Institutions

North Korea money laundering in Russia puts European banks at risk

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Elvira Nabiullina, the governor of the Russian Central Bank, has reportedly been reforming the bank sector and cracking down on financial institutions engaged in illicit behaviour. “Nabiullina's has made some impressive achievements in cleaning up...

Say “No” to a technocratic government

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The EU’s economy has essentially been flat over the past year. The slump in manufacturing is deepening. Companies are cutting work hours and issuing profit warnings. The dominant mood in the European and international...

Italian PM Conte resigns

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After weeks of coalition turmoil between the increasingly popular Lega party and their governing partners, the 5-Star Movement, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation on Tuesday afternoon saying, 'this government ends here". Conte's...

What can be done to save Hong Kong?

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It is becoming increasingly clear, as the Hong Kong protests continue, that the Chinese Communist Party will be forced to make a choice - either a bloody, military crackdown (the more likely of the...

When Leninists overreach

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Ongoing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must...

Bosnia’s authorities draw cautious praise from Brussels after agreeing to form Council of Ministers

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Nearly 10 months after Bosnia and Herzegovina's last round of elections, the leaders of country's three main ethnoreligious groups finally reached an agreement to form a central government on 4 August, news that the...

Ukraine’s new president must stop the cover-up of journalist’s murder

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Three years after the murder of Belarusian-Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sheremet, time is up for Ukrainian law enforcers. It’s hard to imagine a more utter failure: not a single person has been charged for the killing...

Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation and a threat to Europe

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If Europe is serious about combating antisemitism, the Lebanon-based global terror group Hezbollah must be stopped in its tracks. As we marked on 18 July the seventh anniversary of the suicide bombing in Burgas,...

Ursula von der Leyen is the new president-elect of the European Commission

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Ursula von der Leyen, Germany's current defence minister, has won the backing of enough Members of the European Parliament to be named the president-elect of the European Commission. The 60-year old, Brussels-born German, a close ally...

Italy calls for Eurobonds without debt mutualisation

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The European Affairs Minister of the Italian Government, Paolo Savona, is calling for a European bond amid renewed economic volatility. In an open letter to the Financial Times on Wednesday, Savona calls for “an asset”...

Commission prepares for von der Leyen transition

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A day after the European Council's decision on the EU's top jobs, the European Commission began to take the necessary steps for the transition to its next president, Ursula von der Leyen. "Previous experience has shown that it is necessary...

Tusk blasted at Strasbourg on EU top jobs decisions

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The outgoing president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, head of the EU-28 table that proposed the German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen for Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission president job, joined MEPs during their...

Europe can help restore Ukraine’s trust after PACE decision

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The recent decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – to return the Russian delegation to full parliamentary assembly activities sparked an extremely negative reaction from the majority of...

Italian Socialist David Sassoli is the new President of the European Parliament

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Italian Socialist David Sassoli was elected Wednesday to the presidency of the European Parliament for a term of two and a half years. His election, after two rounds of voting, could facilitate the approval...

Sassoli is 7 MEPs short of a majority; will face Zahradil in second EU...

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The newly-elected European Parliament is set to decide on who will lead the Chamber during the next legislature. During the first round, David-Maria Sassoli, an Italian member of the Socialists & Democrats bloc at the...

Michel ready for the challenge as president-elect of the EU Council

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With days of contentious negotiations behind them, the EU's leaders have settled on Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel to be the new president of the European Council. "This is a big responsibility,” said Michel who added that he...

Weber drops EU top job bid as Europe’s leaders abandon Spitzenkandidat process

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The group president of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber, has ended his bid to become president of the European Commission after the leaders of the EU moved to abandon the lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidaten, system. During the EPP Group...

Europe can help Georgia’s protestors preserve the country’s hard-won freedom

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There are not a lot of things in this world that we agree on. Left or Right. For or against immigration. Netflix or the big screen. Still, there are a few that we do...

Making peace with violence and a disinformation machine

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On 24 June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) reinstalled Russia’s voting rights in the institution charged with upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The rights were suspended...

