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  • Author: Carly Kabot
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: History is the storyteller that holds all truth, yet when she speaks, much of mankind closes its ears. Hasan Nuhanović, a survivor of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide committed by a Bosnian Serb militia, narrates his family’s harrowing journey through Bosnia in The Last Refuge: A True Story of War, Survival, and Life under Seige in Srebrenica. Though Nuhanović’s story is tragic, it is not uncommon. He makes this clear from the beginning, writing, “I did not write this book to tell my own story” (5). Rather, his story embodies the experiences of eight thousand Bosniaks who were executed by Serb forces on July 11, 1995, and brings to mind the millions of genocide victims worldwide who have been mercilessly slaughtered in the past century.
  • Topic: Genocide, War, History, Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Serbia, Srebrenica
  • Author: Theresa Reidy
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage through a national referendum vote. The decision to introduce equal marriage received a great deal of attention, and not just because it was the first positive referendum decision on this issue; the vote was also preceded by a citizens’ assembly which recommended the referendum and endorsed a “yes” vote. The resounding victory for the liberal position provided definitive evidence of Ireland’s shift from a conservative, inward-looking European periphery state to a modern, liberal, and inclusive republic.
  • Topic: Religion, Culture, Domestic politics, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ireland, European Union
  • Author: Scott M. Thomas, Anthony O'Mahony
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In February 2019, Pope Francis became the first pope to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Like John-Paul II before him, he has also visited Egypt, and he went to Morocco in March 2019. The pope participated in a colloquium on “human fraternity” and interreligious dialogue sponsored by the UAE-based Muslim Council of Elders—the brain-child of Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the most important Sunni Muslim university in the world. The Council of Elders sponsors initiatives to engage young Muslims on Islamist ideology by promoting a more “authentic” interpretation of Islam. Islamist violence—with its beheadings and mass executions—has provoked disgust across the Muslim world and is causing young Muslims to become more distant from their imams and mosques. It is becoming clear to many Muslim intellectuals in Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon that, in order to defeat Islamism, there needs to be greater dialogue and coexistence with Christians. Pope Francis is attempting to lead the way, extending his “culture of encounter.”
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Culture, Violence, Catholic Church
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Vatican city
  • Author: Richard L. Morningstar
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On November 18, the Georgetown School of Foreign Service welcomed former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Richard Morningstar for a conversation on energy security in the Caspian region. Prior to the event, GJIA sat down with Ambassador Morningstar to discuss the intersection of energy and geopolitics, legacies from the Soviet Union, and energy security challenges facing Central Asian states.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Geopolitics, Interview
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Soviet Union, Caspian Sea, United States of America
  • Author: Helen McEntee
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On December 5, 2019, Georgetown University welcomed Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee, to the conference “Bridging the Atlantic: Ireland’s Role in EU-US Relations after Brexit.” Following the event, GJIA and The Europe Desk sat down with Minister McEntee to discuss the Good Friday Agreement, Brexit, and transatlantic relations. The Europe Desk is a podcast launched by the BMW Center for German and European Studies where leading experts discuss the most pertinent issues facing Europe and transatlantic cooperation today.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Negotiation, Interview
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland
  • Author: Yuriy Danyk, Chad Michael Briggs, Tamara Maliarchuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The conflict in Ukraine has received renewed attention in Washington D.C., and it is worth considering the relevance of this conflict to US national security interests. The open conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014 has been part of a larger hybrid war, including political and information warfare, cyber warfare, assassinations, promotion of corruption, and traditional (kinetic) warfare carried out by destructive geopolitical actors (DGAs) [1]. The conventional conflict cannot be taken out of context, and it is the less visible and “dark” aspects of hybrid warfare that should particularly worry the United States. Hybrid warfare consists of a wide spectrum of attacks, from conventional to covert, carried out to destabilize one’s opponent. Rather than being isolated incidents, cyber attacks often represent part of a wide spectrum of coordinated, offensive strategies against countries like Ukraine and the United States.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Cybersecurity, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Stefano Manservisi
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As the Coronavirus pandemic expands, and peak contagion remains uncertain, policy responses are gradually emerging, being implemented in a number of domains. The crisis has several important implications, but two are currently dominating the headlines: individual health and the sustainability of national healthcare systems, and the economic fallout from the pandemic.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Finance, International Development, Development Aid, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Alessandro Marrone, Ottavia Credi
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will have consequences on every aspect of the European societies, including the defence sector. The extent to which it will impact the military budgets is heavily discussed, with optimists trusting in slightly decreased investments and pessimists anticipating severe downturns. The fulfilment of NATO capability goals will be at stake, while allies will bring further diversified security needs to the Alliance’s agenda. The EU will have to cope with both pandemic and economic recession for the sake of its own security and stability, without sacrificing the European Defence Fund which could rather be part of a EU-wide plan for industrial and economic re-launch. This report summarizes the main findings of the IAI webinar hold on 8 April 2020 and participated by 22 experts and practitioners from Italy and other European countries.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Military Spending, Transatlantic Relations, Coronavirus, Defense Industry
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Jean-loup Samaan
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph explores the emerging challenge of nonstate actors’ anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) strategies and their implications for the United States and its allies by looking at two regions, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, with case studies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, and separatist groups in Ukraine.
  • Topic: Non State Actors, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Hezbollah, Houthis, Hamas
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon, United States of America
  • Author: Raphaël Danino-Perraud
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Although it is still marginal, the market for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing. According to the French Institute of Petroleum and Renewable Energies (IFPEN, Institut Français du Pétrole et des Énergies Renouvelables), EVs accounted for a little more than 2% of the light vehicle market in 2019. This was up by 54% compared to 2018, but EVs still only represent 0.8% of the global car fleet. That said, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates EVs could make up between 15% and 30% of vehicle sales in 2030. However, while European manufacturers have so far developed EVs such as the Renault Zoé or the BMW i3, they are highly dependent on Asian companies for the supply and manufacture of materials for cells and electric batteries, such as nickel, cobalt, lithium used to build precursors, or cathodes and their components. Asia provides more than 90% of world car battery output, half of which comes from China alone. European dependence is not only related to the manufacture of batteries, but occurs throughout much of their value chain, from extraction and processing of raw materials to the preparation of necessary treatment processes for recycling. The recycling market for batteries from small electronic objects (smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.) has also been led by Asian countries.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Business , Recycling
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Élie Tenenbaum, Morgan Paglia, Nathalie Ruffié
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: France is one of the few nations in the world to benefit from a permanent global military presence. With more than 10,000 military personnel from all three services, deployed across the five continents and the three main oceanic basins, it benefits from the second largest network of prepositioned forces in the world. This global military posture is structured around five “presence forces”, based in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates, as well as five “sovereignty forces” in the dependent overseas territories of the Antilles, French Guyana, Southern Indian Ocean, New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Over the past twenty years, this unique force posture has been hit by a series of deep budgetary cuts, translating into staff reductions and persisting delays in equipment delivery. As a result, the current military presence is under serious strain, as some capability are now weighing on the ability of these prepositioned forces to contribute as much as they could to the five strategic functions reiterated in the 2017 Strategic Review. These considerations are all the more important given the coming demographic, climatic, economic, geopolitical, and of course military challenges that will dramatically constrain the operational environment of the French forces in the coming years.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Armed Forces, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, France, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Tilman Altenburg, Xiao Chen, Wilfried Lütkenhorst, Cornelia Staritz, Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The Discussion Paper examines the opportunities that the rising industrial wages in China will bring for Africa. China has been the industrial workbench of the global economy for decades. However, its competitive advantages are waning, particularly for labour-intensive assembly activities in the clothing, shoe, electronics and toy industries. The Chinese government estimates that up to 81 million low-cost industrial jobs are at risk of relocation to other countries - unless China can keep the companies in the country through automation. Against this background, three complementary studies were carried out. The first examines where the automation technology for clothing and footwear production stands today; the second, how clothing companies in China deal with the cost pressure: to what extent they automate, relocate within China or abroad and how great is the interest in Africa as a production location. The third part is devoted to Africa’s competitiveness in clothing assemly, with empirical findings from Ethiopia and Madagascar. The Discussion Paper shows that the manufacture of clothing can already be robotized today, but that for sewing, robotization will probably remain more expensive than manual labor in the next 15-20 years. China’s companies are investing heavily in the automation of all other production processes and at the same time shifting production to neighbouring Asian countries. In Africa, only Ethiopia is currently competitive in the manufacture of clothing, and here too there are significant institutional difficulties in absorbing large amounts of direct investment.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Labor Issues, Foreign Direct Investment, Exports, Automation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Germany, Ethiopia, Madagascar
  • Author: Axel Berger, Sören Hilbrich, Gabriele Köhler
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20) have placed increasing emphasis on gender equality. As part of this focus, the member states of both institutions have set out a series of objectives aimed at advancing gender equality. This report examines the degree to which these goals have been implemented in Germany. First, the gender equality goals that both institutions have set out since 2009 are presented and systematised. The report then investigates the current state of progress in Germany and describes measures that have already been undertaken to implement the goals.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, G20, Women, Inequality, G7
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Frederik Stender, Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Jakob Schwab
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This study provides early ex-post empirical evidence on the effects of provisionally applied Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on two-way trade flows between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Employing the gravity model of trade, we do not find a general EPA effect on total exports from ACP countries to the EU nor on total exports from the EU to ACP countries. We do, however, find heterogeneous effects when focusing on specific agreements and economic sectors. While the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), which concluded several years ahead of the other EPAs in 2008, if anything, reduced imports from the EU overall, the provisional application of the other EPAs seems to have at least partly led to increased imports from the EU to some partner countries. More specifically, the estimation results suggest an increase in the total imports from the EU only in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) EPA partner countries. On the sectoral level, by comparison, we find increases in the EU’s agricultural exports to SADC, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the Pacific. Lastly, in the area of manufactures trade, we find decreases of exports of the ESA and SADC countries to the EU, but increases in imports from the EU into SADC countries. While this early assessment of the EPA effects merits attention given the importance of monitoring future implications of these agreements, it is still too early for a final verdict on the EPAs’ effects and future research is needed to investigate the mid- and long-term consequences of these agreements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Manufacturing, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Africa, Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, European Union
  • Author: Maximilian Müngersdorff, Tim Stoffel
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP) is a tool to use the market power of the public sector to trigger private companies to provide socially responsible products and services. In this sense, SRPP contributes to achieving SDG 12 of the Agenda 2030 (“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”). However, while regulations at EU level and within the member states encourage SRPP, German municipalities lack effective implementation of social criteria in their tenders. This gap seriously decreases the triggering effect of the country’s procurement expenditures of which municipalities account for more than 50 per cent. By triangulating interview data with secondary literature, this paper identifies success factors and triggers for the introduction and consolidation of SRPP practices in German municipalities. Our research shows that there is not one gold standard of implementing SRPP in a municipality (as suggested by most existing toolboxes and handbooks on the topic). Rather, our paper presents a compilation of various different entry points from which practitioners may embark on fitting pathways. Beyond this, we have translated the most crucial success factors and triggers into nine recommendations for political action, for example, with regard to clear and ambitious regulations; measures to ensure broad support for SRPP within the municipal administration; and approaches for a more strategic procurement management. Our research also highlights the role played by individuals, that is, the importance of personal commitment for successful implementation of SRPP. This finding, however, is problematic when it comes to transferring and upscaling good practices. To reach a high level of broad and ambitious SRPP action, the balance between individual, regulatory and institutional measures has to change for the benefit of the latter two.
