2019-09-13 - Bulletin
U.S. Policy towards the UK under Trump
President Donald Trump has shifted the balance of his partnership with the UK toward the U.S., straining transatlantic ties in the process. He actively sides with Brexiteers who support a no deal departure from the European Union. Forcing himself into the UK’s internal debate and sharply criticising British partners in public speeches and media forums has caused added tension. Additionally, approaches to the intelligence and security issue of 5G development spawned a divisive debate. Relations between the U.S. and UK are likely to remain one-sided, with the possibility of deepening the asymmetry if Trump is re-elected during the UK’s post-Brexit recovery.
2019-09-12 - Bulletin
Israeli Politics Ahead of the Repeat of Parliamentary Elections
Ruling party Likud remains the front-runner in the 17 September elections. However, its leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has less chance to form a government than after the last vote in April. Polls show both the current right-wing coalition and the opposition dead even. If none of the blocs obtains a coalition majority, the establishment of a national unity government by the largest parties might be a way out of the political deadlock.
2019-09-11 - Comment
EU General Court's Ruling on the OPAL Pipeline
On 10 September, the EU General Court rendered a decision that restores the legal situation of the OPAL gas pipeline—an onshore extension of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline—to that of 2009. This means that Gazprom is forced to reduce the utilisation of the pipeline by more than 12 bcm per year. To maintain its exports to the EU, Gazprom will have to increase gas transit via Ukraine. However, bypassing this country has been Russia’s strategic objective for years. Although the ruling is based on the treaty principle of energy solidarity, Russia will be describing it as a political decision, citing, for example, that it was issued shortly before winter’s growing demand and the expiration of the company’s gas transit contract with Ukraine, valid until the end of 2019.
2019-09-09 - Comment
Tensions Increase in Brazil-EU Relations
The EU’s criticism of the Brazilian government’s climate policy and handling of the extensive Amazon fires has resulted in increased tensions in mutual relations. For the Union, for which combating climate change is a priority, Brazil’s ineffectiveness in protecting the Amazon may give it a reason to block the adoption of an agreement with Mercosur.
2019-09-06 - Bulletin
New Coalition Resolves Political Crisis in Italy
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned on 20 August. The government of the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League collapsed because of Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s preference for early elections. His party, the League, leads in polls; however, the fears of a League government, seen as potentially deepening the conflict with the European Commission (EC) and weakening the economy, spurred the creation of a coalition between M5S and the Democratic Party (PD). The new government will stop confronting EU institutions and openly criticizing the EU sanctions against Russia.