At the end of 2016, British Petroleum announced to have signed a 1 billion dollars deal with an independent oil company, Kosmos Energy, “to acquire a 62% working interest, including operatorship, of Kosmos’ exploration blocks in Mauritania and a 32.49% effective working interest in Kosmos’ Senegal exploration blocks” .
In early June, Niger Delta militants – under the banner of a newly-formed group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) – blew up two oil wells owned and operated by Chevron. The attack is the latest in a new phase of an ongoing insurgency in the oil-rich region (see the map above).
Imagine for a moment that the so-called Western Balkan countries were as rich and democratically consolidated as Switzerland, Norway or even tiny Iceland: would you doubt for a second that the EU leaders would not beg them to join the Union? Especially after Brexit has instilled so much impending doom into minds of the political class in Berlin, Paris and elsewhere. Accepting rich and politically straightforward new members would be a welcome remedy against Angst in the corridors of power throughout the continent!
As the Group of 20 (G20) leaders assemble in Hamburg for their 12th summit on July 7-8, 2017, many wonder whether G20 summitry is worth the time and trouble, especially amidst the high profile divisions between German chancellor Angela Merkel’s open, cooperative Europe and President Donald Trump’s protectionist United States. Even if at Hamburg G20 leaders manage to make clear commitments, many doubt that they will actually deliver them once they leave their sunny global summit peak and return to the dark, distracting valleys of domestic politics back home.
WHAT IS THE G20?
The G20 is an international group initially founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries and the European Union. In 2008, in the midst of the global financial crisis, the US President George W. Bush invited the leaders of the G20 members to coordinate actions in order to respond to the crisis giving the start to the actual G20 Leader’s Summit. Since 2010 the meeting is held annually and the host country change every year.
The following excerpt is a slightly revised English translation of the Executive Summary of an ISPI in-depth analysis for the Italian Parliament. The complete version of the report is available here (Italian).
Officially announced by president Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has since become the centrepiece of China’s economic diplomacy.
It is a commitment to ease bottlenecks to Eurasian trade by improving and building networks of connectivity across Central and Western Asia, where the BRI aims to act as a bond for the projects of regional cooperation and integration already in progress in Southern Asia.
But it also reaches out to the Middle East as well as East and North Africa, a truly strategic area where the Belt joins the Road. Europe, the end-point of the New Silk Roads, both by land and by sea, is the ultimate geographic destination and political partner in the Belt and Road Initiative.
This report, edited by Alessia Amighini, provides an in-depth analysis of the BRI, its logic, rationale and implications for international economic and political relations.
The Italian G7 (26–27 May) takes place during momentous times for international politics. Many Heads of State and Government meeting in Taormina are new to the forum, and some of them hold radically different views. On top of that, France and the United Kingdom are in the midst of their national electoral campaigns, while Germany goes to the polls in September. Italy has approached its 2017 Presidency with realistic goals and by keeping a cool head.
The G7 summit, being held today and tomorrow in the splendid setting of Taormina, Sicily, boasts particular significance amidst the growing fragility in global governance.