  • Topic: Governance, Regulation, Business , Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Tim Stoffel
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Public Procurement is a highly regulated process ruled by a complex legal framework. It comprises not only national but also, increasingly, sub- and supranational regulations, giving rise to a multi-level regulatory governance of public procurement. The integration of sustainability aspects into public procurement, as called for in goal 12.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda 2030, needs to take this multi-level character into account. This reports focuses on social considerations, which are a central part of sustainable procurement – whether with a domestic focus or along international value chains. Social considerations have been somewhat neglected in Europe, whereas they feature prominently in procurement regulations in many countries of the Global South, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The advanced process of regional integration in the European Union (EU) and the progress made towards integration in some regional economic communities in Sub-Saharan Africa call for deeper analyses of the influence of the higher levels of the regulatory framework on the lower levels. The question is whether public entities, from the national down to the local level, are required or at least have the option to integrate socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) into their procurement processes and tenders, or at least have the option to do so. This report is conducted as part of the project “Municipalities Promoting and Shaping Sustainable Value Creation (MUPASS) - Public Procurement for Fair and Sustainable Production”, implemented by DIE in cooperation with Service Agency Municipalities in One World (SKEW) with funds from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and compares public procurement in Germany and Kenya. In both countries, the multi-level regulatory frameworks allow for SRPP regulations and practices ar the national and sub-national levels of government. There is, however, an implementation gap for SRPP in Germany and Kenya that appears to be independent from the specifics of the respective regulatory framework. To tackle this, supportive measures, such as capacity building, are key. Furthermore, Regional economic communities, such as the EU and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), can play a role in promoting SRPP, even without introducing mandatory provisions. At the other end of the multi-level regulatory spectrum, municipalities in the EU had and have an important role in SRPP implementation, that might be replicable by sub-national public entities in Kenya and other contexts.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Regulation, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Heather Grabbe
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report is a rallying cry for Europeans to pull together and mobilize the EU’s assets to manage the three biggest changes of our times. Each section briefly diagnoses the consequences of climate change, aging populations, and digital revolutions and then explores the role the EU could play in supporting the inevitable transitions. The purpose is not to provide a detailed blueprint for each transition, but rather to launch a new kind of debate about the EU—a debate that does not revolve around how to tweak the current institutions but instead how to address a reordered set of priorities
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dean Vuletic
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After winning the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) with her song “Toy” (inspired by the #MeToo movement), Netta Barzilai issued the declaration, “Next year in Jerusalem!” By using the traditional Jewish phrase, she was suggesting that the 2019 ESC would be held in that city.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Culture, Music
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Mohanad Hage Ali
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Syrian conflict has magnified threats to minorities with long-term implications both within and beyond Syria’s borders. The deployment of excessive firepower by the Russian and Iranian-backed Assad regime, and the concurrent rise of Islamic extremism have had both direct and indirect impacts on minorities. Local, regional, and international actors have weaponized minority groups to bolster their influence, further intensifying schisms in the Syrian social fabric and in the international community as a whole. The flow of one million Syrian refugees to Europe between 2015 and 2016 strengthened an already powerful wave of anti-immigration, nationalist populism throughout the continent and across the Atlantic. As an openly Islamophobic and, more implicitly, anti-Semitic movement, the wave has contributed to widening the scope of the Syrian conflict’s schismatic effects beyond the country’s borders.
  • Topic: Minorities, Violent Extremism, Refugees, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Andrea Dessì
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This study on Libya is one of a series of reports prepared within the framework of the EU-LISTCO project, funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. Libya is a special case within the EU-LISTCO project. It is in the western region of North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Algeria and Tunisia to the west, Chad and Niger to the south, Sudan to the south-east and Egypt to the east. The security and stability of Libya is fundamental for the economic and political future of Europe, particularly in relation to migration, radicalisation and political economy. Because of the NATO-led intervention that brought about the collapse of the Libyan Arab al-Jamahiriyah, the country has now entered an interrelated social, economic and political crisis, and violence has been simmering for the past eight years. While the collapse of the previous government has been beneficial for some, numerous armed political actors now control the Libyan territory, supported and funded by external powers that often have contradictory political agendas. The purpose of this report is to answer the following research questions: what is the background of areas of limited statehood and contested order in Libya?; how and when can areas of limited statehood and contested order in Libya turn into governance breakdown and/or violent conflict, and how can these threats affect the security of the EU?; what are the resilience mechanisms in Libya?
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Political stability, State, Crisis Management, Resilience
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Libya
  • Author: Jeffrey L. Caton
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: publication cover In 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the DoD Cyber Strategy which explicitly calls for a comprehensive strategy to provide credible deterrence in cyberspace against threats from key state and nonstate actors. To be effective, such activities must be coordinated with ongoing deterrence efforts in the physical realm, especially those of near-peers impacting critical global regions such as China in the Asia-Pacific region and Russia in Europe. It is important for the U.S. Army to identify and plan for any unique roles that they may provide to these endeavors. This study explores the evolving concept of deterrence in cyberspace in three major areas: • First, the monograph addresses the question: What is the current U.S. deterrence posture for cyberspace? The discussion includes an assessment of relevant current national and DoD policies and concepts as well as an examination of key issues for cyber deterrence found in professional literature. • Second, it examines the question: What are the Army’s roles in cyberspace deterrence? This section provides background information on how Army cyber forces operate and examines the potential contributions of these forces to the deterrence efforts in cyberspace as well as in the broader context of strategic deterrence. The section also addresses how the priority of these contributions may change with escalating levels of conflict. • Third, the monograph provides recommendations for changing or adapting the DoD and Army responsibilities to better define and implement the evolving concepts and actions supporting deterrence in the dynamic domain of cyberspace.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Non State Actors, Cybersecurity, Army
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Michael A. Hunzeker, Alexander Lanoszka
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) face daunting challenges in the Baltic region. Russia is behaving aggressively. Its military is more capable than it has been at any point since the end of the Cold War. More importantly, Russia is finding creative ways to subvert the status quo and to sow discord without triggering Article 5 of NATO, which declares that an attack against one member is an attack against all. These problems are formidable, but we have reason to be optimistic. Far from shattering NATO’s cohesion and undermining its resolve, Russian aggression has reinvigorated the alliance. Nor is Russia an unstoppable adversary. It has many weaknesses. Indeed, Russian fears over those vulnerabilities might be driving its aggressive foreign policy. Even if this is not the case and Russia is indeed a relentless predator, it is nevertheless a vulnerable one. The United States and its NATO allies can take advantage of these vulnerabilities. After assessing Russian intentions, capabilities, and limitation, this monograph recommends a hedging strategy to improve early detection capabilities, enhance deterrence in unprovocative ways, and improve regional defenses against a hybrid threat. Achieving these goals should help the United States deter Russia and reassure regional allies more effectively while managing our own worst fears.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War, Military Strategy, Landpower, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Russia’s annexation of Crimea and intervention in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, alarmed not only Western-leaning states in Central Europe and the Baltic but also Moscow’s traditional allies. These events signaled that Moscow is now willing and capable of using direct military force against perceived strategic threats in its self-proclaimed region of vested interests. With the exception of Ukraine and the Baltic States, this Letort Paper examines how Russia’s front-line states have adjusted their foreign policy posture since 2014. Belarus, Moldova, the states of Central Asia and the South Caucasus calculate the benefits and risks in their relationship with Moscow and either make concessions or strengthen their defenses accordingly to avoid triggering a Russian reaction. This Letort Paper provides a range of policy recommendations intended to maximize the opportunities of a new alignment with the West for these states while minimizing the risk of Russia, using again, those capabilities it has demonstrated in Ukraine and Syria.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Olena Tregub
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Euromaidan protests that toppled the government of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Ukrainian activists and civil society organizations have pressed hard for anti-corruption reforms and greater openness and transparency in the public sector. Five years later, however, corruption remains a fixture of civic life—and a majority of Ukrainians believe the fight against corruption has been a failure. This new report reviews the changes that have taken place in the anti-corruption movement since the Euromaidan and identifies practical actions the international community can take to support reform efforts in Ukraine.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Governance, Reform, Democracy, Rule of Law, Protests, Accountability, Transparency, Justice
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Stephanie Savell
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: This new map shows for the first time that the United States is now combating terrorism in 40 percent of the world’s nations.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Counter-terrorism, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anne De Tinguy, Annie Daubenton, Olivier Ferrando, Sophie Hohmann, Jacques Lévesque, Nicolas Mazzuchi, Gaïdz Minassian, Thierry Pasquet, Tania Sollogoub, Julien Thorez
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Regards sur l’Eurasie. L’année politique est une publication annuelle du Centre de recherches internationales de Sciences Po (CERI) dirigée par Anne de Tinguy. Elle propose des clefs de compréhension des événements et des phénomènes qui marquent de leur empreinte les évolutions d’une région, l’espace postsoviétique, en profonde mutation depuis l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique en 1991. Forte d’une approche transversale qui ne prétend nullement à l’exhaustivité, elle vise à identifier les grands facteurs explicatifs, les dynamiques régionales et les enjeux sous-jacents.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Health, International Security, Natural Resources, Conflict, Multilateralism, Europeanization, Political Science, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Georgios Petropoulos
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: EU policymakers must find answers to pressing questions: if technology has a negative impact on labour income, how will the welfare state be funded? How can workers’ welfare rights be adequately secured? A team of Bruegel scholars, with the support of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, has taken on these questions
  • Topic: International Security, Digital Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jean Pisani-Ferry
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Memo to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The authors describe the current context and the increasing interlinkages between economics and power politics and the role to play in reinforcing and defending Europe’s economic sovereignty
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gregory Claeys
