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Looking beyond Sibiu
Looking beyond SibiuEU cooperation can move forward – flexibly
by Julian Rappold, Daniela Schwarzer
DGAPstandpunkt 14, May 7, 2019, 3 pp.
The European Council meeting in Sibiu on 9 May was intended to boost the European Union two weeks ahead of the European parliamentary election, and in the wake of the original March Brexit date. However, divided amongst themselves, the EU leaders are shying away from notable commitments even though citizens’ support for the EU has actually increased. The likely limited results of Sibiu reflect the current state of the EU, but do not necessarily determine its future after the election.
Rupture in Kiev
Rupture in KievUkrainians Vote for Change to Consolidate Their Democracy
by Cristina Gherasimov
DGAPviewpoint 11, April 24, 2019, 4 pp.
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.
Armenia Needs a New Opposition
Armenia Needs a New OppositionHow the EU Can Help Institute Checks and Balances
by Cristina Gherasimov
DGAPstandpunkt 6, March 6, 2019, 3 pp.
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.
A Chance to Calm the Trade War
A Chance to Calm the Trade WarG20 Summit in Argentina
by Claudia Schmucker
DGAPviewpoint 21, 2018, 2 pp. First published in the Global Policy Journal (10/31/2018).
Ten years after the G20 held its first ever summit, the informal group is meeting for the first time in South America. But can the closely watched gathering calm tensions amid the escalating trade war?
A Shift in German-Russian Relations
A Shift in German-Russian RelationsThe Return of Pragmatism
by Stefan Meister
First published as DGAPstandpunkt 19, 2018 (in German)
The meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in August provided an opportunity to normalize German-Russian relations on an operational level. Issues such as Nord Stream 2, the war in Syria, the Iran nuclear agreement, and US sanctions policy under the Trump administration demand an interest-driven policy approach on both sides. The return to pragmatism means a “de-Ukrainization” in key areas of common interests.
America Is More Than Trump
America Is More Than TrumpEurope Should Defend the Iran Deal without Burning Bridges to the US
by Thomas Gomart, Robin Niblett, Daniela Schwarzer, Nathalie Tocci
DGAPviewpoint 13, 2018, 2 pp.
In a bid to salvage the Iran Nuclear Deal, European leaders this week moved to protect European companies from the possible fallout of US sanctions against Iran. The steps taken to ensure commerce with Iran – among them the activation of the 1996 blocking statute – risk further alienation from the US. However, the EU will only be able to negotiate effectively with the US over Iran if it develops its own strategy. Fighting for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a place to start.
Orbán Reloaded
Orbán ReloadedWhat the EU and Germany Should Do Now
by Milan Nič, Péter Krekó
DGAPviewpoint 10, 2018, 4 pp.
Viktor Orbán has been re-elected as Hungarian prime minister in polls beset by fear-mongering, an unfair voting system and a divided opposition. After decrying the EU as part of a Western conspiracy against Hungary, he will now both use and abuse Brussels: He hopes to build a new Eurosceptic alliance in Brussels to increase his limited clout in the bloc and his power and maneuver space at home. The EU should step up its responses to prevent Hungary from becoming an antidemocratic model in Europe.
Stably Instable
Stably InstablePutin’s Reelection Will Not Stop Social Change in Russia
by Stefan Meister
DGAPviewpoint 9, 2018, 3 pp.
Vladimir Putin has governed Russia for eighteen years. An entire generation of young Russians has only ever experienced him at the helm of their country. Yet, it is just this generation that Putin is losing touch with as he has been seeking his power base mostly in the conservative, small-town and rural majority. Putin’s reelection will not shield his government from the social change that Russia is facing – and it is this change that the West should set its hopes on.
All That Xi Wants
All That Xi WantsChina’s Communist Party is Trying to Reform the Country from the Top Down
by Bernt Berger
DGAPviewpoint 5, 2018, 3 pp.
The Chinese Communist Party leadership's move to drop the constitutional limits restricting President Xi Jinping’s tenure have been interpreted as a long-term power grab by many international media. This view, however, misses a crucial point: The Central Committee is embarking on reforms to consolidate the government – from the top down. Not yet on board in this process are key stakeholders.
The World is at the Brink - and the West doesn’t know what to do about it
The World is at the Brink - and the West doesn’t know what to do about itObservations from the 2018 Munich Security Conference
by Daniela Schwarzer, Henning Hoff
DGAPviewpoint 3 (February 2018), 4 p.
The risk of interstate conflict has never been this high since 1989. A tense international security situation set the tone for this year’s Munich Security Conference (MSC). What’s worse: Neither Europe nor the United States seem to have any plan to address the threats facing them both. There isn’t much time left: Germans and Europeans must become more strategically capable, active and innovative to succeed in the new systemic conflict and help reduce instability.