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Home > Publications > PISM Bulletin

PISM Bulletin

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Editors: Sławomir Dębski (PISM Director), Bartosz Wiśniewski (Head of Research Office), Rafał Tarnogórski (Managing Editor), Sebastian Płóciennik, Patrycja Sasnal, Justyna Szczudlik, Daniel Szeligowski, Jolanta Szymańska, Marcin Terlikowski, Szymon Zaręba, Tomasz Żornaczuk

25 April 2019
no. 50 (1296)
The Limits of a Protest Party’s Success: Challenges for Alternative for Germany
Winning third place in the 2017 parliamentary election and introducing representatives to the assemblies of all constituent states anchored Alternative for Germany (AfD) on the German political scene. This allows the party to set another goal: enlarging representation in the European Parliament and landtags in the east of Germany. However, image problems and divisions within the party are a barrier to further growth of support, whereas the lack of coalition capability prevents AfD from transforming electoral successes into co-management at the state and federal level.

Lidia Gibadło
24 April 2019
no. 49 (1295)
The Influence of the Domestic Situation on Russia’s Foreign Policy
The increasing dissatisfaction of the Russians due to the deteriorating socio-economic situation in their country has resulted in declining support for President Vladimir Putin and the government of Dmitry Medvedev. To strengthen their position, the authorities may be more inclined towards confrontational foreign policy, which corresponds to the great-power ambitions of Russian society. If so, the EU might expect more intensive actions aimed at weakening its unity, and for Poland specifically (indicated in the polls of the Russian public as one of their country’s greatest enemies) there could be a continuation of the campaign that disavows its “anti-Russian” foreign and historical policy.

Jakub Benedyczak
23 April 2019
no. 48 (1294)
The China–U.S. Dispute on Huawei: A Challenge for the European Union
Huawei is a symbol of the problems in relations between China and the United States. The U.S. accuses the Chinese corporation of industrial espionage and the Americans intend to use trade negotiations to bring an end to such practice. It is also attempting to persuade European partners to end cooperation with Huawei, for example, in 5G development. The company, meanwhile, is trying to persuade the EU Member States not to bow to U.S.  pressure. For most EU governments (such as Germany and Sweden), the Chinese offer is favourable, but they wish to impose more restrictions on Huawei in light of the political and technological risks involved. This twin approach is one element of the EU’s new, critical policy towards China.

Marcin Przychodniak
18 April 2019
no. 47 (1293)
U.S. Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan Heights
Recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is part of a series of pro-Israeli decisions made by President Donald Trump, that break with the previous U.S. foreign policy line towards the region. It raises legitimate opposition from other members of the international community. The decision may widen the gap in transatlantic relations and negatively affect the image of the U.S. as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Michał Wojnarowicz, Szymon Zaręba
17 April 2019
no. 46 (1292)
China’s Growing Engagement in South Asia
Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, China has significantly increased its involvement in the South Asia—a key region for the implementation of both the Eurasian land bridge and Maritime Silk Road. The Chinese expansion is possible due to Beijing’s rich offer of infrastructure development and policy of non-interference in domestic affairs of other countries. Although this policy benefits not only the China, but also the majority of countries in the region, there are growing concerns about over-dependence on China. The Chinese advance is a challenge mainly for India, which traditionally held a dominant position in the region, but rejected the BRI. This can bring also negative consequences for the U.S. and the EU.

Patryk Kugiel
16 April 2019
no. 45 (1291)
The End of the Mueller Investigation and Its Implications for U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy
According to the U.S. attorney general, Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence that President Donald Trump or his campaign staff cooperated with Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Therefore, the Democrats’ goal will not be impeachment but to create a message about Trump’s unworthiness for re-election. This will be facilitated by the investigations initiated by them in congressional committees, and by other probes carried out by the U.S. judicial system. Trump will try to limit their effect by seeking successes in domestic and foreign policy, although no breakthrough in relations with Russia is to be expected.

Mateusz Piotrowski
15 April 2019
no. 44 (1290)
The Importance of Brexit for Russia
The Russian Federation perceives Brexit as beneficial for political and economic purposes. Moscow believes that the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union will deepen the crisis of European integration and weaken the hard-line supporters of an EU policy of tightening sanctions against Russia. Russia also expects that Brexit will limit the outflow of Russian capital abroad, and will persuade Russian oligarchs to return home. However, Brexit could also have negative effects on Russian businesses operating in the UK.