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Memo to the president of the European Central Bank. Grégory Claeys, Maria Demertzis and Francesco Papadia present the challenges that the next ECB president will face during the upcoming mandate, reinventing monetary policy in a system riddled with uncertainties.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Maria Demertzis
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Memo to the presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. 'A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership' by Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram Wolff is the first of our 2019 Bruegel memos to the new presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. Focusing on the most important economic questions at EU level, these Bruegel memos are intended to be a strategic to-do list, outlining the state of affairs that will greet the new Commission
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Balternsperger
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This report, requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, analyses the EU’s potential to be a global centre of excellence for research as a driver of its future growth in a complex global S&T landscape, and how EU public resources can contribute to this
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gregory Claeys, Simone Tagliapietra, Georg Zachmann
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: European Commission president-designate Ursula von der Leyen has made climate change a top priority, promising to propose a European Green Deal that would make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Th e European Green Deal should be conceived as a reallocation mechanism, fostering investment shifts and labour substitution in key economic sectors, while supporting the most vulnerable segments of society throughout the decarbonisation process. Th e deal’s four pillars would be carbon pricing, sustainable investment, industrial policy and a just transition.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Security, Sustainable Development Goals, Global Warming, Green Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Éric-André Martin
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Restrictive measures are a major instrument of the European Union (EU)’s external action, which has emerged as one of the world’s leading sanctions emitters. The EU has thus leveraged the size of its market and its economic and financial clout (trade relations, aid policy and bilateral agreements). Through its significant activity in the field of sanctions, the EU has been able to reinforce its image as a normative power and a global player, contributing actively to international peace and stability. The EU’s restrictive measures were adopted in a favorable international context, marked by the legitimacy that was conferred, most of the time, by United Nations resolutions, and by close coordination with the United States (US). This privileged period culminated with the management of the Iranian crisis and the conclusion of the 2015 Vienna Agreement. More recently, however, sanctions have tended to lose their function as an instrument contributing to shape a shared vision of the world order, and to become what they are in essence, namely an instrument of statecraft dedicated to the protection of States’ national interests. This trend is illustrated on the one hand by the affirmation of a unilateral United States policy on sanctions, which tends to extend the scope of coercion to third parties, including European entities, and on the other hand, by the increasing use of sanctions by powers like China and Russia as a geo-economic tool.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, Power Politics, Sanctions, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, European Union
  • Author: Sylvie Cornot-Gandolphe
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: The major transformations that are occurring on the Chinese gas market have profound repercussions on the global gas and LNG markets, especially on trade, investment and prices. In just two years, China has become the world’s first gas importer and is on track to become the largest importer of Liquefied natural gas (LNG). China alone explained 63% of the net global LNG demand growth in 2018 and now accounts for 17% of global LNG imports. The pace and scale of China’s LNG imports have reshaped the global LNG market. Over the past two years, fears of an LNG supply glut have largely been replaced by warnings that the lack of investments in new LNG capacity would lead to a supply shortage in the mid-2020s unless more LNG production project commitments are made soon. There is now a bullish outlook for future global LNG demand which has encouraged companies to sanction additional LNG projects, based on the anticipated supply shortage. China’s gas imports can be expected to continue to grow strongly, from 120 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2018 to up to 300 bcm by 2030.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Gas
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Francesco Burchi, Daniele Malerba, Nicole Rippin, Claudio E. Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The 2030 Agenda has provided new impetus to two facets of the struggle for poverty alleviation, which is a central goal of the international development community. First, poverty is no longer viewed strictly in monetary terms, but rather as a multidimensional phenomenon. Second, the need to reduce poverty for different social groups and not just at the aggregate, national level is explicitly recognised. Against this background, this paper has three objectives: (1) to analyse the trends in multidimensional poverty in low- and middle-income countries, (2) to explore rural-urban differences in poverty over time, and (3) to assess the validity of the claim that there has been a feminisation of poverty. The analysis relies on a new indicator of multidimensional poverty, the Global Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (G-CSPI), that incorporates three key components: education, employment and health. The G-CSPI has several methodological advantages over existing measures, including that it is an individual rather than a household-level measure of poverty, which is crucial for gender-disaggregated analysis. Regarding aggregate trends, this paper shows that both income poverty and multidimensional poverty fell between 2000 and 2012. However, the decline in (extreme) income poverty in percentage terms was twice as large as the decline in multidimensional poverty. There is significant heterogeneity in the results across regions. Multidimensional poverty declined the most in Asia, converging towards the relatively low levels of Latin America and Europe, while sub-Saharan Africa’s slow progress further distanced it from other regions. These findings point to the existence of poverty traps and indicate that more efforts are needed to eradicate poverty. Regarding the urban-rural comparison, our analysis shows that poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon: the rural G-CSPI was more than four times the urban G-CSPI. This difference remained nearly constant over time. As for the third objective, we find no gender bias in 2000 at the global level. This contrasts with the claim made in 1995 in Beijing that 70 per cent of the poor were women. However, we find that multidimensional poverty declined more among men (-18.5 per cent from 2000) than women (-15 per cent), indicating a process of feminisation of poverty. This was triggered by the decline in employment poverty, which was much slower among women. As most existing studies conclude that there was no evidence of the feminisation of poverty, this finding is new to the literature.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Poverty, Inequality, Urban, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Laura-Theresa Krüger, Julie Vaillé
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: On 22 January 2019, France and Germany signed the Treaty of Aachen, which – among other things – foresees a stronger coordination and cooperation in the field of development policy. Against the backdrop of the Agenda 2030, the need for collective action has rarely been higher. Yet, although formal agreements on Franco-German cooperation were initially made in the 1963 Élysée Treaty, preliminary research insights point to the fact that cooperation has so far been driven more by opportunity than by strategy. That is why this study seeks to analyse the main obstacles to Franco-German cooperation in global development and how these play out in practice. To this end, it provides an assessment of Franco-German cooperation in support of global sustainable development in general, as well as in two particular cases. These are the Sahel Alliance, founded on a French initiative and confirmed by France, Germany and the European Union in 2017 with a view to increasing coordination and effectiveness to the benefit of development and security in five Sahel countries; and a second initiative providing assistance to developing and emerging countries in conceiving and implementing their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the NDC Partnership. The NDC Partnership was launched at the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakesh in 2016 on an initiative by Germany, Morocco and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Against this backdrop, the study formulates policy recommendations as to how Franco-German cooperation could be enhanced to the benefit of global development.
  • Topic: Security, Development, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, North Africa
  • Author: Clare Castillejo
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Establishing free movement regimes is an ambition for most African regional economic communities, and such regimes are widely understood as important for regional integration, growth and development. However, in recent years the EU’s migration policies and priorities in Africa - which are narrowly focused on stemming irregular migration to Europe – appear to be in tension with African ambitions for free movement. This paper examines how the EU’s current political engagement and programming on migration in Africa is impacting on African ambitions to establish free movement regimes. It focuses first on the continental level, and then looks in-depth at two regional economic communities: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Horn of Africa, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The paper begins by examining how free movement has featured within both EU and African migration agendas in recent years, describing how this issue has been increasingly sidelined within the EU’s migration policy framework, while receiving growing attention by the African Union. The paper then discusses the impact of EU migration policies and programmes on progress towards regional free movement in the IGAD region. It finds that the EU is broadly supportive of efforts to establish an IGAD free movement regime, although in practice gives this little priority in comparison with other migration issues. The paper goes on to examine the EU’s engagement in the ECOWAS region, which is strongly focused on preventing irregular migration and returning irregular migrants. It asks whether there is an innate tension between this EU agenda and the ambitions of ECOWAS to fully realise its existing free movement regime, and argues that the EU’s current engagement in West Africa is actively undermining free movement. Finally, the paper discusses the differences between the EU’s approach to migration and free movement in these two regions. It offers recommendations regarding how the EU can strengthen its support for free movement in both these regions, as well as more broadly in Africa.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Regional Cooperation, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, European Union
  • Author: Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle, Waltina Scheumann, Annabelle Houdret, Ines Dombrowsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Water is essential for all life on earth and is a key prerequisite for attaining many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many countries, however, suffer from physical water scarcity, a lack of access to a safe water supply and sanitation, water pollution or hydrological extremes (droughts and floods) due to climate change. The generality and severity of water problems lead many to speak of a global water crisis. While this crisis mostly manifests at the local or in some cases transboundary level, two global issues are often overlooked. First, global trends such as climate change and the spread of water-intensive consumption and trade patterns are key triggers that cannot be addressed at the local level alone. Second, the aggregation of local or regional water problems may add up to a universal threat to sustainable development. In the face of current challenges, (fresh) water should be conceptualised as a global common good, and global water governance should contribute to improving its protection. This study reveals that the current global water governance architecture is a highly fragmented and incoherent regime consisting of numerous norms, paradigms and actors, each covering single aspects of global water governance. Given the diversity of issues, a “classical” formation of one comprehensive international water regime in the form of a framework convention, and equipped with a specific global governance institution (such as for climate stability, biological diversity or the prevention of desertification) has so far not emerged. The authors suggest a global water governance regime that could evolve from the improved interplay of the existing elements of global water governance (i.e. norms, targets, paradigms and actors). This could be complemented by two innovations at UN level: installing an Intergovernmental Body on Water allowing for mandated decisions on water in the UN system, and a Scientific and Practice Panel on Water improving the science-policy interface. Such an approach that combines global norms and joint guidelines to be adapted to local contexts and needs may be able to increase urgently needed political support for governing water as a global commons, beyond the nation-state interests and their perception of water resources as sovereign goods.
