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  • Author: Marko Lovec
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: The recent food security crisis has shed light on the importance of agricultural development in the South Mediterranean countries. An ‘urban bias’ and ‘trade liberalisation’ policies have resulted in growing dependence on imports, narrow specialisations and unsustainable production practices. The Euro-Mediterranean integration process has put trade liberalisation in the centre of attention, while the progress in agriculture has been limited. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the challenges faced by agro-food systems in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries, with specific attention to the role of the Euro-Mediterranean integration and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. The paper also reviews relevant economic and environmental data in selected South and East Mediterranean countries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Filippos Proedrou
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Mainstream discourse on energy security is premised upon the assumption of infinite growth. It hence focuses upon the economic, political, and security aspects of energy security. Consequently, it fails to provide satisfactory answers to the global environmental, energy, economic, geopolitical, and developmental challenges. An alternative paradigm is for this reason in demand. Ecological economics makes a strong case for disentangling prosperity from growth and studies how a substantial retreat of energy consumption is not only feasible, but will also efficiently address the sustainability challenge and enhance overall energy security. It also suggests how it can alleviate geopolitical and developmental tensions. Ultimately, the paper poses the fundamental question of how valid our assumptions are to lead us into a better, and sustainable, future.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Juha Käpylä, Harri Mikkola
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: With exciting economic opportunities and serious environmental challenges, the Arctic is transforming and re-emerging as a geopolitically important region. Major global players within and without the Arctic are paying greater attention to the region. While Russia is a traditional Arctic state with significant economic and security interests in the region, China, the US and the EU have also expressed their Arctic interests more explicitly. They are keen to tap into the economic potential and have a say in the way the region becomes accessed, exploited and governed. As a result, the Arctic is no longer a spatially or administratively confined region, but is instead taking its new form in the midst of contemporary global politics. The globalization and economization of the Arctic will most likely downplay environmentalism and reduce the relative influence of the indigenous people and small Arctic states in Arctic affairs. Arctic governance is also likely to turn more complex and complicated as the economic and political stakes are raised.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Development, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Costanza Caputi
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: According to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), food security exists when 'all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life'. This is determined by the four key dimensions of availability, access, utilisation and stability of food supply.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Iana Dreyer
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Energy has played an important role in the geopolitics of the 20th century and continues to do so today. But the politics of renewable energy has remained largely confined to national boundaries and has had few international ramifications. Is this set to change? What is and could be the role of renewables in European energy diplomacy?
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gerald Stang
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Rapid economic development and increasing international trade are leading to a more crowded international stage and raising new challenges in the 'global commons' – those domains that are not under the control or jurisdiction of any state but are open for use by countries, companies and individuals from around the world. Their management involves increasingly complex processes to accommodate and integrate the interests and responsibilities of states, international organisations and a host of non-state actors.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marikki Stocchetti
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The era of the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Declaration expires in September 2015. As the largest donor of international development aid and trader with the developing countries, the EU has a key interest in the future outcome. It has also made binding commitments to support developing countries' own efforts to fulfil the present goals, as well as to act as a global partner. In the ongoing consultation process, the UN is pushing ahead with an enabling, universal development paradigm with an enhanced development partnership that goes well beyond traditional development assistance. Whereas the EU and the UN share common ground on human rights, governance and security issues, their preliminary proposals differ significantly on the question of a global partnership. The European Commission has tabled a proposal for the Union that is still based on a very conventional donor-recipient approach, which the UN seeks to reject. The European Commission proposal is problematic because it fails to present a comprehensive analysis of the current Millennium Development Goal on a global partnership, especially regarding trade and debt issues. Instead, it focuses on developing countries' domestic policies. The EU still has time to correct this as the process unfolds. Should it fail to do so, it is highly unlikely that other donors will take up the UN proposal and push it through in the inter-governmental negotiations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Rights, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Anna Maria Dyner, Natalia Ryabova
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Belarusian accession to the Common Economic Space (CES) was forced by two factors-the 2011 crisis and the necessity to gain cheap energy resources. Although Russia fulfilled its promises, decreasing gas and oil prices, Belarus is now feeling the negative results of the integration. According to CES rules, Belarusian authorities will have to tighten monetary policy, and reduce social spending and public financing of state-owned enterprises. The situation may be improved by foreign investments, but among the three CES countries, Belarus is the least attractive, especially since Russia joined the WTO and the because of the possible accession of Kazakhstan in the near future. Because of the need to carry out the major reforms in Belarus, the European Union has a greater chance to influence the situation in that country, for example by supporting modernisation projects.
  • Topic: Development, Oil, Natural Resources, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jane Nakano
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The United States, Japan, and the European Union—the three key consumers of Chinese rare earth materials—formally complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in March about Chinese restrictions on its rare earth exports. Several weeks later, China announced the establishment of a 150-plus member association with the official aim of promoting sustainable development within this sector. Some analysts wonder if this is part of a Chinese plan to circumvent international complaints by instituting an oligopolistic arrangement to control its rare earth exports. Others ask if this could be another step in an escalating dispute with China over the global supply of rare earth materials.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe