Opinion: Separatism in Europe
Independence movements are on the rise in Europe. At the heart of this phenomenon is an ever-globalizing world, bringing with it inflows of foreigners and an outflow of traditional industries. Most of these movements have set aside violent measures in recent years, but there is no guarantee that will continue. If authorities in the EU and national governments do not deal with the challenges at the root of their grievances, it could lead to conflict at the local and national levels.
One might expect the Nordic countries, with their strong democracies and economies, to be full-throated backers of the European project. But the differences between them have led to strained relations that are undermining their relationships with Brussels. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the migrant crisis, where Sweden’s approach has unsettled its neighbors and focused attention on security issues. The result could be another headache for the European Union, this time in the north.
The specter haunting Europe
The populist wave spreading across Europe is rooted in deep-seated grievances – globalization, falling real incomes, unemployment, torn safety nets – that have been channeled into anger against migrants. Instead of engaging with these real problems, establishment politicians have preferred to insult voters. This is not a winning strategy.
GIS Dossier: How demography shapes geopolitics
Though demographics has always had an important effect on geopolitics, big changes in population structure have become more frequent and had a wider impact as the world has become more globalized. In East Asia, populations are aging, while in Africa they are growing younger. Huge waves of migration are causing political upheaval. In this edition of the GIS Dossier, we review our experts’ analysis of demographic trends across the globe and their predictions for how they could shift geopolitical tides.
Opinion: The EU meets its perfect storm
Europe’s migration crisis is about to get worse – much worse. Efforts to interdict the migrant flow and funnel aid funds to the countries of origin will prove ineffective or counterproductive. The problem is less the size of the exodus than European leaders’ refusal to address its causes. We know what policies will work, but that knowledge is useless if politicians will not face facts.
Opinion: Putting Europe back on track
These days, it is easy to forget that European integration is a huge success. The founders were right that the free movement of goods and people would bind the continent together and promote peace. But national governments and centralizing democrats have spoiled a good idea through their own timidity and ambition. If the European Union is to play a global role, it must return to its roots.
GIS Dossier: Mexico
Mexico’s relationship with the United States was driving change in the country long before it became the focus of President Donald Trump. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dramatically altered its economy, allowing it to become a key provider of manufacturing and agricultural goods to the U.S. But Mexico is also a gateway for drug trafficking to its northern neighbor, fueling corruption, organized crime and widespread violence. The latest GIS Dossier surveys the analyses and predictions from our experts on this critical Latin American country.
Central America under Trump’s shadow
The Trump administration’s policies will have a huge impact on Central America – even if they are not intended to. A trade dispute with Mexico could end up benefitting the region. But tighter border security measures or cutting of funding for improving democratic institutions will prove disastrous.
President Trump’s impact on Latin America
We do not know how much Donald Trump does not know about Latin America. If he keeps his campaign promises, the U.S. economy could suffer as much as Mexico’s or Brazil’s, and illegal immigration could get worse. A lot will depend on the new president’s learning curve.
EU’s migration crisis deepens
A year has passed since German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany to Syrian refugees on August 31, 2015, dealing a savage blow to the Schengen Agreement and teeing off a profound political conflict among the European Union states. Leaders in Brussels espouse official optimism about their ability to resolve eventually the multiple challenges that stem from this crisis. Even under an optimistic scenario, however, things are likely going to get much worse before they can begin to get better.