  • Topic: Environment, Water, Governance, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsay Gorman
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: pal story of 1989 in Europe is a story about technology – of radio and information crossing the East-West divide to bring down the Berlin Wall. Indeed, the post-communist narrative became that more connectivity and more connection meant more freedom and more democracy. It was on the wave of this narrative that the Internet became the world’s ultimate connector.1 It has brought globalization and international commerce in an unprecedented and unimaginable way, given activists a platform and a megaphone, and made information about democratic governance available to anyone with a router. Or almost anyone.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Science and Technology, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jan Techau
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: As party systems across Europe adjust to changed popular demand at rapid speed, the European Union struggles to find its bearings in this whirlwind of political transformation. Euroscepticism has won a few big victories across Europe, and loose talk about the EU falling apart or being beyond repair is rife.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Laura Rosenberger
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, democracies again face a struggle against authoritarianism. This is not the ideological battle of the Cold War, but it is a confrontation between systems of government.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Affairs, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This Report has been prepared for the European Commission, DG TAXUD under contract TAXUD/2017/DE/329, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States” and serves as a follow-up to the six reports published between 2013 and 2018. This Study contains new estimates of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap for 2017, as well as updated estimates for 2013-2016. As a novelty in this series of reports, so called “fast VAT Gap estimates” are also presented the year immediately preceding the analysis, namely for 2018. In addition, the study reports the results of the econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants initiated and initially reported in the 2018 Report (Poniatowski et al., 2018). It also scrutinises the Policy Gap in 2017 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. In 2017, growth in the European Union (EU) continued to accelerate with a combined real GDP growth of 2.5 percent, providing a sound environment for an increase in VAT collections. As a result, VAT revenue increased in all Member States (MS). An increase in the base was the main, but not the only, source for growth. Increase in compliance contributed to an approximate 1.1% increase in VAT revenue. In nominal terms, in 2017, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell to EUR 137.5 billion, down from EUR 145.4 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 11.2 percent in 2017 and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2013-2017. Fast estimates for 2018 indicate that the downward trend will continue and that VAT Gap will likely fall below EUR 130 billion in 2018. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap as percentage of the VTTL decreased in 25 countries and increased in three. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap occurred in Malta, Poland, and Cyprus. The smallest Gaps were observed in Cyprus (0.6 percent), Luxembourg (0.7 percent), and Sweden (1.5 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.5 percent), Greece (33.6 percent), and Lithuania (25.3 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap above 10.1 percent (see Figure 2.2 and Table 2.1). The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.5 percent, out of which 9.6 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates instead of standard rates (the Rate Gap). The countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.8 percent) and Estonia (3 percent). On the other side of spectrum are Cyprus (29.6 percent), Malta (16.5 percent), and Poland (14.6 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap – a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap – is, on average, 13 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis repeated after the 2017 Study confirmed the earlier results. We observe that the dispersion of tax rates and unemployment rate have a positive impact on the VAT Gap. Regarding the variables in hands of the administration, on the extended times series compared to the previous year, our results suggest that the nature of the expenditure of the administration, in particular IT expenditure, is more important that the amount of the overall resources.
  • Topic: Economy, Economic growth, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Beaumont, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative tool designed to make home renovation simple, affordable and reliable for all Europeans by combining affordable financing with people-centric technical assistance. EuroPACE offers 100% up-front financing that can be repaid over a long term of up to 25 years. The innovation lies in the collection and repayment mechanism – financing is attached to the property and is repaid regularly with charges linked to a property. Homeowners are offered logistical and technical support throughout the process and access to trained and qualified con-tractors. Thus, EuroPACE overcomes the main barriers to home renovation – lack of financing, technical knowledge and complexity of the works. The concept of EuroPACE is inspired by the success of a financing model called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), launched in California in 2008. In the United States (US), the PACE market reached over USD 6 billion in funded projects, including the retrofit of over 220,000 homes, which resulted in more than 50,000 new local jobs and the creation of hundreds new companies.EuroPACE combines the best practices from the US PACE market with project partners’ substantial experience in improving energy efficiency in European buildings. EuroPACE is a three-year project that intends to assess market readiness, deploy a pilot programme in Spain and scale across Europe to four leader cities. A two-phase research (firstly – legal & fiscal readiness, and secondly – market demand) has been carried to assess the overall readiness for adaptation of this model across the European Union (EU). This document is the second phase of the EuroPACE readiness assessment developed to identify European countries most suited for EuroPACE implementation. It complements the legal and fiscal assessment by focusing on the “demand dimension” by analysing local needs for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources (RES) in residential building renovation of seven selected countries. Based on the results of legal and fiscal analysis of the EU28 MS, in October 2018 the Steering Committee Group of the EuroPACE Horizon2020 (H2020) project chose seven countries: Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Romania, for the second phase of evaluation. These countries were selected based on the scoring outlined in D2.1 and two additional considerations developed by the Steering Committee Group. First, a diverse geo-graphical distribution of the countries was an important element for the selection of these seven countries. Secondly, the knowledge and expertise of the Steering Committee Group about the national potential market opportunity was taken into consideration during the selection process. While in Austria a similar mechanism has already been tested but was unsuccessful, the country still has been chosen for further analysis. In Belgium, despite being a federal state, there is a strong local and regional interest in new financial mechanisms designed to upscale residential retrofits across the country. In the Netherlands, asset-based financial instruments are currently being discussed at the national level, which opens a window of opportunity for EuroPACE to be tested in the country. As for Italy, although the property-taxation system is far from stable, potential synergies with successful programmes like Ecobonus or Sismabonus should be explored. In Poland, nearly 70% of the 6-million residential buildings need significant energy efficiency overhaul; these buildings contribute to some of the worst air quality across the EU leading to approximately 47 thousand premature deaths annually. Portugal, given its Mediterranean climate, proves a great potential not only for EE, but also prosumer RES development, given that current incentives are far from sufficient. Romania has been chosen mainly because of its highest home-ownership rate across the EU and the most institutionalised property-related taxation, possibly setting a stable base for EuroPACE being collected alongside existing charges.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Fiscal Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Belgium, Romania, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, European Union
  • Author: Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative financial mechanism inspired by an American building improvement initiative called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). The innovative character of the EuroPACE mechanism is that financing through EuroPACE is linked to the taxes paid on a property. In other words, the financing lent by a private investor is repaid through property taxes and other charges related to the buildings. EuroPACE is therefore in line with the EC’s objectives of (1) putting EE first, (2) contributing to the EU’s global leadership, and (3) empowering consumers to enable MS to reach their energy and climate targets for 2030. Last but not least, EuroPACE could contribute to the democratisation of the energy supply by offering cash-flow positive, decentralised EE solutions. The EuroPACE mechanism engages several stakeholders in the process: local government, investors, equipment installers, and homeowners. To establish the EuroPACE programme, several conditions must be satisfied, each of which are relevant for different stakeholder at different stages of the implementation. For the purpose of this report, we divided these criteria into two categories: key criteria, which make the implementation possible, and complementary criteria, which make the implementation easier. For the time being, it is a pure hypothesis to be tested with potential EuroPACE implementation. One ought to remember that residential on-tax financing is a concept in its infancy in the EU. Therefore, the methodology to evaluate the readiness of a country to implement on-tax financing is complex and consists of six stages:Identification of fiscal and regulatory conditions; Data collection; Weighting; Grading; Country SWOT analysis; Qualitative assessment.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Economy, Tax Systems, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Twenty years of euro history confirms the euro’s stability and position as the second global currency. It also enjoys the support of majority of the euro area population and is seen as a good thing for the European Union. The European Central Bank has been successful in keeping inflation at a low level. However, the European debt and financial crisis in the 2010s created a need for deep institutional reform and this task remains unfinished.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, European Union, Economy, Economic growth, Fiscal Policy, Currency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Andrzej Halesiak, Ernest Pytlarczyk, Mariusz Wieckowski, Stefan Kawalec
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In a properly functioning economy, finance has important role to play in making main sectors of the economy – production, trade, services – to thrive. One of the most important – and often unappreciated – channels by which finance affects the processes taking place in the real sector is the selection of investment projects. It is banks and financial intermediaries that to a great degree decide which projects are carried out in the economy at a given moment, and which are not. If financial institutions are excessively conservative (which today is often an effect of the tight regulatory environment), they will prefer low-risk projects with high levels of collateral (e.g. mortgage loans). A financial system oriented this way will rarely be a source of problems, but at the same time not inclined to finance innovative projects with high potential to benefit the economy. Thus for any economy, a very important question is whether its regulatory framework smartly balances both of these aspects: financial system safety and the need to take on risk. When analyzing the functioning of the financial system, it’s worth noting the gradual blurring of certain traditional boundaries. While decades ago households were the main source of savings in the economy, and the borrowers were enterprises and the public sector, today both households and companies are on both sides, as suppliers and receivers of capital. The boundary between the functioning of banks and capital markets is also increasingly blurred. Today banks operate broadly through the capital market, both as acquirers of securities and as issuers. One area that has been developing dynamically in recent years is the flow of financial resources bypassing traditional intermediaries: direct lending through the peer-to-peer (P2P - direct financing of a project by business partners) and crowdfunding platforms (fundraising by collecting money online).
