2019-09-02 - Comment
Elections in Saxony and Brandenburg. Tough Victory for CDU and SPD
After the elections in Brandenburg and Saxony, the SPD and CDU remain the strongest groups in Germany’s regional parliaments, winning with 26.2% and 32.1% of the votes, respectively. However, both parties noted an overall fall in support. Two groupings have reasons to be satisfied: Alternative for Germany (AfD) because it is now the second political force in both Landtags, and the Greens, for whom the vote was the best in its history of national elections in Brandenburg and Saxony. The vote will lead to the reconstruction of local government coalitions and is another signal of the weakening position of the two largest groupings in the German political scene at the federal level.
2019-08-30 - Bulletin
U.S. Development of Intermediate-Range Missiles after Its Withdrawal from the INF Treaty
After its withdrawal from the INF Treaty, the U.S. is planning to introduce new ground-launched missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 km. Already in the final part of President Donald Trump’s first term, the administration might start talks with Asian and European allies on stationing these missiles. The development of the majority of these systems will take at least a few years and has already resulted in controversy in the U.S. Congress and within NATO. Russia will seek to prevent their deployment, especially in Europe, while also presenting the U.S. actions as a pretext for the further expansion of the Russian missile arsenal.
2019-08-30 - Bulletin
Turkey's Soft-Power Crisis in Africa
Since the 1990s, Turkey has been developing its soft power in Africa to support its economic and political expansion south of the Sahara. Schools and other institutions associated with the Fethullah Gülen movement (Hizmet) were instrumental in building Turkish-oriented local elites, raising interest in Turkish culture, and building Turkey’s image as synonymous with success. However, the fallout from the 2016 coup attempt in Ankara marked the definitive end of the synergy between Hizmet and the Turkish state. This created a new context in which Turkey’s pressures and direct interference in African governments’ affairs accompany a revision of its soft-power instruments.
2019-08-30 - Comment
U.S. National Security Advisor Bolton's visit to Minsk
On 29 August, National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton visited Minsk. He is the highest-ranking representative of the American authorities to come to Belarus in 25 years. He met with President Alexander Lukashenka and Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei. Bolton’s visit shows the growing role of Belarus in the U.S. policy towards Eastern Europe.
2019-08-29 - Bulletin
The German Economy in Downturn: Effect on Poland and the EU
The recent economic slump in Germany is mainly caused by weaker global growth and uncertainty from trade conflicts. Among the potential countermeasures, a large fiscal package is being discussed that is expected to strengthen domestic demand. How Germany responds to the threat of recession will be important for Poland and its economy due to strong trade links with its western neighbour.