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Global Memos

These briefs are a feature of the Council of Councils initiative, gathering opinions from global experts on major international developments. For older versions, visit the Global Roundups archive.

Ending the War in Syria: An Israeli Perspective

Sep 21, 2017

While Israel has largely abstained from direct involvement in the Syrian civil war, it has a vested interest in the conflict’s outcome and should support a resolution to the conflict that reflects both its humanitarian concerns and national security interests: ending the carnage and limiting the threat posed by the Iran-led axis. 

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A Union at Risk: The Future of the European Project

Jun 20, 2017

Developments in the past six months have fed perceptions that, while the EU is not perfect, it is no longer under threat of collapse. However, this emerging perception could induce a dangerously complacent attitude that EU leaders can ill afford. In fact, the EU remains mired in a crisis of confidence and legitimacy of unprecedented proportion. What is needed, therefore, is a sober assessment of the challenges and risks that the EU faces and its possible options to sort out the present crisis and resume a sustainable integration path forward.

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Impatient and Distracted: The United States and NATO Under Trump

May 4, 2017

Bartosz Wisniewski of the Polish Institute of International Affairs examines the future of NATO under the Trump administration. He finds that growing tensions in East Asia might serve as a reinforcing argument for those in the United States who urge European NATO members to do more for common defense. And given Trump’s participation, the late May NATO leaders’ meeting in Brussels will be the best opportunity for his administration so far to revisit some basics truths about the value of alliances, and NATO in particular.

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Europe Is at the Core of France’s Foreign Policy

Apr 21, 2017

It remains difficult to predict who will be the eventual winner of France’s upcoming presidential elections, but two of the four candidates that could emerge victorious support policies far outside the traditional French and European consensus. Their extreme positions may lead to the end of French membership in both the EU and the NATO, and consequently unravel the postwar effort to bind the European continent. 

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Global Cyber Governance in 2017: Information Integrity

Apr 4, 2017

While the protection of data is at the center of cybersecurity, privacy, and internet functioning, most of us are end users of the information that data comprises. Approaches to cyber governance need to give more prominence to the concept of information integrity in addition to the current emphasis on data security. Safeguarding a trustworthy internet and building confidence in the integrity of information is a critical part of a strong cybersecurity regime because there is a growing risk that political and personal decisions are based on inadequate or false information in cyberspace.

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Refreshing Global Trade Governance

Jan 19, 2017

For the past two years, global trade volumes have plateaued. But the importance of trade as an engine for global prosperity and welfare, and as the embodiment of an integrated, peaceful world has not diminished. In the face of changed circumstances—growing public skepticism of globalization and free trade, and volatile domestic politics—the case for open exchange must be made and not simply assumed. It should also be backed by credible, workable arrangements that reflect reality.

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Steering a World in Disarray: Ten Summits to Watch in 2017

Jan 1, 2017

After a tumultuous 2016, the world holds its breath for what the coming year may bring. Angry populism is on the march. Great power relations are tense. The Middle East has imploded. Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald J. Trump proposes to upend U.S. foreign policy in areas from trade to climate, alliances to nonproliferation, terrorism to human rights. In a world in disarray, can multilateralism deliver? Ten major summits during 2017 will help provide an answer. Here’s what to look for at each summit.

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