During the past seven decades, transatlantic ties have been tested repeatedly. They have included economic conflicts, competition for markets, dealing with armed conflicts and cultural clashes. Europe and the US share both the challenges and the consequences for either success or failure which makes the transatlantic relationship more important now than it has been since the end of the Cold War.
The tectonic plaques of the eurozone are again on the move. The rise of populism and the extreme-right is not the beginning but rather the result of a long process of political flaws and errors. The Italian national budget proposal oposes the Italian government and the European Commission. But it is not about pro or contra the EU but about delayed and short-term reforms in the fiscal governance.
The EU has lost a great deal of its standing and influence in the Western Balkans. Domestic political elites consolidate their power through ever-tightening control over civic space. Why do millions of euros in governance and civil society assistance have failed to support robust democracies?
The rapid development of Indonesia’s palm oil industry, particularly over the last four decades, which to some extent has been ‘development at all costs’, has generated significant revenues but has caused simultaneously massive environmental degradation. Human rights violations in palm oil plantations are also widely documented.
The need to balance humanitarian responses and legal obligations while ‘ending’ irregular migratory journeys has overwhelmed the EU for the past three years. A patchwork of policies emerged as a response to the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015. Who undertakes the responsibility for search and rescue, disembarkation and asylum processing?
The Sargentini report showed divisions between Eastern and Western European countries as well as between left and right wing tendencies. It also evidenced that illiberal policies have to face political consequences at European level. Other governments such as Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, though, make less a public display of their illiberal steps.
Two major issues in the Syrien conflict are the strenght of the IS and migration flows. The country needs stability and the EU should contribute to the resolution of the conflict. However, will peace talks and humanitarian assistance be able to bring stability?
Theresa May lacks support, the Conservative UK government is divided such as the British Left and positions are most ambiguous! Difficult premises to negotiate a country's future: ‘If Corbyn and his allies are serious about social and economic justice then the first thing they can do is to prevent Brexit.’