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.
2019-07-19 - Bulletin
U.S.-Iran Tensions: Implications for the EU and NATO States
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are rising due to the American government’s “maximum pressure” policy and actions by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). After Iran’s ultimatum of May 2019 to the other signatories of the nuclear agreement went unheeded, the country suspended compliance with some of the deal’s provisions. The steps it took are not likely significant enough to result in U.S. preventive strikes on Iran, but there is the growing likelihood that both sides will continue to act just below the threshold of open conventional conflict. The frequency of tension-increasing events may continue to rise to the end of President Trump’s current term, implying a number of challenges to the diplomacy of the EU and NATO states.
2019-07-18 - Bulletin
"Reasonable Europe": Czech Presidency of the Visegrad Group
On 1 July, the Czech Republic took over the rotating annual chairmanship of the Visegrad Group (V4). Like the Slovaks before them, the Czechs will emphasize EU themes in Visegrad cooperation. The Czech position, however, is more restrained towards European integration. The dispute between the European Commission (EC) and the government of Andrej Babiš regarding the spending of EU funds may have a negative impact on the position of the V4 states in the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The Czech presidency is a good opportunity for Poland to develop regional cooperation in the field of security or transport.
2019-07-17 - Bulletin
Ukraine's Political Parties Ahead of Parliamentary Elections
Volodymyr Zelensky’s victory in April’s presidential election has become a catalyst for rapid change in Ukrainian politics. After the upcoming parliamentary elections, the political scene will be dominated by Servant of the People, the newly created party composed of Zelensky associates, and it may even win an absolute majority in the Verkhovna Rada. Meanwhile, most of the parties that formed the ruling coalition after Euromaidan will find themselves outside parliament.
2019-07-16 - Bulletin
The Centre-Right Returns to Power in Greece
Greece’s centre-right New Democracy (ND) party took power after the parliamentary elections on 7 July. It advocates a change of economic strategy based on cutting taxes and eliminating red tape. The main challenge will be to persuade the European Commission (EC) and eurozone members that its approach will not endanger the Greek public debt-reduction programme. The new government will also need the EU’s support in the country’s conflict with Turkey over the extraction of hydrocarbons off the coast of Cyprus.