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  • Author: Hrant Kostanyan, Magdalena Nasieniak
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The EU has consistently stressed the primacy of democracy assistance in its pronouncements on EU external policy, but its actions have noticeably lagged behind. At the heart of the problem are the absence of available appropriate instruments, incoherent external action and convoluted decision-making procedures that require the mobilisation of unanimity and the political backing of all 27 EU member states. The Arab Spring once again highlighted the EU's inability to react swiftly and decisively to the extraordinary events unfolding in its neighbourhood.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • 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: 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: Elspeth Guild
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On 5 January 2007, Elspeth Guild was invited by the European Commission Select Committee of the UK House of Lords to submit written evidence to assist that body in its scrutiny of the European Commission's annual legislative and work programme. This Policy Brief reproduces her submission in full.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, Sara Hagemann
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In its Communication on Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006-2007, released 8 November 2006, the European Commission concluded: “Overall, the fifth enlargement has been a considerable success” and “(t)he EU's institutions have continued to function effectively” (p. 4). In his speaking points to the press, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn (2006) stressed two important criteria for evaluating the integration process: With respect to institutional matters, the EU's decision-making processes must remain effective and accountable, for the sake of current member states as well as in view of further enlargement. With respect to policy-making, the EU needs to be in a position, as it enlarges, to continue developing and implementing common policies in all areas. Accordingly, assessment of the impact of enlargement on EU policies is planned to take place at all key stages of the enlargement process.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On 10 January 2007, the European Commission outlined the European Union's 'energy and climate change vision' based on two principal documents: Communication on “An energy policy for Europe”, and Communication on future climate change policy for the period post-2012 when the Kyoto Protocol expires, entitled “Limiting global climate change to 2°C: The way ahead for 2020 and beyond”.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ángel Ubide
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Following a long period of stagnation, Japan is growing again. The key to this success story is Koizumi's relentless focus on structural reform, with two objectives: breaking the structural trap of political constituencies defending old and unproductive economic sectors; and adopting a two-pronged macromicro approach to make reform unavoidable. This paper argues that Europe should follow a similar strategy whereby financial market integration, and not the EU bureaucracy and grandiose political declarations, should become the main driving force of national economic reforms, pressuring liberalisation in goods and services markets and making labour market reforms unavoidable.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe
  • Author: Eneko Landaburu
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The answer to the question posed in the subtitle is yes, indeed, there are concrete alternatives to enlargement. As there must be. Enlargement has been a key tool in projecting stability across our continent. But it is a reality that the EU cannot expand ad infinitum – everything has its limits. We must honour our present basic commitments, while strictly insisting on the criteria. One of these criteria is our own absorption capacity – it is clear that in some member states the pace and scale of enlargement is approaching the limits of what public opinion will accept. To overstretch, rather than consolidate, the Union would be detrimental not only for us but also our partners. These are all issues with which our leaders will struggle in Vienna in a few months time.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Vienna
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: More than half way into the decade, it is clear that the ambitious goal to make the EU the 'most competitive economy' by 2010 will be missed. This contribution shows that investing more in education would be the key in terms of employment, a central element in the Lisbon goal. Improving the skills of the EU's population would have, inter alia, a direct impact on the employment rate. Reaching the Lisbon goal of an employment rate of 70% would be possible even without labour market reforms if the average level of qualification of the EU were to reach the benchmarks in this area (which in turn are very close to the values reached by the best performing member states).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Shelley Rigger
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: A peaceful, amicable relationship between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC) is essential to prosperity and security in and beyond the Taiwan Strait. Anticipating the future direction of cross­strait relations is thus very important. But it is also very difficult, not least because key trends in the Strait seem to be headed in opposite directions. On the one hand, the scope and intensity of cross­strait interactions are expanding rapidly, creating shared interests on the two sides and eroding resistance to closer cross­strait ties. On the other hand, popular support for political unification within Taiwan is declining, and the percentage of Taiwan residents who think of themselves as Taiwanese, not Chinese, is rising.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Taiwan