What Putin’s new citizenship initiative would mean for Ukraine

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Since the recent presidential elections ended in a landslide victory for Volodymyr Zelensky some signs of a possible political and economic revival have been noticed in Ukraine. The very electoral victory of the Zelensky...

EU considers freezing Customs Union negotiations with Turkey

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Amid growing concerns about the aggressive offshore drilling activities that are currently being carried out near the Cypriot coast by the Turkish government, the European Union is mulling putting Ankara's accession chapters under discussion ahead of the European Council...

It’s high time for Plahotniuc to leave the scene

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From time to time the small, poor country of Moldova gets into the news headlines. So it was in 2009 when the parliament and presidency were burned in, up to now, unclear circumstances. Then...

Zelensky must choose battles wisely to avoid a political Mexican Standoff

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One evening in the hot summer of 2015 anyone who was someone in the political circles in Kyiv gathered at the residence of Simon Smith, the UK ambassador, as he was moving to his...

Enlargement, going back to square one

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North Macedonia and Albania are inexorably tied by the delay in their long course to join Europe, yet for different reasons. Albania has the perpetual problem of narcotics production that cannot be overcome unless Tirana...

In defence of the Spitzenkandidaten process

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Emmanuel Macron is right when he does not trust that Manfred Werber would be a good President of the European Commission. I would certainly not vote for Weber: during his campaign he remained grey,...

Zelensky restores Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship

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Just over a week after being inaugurated as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky issued an executive order on Tuesday that overturned a July 2017 decree by his successor, Petro Poroshenko, that illegally stripped Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili...

Taliban’s treatment of prisoners worries UN mission in Afghanistan

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After face-to-face interviews with 13 detainees who were freed from a Taliban detention facility by Afghan special forces troops on 25 April, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan expressed deep concerns that the Islamist insurgent...

NATO and Israel are right to deepen ties

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Israel is fast becoming NATO’s premier partner country. As the alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue program turns 25 this year, enlisting Jerusalem’s help to tackle today’s security challenges is still a no-brainer: NATO can tap into over seven decades...

The challenge of being an ambassador to Ukraine

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Among the biggest challenges for foreign diplomats is an election year in Ukraine. The unpredictability that never wanes, even after the results are in, offers very fertile ground for developing professional skills of the...

This anniversary should remind NATO of its bonds forged in battle

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This is a year of birthdays for anyone involved in Europe’s defence. In early April, NATO celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding document, the Washington Treaty, which set up the most successful security...

German liberal party’s peace proposal for Ukraine looks for new path forward

According to the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI), which measures the relative position of nations' peacefulness, Ukraine is the lowest-ranked European country. The GPI ranks it as 152 out of 163 independent states, followed by Syria,...

All the world is a stage and Zelensky has yet to play his biggest...

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Actors have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts. Volodymyr Zelensky, a professional actor, was propelled into the Ukrainian presidency winning 73% of the votes. During his campaign, he...

Zelensky victory ushers in new era for Ukraine’s post-Soviet politics

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The political trajectory of nearly all of the nations that gained independence from Moscow in late 1991 has been nothing short of a catastrophe in many respects. Only a few rays of light can...

In Ukraine, some chickens may come home to roost

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For five years Petro Poroshenko, the incumbent Ukrainian president projected the self-confidence of a statesman on a mission. After mobilising the military to resist Russia's approaches on the eastern and southern borders, he has...

NATO’s duty at 70

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NATO marks two anniversaries this year: the 70th anniversary of its founding, and the 20th anniversary of its first expansion behind the former Iron Curtain. Looking back, NATO’s status as the most successful peace...

EU watchdog fines Fitch €5.13m over conflict of interest

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The EU’s market watchdog the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has fined ratings agency Fitch a record €5.13 million for violating the bloc's rules on avoiding conflicts of interest. ESMA found that between June 2013 and...

House of Commons rejects May’s deal for third time

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A third vote on the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement was overwhelmingly rejected by the British House of Commons on 29 March by a 344 to 286 vote, leaving the open the question of general election...