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  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The small war between Georgia and Russia from 8 to 22 August 2008 has shattered any remaining illusions over the frontiers of the normative map of Europe. All the primary parties have to be criticised: Russia for setting a trap for Saakashvili to fall into, the Georgian leadership for its astounding military and political blunder in falling into it, and the United States for having failed to restrain its protégé. The first consequence is that Georgia has paid the price of Saakashvili's folly, with the definitive loss of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The second consequence is triggered by Russia's continued occupation of strategic points in Georgia-proper, which means not peacekeeping but threatened strangulation of the Georgian economy and its role in the transit of oil and gas from the Caspian to the West. It also means that business as usual has become impossible, as already announced between NATO and Russia, and with more important decisions pending in both the EU and US. The third consequence is that the EU should immediately step up its policies to integrate Ukraine, with real perspectives of membership subject to the standard criteria. The fourth unknown consequence is how far this deteriorating process between Russia and the West will go. Russia may pretend, with its petro-power and wealth, to be immune from any actions by the West, but beyond the short-term it is vulnerable. Whatever these unknowns, already Russia has crossed a red line with its strategic occupation of Georgia-proper, rather than the option just to push Georgia out of South Ossetia. This latter option would have met with widespread understanding internationally. But with its chosen option Russia has placed itself in another category, which is a throwback to earlier times, and totally incompatible with the political and moral principles of modern Europe.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, War, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Hakim Darbouche
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's statement to Spain's El País1 that the idea of a 'gas-OPEC' should not a priori be excluded, adds to a series of twists, among which was Vladimir Putin's confirmation on 1 February that the idea of a gas cartel was an 'interesting one' worth considering further. Hitherto, this gas saga featured Russia, Algeria, the EU, NATO and Iran. The story revolves around Russian-Algerian mingling on gas matters, spurring European and Transatlantic concerns over the prospects of a 'gas OPEC'. At a time of increasing European dependence on foreign energy supplies, these developments have been interpreted as being part of a wider effort, led by Russia, to use energy as a lever to undermine European diplomacy. These allegations have been dismissed by Algeria and Russia, whose leaders insist that their cooperation is intended to optimise their benefits and those of their customers alike. This paper examines the underpinnings of these developments by assessing the likelihood of their culmination in a gas cartel and offers an insight into the potential policy choices behind them.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Algeria
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Gergana Noutcheva, Nicu Popescu
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Conceived in 2003 and 2004, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has now had two years of operational experience. This initial experience has seen a sorting out of the partner states, with Action Plans drawn up for five Eastern and seven Southern partner states. We would distinguish among these 12 states between the 'willing' and the 'passive'; and among the other partner states without Action Plans between the 'reluctant' and the 'excluded'. These groupings should be the basis for stronger differentiation in the policy packages offered by the EU. In general the political context now calls for a strong reinforcement of the ENP, since the benign situation of 2004 has given way now to a more menacing one, given threats to European values bearing down on the EU from all sides. The EU institutions recognise these needs in principle, and last December the Commission advanced many valuable proposals. 'ENP plus' is a term being used by the current German Presidency, without this yet being defined in a public document in operational detail. In our view, 'ENP plus' could mean: Plus an advanced association model for the able and willing partner states, Plus a strengthening of regional-multilateral schemes, Plus an upgrading of the standard instruments being deployed, and Plus the offer of an 'ENP light' model for difficult states or non-recognised entities.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Beata Huska
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In May 2001, the 17-month insurgency of Albanians in Southern Serbia came to an end. In the Konculj Agreement, Albanians agreed to disarm and disband the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB) in exchange for the promise of amnesty for their fighters, the return of refugees, the creation of a multi-ethnic police force and the integration of Albanians into public institutions. After decades of official discrimination and exclusion from state institutions, the adoption of the Covic Plan, which foresaw the goals mentioned above, provided an opportunity to respond to Albanian grievances and win loyalty of the Albanian minority to the Serbian state. The plan drawn up by Nebojsa Covic, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia in 2001, contained clear goals with deadlines, including “the integration of Albanians into the political, government and social system”, meaning into the police, judiciary, health services, education, municipal institutions, economy, etc. in proportion to their numbers.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In August 2005, President Saakashvili of Georgia and President Yushchenko of Ukraine met at Borjomi, Georgia, and decided to launch an initiative to promote democracy among a community of like-minded states of Central and Eastern Europe. This led to a meeting in Kyiv on 2 December 2005, of a wider group of countries of the Baltic-Black-Caspian Sea region, which adopted a declaration announcing the creation of a Community of Democratic Choice (CDC) as a governmental and non-governmental forum to promote the strengthening of democracy, human rights and civil society. The next meeting of the CDC will take place as a Baltic and Black Sea Summit in Vilnius in May 2006.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Willem H. Buiter
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On October 3, 2005, Turkey officially started negotiations for membership in the European Union. Whether Turkey becomes a full member of the EU is likely to be a defining decision, both for the existing EU members and for Turkey. The regional - and geo-political consequences of success or failure of the negotiations, and its cultural and ideological impact, are likely to be even more significant than its economic consequences, although even from an economic perspective the stakes are very high. Turkey's population of over 70 million is larger than that of the ten countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 combined. Unlike the EU-25 (and in particular the ten new member states), the Turkish population is young and growing. Its present per capita income is lower than that of any of the EU-25 countries – about at the level of Romania and Macedonia, using Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) estimates of per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, with the right institutions and policies, Turkey could become a true tiger economy. But this is not guaranteed. With the institutions and policies of the second half of the 20th century, it could end up a mangy cat instead of a tiger.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Eastern Europe, Romania, Macedonia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The central recommendation of the Amato report of April 20051 set the year 2014 as the target accession date for the whole of the Western Balkans, which would take the EU from the 27 (in 2007 or 2008) to 32 member states minimally, 33 with Turkey, and 35 in the event of independence for Montenegro and Kosovo. This scenario is in contradiction with the present mood of the EU following the French and the Dutch referenda, which rejected the Constitution that was itself designed to pave the way institutionally for further enlargement. The EU has now officially entered a period of profound reflection on its future, a process which cannot be hurried.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Montenegro
  • Author: Madalena Resende, Hendrik Kraetzschmar
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Political parties are the backbone of any functioning representative democracy. They are the agents that compete in the political arena for public office by offering programmatic alternatives to voters. It is not surprising therefore that an analysis of countries that have failed to democratise shows political parties suffering from a severe pathology that renders them weak institutions. In both the eastern and the southern neighbourhood of the EU, a type of party has emerged, the 'party of power' characterised by its dependence on the state, the absence of ideology and the linkage with specific sectoral groups. Examples of such parties can be found in Ukraine during the reign of President Kuchma and in present-day Egypt.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Egypt
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It so happens that the epicentre of the EU's referenda earthquake – by way of its external impact – has now been located exactly in the middle of the Black Sea. Paradoxically, this comes at the same time that the region has begun to show signs of possibly getting a grip on itself.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Wider Europe has become a prominent feature in European foreign policy discourse. The EU's first policy documents on this subject, however, have been thin in substance, mainly seeking to develop more active bilateral relations with countries such as Ukraine and Moldova. At the same time, however, the EU is discussing bilaterally just with Russia a set of common European policy spaces that should be at the heart of a Wider Europe policy. This paper argues that the EU should adopt a systematic approach to defining a complete set of seven common European policy spaces, with multilateral institutional developments to match, thus bringing together the bilateral and multilateral approaches. The overarching institutional mechanism should be through transforming the present very weak 'European Conference' into a seriously structured 'Pan-European Conference', led by a Coordinating Group consisting of the EU, Russia and a few other rotating places for non-EU states, with institutionalised linkages to the Council of Europe and other European multilateral organisations for the specific common policy spaces.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe