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Diverging Voices, Converging Policies: The Visegrad States’ Reactions to the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

The annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the launch of a hybrid war against Ukraine was Russia’s answer to the revolution triggered by Euromaidan. The conflict continues to pose fundamental challenges for the European Union, and raises the question of whether the EU will maintain its commitment to the political and economic consolidation of those of its Eastern neighbours which aim to make sovereign choices based on the rule of law and democracy.

By Jacek Kucharczyk, Grigorij Mesežnikov

It’s time for the EU to get serious about Poland

It was once quipped to me that you can tell a lot about the state of a country by the effusiveness of its name ─ compare the ‘Federal Republic of Germany’ with the dictatorial ‘German Democratic Republic’, or the ‘Republic of Korea’ with the autocratic, dynastical ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’.

By James Bartholomeusz

War on Terror 2.0?

Following the attacks in Paris, a global coalition in the fight against ISIL emerged. History seems to repeat itself. What have we learned from the events since 2001, and how did it come to the current escalation?

By Hans Joachim Giessmann

Portugal‘s ‘Unwanted Youth‘

When the euro crisis was at its peak, European media largely ignored the situation in Portugal, even though the small Iberian country with a population of just over 10 million suffered massive economic and fiscal difficulties.

By Rica Heinke

A New Era in Spanish Politics: Time to Negotiate

The question that has to be asked after the election is if Spanish politicians will make up their minds to sign a government agreement or if there will be a snap election. The next days will be crucial for Spain and hopefully we will have the answer very soon.

By Ilke Toygür, Marta Paradés

Turkey’s Foreign Policy after the November Election

Some Turkish analysts and international observers believe the AKP has little reason to change its policies after obtaining a strong mandate from the public. Erdoğan will be uncompromising on Syria and opposed to el-Sissi. 

By Alain Servantie

How to Defeat Terrorism and Defend Freedom ─ Europe after the Paris Attacks

We are living in extremely turbulent times. Never in the past decades has the old adagio ‘the EU is now at the crossroads’ been so true. Nothing seems certain any longer, everything can happen: a suspension of Schengen, the fall of the euro, a major war conducted by a EU country, a terrorist lockdown at the heart of Europe. We are all understandably confused.

By Camino Mortera-Martinez

After the Paris Attacks: The Battle for Europe’s Soul

Days after the Paris attacks, Europe is only slowly awakening from a state of shock. The events served as a painful reminder of our vulnerabilities from within and the daunting threats we face from abroad. A reflection on seven challenges looming on Europe’s horizon. 

By Charlotte Beck

The AKP’s Big Comeback- Turkey Turns Back Time

The AKP has gained the absolute majority in Turkey’s recent snap elections, allowing it to continue to rule without a coalition partner. Deep rifts within Turkish society, however, remain. A take on the elections by Kristian Brakel, hbs-office director in Istanbul.

By Kristian Brakel

Turkey’s Newest Party: Understanding the HDP

For the last 30 years, the Kurdish movement has given birth to a myriad of organisations. Its newest offspring is the Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP – Halkların Demokratik Partisi) that received more than six million (13.12%) votes (80 seats) in the last election. With new elections looming in November 2015 and new clashes flaring up between the Turkish government and the PKK, the HDP’s future hangs in the balance as well.

Victory of national conservatives in Poland

Poland has elected its new government. Not a single left-wing party has made it through the elections. Director Irene Hahn-Fuhr comments the outcome of the Polish parliamentary elections from a European perspective.

By Irene Hahn-Fuhr

Talking with Assad: an End in Itself? A Response to Phil Gordon

Triggered by Russia’s push to turn the military tide in Syria in Assad’s favor, Washington D.C. is currently seeing renewed debates about the need to revise the administration’s Syria policy. Prominent voices, such as former White House Coordinator for the Middle East Phil Gordon, have advocated for striving for a negotiated interim solution in Syria that defers the question of Assad’s fate. Bente Scheller, hbs office director in Lebanon, addresses some of the underlying myths and arguments shaping the current debate.  

By Bente Scheller

The Dynamics of the Queer Movement in Turkey

The Gezi protests have given new, sustainable boost the LGBTIQ movement in Turkey. The history of the movement, however, the begins at the latest in the beginning of the last century.

By Zülfukar Çetin

Greek Elections 2015: Quo Vadis, Alexis?

Will the Greek crisis return? Will Tsipras be able to stave it off? The road to national dignity is paved with good intentions and even better proclamations.

By Eleni Panagiotarea