Point of No Return
Point of No Return

Viktor Orbán’s Divorce from the EPP

by Milan Nič, András Rácz | Elections

A few weeks after the European People’s Party (EPP) suspended the membership of Hungary’s ruling populist party, Fidesz, it looks unlikely that their relationship could be repaired. Seeing his leverage decreasing, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been paving the way for divorce. The EPP leaders seem to have made up their minds as well. A re-arrangement of the European party system is already taking shape ahead of the upcoming European elections (23–26 May 2019), not only afterwards.

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Viewpoint

Rupture in Kiev
Rupture in Kiev

Ukrainians Vote for Change to Consolidate Their Democracy

by Cristina Gherasimov | Ukraine, Elections

The landslide victory of Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Ukraine’s presidential runoff is a breakthrough in the post-Soviet space that rarely offers chances to political novices. The vote highlights Ukrainians’ discontent with the political establishment. It shows a new set of factors at work in shaping the polls, and civil society’s readiness to accept risk to consolidate their fragile democracy. For the European Union and Germany, the change offers an opportunity for new momentum in relations with Ukraine.

Analysis

Technology and Strategy
Technology and Strategy

Hypersonic Weapon Systems Will Decrease Global Strategic Stability – and Current Control Regimes Won’t Do

by Torben Schütz | Security

Hypersonic weapon systems will alter the global strategic landscape. They will compress reaction times, increase ambiguity of military actions, and may lead to the weaponization of space. With no effective defenses against such systems in sight, all actors will face less stability – regardless of whether or not they field hypersonic weapon systems themselves. Germany and Europe should explore options to mitigate these risks through arms control, export controls, and confidence-building measures.

Analysis

Security First, Technology Second
Security First, Technology Second

Putin Tightens his Grip on Russia’s Internet – with China’s Help

by Andrei Soldatov | Russia, Cyber Security

Since his return to the Russian presidency in 2012, Vladimir Putin has sought to bring the Russian internet under his control. Digital businesses in Russia pay dearly for his expensive system of surveillance and censorship. This slows down the pace of innovation and puts the modernization of the economy at risk. Even then, technical control over the internet remains shaky. The Kremlin is seeking Chinese assistance to enforce restrictions and be able to cut Russia off from the global internet.

Viewpoint

Armenia Needs a New Opposition
Armenia Needs a New Opposition

How the EU Can Help Institute Checks and Balances

by Cristina Gherasimov | Armenia

In Armenia, last year’s Velvet Revolution ended a long period of autocratic rule. On assuming the office of prime minister, former opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan acquired a constitutional authority enhanced by wide popular support and the lack of effective opposition in parliament. While this helps him implement reforms, the absence of strong checks may prove harmful in the long run. The EU should help rebuild Armenia’s checks and balances to ensure the country’s sustainable transformation.

Analysis

Deterrence and Arms Control
Deterrence and Arms Control

Europe’s Security without the INF Treaty: Political and Strategic Options for Germany and NATO

by Christian Mölling, Heinrich Brauß | Arms Control and WMD

In response to Russia’s breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the US will withdraw from the accord. As a result, Europe loses a central pillar of its security. Russia’s threat potential rises due to its intermediate-range missiles. They could split NATO into two zones of security and lead Moscow to assume it holds escalation dominance. Germany and NATO should review their defense policy options. NATO’s unity and credible deterrence, complemented by dialogue with Moscow, are key.