Nicaragua’s tortured path
In Nicaragua, the Ortega administration is facing significant economic and political challenges. Rising unemployment and free-falling foreign investment could lead to a resurgence of widespread protests, especially during the run-up to the 2021 elections. As in 2018, President Ortega could rely on armed paramilitary organizations and youth gangs in an ...
Central Europe and EU cohesion
French President Emmanuel Macron’s early February visit to Poland was an effort to offset post-Brexit centrifugal forces pulling at the European Union. It was unfortunate then, that most of his remarks consisted of lecturing Central European states about the benefits of harmonization. Instead, Mr. Macron and other EU leaders should ...
A trillion euros on the wrong policy
There are several cost-efficient and market-friendly policies that could be implemented by both Germany and the European Union to reduce the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. However, these solutions are being cast aside while the European Commission attempts to create a planned economy through “green” measures.
Iran’s aspirations for hegemony and its terrorist activities
The U.S.’s killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani is a huge blow to the Iranian regime, and Washington had valid reasons for making the move. Though many fear the repercussions, the U.S. could not shy away from self-defense for such reasons. And for now, it looks likely that Iran will ...
Turkey and Russia in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea
Turkey and Russia, with their history of centuries-long rivalry in the Black Sea and the Middle East, are both pursuing deft regional policies that reflect a complex web of aligned and conflicting strategic interests
Goodbye freedom, democracy and the rule of law
By declaring a state of climate emergency, the European Parliament opened the door to excessive measures that could ultimately violate individual freedoms and erode democracy in the European Union. The climate debate has become a political means to implement a populist agenda.
How to destroy the European Union
Once, the “European idea” helped unite a war-weary continent. Now, overbearing central authorities, suffocating bureaucracies and reams of red tape are limiting the freedom that idea once promised. Europeans are losing trust in their institutions, and worry for their own security. At the heart of the problem is weak leadership.
The true strengths of sub-Saharan Africa
Botched decolonization in the 20th century has saddled sub-Saharan Africa with the nation-state concept and social designs that are alien to its indigenous societies. The result is the twin scourge of perennial conflict and economic weakness. The outside world should rethink its stand on the decentralization of African states and ...
Divide and rule in the Middle East
The United States appears to have adopted the strategy of the British Empire when dealing with the Middle East, creating dissent and lending assistance to whichever side opposes its enemies. However, history shows this approach is likely to backfire.
Europe’s heedless foreign and security policies
European countries say they base their foreign policies on values – but doing so has led to inconsistency in how they treat international partners. Consequently, Europe has taken the wrong stance on military exports, the Iran nuclear deal and the U.S.-China trade dispute. Recent events, however, may have provided a ...
From decentralized democracy to centralized bureaucracy
Under the guise of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which was implemented in 2018, EU governments are collecting and sharing citizens’ financial data in ways that violate democratic privacy rules and go well beyond the legitimate needs of combatting tax evasion and money laundering or terrorism. This overreach is part ...
Is the German coalition condemned to stay?
Election results in Saxony and Brandenburg show the Christian Democrats and the Social Democratic Party are losing ground. Unless voter concerns like migration, safety and a credible approach against pollution are addressed, both parties will fare poorly in the federal elections.
Greenland and Washington’s offer
President Donald Trump’s offer to buy Greenland was dismissed as a joke, but it reflects both American practice and a legitimate strategic concern.
Jammu and Kashmir and Hong Kong: Autonomies violated
The world is rightly concerned about China’s violation of Hong Kong’s autonomy – but such moves are not limited to authoritarian regimes. India, the world’s largest democracy, has recently abolished autonomy for the region of Jammu and Kashmir. The situation there deserves even more attention since the region is at ...
The euro and the German constitution
Two legal challenges to the EU central bank’s most controversial policies have been working their way through Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, the country’s supreme court equivalent. In one of the cases, the justices in Karlsruhe already ruled that the authority of the EU Banking Union ought to be limited. ...
An opportunity to solve the Russia-West and Ukraine conundrum
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party took the largest share of votes in the country’s parliamentary elections, paving the way for him to initiate a new dialogue with Russia. For the West, it presents an opportunity to ratchet down tensions with Moscow and even normalize relations. The alternative – battered economies, ...
Politics follow the money – the ECB’s fate
History contains many examples of what happens when politicians gain control over the currency. Few of them end well.
Do we need Boris Johnson?
British Conservatives must pick a new prime minister from two candidates: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt. With the United Kingdom’s political leadership paralyzed and relations with the EU at an impasse, an enfant terrible might be the better choice.
Inconsistent policies on Ukraine
The European Union has decided to prolong its ineffective sanctions on Russia. That’s hardly surprising, since no one has come up with any new solutions. Moreover, some countries, like Germany, make a strong stand for sanctions while at the same time supporting other initiatives – like Nord Stream 2 – ...
Social Democracy: Goodbye and thank you!
The absorption of social democratic ideas into Europe’s mainstream has made its continued existence as an organized movement superfluous. As recent elections have shown, the unmet demand for political ideas and representation is appearing on the center-right of the political spectrum, among Christians, conservatives and supporters of free markets.
The value of data
If information is the raw material that will fuel 21st-century business, then it must have some value. Yet people give away their personal data to companies for free. And though governments have created complicated regulations to protect users, they themselves forcibly extract an increasingly large amount of information from their ...
Challenges for Kiev
Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s defeat of Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine’s presidential election had more to do with the economics than relations with Russia. While resolving the conflicts in Crimea and the Donbas region will help boost economic growth, streamlining and cleaning up Ukraine’s bloated and partially corrupt bureaucracy will be the president-elect’s ...
Theresa May and the continental side of Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking the blame for a debacle that is not of her making. But even now, in the shadow of a hard Brexit, the damage can be contained if cooler heads prevail on the other side of the Channel.
Foreign meddling in elections: a form of ‘alternative truth’
Apparently, the president of the United States is not going to be charged with cooperating with the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. An in-depth investigation has found no proof that any collusion occured. The talk in Europe that the Kremlin is hell-bent on corrupting the electoral process here ...