Autor - European Values

The European Values Think-Tank offers an internship: Proof-reader of the English language

Proof-Reader of the English language 

What we require:

  • Perfect knowledge of the English language both written and spoken, English as a mother tongue;
  • Relevant field of study – English language and Literature, Political Science, International Relations or linguistic pedantry in English;
  • Time flexibility – exclusively online cooperation, approximately 10 hours per week;
  • Interest in Czech and European policy issues as an advantage, but not a requirement.

 

In case you are interested, please consider the task included in the selection process: Read through our publication outputs available at https://bit.ly/1MpcXtk , choose three of them and find there possible stylistic and grammatical errors. Then copy the texts with discovered errors into MS Word and correct them via the “Track Changes” feature. Please attach the final file at the end of your completed form. 

 

Timeline:

Registered applicants are evaluated and accepted continuously. Start of the internship by mutual agreement.

 

Consider the form below for submitting your application, please. Get more info here

 

The European Values think-tank offers an internship: Proof-reader of the English language

  • Please upload a file that contains your CV.

Publications

Policy shift overview: How the Czech Republic became one of the European leaders in countering Russian disinformation

Over the last year, the Czech Republic has undergone a major policy shift on the topic of Russian disinformation. Many questions have been raised on how it has happened and what practically it means. This paper aims to bring a simplified overview of what has happened in this particular field in the Czech context since 2014. This Kremlin Watch Report is available in PDF.

 policy shift_Page_01

A framework guide to tools for countering hostile foreign electoral interference

This brief Report aims to enumerate the tools that are nowadays used for hostile electoral interference and how they can be countered. It consists of 35 measures in 15 steps for enhancing the resilience of the democratic electoral process. The report by our Kremlin Watch Programme is available in PDF.

35 measures_Page_01

Overview of countermeasures by the EU28 to the Kremlin’s subversion operations 

How do the EU28 perceive and react to the threat of hostile influence and disinformation operations by the Russian Federation and its proxies? Kremlin Watch Report available in PDF.

Overview of countermeasures by the EU28 to the Kremlin’s subve

United Kingdom

Summary: The United Kingdom is a key EU and NATO member and a country with a UN Security Council permanent membership. The UK was quick to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine, as well as in Syria, and its firm stance remains unchanged even after the political reshuffle following the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum. Russia does not play a key role in British security or international policy, but Britain is aware of threats posed by Russia in Europe and the Middle East, and it is an active member of NATO efforts to counter these threats.

I. Relationship Parameters

History: The United Kingdom has been both an ally and a rival of Russia throughout history. The UK became an ally of the Soviet Union in the WWII, but the two countries maintained a hostile stance towards each other during the Cold War.

Economy: The United Kingdom is a major global financial and economic center, whose many companies saw great opportunities in expanding trade with Russia. However, they often encounter bureaucratic hurdles and harassment by Russian authorities, resulting in controversies that negatively shape the perception of Russia. A high profile case was the TNK-BP, which was consequently acquired by Rosneft,[1] despite BP’s enthusiasm over TNK’s long-term prospects.[2] Royal Dutch shell encountered similar issues on the Sakhalin-II project, being accused of causing environmental damage.[3]

Energy: The United Kingdom does not depend heavily on energy imports, having its own carbon fuel reserves available. Its natural gas imports come primarily from Norway and Qatar, however, more domestic resources may become available with the advance of hydraulic fracturing.[4]

Sanctions: The United Kingdom has shown an overwhelming support for sanctions against Russia following the illegal annexation of Crimea and the conflict in the eastern Ukraine. Moreover, the political challenges following the Brexit vote in 2016 did little to change the Conservative government’s stance on the issue.[5]

Tensions: Russian jets have been known to patrol areas near or in the British territorial waters. In September 2015, Russian nuclear bombers have been spotted approaching the UK airspace and were intercepted by British jets.[6] A year later a similar incident occurred in the same area near Shetland isles.[7] Crossing of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier on the way to and from Russia’s operation in Syria in 2016 and 2017 caused high alertness in the Royal Navy,[8] but was met with ridicule by some British tabloid media[9] and with alarm by other. In 2011, Admiral Kuznetsov already violated the country’s territorial waters in Moray Firth near north-eastern Scotland, causing the Royal Navy to deploy HMS York and causing concern over dumping waste near the coast.[10]

War in Syria: Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria has been met with condemnation both from the British government and public opinion in Britain. In 2015 PM Cameron accused Iran and Russia of bolstering Assad’s regime in Syria[11] and called for Assad’s prosecution for war crimes.[12] The post-Brexit referendum, which caused significant political upheaval in the UK, did little to change this stance. PM May condemned Russia over its actions in Syria, and called for Russia to be pressured in order for killings in Syria to stop.[13] Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was among the most visible public figures to condemn Iran and Russia during the siege of Aleppo, accusing them of violating the international humanitarian law, and causing the city’s residents to suffer.[14]

View of Russia: Britons maintain predominantly somewhat negative view of Russia (42%), with 23% having a somewhat positive view, 20% very negative, and 4% very positive.[15]

STRATCOM: The UK has a national seconded expert working at the EEAS East STRATCOM Team. The UK is a sponsoring nation of the NATO STRATCOM COE.

