The return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan has significant immediate and long-term geostrategic implications at the regional and international level, especially in terms of security and stability.
The event included a short presentation of the report ‘NATO and the south: A Tale of Three Futures’ which is the culmination of a two-year long project sponsored by NATO’s Sciences for Peace and Security Programme, which was carried out by the Elcano Royal Institute together with a consortium of three research institutes from Jordan, Morocco and the United Kingdom.
Charles Powell, Director of the Elcano Royal Institute, interviews Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia
The regime of Alexander Lukashenka in Belarus continues to repress peaceful protesters who persist in their struggle for a democratic future, and police violence has reached unprecedented levels. Given the scale of public support for the Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the opposition to a sixth term for Lukashenka is unlikely to diminish. The EU has reacted with sanctions, but protesters and members of the opposition largely perceive its response to be lukewarm and insufficient.
During a visit to Madrid, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, former presidential candidate and leader of the democratic movement in Belarus, talked to Charles Powell, Director of the Elcano Royal Institute, about the future of democracy in her country. Her husband, the businessman Siarhei Tsikhanouski, was thrown into jail by the Belarus authorities after using his popular YouTube channel to criticize Alexander Lukashenka and his dictatorial regime. It is generally agreed that Tsikhanouskaya won the presidential election held on 9 August 2020, a result Lukashenka ignored. Together with Veranika Tsapkala, in December 2020 she received the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize on behalf of the democratic opposition in Belarus, which honours individuals and groups who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the liberal international order and the future of Europe: a view from Madrid
The essays included in this volume highlight the new dilemmas arising from the tectonic shifts in world geopolitics that the Western community of values has to face now and in the years to come, considering the impact of accumulated security risks caused by growing uncertainties, imbalances, disruptive technologies, emergence of new forms of hybrid and information warfare short of outright armed confrontation, spill‑over of military competition in outer space and cyberspace, and instances of unlawful behaviour by some major international actors such as Russia and China. The accelerated pace of change emphasises the distinction between enablers and spoilers in international affairs, while the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has added a new layer of concern as a real and present security threat on a global scale.
The New Strategy Center of Romania launches its book: 'Post-Pandemic World. Perspectives on Foreign and Security Policy'
The event was organized as a debate, and was moderated by Ambassador Sergiu Celac and Dr. Olivia Toderean, two of the editors of this volume. Several of the authors took part, including Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, Director of the EU Satellite Center and Honorary Chairman of the Scientific Council of the New Strategy Center, Dr. Antonia Colibășanu, analyst at Geopolitical Futures, Dr. Charles Powell, Director of the Elcano Royal Institute (Spain), Dr. Adam Eberhardt, Director of the Centre for Eastern Studies – OSW (Poland), Dr. Harlan Ullman, Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council (US), and Dr. Karsten Friis, Head of Research Group on Security and Defense at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (Norway).
Joe Biden will presumably become the 46th president of the United States on 20 January 2021. Many experts are predicting that he will initially be dedicating much of his time and energy to domestic matters, and in particular, with providing answers to the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, however, he is widely expected to implement significant changes to US foreign policy, though their precise nature and significance are not always easy to predict. Many in Europe would no doubt like to see the new administration renew America’s traditional commitment to multilateralism, a strong transatlantic relationship, and European integration. The world has changed significantly since 2016, however, and it remains to be seen whether this will indeed be the case.
Daniel S. Hamilton, Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Global Europe Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center.
Heather Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, CSIS.
Jeffrey H. Michaels, IEN Senior Fellow, Barcelona Institute of International Studies.
Carlota Encina García, Senior Analyst, Elcano Royal Institute.
Moderator: Charles Powell, Director, Elcano Royal Institute.