2019-11-26 - Bulletin

Sara Nowacka

Reforms Prospects in Lebanon in Light of the Mass Protests

In October, protests broke out in Lebanon following a proposal to introduce new taxes. The demonstrations, which were unprecedented in uniting members of all religious groups in Lebanon and led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, increased the chances the state will make economic reforms and fight corruption. The protesters demand new elections, which are highly unlikely because Hezbollah holds the dominant position in the government and has rejected this idea. A stable situation in Lebanon is in Poland’s interest as it provides aid to the country and Polish soldiers take part in the UNIFIL mission. 

2019-11-25 - Bulletin

Łukasz Ogrodnik

Slovakia's Relations with the United States

In 2019, Slovakia and the U.S. strengthened bilateral relations. After a long pause in White House visits by a Slovak prime minister, they resumed in May, preceded by the first visit by a U.S. Secretary of State to Bratislava. There has also been an intensification of military cooperation. This does not mean that there are no tensions: the U.S. negatively assesses the development of the Peter Pellegrini government’s cooperation with Russia and China, and the Slovak side has concerns associated with transatlantic trade cooperation. 

2019-11-22 - Comment

Michał Wojnarowicz

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Indicted

Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on 21 November charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with corruption, breach of trust, and fraud. The indictments exacerbate the political crisis in Israel but do not necessarily mean the swift removal of Netanyahu from office.

2019-11-21 - Bulletin

Tomasz Żornaczuk

Slowing Down EU Enlargement to the Balkans

France has been blocking the start of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, slowing down EU enlargement. That has had direct consequences for North Macedonia, which had to call early parliamentary elections over the issue. The French proposals in a November non-paper to alter the EU accession process are not radical. However, the formulation of new conditions—in order to be credible—should go hand in hand with the fulfilment of the Union’s existing obligations towards candidate countries. 

2019-11-20 - Bulletin

Jędrzej Czerep, Agnieszka Legucka

Russia's Rising Influence in Africa

Russia’s increasing presence in Africa is motivated by global political ambitions and economic goals. To expand its influence, Russia is involved in local conflicts and fuels anti-Western sentiment. Competing with EU and U.S. countries, it is simultaneously becoming an important security partner for many African governments. An obstacle to Russia further increasing its presence in Africa is its weak economic condition, which not only limits the possibility of economic expansion on the continent but also its interference in internal political processes in African countries.