From regulation to supervision – the trajectory of MiFID II
The European Union’s ambitious attempt to re-regulate the financial industry (MiFID II) took effect this year. Companies are struggling to meet its complex disclosure requirements, which can only be met by powerful and costly IT solutions. Early experience suggests MiFID II is so unworkable that it may soon have to be replaced; but the bigger worry is that it may be the precursor of a real-time, global surveillance apparatus.
Is the U.S. going back to the Western Balkans?
The United States is increasing its engagement with the Western Balkans on issues including security, energy and good governance. The administration is trying to reduce instability in the region, improve economic development and counter outside influence from countries like Russia and China. If these efforts are successful, U.S. capital investment will increase and the Balkans will move closer toward NATO membership.
GIS Dossier: Europe as a global player – looking east
Europe is politically diffuse and poorly armed for a great power at a geopolitical crossroads. Yet it has proved deceptively capable of leveraging the NATO alliance and its enormous economic “soft power” to expand eastward. Now its mettle is being tested as Russia – and, to a lesser extent, Turkey – push back.
Border conflicts in the Balkans
Nearly three decades after the breakup of Yugoslavia, the borders in the Balkans are still up for debate. Eight unresolved border disputes are dividing countries in the region, pitting European Union and NATO members against each other and threatening the integration of several EU candidates. Some of these disputes will likely last for years to come, as the enmity of past conflicts gets in the way of negotiations.
Thank you, Mr. Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump is right that both the EU and China use unfair trade practices. Now, his threats to impose tariffs on European goods – hypocritically branded “protectionist” by many countries with higher trade barriers – have brought EU officials to the negotiating table. Perhaps the EU will finally engage in freer trade, to the benefit of Europe and the world.
The Visegrad Group and Europe’s security system: a story to watch
NATO and the EU are the leading actors shaping European security, but there are also smaller players performing important roles. The Visegrad Group is one of them. Its member governments, though, are increasingly perceived in some European capitals as euroskeptic. Under adverse scenarios, this could lead to political and security problems for the EU. This report reviews how the V4 has contributed to Europe’s security system and what role it may play in the future.
What Lukashenko learned from Crimea
Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko is still coming to terms with what Russia’s intervention in Ukraine means for his own autocratic rule. Recent events in Armenia show that his overthrow might not occur on the back of Russian tanks, but via a hybridized “color” revolution capitalizing on social discontent. Lukashenko has responded by cozying up to the EU and easing pressure on the opposition at home, but it may not be enough to save him.
Brexit scenarios: Toward the endgame
Prime Minister Theresa May has bowed to economic reality and unveiled a Brexit model that would keep the United Kingdom close to the European Union. The move provoked an immediate cabinet crisis and the resignations of leading Brexiters. Fear of a Labour government will probably keep other Conservatives in line, but Ms. May’s survival also hinges on the EU accepting her new strategy. Otherwise, a hard Brexit is plausible.
The impact of the Greece-Macedonia accord
The deal between Greece and what may soon be called the Republic of North Macedonia is about much more than a name. The bilateral agreement finally opens the door for North Macedonia’s integration into the EU and NATO, and could make Greece a serious regional player. However, political challenges could easily derail or delay the two-year implementation process.