September 2016

Bratislava Summit: Can Europe Reinvent Itself?

By Rosa Balfour

Europe is in dire need of reinvention but has never been quite so enfeebled to pursue it. The EU member states are drifting away from each other. The gap between European elites and citizens is widening, and the policy agenda is made of a disjointed collection of initiatives. Combine this with the difficult upcoming electoral cycle and scarce popularity of the governments in office, the challenge of thinking long and deep when under pressure for the immediate quick fix is glaring.

Competing versions of southern European gas supplies

By Daniel Rozanov

Known information on gas exploration in the Mediterranean waters of Israel, which intends to fully meet the needs of the country and create the potential for gas exports to southern Europe. Potential natural gas reserves are estimated at Israel shelves 1 trillion cubic meters. m. of natural gas reserves have been explored, and on the shelves of the island of Crete (1.5-3.5 trillion cubic meters. m) and Cyprus (150-230 billion cubic meters. m).

EU Defense, Where Political Opportunity Meets Strategic Necessity


Since Britain voted on June 23 to leave the EU, it seems everyone has an idea for strengthening European defense. The cacophony of calls in the last month alone has included an Italian proposal for a “Schengen of defense,” a reference to the EU’s passport-free travel zone; a Visegrád Four appeal from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia for a “European army”; and a Weimar triangle declaration from France, Germany, and Poland on the need for more effective EU security and defense policies.

NATO’s Cyber Defense Evolution


By Pavel Karasev

At the NATO summit in Warsaw on July 8–9, 2016, particular attention was paid to the issues of the Alliance’s activity in cyberspace. NATO adopted a “Cyber Defence Pledge” which contains a development plan. What is more, NATO once again confirmed certain political aspects of its activities in this area, described in more detail in the Warsaw Summit Communiqué. In particular, cyberspace was recognized as a “domain of operations in which NATO must defend itself as effectively as it does in the air, on land and at sea.” The decision to expand cooperation with the European Union in cyber defence was reflected in the Joint Declaration signed by the President of the European Council and the Secretary General of NATO.

Ukraine’s Signature Transparency Initiative Comes Under Fire Again


In October 2014, Ukraine’s parliament passed a law requiring all public officials to file an electronic declaration disclosing their assets. The law requires the identification of assets directly held by officials, as well as those held by family members, which means officials can no longer hide illegally obtained assets in the names of family members. To give the law some teeth, it makes public officials criminally liable for false information.