2019-07-19 - Bulletin
U.S.-Iran Tensions: Implications for the EU and NATO States
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are rising due to the American government’s “maximum pressure” policy and actions by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). After Iran’s ultimatum of May 2019 to the other signatories of the nuclear agreement went unheeded, the country suspended compliance with some of the deal’s provisions. The steps it took are not likely significant enough to result in U.S. preventive strikes on Iran, but there is the growing likelihood that both sides will continue to act just below the threshold of open conventional conflict. The frequency of tension-increasing events may continue to rise to the end of President Trump’s current term, implying a number of challenges to the diplomacy of the EU and NATO states.
2019-07-18 - Bulletin
"Reasonable Europe": Czech Presidency of the Visegrad Group
On 1 July, the Czech Republic took over the rotating annual chairmanship of the Visegrad Group (V4). Like the Slovaks before them, the Czechs will emphasize EU themes in Visegrad cooperation. The Czech position, however, is more restrained towards European integration. The dispute between the European Commission (EC) and the government of Andrej Babiš regarding the spending of EU funds may have a negative impact on the position of the V4 states in the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The Czech presidency is a good opportunity for Poland to develop regional cooperation in the field of security or transport.
2019-07-17 - Bulletin
Ukraine's Political Parties Ahead of Parliamentary Elections
Volodymyr Zelensky’s victory in April’s presidential election has become a catalyst for rapid change in Ukrainian politics. After the upcoming parliamentary elections, the political scene will be dominated by Servant of the People, the newly created party composed of Zelensky associates, and it may even win an absolute majority in the Verkhovna Rada. Meanwhile, most of the parties that formed the ruling coalition after Euromaidan will find themselves outside parliament.
2019-07-16 - Bulletin
The Centre-Right Returns to Power in Greece
Greece’s centre-right New Democracy (ND) party took power after the parliamentary elections on 7 July. It advocates a change of economic strategy based on cutting taxes and eliminating red tape. The main challenge will be to persuade the European Commission (EC) and eurozone members that its approach will not endanger the Greek public debt-reduction programme. The new government will also need the EU’s support in the country’s conflict with Turkey over the extraction of hydrocarbons off the coast of Cyprus.
2019-07-15 - Bulletin
Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union
From 1 July, Finland holds the six-month presidency of the Council of the EU. The new centre-left government has made sustainable development the leitmotif of its activities, protecting the EU’s common values and climate, strengthening the EU Single Market, and closer cooperation in security policy. The presidency will emphasize the rule of law in the Council’s work. The remaining elements of the programme are part of the new EU strategic agenda for 2019–2024 and set the direction for its development.