- The EU plans to send 10,000 more border guards to tackle unlawful immigration by 2020, the European Commission’s president Jean-Claude Juncker said in his annual state of the union address.
- Juncker proposed a new Africa-Europe alliance, based on co-operation rather than charity, leading to a continent-to-continent free trade agreement.
- Juncker also made a notably controversial proposal to abolish EU member countries’ vetoes on certain tax and foreign policy issues. He also recommended that the euro be used more strategically as the biggest currency after the dollar.
- After the speech, the EU parliament voted to start disciplinary procedures against Hungary for breaching core democratic values.
Foreign Affairs – Khalil Shikaki / Do Palestinians still support the two-state solution?
- Soon after the Oslo Accords were signed, on September 13, 1993, and for many years after that, Palestinian support for a two-state solution was very high, peaking at 80 percent. Twenty-five years later, all that has come undone. Support for the two-state solution is at its lowest level since Oslo, at only 43 percent.
- More than half of the Palestinians view the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a burden, and a large majority, ranging from 60 to 70 percent in 2018, demand the resignation of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
- During this same period, Israeli settlement construction in occupied Palestine has continued unabated. The size of the settlement enterprise today is four times what it was when Oslo was signed: it has grown from around 100,000 settlements in 1993 to more than 400,000 (not including East Jerusalem or the Gaza Strip) today.
- The decline in support for the two-state solution among Israeli Jews parallels that among Palestinians, and the level of public support for it—43 percent—is identical to that among Palestinians.
- On top of all of this, US President Donald Trump has done more damage to the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace in the 20 months of his administration than any US president has done in the past 70 years.
- But seen through the prism of public opinion, the two-state solution is clearly not dead. Jointly conducted Palestinian-Israeli survey research provides evidence that there is ample support for the two-state solution when the public sees it as feasible and when each side has reason to trust the other.
Foreign Policy – Tarah Wheeler / In cyberwar, there are no rules
- The US government has fumbled on cybersecurity, outsourcing much of that area of conflict to the private sector in accordance with the Trump administration’s most recent National Security Strategy—leaving the country exposed to foreign attack.
- The great challenge for military and cybersecurity professionals is that incoming attacks are not predictable, and current strategies for prevention tend to share the flawed assumption that the rules of conventional war extend to cyberspace as well.
- Technology and cyberspace are changing faster than countries can legislate internally and negotiate externally. Part of the problem with defining and evaluating acts of cyberwarfare against the United States is that US law is unclear and unsettled when it comes to defining what constitutes an illegal cyberact.
- It’s not surprising that the international community has a hard time agreeing on what constitutes a cyberattack deserving of reprisal—especially when countries can’t even settle on a definition for themselves.
- Leaders must follow NATO’s tentative footsteps in Tallinn – which resulted in the 2013 “Tallinn Manual” – and convene digital Geneva Conventions that produce a few deep, well-enforced rules surrounding the conduct of war in cyberspace.
European Council on Foreign Relations – Ellie Geranmayeh / Trump’s Iran sanctions: an explainer on their impact for Europe
- In recent months, the US has touted its unilateral sanctions as a powerful tool for forcing other countries to halt their business with Iran. So far, European firms have largely complied with US secondary sanctions.
- The second wave of sanctions will come on 4 November, targeting Iran’s energy, financial, insurance, shipping, and port sectors, as well as non-US financial entities’ transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and other designated Iranian banks (whose identity remains unclear). It remains unclear whether the US will issue waivers and exemptions for specific countries to continue importing Iranian oil after November.
- In August, the EU revived its Blocking Regulation, first introduced in 1996, to include US secondary sanctions targeting Iran. Designed to dissuade European companies from adhering to US extraterritorial sanctions, this measure allows EU entities to recover damages arising from US sanctions through civil legal claims. In theory, the Blocking Regulation forbids EU citizens and companies from complying with the US sanctions.
- In practice, given European multinationals’ ongoing retreat from Iran, there is little to indicate that the measure will have much impact unless it is fully enforced. Moreover, the Blocking Regulation allows companies to apply for exemptions where they can show that ignoring US secondary sanctions would seriously damage their interests (as many could).
- If it fails to devise a more effective response to US secondary sanctions, Europe will create a long-lasting precedent for successive US administrations to control European trade and foreign policy.
- Bloomberg – Esteban Duarte / Iran deal advocate says EU will have to bend to US sanctions
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.