  • Topic: Demographics, GDP, Financial Markets, Economy, Banks, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Adam Adamczyk, Leszek Morawski, Jarek Neneman
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: For many years, we have been hearing about the need for innovation and entrepreneurship. Successive Polish government declare their support for entrepreneurs and expand the catalog of privileges, mainly related to taxes and mandatory contributions. Not infrequently, in these discussions the self-employed are equated with entrepreneurs. In this work, we will seek an answer to the questions: Who, then, are the self-employed? Are they really entrepreneurs? Should we support their activities? And finally the fundamental question: What does the economy get from the self-employed? In this work we point out that the differences in rates of self-employment between countries may result from differences in taxation on the labor provided by self-employed and salaried workers. In the main part of the work, taking advantage of the potential of the EUROMOD tax-benefit microsimulation model, we show that in Europe there is no single model of taxation of work conducted as one’s own business. In the majority of the tax-contribution systems we examined, the profitability of employment or self-employment changes along with changes in income. In light of the regressivity of the burdens on the self-employed, as a rule it begins to be profitable only above a certain income level. In the first part of the work we define the self-employed as those who run a business, and later we distinguish within this group entrepreneurs, meaning those who take on risk and create innovations. Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment from the point of view of the self employed and the employer, we point out that the benefits – including systemic (tax and contribution) benefits, outweigh the disadvantages. We also discuss in more detail the imposition of income tax on the self-employed. In the second part we present changes in the value of self-employment over the last 25 years. Here we use data from the World Bank and certain data points from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). They allow us to observe how the relationship between the self-employed and the economy is changing: The significance of services provided for other businesses is growing. Additionally, we can see that the significance of self-employment is falling. In Poland the level of (non-agricultural) self-employment is low. The dynamics of the rate of self employment indicate that the influence of legal regulations on the scale of self-employment is secondary. It seems that in this case, technological and demographic factors are much more significant.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Employment, Business , Social Policy, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: George Selgin
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: "Depending on how one interprets the question that forms the topic of my talk, one can argue that the answer is obvious, or one can argue just the opposite. In one sense of course, it’s obvious that non-state money is possible. That’s the sense in which we ask only whether some kinds of non-state money are possible. And of course, the answer is yes. The vast majority of payments today, in Poland as elsewhere, are made with privately produced forms of money – that is, with bank deposits of various kinds – transferable by cheque or using debit cards. And there is nothing surprising about that. But of course, my assigned question can also be understood in a different and more interesting way. The interesting question is not whether some kinds of non-state- supplied money are possible. It is a different question, or rather two different questions. One of these is whether non-state circulating monies, or currencies, are possible. Can we rely on the private sector to supply hand-to-hand circulating means of payment? The other even more fundamental question is whether we can have a complete monetary system in which all forms of money supplied privately, and the state plays no substantial regulatory role. In fact, I intend to argue that non-state supplied currencies are also possible, and that completely private monetary systems, in which the state plays no important part, are possible as well. Indeed, I will argue, not only that these things are possible, but that history offers examples of them. That is, they are not just hypothetically possible. I plan to spend much of my time talking to you about these historical examples of privately produced currencies and private or mostly private monetary systems. I wish not merely to make it clear that private currencies and mostly private monetary systems really have existed in the past, but to point out to you that these private currencies and monetary systems have often been entirely or at least highly successful. We might even envy them today, given the performance of our own relatively heavily regulated monetary systems." - Prof. George Selgin writes in the introduction.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Banks, Trade, Cryptocurrencies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Körber-Stiftung
  • Abstract: Dear Readers, Welcome to the third edition of The Berlin Pulse! The first edition, published in November 2017, was an experiment. Two years later, I am convinced that The Berlin Pulse has made a positive contribution to Germany’s foreign policy debate. Internationally, the past two editions have served as a valuable tool for explaining the forces underlying German foreign policy. I would like to start, therefore, by thanking all who have contributed to this project through comments and suggestions, their own contributions, or simply by reading. The idea behind The Berlin Pulse remains the same: To identify potential gaps between German public opinion and international expectations of Berlin’s foreign policy. However, the results of this year’s survey once more underline a different gap, namely that between public opinion and government policy: To policy-makers in Berlin, the transatlantic alliance remains a pillar of German foreign policy. In contrast, a majority of the population (52 percent) believe that Germany should reconsider its alliance with Washington, even at the cost of more than doubling the country’s defence budget. However, despite efforts to strengthen Europe’s defence capabilities, Germany will continue to rely on the United States for its security for the foreseeable future. Clearly, its politicians need to become better at explaining to Germans why this is in the country’s interest. As Germans and the world are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakdown of the Iron Curtain, dividing lines old and new are making (re-)appearances. Therefore, the present issue will focus on three particular challenges facing German policy-makers: Berlin’s role in the EU and the Union’s foreign policy; transatlantic relations under the Trump administration, and the question of what role Germany will be willing and able to play in Asia. With Germany preparing for the presidency of the European Council and the US elections looming, 2020 is bound to be an eventful year. Amid continuing threats to multilateralism and the liberal international order, friends and competitors alike are closely watching the decisions taken (or not taken) by Berlin. This year’s authors hail from a rich variety of backgrounds, and include Germany’s Federal Minister of Defence, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Bulgarian intellectual Ivan Krastev, eminent Chinese diplomat, Madam Fu Ying, as well as public intellectual and journalist Walter Russell Mead, to name but a few. Last but not least, allow me to thank our editor, Joshua Webb. It is in no small part thanks to his excellent work that I am confident the present issue of The Berlin Pulse will provide you with plenty of food for thought and discussion. I wish you an insightful read. Thomas Paulsen
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Maria Saide Liperi, Asli Selin Okyay
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: On 6 December 2018, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Rome (FES) and Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) co-organized the conference “External Borders and Internal Divisions of Europe: Policies and Politics of Migration” to foster debate on European migration and asylum governance by approaching it both as a policy issue and a political question. While the scale of migratory flows is no longer the main problem, countries at the Southern external borders continue facing different policy challenges. The lack of political will and continuing tensions among the member states stand out as the main obstacles blocking substantial policy reform at the European level. This context also provides fertile ground for further polarization of the political debate between the two extreme positions of open versus closed borders, highlighting the need for more balanced and neutral narratives on migration in the run up to the European elections. Report of the conference “External Borders and Internal Division of Europe: Policies and Politics of Migration”, organized in Rome on 6 December 2018 by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Rome and Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).
  • Topic: Migration, Politics, Refugees, Borders, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Greece, Balkans, Spain, Italy, Mediterranean, European Union
  • Author: Rasmus Alenius Boserup, Luis Martinez
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In this new DIIS report senior researcher at DIIS, Rasmus Alenius Boserup and Research Director at Sciences Po, Luis Martinez, analyse how European policy-makers have recently come to perceive the Sahel as a threat to Europe’s own security and stability. Marking the end of the Sahel-Maghreb Research Platform – a research project funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and hosted by DIIS in collaboration with Voluntas Advisory – the report draws on input and analysis provided by an international team of experts and scholars associated to the project.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel S. Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: For decades the partnership between North America and Europe has been a steady anchor in a world of rapid change. Today, however, the transatlantic partnership itself has become unsettled and uncertain. Nowhere is this clearer than in the economic sphere. Voters across the United States and many parts of Europe have grown skeptical of open markets. Concerns about stagnant wages, widening income inequality, and pockets of stubbornly high unemployment have combined with fears of automation, digitization and immigration to swell economic insecurities on each side of the Atlantic. The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and the decision by British citizens to leave the European Union have only added to transatlantic uncertainties. This state of division and mutual inwardness threatens the prosperity and ultimately the position of North America and Europe in the global economy and the broader global security system. This study charts possible paths by which Americans and Europeans can navigate this strange new world. It describes how the transatlantic economy is being transformed by domestic political uncertainties, the digital revolution, the changing nature of production, and the diffusion of global power and intensified global competition. It takes account of shifting trade relations among the United States, Canada and Mexico through NAFTA, and what Brexit and the rise of non-EU Europe may mean for the European Union and for transatlantic partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Partnerships, Brexit, Economic growth, Trump, NAFTA
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, North America, Mexico, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Vincenza Scherrer, Alba Bescos Pou
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: On 23 April 2018 in New York, Slovakia and South Africa, on behalf of the UN Group of Friends of SSR, co-hosted a High-Level Roundtable on Security Sector Reform and Sustaining Peace. The event took place on the eve of the High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” and was organized with the support of the Security Sector Reform Unit of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Bureau for Policy and Program Support at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD). The High-Level Roundtable was the third in a series of three high-level events held in the period of a year. It was preceded by a High-Level Dialogue on Global Experiences in SSR, hosted in New York in May 2017 – especially a seminar on “The Nexus between SSR, Conflict Prevention and Peace Sustainment” co-hosted by South Africa and Slovakia, and a seminar on “Conflict Prevention and Peace Sustainment on the African Continent” co-hosted by South Africa and Senegal – as well as a High-Level Conference on the “Role of Security Sector Reform in Sustaining Peace: Challenges and Opportunities” that was hosted by Slovakia on 5-6 June 2017 in Bratislava. These events served to highlight important challenges to SSR support in the context of sustaining peace that needed to be addressed, and to develop a series of recommendations worth pursuing further. The High-Level Roundtable on Security Sector Reform and Sustaining Peace held on 23 April 2018 sought to build on important insights from these past events, as well as on the body of relevant policy and research that has been developed over the past year in the areas of sustaining peace and SSR.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Peacekeeping, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, New York, Europe, South Africa, United Nations, Slovakia, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Dean, Eelco Kessels
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The Compendium of Good Practices in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders presents good and promising practices in the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders (VEOs) in correctional settings, while also discussing how practices related to prison regime, security, intelligence, and risk assessment can impact these two processes. The compilation endeavors to (1) inform understanding and improve decision-making regarding the implementation of approaches for the rehabilitation and reintegration of VEOs, specifically in the correctional services of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, although it has value in other jurisdictions; (2) integrate established with emerging promising practices in this field; (3) translate key existing documents into an applied and accessible resource for use by various stakeholders; and (4) include good and promising practices associated with women, juveniles, and foreign fighters convicted of terrorism offenses, and prison and probation services where issues associated with violent extremism may be less frequent. Good and promising practices for this compendium have been compiled from handbooks, reports, and papers that have previously addressed the issue of effectively rehabilitating and reintegrating VEOs in correctional settings, as well as from practical, on-the-ground experience. The compendium is housed on a separate website that contains an overview of the key promising practices for the different sections of the compendium. The compendium is accompanied by a Good Practices Guide, which lists a range of key questions for prison services to explore as they develop, evaluate, and update their approaches to managing VEOs and identifying and addressing radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Prisons/Penal Systems, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Australia, North America, New Zealand, AustralAsia, United States of America
  • Author: Mirka Martel
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is funded by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and implemented by Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece. With this grant, IIE supported 49 fellowships in 2016-2017 that created collaborative, mutually beneficial engagements between Greek institutions and North American academics.
