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Foreign policy and defence challenges [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-01-2019

The European Union will face increasingly serious foreign policy and defence challenges in 2019. The current Administration in the United States seems to be abandoning its traditional role of ‘benign protector’ of the rules-based international order. Russia, according to many analysts, continues to try to undermine the democratic process in many Western countries, and China’s foreign policy is becoming more and more assertive, notably in the economic field. Furthermore, migration, Brexit and cybersecurity ...

The European Union will face increasingly serious foreign policy and defence challenges in 2019. The current Administration in the United States seems to be abandoning its traditional role of ‘benign protector’ of the rules-based international order. Russia, according to many analysts, continues to try to undermine the democratic process in many Western countries, and China’s foreign policy is becoming more and more assertive, notably in the economic field. Furthermore, migration, Brexit and cybersecurity, as well as a lack of EU unity on certain issues, also feature amongst key challenges. This note offers links to recent selected commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on EU foreign and defence policies. Links to more reports on President Donald Trump’s policies, Russia, EU-China relations and NATO are available in previous items in this series, published last year.

European elections [What Think Tanks are thinking]

11-01-2019

Citizens of the European Union go to the polls in May 2019, in elections to the European Parliament which many analysts say may be the most important ever. Commentators are currently focused on the prospective performance of anti-establishment parties and movements, many of which run on Eurosceptic platforms. The vote will also indicate if the Spitzenkandidaten process, launched by the European political parties five years ago, has become established practice. If followed as in 2014, the candidate ...

Citizens of the European Union go to the polls in May 2019, in elections to the European Parliament which many analysts say may be the most important ever. Commentators are currently focused on the prospective performance of anti-establishment parties and movements, many of which run on Eurosceptic platforms. The vote will also indicate if the Spitzenkandidaten process, launched by the European political parties five years ago, has become established practice. If followed as in 2014, the candidate from the political force that receives the highest number of seats in the European elections would become the President of the European Commission. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on the forthcoming European elections and related issues.

2018: Challenges and choices [What Think Tanks are thinking]

20-12-2018

After 2017 brought optimism for the European Union, 2018 has proved a year of tougher challenges and choices. It was a time of slower growth, with the spectre of a global trade war. Turbulent negotiations on Brexit brought an agreement, but the chances of its approval by the UK House of Commons look unpromising. It was a year of uncertainty for transatlantic ties and for US global leadership. Tensions re-emerged over migration. Progress in overhauling the euro-area was limited. The simmering Russia-Ukrainian ...

After 2017 brought optimism for the European Union, 2018 has proved a year of tougher challenges and choices. It was a time of slower growth, with the spectre of a global trade war. Turbulent negotiations on Brexit brought an agreement, but the chances of its approval by the UK House of Commons look unpromising. It was a year of uncertainty for transatlantic ties and for US global leadership. Tensions re-emerged over migration. Progress in overhauling the euro-area was limited. The simmering Russia-Ukrainian conflict erupted again. These and other developments form the backdrop for the European elections in 2019. This note offers links to recent selected commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU in 2018 and its outlook in several important areas.

Migration [What Think Tanks are thinking]

14-12-2018

On 10 December 2018, at a conference in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, more than 160 United Nations members adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This is the first multilateral framework providing a global response to migration, and comes at a time of mounting public concern about the issue, in particular in the EU and US. Even though the agreement is non-binding and serves more as a set of best practices for the international community to improve global cooperation ...

On 10 December 2018, at a conference in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, more than 160 United Nations members adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This is the first multilateral framework providing a global response to migration, and comes at a time of mounting public concern about the issue, in particular in the EU and US. Even though the agreement is non-binding and serves more as a set of best practices for the international community to improve global cooperation on migration, nearly 30 countries, including the US and a number of EU Member States, have decided to oppose it. This note offers links to commentaries and studies on migration by major international think tanks. Earlier papers on the same topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in October 2018.

Brexit: The endgame? [What Think Tanks are thinking]

07-12-2018

Prime Minister Theresa May faces an uphill struggle to convince the British House of Commons to back the agreement she has reached with the EU-27 on UK withdrawal from the European Union, in a crucial vote set for 11 December. Although the deal was approved by her Cabinet and all EU leaders, the divorce terms have been criticised by many Members of Parliament, both advocates of a no-deal departure from the Union and those who would like the United Kingdom to remain within th Union or have the closest ...

Prime Minister Theresa May faces an uphill struggle to convince the British House of Commons to back the agreement she has reached with the EU-27 on UK withdrawal from the European Union, in a crucial vote set for 11 December. Although the deal was approved by her Cabinet and all EU leaders, the divorce terms have been criticised by many Members of Parliament, both advocates of a no-deal departure from the Union and those who would like the United Kingdom to remain within th Union or have the closest possible ties with it from outside. In a parallel development, an Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has issued an opinion that the UK may unilateraly withdraw its notification of intent to leave the EU, although its departure date is currently set for 29 March 2019. The Court is due to issue its ruling on 10 December; in the past, the Court has followed its advocate-generals’ opinions in most cases. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on Brexit negotiations and related issues. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking’, published in October 2018.

