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Foreign affairs

Europe and the Sahel-Maghreb Crisis

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Publication date: 
Friday, March 2, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This report analyses the reasons for European policy-makers coming to perceive the Sahel as a threat to Europe’s own security and stability. It starts by presenting the most recent developments in the Sahel and Maghreb regions in respect of the two most significant threats to European security and stability: trans-national jihadism and cross-border migration. The report provides in-depth analysis of a series of the most important factors that are driving the increases in jihadism and migration, including the persistence of state weakness in the Sahel, the collapse of the state in Libya and the failure of regional collaboration. Furthermore, the report analyses the most significant developments in the international community’s responses to the most recent conflicts and crises in the Sahel and Maghreb, including the foreign policies of France, which remains the single most important foreign actor in the Sahel, the European Union and Denmark. The report closes with a series of suggestions regarding how the European powers, especially Denmark, might adjust their policies in order to increase the likelihood of long-term peace and stability being generated in the region.
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64
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Transatlantic Relations: Converging or Diverging?

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Publication date: 
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The report makes the case that while the transatlantic relationship may currently be traversing a period of divergence, this need not lead to a structural split over the longer term. Notwithstanding the present choppy waters, the fundamentals in relations between the US and Europe remain strong, and the prospects are mostly positive.
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100
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Munich Security Report 2018: "To the Brink - and Back?"

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, February 16, 2018
Abstract in English: 
For international security, the year 2017 was marked – among others – by signs of a continued erosion of the so-called liberal international order and an increasingly unpredictable US foreign policy. Tensions in many parts of the world have been growing: the rhetoric between the US and North Korea has escalated, the rift in the Gulf has become deeper, not only between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and major arms control treaties are at stake. In the last year, the world got closer – much too close! – to the brink of significant conflict, and we must do whatever we can to move away from the brink.

It is in this context that the Munich Security Conference Foundation publishes its annual Munich Security Report (download the report as a PDF here). Under the heading "To the Brink - and Back?", the Munich Security Report 2018 provides an overview of major security policy issues and features data, analyses, maps and infographics. As a companion and impulse for the 54th edition of the Munich Security Conference, the Munich Security Report serves as background reading for conference participants, but is also made available to the general public. The last report was downloaded close to 35,000 times and received ample press coverage in both German and international media.

This year's main topics include the crises of the liberal international order and the impact of the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency. It also looks at the new momentum in European defense policy and the potential impact of Brexit. In addition, the report analyses regional developments in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. It also provides insights into the state of global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, the issue of environmental and climate security as well as cyber security.
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88
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Shaping the Future of Geopolitics

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Publication date: 
Monday, November 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
In today’s turbulent world, where governments and international organisations are increasingly faced with more uncertainty and volatility, this year’s event will zoom into emerging challenges and opportunities relevant to the European Union, highlighting the importance of strategic foresight and anticipatory governance in policy- and decision-making.
Forward-looking approaches are all the more important in a world of ‘Geopolitical Recession’, where multilateralism and the rules-based international order are under pressure, and new actors and technologies have the potential to be real geostrategic game changers. Against this backdrop, how can Europe ensure that it holds its future in its own hands? What must it do to better prepare for an uncertain future and tackle new security challenges?
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92
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Silk Road 2.0: US Strategy toward China’s Belt and Road Initiative

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The balance in Eurasia is shifting. China’s President Xi Jinping has ambitious visions for Asia, while the rest of the world reshuffles to find its place in the rapidly changing global order. Each nation guesses at the United States’ new role in the world, while China broadcasts its own role across the globe, ready to challenge those who stand in opposition to its vision. China’s impact is global: reaching from the perils of the Korean peninsula; stretching across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa; and influencing regimes along the way. During this historic moment, the importance of Asia to US interests grows all the greater.
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66
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Reforming and Reorganizing U.S. Foreign Assistance: Increased Efficiency and Effectiveness

