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The Free State of Bavaria and its party: the CSU faces an electoral test
OSW Commentary | | Kamil Frymark

The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Bavaria continuously for sixty years. The CSU’s domination of the province’s political scene, together with its influence on federal policies through its partnership with the CDU in the Bundestag, has made the party one of the most effective groups in Europe. In the medium term Bavaria will have to face challenges connected with the transformation and digitisation of industry, which could undermine the province’s current economic model.

Analyses | | Kamil Frymark, Mateusz Chudziak

On 27-29 September, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a state visit to Berlin, where he met President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Their discussions focused on the economy, migration, the fight against terrorism and the war in Syria. At a press conference after the meeting, Merkel merely announced a willingness to talk with the presidents of France, Russia and Turkey on the situation in Syria. No other decisions were presented.

Referendum in Macedonia without a conclusive outcome
Analyses | | Marta Szpala

A consultative referendum was held on 30 September in the Republic of Macedonia on integration into the EU and NATO, and an agreement with Greece changing the constitutional name of the country to the Republic of North Macedonia. 91.5% of those participating voted in favour of integration and adopting the agreement, while 5.7% voted against. The turnout figure was 36.9%, thus failing to clear the threshold of 50% required for the referendum to be considered conclusive, an outcome which would have strengthened the position of the government.

In search of new routes
OSW Studies | | Sławomir Matuszak

The Ukrainian-Russian war not only came as a shock to the Ukrainian political elite and public – it also turned out to be a kind of a shock therapy for the Ukrainian economy. Very serious and deep changes have taken place in Ukraine’s trade co-operation with other countries since 2014.

Analyses | | Artur Ciechanowicz

The leaders of the German government coalition CDU/CSU – SPD have managed to calm down the approximately two-week conflict over Hans-Georg Maaßen, the head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). In the opinion of critics, including the Social Democrats who co-govern the country, the head of the BfV added credibility to the message of the national-conservative party Alternative for Germany (AfD) and undermined the policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel, challenging the opinion that lynch law and immigrant hunts had been seen during the Chemnitz riots.

Analyses | | Maria Domańska

Runoffs in which heads of the regions (governors) are elected were held in Russia on 16 and 23 September. The vote in the first round did not decide on the winners in four out of the twenty-two regions in which the governors were elected this year. The election was repeated in Primorsky Krai on 16 September and in Khabarovsk Krai and Vladimir Oblast on 23 September.

Gas revolution? Prospects for increased gas production in Ukraine
OSW Commentary | | Wojciech Konończuk

For a number of months now the Ukrainian gas mining sector has been undergoing a major overhaul to improve the conditions in which it operates, with a view to significantly increasing production. The most important reforms include lowering tax rates and deregulation. These changes are a result of the government’s gas sector development plan for Ukraine, approved in 2016. Under this programme, the amount of gas extracted is to increase from the current 20 bcm to 27 bcm by as soon as 2020.

Procedure under article 7 triggered against Hungary
Analyses | | Jakub Groszkowski

On 12 September, the European Parliament brought a motion with a two-thirds majority to the Council stating the risk of a serious breach of EU values by Hungary.

Analyses | | Jadwiga Rogoża

On 14 September, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church suspended its working relations with Constantinople in response to Ukraine’s expected autocephaly.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia – circuses instead of bread?
OSW Commentary | | Iwona Wiśniewska, Jadwiga Rogoża

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has become the most expensive World Cup in history, with its cost standing at more than US$ 13 billion.