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The European elections and thereafter [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

12-07-2019

On 23-26 May, 2019, European Union citizens elected a more fragmented European Parliament than its predecessor, with the two main political groups – the European People’s Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats losing some ground, and the Liberals, now known as Renew Europe, and the Greens/European Free Alliance strengthening their representation. Gains made by Eurosceptic and populist groups proved more limited than had been predicted. This note brings together commentaries ...

On 23-26 May, 2019, European Union citizens elected a more fragmented European Parliament than its predecessor, with the two main political groups – the European People’s Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats losing some ground, and the Liberals, now known as Renew Europe, and the Greens/European Free Alliance strengthening their representation. Gains made by Eurosceptic and populist groups proved more limited than had been predicted. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on the European elections and their aftermath.

NATO at 70 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

12-04-2019

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrates its 70th anniversary in April 2019, proud of its survival, durability and strong role in ensuring peace, notably during the Cold War. However, analysts and politicians stress that the military alliance must work hard to keep pace with a changing environment and the new challenges of the 21st century, both geo-strategic and technological. Another major test is the uncertain commitment to NATO of Donald Trump, the current President of the United ...

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrates its 70th anniversary in April 2019, proud of its survival, durability and strong role in ensuring peace, notably during the Cold War. However, analysts and politicians stress that the military alliance must work hard to keep pace with a changing environment and the new challenges of the 21st century, both geo-strategic and technological. Another major test is the uncertain commitment to NATO of Donald Trump, the current President of the United States. This note offers links to commentaries and studies on NATO and European defence by major international think tanks. Earlier papers on European defence, focused on a planned US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in February 2019.

Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

05-04-2019

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on 28 March urged governments worldwide to come to the UN summit on climate in September 2019 with concrete plans to boost action against global warming. The call followed the publication of the annual report on climate change by the World Meteorological Organization, which warned about the dire consequences of the continued rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In the same month, hundreds of thousands of students and pupils in 120 countries ...

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on 28 March urged governments worldwide to come to the UN summit on climate in September 2019 with concrete plans to boost action against global warming. The call followed the publication of the annual report on climate change by the World Meteorological Organization, which warned about the dire consequences of the continued rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In the same month, hundreds of thousands of students and pupils in 120 countries have sought to draw politicians’ attention to climate change by walking out of classes to stage repeated street protests. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on climate talks and wider issues relating to climate change. Earlier publications on the issue can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in November 2018.

Innovation in Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

29-03-2019

Innovation in the economy is a priority for the European Union, vital to its competitiveness globally, and for growth and jobs. The EU is implementing a number of policies and programmes that support innovation, through increased investment in research and development, and to better convert research into improved goods and services. Yet, according to many analysts, despite the roll-out of numerous pro-innovation initiatives, the EU is still lagging behind the United States and China both on innovation ...

Innovation in the economy is a priority for the European Union, vital to its competitiveness globally, and for growth and jobs. The EU is implementing a number of policies and programmes that support innovation, through increased investment in research and development, and to better convert research into improved goods and services. Yet, according to many analysts, despite the roll-out of numerous pro-innovation initiatives, the EU is still lagging behind the United States and China both on innovation and in relation to the related digitalisation process. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on innovation in the EU and related issues. More papers on innovation, notably on the digital economy, can be found in a previous item in this series. published in July 2018.

State of the Union: Spring 2019 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

22-03-2019

The run-up to the European Parliament elections on 23-26 May has intensified debate about the state of the European Union, the challenges it faces and the reforms needed, both to strengthen its resilience and to enhance its international role. Many analysts focus on the rise of anti-establishment movements and a perceived divide between the east and west of the Union regarding adherence to EU values and the rule of law. Some others discuss whether the EU should have more competence in areas such ...

The run-up to the European Parliament elections on 23-26 May has intensified debate about the state of the European Union, the challenges it faces and the reforms needed, both to strengthen its resilience and to enhance its international role. Many analysts focus on the rise of anti-establishment movements and a perceived divide between the east and west of the Union regarding adherence to EU values and the rule of law. Some others discuss whether the EU should have more competence in areas such as defence, international relations, migration and taxation. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on the state of the Union, proposed reforms and other issues being discussed ahead of the European elections. Studies and commentaries on Brexit can be found in a previous item in the series. Papers on economic challenges faced by the EU and the euro area are available in still another. Some further analyses on the European elections can be found in a ‘What think tanks are thinking’ published in January.

Presidential elections in Ukraine [What Think Tanks are thinking]

15-03-2019

Ukraine will hold presidential elections on 31 March, five years after the Maidan protests resulted in the impeachment of pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovich, setting the country on a course to deepen ties with the West. Russia reacted by launching a hybrid war against Ukraine, which resulted in the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014, and in military aggression in eastern Ukraine. The outcome of the ballot is uncertain, but the new leader is expected to continue the efforts ...

