Hurdle Race with a Slow Start

Public Administration Reform in Ukraine

18/10/2018 | by Iryna Solonenko | Ukraine, Reform

Launched in 2015 after the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine’s public administration reform is a serious attempt to overhaul the existing system based on recognized European principles. However, its implementation has been patchy due to various obstacles including poor leadership and resistance to change. To tackle these drawbacks, it is important to establish a reform task force led by the prime minster and improve legislation. Support from Germany and Europe will also be decisive for the reform’s success.

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This Autumn, Germany Should Pave Its Way out of the 46 Billion Defense Investment Gap

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By the close of the ongoing budget negotiations in November 2018, Germany will have to decide on the future of its armed forces’ long-term recovery. To close the 46 billion euro gap, the defense budget and financial planning would need to be increased by approximately four billion euros each year until 2024. While endorsing their firm commitments to NATO and the EU, parliament and government have so far failed to agree on a budget fit enough to deliver on those tasks they have assigned to the Bundeswehr.

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While member states recognize the value of the civilian Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), a strategic EU vision is lacking. In the face of current and future security risks, the EU requires the capacities to launch civilian missions and to manage major crises in its vicinity. To guide the implementation of the Civilian Compact from 2019 on, the EU should set quantitative headline goals and adopt a strategic planning approach, while member states need to create favorable national legislations.


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Russia’s Foreign and Security Policy Rationale

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Political decision-making under Vladimir Putin is informed by a military-technological rationale, and military might is seen as a main tool of Russian foreign policy. Modern nuclear capabilities are key for Russia as they are regarded an effective bargaining chip that will also bring Moscow back to eye-level vis-à-vis the US. Yet, the Kremlin regards all manners of hybrid warfare – including disinformation, cyber-attacks and Russian-engineered international media coverage – as equally legitimate.

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Europe Should Defend the Iran Deal without Burning Bridges to the US

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In a bid to salvage the Iran Nuclear Deal, European leaders this week moved to protect European companies from the possible fallout of US sanctions against Iran. The steps taken to ensure commerce with Iran – among them the activation of the 1996 blocking statute – risk further alienation from the US. However, the EU will only be able to negotiate effectively with the US over Iran if it develops its own strategy. Fighting for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a place to start.


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