2019-07-25 - Bulletin
Prospects for the EU-Mercosur Agreement's Entry into Force
On 28 June, the EU and Mercosur concluded negotiations that have lasted intermittently for two decades on an Association Agreement (AA). For the EU, the accord brings a chance to compete more effectively in Latin America with China and the U.S. For Mercosur, it may boost a revival of economic integration and reforms in the bloc’s member states. However, the deal has raised concerns among some EU farmers over the potential of a negative impact of opening the Union’s market. To ecology groups, some of the document’s provisions increase the threat to the environment and climate policy. Protests by these groups could hinder the agreement’s ratification process.
2019-07-24 - Bulletin
Modifications of "One Country, Two Systems", a Chinese Principle
Since Xi Jinping took power, China has strengthened its control over Hong Kong and Macau, special administrative regions. They are governed based on the principle of “one country, two systems”, which implies the maintenance of social-economic solutions different from China’s. The citizen protests in Hong Kong against an extradition agreement signal the rise of objections to China’s limiting this principle. China’s authorities argue that the principle will also be used after unification with Taiwan, a major goal. The Chinese policy, though, violates key EU democratic standards and hinders the work of European companies with operations mainly in Hong Kong.
2019-07-23 - Bulletin
Japan-South Korea Tensions with History in the Background
At the beginning of July, Japan introduced restrictions on exports to South Korea of materials essential for making semiconductors and LED displays. The decision by the Japanese authorities is connected to reignited historical disputes with South Korea. Because of South Korea’s importance in the global technology market, the tensions with Japan may disrupt supply chains and could result in higher prices for consumer electronics. Suppliers of selected materials from other countries, including European ones, can benefit from this.
2019-07-23 - Comment
Servant of the People Party Wins Absolute Majority in Ukrainian Parliament
Servant of the People, a party associated with President Volodymyr Zelensky, won early parliamentary elections in Ukraine with 43% of the votes in the proportional part and 129 out of 199 seats in single-mandate districts. The party is the first in modern Ukrainian history to gain an absolute majority in the Verkhovna Rada.
2019-07-22 - Bulletin
What von der Leyen's Election as Commission President Means for Europe
The European Parliament (EP) has approved Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission (EC) president. Her programme is to a large extent a continuation of her predecessor’s agenda, but with greater emphasis on climate policy and the creation of a social pillar of the single market. The new president’s ambitions may be thwarted by Member States’ diverging interests. Building majorities in a politically fragmented European Parliament will be an additional impediment.