be held on 24 November. The summit takes place amid uncertainty over future US policy vis-à-vis NATO, Russia and Ukraine, increasing the pressure on both Ukraine and the EU to keep a steady hand.

Iceland ahead of the parliamentary elections

26-10-2016

The financial storm that swept Iceland in 2008 has had long-lasting effects on the country's domestic political climate. Despite the remarkably speedy economic recovery, the post-crash political crisis has continued to evolve. New, alternative political movements have mushroomed, and the anti-establishment Pirate Party is expecting a big boost in the 29 October snap elections.

The financial storm that swept Iceland in 2008 has had long-lasting effects on the country's domestic political climate. Despite the remarkably speedy economic recovery, the post-crash political crisis has continued to evolve. New, alternative political movements have mushroomed, and the anti-establishment Pirate Party is expecting a big boost in the 29 October snap elections.

Moldova ahead of the presidential election

20-10-2016

Moldova is facing tough internal and external challenges. The domestic political situation is characterised by chronic instability and massive public protests, which have prompted the decision to hold direct presidential elections on 30 October 2016, the first in more than a decade. Most candidates represent Moldova's main political parties, reflecting the growing pro-Europe and pro-Russia divide that mirrors the geopolitical tensions in the region, inflamed by the Ukraine crisis. Please click here ...

Moldova is facing tough internal and external challenges. The domestic political situation is characterised by chronic instability and massive public protests, which have prompted the decision to hold direct presidential elections on 30 October 2016, the first in more than a decade. Most candidates represent Moldova's main political parties, reflecting the growing pro-Europe and pro-Russia divide that mirrors the geopolitical tensions in the region, inflamed by the Ukraine crisis. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Canada's strategic communication to counter foreign propaganda

03-10-2016

Over the decades, Canada has taken evolving strategic communication (StratCom) measures to counter foreign propaganda – often violent, extremist and undemocratic – disseminated by non-state and state actors. To this end, the Canadian government has employed both hard and soft tactics and strategies through legislation, community outreach and military operations. Through such measures, the government aims to provide alternative narratives that rival hostile propaganda and place an emphasis on the ...

Over the decades, Canada has taken evolving strategic communication (StratCom) measures to counter foreign propaganda – often violent, extremist and undemocratic – disseminated by non-state and state actors. To this end, the Canadian government has employed both hard and soft tactics and strategies through legislation, community outreach and military operations. Through such measures, the government aims to provide alternative narratives that rival hostile propaganda and place an emphasis on the country's diversity; to connect with local communities and engage them in national strategies that tackle violent extremism and radicalisation; and to promote Canadian values which include freedom, respect for cultural differences, and law and order. Canada makes an important international contribution through its participation in the 'Five Eyes' intelligence-sharing alliance, in the Grand Coalition against ISIL/Da'esh, in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, as well as in NATO's Strategic Communications Centre for Excellence in Riga, Latvia.

US strategic communication to counter foreign propaganda

03-10-2016

After the Cold War, countering strategic communications by foreign actors declined as a US foreign policy priority. The 9/11 attacks, however, reignited the need for the USA to respond to the propaganda of third parties such as Al-Qaida and, more recently, ISIL/Da'esh. Various US government departments and agencies use both traditional and digital tools to approach susceptible audiences – by exposing the disinformation of third parties or by presenting a different perspective of events. The Obama ...

After the Cold War, countering strategic communications by foreign actors declined as a US foreign policy priority. The 9/11 attacks, however, reignited the need for the USA to respond to the propaganda of third parties such as Al-Qaida and, more recently, ISIL/Da'esh. Various US government departments and agencies use both traditional and digital tools to approach susceptible audiences – by exposing the disinformation of third parties or by presenting a different perspective of events. The Obama administration has revamped its counter-extremist communications over recent years, and the US State Department has launched a new Global Engagement Center to synchronise messaging to foreign audiences. Meanwhile, the growing role of state-led media campaigns targeting foreign audiences by countries such as Russia has boosted calls for the USA to upgrade its public diplomacy efforts to adapt to new challenges. At the same time, government action is challenged by the difficulties of inter-agency coordination as well as by legal protections limiting the use of strategic communications within the USA.

Belarus's parliamentary elections: Déjà vu?

08-09-2016

After 22 years in power, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's camp can expect yet another victory in the 11 September parliamentary elections. The weary Belarusian opposition is no threat to the iron-fisted president, who represents stability in uncertain times. What is new, however, is that Lukashenko, who is increasingly trying to balance his relations with the West and Russia amid on-going economic woes, seems worried about the growing presence of pro-Putin forces in Belarus.

After 22 years in power, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's camp can expect yet another victory in the 11 September parliamentary elections. The weary Belarusian opposition is no threat to the iron-fisted president, who represents stability in uncertain times. What is new, however, is that Lukashenko, who is increasingly trying to balance his relations with the West and Russia amid on-going economic woes, seems worried about the growing presence of pro-Putin forces in Belarus.

Moldova: A small, vulnerable economy

26-07-2016

The economy of this small former Soviet republic, located to the north-east of Romania, is influenced by its proximity to both the EU and Russia. In recent years, Moldova's economy has been affected by political instability, exacerbated by perceptions of corruption as well as drought, the Russian and Ukrainian crises, and trade restrictions imposed by Russia after Moldova signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2014.  

The economy of this small former Soviet republic, located to the north-east of Romania, is influenced by its proximity to both the EU and Russia. In recent years, Moldova's economy has been affected by political instability, exacerbated by perceptions of corruption as well as drought, the Russian and Ukrainian crises, and trade restrictions imposed by Russia after Moldova signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2014.  

Imports of Belarusian textile products

12-07-2016

In the light of the 'positive political developments' in relations between the European Union and the Republic of Belarus – not least due to Belarusian authorities' release of six political prisoners in August 2015 – the Commission proposes scrapping the existing autonomous quotas on imports of textiles and clothing originating in Belarus. To this end, the Commission proposes amending Regulation (EU) 2015/936, which lays down the rules for imports of textile products from certain third countries ...

In the light of the 'positive political developments' in relations between the European Union and the Republic of Belarus – not least due to Belarusian authorities' release of six political prisoners in August 2015 – the Commission proposes scrapping the existing autonomous quotas on imports of textiles and clothing originating in Belarus. To this end, the Commission proposes amending Regulation (EU) 2015/936, which lays down the rules for imports of textile products from certain third countries not covered by bilateral agreements, protocols or other arrangements, or by other specific Union import rules. As the use of autonomous quotas on imports of Belarusian textile products is very limited, their abolition is deemed to have limited impact on EU trade. The move aims to improve EU-Belarus bilateral relations which have long been impaired by Belarus's poor human rights record.

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