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US Presidential election [What Think Tanks are thinking]

19-11-2020

Joseph Biden, a former US Vice-President and long-time Senator with a strong interest in foreign affairs, won the US Presidential election for the Democrats, defeating the incumbent Republican President, Donald Trump. Over the past four years, Trump shook the established rules-based international order, notably by withdrawing US funding from various multilateral organisations and pulling out of various international agreements, by renegotiating trade deals, imposing provocative customs duties, and ...

Joseph Biden, a former US Vice-President and long-time Senator with a strong interest in foreign affairs, won the US Presidential election for the Democrats, defeating the incumbent Republican President, Donald Trump. Over the past four years, Trump shook the established rules-based international order, notably by withdrawing US funding from various multilateral organisations and pulling out of various international agreements, by renegotiating trade deals, imposing provocative customs duties, and progressively reducing America’s foreign military presence. Although Trump has not yet conceded defeat, his allegations of election fraud and related attempts at litigation are widely seen as frivolous. Once Biden becomes President, the US is expected to seek to strengthen the transatlantic alliance and revive the multilateral system, without necessarily being able to pursue any significant liberalisation of trade, given domestic political pressures and the ambiguous situation in the US Congress. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on issues related to US elections and President Biden’s expected policies in a number of areas.

Coronavirus: Europe confronts the second wave [What Think Tanks are thinking]

09-11-2020

As the United States has been choosing its President, an explosion of cases in a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has forced many governments in Europe to reintroduce strict confinement measures, including new lockdowns, curfews, bans on meetings and the closure of many businesses, notably in the hospitality and tourism sectors. The moves are meant to act as a firebreak on the exponential growth in Covid-19 infections and prevent health sectors in many countries from becoming overloaded. Whatever ...

As the United States has been choosing its President, an explosion of cases in a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has forced many governments in Europe to reintroduce strict confinement measures, including new lockdowns, curfews, bans on meetings and the closure of many businesses, notably in the hospitality and tourism sectors. The moves are meant to act as a firebreak on the exponential growth in Covid-19 infections and prevent health sectors in many countries from becoming overloaded. Whatever happens next, economies will contract this year in the great majority of countries around the world, even if in varying degrees, with significant social and political implications. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on pandemic related issues. Earlier think tank studies on the issue can be found in the ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking’ of 23 October.

EU foreign, security and defence policies [What Think Tanks are thinking]

27-10-2020

The European Union faces multifaceted foreign security and defence policy challenges. First and foremost, it awaits the outcome of the US Presidential election, which is set to determine in significant part global economic and political developments in the short to medium term. The Union also faces a tough choice about how to treat China: more as a rival or as a partner, and in which areas? An increasingly assertive Russia represents yet another challenge. The EU’s stance on climate, migration, Africa ...

The European Union faces multifaceted foreign security and defence policy challenges. First and foremost, it awaits the outcome of the US Presidential election, which is set to determine in significant part global economic and political developments in the short to medium term. The Union also faces a tough choice about how to treat China: more as a rival or as a partner, and in which areas? An increasingly assertive Russia represents yet another challenge. The EU’s stance on climate, migration, Africa, terrorism and developments in its near neighbourhood add to this complex scene. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on EU foreign, security and defence policies.

Coronavirus: The second wave [What Think Tanks are thinking]

22-10-2020

A resurgence in the number of coronavirus infections since the summer has evidently turned into a second wave of the pandemic, which has now hit many European Union countries. The pandemic is putting renewed pressure on European health systems, and authorities are introducing stringent but targeted preventive measures in a bid to cushion the negative economic impacts while preserving people's health and ensuring hospitals are not once again overwhelmed. An increasing number of EU countries are clamping ...

A resurgence in the number of coronavirus infections since the summer has evidently turned into a second wave of the pandemic, which has now hit many European Union countries. The pandemic is putting renewed pressure on European health systems, and authorities are introducing stringent but targeted preventive measures in a bid to cushion the negative economic impacts while preserving people's health and ensuring hospitals are not once again overwhelmed. An increasing number of EU countries are clamping down on travel and imposing strict social distancing measures, such as night-time curfews in major cities and limits on social contacts, although most schools and businesses remain open throughout Europe. The International Monetary Fund said in its October World Economic Outlook (WEO) that global growth in 2020 is projected at -4.4 per cent owing to the pandemic, a less severe contraction than forecast in the June 2020 WEO. The revision reflects better than anticipated second quarter GDP outturns – mostly in advanced economies, where activity bounced back sooner than expected following the scaling back of national lockdowns in May and June – as well as indications of a stronger recovery in the third quarter. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on pandemic related issues. Earlier think tank studies on the issue can be found in the 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' of 25 September.

Trump or Biden: Where next for US foreign and defence policy? [What Think Tanks are thinking]

09-10-2020

The United States is heading for a presidential election on Tuesday 3. November that will pit incumbent Republican candidate, Donald Trump, against the former Democrat Vice President and Senator, Joe Biden. Many analysts and politicians say that this contest may well be one of the most important since the end of World War II, as it will offer a stark choice between two entirely different paths for US foreign and defence policy. During his four years in office, analysts stress how President Trump, ...

The United States is heading for a presidential election on Tuesday 3. November that will pit incumbent Republican candidate, Donald Trump, against the former Democrat Vice President and Senator, Joe Biden. Many analysts and politicians say that this contest may well be one of the most important since the end of World War II, as it will offer a stark choice between two entirely different paths for US foreign and defence policy. During his four years in office, analysts stress how President Trump, whose decisions were often unpredictable, has reversed many aspects of traditional US foreign and defence policy, which had previously been based on a respect for international institutions and a strong Transatlantic alliance. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on the US electoral campaign and the legacy of President Trump.

