Inside the US TikTok Ban: Exploring the Implications of the Bill on US-China Relations

This article explores the implications of the proposed bill to ban TikTok in the United States on broader US-China relations. China’s response to the ban is also an area of discussion.

Election Countdown: Navigating Bulgaria’s Political Maze Amidst Schengen and Eurozone Struggles

The Bulgarian spiral of political instability continues. The impact of uncertainty within the fragmented political landscape on Schengen and Eurozone aspirations.

The European Defence Industrial Strategy: a new step within the European Union’s Security and Defence roadmap

The defence has become a key issue for the EU. After Russia’s invasion old needs have resurged. The EDIS sets the defence industrial policy.

Leadership in the Global South: President Lula’s and Gaza

In February 2024, President Lula attended the 37th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, promoting Brazil’s ties with the Global South. His comments labelling the Gaza conflict as genocide at the hands of Israel sparked international controversy, straining relations with Israel and affecting his domestic approval. Despite criticism, Lula remains steadfast, aligning Brazil with Global South priorities.

The lessons that Niger and the International Community can learn

Political upheavals have been sweeping across West Africa and the Sahel region since 2020, culminating in a coup in Niger. This has led to fears of a ‘coup belt’ developing in the area. In response, ECOWAS has taken a multipronged approach, including the imposition of sanctions and threats of military intervention to restore constitutional order

Venezuelan Elections Amidst U.S. Sanctions: Balancing Democracy and Diplomacy

As tensions rise between the United States and Venezuela ahead of their upcoming presidential elections, the delicate balance of democracy and diplomacy comes into focus. The US had eased sanctions to encourage dialogue, but recent events have sparked renewed friction, leading to the reimposition of sanctions. Venezuela is grappling with economic challenges and diplomatic strains, especially with recent bans on opposition candidates. As both countries navigate these issues, the future of US-Venezuela relations is uncertain, with potential impacts beyond their borders.

BRP Sierra Madre: The Waves of Uncertainty Surrounding the Sentry of the Second Thomas Shoal

The BRP Sierra Madre acts as the Philippines’ stronghold over the Second Thomas Shoal against Chinese advances in the South China Sea. In the past year, tensions in the region have escalated, with both nations’ coast guard services engaged in heated confrontations. Due to the shoal’s strategic location, both countries employed risky strategies to pursue their goals of controlling this location. Hence, turning the shoal and the BRP Sierra Madre into the South China Sea’s new geopolitical flashpoint towards the boundaries of a possible conflict.

The Tian-Shan Gambit: Europe’s Ambitions in Central Asia 

Central Asia is a vast and resource-rich region situated between three major centers of influence. Formerly part of both the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union, its nations have only recently gained independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. They continue to be influenced by Moscow, although they have made some significant strides towards autonomy in their own right. The Russian military’s actions in Ukraine have continuously eroded the credibility of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-led military alliance. This, coupled with a significant loss of soft power in the countries of the post- Soviet space, which traditionally formed part of its sphere of influence, could create an opening for other influential actors to emerge as real alternative partners. The European Union wishes to consider an even more proactive role in Central Asia, given the young nations’ of Central Asia newfound pragmatism in foreign policy and its potential to enhance EU interests.

Is Ecuador Experiencing the Birth of a New ‘Plan Colombia’ Amidst Heightened Security Concerns?

In January, Ecuador experienced a surge of violence, prompting swift responses from both local and international actors. The United States pledged substantial aid to bolster Ecuador’s security infrastructure, marking a significant collaboration. However, this cooperation differs from the historic Plan Colombia due to distinct challenges Ecuador faces, including its role as a transit corridor for drug trafficking.

The Outcome of the EU Parliamentary Elections 2024: The Likelihood of a Far-Right Wave

This text explores the recent success of the far-right in different national elections in Europe to try and determine whether this might translate into a far-right “wave” at the next EU parliamentarian elections.