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Arctic CSS Blog

Arctic States and Stakes

This graphic maps the countries located in the Arctic Circle, as well as its passages and sea routes. In the Arctic, Russia and China have their own ambitions, but their objectives currently overlap. Complementary economic interests are the main driver of their cooperation.

For more on the Sino-Russian dynamics in the Arctic, read Maria Shagina and Benno Zogg’s CSS Analysis in Security Policy here.

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Technology Coronavirus CSS Blog

Facial Recognition will Outlast COVID-19

Image courtesy of StockSnap/Pixabay

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 COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented spread of facial coverings while simultaneously accelerating the adoption of digital surveillance tools, including facial recognition systems (FRS). However, whereas the facemasks will disappear again, FRS are not only poised to stay, but to keep on expanding. Consequently, governments should address the issues of bias and robustness by testing and certifying FRS. Even more importantly, there is a need to explore and discuss acceptable socio-technical configurations (cultural norms, technical standards, infrastructure, laws, etc.) around the increased legibility of citizens to the state.

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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.

Categories
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.