Thursday, June 29, 2017

Islamic State 3.0 in the world´s biggest Muslim country?

(Photo: AP|Achmad Ibrahim)

Just two days before the start of the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum 26-28 May, 2017 the news reported a twin blast by suicide-bombers in East Jakarta which killed three policemen and injured 11 people. According to the spokesman of the Indonesian police, the attackers had ties to ISIS. With such a fresh tragedy in our mind we attended the Dinner Session titled Islamic Radicalism in Southeast Asia with two distinguished speakers: Hans-Jakob Schindler, Coordinator, ISIL (Da'esh), Al-Qaida and Taliban Monitoring Team, United Nations Security Council based in New York and Sabariah Mohamed Hussin, Research Analyst at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research with the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore chaired by Theresa Fallon, the Director of the Centre for Russia, Europe, Asia Studies based in Brussels.

The central theme of the discussion was the increasing globalization of Islamic Extremism, as the recent events in Indonesia demonstrates. Can the region of Southeast Asia be the new province for the Islamic State? Is there the possibility of ISIS 2.0 or 3.0 to be established in the region of Southeast Asia? It is false to think that the only aim for Islamic State is the Middle Eastern territory—and ISIS 2.0 is already established in the Philippines. For Islamic radicals the Southeast Asia region is the arena of opportunities—and exploration for opportunities is already ongoing.

On 26 May, government officials of the Philippines confirmed that foreign fighters of ISIS tried to establish a province in the city of Marawi on Mindanao island. President Duterte immediately imposed martial law in the region and assigned troops to fight the terrorists but the military failed to recapture Marawi.  Terrorists with combat experience chased out from the Middle East are now returning to their home regions, for many it is Southeast Asia, with the same mission: to establish the Islamic State. The bloodbath and combat between the army and terrorists in Marawi is still ongoing and open-ended. Will more regions face fights against locally established provinces of the IS? Probably yes. How does this effect the so-called beacon of Muslim democracy, Indonesia? Can we expect the next ISIS province, the ISIS 3.0 to be established in Indonesia?

Possibly no. The recent events cast doubt on Indonesia´s image as a role-model for Muslim democracies for very a good reason. Indeed, if Indonesia wants to develop further as an inclusive or even liberal democracy, the government needs to undertake bold measurements to protect freedom of religion and speech. Western media tend to report that Indonesia has its foot on the path towards radicalization which is actually far from the truth. It is false to assume that all Muslims are prone to ISIS—and this is especially true for Indonesia.
Being a democratic country, Indonesia served as a prime example during the Arab Spring to Middle Eastern and Northern African countries, proving that Islam and liberal democracy are compatible —even though democracy in Indonesia is still far from perfect.

Indonesia is the biggest Muslim country counting 207.2 million followers, which stands for more than 87% of its population1. Indonesia also has an strong ethnic diversity counting more than 350 ethnic groups. Although the state´s official philosophy, the Pancasila builds on the “Unity in Diversity”, frequent tensions arises among different ethnic groups.

Indonesia has not adopted Islam as it´s official state religion, nor does the Islamic law govern the country which is anchored in the Pancasila. The degree of secularism is strong, although far from perfect—as the recent case of the ex-governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok demonstrates.

Ahok, who has Chinese and Christian ethnic heritage was sentenced to 2 years of prison for blasphemy and hate speech in May 2017. Ahok was accused of insulting Islam in September 2016 when he criticized the interpretation of the Koran´s Al Maidah 51 verse which if we take the formal interpretation prohibits non-Muslims from leading a Muslim country. Hardline Islamist parties such as the Islam Defenders Forum used this opportunity and in their third protest managed to mobilize more than 500 thousand protesters against Ahok in December 2016. Whether the rally means that the Indonesians would welcome a more radical agenda in general or it is simply a well-orchestrated emotional reaction to the Ahok-case is difficult to determine. Trials of blasphemy are not unique in Indonesia but the accusation was never used against a high-level politician prior to major elections.

