ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 06/06/2019

Euractiv / Social Democrats win Danish general election

  • According to exit polls, Denmark’s opposition Social Democrats, led by Mette Frederiksen, were ahead in the general election with around 25% of votes, and her left-wing bloc was set to win a majority with 90 of 179 seats.
  • The results, if confirmed, would likely lead to a minority government by the Social Democrats. Meanwhile, they would signal a collapse for the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party, which has informally supported Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen’s Liberal Party, in power for 14 of the last 18 years.
  • However, the Social Democrats have changed their tone on immigration. Under Frederiksen’s leadership, the Social Democrats last year proposed to send asylum seekers to special camps in North Africa while their requests are processed.
  • Climate change was a top concern for Danish voters. According to a Gallup poll published in February, some 57% of Danes think the next government should prioritize fighting against climate change.
  • The Economist / Under left or right, Denmark will get ever tougher with migrants

BBC / China’s Xi praises ‘best friend’ Putin during Russia visit

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has described Russia’s Vladimir Putin as his “best friend” during a three-day visit to Moscow. The two sides signed a package of trade deals and promised to deepen military and economic cooperation in the future.
  • “In the past 6 years, we have met nearly 30 times. Russia is the country that I have visited the most times, and President Putin is my best friend and colleague,” Xi said. Putin was “pleased to say that Russian-Chinese relations have reached an unprecedented level. It is a global partnership and strategic cooperation.”
  • The bilateral partnership, which has intensified since both Moscow and Beijing feel alienated by Europe and especially the US, has already seen an increase in trade, which grew by 25% in 2018 to hit a record $108bn according to the Kremlin.
  • Among the business deals signed there is one that stands out: Russian telecoms company MTS will allow controversial Chinese tech giant Huawei to develop a 5G network in Russia.

Politico – Miguel Arias Cañete / Europe’s new energy dependency

  • Legislation proposed by the European Commission and making its way through the EU institutional process sets out how the bloc can become the world’s first economy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. But decarbonizing the continent won’t lessen our dependence on the rest of the world.
  • If we want a shot at achieving our climate goals, we need to embed our energy strategy into every aspect of international diplomacy and foreign relations. We should be careful not to neglect strategic dialogues with our main partners or efforts to diversify our pipeline import infrastructure.
  • Europe should keep taking the lead in international climate negotiations, and should continue to develop tools to screen foreign investment in certain well-defined strategic sectors. Europe needs to continue working on reciprocal market access with China and resist forced technology transfers.
  • Finally, the EU’s efforts to promote global access to clean energy should include a special focus on countries from which people are migrating to Europe, as a means of contributing to a sustainable environment and reducing social and economic tensions.

Foreign Affairs – Meenakshi Ganguly & Brad Adams / For Rohingya refugees, there’s no return in sight

  • In 2017, the authorities of Myanmar sought to fulfill a long-standing dream of Buddhist nationalists: the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims. Today, more Rohingya live as refugees than remain in Myanmar, which refuses to ensure their safe and voluntary return to their homes.
  • China and Russia have blocked UN Security Council action to hold the Myanmar military accountable, but the US and other Security Council members are not doing enough. Meanwhile, the situation for the Rohingya in Bangladesh is dire, as the Dhaka government has gradually turned its back on them.
  • According to a UN fact-finding mission, the Rohingya will be safe only when Myanmar investigates and prosecutes its military chief and others for genocide and crimes against humanity. But Myanmar’s leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, refuse to take any steps toward bringing these people to justice.
  • Myanmar will only budge if the costs of continued defiance become too high to bear. Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s military need to be shown that their intransigence could lead to economic, diplomatic, and political disaster.
  • The Guardian – Hannah Ellis-Petersen / Aung San Suu Kyi finds common ground with Orbán over Islam

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.

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