Amidst a ranging pandemic and looming economic downturn, the EU has designed a much-needed recovery package as part of its 2021 budget. However, conflict over rule of law led to a crisis in which Hungary and Poland vetoed the budget. Capucine explores the ominous underlying question that this crisis reflects and that the EU will eventually have to face: how to manage contrasting understandings of democracy within the union, when it is itself built upon the unifying concept of liberal democracy and the rule of law?
As tensions rise across the world over governments’ differing approaches to dealing with COVID-19, the author argues that cultural differences between Western and Asian societies could explain the contrast in their reactions over mask policies. She proposes that individuals in the West should take this as an opportunity to remember that “a functional nation requires individual sacrifice” and Westerners should work to “rebuild our sense of community before we are required to make even larger sacrifices for it in the future.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic may have dominated media coverage and political discussion in recent months, the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU remains a prevalent issue that needs addressing. The author discusses how a no-deal Brexit would impact the UK, arguing that the government ‘should do all they can to ensure they meet the October 31st deadline – or beg for an extension’.
What would a key power change in Belarus signify for its relations with Russia and the European Union?
After Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected to a sixth term in office in an election widely condemned for being neither free nor fair, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the Belarusian opposition leader, has vowed that the country’s ‘revolution’ movement will not give up. As such it begs the question – if political reform is to be successfully obtained as a result of the protests, where does this leave Belarus? The author argues that despite many suggesting it could result in an increased relationship with the EU in favour of Russia, ‘this revolution is not about geopolitics – it is a popular manifestation of a desire for a fair and just democratic system. This has nothing to do with geopolitics – though the West and Russia have tended to try and make yet another internal conflict, about them.