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 24, 2017
Abstract in English: 
CSIS convened a bipartisan Task Force on Reforming and Reorganizing U.S. Foreign Assistance in response to the March 1, 2017, executive order asking all federal departments and agencies to submit reorganization plans that will “improve efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability” and to the president’s FY2018 budget request.1 The Trump administration is right to question whether the current foreign assistance system is optimized to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Although many Americans believe that foreign assistance makes up 25 percent or more the federal budget, it is no more than 1 percent. However small a percentage, it is important to note that these funds do not represent pure altruism; they are smart investments that contribute to the national security and prosperity of the United States.

Though it intends to align priorities, strategy, budget, and work force, the Trump administration’s first budget proposal includes significant cuts to foreign assistance funding and runs the risk of having budgeted amounts—rather than U.S. national interests—drive creation of strategy and organization. This would produce suboptimal outcomes, particularly if the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) were to be subsumed into the Department of State as some have suggested. It is not in the national interest to remove the development leg from the U.S. national security stool.
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54
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Munich Security Report 2017: "Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?"

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Is the world facing an era shaped by disorder and by illberal actors? On February 13, 2017, several days ahead of the 53rd edition of the Munich Security Conference, the Munich Security Conference Foundation publishes the third edition of its annual report on key issues in international security.
Under the title "Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?", the Munich Security Report offers a wide variety of analyses, data, statistics, infographics, and maps on major developments and challenges in international security.
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90
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What if ... Conceivable crises: unpredictable in 2017, unmanageable in 2020?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 19, 2017
Abstract in English: 
In a world increasingly shaped by unexpected events and developments – ranging from ‘strategic surprises’ like 9/11 or the Arab Spring to the unintended consequences of often well-meant decisions – trying to imagine contingencies that challenge current assumptions may well prove a useful exercise.
This Report presents a number of grey swan scenarios which are designed to help decision-makers think about possible responses to crises and how they can be prevented. They cover a wide variety of geographical and operational situations while never explicitly calling into question specific EU actions or policies – only general EU principles and interests.
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67
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From Shared Vision to Common Action: Implementing the EU Global Strategy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 19, 2017
Abstract in English: 
We have lived through an eventful year within and beyond our European Union. Internally, we faced the United Kingdom’s referendum, a succession of key elections in several European countries, the beginning of a sustained economic recovery, and the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, which both celebrated our past and projected our hopes into the future. The new US Administration is reshaping America's role in the international arena. Ongoing conflicts and tensions near and far, and the persisting threat of terrorism across all continents, including in the heart of Europe, continue to affect the daily life of ordinary citizens.

All these trends and events have made the EU Global Strategy for the European Union's foreign and security policy (EUGS), presented by High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission (HRVP) Federica Mogherini to the European Council in June 2016, a timely tool to tackle complexity within and beyond the EU’s borders. As the title of the EUGS itself suggests – Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe – the work was not meant to stop with the elaboration of a shared vision, but to trigger a new beginning through common action. This is why EU Heads of State and Government welcomed the presentation of the Strategy and invited the High Representative, the Commission and the Council to take the work forward.
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33
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Global Migration Governance and Mixed Flows

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Refugee movements, international migration and socio-economic development are intimately bound up together. The impacts of global migratory movements depend on their political management: circumstances conducive to development require close and dependable cooperation between the countries involved. But international cooperation on refugee and migration policy – global migration governance – has to date been weak. Important institutional and policy changes are currently under way, with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 including at least some universally binding targets and indicators for migration. And in September 2016 the international community decided to prepare two global compacts – one for migration, one for refugees – within the space of two years. Both will have repercussions for the international institutional setup and the division of responsibilities between UN agencies, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Existing supranational consultative forums in the area of migration can also be expected to gain in political significance. What is required from the development perspective is a normative and institutional reordering of global migration policy – a process the German government should promote and contribute to.
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30
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