Ahok´s case has put Indonesia´s status as the role model into question. The UN rights experts urged the government to abolish the blasphemy law. “This case also illustrates that the existence of blasphemy law can be used to justify intolerance and hate speech,” they said. “Blasphemy law is not compatible with a democratic society like Indonesia and it harms religious pluralism in the country.” One can only agree with Benedict Rodgers, human rights activist, who wrote: “country where supposedly “moderate” Muslim politicians give radicals a platform, unleashing and emboldening the forces of intolerance, is a country playing with fire”. Politicians should not give a platform to Islamists and should adopt a law which truly strengthens freedom of religion and speech.

The majority of Indonesian Muslims are very supportive towards religious plurality and peaceful coexistence of various religions. ISIS actively campaigned in 2014 to recruit fighters from Indonesia with little success. The hardline Islamic parties do not have yet the majority support.  Based on the report of IPAC about 500 people flew to Syria and Iraq to join the fighters from Indonesia. Most of them were detained before their arrival and sent back. If we compare this estimated number to the population, it is infinitesimal. On the Global Terrorism Index from 2016 Indonesia ranked on 38th place, lower than the U.S. or the UK. ISIS recruiters simply do not resonate within the Indonesian society to an extensive degree. Why? Indonesia doesn´t have a repressive government, Muslims aren´t a victimized minority, what takes the strongest card from recruiters.

Moreover, it is important to note that ISIS has a tremendous counterweight in the region: the Nahdlatul Ulama, known as NU, which was established in 1926 to counterbalance the Saudi-Arabian Wahabism. NU claims to have over 50 million members and aims for spreading a tolerant, peaceful, inclusive anti-jihad Islam. Indonesia´s first democratic president hailed from the NU party and their influence is strong.

So far Indonesian officials did not ban any radical or fundamental group as being a vital part of the free political dialogue. However, based on the recent domestic incidents and in the Philippines, President Joko Widodo, who represents the moderate anti-Jihad Islam stream,  claimed to “clobber” any radical group that goes against the principals of Pancasila and the secular state, such as the recently banned Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia which aims to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Indonesia has some sleeping cells of radical Islamists and the influence of radicals is growing which has the minorities especially concerned. Hardline Islamic movements were able to mobilize thousands of protesters in the Ahok-case. Indeed, the masses as part of the majority are easily mobilized against the others and the political game/aim behind this mobilization is not visible at first sight.

The Ahok case pointed out the imperfections of the Indonesian secular pluralist democratic system. There is room for improvement in defending pluralism. It also served as a warning for the moderate Muslims—they also need to be more active. Western media tends to report only on radicals in the region but Indonesia is still inclusive and ISIS will have an extremely hard time to grow. However, it needs to overcome challenges to remain so. 

Alexandra Tóthová 
GLOBSEC Policy Institute

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Six things we learned about world politics this (ice hockey) season

(Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

The 2016-2017 season, commencing with the Brexit vote and then carrying on through the election of Trump as President and the French and British elections, was a political and emotional roller-coaster. Macron’s victory has brought a sigh of relief to many. It gives hope for enhanced progress and stability in the long run and a more relaxed summer break in the short term.
We provided analysis for the year in review, the current state of the world and its prospective future from multiple perspectives during our recent GLOBSEC 2017 Bratislava Forum (here, here, and here). While campaigns and elections headlined the 2016-2017 season, there were other captivating events and developments that, although seemingly disconnected, reveal much about global political processes.
Some matters are as true about world politics as they are about ice hockey.
1.     The U.S. is still the global power…
Despite its power being increasingly contested, the NHL (National Hockey League) and the U.S. by extension is still the global superpower. There is no other entity in the world today that would be similarly revered and similarly powerful.
Outside of hockey in world affairs, many have a premonition of the United States sharing the power space with rising China or Russia in a multipolar world. For now, however, the U.S. is still in a dominant position as the preeminent superpower and will be able to handle aspiring contestants if it acts wisely.
2.     … but that would be impossible without others.
Behind every great country there are great allies. The prominence of the United States would hardly have been possible without close cooperation with allies who are imbedded in the same – primarily U.S. led – institutions and act towards shared goals.
The casual hockey fan from outside of North America probably does not know that the NHL is not originally and exclusively an American achievement. What many – especially outside of North America – see as a US-led enterprise was in fact founded in Canada and originally included only Canadian teams. No Canadian club has won the Stanley Cup (the main NHL trophy) since 1993 and there are only 7 Canadian teams in the League versus 24 U.S.-based teams. Canadians still make up the majority of team members across the League though (45% v. 27% of U.S. nationals). And there are more Europeans recruited by the NHL teams than there are American nationals.
The U.S. is not the best at everything – others might have better international outcomes (try to beat Canada when they play as a nation) or better youth training programmes. But what the U.S. proved to be better at is establishing institutions, sustaining them, streamlining private funds and spreading the addictive, contagious, and entertaining notion of having ambition and achieving it. Importantly, this success in hockey as in other domains is in many ways based on the U.S. ability to draw from a wide global pool of talent.
I’d send everyone advocating for American isolationism to see the next game of their favorite NHL team from this perspective. The U.S. cannot do it alone. And the U.S. deciding to do it alone would be a great loss for everyone.
3.     America First.
After years of aversion to international competitions, in spring 2017, the NHL announced that it will stop the practice of halting its season for the NHL players to be able to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The main rationale behind the decision is that there are “no tangible benefits” from participation and that the clubs suffer losses from players being away and exposed to the risk of injury.
This is not to say that there is a casual relation between the new motto of the U.S. President and the NHL decision, the latter being a privately-owned enterprise. And this is in no way to attribute the practice of retrenchment and protectionism to all American businesses.
But this coincidence in timing reflects the spirit of the season and how it is seen from the outside. It seems that the U.S. decision to abandon international institutions like the Paris Agreement and skepticism over the value of the U.N. and NATO is because they do not offer clear and immediate benefits or domestic profit commensurate with the money and effort invested.
In both world politics and hockey, these decisions were criticized for lacking foresight and ignoring the equally important but not necessary immediate tangible benefits. The “Olympics ban” eliminates the lost profits for League team owners and the additional risk of injury. But it harms the prospects of popularizing hockey in the countries outside of its traditional fan base at a time when the League needs to seek growth opportunities outside North America. And it also hinders the prospects of further developing the tradition of international competition with its illustrative emphasis on globally acceptable values – team work in combination with individual skill, fair play, and graciousness both in victory and defeat.
4.     And there have always been Russians.
Although no longer the same formidable USSR “Red Machine”, the Russian team is not a rival to be taken lightly. The number and quality of Russian players in the NHL is impressive and includes superstars like Alexander Ovechkin.
But the prowess of Russian players or the national team is not the only mirror to the world of global affairs; a resurgent Russia has aspiration to redefine the current power structures.
When the KHL (Continental Hockey League) was formed in 2008, few took its ambition seriously. But political support and funding poured into the League, ensuring rapid growth and attracting elite-players. It now has 27 teams including from China, Slovakia, Finland, Latvia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Still considered inferior to the NHL, if the level of the game is maintained and further developed it has a chance to eventually pressure the NHL.
The story and ambition of KHL might very well belong to the textbook of case studies in international politics and Russia’s relations with the world. The League is a brainchild of Putin who felt that the game lost its sharpness and that re-creating the Soviet era West-East hockey rivalry would bring back the vibe. Make hockey great again! thinking also envisioned more ties between Russia and Europe uninhibited by politics or administrative hurdles.
However, the 2014 Crimea geopolitics marred the 2008-2009 free-of-politics vision of the game. The aggressive expansion of the League into European countries was often met with criticism and suspicion, particularly in Scandinavia and the Baltics. The idea of regional cooperation driven by Russia has become harder to sell. European fans and sports authorities acquainted with the concept of hybrid war have grown weary of propaganda and Russian state influence. The heavy funding of the League by Russian state enterprises and energy giants and the League’s ties with Kremlin do not help assuage these fears, regardless of whether they are grounded or not.
The popular mood, in hockey and in politics, is to acknowledge Russia and its power but also to treat it with great suspicion.
5.     China has ambitions
Any hockey regular would laugh off the idea that China could become a country to watch. Yet, China has proclaimed an ambition to be like the U.S., Russia, or Canada. Both in politics and in hockey.
While China’s rise in international politics and economic relations is widely discussed, it’s tenacious determination to conquer the world of hockey is even more impressive. With only a handful of ice hockey players and no high-level game experience, the country is investing heavily in the development of the sport – recruiting Russian and European coaches, entering a Chinese team into the KHL, building skating rinks, or hosting games and trainings of NHL teams in China.
Preparing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, China is determined to stand toe-to-toe with anyone. If China wins a game against the U.S., Canada, or Russia just in five years, it will be a miracle. But for the country that has already proved many international observers wrong with its unprecedented rise and economic growth, five years might be just enough.
6.     In the rapidly changing post-truth world, clear rules and fair play are as valued as never
Allegations of dirty moves, parties loathing each other, alternative facts, conspiracies, support based on emotions rather than reason – these topics can headline a discussion about politics or hockey alike.
What differentiates hockey from politics is the current level of trust towards its institutions and experts. Anger and discontent of the public with the political establishment has been seen as a driving force behind many recent elections results. And the public has had enough of experts.
In hockey, judges can be seen as biased and players can be accused of foul play. But the system itself is rarely seen as rigged due to its ability to indiscriminately impose rules, adjudicate disputes based on video evidence or other methods, or review appeals. Nor are the sports experts and commentators declared irrelevant even when they are hated by some for the alleged lack of partiality. Hockey also holds up in comparison to other sports that are increasingly facing corruption charges and disputed doping allegations, from FIFA to athletics to the Olympics.
Trusted institutions with clear rules and principles are increasingly difficult to find in the world of politics – not in the least because they are contested or abandoned by the powers that once were their biggest proponents. It is not surprising hence that disheartened citizens might find refuge and indulge in the still more trusted world of hockey with its sense of order, stability, and relative fairness.

