Understanding the Future of the Eurozone and of Greece's Possible Exit
Paulo Rigueira and Thomas Maier
MAY 2012 -- This article aims to rationalize the present fear over the future of the eurozone by locating this fear within the literature that tries to understand the economic dimension of the European crisis. In doing so it stresses that we are not debating 'Greece's default' not even 'eurozone's meltdown'. We are still in a stage where we are discussing 'solutions to the Greek bailout programme'. A number of scenarios are raised that are likely to happen at the European level. It becomes clear that if things keep as they have been until now a rebranding of Monetarism is the likely outcome.
Obama's visit to Brazil: patching old wounds and pointing the way ahead
MARCH 2011 -- On the eve of US President Barack Obama's visit to Brazil, the state of relations between the two countries understandably comes under renewed focus, with many policymakers and observers keen on testing the waters between the two often-strayed partners. As expected, the stakes are naturally high since this will mark Obama's first official visit to South America. The selection of Brazil as the initial stopover is therefore not without its underlined geopolitical significance. More so, if one takes into account the new tenant of the Palácio do Planalto, Dilma Rousseff, and her latest indications that slight foreign policy 'nuances' are to be expected in the coming future, including when it comes to dealing with the US in the present international context.
Cape Verde and the Security Council: time for reelection?
Vasco Martins and Paulo Gorjão
MARCH 2011 -- The main idea underpinning this policy brief is the suggestion that Cape Verde should present its availability to be nominated for a second term as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The country's development and its position in international affairs appear to be favorable to a new candidature, perhaps in the 2014/2015 biennium. Starting from Cape Verde's democratic credentials and its unique features suited to occupying this position in the UNSC, this policy brief will show that Cape Verde assembles all the necessary preconditions to not only be nominated, but also to assure high quality representation and intervention in the UNSC.
JULY 2010 -- This article will attempt to summarize and analyze the current state of relations between the two countries. It therefore begins with an overview of the current relations between Portugal and Angola, focusing on the existing political cooperation between the governments at a bilateral and multilateral level. Then, the favorable economic climate, with several mutual investment projects already on the ground and others looming on the horizon, will be assessed. Finally, the article outlines some policy recommendations regarding specific short and medium-term issues that could -- and should -- be raised during the visit of President Cavaco Silva and Prime Minister José Sócrates.
JUNE 2010 -- With every piece of information pointing to a closer integration of the operation systems of NATO member states, Portugal must give its contribution to the new project and not lag behind. As one of the oldest and most dedicated members of the Atlantic Alliance, Portugal assumes a position that has continually favored it throughout most of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. But understanding the forthcoming changes is highly relevant to the future participation of the country in the reformed NATO. As most small states, Portugal needs to become further integrated in the Atlantic platform in order to see its national interests fulfilled. The lack of a highly modern 21st century military is not directly linked to the absence of active participation. A deeper commitment to Atlantic security is thus necessary, notwithstanding the recognition of today's differentiated threats to the latter. Although nuclear weapons still pose potential risks, today's perils range from armed extremist groups, to everything that is aimed at disrupting western societies. Significant steps must be taken by all member states in order to become fully protected against such new perils, ranging from terrorism, cyber attacks, climate change, energy security, while understating the gains of the projection of power to places where these threats emanate from, such as Afghanistan. On its way to assure its security and defense in November, Portugal must make sure the JFCL Headquarters remain in Lisbon, which gives it a significant boost in terms of responsibility and power projection within NATO, enough to assure its interest in other places, especially in the South Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
APRIL 2010 -- This article is a first attempt of making sense of it all. Thus, it aims to review the facts so far and provide a brief prospective analysis regarding the chances of a successful SSR in the future. The first section describes the facts behind the military coup, as well as the domestic and international reactions, as they were expressed in the media. The next section assesses the possible implications of the military coup, namely regarding the future prospects of the SSR process, as well as Guinea-Bissau's commitment to the fight against drug trafficking. The third section provides a few policy recommendations regarding how the international community should react to the events that took place on 1 April. The article ends with a few final remarks. It is commonly agreed that the coup should not produce rewards and the perpetrators must be told so. Otherwise, the spiral of violence in Guinea-Bissau will never end. How to succeed in breaking this cycle of political and military instability, though, is the million-dollar question.
Portugal and the Security Council: Is This Seat Taken?
APRIL 2010 -- Portugal is currently promoting its candidacy, along with Canada and Germany. Whether it will be successful remains to be seen, but this article is a (provisional) description and analysis of the ongoing Portuguese candidacy. It begins with a brief description of the logistics of the electoral procedures behind the selection of non-permanent members of the Security Council. The subsequent section provides the background for the Portuguese candidacy. In particular, it presents a short description of Portugal's previous terms in the Security Council. Afterwards, it will examine Lisbon's current strategy and the path taken so far to achieve a seat in the Security Council in 2011-2012. It then moves on to explain the Portuguese arguments in favor of the country's candidacy, while in the next section assessing the arguments of Portugal's opponents. Finally, this article outlines a tentative agenda for Portugal during the biennium, and ends with some brief considerations on the prospects of the Portuguese candidacy.