Author: Carsten Nickel

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BELARUS: Lukashenko might go, but Russia’s influence will remain

  • Targeted EU sanctions against individuals in President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime are symbolic and will, as such, not affect regime stability.
  • As Russia seems well-positioned to retain its influence in Belarus regardless of the regime’s future, this increases the chances of preventing another escalation with Moscow.
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EU: What “strategic autonomy” actually means

Heads of the EU institutions and Chinese President Xi Jinping convened for a high-level online meeting yesterday. The gathering replaced the initially envisaged EU-China summit, for which German Chancellor Angela Merkel had intended to bring all 27 member-state leaders, the Brussels institutions, and their Chinese guests together in the city of Leipzig.… Read the rest

Carsten Nickel

Carsten Nickel is a Managing Director with Teneo. Following stints in Berlin and Brussels, Carsten is based in London where he co-launched Teneo’s political risk advisory service in 2013.

He covers Western Europe, with a focus on Brexit, the EU institutions and Germany.

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EU: A politically transformative deal, but unlikely to be the last word

  • After lengthy talks, EU leaders have agreed on a new budget and a recovery fund, demonstrating member states’ continued commitment in a moment of severe crisis.
  • The deal is politically transformative in that it sets a powerful precedent, allowing the Commission to issue joint debt, part of which will be passed on to crisis-hit economies in the form of grants.
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EU/CHINA: Gaining time

  • While this week’s consultations between EU institutions and the Chinese government ended without any communique, the outlook for the big EU-China summit in H2 is still uncertain.
  • Despite the EU’s ‘awakening’ to China’s increasing global role, Europe’s ability to develop a unified position remains constrained by member states’ diverging interests.
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UK: Plan for jobs – Does strategic ambition match fiscal cost?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has presented his plan for jobs, the second part of the government’s set of economic measures to fight the impact of the pandemic, in the Commons today. The first stage of GBP 160bn had been designed to help the UK economy through the virus-inflicted hibernation period, mainly via increased spending on the national health service and a far-reaching (by UK standards) furlough scheme.… Read the rest

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UK/EU: Ultimatum from Brussels – deal or no-deal by end-September

At an emergency meeting of the Brexit joint committee, the EU has handed an ultimatum to the UK. Either the government amends its UK internal market bill which is deemed – by both sides – to be in breach of the international law created by the withdrawal agreement; or Brussels will reconsider the currently still ongoing future relationship talks.… Read the rest

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UK/EU: As talks resume, a deal remains possible

Following a rather short summer break, EU-UK trade talks will resume next week. Despite some negative noise, a deal remains possible, but as at previous iterations of the Brexit saga, an agreement should probably be expected closer to the deadline.… Read the rest