2019-07-30 - Bulletin

Anna Maria Dyner

Dilemmas in Russia's Policy Towards Iran

The common goal of Russia and Iran is to limit the role of the U.S. in the Middle East. At the same time, the Russian authorities are afraid to help Iran become too powerful, as this may threaten the Kremlin’s own position in the region. On the other hand, the growing conflict between Iran and the United States (along with the latter’s allies, including Arab states and Israel) may force Russia to choose a side and deprive it of the opportunity to act as a mediator in the Middle East.

2019-07-29 - Bulletin

Łukasz Ogrodnik

Czech Republic on the Challenges in Cooperation with China

Contrary to the pro-China stance of Czech President Miloš Zeman, the government of Andrej Babiš is withdrawing from tightening political relations with China. This is due to disappointment in economic cooperation, the sense of a cyberthreat, and intensification of relations with the U.S. It is in EU countries’ interest to support Union initiatives strengthening the common position towards China, such as the monitoring mechanism of foreign investment or implementation of recommendations by the European Commission (EC) regarding fifth-generation mobile technology (5G).

2019-07-26 - Bulletin

Veronika Jóźwiak

Hungarian-Russian Economic Relations

Hungarian-Russian economic relations are based on the energy industry. Hungary’s efforts to build closer political relations with Russia after 2010 did not result in a marked increase in bilateral trade, investment, or greater Russian influence outside the energy sector. EU economic sanctions imposed on Russia and the introduction of counter-sanctions in 2014 caused a significant drop in Hungarian exports to Russia. However, this has not resulted in substantial losses to the Hungarian economy.

2019-07-25 - Bulletin

Marek Wąsiński, Bartłomiej Znojek

Prospects for the EU-Mercosur Agreement's Entry into Force

On 28 June, the EU and Mercosur concluded negotiations that have lasted intermittently for two decades on an Association Agreement (AA). For the EU, the accord brings a chance to compete more effectively in Latin America with China and the U.S. For Mercosur, it may boost a revival of economic integration and reforms in the bloc’s member states. However, the deal has raised concerns among some EU farmers over the potential of a negative impact of opening the Union’s market. To ecology groups, some of the document’s provisions increase the threat to the environment and climate policy. Protests by these groups could hinder the agreement’s ratification process.

2019-07-24 - Bulletin

Marcin Przychodniak

Modifications of "One Country, Two Systems", a Chinese Principle

Since Xi Jinping took power, China has strengthened its control over Hong Kong and Macau, special administrative regions. They are governed based on the principle of “one country, two systems”, which implies the maintenance of social-economic solutions different from China’s. The citizen protests in Hong Kong against an extradition agreement signal the rise of objections to China’s limiting this principle. China’s authorities argue that the principle will also be used after unification with Taiwan, a major goal. The Chinese policy, though, violates key EU democratic standards and hinders the work of European companies with operations mainly in Hong Kong.