Armed groups play a central role in Libya and Yemen. Pervading weak and contested institutions, they have gradually brought their survival, profit and governance strategies under the state umbrella: warlords have become the new lords of the state.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has sent shockwaves across Europe and the world. While the current war is a geopolitical turning point, it remains unclear whether it will trigger a quantum leap forward for European defence policies and for the role of the European Union as a security provider.
In today’s tumultuous and fast-changing times, digitalisation and technology are game changers in a wide range of sectors and have a tremendous impact on infrastructure. Roads, railways, electricity grids, aviation, and maritime transport are deeply affected by the digital and technological transition, with gains in terms of competitiveness, cost-reduction, and safety.
At the upcoming 20th Party Congress, which opens Sunday in China, Xi Jinping is expected to be confirmed as the country's Secretary General for an unprecedented third term. At a time of international instability caused by the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, as well as rising competition between international superpowers, the Chinese leadership is called to increase the country's international standing, while ensuring economic growth at the domestic level. However, achieving these goals will not be without challenges.
Ten years after the start of the Malian crisis, political and security instability in the Sahel have changed in scale and nature, and spilled over across national frontiers. The border region between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger has become the new epicentre of insecurity. The comeback of military actors on the political scene, and the support provided by large parts of the population to post-coup military juntas is evidence of poor governance and a severe deterioration in the legitimacy of elected authorities.
The impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine has been devastating both politically and environmentally. On top of the environmental damage directly caused by military operations, the invasion has put an abrupt end to the EU-Russia “green cooperation”, which had previously raised many hopes. At the same time, it has also shifted international attention away from climate and environmental concerns, which are particularly acute in the post-Soviet region.
While the war in Ukraine is a game changer for international and in particular European security, China appears to be marching on. And, in some ways, it is true. Since Xi Jinping took power in 2012, China’s foreign policy has significantly shifted from a defensive to an assertive approach. For decades, Beijing worked to integrate into the liberal international order, presenting itself as a peacefully rising power.
As the world enters a new year, the Covid-19 pandemic is still upsetting our daily lives. And as 75% of EU citizens live in urban areas, cities are the most prominent stage both for responding to the health crisis, and for seizing opportunities to recover and move forward. Meanwhile, in 2020, EU countries agreed to Next Generation EU, a €750 billion recovery package that represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity.
After a decade of popular uprisings and civil wars, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is experiencing a deep governance crisis. The transformation, weakening or even the collapse of state institutions has changed the security framework, with direct implications for processes of Security Sector Governance and Reform (SSG/R).
A year and a half after the new Strategy with Africa proposed by the European Commission was made public, the new partnership between the two continents is still being defined. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic with Africa’s first economic recession in 25 years and a sharp rise in poverty and debt has created new challenges for the two continents’ agenda, highlighting new gaps to address on the way forward.