Alena Kudzko
Deputy Research Director
GLOBSEC Policy Institute

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Advice from Journalists and NGOs: How to lessen the impact of disinformation

A steep rise in disinformation outlets’ popularity has made many worry about the state of liberal democracy in our societies. The European governments, (usually) in cooperation with large businesses, are gradually trying to embrace the issue and tackle it through legislative and structural measures. But meanwhile, there are other actors with a substantial impact on day-to-day lives of the many. Who are they and what is their role in it? 

Under the umbrella of the Strategic Communication programme, the GLOBSEC Policy Institute organised a series of events in April 2017 addressing and debating the presence of disinformation and hoaxes in the media. Czech and Slovak journalists, activists and representatives of non-governmental sector joined the discussions to contribute with their experience. Such concentration of expertise from numerous fields resulted in a substantial number of practical tips and ideas to enhance the fight against the disinformation outlets’ influence. Although each of them would be worth sharing, several encompassing messages resonated within the discourse. What do we need to do?

1. To infiltrate a “grey zone” before it is too late. As everywhere, there are groups of people unshakeably convinced that the world is governed by secret groups or that every NGO and body supporting liberal democratic values is trying to destroy the world with liberalism. In case of such hardcore conspirators, it is naturally difficult to remodel their worldview. However, large segments of population fluctuate in the so-called “grey zone”. Assembling those who are sceptical towards a scale of narratives offered in the media (often connected to dissatisfaction with their own social and economic conditions resulting in negative sentiments towards the system in general), the grey zone represents a group that is vulnerable though still very much targetable. A proactive approach taking a form of positive narrative and debunking to ensure that disinformation and hoaxes do not flood their communication channels is thus urgently needed. 

2. To blur the black-and-white vision of the world on the social media
To the more difficult part - information “bubbleisation” is nowadays a well-known phenomenon. Generally, it leads to a concentration of views and opinions that secure the receivers’ belief about the truthfulness of their own worldview. Due to the so-called “filter bubbles”, the tendencies to live in closed information clusters have increased with social media being one of the key sources of information. Disinformation outlets use these channels wisely - maintenance of such “bubbles” allows them to strengthen the so-called black-and-white vision of the world serving their purpose. Despite existing websites generating completely untrue and made-up stories (such as this one or this one – both widely shared and written with the aim of influencing the US election), disinformation is often based on real events and news – ignoring relevant part of the context, shaping a story to benefit a desired message (debunked example here), or selecting certain examples to feed the audience with the image of villainised group, person or institution (characteristic for Facebook pages such as Alex Jones). We often see the technique used for enhancing anti-immigrant sentiments - through a careful search and selection of news concentrating on crimes committed by migrants or them receiving public funding, such sources completely ignore the application of same standards onto the rest of society. 

