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  • Author: Cengiz Aktar
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the present state of affairs regarding Turkey's European Union bid at the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the debut of the negotiations. At the first glance the tableau looks rather grim, the membership negotiations stalled, the political dialogue stuck and even the 15-years old customs union jeopardized by numerous political and administrative impediments. Parallel and due to this state of affairs, Turkey's modernization process once triggered by its aspirations to join the European Union is now fully Turkish driven. Despite this development, Turkey, the author argues, still benefits from the techniques, principles and standards of the Bloc and would need to do so in a foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Macedonia is a relative success story in a region scarred by unresolved statehood and territory issues. International engagement has, since the 2001 conflict with an ethnic Albanian insurgency, brought progress in integrating Albanians into political life. This has been underpinned by the promise of European Union (EU) and NATO integration, goals that unite ethnic Macedonians and Albanians. But the main NATO/EU strategy for stabilising Macedonia and the region via enlargement was derailed in 2008 by the dispute with Greece over the country's name. Athens claims that, by calling itself “Macedonia”, it appropriates part of the Hellenic heritage and implies a claim against Greece's northern province. At summits it blocked Macedonian membership in NATO and EU accession talks until the issue is settled. Mystifying to outsiders, the dispute touches existential nerves, especially in Macedonia, and has serious regional implications. The parties need to rebuild trust; member states need to press both to compromise, especially Greece to respect its commitment not to block Skopje in international organisations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Macedonia, Albania
  • Author: Djordje Popovic
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Austrian National Defence Academy
  • Abstract: The May 2008 elections in Serbia showed that the majority of the voters opted for European integration. However, difficulties in forming the government in the period after the elections proved that Serbian society is still highly divided. The polarization between pro-Europeans and traditionalists became so intense that it provided a coalition potential to Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia that even they did not expect. After an exhausting period of negotiations the Socialists decided to join the pro-European bloc, for the time-being.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Piotr Maciej Kaczyński, Peadar ó Broin
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The first permanent European Council President and second High Representative for EU foreign policy have been chosen. After weeks of speculation, the question of who will occupy the roles has now been answered: Herman Van Rompuy will take office as European Council President on 1 January 2010; and Catherine Ashton will be appointed the EU's foreign affairs chief on 1 December 2009. The presidency of the European Council has until now been performed by the head of State or government of the member state holding the rotating presidency, but the Lisbon Treaty clearly stipulates that from its entry into force, the President of the European Council may not hold national office. The position of a High Representative had previously existed, but the function has been significantly re-written by the Lisbon Treaty. So, in addition to new faces, there are also new unknowns. The question of precisely what powers the President and High Representative will exercise remains largely unknown, as it is not yet clear how they will perform as individuals and in tandem. Nevertheless, the Treaties give at least a general indication of the powers these two leaders will wield.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ivo Slosarcik
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In October 2009, the lion's share of media and political attention given to the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty in the Czech Republic has been devoted to the antics of the President, Václav Klaus. However, it is important to point out that the process is being delayed not only by the President's reservations and requests for a Czech (quasi)opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, but also by the pending review of the Treaty by the Czech Constitutional Court (CCC), which is set to give a second ruling on the Lisbon Treaty on November 3 rd, having delivered its first decision in autumn 2008.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Michael Dziedzic, Megan Chabalowski
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On June 25, 2009, USIP hosted a public forum, “Bosnia and Herzegovina: Parsing the Options,” where various courses of action for U.S. policy toward Bosnia and its unfinished state-building were debated. At issue are Bosnia's current conditions and what to do about them: Is the country on a trajectory toward instability and violence, or is it making hesitant progress? What is needed to overcome ethnic tensions between Bosnia's political leaders and how can the international community induce them into productive negotiations over reforms? What should the U.S.'s role be in Bosnia's integration process into the EU?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: resident Sarkozy's proposed Union for the Mediterranean (or UMed) has so far been poorly conceived and, to say the least, awkwardly presented politically. However this does not mean that nothing good can come of it. The Barcelona process and its confusing combination with the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) have neither been a disaster nor a brilliant success. There is a case for streamlining a single European Mediterranean policy, rationalising and properly integrating Barcelona, the ENP and new ideas that the UMed initiative may produce. Both Italy and Spain as well as the South Mediterranean states themselves appear concerned not to undermine the existing structures (Barcelona and ENP). Steps could be made to lighten the overweight participation of the EU and all its 27 member states in too many meetings with too many participants and too few results, drawing on models that have emerged in the EU's Northern maritime regions. However, the EU as a whole will not agree to delegate the essential initiative on strategic matters to just its Southern coastal states – as has been made clear in recent exchanges between President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel. In addition the EU will also want to maintain a balance between its Northern and Southern priorities, and if the UMed becomes a new impetus for the South, an equivalent but different policy move can be contemplated for the EU's East European neighbours
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Italy, Barcelona
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer, Asbjørn Aaheim, Darryn McEvoy, Frans Berkhout, Reinhard Mechler, Henry Neufeldt, Anthony Patt, Paul Watkiss, Anita Wreford, Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Carlo Lavalle
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief provides a first overview of the state of ADAM research that was discussed during the first ADAM-CEPS seminar on 12 October 2007. It brought together academic experts, policy-makers and the civil society to discuss adaptation issues and (preliminary) ADAM research results.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Sebastian Kurpas
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Irish no-vote on the Treaty of Lisbon, numerous scenarios are currently being debated. This paper critically assesses the legality and political feasibility of the principal proposals and then puts forward an alternative 'Plan B', which we believe would amply satisfy both criteria.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: John Temple Lang, Eamonn Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon in June 2008, Irish voters who voted against the Treaty gave several specific reasons as well as a variety of vague or general reasons that were unrelated to anything that was in the Treaty. These vague or general reasons are important because they probably were also significant influences in the “no” votes in France and the Netherlands. Moreover, they may be shared by a substantial but unknown number of people in other EU member states who did not get an opportunity to vote in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty or the Treaty for a Constitution. There were positive referendum results in Luxembourg and Spain. Other countries promised referenda, but did not hold them.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Netherlands, Ireland