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).
Attempts by Washington and Brussels to push Russia to the fringes of global politics because of the Ukrainian crisis seem to have failed. Thanks to its important role in mediating the Iranian nuclear agreement, and to its unexpected military intervention in Syria, Moscow proved once again to be a key player in international politics.
However, Russia’s recovered assertiveness may represents a challenge to the uncertain leadership of the West. This report aims to gauging Russia’s current role in the light of recent developments on the international stage. The overall Russian foreign policy strategy is examined by taking into account its most important issues: Ukraine and the relationship with the West; the Middle East (intervention in Syria, and ongoing relations with Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia); the development of the Eurasian Economic Union; the Russian pivot towards Asia, and China in particular. The volume also analyzes if and to what extent Moscow can fulfill its ambitions in a context of falling oil prices and international sanctions.
An overdue ‘return’ to European strategic thinking
On 28 June 2016, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, officially presented the text of the “EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy” to the Heads of State or Government in an (urgent) European Council meeting largely devoted to the outcome of the British referendum.
The arrival in Sicily on May 13 of 898 migrants, mainly from Egypt, Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia, marked an important new development in migration routes from North Africa to Italy. Instead of taking the sea from Libya, as is usually the case, the two fishing vessels rescued by the Italian navy in international waters started the crossing from Egypt. After few minor cases in the last two months, this massive arrival is clear evidence that the Egyptian route has officially reopened.
Abstract As countries participating in 'Factory Asia' grow more integrated with one another, regional trade agreements have flourished in recent years with the ultimate aim of making production networks in the region work as smoothly as possible. It is more and more important for the EU to secure good trade relations with Asia, the most dynamic area in world trade. To this end it must adopt a coherent trade strategy vis-à-vis the different Asian economies participating in regional value chains in which EU companies are significantly and increasingly involved.
Abstract The EU-Republic of Korea FTA (EU-ROK FTA) has so far been beneficial to both parties, although relatively more so for the EU (as it was already a more open market than South Korea). This has been partly due to the trade liberalisation with the FTA and partly due to macroeconomic factors, such as the slow GDP growth and sluggish demand in the EU, and the Euro depreciation vis-à-vis the Korean Won over the last 5 years. Sectorial developments have also been at work, such as the reduction in Korean output and thus exports in key sectors due to global overcapacity and oversupply, and a cross-border reorganisation of production in sectors that are important in EU–Korea competition. The most important increase in exports from the EU to South Korea has been in transport equipment, more specifically cars and trucks, but the size of the increase is substantially lower than that forecast.