II. Expert Assessment

Power Audit (2007): Frosty Pragmatist. The United Kingdom demonstrated a firm stance against Russia in political sphere, imposing restrictions upon Russian officials following the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, and by refusing to extradite political asylum seekers residing in Britain. At the same time, Britain remains a place of choice for many Russians to live, and the country became the second largest investor in the Russian economy in 2006.

National Perspectives (2013):  Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Britain insisted on further democratization and reforms taking place in Russia, looking for a stable and reliable partner to the east. However, the war in Iraq and the UK’s previous positions on the wars in Chechnya, as well as the NATO’s operation in Kosovo, cooled the two countries’ relations. However, a major event that shaped them for years to come was the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. The UK’s refusal to extradite people wanted by Russian authorities, such as the leader of Chechen separatists Akhmed Zakayev or late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, was used by Russia as a justification to harbor Litvinenko’s alleged murderers. The 2008 Russian-Georgian war was met with further harsh criticism by Prime Minsiter Brown, who urged the EU to seek further energy independence from Russia. However, none of this stopped the new Conservative government from trying to improve relations with Russia, as the Prime Minister Cameron’s 2011 visit to Moscow has demonstrated.

EU-28 Watch (2015): Though Britain is highly critical of Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine, it is commonly held that the EU was too eager to provoke Russian response by its diplomatic actions in Ukraine, and any direct military confrontation with Russia is seen as highly undesirable. In British context, such events are seen in the light of the constant political disagreements between London and Brussels. Thus, further expansion of the EU is met with hostility in Britain, particularly due to anti-immigrant stance of some right-wing organizations and parties, such as the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

III. Policy Documents

National Cyber-Security Strategy 2016–2021 (2016)[16]

Much of the most serious cyber crime – mainly fraud, theft and extortion – against the UK continues to be perpetrated predominantly by financially motivated Russian-language organised criminal groups (OCGs) in Eastern Europe, with many of the criminal marketplace services being hosted in these countries.

National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 (2016)[17]

The resurgence of state-based threats; and intensifying wider state competition is currently demonstrated most clearly in the actions of Russia in Syria and Ukraine. Russia continues to invest considerable sums in new military capability. Foreign intelligence agencies continue to engage in hostile activity against the UK and its interests. More generally, competition between states in the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia brings ongoing risks of miscalculation and conflict.

Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2013–2014 (2014)[18]

The UK suspended the vast majority of its bilateral defence cooperation with Russia following the Ukraine crisis (the exception being where there are Treaty obligations or the engagement is of a commemorative nature). Since then working closely with NATO partners, the UK MOD has built on a well-established relationship with Ukraine and increased cooperation designed to support defence reform, good governance (including anti-corruption) and strategic communications.


 

 

[1] https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-rosneft-tnkbp-deal-idUKBRE92K0IX20130322

[2] David, M. Ireland and the United Kingdom, Chapter 4 in M. David, J. Gower and H. Haukkala, ‘National Perspectives on Russia: European Foreign Policy in the Making?’, Routledge 2013.

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2006/oct/04/russia.oilandpetrol

[4] https://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/occasional_paper/2014/pdf/ocp196_en.pdf

[5] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/18/theresa-may-vows-to-keep-pressure-on-russia-amid-fears-over-dona/

[6] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11859300/RAF-Typhoons-intercept-Russian-Blackjack-bombers.html

[7] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/22/britain-sends-typhoon-jets-to-intercept-russian-bombers-near-she/

[8] https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/russian-ship-shame-only-extended-9690129

[9] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3861166/It-s-Putin-s-Russian-rustbucket-30-year-old-ageing-aircraft-carrier-sailed-menacingly-close-Britain-poor-condition-frequently-plagued-breakdowns.html

[10] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2073901/HMS-York-scrambled-Scotland-Russian-fleet-security-scare.html

[11] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/29/david-cameron-syria-uk-us-russia-iran-assad-cbs-putin-rouhani

[12] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/27/assad-face-justice-stay-short-time-cameron-syria-un

