Europe

EU's Litmus Test in the Western Balkans

Moscow's meddling in the western Balkans has increased, while the West's attention has focused on Russian activities in Ukraine and in the Baltic region. With the exception of Serbia, all the other countries in the western Balkans have indicated their desire to be part of the NATO alliance (Albania and Croatia are NATO members). Each of them have EU integration as their main foreign policy goal. In an attempt to weaken the region's ties to the West, Russia´s main objective is the creating of a "non- alignment zone". View
 

It's the State of our Democracy, Stupid! Why Transatlantic Relations are in Trouble

The transatlantic relationship is in trouble mainly because both the US and Germany struggle with domestic political problems. This is evident particularly in light of the current populism – more and more people do not feel represented any longer by political elites. In order to revitalize transatlantic relations, domestic homework needs to be done first. This is a summarized and updated version of a Key Note at the Harvard Council Forum, Soho-Haus Berlin, October 22, 2016. View
 

The Reverse Trump Effect: EU Populist Movements After Trump Took Office

Germany's state elections in Saarland and the Dutch general elections show that the fear of right-wing populism was, if not unfounded, certainly slightly unreasonable. Even more so, polls suggest that after gaining momentum through the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, Europe's right-wing populist movements have actually lost their attraction after he took office. View
 

Smaller and Larger Nations: Concert of Big Powers or Fair Balance of Interests?

The destiny of the people living in Europe has been shaped for many years by the interests of the great powers. For centuries, the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg empires, as well as France and Britain, have dominated the European continent. From the nineteenth century until the end of World War II, first Prussia and then Germany—directly and indirectly—joined this competition for influence. Indeed, during the Yalta Conference, the great powers of the time shaped the European political landscape for decades to come. View
 

The Trump-Merkel Summit: After the Storm, a Vital Trans-Atlantic Agenda

Dr. Ariel Cohen, Atlantic Council US, consider the massive snowstorm that postponed Angela Merkel’s visit to the White House as symbolic of the chill in the US-German relations: President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Frau Merkel’s open borders policy, which has brought over 1,250,000 refugees to Germany since 2015. Merkel has responded with a strong defense of freedom of movement, refugee rights, and freedom of the press. View
 

Alternative Pipeline Facts

According to the Commission the EU remains well on track to reach its 2020 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewables. It is, however, high time the European Commission lives up to its responsibility as guardian of the Treaties and provides for an encompassing assessment of the implications of Nord Stream 2 in legal, environmental and economic terms. Nord Stream 2 is 100% controlled by Gazprom View
 

The Lesson From Lithuania

Balance of power is a fairly straightforward dynamic within the Russia-NATO relationship but "balance of passion" seems to be an overlooked, but very crucial ingredient within long term confrontations. Lithuania is demonstrating to its NATO allies how to be more cohesive and unified than Russia both in message and purpose. Its citizens are preparing to confront invaders armed only with small arms, knowledge of their surroundings and a huge dose of patriotism. View
 

NATO Should be Worried About the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has long been at the forefront of the NATO alliance as one of the strongest military powers with a highly capable military, second only to that of the United States. This will slowly come to an end over the next decade with the erosion in the military capability of UK armed forces, the lack of a grand strategy emanating from London and the diminishing importance in the special relationship between London and Washington. NATO should be prepared for a less capable full spectrum UK military. View
 

Germany Needs to Address Fake News and Digital Illiteracy

If hacking, espionage, cyber-attack and identity theft are to be considered existential threats in the cyber world, then ‘fake news or digital lying' can be considered emerging threats. As the Bundestag approaches the 2017 election, protection from fake news and increasing digital literacy are the needs of the hour, especially as first generation internet users have rebooted to ‘App-generation internet user'. Public-private partnerships are key for balancing security, privacy and free enterprise. View
 

Remedies Against Populism

Democracy is not “the rule of the people” and not even “the rule of majority”. It is a compromise between four principles: the will of the people, the wisdom of the elected, respect for rules and social commitment. The second principle is under attack by populists and needs protection as democracy should be strictly representative. How can we gain a balance between the necessary distrust and the equally necessary confidence towards politicians? View