2019-09-20 - Bulletin
Afghanistan Ahead of the Next Turbulent Presidential Election
The U.S. cancellation of peace talks with the Taliban means that the presidential election in Afghanistan planned for 28 September will take place in an environment of an escalating civil war. The most important challenge for the authorities is to ensure the security and credibility of the electoral process. Although the elections carry the risk of deepening the internal political crisis, they can also strengthen the position of the new president in possible government negotiations with the Taliban, which would give the country a chance to launch an intra-Afghan peace process. Western partners can support this approach by confirming their support for the new authorities and intensifying military pressure on the Taliban.
2019-09-19 - Comment
Post-Election Situation in Israel
The Knesset elections held on 17 September did not reveal a clear winner, as none of the blocs formed around the largest parties—Likud and Blue and White—won a parliamentary majority. The parties’ readiness for compromise over the idea of a national unity government or internal splits may prove to be key in the formation of the future coalition.
2019-09-18 - Bulletin
Slovakia's Pursuit of Better Relations with Russia
The Slovak government, contrary to the position of President Zuzana Čaputova, continues its policy of detente in relations with Russia. The first visit of Slovak Prime Minister Petr Pellegrini to Moscow and St. Petersburg in June and the expression of readiness to obtain gas from Nord Stream 2, whose creation the Slovak government has opposed so far, demonstrate this. For the Visegrad Group, Slovakia’s stance means a deepening split in the perception of Russia, and for Poland, a more evident need to seek allies outside of the V4 to oppose a change of EU policy towards Russia.
2019-09-16 - Bulletin
Attempts at Reforming Egyptian Demographic Policy
The population of Egypt, the EU’s second-most populous neighbour after Russia, will soon exceed 100 million. The fast pace of the population growth together with the country’s inefficient economy could spur new crises caused by rising unemployment and difficult access to drinking water and food resources, and by politics. The Egyptian government, in cooperation with the EU, U.S., and UN, launched programmes aimed at reducing the fertility rate. Limiting the pace of Egypt’s population growth should weaken factors inciting further destabilisation of the Middle East and North Africa.