February 2015

What next for Latvia's foreign policy?

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By Diana Potjomkina

Latvia’s current strategic thinking on foreign policy is quite comfortably situated in line with the EU’s common policies. Riga has moved beyond the grand narratives of the past to a more substantive, down-to-earth approach. On a scale from 0 to 5, Latvia’s strategic thinking would earn a 4—for actively punching its weight and for moving forward in both traditional and new policy areas.

Europe’s Eurasian Opportunity

By Michael Schaefer, Inna Veleva

The global energy system is changing fast, fueling widespread anxiety about so-called “energy insecurity,” particularly in Europe. The problem is not that the world is running out of energy resources. On the contrary, oil scarcity is less of a concern today than ever before, owing not only to energy-efficiency initiatives, like the European Union’s nearly zero-energy buildings policy, but also to rising competition between shale producers and traditional oil exporters. Continued technological progress suggests that renewable energies – from wind and solar to, perhaps, planetary winds – may ultimately supplant fossil fuels, anyway.

Germany and the United States Are Missing the Bus on Infrastructure Investment

By Bartek Starodaj

“Germany is collapsing.” This was the headline of a recent provocative article in German news magazine Der Spiegel that criticized the sorry state of Germany’s infrastructure. And indeed, even as the U.S. economy appears to be growing strongly for the first time in seven years, and as Germany’s economy limps along, political leaders in both countries have resigned themselves to reducing infrastructure investment and delaying mounting maintenance costs.

Center of Peace and Consent

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By Georgij Karatayev

The 20th anniversary of foundation of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan (APK) is celebrated this year. Being established as a Presidential advisory and consultative body APK has turned today into a public instrument for maintaining of the bridge between different social institutions of the country. 

"Riga Process" moves ahead towards creating EU Energy Union

Lithuania's Minister of Energy Rokas Masiulis paid a visit to Riga to take part in a conference on the creation of the European Energy Union. Latvia is currently presiding over the Council of the European Union. The Lithuanian energy minister says such union might contribute to dealing with issues which are given insufficient attention on the current EU agenda and which lack European-level support.

Washington Warns Dushanbe

The issues of bilateral relations of the USA and Tajikistan were discussed in course of the visit of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State Daniel Rosenblum and his colleague Steven Feldsteinи, a specialist on Democracy, human rights and international religious freedom with the representatives of Tajikistani Government and civil society.