In June 2017, the Council of the European Union agreed to develop the cyber diplomatic toolbox, a joint EU diplomatic response to deter malicious cyber operations. The cyber diplomatic toolbox is a potential game changer for EU cybersecurity as it signals the potential consequences aggressors might face when they target EU member states’ information systems. However, there is more to that than meets the eyes.
Information communications technologies (ICTs) are the backbone of Europe's economy. They fuel new opportunities for citizens to connect, for governments to provide increased access to public services, for utilities to deliver critical services, and for businesses to serve as an engine of economic growth. The remarkable opportunities associated with being connected and participating in the Internet economy are enticing countries and corporations to further expand their digital footprint.
In the last few months, lots of discussions have revolved around the economics and politics of the proposed Nord Stream II project. Nord Stream is a gas pipeline bringing Russian natural gas directly to Germany through the Baltic Sea, allowing Moscow to bypass European transit countries such as Poland, Belarus, and crisis-hit Ukraine. Nord Stream II would double the pipeline’s current capacity, from 55 to 110 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y).
What’s going on in the European arena? Regulators, trading venues, market participants, financial and commodity analysts and data reporting agencies are all debating on the legal and operational implications of the various recent financial and energy regulations in the EU, whose implementations are already in effect either fully or partly. The three burdensome regulations flapping commodity firms are REMIT (Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency), EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation), and MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive ).
Sluggish economic growth, elections in key countries and Brexit negotiations are set to make 2017 a crucial year for Europe. The international conference "Europe 2017: Make It or Break It?" (Rome, 24 January) tackled the main issues that might hinder the future of the European integration process and advanced proposals to overcome today’s stalemate.
This brief text addresses the question of how Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine – and elsewhere – have influenced debates and policies in the Nordic countries. The ambition here is to shed light on how these questions are addressed in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, the countries that for various reasons have had to redefine their policies towards Russia in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis in 2014.
The EU and Japan have big plans to intensify and institutionalize cooperation in international politics and security. A bilateral agreement, through which such increased and institutionalized cooperation is envisioned to take place is the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The SPA will cover cooperation in regional and global politics and security and is envisioned to give the e.g. current EU-Japan ad-hoc on the ground non-military security cooperation an institutional framework.
The multiple crises that have hit the European Union (EU) have damaged political cohesion within and between member states. Notably after the Brexit vote, there is growing awareness in many capitals that without a renewed investment in the European project, the latter may unravel. With key countries such as France and Germany facing elections in 2017, the prospects for injecting new momentum into European integration are sobering.
Noteworthy developments have recently materialised in the languishing process of European defence cooperation, catalysing high-level politics in Brussels and national capitals, mobilising the expert community, and providing a potential lease of life to the struggling Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
The G20 – comprising 19 countries and the EU, with representatives from the Bretton Woods institutions and established just at the turn of the century - provides a new way forward for transnational governance that works for not only China, but also for 19 other major economies.
Wang Wen, Executive Dean, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China (RDCY).