This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

Support for the European Union (EU) remains high in Sweden. Recent polls show that while 65 percent of Swedes support EU membership, only 19 percent would like Sweden to leave the Union. As a result of this strong public support, Sweden’s two most Eurosceptic parties, the Left Party (part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left or GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament) and the Swedish Democrats (part of the European Conservatives and Reformists  or ECR group in the European Parliament), have abandoned their demand that Sweden ought to leave the EU, instead saying that they would work from inside the Union to shift it in their desired direction.

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Berlin — Europe will provide Iran with concrete economic and political support over the next two months in an effort to keep Iran compliant with the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Europeans will also try to stave off the threat of war in or around the Persian Gulf and are rejecting US claims of an enhanced threat from Iran or Iran-backed forces in the region.

These are the main points derived from my meetings this week with European officials who focus on the issue of Iran and Middle Eastern stability more broadly.

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US President Donald J. Trump on May 15 declared a “national emergency” that gives his administration the power to prevent US companies from doing business with foreign suppliers, including, potentially, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. The decision is likely to exacerbate tensions with China with which the United States is currently engaged in a trade war marked by tit-for-tat tariffs.


In an executive order, Trump wrote: “foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services… in order to commit malicious cyber-enabled actions, including economic and industrial espionage against the United States and its people.” 

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As Washington looks to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and interference in the 2016 US elections, economic sanctions can be a useful tool, but they must fit into a coherent US strategy in order to be effective, Atlantic Council experts told US lawmakers on May 15.

“Sanctions can be a useful, precise, and effective tool of US foreign policy, so long as they are treated as a tool to implement a clear policy and a thought-out strategy,” David Mortlock, a nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center explained.

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We’ve been here before. The Trump administration, like every US administration since Jimmy Carter was president, is dealing with a hostile Iran bent on undermining US and regional security interests across the Middle East and beyond. We had a brief three-year respite from Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, thanks to the Obama administration, but the Trump administration has put that period of relief in grave doubt. 

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This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

On May 26, French voters will choose between thirty-four lists on a nationwide proportional ballot in the European Union (EU) parliamentary elections. Historically, European elections have failed to sustain public attention, suffering from parties treating it as an afterthought (often recycling losers from national elections) and the complex and distant nature of European institutions. In 2014, French voter turnout in the EU elections was 42 percent, a far cry from the 78 percent of the first round of the 2017 presidential election. For these reasons, European elections have generally been a godsend for extremist forces.

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This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

Continuing the recent domestic trend of political fragmentation, the parties of Germany’s ruling “grand coalition”—German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and her junior partners of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD)—are expected to lose significant shares of the vote in the European elections later this month compared to 2014. However, the outcome of the election in the European Union’s largest economy and most populous member state will not impact Germany’s broadly pro-European Union (EU) positions and strategy in significant ways.

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This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

Since the first European parliamentary elections in 1979, and notwithstanding the growing powers of the Parliament, the prevailing impression these contests have left has been boredom, almost afterthoughts. Progressively declining voter turnout cycle after cycle drove home this point. Efforts to make the elections more relevant, like the establishment of the spitzenkandidaten system linking the results to the selection of the president of the European Commission, made hardly a blip. This year, however, the elections to be held between May 23 and 26 have gone from barely relevant to disquieting.

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This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

With European Parliament elections fast approaching, Italy is on the verge of a political crisis—but it has nothing to do with Europe. Neither the right-wing League nor the anti-establishment Five Star Movement—the two partners of the unlikely populist coalition that has ruled Italy since 2018—has made Europe the focus of their campaigns, albeit both having fueled anti-EU sentiments in recent years.

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Drones purportedly flown by Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked Saudi oil pumping stations on May 14, creating a new flash point in a region already on edge over rising tensions between the United States and Iran.

A Houthi military official claimed the group launched multiple attacks against “vital Saudi installations” using drones to deliver bombs. The Houthis have been fighting the Saudi-backed government in Yemen since 2015.

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