Hence a large portion of society is prone to start receiving an image of a completely different reality, framed to benefit a given (“black”) narrative and evoke desired emotions. As much as it is difficult to penetrate people’s bubbles, and even more difficult to make someone realise and (even) admit they were wrong, the active approach from civil society actors, private companies and media is required to complement the spheres where the public sector is missing.

3. To acknowledge and support a decisive role of journalists
To target as many shades of grey as possible, the experts agreed that, above all, those originally responsible for informing the societies play a key role. And they realise there is a decisive moment for them to do their job better than ever before. Now why is that: 
A)Journalists have the power to set the information into the context, to show what is behind every simplified claim or a piece of information.
B) Related to that, there is an opportunity to emphasise what “real” journalism as a profession is about – checking the facts, digging into a problem and verifying the sources. 
C) As opposed to a number of disinformation outlets, the journalists can demonstrate their accessibility and contact with public. As opposed to many anonym nicknames, journalists have identity (email or phone to which anyone can write or call) and act publicly in the name of their professional life.
D) Another major difference is that factual mistakes and misinterpretations in case of disinformation outlets are intentional. Unlike in the case of journalists whose mistakes generally tend to be admitted and corrected.
E) And finally, although the views on this issue differ between many, they dispose of possibilities to a) talk to the representatives spreading or supporting disinformation and conspiracy theories, and b) show the public they can prove them wrong. 

4. To avoid tabloidization
For a large scale of mainstream media, the “tabloidization” of topics, or even titles, is often a natural way to attract readers. That is, in fact, not surprising as the last year’s research estimated that 59% of Twitter users do not read articles before retweeting them. However, since representing the main source of information for many, the role of tabloids in joining the process hand in hand with investigative and opinion-makers’ journalists is crucial. Despite various intentions, catchy but aggressive headlines override the unintentionality of provoking negative emotions and often result in evoking sympathies with counter-narratives.

Moreover, the fast pace of information-processing adds up to the requirements to publish new content quickly. That too often leads to a lack of verification of sources and results in the mainstream media actually spreading disinformation themselves. And later, perhaps for the sake of preserving the image, the apology or explanation is generally not as visible as it could be to put the information back on the right track. In Slovakia, there has been a recent post by a widely read tabloid website, suggesting a plan for a new NATO military base in Slovakia. The story was, naturally, highly misleading but given current trends of declining pro-NATO orientation in the country, it evoked more than a thousand comments and around 2.5 thousand Facebook shares.

5. To enhance cooperation
Naturally, the presence of think tankers, NGO representatives and other actors contributing to the enrichment of civil society highly contributed to shaping the discussion into a cross-sectoral way. The main uptake from the debate? Cooperation. Technological companies, journalists, analysts, and basically everyone who cares about the sanity of the society should join forces and make it one of the priorities on their agenda. No one doubts this is already happening, but it seems as if the actors spreading disinformation were one step ahead thanks to their mobilisation and vigorous proactiveness. 

The more, the better
And that leads us to acknowledging why such discussions and formats are useful. Involving different people with a direct reach to various segments of society can help identify the existing gaps and build bridges to overcome them. As we talk about the presence of disinformation in the media, a large share of responsibility naturally lies on their shoulders. But as also confirmed by the attendees, everyone’s help and contribution is valued in the fight against the phenomenon so aggressively and intricately modifying the way people receive information and perceive the world.

Dominika Hajdu
Strategic Communication Programme
GLOBSEC Policy Institute 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Into the Unknown: Brexit Negotiations Finally Start Today

Circa three months after Britain invoked the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, making the first formal step towards the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the substantive part of the withdrawal negotiations has started today in Brussels. The aim of the negotiations is to avoid a clear and total hard brexit – i.e. a divorce without any deal on future relations between the independent UK and the EU27. Despite seemingly minimalistic in ambition, Britain and the EU will presumably not achieve a grand consensus on most of the pressing economic issues and will limit themselves to secure technically achievable and politically rewarding deal on the “low-profile” aspects of the divorce. In other words, brexit will be neither “hard” nor “soft”, but only a one that would ultimately allow both sides to avoid political calamity and to claim hope for future (economic) rapprochement. And without a political miracle, Brexit will constitute a loss-loss development for the future of the UK and the EU.

