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  • Author: Michele Benini
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Efficient development of electricity transmission infrastructure is crucial to achieving EU targets for a secure, competitive and sustainable electricity supply. However, many uncertainties, such as future load demand, generation supply, electricity prices and increasing time requirements for the realisation of transmission infrastructures in member states, increase the risk that these targets will not be reached. Given the forecasted increase of distributed generation and the introduction of demand response techniques to control load, new decentralised network architectures must be defined to guarantee the system's efficient use and stability. Each link in the chain of electricity security of supply is crucial, from generation to transmission to distribution to demand.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian von Hirschhausen, Clemens Haftendorn, Johannes Herold, Franziska Holz, Anne Neumann, Sophia Rüster
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Europe faces a paradox with respect to coal supply security. On the one hand, coal is a reliable fossil fuel, with ample reserves available from a large number of producers. Globally, coal use has risen at a rate of 4.9% annually in recent years (WCI, 2010). Yet on the other hand, Europe's climate policy objectives will not allow continued use unless this 'dirtiest' of all fossil fuels can be transformed into a 'clean' one, e.g. via new carbon capture, transport and storage (CCTS) technology. CCTS, however, this requires substantial technological advances for application in the medium and long term (MIT, 2007). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2005) concludes that CCTS can contribute 15-55% of the cumulative emissions reduction effort through 2100, and assumes a major role in a portfolio of the low carbon technologies needed to mitigate climate change. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA, 2008), CCTS is "the most important single new technology for CO2 savings" in both power generation and industry. However, the IEA's 2009 'Blue Map' scenario also states that 100 carbon capture plants, a minimum of 10,000 km of pipelines and storage of 1.2 GtCO2 are required for CCTS to become a serious abatement technology by 2020. We are nowhere close to these and might never get there.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrew Macintosh
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Clearly the natural gas market is experiencing considerable change: a second Ukraine-Russia gas crisis, a collapse in the price of natural gas, a new European natural gas security of supply regulation and the mass production of natural gas from unconventional sources in the US as a result of technological advancements, which could yet have an impact on the EU. This Policy Brief is a summation of the European Union's vulnerability to natural gas supply security risks.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Noriko Fujiwara, Diarmuid Torney
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Among the many unresolved issues on the agenda of the forthcoming UN climate change negotiations in Cancun is the issue of what will happen to the Kyoto Protocol, since at present, there will be no targets for greenhouse (GHG) emissions from developed countries under the Protocol beyond 2012. To illuminate this aspect of the Protocol, this Policy Brief looks closer at the nature of the commitments and the compliance regime under the Kyoto Protocol. We argue that the compliance regime of the Protocol is not as robust as many of the Protocol's supporters might think. The precise legal form of the commitments in the climate regime may have little impact on whether countries actually achieve their targets. Instead, we argue, negotiators should focus on agreeing a framework of commitments that are credible and enforceable, rather than focus excessively on the legal form of those commitments.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Author: Goran Tirak
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: Bosnia or BiH) has often been described as a failed state, but in reality it is actually not that far behind other Western Balkan countries that have aspirations to join the EU. Due to recent developments, however, there is a danger that this gap will widen.
  • Topic: Civil War, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Roderick Kefferputz
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Relations between China and the West have been difficult at best in recent months. Frustrations on both sides have increased palpably. Besides long-standing disagreements over Beijing's policy on the renminbi, the stalled climate change negotiations and human rights, new challenges have also (re)emerged. These include, amongst others, rising concerns over China's role in the South China Sea and the conflict over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. Recently, however, one issue in particular has made the headlines: rare earths.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Christian Fahrholz, Cezary Wójcik
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Roger Ailes, a former advisor to Ronald Reagan, recalls in his book an intriguing practice of the ancient Romans: when they finished building a bridge or an arch, they enforced accountability by placing the engineer in charge beneath the construction when the scaffolding was removed. If the edifice did not hold, he was the first to know. We do not follow such drastic practices these days in Europe, but with some European economies shaking and the Greek sovereign debt crisis still not over, the architecture of the euro area has been certainly come under severe stress. Unfortunately, the 28-29 October 2010 European Council Summit has not made this architecture much safer.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Elena Gnedina
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The 2009 gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia has led to a severe drop in Russian gas supplies to some EU member states. The dispute has once again shown that the status quo is defective and unsustainable as a policy. This Policy Brief argues that – beyond ad hoc temporary measures, such as the monitoring by EU experts agreed on January 12th and the 2009-10 price agreement apparently reached on January 18th – the problem needs a comprehensive and robust solution. This would be a gas transit consortium, bringing all major stakeholders – Gazprom, Naftohaz, one or a few European energy companies, and the international financial institutions – to jointly manage the trans-Ukrainian trunk pipeline. The consortium agreement would be underwritten politic ally and legally by a tripartite treaty to be ratified by the EU, Russia and Ukraine. The consortium should be bound by European standards of transparency, corporate governance and accounting in order to tackle the major problem – the lack of trust – in the EU- Ukraine-Russia energy triangle.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Anna Matveeva
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since 2008, after a period of relative growth and social stability, the situation in Tajikistan has been steadily deteriorating, leading to increased speculation that the country could emerge as a failing state. Given its proximity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the role it plays in the Northern Distribution Network – a line that funnels military supplies from Europe to NATO ISAF troops in Afghanistan – the ramifications of potential instability in Tajikistan would resonate beyond the country. The current briefing assesses to what extent such danger is in fact real by outlining developments in the key areas of economy and security, and examining the regime's capacity to cope with emerging challenges. The briefing concludes with recommendations for the EU and an outlook for future.
  • Topic: NATO, Fragile/Failed State, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Tajikistan
  • Author: Piotr Maciej Kaczyński, Peadar ó Broin
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The first permanent European Council President and second High Representative for EU foreign policy have been chosen. After weeks of speculation, the question of who will occupy the roles has now been answered: Herman Van Rompuy will take office as European Council President on 1 January 2010; and Catherine Ashton will be appointed the EU's foreign affairs chief on 1 December 2009. The presidency of the European Council has until now been performed by the head of State or government of the member state holding the rotating presidency, but the Lisbon Treaty clearly stipulates that from its entry into force, the President of the European Council may not hold national office. The position of a High Representative had previously existed, but the function has been significantly re-written by the Lisbon Treaty. So, in addition to new faces, there are also new unknowns. The question of precisely what powers the President and High Representative will exercise remains largely unknown, as it is not yet clear how they will perform as individuals and in tandem. Nevertheless, the Treaties give at least a general indication of the powers these two leaders will wield.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe