Publications

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In “The New Russia Sanctions Law–What It Does and How to Make It Work,” authors Ambassador Daniel Fried, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council and former coordinator for sanctions policy at the US State Department, and Brian O’Toole, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, explain that Congress primarily adopted the law to block a unilateral lifting of sanctions, which was under consideration in the early days of the Trump administration. Fried and O’Toole add that, by passing the act, Congress was able to demonstrate its determination to resist Russian aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere and to penalize Russia for hacking the 2016 US presidential election. This paper includes an analysis of the law’s key sanctions provisions, suggestions to the administration about how to implement them, and key areas for the business community to watch, from two former US government officials who helped design and run US sanctions on Russia until earlier this year.

 
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As German Chancellor Angela Merkel enters her fourth term in office, the US-German relationship will need to overcome trade and policy disagreements in order to thrive in today’s uncertain political climate. The administrations in Berlin and Washington, DC should seek new opportunities for closer cooperation, particularly related to security around NATO, policy toward Russia, bilateral trade, and the energy sector. The shared interests of the United States and Germany should drive both administrations to pursue these areas of cooperation in order to strengthen the alliance on which they will continue to depend as the world grows more insecure and the challenges more complex.

 
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Maximilian Gebhardt explores the implications and challenges of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for European Union infrastructure investments in the latest issue brief from the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative: "Journey to the West: Chinese Opportunities in European Infrastructure Expansion."

 
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Turkey, a NATO ally, bridges a region spanning from Central Asia to Central Europe and the Levant that is marred by centuries of division and conflict, but whose nations and people are also bound together. Following an attempted military coup in 2016 and widespread government crackdowns across Turkish society, where Turkey is headed is uncertain. In Turkey’s European Journey, Sir Peter Westmacott, who recently retired as one of the United Kingdom’s most revered diplomats, provides his first-hand account of Turkey’s recent history—helping us understand how Turkey got to where it is today, and providing clues about where the country might be headed. 

 
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Once again, authoritarians are challenging the world’s leading democracies, using twenty-first century versions of aggression, propaganda, and subversion.  The very notion of a rules-based, democratic-leaning international order—the Free World—seems in doubt, questioned also by newly-emboldened nationalists on both sides of the Atlantic.  In “The Free World,” Ambassador Dan Fried, who retired this year as the United States’ longest-serving diplomat, reminds us what the Free World achieved, where it has gone wrong, and what democratic forces can do to restore the momentum of ideas that still represent the best hope for American interests, democratic values, and the world.

 
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France’s geopolitical power in Europe is unique. It combines a positive legacy of global leadership, a rich diplomatic network, universal aspirations, global military reach, cultural influence, and economic heft. The authors, Atlantic Council Senior Fellows Jérémie Gallon and Jeff Lightfoot, of this paper, “France: Europe’s Swing State: Foreign Policy Begins at Home,” argue that France is the pivotal swing state in shaping the contours of a stronger European Union (EU) and a reinforced transatlantic alliance at a crucial moment in the history of the West. 

 
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Throughout much of the 1990s, progress was the order of the day. NATO enlargement under the Clinton administration was part of a broader global strategy, presenting democratic and entrepreneurial opportunity. This process was coupled with the prospect of new cooperation with Russia to create an undivided, free, and prosperous Europe. A decade and a half later, Central Europe faces severe challenges and signs of particular vulnerability to backlash against the very ideals this period set out to establish and the values expected to endure. 

 
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Cloud computing, which relies on automatically available services, including storage, that can be shared among devices, is considered crucial to the digital transformation of industry and the economy. But fundamental questions remain on the role of cloud computing in Europe and the best strategies for fostering the conditions necessary for a barrier-free transatlantic digital economy. Is cloud computing being used to its optimum advantage across Europe, and how does that usage differ from country to country? What are the motivations behind cloud adoption—or behind the failure to adopt? And finally, what effect does the adoption of new forms of digital technology have on small and medium enterprises (SMEs)? Into the Clouds: European SMEs and the Digital Age, authored by Tyson Barker, addresses these and other questions.

 
The United States and the European Union (EU) have a historic opportunity—perhaps their last—to be leaders in building the digital market of the future. To do so, they must seize the opportunity to create a transatlantic digital single market stretching from Silicon Valley to Tallinn, Estonia. Together, they can give a new burst of energy to a global Internet economy centered on thriving digital commerce, innovation, creativity, online security, and citizens’ rights. The newest report of the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative, “Building a Transatlantic Digital Marketplace: Twenty Steps Toward 2020,” evaluates the state of play on the most pressing digital policy issues across five interlocking areas, and identifies twenty steps that the United States and the EU can begin to take between now and 2020 to build a transatlantic marketplace, encourage trust, and preserve the Internet as a global commercial commons and a public good.


 


A new Atlantic Council report warns against the tendency of Europe and the United States to sideline political and economic reform in the Middle East while they pursue urgent security priorities in this turbulent region. Instead, the transatlantic partners should forge a shared strategy to encourage political systems that can protect Arab citizens' basic rights, provide security, deliver broad prosperity, and mitigate violent extremism.


    

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