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Europe (166)

The 12th Summit of the G20 will take place on 7-8 July in Hamburg, representing the culmination of the German presidency of 2017. As expected the German government ran an effective presidency giving substance to the guiding theme, ‘Shaping an Interconnected World’ and building consensus under leading topics of ‘building resilience’, ‘improving sustainability’ and ‘assuming responsibility’.
Friday, 23 June 2017

Brave new world

We are a far cry from the 1800s and the so-called glory days of the British Empire, but sentimentality over ‘making Britain great again’ fuelled the British vote to exit the European Union (EU).
Earlier this year, president Xi Jinping strode the world stage at Davos with his statement that 'We should commit ourselves to growing an open global economy… Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room.'
On 7 May 2017, the French people spoke and elected Emmanuel Macron as their next President of the Republic. Gathering 66.06% of the votes against 33.94% for his opponent Marine Le Pen from the far-right Front National, this second round concludes an unprecedented presidential race in several respects. Beyond the victory of a newcomer in French politics, these elections marked a harsh side-lining of the two main parties – the Parti Socialiste and Les Républicains – as well as the significant rise of populist movements. While France faces a drastically altered political landscape, this election also matters for Africa.
  Sunday 23 April saw French citizens vote in the first stage of their presidential elections, with a second run-off stage for the two lead candidates Emmanuel Macron (of En Marche!) and Marine Le Pen (of the National Front) on 7 May. While Macron won a majority of the vote (65.8%) in the second round, the pertinent conversation to be had is not one of victories and losses, but one of opinions rather than outcomes – opinions that veer strongly towards the favourite new buzzword in politics: populism.
The latest issue of the South African Journal of International Affairs Vol 23.4 is now available online.
SAIIA Western Cape Branch cordially invites you to a Speaker's meeting to be addressed by Ukraine's Ambassador to South Africa, Mr Yevgen Burkat on "Ukraine's price for European choice: a troubled relationship with Russia"
SAIIA and the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa held a panel discussion on 'Reflections on how to create a transparent and sustainable location for doing business in the commodities sector: the Swiss case.' This discussion was led by H.E. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs.
The already-anxious, West-aligned states bordering Russia are receiving alarmingly mixed messages from their NATO allies. At its summit in Warsaw in July, NATO agreed to deploy a battalion of troops to each of the three Baltic states and Poland to protect them against possible Russian attack.
What many political and financial analysts viewed until a day before the British referendum on a European exit as scaremongering has come to be. The 72% voter turnout resulted in a 51.9% vote to leave the EU and a 48.1% vote in favour of remaining. While it essentially signals a split down the middle of UK voters, a closer look at the results reveals that the majority of voters in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the city of London supported the ‘remain’ vote, while the rest of England and Wales with a few small exceptions voted in favour of ‘leave’.
Who would have thought that the Brexit debate’s rising emotions would have reached their apogee in a horrific killing in the streets of a West Yorkshire town a week before the referendum that will determine the economic and global trajectory of Britain? The stakes are high, but it is equally clear that for all the expert opinions on the foolishness of an exit, many people may well vote with their hearts this Thursday, driven by a rhetoric that plays to bygone days of unmitigated national sovereignty and an imperial Britain that ‘ruled the waves’ and was at the centre of…
Looking back at the events of Europe’s migrant and refugee crisis in 2015, it is tempting to quote Dickens: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. Last summer, as large numbers of refugees, the majority fleeing Syria’s civil war, began to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek islands nestling near its shores, the European Union (EU) woke up to a refugee crisis on its own soil. The EU’s response, collectively and – more frequently – individually, was panicked, improvised and uncoordinated, driven by a mix of compassion and hostility.
SAIIA and the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa hosted a Panel Discussion on ‘The EU and South Africa in Dialogue: Working towards a more inclusive world'.
On 23 February 2016, SAIIA's Western Cape Branch held a public seminar addressed by German Ambassador Walter J Lindner, on 'Refugees and Migration'.
Three years of international research in Europe and the BICS countries (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) has resulted in a new book, 'Challenges of European External Energy Governance with Emerging Powers'. The chapter 'South Africa-EU energy governance: tales of path dependency, regional power, and decarbonisation' was authored by SAIIA Senior Researcher, Dr Agathe Maupin.
If tabloid headlines are anything to go by, the United Kingdom is fighting off the greatest invasion force threatening the island since the Blitz. The invaders this time are migrants and asylum seekers sneaking a ride on lorries, trains and ferries to get across – or underneath – the English Channel.
On Sunday 5 July 2015, more than 61 per cent of the Greek electorate voted 'No' to conditions of a financial rescue package. Greek leaders are returning to Brussels this week to argue for a more generous package, while the EU tries to assess the implications for Greece's euro-zone membership.
SAIIA and the University of the Witwatersrand cordially invite you to a public lecture to be addressed by Ciarán Devane, British Council CEO on 'Why soft power and cultural diplomacy matter.'
SAIIA today hosted the Korean Foreign Ministry, to discuss the outcomes of the Fifth MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, on 22 May 2015.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) will be hosting a Speaker’s Meeting to be addressed by Dr Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, on 'Monetary Policy and Financial Regulation in Europe.'
On 31 March 2015, the South African Institute of International Affairs hosted a G-20 Study Group on 'Turkey and the G-20 Presidency: Implications for Africa.'
SAIIA Policy Insights No 8, March 2015
On 9 March 2015, SAIIA's Western Cape Branch hosted a public seminar addressed by British High Commissioner, Mrs Judith Macgregor, on 'The UK and South Africa: The bilateral relationship today.'
SAIIA, the University of Witwatersrand and the German Embassy in South Africa held a discussion on 20 November 2014 with Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs.
SAIIA's Western Cape Branch invites you to a public seminar by Sheila Camerer, South African Ambassador to Bulgaria (2009 - 2013) on "Eastern Europe at a Crossroads? Reflections of a Former Ambassador to Bulgaria."
SAIIA's Western Cape Branch invites you to a public seminar on "The Relationship between Media and Politics: Experiences and Insights from Germany and South Africa."
On 14 May 2014, the Policy Research and Analysis Unit of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, in collaboration with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Embassy of the Republic of Poland to South Africa and the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), hosted a discussion forum on "Poland and South Africa towards 2030."
SAIIA's Western Cape Branch, the Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of South Africa, Roeland van de Geer, and the Consul General of Britain in South Africa, Mr Christopher Trott, invite you to a public lecture to be addressed by Sir Emyr Jones Parry, on 'The UN and the EU: why their roles are so important for South Africa and the world.'
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