Trans-Atlantic Relations Project

B|Brief: Austrian Elections: When the Peoples' Parties Lose the People

When Austrians went to the polls in last month’s presidential election, the political establishment received a jarring wakeup call. Amid mounting frustration with the establishment, voters sent two so-called “outsiders” into a competitive runoff, taking place this weekend. Norbert Hofer, a member of the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) famously totes a Glock 26, and has said that refugees are a major threat to Austrian security. His opponent, Green Party veteran Alexander Van der Bellen is running as an independent in this race. He advocates for a strong and cohesive European Union and protecting refugees on humanitarian grounds. Although the role of president is largely ceremonial in Austria, the face-off between two extremes reveals a deepening polarization of the country.

B|Brief: Latest TTIP Round Yields Progress, Gridlock

Negotiators from the United States and the European Union convened in New York City last month for the 13th round of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, on the heels of the highly anticipated visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the Hannover Messe in Germany.

Intense negotiations continued on nearly all chapters of the agreement. Incremental progress was made, but significant points of disagreement remain in areas such as market access, regulatory cooperation and the overall structure of the agreement.

Germany's Response to the Refugee Situation: Remarkable Leadership or Fait Accompli?

In the first issue of the Newpolitik series, the Bertelsmann Foundation addresses the German government’s response to the refugee situation. Did German Chancellor Angela Merkel have a choice when she kept the borders open? Now that Germany has allowed more than 1 million asylum seekers through its borders, how can it effectively and efficiently respond to the challenges that follow?

B|Brief: A Road for Two: Brexit and the Future of Ireland

April 25, 2016

by Anthony Silberfeld

The last time a British exit affected the island of Ireland, the year was 1916. With the threat of a new Brexit looming, Dublin and Belfast must prepare to absorb and react to a concussive wave that will shake the island again.

B|Brief: The EU’s Arc of Instability: Can the European Neighborhood Policy be Resurrected?

Twelve years after its launch, the ENP has failed to secure any of its main objectives. Perhaps most shockingly, the EU and its flagship foreign policy mechanism have presided over a drastic deterioration in the humanitarian and security situations of its partners. Recent crises show that the ENP is in need of not just drastic reform, but an urgent reordering of its priorities.

B|Brief: Making Trans-Atlantic Relations Great Again? A Look at US Front-runners’ Positions on Europe

The latest, delegate-rich presidential primaries in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio further cemented Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as front-runners within their respective parties. While official delegates will not be awarded until party conventions in mid-July, the often raucous and anti-establishment nature of this cycle has raised the specter of a drastic shift in America’s tack toward Europe.

B|Brief: State Elections in Germany: Party Politics on Shaky Ground

March 11, 2016

by Emily Hruban

This weekend, Germans will go to the polls in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt to elect state leaders. While each of these states has its own distinct demography and political history, they have one thing in common this election cycle: The current migration crisis is throwing the political landscape into disarray and splintering political parties across the country.

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