  • Topic: Education, International Cooperation, Higher Education, Academia, Fulbright Foundation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rajika Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: A World on the Move highlights key developments currently influencing student mobility in higher education in the United States and globally. Drawing upon Open Doors, Project Atlas and other sources of global data, the analysis points to a continuing demand for an international higher education in many parts of the world. Against the backdrop of recent trends, this report provides insight into the context of international student mobility.
  • Topic: Employment, Mobility, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Asia, Germany, Latin America, North Africa, Australia/Pacific, Caribbean, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Mary Margaret Ewens
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: In an era marred by a barrage of fake news, sensational reporting, and corrupt business practices, the work of investigative journalists like MAAS alumna Dorothee Myriam Kellou (’12), who exposed one of the biggest cases of corporate greed and exploitative war-zone practices seen in recent years, is more important than ever. Kellou’s groundbreaking investigation, which began in 2014, found that French cement giant Lafarge-Holcim not only endangered employees at its Syrian branch, but also paid concessions to armed groups in Syria, including ISIS. Kellou’s work, published in 2016 in a three-part report by Le Monde and on the television station France 24, led to an ongoing judicial inquiry of Lafarge, the resignation of Lafarge’s CEO and criminal investigations of several top executives, and an overhaul of the company’s corporate practices.
  • Topic: Crime, Media, Business , Journalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, France, Syria
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The 100th Egmont Paper deals with an issue that, unfortunately, provides little cause for celebration: the impact of Brexit on European diplomacy and defence. Unless, as Sven Biscop argues, a new “special relationship” can be established between Britain and the EU, both London and Brussels will
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Margriet Drent
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Every year is special and challenging when it comes to European integration. The highlights of 2017 were a number of high-level strategy papers and speeches such as the European Commission White Paper on the Future of Europe, the State of the Union Address by Commission President Juncker, French President Macron’s Initiative for Europe, and the Future of Europe report by President of the European Parliament Tajani. These papers and speeches all pave the way for the discussions on improving and deepening the European Union in the months towards the European elections in spring 2019. The upcoming EP elections will be different from earlier elections as the current discussions aim to offer political choices to ensure the elections are content-based.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Peter van Ham
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Europe’s conventional arms control architecture requires a thorough makeover. Today’s arms control and confidence-building arrangements are based on two legally binding pillars: the Conventional Armed Forces Europe (CFE) Treaty of 1990 and the Open Skies Treaty of 1992. The Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBMs), originally adopted in 1990 and most recently updated in 2011, is politically binding and aims to increase the transparency of military postures and activities in Europe. Today, these arrangements are either blocked or in dire need of modernization.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Luuk van Middelaar, Monika Sie Dhian Ho
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Netherlands shouldn’t dramatize Britain’s departure from the European Union. Sure, it’s a downer for the economy and a political blow, but not a catastrophe. Brexit may even help us to break the established patterns of our foreign policy. And that is urgently needed: Brexit and Trump require us to reset our geopolitical compass towards our neighbours and partners on the continent. In this Alert authors Luuk van Middelaar and Monika Sie Dhian Ho give four tips for a new Europe policy.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Willemijn Tiekstra, Wouter Zweers
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The increased arrival of refugees and migrants in Italy in 2015 revealed that the EU was not prepared to cope with an increased inflow of refugees and migrants into its territory. In 2015, the year that saw an unprecedented number of irregular migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean, a comprehensive approach to migration was adopted in the Valletta Action Plan, acknowledging that the management of irregular migration is a responsibility for both African and EU leaders.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Matteo Villa
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: European cities are at the forefront of tackling the complex challenges of integration. The foreign-born population is constantly growing and already exceeds 30% in Berlin, Vienna, and London. Local authorities are therefore playing a more and more important role in managing increasingly complex integration processes. Integrating foreigners requires a commitment to the coordination of policies in diverging areas such as: reception, education, the labour market, health services, and fighting segregation. This report addresses the issue of urban diversity by answering some crucial questions: what problems do cities face in addressing the challenge of integration? How can best practices be replicated? And how can the dialogue between cities, regions, national governments, and European institutions be improved?
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John Ryan
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This report explores the need to make the ECB more transparent and democratically accountable to prevent the next Eurozone crisis. The ECB can justly claim to have held together a poorly-designed system in difficult circumstances, but its overlapping roles create potential conflicts of interest. What does this mean for the countries, companies, and banks that have grown to depend so much on the ECB?
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marc Hecker
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: This study, based on original judicial sources, assesses the profiles of 137 individuals sentenced in France for cases related to jihadism. Among other things, the study reveals several common denominators including a lower level of education, poorer integration into the labor market, higher levels of criminal activity, and stronger ties to the Maghreb and to sub-Saharan Africa than the average French citizen. Moreover, a qualitative analysis provides an understanding of the processes of radicalization and subsequent participation in terrorist activities. As such, it expounds the role played by group dynamics, the internet, and prisons. This study further illustrates the strains imposed on the judicial and penal systems by the jihadist phenomenon. Relapse is specifically explored, notably through the cases of individuals convicted of terrorism, who, after serving their sentence, launched attacks on French soil. The subject is all the more topical in light of the likely release from prison of some sixty individuals, sentenced for acts of terrorism, in the upcoming two years.
  • Topic: Crime, Terrorism, Islamic State, Courts, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, France
  • Author: Pawal Kowal
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: What challenges does East Central Europe face today? Now fully sovereign, the countries of the region seek new partnerships globally, address new and old problems locally, and engage their neighbours to tackle issues of common interest. This, the eighth edition of the Warsaw East European Review (WEER) is the consequence of the 2017 Warsaw East European Conference, entitled “East Central Europe vis-a-vis Global Challenges”. Some ninety scholars met and presented their views over four days of meetings in Warsaw in July 2017. The editors invited those with particularly timely remarks to submit their essays for publication, and have included a discussion of the WEER editorial board
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kostas A Lavdas
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on stalled Europeanization as a field of practices, institutions and discourse connected with a process of ambivalent reform. The absence of a consensual national strategy of adaptation to a particularly challenging environment, i.e., participation in the eurozone, produced dramatic consequences when confronted with the financial crisis after 2009. It is argued that the country’s sluggish Europeanization reached a critical turning point in 2009 when the urgency of the crisis brought to the fore a number of issues and vulnerabilities. Asymmetric policy adjustment – limited in some areas, extensive in others – has been the combined result of perceived necessity, insufficiently designed and implemented reform packages, party-political repositioning, and plain politicking. Europeanization in Greece became a stalled process in 2015; restarting the stalled process since 2016 leads to ongoing but sluggish Europeanizing interactions, involving shifts in the roles of domestic politics, institutional traditions and interest groups while reshaping the patterns of political contestation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: A shorter version of this Research Study was presented at the International Conference: “Bulgaria. Ten Years After Its Integration in the EU and the Upcoming Presidency of the EU Council 2018”, convened on 21-22 November 2017 in Berlin, Germany, and organised by the Southeast Europe Association, Germany, The German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The activity of Bulgaria and the EU during the Presidency of Sofia in the first half of 2018 proved the consistency of the assessments in the presented paper a year earlier. New developments and facts confirmed the growing complexity of the global strategic situation, the rising need of the Union to keep its unity in the intensifying competition of the global centers of power, the necessity of clear definition of the strategic autonomy of the EU. The slogan of the Bulgarian Presidency – “United We Stand”, vividly illustrated the correct Bulgaria’s perception of the evolving international political environment
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In this Report, the Authors present the new Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap estimates for 2016, as well as updated estimates for 2012-2016. In addition to the analysis of the Compliance Gap, this Report examines the Policy Gap in 2016 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. Moreover, the Report contains an econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants, which is a novelty introduced from this year’s Study. In 2016, most European Union (EU) Member States (MS) saw positive tailwinds with a combined real GDP growth of 2.0 percent. As a result of a growing base and increasing VAT compliance, VAT revenue increased in all MS with three exceptions. Most pronounced is the case of Romania, where VAT revenue decreased in response to reduction of the standard rate by four percentage points. In nominal terms, in 2016, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell below EUR 150 billion and amounted to EUR 147.1 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 12.3 percent from 13.2 percent in 2015, and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2012-2016. Denoted at the share of GDP, the VAT Gap in 2016 amounted to 0.99% compared to 1.05% in 2015. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap share decreased in 22 countries and increased in six—namely, Romania, Finland, the UK, Ireland, Estonia, and France. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap—of over five percentage points—occurred in Bulgaria, Latvia, Cyprus, and the Netherlands. The smallest Gaps were observed in Luxembourg (0.85 percent), Sweden (1.08 percent), and Croatia (1.15 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.88 percent), Greece (29.22 percent), and Italy (25.90 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap below 9.9 percent. The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.8 percent, out of which 9.95 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates (the Rate Gap). Countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.93 percent) and Estonia (2.97 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap—a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap—is, on average, 16.5 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis can be considered a successful first attempt at inferring the impact of various determinants. Firstly, it can be observed that the productive structure of the economy exerts an impact on the VAT Gap. The share of retailers has the strongest impact on the VAT Gap; however, telecommunications, industry, and art also have a positive impact. Secondly, liquidity constraints and the productive structure of the economy also play a role in determining VAT compliance. The most interesting results have to do with the impact of the variables under the direct control of the tax administration. We show that the impact of the size of the tax administration and the VAT Gap is concave. On the contrary, in the case of IT expenditure, the impact is convex, albeit small, until productivity vanishes when IT expenditure is about 9.8 percent of the total expenditure of the tax administration.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Lukasz Janikowski, Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Virtual currencies are a contemporary form of private money. Thanks to their technological properties, their global transaction networks are relatively safe, transparent, and fast. This gives them good prospects for further development. However, they remain unlikely to challenge the dominant position of sovereign currencies and central banks, especially those in major currency areas. As with other innovations, virtual currencies pose a challenge to financial regulators, in particular because of their anonymity and trans-border character.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the last decade, advanced economies, including the euro area, experienced deflationary pressures caused by the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the anti-crisis policies that followed—in particular, the new financial regulations (which led to a deep decline in the money multiplier). However, there are numerous signs in both the real and financial spheres that these pressures are disappearing. The largest advanced economies are growing up to their potential, unemployment is systematically decreasing, the financial sector is more eager to lend, and its clients—to borrow. Rapidly growing asset prices signal the possibility of similar developments in other segments of the economy. In this new macroeconomic environment, central banks should cease unconventional monetary policies and prepare themselves to head off potential inflationary pressures.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Inflation, Macroeconomics, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to derive the characteristics of an effective fiscal governance framework, focusing on the incentives that ensure a commitment to the fiscal rules. We study this problem with the use of econometric tools, complementing this analysis with formal modelling through the lens of a dynamic principal-agent framework. Our study shows that both economic and institutional factors play an important role in incentivising countries’ fiscal efforts. Fiscal balances are affected not only by the economic cycle, but, among others, by the level of public debt and the world economic situation. We find that the existence of numerical fiscal rules, their strong legal entrenchment, surveillance mechanisms, and credible sanctions binding the hands of governments have a significant impact on curbing deficits. The relationship between the Commission and European Union (EU) Member States (MS), where the EU authorities act as a collective principal that designs contracts for MS, has elements in common with the assumptions of the principal-agent framework. These are: asymmetry of information, moral hazard, different objectives, and the ability to reward or punish the principal. We use a dynamic principal-agent model and show that to ensure good fiscal performance, indirect benefits should be envisaged for higher levels of fiscal effort. In order to account for the structural differences of exerting effort by different MS, it is efficient to adjust fiscal effort to the level of indebtedness. To ensure a commitment to the rules, MS with difficulties conducting prudent fiscal policies should be required to exert less effort than the MS with more modest levels of debt. The FIRSTRUN project is a European Union funded multinational research project that investigates the need for fiscal policy coordination in the EU.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Krzysztof Głowacki
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report, The Significance of the Tobacco Product Manufacturing to Poland’s Economy, presents the results of the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of tobacco product manufacturing on the Polish economy. The comprehensiveness of the study results from the subject range, covering the sector’s entire value chain: from tobacco cultivation, through processing of raw tobacco and manufacturing of tobacco products, to the distribution and sale of ready products. The report includes an in-depth analysis of current conditions, discusses the challenges facing the sector and attempts to estimate the development of the branches of the economy related to manufacturing of tobacco products in the future. The main purpose of this research was to analyze the economic significance of manufacturing of tobacco products. The economic effect of consumption of tobacco products was only a peripheral element of the research. Conducting such complex research was made possible by advanced methodology. The analytical work was built on three pillars: analysis of existing data, expert interviews and a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model expanded to include production and consumption of tobacco products.
