Seeking to form a first line of defense against rogue states and independent missile threats from the Eastern world, the United States installed a missile shield in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world. This created a dispute between the US and Russia who viewed these shields, especially the Polish one as an act of exclusion, to separate their country from Western Europe, as well as developing the image of Russia as threat. From the Polish perspective, the shield is a symbol of independence and defiance against the Russians, under whose power they were until the fall of the Soviet Union in late 80’s. The adoption of the missile shield represents the westernization of the former communist states and the isolation of Russia, whom logically holds a strong opposition against it. The core of this issue revolves around the theoretical threat this shield poses against Russia, and the reaction she has, involving the deployment of counter measures along her frontiers, resulting in a deterioration of diplomatic relations and build of possibly violent tensions.
Immigration and racial tensions:
With more ample economic and social opportunities than nearby Turkey and North Africa, Western Europe, especially, Italy, Germany, France and Spain, are focal points for massive waves of immigrants both illegal and legal, whom, seeking better living conditions and or a safer home, cause huge issues ranging from social and economical inequalities, rising crime and violence rates, racial and religious discrimination, and many other issues. In their majority Muslim, the immigrants have very different cultural and social ways, resulting in a disparity between them and the locals; in France violent conflicts between groups of different cultural origins are becoming more common as more immigrants arrive, and many other countries face similar issues. While all the immigrants can’t be denied access, especially in Germany where law for such allow almost any refugee entry, strict rules and enforcement must be applied to prevent a further escalation of the matter.
In view of the rapid growth it has experienced since its founding, the European Union has had to make many difficult decisions involving whom to admit. Borderline European countries in the East and especially Turkey have campaigned for their inclusion; however, their weaker economies and cultural rifts have made the West reluctant to admit them. Should they be allowed entrance into the EU, it would be possible to place some limits on their inclusion, such as that of free transit in the EU, so as to prevent the augmentation of the immigration conflicts in the West. In addition to the discussion of new members there is also the topic of reformation of the EU, which many view as backward and lacking in proper and necessary authority to assert its power while still respecting individual nation’s sovereignty. Lastly, on smaller level, there is also the debate over the UK accepting the Euro, which would result in a strengthening of the EU’s economy; however, the UK is reluctant to do so as it views the adoption of this currency as breach in its sovereignty and fears other countries will take to large a role in its internal politics.
The European Gas Conflict is an issue since 2006, when the Ukraine and Russia fought over natural gas. During that year, the issue involved Naftogaz, a large Ukranian gas company, and Gazprom, the major Russian energy industry. The conflict started when the Russian industry boycotted energy supply and as a result, Naftogaz reduced their gas exports to Russia. Fortunately, the problem was solved in peaceful manner with an agreement between both industries. Today, the conflict is between Poland RosUkrEnergo, a Swiss company which supposedly was responsible for 76% of Poland’s gas imports. The issue was aggravated, beacause the company responsible for sending the gas to Poland, a Ukrainian company, the Naftohaz Ukrain, bought almost $2 Billion from RosUkrEnergo and therefore, took control of the supply. To learn more about the topic, search for:
Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo
Ukrainian-Russian gas conflict (2006)