2019-10-08 - Bulletin
The Future of European Industrial Policy
European Union Member States are pushing the European Commission (EC) to present a new EU industrial strategy by the end of this year. Germany and France have made the most specific proposals. They want a revision of antitrust policy, protection of the common market against unfair external competition, and financial support for new technologies. The implementation of this vision could enable the establishment of European “champions” capable of competing with global entities. According to critics, however, it will have a negative impact on competition within the EU, generating additional costs for consumers and businesses.
2019-10-07 - Bulletin
Austria after Early Parliamentary Elections
On 29 September, the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) won the elections to the lower house of parliament, the National Council. Early elections were held after the collapse of the ÖVPFreedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) coalition in May. Sebastian Kurz’s return as chancellor means he will build his cabinet with the FPÖ, the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), or the Greens. A coalition with the latter, the most likely option, will translate into growing divergence in the EU forum between Austria and Poland, especially on climate policy.
2019-10-04 - Bulletin
The Tactics and Strategic Consequences of the Attack on Oil Installations in Saudi Arabia
Cruise missile and drone attacks on Saudi oil installations suggest that Iran is implementing new tactics and a riskier strategy toward the U.S. and its regional allies. The attacks are the latest escalation of tensions by Iran, which are aims to show the failure of U.S. “maximum pressure” policy. The strikes revealed gaps in Gulf Arab countries’ defence systems and highlighted the vulnerability of oil exporters to different forms of attack. The Aramco attacks should be viewed in the context of Iran gradually over-stepping limits on its nuclear programme. The whole European Union (not just France, Germany and the UK) should take a tougher stance on consequences for Iran should it continue to escalate the situation.
2019-10-04 - Comment
Boris Johnson's "Last Chance" Proposal for Resolving the Brexit Deadlock
On 2 October, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a proposal to amend the EU-UK withdrawal agreement signed in November 2018. The changes are intended to win support for the agreement in the House of Commons. However, the proposal has limited chances of acceptance.
2019-10-01 - Bulletin
Russia's 2019 Military Drills
The Russian military exercises Tsentr (Center) and Union Shield were the largest combat readiness tests of the Russian army this year. The goal of each was to check the state of cooperation with other countries. The almost simultaneous exercises confirmed that the Russian armed forces are able to operate in two strategic directions (fronts). The exercises demonstrate the country’s growing conventional military potential and that will be a greater challenge for NATO, perceived in Russia as the main opponent.