The eighth round of the Brexit negotiations, which took place between 8 and 10 May 2020 in the British capital, ended without achieving a positive result, amid an atmosphere of tension between the European and British sides against the backdrop of Britain's intention to pass a bill that would enable it to abandon the Brexit Agreement that was approved in 2019 and based on which the transitional period and initial arrangements for future relations were determined, especially avoiding the difficult borders within the Irish island, which represent the most important issue raised between the two sides.
In a surprising early move, the German Social Democratic Party has announced that the current Minister of Finance and Vice-Chancellor to Angela Merkel, 62-year-old Olaf Scholz, will run as the party’s candidate to succeed Merkel as chancellor in the elections scheduled for late 2021. The elections will mark the end of the Merkel era, as she has decided not to run for another term.
Despite the lack of official figures on the number of Muslims in France for reasons related to legal barriers, France is the largest European country in terms of the number of Muslims. According to some estimates, five million Muslims live in France, ranging between citizens and residents, which makes this mass a source of general controversy that is renewed with every terrorist attack launched by Muslims. This has been the case since October 2020 in the wake of the attacks that struck the city of Nice and the assassination of the teacher Samuel Patty. However, the controversy this time coincided with an official campaign that some called "an open war against political Islam", while others dismissed it as a "circumstantial campaign" similar to the campaigns carried out by the French authorities in the past.
The major European powers are studying how to intensify their military presence within the framework of a new strategy that adopts tougher stances against China’s "unilateral" moves and naval assertiveness in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific, which extends from East Africa, through East and Southeast Asia, then the South China Sea, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia.
The internal turmoil in Belarus has exacerbated since the announcement that the 65-year-old incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko has won a sixth term in the presidential elections on 11 August 2020. The announcement was followed by angry protests that roamed the streets of the capital Minsk, and whose repercussions spread to several other cities, rejecting the results of the elections, which were described as rigged. The protesters called on President Lukashenko to leave office and end his authoritarian rule of Belarus.
Europe has become the global epicentre of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic since the end of April 2020. Despite the accelerating increase in infections and deaths in February and March in Italy, which was the first and most affected European country by the virus, and even the country with the then highest number of infections globally, the response of the European Union (EU) was extremely slow. At first, EU institutions seemed unaware of the size of the danger threatening its member states. The initial response of the EU was described as awkward, which brought it under severe criticism by the most affected countries such as Italy and Spain. French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the collapse of the EU as a political project if it does not take serious steps to support the economies of the afflicted countries.
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