Ukraine will hold presidential elections on 31 March, five years after the Maidan protests resulted in the impeachment of pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovich, setting the country on a course to deepen ties with the West. Russia reacted by launching a hybrid war against Ukraine, which resulted in the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014, and in military aggression in eastern Ukraine. The outcome of the ballot is uncertain, but the new leader is expected to continue the efforts of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko to deepen relations with the European Union and NATO, and continue the country's reform process, including anti-corruption measures. A record 44 candidates are contesting the election, with actor and political novice Volodymyr Zelenskiy holding the lead in opinion polls, followed by Poroshenko and former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. If no candidate secures an absolute majority in the first round, the top two contenders will face each other in a run-off on 21 April. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the situation in Ukraine.

The EU and Middle East and North Africa [What Think Tanks are thinking]

08-03-2019

The European Union held its first ever summit with the Arab League in February, highlighting the growing importance of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in tackling problems such as security, terrorism, migration and energy supply. At their meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, more than 40 leaders from the two blocs discussed issues ranging from ways to fight poverty and reducing irregular migration to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instability in Libya and wars in Syria and ...

The European Union held its first ever summit with the Arab League in February, highlighting the growing importance of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in tackling problems such as security, terrorism, migration and energy supply. At their meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, more than 40 leaders from the two blocs discussed issues ranging from ways to fight poverty and reducing irregular migration to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instability in Libya and wars in Syria and Yemen. The summit's declaration called for stronger economic and political cooperation as well as efforts to support the multilateral, rules-based international order. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports by major international think tanks on the general problems found within the region and some specific countries. More reports on the region can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in October 2017. The issue of Iran will be discussed in one of the forthcoming issues of the series.

Venezuela [What Think Tanks are thinking]

01-03-2019

The situation in Venezuela appears to be approaching a tipping-point, as President Nicolas Maduro faces growing international and domestic pressure to relinquish power to National Assembly leader and self-proclaimed acting President Juan Guaidó. The latter is recognised by many Western countries as the legitimate interim leader of the oil-rich Latin American country, which has seen its economy undermined by mismanagement and corruption. Maduro, political heir to Hugo Chávez, is backed by China, Russia ...

The situation in Venezuela appears to be approaching a tipping-point, as President Nicolas Maduro faces growing international and domestic pressure to relinquish power to National Assembly leader and self-proclaimed acting President Juan Guaidó. The latter is recognised by many Western countries as the legitimate interim leader of the oil-rich Latin American country, which has seen its economy undermined by mismanagement and corruption. Maduro, political heir to Hugo Chávez, is backed by China, Russia and the country’s military. He has recently ordered troops to block the opposition’s US-backed attempt to bring in aid to the country, leading to violent clashes. To date, some 3.4 million Venezuelans have left the country to escape the crisis. The European Parliament has already adopted a non-binding resolution that recognised Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the situation in Venezuela .

The INF Treaty and European defence [What Think Tanks are thinking]

22-02-2019

The United States has announced its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, sparking fears of a fresh nuclear arms race between Russia, the United States and China. The collapse of the 1987 agreement, which bans land-based missiles with a range of between 500 kilometres and 5 500 kilometres, has further exacerbated existing concerns about European security caused by the uncertain commitment of US President Donald Trump to the NATO military alliance. President Trump’s approach ...

The United States has announced its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, sparking fears of a fresh nuclear arms race between Russia, the United States and China. The collapse of the 1987 agreement, which bans land-based missiles with a range of between 500 kilometres and 5 500 kilometres, has further exacerbated existing concerns about European security caused by the uncertain commitment of US President Donald Trump to the NATO military alliance. President Trump’s approach to security, coupled with Russia’s assertive behaviour, have prompted the European Union to put forward initiatives to increase its military capabilities. President Trump started a six-month process of withdring from the Treaty in February 2019, blaming the decision on Russian violations. Hopes are not high that an agreement can be negotiated during this period. Furthermore, during the 2019 Munich Security Conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on China to join the INF Treaty, but China has argued that this would place unfair limits on its military, and refused. This note offers links to commentaries and studies on the collapse of the INF Treaty, and on European defence. Earlier papers on defence can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking’, published in July 2018.

The euro at 20 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

15-02-2019

The euro marked its 20th anniversary in January 2019, as debates continued about the single currency's track-record and the shape of future reform. When the 11 original members of the euro area irrevocably fixed their exchange rates in 1999, and transferred authority over their monetary policies to the European Central Bank, the currency's advocates hailed the move as the crowning achievement of European integration. Whilist some economists have blamed the euro area's one-size-fits-all approach to ...

The euro marked its 20th anniversary in January 2019, as debates continued about the single currency's track-record and the shape of future reform. When the 11 original members of the euro area irrevocably fixed their exchange rates in 1999, and transferred authority over their monetary policies to the European Central Bank, the currency's advocates hailed the move as the crowning achievement of European integration. Whilist some economists have blamed the euro area's one-size-fits-all approach to interest rates for weakening growth and increasing economic divergences between certain countries, others have pointed to the euro's role in underpinning the single market as well as offering resilience to Europe in withstanding the 2008-2009 financial crisis and its aftermath. Opinion polls shows the euro continues to be popular among citizens. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on the euro's merits, its future and related issues. Earlier publications on the topics can be found in a previous edition of the series published in November 2018, PE 630.268.

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