Inequality [What Think Tanks are thinking]

23-11-2018

Inequality has diminished on a global scale in the past 30 years, as more than 2 billion people have been lifted out of poverty in countries such as China or India. However, in the United States and, to a lesser extent, western Europe and other developed regions, inequality within individual countries has often increased in recent years after decades of general growth in prosperity. Many analysts attribute this phenomenon both to globalisation and to inadequate policy responses to the pace of technological ...

Inequality has diminished on a global scale in the past 30 years, as more than 2 billion people have been lifted out of poverty in countries such as China or India. However, in the United States and, to a lesser extent, western Europe and other developed regions, inequality within individual countries has often increased in recent years after decades of general growth in prosperity. Many analysts attribute this phenomenon both to globalisation and to inadequate policy responses to the pace of technological change. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on economic and social inequality. Reports on gender and racial inequalities will be covered in greater detail in a future edition in the series.

Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

16-11-2018

World leaders are preparing for the ‘COP 24’ summit on tackling climate change in Katowice, Poland, in December, which is meant to debate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, a United Nations report has called for more measures to cut emissions of greenhouse gases: On 8 October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest findings, which indicate that limiting global warming to the 1.5˚C increase agreed in Paris would require rapid, far-reaching and ...

World leaders are preparing for the ‘COP 24’ summit on tackling climate change in Katowice, Poland, in December, which is meant to debate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, a United Nations report has called for more measures to cut emissions of greenhouse gases: On 8 October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest findings, which indicate that limiting global warming to the 1.5˚C increase agreed in Paris would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. 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 2017.

Challenges for the euro area [What Think Tanks are thinking]

09-11-2018

The discussion on how to deepen and improve the functioning of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) continues on several fronts. Issues under discussion include euro-area governance, the role of the European Central Bank (ECB), the fiscal rules, debt-mutualisation, risk-sharing, and the nature of, and political compromises between, French and German perspectives within the system. The dispute between Italy and the European Commission over the former’s budget for 2019 is now a major topic for discussion ...

The discussion on how to deepen and improve the functioning of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) continues on several fronts. Issues under discussion include euro-area governance, the role of the European Central Bank (ECB), the fiscal rules, debt-mutualisation, risk-sharing, and the nature of, and political compromises between, French and German perspectives within the system. The dispute between Italy and the European Commission over the former’s budget for 2019 is now a major topic for discussion at Eurogroup meetings, as are Banking Union and the sustainability of economic growth, notably in light of the expected tapering of the ECB’s bond-purchase programme. In a separate development, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed increasing the international role of the euro, which some analysts say could replace the US dollar in certain international transactions, given the volatility of US economic policies. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on challenges facing the euro area and related issues. Earlier publications on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in June 2018.

Migration [What Think Tanks are thinking]

19-10-2018

At the European Council meeting on 18 October, European Union Heads of State or Government vowed to step up the fight against illegal migration, by intensifying efforts to crack down on smuggling networks, protect external borders and cooperate with countries of origin and transit. The EU's southern borders remain under pressure from irregular migrants escaping poverty and conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, although the leaders noted that illegal border crossings into the EU have declined by ...

At the European Council meeting on 18 October, European Union Heads of State or Government vowed to step up the fight against illegal migration, by intensifying efforts to crack down on smuggling networks, protect external borders and cooperate with countries of origin and transit. The EU's southern borders remain under pressure from irregular migrants escaping poverty and conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, although the leaders noted that illegal border crossings into the EU have declined by 95 % from their peak in October 2015. The leaders also said in their conclusions that a joint task force should be established at Europol's European Migrant Smuggling Centre. The European Commission is to propose a comprehensive set of implementation measures by December, and the leaders urged the European Parliament and Council to examine promptly the recent proposals on the Return Directive, the Asylum Agency and the European Border and Coast Guard. This note offers links to commentaries and studies on migration by major international think tanks. Earlier papers on the same topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in June 2018.

The EU and Asia [What Think Tanks are thinking]

12-10-2018

The heads of state or government of 51 countries will gather in Brussels on 18 and 19 October for the 12th Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) to discuss closer relations and global challenges. The meeting will focus in particular on trade and investment, connectivity, sustainable development, and climate and security challenges. The EU attaches growing importance to relations with Asian countries as the region’s economic and political weight increases and as US trade policy is increasingly unpredictable. ...

The heads of state or government of 51 countries will gather in Brussels on 18 and 19 October for the 12th Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) to discuss closer relations and global challenges. The meeting will focus in particular on trade and investment, connectivity, sustainable development, and climate and security challenges. The EU attaches growing importance to relations with Asian countries as the region’s economic and political weight increases and as US trade policy is increasingly unpredictable. This note offers links to selected recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think-tanks on EU-Asian relations, the situation in the region and some of its countries. The publication does not cover issues related to China, which were the topic of one of the previous editions in the series.

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