Central Europe

  • Trump Expected to Announce US Troop Increase in Poland

    But Poland unlikely to get 'Fort Trump,' says the Atlantic Council's Alexander Vershbow

    US troop presence in Poland is likely to be at the top of the agenda when US President Donald J. Trump and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, meet at the White House on June 12.

    Pointing to Russian military activity in its neighborhood, the Duda administration has made the case for a permanent US troop presence in Poland at a base Polish officials have suggested they would christen “Fort Trump.” The Polish government has even offered to pay $2 billion to support this base.


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  • Why Europe’s Election Matters in Poland

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

    The European parliamentary elections in Poland, which are expected to draw a record turnout, will set the stage for national parliamentary elections in the fall. The election will be a vote of confidence in the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and reveal the level of public support for two competing visions for the future of Europe: an integrationist, open, and solidarity-driven Europe or a conservative “Christian” Europe of sovereign states.

    The European parliamentary elections will take place in Poland on May 26. There are currently fifty-one seats reserved for Polish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), with candidates selected from thirteen electoral districts.


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  • The Importance of Hungary’s European Election

    In polls conducted in 2014 and 2018, 60 percent and 80 percent of Hungarians, respectively, said they consider themselves to be citizens of the European Union (EU). Nevertheless, Hungary had less than 30 percent voter turnout in the European parliamentary elections in 2014. In 2019, a year after Hungary’s center-right Fidesz party decisively won the national elections for the third consecutive time, there are two reasons why Hungarians should be more involved in the European elections on May 26: this election will determine the place of Hungary’s parties in the European political spectrum and the outcome will have consequences for Hungary’s municipal elections in the fall.

    The Fidesz-Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) coalition currently enjoys the highest support (49 percent to 55 percent) and is projected to win thirteen to fifteen of Hungary’s twenty-one seats in the European Parliament. As for the opposition parties, internal disagreements and a lack of cohesion could depress turnout among their voters.


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  • Here’s What to Expect from Germany’s European Vote

    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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  • Strengthen European Defense Cooperation Through NATO and the EU

    [A] key question remains unanswered: will allied deterrence prevent possible Russian aggression during those 30 days?
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  • Germany, NATO, and Transatlantic Security

    NATO Engages 2019

    “Statement and Conversation: Germany, NATO, and Transatlantic Security”

      

    Speaker:

    Heiko Maas,

    Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs,

    Federal Republic of Germany

     

    Moderator:

    Karen Donfried,

    President,

    The German Marshall Fund of the United States

     

    Location:  Washington, D.C.

     

    Time:  4:25 p.m. EDT

    Date:  Wednesday, April 3, 2019

     


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  • Germany Will Meet Its NATO Commitments, Foreign Minister Says

    Amid a storm of criticism from the Trump administration over its low level of defense spending, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas sought to allay concerns that Berlin was reneging on its commitment to increase its contributions to the NATO Alliance.

    “We will stand by our commitments,” Maas said on April 3 at the NATO Engages event in Washington. “I know that our budgetary process is sometimes difficult for outsiders to understand…however, we made a firm commitment to invest more money in our defense and we intend to keep our word.”


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  • Pence Takes Germany to Task Over Defense Spending

    US vice president also warns Turkey against purchase of Russian missile defense system

    US Vice President Mike Pence on April 3 chastised Germany for not spending enough on defense, warned Turkey against going ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, cautioned against the rise of China, and sought to reassure NATO allies that they will always have the United States’ support.


    US President Donald J. Trump has led the charge against NATO allies who do not meet the 2 percent of GDP defense spending target set at the Alliance’s Wales Summit in 2014. All allies are supposed to meet that goal by 2024. So far only seven of NATO’s twenty-nine member states meet that target; Germany is among those that lag behind.

    On April 3, the eve of NATO’s seventieth anniversary, it was Pence’s turn to take allies to task.


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  • Omega

    Editor’s note: This short story describes a hypothetical future war in Europe between Russian and NATO forces using advanced technology.
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  • Twenty Years Later, NATO Allies Remain Strong Members of the Family

    When the foreign ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary finally signed documents completing their nations’ accession to NATO it marked the beginning of a new era for the transatlantic alliance. Twenty years ago, the ceremony held in Independence, Missouri—the hometown of US President Harry S. Truman, who oversaw the creation of NATO—marked the first time former-Communist adversaries had joined the alliance of democracies.

    Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, was a junior desk officer at the US Department of State when then US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright travelled to Missouri to finalize the new enlargement. “For me, less than a year on the job, I was on a professional high,” Wilson recalled. “After watching Washington for years exude ambivalence about whether to welcome more allies into NATO, the compelling case presented by these nations’ extraordinary spokespeople won the day. The determination of Czechs, Hungarians, and Poles, and the subsequent bipartisan leadership of Robert Dole and Bill Clinton, ensured that President George H.W. Bush’s call for a ‘Europe whole and free’ would not remain just rhetoric.”


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