Topic:

EU

“The Occupation” – How the EU Discriminates Against Israel

| August 21, 2019

Why does the EU single out Israeli “occupation” over other “occupations”? Because anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian positions are one of the few rallying cries that unite Europe.

DEBATE: Is an EU Army Possible?

| May 20, 2019

DEBATE: In recent public comments, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron talked about the possibility of a collective European army. This subject had been raised within Europe even prior to the presidency of Donald Trump, who is skeptical about NATO. In 2015, President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker discussed his intention to work toward this end. Despite the establishment of so-called permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), obstacles and difficulties remain. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Is an EU army possible?

The Eastern Mediterranean and the EU Parliamentary Election

| May 3, 2019

The states of the Eastern Mediterranean should pay close attention to the upcoming European parliamentary election, as its outcome will influence geostrategic and economic developments in that region. Israel, Cyprus, and Greece will have a major role to play in strengthening Western relationships in the region for decades to come.

The Rise of Populism in Europe Ahead of the EU Elections

and | January 30, 2019

European politics is showing a distinct trend towards populism, as evidenced inter alia by the electoral results in Italy, Sweden, and Austria. The main reason for this shift is widespread insecurity over the outcomes of the migrant crisis. The rise of populism is likely to be a major factor in the 2019 EU parliamentary elections.

The EU’s Utopian Approach to Iran

Europe’s attitude towards Iran, particularly with respect to the 2015 nuclear deal (the JCPOA) and related ballistic issues, is hard to understand. A collective desire to defy the US, which pulled out of the JCPOA in May and re-imposed tough sanctions on Tehran, can’t be the cardinal reason. It is more likely that the EU states are succumbing to a sophisticated blackmail campaign directed by the Iranian regime aimed at preserving the JCPOA and deepening existing cleavages among the transatlantic partners.

Light at the End of the Tunnel for Greece?

| September 16, 2018

Maladministration, overspending, cronyism, and statism over a period of decades made Greece the weakest link in the Eurozone when the world financial crisis hit Europe in 2009. To avoid a chaotic default and an exit from the European system, Greece had no alternative but to accept bailouts offered by the EU and the IMF in exchange for austerity measures and structural reforms. The third and final one expired on August 20, 2018. The day after finds Greece with relatively stable public finances but unable to immediately regain market confidence. Above all, the tendency of politicians to put their political interest above the national one remains even as the society is suffocating from social problems and is pessimistic about the future.

Greece Faces the End of the Bailout Era and a Dispute with Russia

| September 16, 2018

Greece is now facing the end of the eight-year bailout and an unexpected diplomatic crisis with Russia. While PM Alexis Tsipras is trying to take credit for the former and manage the latter, his government may pay a price in voter discontent.

Trump, Europe, and Iran

| May 31, 2018

US President Donald Trump’s staunch opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran (the JCPOA) has sparked a serious transatlantic rift. The EU is, however, attempting to balance its appetite for business with an examination of security risks. In so doing, it is slowly awakening to Israeli and Sunni Arab sensitivities regarding Tehran’s hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East.

DEBATE: Can Mahmoud Abbas Achieve Anything in Europe?

| March 22, 2018

Following the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by US President Donald Trump, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is counting on the EU to support his cause. In his January 2018 meeting with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, he was assured “of the firm commitment of the EU to the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as shared capital of the two states – the State of Israel and the State of Palestine”. However, it remains questionable whether the EU has the necessary gravitas to play a catalytic political role in the peace process. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Can Mahmoud Abbas achieve anything in Europe?

Can Europe Restrain China’s Influence?

| October 30, 2017

In recent months, Germany and France have expressed skepticism and raised security concerns about the implications of Chinese investments in Europe. The 2017 State of the Union speech by the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, reflected those voices, marking the beginning of a new period in Sino-European relations. The EU seems determined to be more careful about welcoming future Chinese business interests and is devising a screening model. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the new European strategy will be efficient, as the EU  needs foreign cash and investment.