A man who has stood for liberal democracy in Europe for almost 40 years. A true friend of Estonia and freedom. This is what the President of Estonia – Tomass Henrik Ilves – wrote on his Twitter account about Eugeniusz Smolar. An expert and a member of the board of Centre for International Relations was awarded with a class V Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana for his contribution to journalism for the Republic of Estonia. The award has been constituted in 1995 to honour the Estonian independence and it is the highest class decoration given to non-Estonian citizens for special services to the Republic of Estonia.

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After Syria’s government agreed to a ceasefire deal on the 22nd of February 2016 which seems to hold until now, questions are raised on how the country should proceed if it wants to become a unified country once again. A strengthened inclusive Syrian state not only provides military steadfastness against the Islamic State but can additionally improve the political structure and tackle the social and economic deficiencies in the Middle East region - writes Alexander Grims, CIR's intern, in his analysis "Syria: federalism as the way forward?".

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Two years ago, on 2nd May 2014, a Chinese oil rig was installed in the South China Sea - one of the main "trigger points" in the world. The dispute between China and Vietnam over the Paracel Islands in addition to rivalry between China, Taiwan and four ASEAN countries (Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei) over Spratly Islands involves not only the competition for natural resources and military dominance, but also control over one of the most important trade routes in the world. Subsequently, such a situation causes a conflict not only for countries in the region, but also for global actors.

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