[13] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/20/theresa-may-condemns-russian-aggression-as-royal-navy-monitors-w/

[14] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/aleppo-battle-latest-syria-civil-war-boris-johnson-russia-iran-bashar-al-assad-a7477971.html

[15] https://ec.europa.eu/finland/sites/finland/files/ebs_451_anx_en.pdf

[16]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/567242/national_cyber_security_strategy_2016.pdf

[17]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/575378/national_security_strategy_strategic_defence_security_review_annual_report_2016.pdf

[18] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381064/MOD_AR13-14_webversion.pdf

Sweden

Summary: Sweden is a non-NATO EU nation that has always had a complicated relationship with Russia. Since 2014 events in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, Sweden condemned the act and began rethinking its defense policy, examining the country’s strategic vulnerability after a series of Russian military probes in Swedish waters and airspace. Sweden’s interest in Russia is primarily concerned with human rights, economy and energy, but the latter plays a far less significant role, since Sweden’s energy import is very diverse.

I. Relationship Parameters

History: Sweden has been a historical rival of Russia since the times of Peter the Great and King Charles XII up to the Napoleonic wars. During the Winter War of 1939-40 between Russia and Finland, Swedish volunteers went to Finland to help defend it against Russian aggression. However, Sweden managed to avoid both world wars, and maintained a policy of neutrality in the Cold War as well, following examples of Finland and Austria by never joining NATO, unlike its other Scandinavian neighbors.

Economy: IKEA has invested substantially in Russia in the past, becoming the biggest non-energy foreign investor in the country.[1] Low presence of Russian goods on the Swedish market is met with asymmetrically large presence of Swedish companies in Russia, making Sweden one of the largest sources of investment in Russian economy, but without making the two economies mutually dependent.[2]

Energy: Sweden maintains a low level of energy import from a diverse range of sources, with renewable and nuclear energy amounting to total of 65% of its overall energy sources (34% and 31% respectively), with oil following only at 27%. However, in 2014, Russia was the biggest oil source (42% of the share of imported oil), with Norway and Denmark providing only 25% and 15% respectively, and the rest coming from Nigeria and the UK.[3]

Syria: Sweden’s has officially condemned Russia’s and Assad’s actions in Syria, stating that they threaten peace process in the war-torn country.[4]

Tensions: The sharp rise in Russian military activity in the Baltic region prompted Sweden to boost its defense spending and deepen its cooperation with NATO by 2015.[5] In October 2014, Swedish navy engaged in a hunt for a Russian submarine that intruded into Sweden’s territorial waters, but Russia denied that such incident ever took place.[6] In 2015, Russian diplomats were asked to leave Sweden in the midst of the tensions between the two countries.[7] In July 2015, Russian bombers have been spotted patrolling near the island of Gotland, located in the middle of the Baltic Sea.[8] Sweden’s military experts assessed that Russia aims at gaining control of Gotland in case of open warfare, alarming the nation’s government that unless it is fortified, the island would be quickly occupied by Russia.[9] This key security concern prompted the Swedish military to start deploying permanent troops in Gotland in September 2016,[10] and the process is expected to have finished by 2018.[11]

Human Rights: Sweden, like Denmark, is particularly concerned with human rights abroad and in Russia in particular. Sweden refused in the past to extradite Chechens accused of terrorism in Russia, which led to Sweden being accused of harboring “bandits”, while the Swedes highlighted human rights violations in Russia.[12] In 2013 and 2014 Swedish government criticized Russia for deteriorating human rights conditions, increasing militarization, threatening Russia’s neighbours, and decline of the country’s civil society.[13]

View of Russia:

43% of Swedes have very negative view of Russia, and another 43% somewhat negative, according to the Eurobarometer. Only 1% has a very positive view, and 12% see Russia in a somewhat positive light.[14]

STRATCOM: Sweden has a seconded national expert working at the EEAS East STRATCOM Team. Sweden is a partner country of the NATO STRATCOM COE.

II. Expert Assessment

Power Audit (2007): Frosty Pragmatist. Sweden’s stance on Russia is characterized by criticism of internal policies in Russia, active support of the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood Policy with former Soviet republics, and environmental concerns over the Baltic area. Other important factors are the Russian timber tariffs, which hit Sweden and Finland, and generally low level of dependence on Russia in terms of energy imports. However, Sweden’s IKEA is among the biggest foreign investors in Russia, being the biggest one among non-energy companies.

National Perspectives (2013): Though relations between Russia and Sweden were improving in the 1990s, which reassured Sweden to maintain its non-aligned status, Sweden’s increasing criticism of Russia’s slip into authoritarian rule under Putin has cooled two countries’ mutual relations. Sweden was a leading critic of Russia’s Chechen war and the 2008 war in Georgia. The two countries’ relations have also been strained by the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, going from Russia to Germany through Swedish territorial waters with environmental concerns for Sweden. Nonetheless, Sweden tried to improve bilateral relations with Russia, particularly by economically supporting Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave. Moreover, the relations have improved substantially after cooling down during the war in Georgia, and Sweden seeks cooperation with Russia in particular issues, such as environment, maintaining a pragmatic outlook in dealing with Russia overall.

Watch (2015): Sweden’s position on Russia is shaped by Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which were strongly condemned by the Swedish government, and growing tensions in the Baltic Sea region. The island of Gotland remains a key security flaw for Sweden. Sweden backed the EU sanctions against Russia and increased military cooperation with Finland and NATO, to which Russia responded with hostile warnings. Still, although Sweden has suspended its military ties with Russia, it still keeps the door for dialogue with Russia open, but Swedes insist that whether situation improves or worsens depends on Russia.

III. Policy Documents

Statement of Government Policy (2016)[15]

Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and military presence in eastern Ukraine constitute flagrant breaches of international law. This is the greatest challenge to the European security order since the end of the Cold War. The sanctions against Russia must remain in place until the terms of the Minsk agreements are met. Ukraine must be allowed to regain control over its internationally recognized borders.

Sweden’s Defence Policy 2016 to 2020 (2015)[16]

In its report, the Defence Commission outlined the deteriorating security situation in Europe, particularly in light of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Since the report, developments in the region have continued to worsen. The Defence Commission proposed a number of measures/actions for the Swedish Armed Forces. These included amongst others: a new system for the basic training of squad leaders, soldiers and sailors; upgrades of air defence capabilities; a reorganisation of the land forces into two mechanised brigades; increased presence in the Baltic Sea and on the island of Gotland; increased quality of home guard units; efforts to reinvigorate civil defence; a modern psychological defence; enhanced cyber capabilities and long range precision strike capability.

Security Service Yearbook (2014)[17]

In 2014 the Security Police could state that the biggest intelligence threat against Sweden comes from Russia. Russia’s espionage against Sweden is extensive. It has also increased in connection with the crisis in Ukraine. Illegal intelligence operations against targets in Sweden have increased. Such operations are often carried out by intelligence officers, who hide behind a diplomatic façade. Security Service counterintelligence operations are an important instrument to meet this threat; and another is a vigilant public.


 

 

[1] https://fride.org/uploads/file/A_power_audit_of_relations_eu-russia.pdf

[2] Etzold, T., & Haukkala, H., Denmark, Finland and Sweden, Chapter 9 in M. David, J. Gower and H. Haukkala, ‘National Perspectives on Russia: European Foreign Policy in the Making?’, Routledge 2013.

[3] https://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/occasional_paper/2014/pdf/ocp196_en.pdf

[4] https://www.government.se/contentassets/6d43e67099e24441967be7c38b8888cc/statement-of-government-policy-in-the-parliamentary-debate-on-foreign-affairs-2016

[5] https://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/2015/06/27/finland-sweden-russia-nato-baltics-tensions-budgets-gdp/29289941/

[6] https://foreignpolicy.com/2014/11/15/swedes-find-definitive-evidence-of-submarine-russians-call-them-unmanly/

[7] https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/sapo-ryssland-bedriver-psykologiskt-krig-mot-sverige

[8] https://www.ibtimes.com/russian-bombers-spotted-swedish-coast-report-1995862

[9] https://www.ibtimes.com/russia-sweden-war-swedes-prepares-potential-military-invasion-baltic-island-2420967

[10] https://www.forsvarsmakten.se/sv/aktuellt/2016/09/tidigarelagd-etablering-pa-gotland/

[11] https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/analyses/2016-10-26/gotland-and-aland-baltic-chessboard-swedish-and-finnish-concerns

[12] https://www.thelocal.se/20100309/25432

[13] Bengtsson, R. (2016). Sweden and the Baltic Sea region. In J. Pierre (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics (pp. 447-461). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[14] https://ec.europa.eu/finland/sites/finland/files/ebs_451_anx_en.pdf

[15] https://www.government.se/contentassets/6d43e67099e24441967be7c38b8888cc/statement-of-government-policy-in-the-parliamentary-debate-on-foreign-affairs-2016

[16]https://www.government.se/globalassets/government/dokument/forsvarsdepartementet/sweden_defence_policy_2016_to_2020

[17]https://www.sakerhetspolisen.se/download/18.4c7cab6d1465fb27b01f1a/1426682274489/Arsbok2014_webb_slutgiltig.pdf