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  • 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
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Armenia and Azerbaijan have failed to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, even though the framework for a fair settlement has been on the table since 2005. A comprehensive peace agreement before presidential elections in both countries in 2008 is now unlikely but the two sides still can and should agree before the polls to a document on basic principles, which if necessary clearly indicates the points that are still in dispute. Without at least such an agreement and while they engage in a dangerous arms race and belligerent rhetoric, there is a risk of increasing ceasefire violations in the next few years. By about 2012, after which its oil revenue is expected to begin to decline, Azerbaijan may be tempted to seek a military solution. The international community needs to lose its complacency and do more to encourage the leaderships to prepare their societies for compromise and peace.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: In 2005–2006 the EastWest Institute (EWI) and the Association of Municipalities of the Kaliningrad Oblast (AMOKO) realized a joint project, «Reforming Municipal Finance of the Kaliningrad Oblast through Performance Budgeting». Carried out with financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the project was a contribution to the Russian national program of modernization of budget management systems at the regional and municipal level in accordance with the best world and European practices.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Barry Rubin, Theodore Kattouf
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 30, 2007, Barry Rubin and Theodore Kattouf addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Professor Rubin, a visiting fellow at the Institute, is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA), and author of the just-released book The Truth about Syria (Palgrave). Mr. Kattouf, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria and the United Arab Emirates, is president and CEO of AMIDEAST, a nonprofit group dedicated to enhancing educational links between the United States and the Middle East. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Syria
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Following major economic reforms, the Slovak economy has grown strongly in recent years, driven by rapid productivity growth, but still has far to go to catch up to the per capita income levels in the advanced European countries. The incoming government has made achieving a more equal distribution of income a priority insofar as this can be done without damaging long-term growth prospects. There is considerable scope both to strengthen growth prospects and to reduce income inequality by raising employment rates, improving education outcomes (including by reducing the impact of socio-economic background), and by removing barriers to product-market competition. The new government has also reiterated its commitment to Slovakia's entry into the euro area in January 2009 and has taken steps to make it probable that Slovakia will satisfy the Maastricht criteria for entry on a sustainable basis. Policies may need to be adapted to support macroeconomic stability in the currency union.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Slovakia
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Premier Vojislav Kostunica won a high stakes gamble with passage of Serbia's draft constitution in the 28-29 October referendum. However, numerous credible reports indicate the process was deeply flawed and the result falsified. The referendum cannot be characterised as either free or fair. The new constitution could prove a step away from European values. It opens the door to increased centralisation of the state, curtailment of human and minority rights, destruction of judicial independence and potentially even a parliamentary dictatorship. The process used to pass the constitution illustrates how Kostunica continues to transform Serbia into something closer to illiberal authoritarianism than liberal democracy; yet, the referendum was welcomed by the Council of Europe, the European Union and the United States.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Author: Daniel Serwer, Yll Bajraktari
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: More than a decade after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, people of the region remain deeply divided by contradictory accounts of what happened. Redefinition of historical perspectives along ethno-nationalist lines makes mutual understanding more difficult and hinders reconciliation. Controversies that emerged from the decade of wars continue to hamper the region's prospects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Following the successes of the peaceful revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, experts are examining these movements for insights into future prospects for nonviolent civic resistance. They hope to find lessons in these successes that might hold significance for nonviolent political change in other non-democratic countries.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The composition of growth of the Hungarian economy has become healthier and real convergence looks set to be on a sustainable path. While most reforms to establish a flourishing market economy have been carried out and the current government is launching a new reform initiative of "100 Steps", more needs to be done in two broad areas in order to maintain high growth: Achieving a smooth entry into the euro area: Frequently missed policy targets, tensions between the government and the Central Bank and stubbornly high twin deficits have established an unhealthy climate of financial volatility, which contrasts with and may even risk threatening the rather smooth process of real convergence. Increasing trend growth by both raising the employment potential and trend productivity growth: A large share of Hungarians with some work capacity is not working in part because of the way social benefits are designed. Low employment is aggravated by impediments to regional mobility of the labour force. Hungary needs to move further up the value added chain. This process for the time being rests very much on investments by foreign companies while innovative activities and commercial applications of own research remain limited.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Hungary