  • Topic: Economics, Commodities, Fiscal Policy, Manufacturing, Tobacco
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Alicja Domagała, Christoph Sowada, Krzysztof Kuszewski, Marzena Tambor, Stanisława Golinowska
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The health protection system is the object of constant pressures and difficulties in mitigating them, and even more so eliminating or at least reducing them. Changes are undertaken under the influence of a one-sided political assessment, the interests of various groups of participants or the protests of successive groups of medical staff. There is no professional and fully documented diagnosis of the system, made by independent experts, which could serve as the basis for a comprehensive health protection reform plan, rather than individual, incidental changes that disrupt the system’s already very fragile balance. A well thought-out reform, properly distributed over time, so that at no point does it cause negative health effects. A reform agreed among stake-holders and adopted with understanding of the need for changes, so that it is supported by society. A reform for which there will be funds, institutions and engaged professionals – leaders in health protection. A reform that won’t be criticized or changed when the government changes. Such a reform is waiting to be presented and debated. We begin this process by pointing out and presenting the system’s main problems. At the top of the list of issues that must be taken up urgently we place the problem of insufficient resources, but associated with other activities that are essential to achieve higher effectiveness in accomplishing health goals. There is no single miraculous way of balancing and fixing the functioning of the health protection system. This requires both greater financing, qualitatively and quantitatively appropriate staffing, and good institutions. Financial resources are a necessary condition but not a sufficient one – if there is no staff or appropriate institutions, and these are shaped over years. In this publication we present four subjects, corresponding to that list of the main issues that must be addressed urgently. We begin with the problem of good governance, meaning achieving a decisive improvement in institutional solutions in health protection. Next we take up the problem of the need for growth in financial outlays, with judicious public and individual responsibility. We strongly accent the need for development in Poland of medical and support staff, presenting the problems of neglect and the deep shortage of professionals, which is currently paralyzing the health service. The final text, though no less important in the group of priority problems in health protection, concerns public health and demands that it be properly valued by treating care for the health of the population as an investment in human capital with a measurable and significant rate of return.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Labor Issues, Governance, Health Care Policy, Social Policy, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Balazs Romhanyi, Lukasz Janikowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Unsustainability and procyclicality of fiscal policy are problems that many developed countries face. The public debt crisis revealed that fiscal rules are a useful but insufficient instrument for mitigating them. A large and growing group of economists are calling for the creation of ‘fiscal policy councils’ – independent collegial bodies made up of experts whose role is to act as independent reviewers of government policy and advise the government and parliament on fiscal policy. Such councils currently exist in at least 40 countries. Poland is the only EU country that does not have a fiscal policy council. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of whether a fiscal policy council is needed in Poland and what kind of additional contribution such a council might make to the public debate on fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Governance, Economy, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Over time, the necessary economic reforms have become so obvious that they have become politically possible in most places. The great problem has become the establishment of real property rights. By and large, Central and Eastern Europe have managed to accomplish that not least thanks to support from the European Union. In the former Soviet Union, however, only Georgia succeeded in that endeavor. The big question today is whether Ukraine will manage to do so, or whether it will be caught in a low-economic-growth trap. The three main elements that are needed are independent courts, autonomous prosecutors, and a law-abiding law enforcement, while no old secret police structures should be allowed to sabotage them.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Reform, Elections
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Körber-Stiftung
  • Abstract: Dear Readers, Welcome to the second edition of THE BERLIN PULSE! At times of turmoil, when the rules-based international order is put into question and traditional alliances become weaker, the majority of Germans still do not favour a more active stance in foreign policy: 55 percent of Germans prefer restraint rather than Germany engaging more strongly in international crises. Apparently, the demands by leading politicians and think tanks for Germany to take on greater international responsibility have not persuaded Germans to change their mind. THE BERLIN PULSE guides policy-makers and experts along the fine line between domestic constraints and international expectations. Political leaders such as the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid express their hopes and expectations for German foreign policy in 2019. Their perspectives meet the attitudes of the German public – sometimes they overlap, sometimes they clash. This year’s issue brings together data, analysis and different perspectives on the most pressing challenges for German foreign policy today and in the years to come – including some trends and outliers that may surprise you. With its new focus topic “The Value of Europe”, Körber Foundation is contributing to the debate on the past, present, and future of the European project and is paying special attention to the question of how a new split along the former “Iron Curtain” can be avoided. We are witnessing a growing internal division in the European Union: 77 percent of Germans believe the cohesion between EU member states has recently weakened. A striking 46 percent of Germans believe the EU’s Eastern enlargement in 2004 was not the right decision. At a time when the transatlantic relationship is going through turbulent times, three out of four Germans describe US-German relations as “somewhat bad” or “very bad” and favour a more independent foreign policy from the US. However, this alienation is not mirrored in the US: even if they consider Germany not a very important partner, 70 percent of Americans believe the relationship between the US and Germany is somewhat good or very good. We thank our transatlantic partners from the Pew Research Center for fielding joint questions on the transatlantic relationship in the US together with us. The results of the representative survey commissioned by Körber Foundation in September 2018 should enrich the conversation about German foreign policy during and beyond the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum, which we are proud to host together with the German Federal Foreign Office. “Talk to each other rather than about each other” – the motto of our founder Kurt A. Körber continues to guide Körber Foundation’s activities today. I hope you enjoy reading. Thomas Paulsen
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Military Affairs, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Greg Ross
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL)
  • Abstract: On the 23rd of August, the City of Buenos Aires observes the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Totalitarianism. The life of Czech activist Milada Horáková is emblematic of the fight against various forms of totalitarianism. Horáková, detained by the Nazis in a concentration camp and later executed by communists in Czechoslovakia, was posthumously awarded the honor of the First Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk by Czech president Václav Havel in 1991. It is the Czech government’s highest recognition of citizens who have dedicated their lives to democratic and humanitarian causes. Horáková’s story was recently highlighted in «Milada», a 2017 Czech-American film distributed by Netflix.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, State Violence, Violence, Dictatorship, Totalitarianism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: John Bruton
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: Testimony by CTR Distinguished Fellow and former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton at the Seanad Special Select Committee on the UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union on Thursday, April 27 2017.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Border Control, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland, European Union
  • Author: Ronja Harder
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder explains how the principles of democratic control and oversight can be applied to intelligence services. Oversight of intelligence matters, because intelligence services can pose a threat to democratic governance, the rule of law and human rights, even while acting in the public interest. Applying the principle of good security sector governance through a system of democratic control and oversight ensures intelligence services are both effective and accountable while providing security for the state and for its people. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: Why is democratic oversight of intelligence important? How does democratic oversight of intelligence work? What are typical challenges for democratic oversight of intelligence? How does internal control of intelligence contribute to good governance? How does executive control of intelligence contribute to good governance? What role does parliament play in democratic oversight of intelligence? How is the justice system involved in the control and oversight of intelligence? How can public oversight apply to intelligence?
  • Topic: Human Rights, Intelligence, Governance, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Philipp Fluri, Oleksiy Melnyk, James Sherr, Oleksiy Melnyk, Mans Hanssen, Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Mykola Sungurovskiy, Simon Lunn, Claudia Micciche, Karina Priajina, Nazli Yildirim Schierkolk
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This publication offers the proceedings of the Conference II "€Security Sector Governance: The Role of Democratic Institutions & International Best Practices"€. Following the Conference I findings, participants elaborated current challenges related to the role of democratic institutions in the Ukrainian Security Sector Governance and worked out solutions based on possible accommodation of best international practices in Ukrainian realities. This publication offers presentations of the key speakers and the summaries of the Working Group discussions. General assessments, conclusions and proposals are those of the participants and do not necessarily coincide with the positions of DCAF, the Razumkov Centre or the official position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Publication was made possible in the framework of the joint DCAF-Razumkov Centre Project "Monitoring Ukraine'€s Security Governance Challenges" sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
  • Topic: Security, Territorial Disputes, Reform, Conflict, State
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Susan Douglass
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: A look at the role of textbooks in shaping worldviews, global literacy, and national pride. The middle of the twentieth century was a watershed period in history for many reasons, with one of the most significant being the rise of mass education systems across the world. As Britain shed its colonies, newly independent countries with influential leaders launched efforts to educate their masses—efforts that had been held back under colonial rule. India and Egypt, under Nehru and Abdel Nasser respectively, began using government schools to strive for social integration and mold their citizens’ worldviews to enlist them in national economic development and modernization. Britain, too, launched a much-needed expansion of its secondary education system and revamped its elementary schools to meet the demands of the postwar baby boom.
