The world is transfixed by Britain’s referendum Thursday over whether to stay in the European Union. Some of the most interested and anxious spectators of the “Brexit” debate are in the Baltic republics, where I recently spent a week meeting with political and military leaders as part of a delegation from the Jamestown Foundation.
For the first time since the start of Britain’s referendum fight over Europe, the polls predict “Brexit.” The four most recent national surveys put the “Leave” side ahead with margins of between one and 10 percentage points. Most people, including many disaffected Britons who want to shake up the system by backing a Brexit, understand that this would mean a political and economic shock. But they underestimate its severity.
“British citizens will be voting on June 23 on a question that will affect not just the future of Europe, but also the future of the United States, argues CFR President Richard N. Haass in the American Interest.”
An isolationist bent to British politics, what Sebastian Mallaby refers to as “little Englandism,” is not new to the British political tradition. While this perspective has long been counter-balanced by a Gladstonian internationalism, debates around Brexit have been conspicuously devoid of such idealism, speaking in a language that appeals only to pocketbooks rather than to common decency.
China’s leadership of the Group of Twenty (G20) in 2016 comes at a moment when the role of the G20 itself is being challenged. CFR's Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and the Asia Global Institute convened a workshop in Hong Kong to assess the agenda facing the G20, why the group had fallen short of expectations in recent years, and whether China’s leadership in 2016 provides an opportunity for renewal.
Laurie Garrett writes that the organization responsible for international public health is increasing its budget by millions of dollars — but its plan for coming up with the cash to help battle epidemics like Zika isn’t grounded in reality.
Laurie Garrett provides an in-depth analysis of the upcoming election of the next director-general of the World Health Organization and its detrimental impact on the future of global health leadership.
Japan hosts the G7 summit at a time of rising strategic tensions in Asia and worrisome global economic trends, but for many the gathering will be sidelined by a U.S. presidential visit to Hiroshima, writes CFR's Sheila Smith.
President Barack Obama attended Hannover Messe, an industrial fair held in Hannover, Germany. His speech discusses the relationship between the United States and European countries in enforcing sovereignty, addressing terrorism, promoting trade, and accepting refugees.
With the UK having voted to leave the European Union, uncertainty over the future of the bloc has intensified. Brexit supporters argue that the EU threatens sovereignty and stifles growth, while opponents counter that EU membership strengthens trade, investment, and the UK's standing in the world.
The UN has filled the post of “Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine” with someone whose one-sided, biased track record of bashing Israel should have disqualified him immediately. Elliott Abrams tells the story in National Review.
The government of India filed suit on March 3 in the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking to overturn a new U.S. tax on high-skilled migrants that India says discriminates against its citizens and would damage some of its most successful companies. The case marks the first time that a country's immigration laws have been challenged using the rules of a trade agreement, writes CFR’s Edward Alden.
The UN Human Rights Council is about to choose another “Special Rapporteur” on Palestinian rights, whose job it is to attack Israel. The lead candidates seem to be the two most biased people they could find, as Elliott Abrams explains in National Review.
In the next five years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will face new challenges as it struggles to come to terms with a rapidly changing global marketplace and with lending rules poorly suited for the crises the institution will likely face. These challenges will force the IMF to scrutinize and adjust its lending rules. A broader issue is also at play: financial markets are becoming bigger more quickly than the institution’s resources are, and IMF rescue alone may be insufficient in the future . How the financing burden is shared with other official creditors will help determine whether the fund is an effective leader of the global effort to prevent and resolve economic crises in the coming decades.
Next week, at a summit in California, US President Barack Obama will meet with the leaders of the ten countries of Asia’s most important regional grouping: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The event, the first-ever US-ASEAN summit on American soil, is being touted as a sign of America’s growing interest in Southeast Asia. The question is whether the US, by inviting all members of ASEAN, has allowed its interests to overwhelm its principles.