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Health Coronavirus CSS Blog

WHO Funding

This graphic outlines the World Health Organization’s funding by donor groups, as well as assessed and voluntary contributions. Countries are still the most important sources of funding, contributing almost 60 per cent of the agency’s budget. Its dependency on voluntary donations makes it particularly difficult for the WHO to put its donors under too much pressure.

For more on the WHO’s alleged pro-China bias during the coronavirus pandemic, read Jan Thiel’s CSS Analysis in Security Policy here.

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Defense Coronavirus CSS Blog

The New EU Budget and Defense: Narrowing the Capabilities-Expectations Gap

Image courtesy of Guillaume Périgois/Unsplash.

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The EU as a foreign policy and security actor is often haunted by the “capabilities-expectation gap”, referring to the discrepancy between the expectations citizens and states have about the EU’s international role and what the EU is actually able to deliver. The gap consists of three main components: available instruments, resources, and the ability to agree.

The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will go down in history as the EU’s coronavirus budget – unprecedented in volume and the raising of joint debt. It features several new defense initiatives complementing the EU’s long-standing efforts to narrow the capabilities-expectations gap. While the budget places promising new instruments at the EU’s disposal, the trimming of resources initially allocated and unchanged decision-making procedures significantly dim the prospects for those initiatives to deliver the expected results. If these projects are to bear fruit, they must be prioritized and interlinked with existing programs and supported by strong financial commitments by the member states.

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Economy CSS Blog

The Western Balkans within Europe

This graphic maps the Western Balkans in Europe focusing on their GDP. With the exceptions of Croatia and Slovenia, the Western Balkans are unable to achieve growth rates that enable it to catch up with EU averages. The average GDP per capita for the six countries is half that of Central European countries and only one quarter of that of Western Europe.

For insights on the Western Balkans between the EU, NATO, Russia & China, read more of Henrik Larsen’s CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.

Categories
Diplomacy CSS Blog

Why China Will Support Russia in Belarus

Image courtesy of Andrew Keymaster/Unsplash.

This article was originally published by The Diplomat on 31 August 2020.

The political crisis in Belarus that erupted following the August 9 presidential election continues to evolve unpredictably, posing a daunting challenge for Russia in fashioning a response. President Alexander Lukashenko faces mass demonstrations by protesters alleging that the official election results, which showed the president winning a landslide re-election victory, were fraudulent. The outcome of the crisis remains uncertain. As Russia observes the volatile situation, weighing its options for shaping the future of the country, it can expect to receive support from China, which has rapidly expanded its own interests in Belarus.

Categories
Security CSS Blog

Composition of the UN Security Council

This graphic provides an overview of the composition of the UN Security Council. A common criticism is that this composition and the existence of permanent veto powers reflect the situation at the end of World War II. This is considered outdated by many UN member states, including Switzerland, which has been campaigning for reforms since 2005.

This year, Switzerland applied for the first time to take a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Being a member would undeniably entail many opportunities, but also some risks. For insights on the Swiss candidacy for the Security Council, see Fabien Merz’s CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.