China: From partner to rival [What Think Tanks are thinking]

02-10-2020

According to analysts and politicians, China’s increasingly autocratic domestic stance and assertive foreign policy are damaging its relations with the European Union. No substantial agreement was achieved at a virtual EU-China summit on 14 September, despite years of negotiations on many issues, not least on trade and investment. ‘For the EU, China is simultaneously (in different policy areas) a cooperation partner, a negotiation partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival,’ the European ...

According to analysts and politicians, China’s increasingly autocratic domestic stance and assertive foreign policy are damaging its relations with the European Union. No substantial agreement was achieved at a virtual EU-China summit on 14 September, despite years of negotiations on many issues, not least on trade and investment. ‘For the EU, China is simultaneously (in different policy areas) a cooperation partner, a negotiation partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival,’ the European External Action Service’s background paper says. Formally, the EU and China have been strategic partners since 2003 – a partnership that was broadened five years ago by the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. However, more recently, EU officials and politicians have been expressing increasing concerns over China’s economic expansionism and human rights violations. The current coronavirus pandemic and developments in Hong Kong have had a marked negative impact on EU-China relations. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on China, its ties with the EU and related issues.

Coronavirus: The second wave? [What Think Tanks are thinking]

25-09-2020

Since the end of the holiday season, the rate of Covid-19 infection in Europe has increased to levels not seen since their peak in April 2020. Many cities and regions, and now whole countries, have had to reinforce preventive measures. An increasing number of governments around the world already face a dilemma over whether or not to return to strict confinement, which would further cripple their economies. In this context, this year’s UN General Assembly, witnessed a bizarre digital stand-off between ...

Since the end of the holiday season, the rate of Covid-19 infection in Europe has increased to levels not seen since their peak in April 2020. Many cities and regions, and now whole countries, have had to reinforce preventive measures. An increasing number of governments around the world already face a dilemma over whether or not to return to strict confinement, which would further cripple their economies. In this context, this year’s UN General Assembly, witnessed a bizarre digital stand-off between the Presidents of the United State and China, as they compete respectively for domestic and global approval of their handling of the pandemic. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on coronavirus and related issues. Earlier publications on the coronavirus can be found in the previous item in this series, published by EPRS on 4 September 2020.

Brexit: Towards the end-game [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-09-2020

There is now growing doubt about possible progress on future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has tabled a bill on the internal market within the country, which contains provisions relating to the border between Northen Ireland and the rest of the UK that violate the agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, and would thus constitute a breach of international law. The European Parliament has already indicated that it would ...

There is now growing doubt about possible progress on future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has tabled a bill on the internal market within the country, which contains provisions relating to the border between Northen Ireland and the rest of the UK that violate the agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, and would thus constitute a breach of international law. The European Parliament has already indicated that it would not be able to ratify any post-Brexit EU-UK trade agreement, if such arrengements were to be adopted. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on numerous challenges facing the UK, EU and their future ties after their divorce.

The State of the Union 2020 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

11-09-2020

In what has now become a tradition, every year in September, the President of the European Commission delivers a State of the Union address before the European Parliament, taking stock of achievements over the past year and presenting priorities for the year ahead. Ursula von der Leyen will deliver her first State of the Union address on 16 September 2020, followed by a debate in plenary. In essence, the Commission’s position is that the priorities that it set out at the beginning of its current ...

In what has now become a tradition, every year in September, the President of the European Commission delivers a State of the Union address before the European Parliament, taking stock of achievements over the past year and presenting priorities for the year ahead. Ursula von der Leyen will deliver her first State of the Union address on 16 September 2020, followed by a debate in plenary. In essence, the Commission’s position is that the priorities that it set out at the beginning of its current mandate remain valid, but with both major challenges and opportunities arising from the coronavirus pandemic. After some initial criticism of ‘too little action, too late’, EU institutions are now working flat out to help to address various aspects of the crisis. Notably, the European Council has agreed on a major financial boost to fight the economic effects of the pandemic, including a measure of common debt. The Commission is also actively pursuing, in parallel, the European Green Deal, the digital agenda, making Europe stronger in the world, a new push for European democracy and efforts to make the economy work for people. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on the state of the union and related issues.

Coronavirus: Masked in the heat? [What Think Tanks are thinking]

04-09-2020

The summer has initially brought some reprieve in the spread of coronavirus in Europe. However, a series of localised outbreaks gradually spread from one country to another and has transformed into a new upsurge affecting essentially younger age groups. As politicians have introduced various short-term measures to contain the rise in cases, scientists have pressed on in the race to develop a vaccine and analysts have continued to ponder the longer-term implications of the crisis. Although the number ...

The summer has initially brought some reprieve in the spread of coronavirus in Europe. However, a series of localised outbreaks gradually spread from one country to another and has transformed into a new upsurge affecting essentially younger age groups. As politicians have introduced various short-term measures to contain the rise in cases, scientists have pressed on in the race to develop a vaccine and analysts have continued to ponder the longer-term implications of the crisis. Although the number of hospitalisations and deaths in Europe has so far remained low following the resurgence in contaminations, governments have faced a dilemma in particular over whether to allow for the physical presence of pupils as the new school year begins in September. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on coronavirus and related issues. Earlier publications on the coronavirus can be found in the previous item in this series, published by EPRS on 17 July.

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