Agnieszka Legucka
12 April 2019
no. 43 (1289)
The Prospects of Overcoming Political Conflict in Venezuela
President Nicolás Maduro’s government remains in power mainly due to the loyalty of the military and security forces, and to support from China and Russia. That is why it managed to counter the opposition’s attempts and international pressure, both mounting since January, to trigger political changes in Venezuela. Stabilisation in the country could be gained through negotiations between the main Venezuelan parties to the conflict resulting in a free election, as supported by the EU. Such a scenario would require cooperation and coordination between the United States, the EU and their Latin American partners.

Bartłomiej Znojek
11 April 2019
no. 42 (1288)
Prospects for Finland’s European and Foreign Policy after the Parliamentary Election
After the parliamentary election in Finland on 14 April, the government will probably be formed by a coalition of left-wing parties. This will not affect the main directions of Helsinki’s European policy or the programme for its presidency of the Council of the EU, which begins in July this year. Finland is in favour of cautious deepening of European integration, without far-reaching reforms. This is an approach similar to the German vision. Focus on strengthening the EU single market links both of these countries with Poland’s European policy. The main assumptions of Finnish foreign and defence policy will remain unchanged after the elections.

Veronika Jóźwiak
10 April 2019
no. 41 (1287)
Risk of EU Isolating Tanzania: Conclusions for Poland
The policies of Tanzania’s president, John Pombe Magufuli, have weakened the international position of his country, one of the biggest economies of East Africa. By scaling down involvement in the East Africa Community, he limited the country’s weight in the region, and by provoking conflict with the EU, he risks restrictions on access to development funds and European markets. That will make it difficult for Poland to achieve its policy goals for Tanzania, particularly in economic cooperation, which has been developing dynamically in recent years.

Jędrzej Czerep
09 April 2019
no. 40 (1286)
A Conservative Europe: Kramp-Karrenbauer’s Vision of Integration
The future of Europe, according to the chairwoman of the German Christian Democrats, is a free market, no-superstate EU that is able to play a greater role in the world. Her manifesto is not only a reaction to another French offensive in the area of European politics but also an ideological offer of cooperation to potential allies from Northern and Central Europe.

Sebastian Płóciennik
08 April 2019
no. 39 (1285)
The Impact of Brexit on EU Council Voting
The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU will undermine the existing balance of power in the EU Council. The resulting imbalance will be reflected in Council votes, decided by qualified majority. The absence of the United Kingdom will strengthen the position of the biggest players, particularly Germany and France. It will reduce the influence of smaller Member States on the process of adoption of EU legislation. It will also increase the risk of marginalisation of EU countries outside the Eurozone.

Jolanta Szymańska, Szymon Zaręba
05 April 2019
no. 38 (1284)
Italy’s European Policy: Positioned Between the Five Star Movement and the League
The establishment of the government of the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League in May 2018 opened a new stage in Italy’s European policy. The policy is the result of the parties’ two different visions concerning relations with the EU. The government programme is based on M5S’s pro-European demands. However, the government is focused on defending the domestic policy created by the ruling coalition, which results in conflicts with the European Commission (EC), France and Germany. Simultaneously, M5S’s and the League’s programmes are divergent from Poland’s interests in some important aspects. 

Maciej Pawłowski
04 April 2019
no. 37 (1283)
Perspectives on Russia’s Policy towards Central Asia
Central Asia is one of the most important regions in Russian foreign policy. The succession of power in Kazakhstan and other countries in the region are used by Russia to increase political pressure. China’s actions are a challenge for Russian policy and lead to an increase in activity in the area of regional security. This may force Russia to put more resources in its Central Asia policy but that will not reduce its activity in other regions in the EU’s neighbourhood.

Arkadiusz Legieć
03 April 2019
no. 36 (1282)
Romania’s Defence Policy: Ambition and Capabilities
Central Asia is one of the most important regions in Russian foreign policy. The succession of power in Kazakhstan and other countries in the region are used by Russia to increase political pressure. China’s actions are a challenge for Russian policy and lead to an increase in activity in the area of regional security. This may force Russia to put more resources in its Central Asia policy but that will not reduce its activity in other regions in the EU’s neighbourhood.

Jakub Pieńkowski
02 April 2019
no. 35 (1281)
Russia’s Missile Development: Potential and Limitations
Russia’s development of missile capabilities, including hypersonic weapons, is intended to overcome the U.S.’s global conventional advantage. More advanced armaments can be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations on new restrictions, such as barring the deployment of weapons in space. At the same time, with a lower military budget than the U.S., the Russian authorities are afraid of entering a costly arms race, especially those involving defensive systems.

Anna Maria Dyner