Lessons from a global crisis: coronavirus, the international order and the future of the EU (CIDOB)

By Pol Morillas | The coronavirus crisis may turn out to be a bump in the road for recent international dynamics. After a period of hibernation in the major global economies, perhaps life will return to normal, the storm weathered thanks to stimulus plans, and the world will once again be flat and hyperconnected. Alternatively, coronavirus may be a turning point in the era of globalisation.

Read more

Strategic rivalry between United States and China: causes, trajectories, and implications (SWP)

A comprehensive and insightful paper that looks at the various dimensions of the rivalry between the United States and China.

Australia, already caught up in the global competition for influence, is likely to be subject to ‘increased pressure from Washington on its allies to take a clear position on the sharpening US-China conflict and clearly side with the United States’.

The paper seeks a strategy for Europe ‘to escape the bipolar logic that demands it choose between the American and Chinese economic/technological spheres’ – but the recommendations for Europe should resonate equally with Australian policy-makers and strategic thinkers.

Read more

Clingendael: The relevance of the Maritime Silk Road for the Netherlands

Chinese investments in European seaports – part of the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – have increased rapidly in recent years – triggering a debate in Europe on the significance of, and how to deal with, growing Chinese influence in European ports. This report discusses two main questions: What is the relevance of Chinese involvement in European ports for China’s political influence in the European Union? What are the long-term implications for the Netherlands of the Maritime Silk Road, in particular in regard to Chinese involvement in European ports?

Read more

Institut Montaigne: Space – will Europe awaken?

Institut Montaigne continues its study of risks and opportunities for Europe in relation to space affairs. This February 2020 policy paper takes stock of recent trends and issues in the space sector. It analyses Europe’s current position in New Space, highlighting the potential and limits of the space policy pursued by the European Union in recent years and makes five public policy proposals aimed at making Europe a real space power.

Read more

SIEPS: Compatible Interests? The EU and China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China’s economic development and global impact are tilting the economic, political and military balances that have shaped the world since the end of the cold war. One step in China’s global outlook is the comprehensive infrastructure project Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), opening a clear set of crossroads for the EU. Has the EU payed enough attention to the geopolitics? Should the EU focus more on European interests, and not only on norms and values?

Read more

Friends of Europe: Transatlantic defence cooperation in the Trump era

An element of strategic divergence means the US and Europe are currently “not quite watching the same movie on the two sides of the Atlantic”, but there is hope that transatlantic defence industrial cooperation can function better if trade-offs are accepted and we have a shared view of the value of working together as allies says the author of Friends of Europe’s latest report on peace, security and defence.

Read more

Is the United States of America a normal country?

Remarks at the Munich Security Conference by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are full of unconscious irony.

If ‘the United States’ was substituted for every reference to ‘China’ in each address not much of their coherence would be lost. Can the two premier US leaders of foreign and strategic policy genuinely be so naïve about the current impact of America’s policies on the world order, multilateralism, alliances, and international security?

Read more

Thuringia and European democracy after Merkel

In German politics, a strong party taboo was broken when Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) joined with the centrist Free Democrat Party (FDP) leader in Thuringia, Thomas Kemmerich, to form a government with the support of the right wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The breaking of the taboo might reflect the passing of the generation of Angela Merkel, shaped by the complex social, political and economic legacy of the Nazi past, a divided Germany, post-Soviet national reunification and the emergence of the European Union.

In this article MIke looks at the historical context that gave rise to the “cordon sanitaire” around the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), and the potential signficance of its demise (and Merkel’s retirement) for the European project and geopolitics more broadly. .

Read more

Bertelsmann Stiftung: Europe’s Coherence Gap in External Crisis and Conflict Management

This report takes a close look at the extent to which the institutions of the European Union have been operationalised to meet the stated ambition of playing a part in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict peace- building through civil and/or military operations, through stabilisation efforts, and by building resilience at home and abroad.

Read more