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  • Author: Katarzyna Kubiak
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process aims for the international coordination of efforts to improve nuclear security. However, in the absence of globally binding norms, mechanisms, accountability and transparency, nuclear security principally remains a national matter. The Central European states, in particular Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Ukraine, are part of the NSS success story. The key drivers have been the Central European states’ longing for recognition as part of the West, the personal engagement of individuals in the governmental apparatus, and the fact that cooperation on nuclear security enables intensified relation-building with the United States. Taking into account their past achievements, the states of Central Europe can also play an important role in advancing the continuity of the NSS process and leading by example with contributions to nuclear security at the regional level
  • Topic: Security, Treaties and Agreements, Governance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Central Europe
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Eurasian integration has been formally elevated to a new level. On 29 May, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed in Astana the founding treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union. However, problems related to integration, enlargement and international cooperation with the EEU indicate the effort is far from a point of no return. Despite the upbeat mood in Moscow, integration remains weak and selective, and in several important fields has been shelved until 2025. At the same time, the enlargement process has encountered security-related obstacles and triggered additional costs for Russia.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Maya Rostowska
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite the reigning consensus that the Russian economy is facing trouble ahead, some indicators suggest that the situation is not as dire as first appeared. Moreover, it may seem that the fiscal situation in the country—particularly its copious foreign currency reserves and substantial sovereign wealth funds—could still help extricate Russia from its economic difficulties. However, the very difficult budgetary situation in the regions and the staggering levels of debt of its companies suggest that economic problems could hit the country hard. Investors should remain vigilant of social and political tensions and the possible further deterioration of the business environment in Russia.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Politics, Governance, Budget
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Elzbieta Kaca, Roderick Parkes, Anita Emőke Sobják
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU is inevitably a geopolitical player, but it seeks to avoid fulfilling this role by all means. This has resulted in increased instability in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region. In order to bring healthy political choices to its troubled eastern neighbourhood, the EU should follow a 12-point plan focusing on a more nuanced policy towards Russia, stronger regional ties between Eastern partners, tailored EU conditionalities and an integration approach better suited to EaP countries, as well as improving EU political capacities in the region.
  • Topic: Self Determination, European Union, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Artur Kacprzyk
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the context of the Ukraine crisis, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Romania have called for significant strengthening of NATO’s deterrence and defence policy and for permanent deployments of Allied troops in the region. This position is, however, not shared by the rest of the Central and Eastern European NATO members. Similar to Western European countries, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia do not feel as threatened by Russia’s actions and do not support moves that could damage their political and economic relations with Moscow. Fundamental differences among the current positions of the regional Allies indicate a profound divide between Central and Eastern European NATO members.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Economics, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Sebastian Płóciennik
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The recent expansionary course of the European Central Bank confuses Germany. Getting the southern members of the eurozone out of recession is important, but the price could be damage to domestic savings, fading enthusiasm for reforms in the eurozone and more lax approaches to inflation in the future. In addition, the anti-deflationary bias in the eurozone can mark a point from which the traditional German macroeconomic preferences stop pushing themselves forward. Berlin needs allies to defend those preferences and Poland seems to be among them.
  • Author: Kacper Rękawek
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is the oldest socio-political movement active in Egypt. Its members and structures are now undergoing one of the most severe crackdowns in its history, at the hands of an Egyptian government that constituted itself in the aftermath of a popular revolt followed by a coup against a short period of MB rule in 2013. The MB, however, although dispersed and fragmented, is still not defeated, and faces options related to its future political trajectory. This paper discusses these options and concludes that the MB is most likely to ready itself for a “long struggle” scenario that would amount to waiting out the period of repression and reconstituting itself on a bottom-up basis.
  • Author: Tomas Profant
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Czech and Polish banking systems are similar in many aspects, such as the predominance of euro area banks in the market and a strong banking supervisory authority. These common features of banking systems translate to similar Czech and Polish positions towards the Banking Union. Their main proposals are to include the specificity of so-called host countries and to maintain the strong position of national supervisory authorities. Although Poland and the Czech Republic will have more reasons to sign up to the Banking Union if they join the euro, these countries should continue to stress the importance of maintaining financial independence between parent banks abroad and their branches and subsidiaries in Poland or the Czech Republic. These countries should promote their monitoring systems as effective methods of providing financial security
  • Author: Patryk Toporowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: By introducing a one-year embargo on the import of some food and agricultural products, Russia will have to substitute old channels for new ones on an unprecedented scale. With the exception of Belarus, there are few options to increase imports from suppliers close to Russia’s biggest cities. Within the country’s broader neighbourhood, China and Turkey offer some potential, whereas Latin America would be considered a more distant source for food. However, the change in trade patterns would have its price. Not only will Russia risk growing inflation but also it will increase its dependency on China, which can settle for good Moscow’s role as a minor partner of Beijing.
  • Author: Ana Uzelac, Patrycja Sasnal
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The worst humanitarian crisis of this century so far is unfolding daily in Europe's closest neighbourhood. Some 10 million Syrians and Iraqis have been displaced by sectarian conflicts over the past three years, and are living suspended lives in camps or makeshift shelters across the Middle East. It is as if all of Austria or Hungary was forced out of their homes. The fate of displaced Syrians and Iraqis is not only a moral dilemma for Europeans, it is a future security threat in the making. If abandoned and unassisted they risk becoming radicalised in the future, creating a potential recruitment and support base for anti-European extremism. Although the EU, and especially its better-off Member States, have already done a lot to assist the region with the refugee flow, response to the crisis should be expanded further, tailored and diversified. It should also be shouldered equitably by all EU members, in proportion to their size and national income. This crisis is too big and its consequences too far-reaching for any EU member to opt out.