In the past three months, a number of factors have changed the nature of brexit-related discussions. The European side of the table seems to be doing fairly well in terms of its ongoing political consolidation. After the historical turns of 2016 – meaning the election of president Trump, brexit referendum itself and the former Italian PM Renzi´s (initial) demise – the trend was reversed by President Macron´s electoral successes which have lately constituted the source of noticeable hope for the reenergizations of the Franco-German engine. On other side of the English Channel, the Theresa May-led Conservative party has just lost its control over the more important parliamentary chamber in the Westminster.

With one-eighth of the assigned negotiating time already passed, the UK might be finally bureaucratically ready for the negotiations, however the political aspects of brexit, are turning increasingly ambiguous. PM Theresa May called the recent UK general elections, only two months ago, with essentially four fundamental motivations on her mind: a) to solidify her political standing within her own party, b) to obtain a larger (thus more secure) margin of majority in the Westminster, c) to secure a public validation for her vision of the brexit and d) to embolden her standing vis-à-vis her European partners.

However, her electoral miscalculation has created even a more complicated reality and instead of greater clarity we have greater ambiguity. Not only that we are not assured about the desired brexit “softness” that will eventually be sought by the elites in the Whitehall, but also one cannot precisely foresee whether Theresa May´s surprisingly diminished leadership aura will not embolden the political ambitions of her successor to be –the list of potential candidates already includes ¼ of her current cabinet. Ultimately, it would be irresponsible to predict May´s current (political) survival chances. What has, of course, been made clear by now, is that the Prime Minister´s fate will depend on the brexit negotiations as the key part of the test of her leadership. However, with growing internal Conservative party discomfort with her primacy, with a resurging political opposition and with the lame-duck image in Brussels, PM May´s chances of managing a decent, proper and orderly (as suggested by herself) brexit are highly questionable. 
Already understanding her predicament, PM May promised to “listen to all voices” in the party on brexit and to seek broader counsel on the ideal modality of Britain´s exit from the union. Does this automatically imply the dismissal of the concept of hard brexit, as some commentators are already suggesting? Certainly not. The main causal reasoning of brexit rests in the will of the British public to exercise greater control over the issue of migration. Whoever leads the British cabinet, whether it is PM May or anyone else, must have already acknowledged that continuing to guarantee the freedom of movement (to EU nationals) in any way, shape or form is currently politically suicidal. Thus, given EU´s persistence on attaching it to the four fundamental freedoms, the single market membership for an independent UK remains to be an unrealistic eventuality. Hence, the so-called “soft” brexit is simply not going to happen – at least without a profound shift in Britain´s domestic political reality.
However, on the side, the outlook for the endorsement of “softer” divorce elements being incorporated into the final deal seem to be considerably more plausible today, than anytime between the post-referendum pre-election era. A softer brexit would mean Britain and the EU agreeing on the reciprocal expat right guarantees and developing an almost membership-analogous approach to cooperation in science, education and possibly in internal security.
Very much in the spirit of the mentioned words, one must also underline that nature of brexit will not solely (or even mainly) depend on UK´s preferences and its negotiating abilities. Continental European leaders will be seeking a deal which would cause minimal damage to their economies and to the prestige level of the EU membership status as well. This automatically implies two certainties: no “cherry-picking” available (this goes mainly to the UK) and no room for unrealistically positive expectations on the modality of the negotiations (this shall go mainly to us – the attentive observers of brexit).
Thus, the mutually endorsed goal of the brexit negotiations shall be an agreement on the issues of clearly shared interests with a possible future opening to an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement. Given the clear time-constraints of the negotiation framework and increasingly complicated political context of brexit, nurturing hope for any agreement that would be significantly more ambitious, than the one just described, would be wishful and not thoughtful thinking. 
Irrespective of the situation in the Westminster and Whitehall, the brexit talks will be challenging and a mutually positive end-result is far from realistically achievable. As these talks unravel today and will occupy the agenda of political operatives on the both shores of the La Manche channel until early 2019 – at least provided that everything in negotiations goes just as intended – Britain and Europe will embark on a final journey – one that none of the sides seemed to be really interested in just as recently as a year ago and one that will ultimately turn out to be is the interest of none. Despite the recent positive turn in the political spirit of Europe´s political elite, brexit remains to be one of the least fortunate geopolitical changes happening in Europe
Tomáš A. Nagy 
Defence and Security Programme 
GLOBSEC Policy Institute