Spain and Morocco: trouble or potential?
The burden of controlling irregular immigration, terrorism and drug smuggling has fallen disproportionately on the European Union’s southern members, including Spain. Ensuring stability on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar, one of the world’s key waterways, is particularly tricky. If the new government in Madrid can’t find ways to work more closely with Morocco, the problems both countries are facing could get worse.
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.
Opinion: Turkey changing the dynamics in the Horn of Africa
Late last year, Turkey secured the lease of an island on Sudan’s Red Sea coast. The location of this ancient port – situated on one of the world’s most important trade arteries – will put Ankara in a position to exercise much greater influence from the Nile to the Persian Gulf. The Turks scored this success because they took a broad strategic view, which must now be reconciled with their obsessively narrow focus on a single issue – the Kurds – in their immediate neighborhood.
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.
Limits on posting workers create Europe’s high-cost cartels
European Union labor ministers have just agreed to a proposal that could see more protectionist measures implemented across the bloc. The new rules would limit employers’ flexibility how much they pay “posted” workers – employees from a different EU member state. Until now, posting workers added needed competition to the labor market. Eliminating that option just protects high-cost cartels created by EU states with excessive cost structures.
Burundi’s downward spiral
President Pierre Nkurunziza’s grip on power has divided Burundian society to the point where armed opposition groups are in open conflict with forces loyal to the regime. Violence against civilians has forced thousands to flee their homes. The economy has been hit hard as well. But the fragmentation of the opposition and Burundi’s involvement in critical peacekeeping missions means Mr. Nkurunziza has the upper hand, for now.
Opinion: Corruption in Guatemala and why Central America won’t go away
If U.S. President Donald Trump really wants to stop illegal immigration, he would do well to look at its causes, like violence in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. However, a one-size-fits-all approach will not solve the problem. Each country has its own specific difficulties. In Guatemala, it is corruption. The U.S. and the international community can play a key role in fighting corruption, which could reduce violence and therefore migration – but they must stop sending mixed signals.