Central Europe

  • In Defense of Orbán

    An emotionally charged debate has resurfaced about the nature of Hungarian democracy in the wake of the ruling Fidesz party’s victory in parliamentary elections in April. While it is legitimate to have a well-reasoned and honest dialogue about Hungary’s current political landscape, a proper understanding of real-life events can only occur by sticking to the facts and avoiding sweeping statements informed by political bias.

    Fundamental rights and freedoms were respected overall throughout the voting period; moreover, Hungary’s current legal framework for voting procedures also provides an adequate basis for democratic elections.

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  • Transatlantic Split Over Iran Could Become the Worst Since the Suez Crisis

    European efforts to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement, coupled with US plans to impose sanctions on Iran and secondary sanctions on companies that fail to comply with those sanctions, have contributed to a dangerous divide in the Atlantic community—one that threatens an economic relationship that remains the linchpin of the world’s economy.

    This is hardly the first time that the allies have tangled over issues that simultaneously impact each other’s economic and strategic interests. 

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  • Cohen Quoted in Newsweek on Hungary-Russia Relations


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  • Is Germany's Military Readiness Problem a Critical Vulnerability for NATO?

    Germany’s military is virtually undeployable and security experts say it is too weak to meet its obligations to its allies, as it prepares to assume command of NATO’s crisis response force next year.
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  • Europe Faces Historic Test After US Quits Iran Nuclear Deal

    One week after President Donald J. Trump's announcement that the United States is withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-imposing sanctions, dismayed European parliamentarians spoke at the Atlantic Council with a clear voice: European sovereignty is at stake and Europe will take the necessary measures to defend it.

    "There was, until now, no political will in France, in Europe, to stand up to the US," said Delphine O, a member of the French National Assembly who comes from the La République En Marche party of President Emmanuel Macron. "I think this has changed."

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  • Braw in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Germany Should Build Highways


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  • Shaffer Quoted in DW on Russian-German Gas Pipeline


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  • Where Does the P5+1 Stand on the Iran Nuclear Deal?

    US President Donald J. Trump is expected to reveal his decision on May 8 as to whether he will extend key sanctions waivers on Iran. A failure to do so would effectively take the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—the Iran nuclear deal—which it signed with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran in 2015.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned on May 6 that if the United States were to leave the deal it would face “regret of historic proportions.” The United Kingdom, France, and Germany have publicly urged Trump not to abandon the JCPOA.

    Here’s where the signatories stand on the JCPOA.

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  • Franco-German Role Reversal Reflected in Washington Visits

    The visits to Washington this week by Europe’s two top leaders—French President Emanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel—underscore the dramatic changes within Europe and in the transatlantic relationship over the past year.

    France has emerged as arguably the European Union’s most influential nation today, and certainly as Washington’s preferred partner. In this, France replaces Germany, which had a privileged role with former US President Barack Obama and his predecessors, and a dominant role within the European Union (EU).

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  • It’s Merkel’s Turn: Phase Two of Europe’s Tag Team Effort With Trump

    There seemed to be a plan behind French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visits to Washington this week: a carefully choreographed tag team effort to tame US President Donald J. Trump’s unilateralist impulses on tariffs and the Iran nuclear deal that cause serious friction in transatlantic relations.

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