International Relations

This category contains 577 posts

Trump, trade and tariffs [What Think Tanks are thinking]

U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, raising fears of a trade war with other countries. He has argued that the levies, of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, are needed to protect U.S. national security. Continue reading

New US tariffs: Potential impact on the WTO

On 8 March 2018, US President Donald Trump signed orders imposing tariffs of 25 % on steel imports and 10 % on aluminium imports. These tariffs will apply to all countries, except Canada and Mexico (and possibly also Australia). Continue reading

Western Balkans: Enlargement strategy 2018

With a resolute tone and a sense of urgency, the European Commission’s new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans sets a clear direction for the region’s six countries: it offers them a credible enlargement perspective and pledges enhanced EU engagement. It indicates 2025 as a possible enlargement date. Continue reading

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO): Beyond establishment

In its 2016 Global Strategy, the European Union (EU) set a new level of ambition in security and defence. Closer defence cooperation among EU Member States is now at the top of the agenda. Continue reading

Russia’s 2018 presidential election: Six more years of Putin

On 18 March 2018, Russians will elect the president who will govern their country for the next six years. Incumbent, Vladimir Putin is firmly on track to win, with approval ratings that have stayed above 80 % since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. Continue reading

Migration [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The European Union’s southern borders remain under pressure from irregular migrants escaping poverty and war in the Middle East and Africa. The 2016 agreement between the EU and Turkey significantly slowed the influx to Europe through Greece of people escaping the war in Syria. Continue reading

Resurgent Russia [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Russia is increasingly assertive in foreign and security policy, posing a challenge to the post-Cold War, rules-based international order. Following the annexation of Crimea, conflict with Ukraine and intervention in Syria, Russia stands accused of seeking to influence electoral outcomes in the United States and some European countries. Vladimir Putin looks set to be re-elected as Russian President later this month. Continue reading

Democracy support in EU external policy

The EU’s policy of external democracy support has gained momentum, particularly after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which defined democracy as a fundamental principle of the Union, to be enshrined in all policies of external significance. Continue reading

President Trump’s record to date [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Donald Trump has made a number of highly controversial decisions during his first 13 months as US President – whether on foreign trade, climate change, migration, taxation or health care. Continue reading

EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement [International Agreements in Progress]

The free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever concluded between the EU and a developing country. Continue reading

Palm oil: economic and environmental impacts

Economical and versatile, palm oil has become the world’s most widely used vegetable oil. However, its production comes at a heavy environmental cost, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, the two main producers. Efforts to make its production more sustainable still have a long way to go. Continue reading

Kremlin trolls in the US presidential election

Discussions about Kremlin interference in the 2016 US presidential election initially focused on Russian hackers and leaked e-mails. However, US Congress enquiries have highlighted the important role played by Russian social media activity in influencing public opinion. Continue reading

Regulating imports of cultural goods [EU Legislation in Progress]

Antiquities and valuable works of art from impoverished or war-torn countries and regions are often illegally acquired, sold and imported into the European Union (EU). Continue reading

Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons ─ the ‘Ban Treaty’ [Policy podcast]

On 7 July 2017, the United Nations (UN) conference to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Ban Treaty), by 122 votes to 1, with one abstention. The treaty will come into force once 50 states have ratified it; so far it has been signed by 56 states and ratified by three. Continue reading

Understanding nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles

Nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles need to be understood if the risks and challenges they entail are to be grasped. This understanding starts with two processes discovered in the last century – nuclear fission and nuclear fusion – that have the ability to release a significant quantity of energy from a very limited amount of matter. Continue reading

EU framework for FDI screening [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for screening foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the EU on grounds of security or public order. Continue reading

Western Balkans in the spotlight in 2018

With positive messages and increased attention coming from the EU, 2017 seems to have ended on a high note for the Western Balkans. 2018 starts with the region being high on the agenda of Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency, and promises a favourable context for advancing its EU bids. For this to happen, however, the six WB countries need to show results on the core EU-related reforms. Continue reading

EU efforts on counter-terrorism – Capacity-building in third countries [Policy podcast]

In the European Union (EU), responsibility for counter-terrorism lies primarily with Member States. However, the role of the EU itself in counter-terrorism has grown significantly in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that have hit Europe in the post-‘9/11’ era. Continue reading

North Korea [Ten issues to watch in 2018]

One of the biggest concerns internationally is that 2018 could see the long-standing North Korean crisis develop into a larger-scale conflict, potentially affecting not only eastern Asia, but also a large variety of players across the globe. Continue reading

Migration [Ten issues to watch in 2018]

Although the record-high migratory flows to the EU witnessed during 2015 and 2016 had subsided by the end of 2017, sea arrivals remained at significant levels. In 2018 and in the years to come, considering the global repercussions of international and internal conflicts, climate change and the growing disparities between the EU and third countries, it is unlikely that migratory pressure will decrease. Continue reading

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved