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  • Author: Paul Richardson
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: For the first time in its history, Russia this year assumed the leadership of a major Asia- Pacific forum—APEC. In September the organization's annual summit will be held in Vladivostok and through this congress Russia hopes to demonstrate to the world, and its own citizens, that the country is once again a power in both Europe and Asia. It is a bold vision, which is bound to Russia's national development strategy and Great Power aspirations. As one Russian diplomat told this author, if Russia really becomes involved in Asia it could change the country and also the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, International Affairs, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Marikki Stocchetti
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) marks a historic opportunity to address unsustainable trends in economic, social and environmental development multilaterally. Still, on the eve of Rio+20, the international community lacks consensus and leadership. The European Union has taken a very proactive and constructive role in the preparations for Rio+20. However, the EU's commitment to the sustainable development agenda is not shared equally across its policies or member states. This weakens the EU's strategic position in the negotiations. Disagreements between Rio+20 parties cut across all the main items on the agenda. In particular, the topic of the “Green Economy” brings old clashes between developing economies and post-industrialized countries back to the fore. The key question relates, on the one hand, to the right to determine development strategies, and on the other hand, to the division of responsibilities between countries. On a more optimistic note, the need for institutional reform and joint sustainable development objectives has been widely acknowledged. In addition, much progress can still be made in the 15 thematic areas of sustainable development. This may compensate for the lack of unanimity on grand paradigms. It is of utmost importance for a successful outcome that the Union works in unison, with clear negotiation mandates, and coordinates its views effectively throughout the process. Success at Rio+20 may also help to increase the EU's own coherence with regard to sustainable development in the future.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2009, EU governments committed to sourcing 10 per cent of transport energy from renewable sources by 2020: they are set to meet this target almost exclusively using biofuels made from food crops. By putting a mandate in place, European governments are propping up powerful industry and farming lobbies without spending a penny from national budgets: as direct subsidies and tax exemptions are phased out, the cost is increasingly borne by the consumer. For example, by 2020 biofuel mandates are likely to cost UK consumers between £1bn and £2bn more each year—that's about £35 from every adult—and to cost German consumers between €1.37bn and €2.15bn more—up to €30 per adult. EU governments have replaced subsidies paid out of the public purse with a subsidy that consumers, often without their knowledge, pay directly to big business.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Energy Policy, Food
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Özdem Sanberk
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: 2011 was undoubtedly a year that witnessed the beginning of grand transformations which will continue in the years ahead. The popular movements under the name of the Arab Spring started in Tunisia and spread quickly to the rest of the region, sparking the process of political transformation. In another part of the world, the economic crisis which began in Greece and then engulfed the whole eurozone took the European Union to a difficult test regarding its future. Both events, one lying to the south of Turkey and the other to its west, interact directly with our country and therefore its zone of interest. Ankara inevitably stands in the epicenter of these two transformations of which the effects will certainly continue for a long period. Consequently, rising as a stable focus of power with its growing economy and its expanding democracy, Turkey has tried to respond to historically important developments throughout the year. In light of these realities and developments, this study will focus on the performance of Turkish foreign policy with regard to global and regional transformations which took place during 2011.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, Diplomacy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Jennifer Brant
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Access to medicines at affordable prices is critical to the enjoyment of the human right to health. Lower prices require the implementation of pro-access policies that include the promotion of generic competition. However, medicines cannot be selected on the basis of price alone. To ensure that only safe, effective, and quality products are on the market, effective regulation is necessary.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The regional development banks (RDBs) are multilateral financial institutions that provide financial and technical assistance for development in low- and middle-income countries within their regions. Finance is allocated through low-interest loans and grants for a range of development sectors such as health and education, infrastructure, public administration, financial and private-sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. The term RDB usually refers to four institutions:
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are multilateral agencies. The term typically refers to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which provides financing and policy advice to member nations experiencing economic difficulties, and the multilateral development banks (MDBs), which provide financing and technical support for development projects and economic reform in low- and middle-income countries. The term MDB is usually understood to mean the World Bank and four smaller regional development banks: African Development Bank (AfDB). Asian Development Bank (ADB). European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Monetary Fund, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Marikki Stocchetti
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Lisbon Treaty anchored the EU development policy at the forefront of the Union's external relations. For the development policy, this provides an opportunity to improve its own role and functions in relation to its own targets, as well as in relation to the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the trade policy. To take this opportunity, the EU development policy actors need to find a means and a vision in the context of the changing institutional landscape and the EU development policy overhaul. A stronger EU development policy as a part of the external relations equation depends on the EU development actors' capability to act jointly in the area of shared competency, and to define the policy's focus and content vis-à-vis the other branches of the EU's external relations. This is of utmost importance in the new institutional context that was formed to implement the Lisbon Treaty. Most notably, the European External Action Service (EEAS) risks inheriting the previous organizational challenges of the EU development policy and creating new ones. The EU Commission proposal 'Agenda for Change' (October 2011) still passes up the opportunity to present a strong vision for the development policy in the EU's external relations along the lines of the Lisbon Treaty. While enhancing the common agenda for the CFSP and the development policy is conducive to development policy objectives, it is alarming that the policy proposal turns a blind eye to the role of the EU trade policy.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Juha Jokela
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Europe and the EU have played an influential role in the development and decision-making of the Group of Twenty (G-20). Europe's influence in shaping the developments in the group and, more broadly, in global governance is, however, declining. The G-20 Summit in Cannes provided Europe with an opportunity to re-assert its leadership. Its aspirations were, however, overshadowed by internal divisions heightened by the deepening European sovereign debt crisis. Even prior to the current crisis, the increasing global competition and decrease in standing turned EU members inward-looking. Instead of a further Europeanization of foreign policy and external relations, many have observed a tendency to re-nationalize European policy-making. This tendency will make it increasingly difficult for Europe to secure its standing and adapt to the on going transition of the world's economic and political power. Europe should reinvigorate its commitment to a joint external action as a matter of priority. The key question for Europe is whether it will manage to Europeanize the G-20 and gear it towards the multilateral principles which lie at the heart of European integration; or whether we will see the opposite process, namely a 'G-ization' of the EU in the sense of major(European)powers dominating increasingly informal European and global decision-making. It is in Europe's interests to further institutionalize the G-20 and tie it to the formal multilateral architecture of the world economy and politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe