written by Kyilah Terry, Co-President, European Horizons Georgetown

Published as part of European Horizons’ Winter 2020 policy priority series on Combatting Systemic Racism.

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Borders are often thought of as demarcated lines along sovereign territories, but they transcend geography and are also liminal spaces where an individual’s right to relief and livelihood is imperiled, and where the politicized form of life in the notion of citizenship is created and contested. The US and EU have both been criticized for implementing restrictive migration border policies that violate international standards and the rights refugees. Moreover, it seems like the two have created a feedback loop where one country’s policy influences the other, and not for the better. The Mediterranean Sea and the U.S.-Mexico wall act as borders in that they are physically located where two opposed realities come closest: life and death, as well as refugee status and its subsequent rights. …

How American Adversaries Interfere in the U.S. Election

written by Christian Blank, Georgetown Security Studies M.A. Candidate

As election day draws closer, the steady stream of political ads and targeted messaging campaigns intensifies. But just last week, threatening emails sent to Democratic voters raised red flags. According to the Director of National Intelligence and FBI Director, Iran issued these threats posing as pro-Trump far-right groups like the Proud Boys in an effort to undermine confidence in the democratic process. Such efforts are not new, but the landscape has changed. The U.S. …

written by Philipp Rombach, Director of Policy

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Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Erfurt at electoral rally for first free elections in East Germany, 1990

Less than a year after the peaceful revolution tore down the wall on November 9, 1989, West and East Germany reunified in a truly historic moment on October 3, 1990. For Chancellor Kohl German reunification signified the prerequisite and catalyst for European unity. In the eyes of others, Europe was once again destined for war. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher openly opposed reunification and infamously proclaimed that the United Kingdom has ‘beaten the Germans twice, and now they’re back!’[i] French President François Mitterrand, too, confessed to Thatcher that a reunified Germany might indeed ‘make even more ground than Hitler had.’[ii] …

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Image by JL G from Pixabay

written by Carl Michel Reischel, President, Sciences Po Paris

On 5th May 2020, a border conflict erupted between the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China. It’s the first time in three decades that China’s People’s Liberation Army fought on foreign soil. Not only does this incident mark one of many new approaches and changes in China’s foreign policy, it also paints a more assertive picture of the Middle Kingdom and raises the question of a changing Chinese foreign policy.

Since the 1970s, with the opening of Chinese diplomatic relations to the world many things have changed in China’s approach towards foreign relations. The current Chinese president, also chair of the Chinese Community Party (CCP) Xi Jinping, has changed many long-lasting foreign policy principles such as the traditional view of China’s centre point in the world and China’s restrained foreign policy ambitions. …

written by Patrick Kornegay Jr., University of Connecticut European Horizons Alumnus

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In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and the racial unrest that followed, America has had to come to terms with its racial past, be it issues with flags, statues, current army installations that all have links to the Confederacy. Although one of America’s closest allies, Germany, has been an exemplar in its own dealing with its past (termed die Vergangenheitsbewältigung), it should follow American citizen’s example of coming to terms with its racial past. Germany, with regards to its colonial/imperial misadventures, still struggles with to this day.

From 1871–1918, Germany was an empire under the rule of the Kaisers after Germany defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War, allowing Germany to unify through the leadership of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Once Germany became a recognized state, it immediately wanted to be at the table with other great European powers, and one way to do that was to acquire colonial possessions. The German Empire controlled vast territories in Africa and Asia (3rd largest in terms of territory behind Great Britain and France), spanning from Kamerun (Cameroon), Togoland (Togo), German East Africa (Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania), German Southwest Africa (Namibia) to German New Guinea (encompassing much of Papua New Guinea and a vast swath of territory in the south Pacific), German Samoa, and treaty ports in China (Tsingtao, Chefoo, and Jiaozhou Bay). …

written by Oliver Zarp-Karsholt

“Europe will be forged in crises” (Monnet 1976) — those were the words of Jean Monnet, although the forging has not gone well in recent years. The handling of the 2008 financial crisis caused a great deal of division between North and South Europe, the refugee crisis showed the EU’s inability to act fast, and the UK is in the chaotic process of leaving the Union. Now, the EU faces the COVID-19 pandemic, and the response to the financial crisis occurring from it will be another defining moment for the Union.

An enormous recovery fund of €750bn has been proposed as part of the solution. Funds will be borrowed by the EU as a collective, of which two-thirds are to be handed out as grants to the countries most in need. This proposed package has been welcomed with open arms by Southern Europe, where the crisis has not only claimed the most lives, but has also killed the essential business gained from tourism, off of which many base their entire livelihood. Yet, while it creates hope in the South, the fund has been less well-received further north. …

written by Diane Forey, Sciences Po Toulouse

The violent fighting in Ukraine, supported by Russia, and the annexation of the Crimea by Vladimir Putin in 2014, have highlighted the many tensions that still proliferate in the post-Soviet space. The revival of the debate on “frozen conflicts” has also led the international community to consider the fate of Moldova and the secessionist movements that are undermining its integrity; Indeed, wedged between the left bank of the Dniestr and the Ukraine is a narrow strip of land, self-proclaimed independent more than twenty years ago: Transnistria. (literally ‘beyond the Dniestr’). De facto independent, it is not however, recognized by any State or international organization. …

written by Carl Michel Reischel, Sciences Po Paris

Transatlantic relations have considerably shaped international relations in the post-war international system. Their economic, political and military interactions are considered as the backbone of the international system1, but recent events, such as the 2016 election of Donald Trump seem to have fundamentally changed this principle.2 Conflicts in trade and security issues seem to increase3 and a certain divergence in policies, values and positions is also emerging.4 Some scholars argue that this downturn trend has been noticed since the end of the Cold War. …

written by Karolina Stankiewicz

The first round of Polish presidential elections took place this Sunday, June 28th, pitting the incumbent Andrzej Duda supported by the populist right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) against a string of opposition candidates, including centrist Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski backed by Civic Platform (PO — the party previously led by former European Council President, Donald Tusk), journalist Szymon Hołownia running on a non-partisan platform, and far-right candidate Krzysztof Bosak.

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(Image by WBData)

The vote, which was initially planned for May 10th, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While PiS wanted to push ahead with a postal vote to maintain Duda’s high support before the economic crisis brought about by the pandemic hit, the election was eventually rescheduled due to the infeasibility of a postal vote and strong opposition from other candidates. PO, the main opposition party, used this opportunity to switch its previous candidate, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, who was polling extremely low, to the charismatic and young Trzaskowski. …

Europe’s Capacity-Building through Digital Collaboration and Integration of Civil Society

written by Antonia Mayer

Published as part of the Pandemic Policy Series, dedicated to exploring European and transatlantic policies and experiences during this unprecedented time in global politics.

Executive Summary

Tackling disinformation has been on the European Union’s agenda since 2015. Despite its current practices in cyber crisis management, the EU lacks a sustainable and proactive strategy for maintaining order in the information space that goes beyond the scope of existing cyber defense policies in the light of evolving cyber threats. This policy paper offers a new framework that focuses on integrated digital cooperation among democratic countries as well as also outside of governments. Traditionally, cyber strategies have emphasized intergovernmental cooperation; however, private networks and civilians are increasingly the main target of disinformation campaigns. …


The Transatlantic Perspective

TTP, formerly known as the IDEAS blog, is the official blog of European Horizons, created to give students a voice on transatlantic policy. Views are not EuH’s.

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