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In late November, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a number of rather controversial statements. On November 26, Germany, together with France, issued a brief “road map” for EU reform. Within the next two ears this plan is to be discussed by the “Conference on the Future of Europe,” tasked with working out proposals and drawing up a strategy for “structural reforms” aimed at making the European Union “more united and sovereign.”
At the end of September, the EU and Japan signed an agreement designed to add a new dimension to these two global economic powerhouses’ joint effort in the field of transport, energy and digital technology. This expansion of ties between the Old World and Japan is seen by Western media as a counterweight to, and even a pushback against China’s One Belt, One Road mega-project. What are the prospects of various projects dealing with the ongoing competition between transport corridors in Eurasia?
  • Category: Experts |
  • Date: 30-11-2019, 10:36
  • Views: 286
According to European media reports, many EU residents continue to perceive the governing bodies of the 28-member bloc, including of the European Commission (EC), as being unable to "leave behind the image of a detached bureaucratic system." This negative perception was further boosted by the recent elections, which left the European Parliament bitterly "split." The formation of the new makeup of the European Commission was equally tortuous, in large part "due to the mismatch of political views." The confusion reached its climax after France, Romania and Hungary had their candidates for European commissioners rejected, formally on the grounds of “a conflict of interest and misuse of public funds."
  • Category: Analytics |
  • Date: 28-10-2019, 11:10
  • Views: 386
At the end of September, the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), led by the former Chancellor – the 33-year-old "political prodigy" Sebastian Kurz - once again came out on top in snap parliamentary elections. According to a preliminary count, to be finalized on October 16, the ÖVP secured 37.5 percent of the vote, and will take 71 of the 183 seats in the National Council (lower house of parliament). Political commentators still predict serious problems Sebastian Kurz may face in putting together his new Cabinet.
The news about the so-called “Steinmeier formula” having been signed by all members of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) came as a big surprise. All the more so, since the September 4 agreement by the political advisers to the presidents of the Normandy Four countries to endorse the proposal made a big buzz in the world media, and set off a storm of angry outrage in the Ukrainian press with a number of political and public figures, as well as representatives of nationalists all but calling President Vladimir Zelensky a traitor.
The decision of the Indian authorities to abolish the special status of Jammu and Kashmir has caused a predictably angry reaction from Pakistan. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has signalled his country's readiness to use “all means available” to counteract such a “unilateral” move on the part of New Delhi. Also, a statemetn condemning the decision has been made by Beijing. According to Pakistani media, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, while in Islamabad, “stated that China would oppose any unilateral actions by India in Kashmir which could worsen the situation in the region.”
"One of Germany’s most acclaimed experts" in economic risk analysis, Marcus Krall, "predicts the collapse of the German banking system and the eurozone by the end of 2020." Krall describes the euro as an “erroneous structure,” whose existence is maintained for political reasons. According to Krall, the euro has a negative impact on Germany’s competitiveness and “weakens the country's banking system”. Most eurozone countries would "have gone bankrupt" long ago if the European Central Bank did not support them by lowering interest rates.
  • Category: Analytics |
  • Date: 15-09-2019, 10:23
  • Views: 373
In the run-up to the G7 Summit in Biarritz, French media reports focused on the global political and diplomatic plans of President Emmanuel Macron. Journalists say that for President Macron the G7 summit presented a unique opportunity “to return France its historical role of a “ mediator ”in global conflicts and to contribute to outlining a new geopolitical agenda". How realistic are such ambitions? France acquired the tradition of demonstrating its sovereign and special international status in the times of Charles de Gaulle. Paris also succeeded in securing effective mediation in various conflicts under Francois Mitterrand and Nicolas Sarkozy.
  • Category: Analytics |
  • Date: 4-09-2019, 19:11
  • Views: 290
In the wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in the recent parliamentary elections, observers are now discussing the prospects of a new phase in the role their country is playing in the world. Indian experts believe that "the world is moving in the direction of multi-polarity, albeit asymmetric, which in the long haul can turn into a US-Chinese bipolar system."
On July 31, the US Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee cut interest rates – the first such move in 11 years. During the past 18 months, President Donald Trump has regularly criticized the country’s central bank for refusing to lower interest rates, calling the Fed’s policy the main reason for America’s current economic slowdown. Trump’s critics, in their turn, accuse him of trying to manipulate the Federal Reserve’s policy in a bid to secure the best conditions for his re-election 2020 re-election campaign. How can the state of the country’s economy and finances influence the choice the American voters will make next year?