  • Topic: Education, Nationalism, History, Children
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, South Asia, Middle East, India, Egypt
  • Author: Luigi Bonatti
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In The Euro’s Difficult Future – Competitiveness Imbalances and the Eurozone’s North-South Divide author Luigi Bonatti, a professor of economics at the University of Trento in Italy, stresses that the existing North-South competitiveness divide creates growing tensions between member countries and fuels hostility towards European Union institutions. The paper illustrates why this competitiveness divide is structural, cannot be tackled by macroeconomic policies, and could threaten the euro’s survival.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dimiter Toshkov
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: To many, the European Union (EU) is a complex entity overburdened by rules. In The European Union Could Be Simple, Inclusive, or Effective. Pick Two., author Dimiter Toshkov, an associate professor at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University, presents the structural dilemma facing the EU: accommodating the diverse interests of twenty-eight member states while delivering effective policies for over 510 million citizens in a simple way.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Luigi Bonatti
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In The Euro’s Difficult Future – Competitiveness Imbalances and the Eurozone’s North-South Divide author Luigi Bonatti, a professor of economics at the University of Trento in Italy, stresses that the existing North-South competitiveness divide creates growing tensions between member countries and fuels hostility towards European Union institutions. The paper illustrates why this competitiveness divide is structural, cannot be tackled by macroeconomic policies, and could threaten the euro’s survival.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hugh Sandeman
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: In November 2017 the Global Strategies Project at LSE IDEAS brought together a group of British politicians, senior officials, and other experts at Ditchley Park to discuss options for the UK’s foreign, defence, and security policy after Brexit. This report summarieses that discussion, which covered the UK’s future relations with Europe, the US, and China, as well as the relationship between policymakers and the British public.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dinah Pardijs, Almut Möller
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Faced with internal and external pressures, the EU is increasingly focused on “cooperation” and “deliverables”, rather than “integration”. ECFR’s research shows that a critical mass of countries agree on the need for more flexible cooperation within the EU.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian Kvorning Lassen
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Denmark to be excluded from Europol due to electing not to abolish its JHA opt-outs. The Operational Agreement it has since negotiated with the EU falls short in several key areas, preventing optimal mutual cooperation between Denmark and the EU on important issues such as counter-terrorism and international organized crime. The implications ofthe operational agreement in regards to Europol are potentially far-reaching for Denmark in terms of both its EU policy and security, but also for the EU, which has to balance institutional dilemmas with security concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Katerina Davidova
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The European Commission unveiled its long-awaited extensive package of energy legislation proposals at the end of 2016. While it is an important step on the way towards an integrated European Energy Union, the project still exists more on paper than in reality. Bridging the gap between vastly differing energy policies of various member states such as Germany and Poland will be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome on its way to success. With the increasing desire to limit the power of the Commission, however, the fate of the Energy Union will be decided more by what is going to happen outside of the EU, than in its centre.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stasa Salacanin
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: The GCC crisis has put all international actors, including Europe, in a complicated position, and as ever louder calls for the greater engagement in the mediation process comes at challenging times as Europe is facing countless problems at home.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: The year since the publication of our previous report in April 2016 has been nothing short of an annus horribilis for the European Union. The victory for Leave in the UK referendum was followed by the triumph of Donald Trump in the US elections and his stated support for the further weakening of the EU, an attitude that the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has described as a threat. At the same time, there have been a number of significant events, both in Europe and elsewhere in the world, which we analyse in this 6th Report on the State of the EU, produced in partnership between Fundación Alternativas and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: El periodo comprendido entre la publicación del anterior Informe –abril 2016– y el actual se podría calificar, sin exagerar, como el annus horribilis de la Unión Europea (UE). Al referendo británico que se inclinó por la ruptura con la Unión, el brexit, se ha sumado el triunfo de Donald Trump en las elecciones norteamericanas y su manifestado deseo de que se produzcan nuevos brexits. Una amenaza en palabras del presidente del Consejo Europeo Tusk. Entre medias se han sucedido muchos acontecimientos en la vida europea y global que se analizan en este VI Informe sobre el estado de la UE, producto de la colaboración de la Fundación Alternativas y de la Fundación Friedrich Ebert.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Antonio Fernández Tomás
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: La Fundación Alternativas presenta un nuevo estudio: ¨The impact and consequences of Brexit on acquired rights of EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU-27¨. Informe encargado y financiado por el Parlamento Europeo, ha sido elaborado por Antonio Fernández Tomás y Diego López Garrido.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: European states seek to increase the chances of maintaining the implementation of the nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehen- sive Plan of Action (JCPOA), concluded on July 14, 2017 between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, which includes the European Union, France as well as Germany. The bid is especially driven by the European view that a collapse of the deal would in ict grave consequences on their interests. However, the European bid is facing no easy hurdles. While the United States is keen to impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, Iran is similarly adamant about continuing this program as well as exploiting the nuclear deal to expand its in infuence in the region through backing terrorist organizations and establishing relations with non-state actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: This is the fifth in a series of National Reports to be published as part of the new phase of the New Pact for Europe project.* According to the NPE Italian Reflection Group, the EU is stuck, with member countries prioritising national interests over the European ones, while problems in the economic, security and migration policy areas are far from overcome. Drawing on the discussions held amongst the members of the group, the report presents a set of conclusions on how to address the key challenges the Union and member states are facing at the moment, and calls on them to take action to boost the legitimacy of the European integration project:
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Melissa Conley Tyler, Antonia Mochan
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: When Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and I launched the EU-Australia Leadership Forum – last September in Brussels – she made a passionate case for our friendship, and for a strong and united Europe. She remembered thousands of Australians who died fighting in our continent during the world wars, and the 70 years of peace that a united Europe has made possible for its member states. She celebrated economic prosperity inside Europe, and the European Union’s contribution to a global order based on rules, on cooperation, on sustainable development.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Australia
  • Author: Clare Castillejo
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The European Union’s (EU) Migration Partnership Framework (MPF) was established in June 2016 and seeks to mobilise the instruments, resources and influence of both the EU and member states to establish cooperation with partner countries in order to “sustainably manage migration flows” (European Commission, 2017a, p. 2). Its strong focus on EU interests and positive and negative incentives mark a departure from previous EU migration initiatives and have generated significant controversy. This Discussion Paper examines the politics, implementation and impact of the MPF more than one year on from its establishment, asking what lessons it offers for the future direction of EU migration policy. The paper begins by introducing the MPF and examining the different perspectives of EU actors on the framework. It finds that there is significant disagreement both among EU member states and within EU institutions over the MPF’s approach and priorities. The paper explores the political and ethical controversies that the MPF has generated, including regarding its ambition to subordinate other areas of external action to migration goals; its use of incentives; and its undermining of EU development and human rights principles. The paper assesses the implementation and impact of the MPF in its five priority countries – Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. It argues that the concrete achievements of the migration partnerships have been limited; that the MPF has largely failed to incentivise the cooperation that the EU was seeking; and that the EU’s migration programming in MPF partner countries has suffered from serious flaws. The paper takes an in-depth look at the Ethiopia partnership, which has been the most challenging. It describes how the interests and goals of the EU and Ethiopia have not aligned themselves, how the issue of returns has come to entirely overshadow engagement, and how the relationship between the partners has been soured. The paper goes on to examine how the MPF relates to African interests and how it has affected EU-Africa relations, arguing that the MPF approach is seen by many African actors as imposing EU interests and undermining African unity and continental ambitions. Finally, it explores how the EU can develop engagement with Africa on migration issues that is more realistic, constructive, and sustainable, with the aim of fostering intra-African movement and economic opportunities; ensuring protection for refugees and vulnerable migrants; and allowing both continents to benefit from large-scale, safe and orderly African labour migration to Europe. However, it warns that any such shift will require a change in mindset by European leaders and populations.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Migration, Labor Issues, Refugees, Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Misha V. Belkindas
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: CASE prepared a new study for the European Commission on the VAT Gap in the European Union in 2015. The figures offer an important snapshot of the problems of collecting VAT in the EU and what needs to be done to improve revenues and fight tax fraud. During 2015, the overall VAT that should have been collected in EU Member States grew by about 4.2 %, while collected VAT revenues rose by 5.8 %. As a result, the overall VAT Gap in the EU Member States decreased by about €8.7 billion in absolute terms, down to €151.5 billion. As a percentage, the overall VAT Gap decreased by 2.1 % to 12.7 %. In 2015, the highest VAT Gap was recorded in Romania with a figure of 37.18 %. In absolute terms, the highest VAT Gap of €35 billion was in Italy. Overall, the VAT Gap decreased in most Member States, with the largest improvements noted in Malta, Romania and Spain. The VAT Gap measured in this study includes for the first time revenues emerging from new VAT rules for cross-border sales of e-services which came into force on 1 January 2015, following a Commission proposal. CASE's team was led by Grzegorz Poniatowski, Director of Fiscal Policy Studies, and composed of Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovskiy and Misha Belkindas.
  • Topic: European Union, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Iakov Frizis, Krzysztof Głowacki, Katarzyna Mirecka
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Tax administration has been improving in Poland in recent years. The country moved from a ranking of 128 to a ranking of 47 in the Paying Taxes indicator of the World Bank’s Doing Business report between its 2012 and 2017 editions. However, compliance with taxes still requires 271 man hours, compared to the European Union (EU) & European Free Trade Association (EFTA) average of 173 man-hours and to the top Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) performer Estonia’s 81 man-hours. Polish tax legislation has been described as complex by some observers and not overly complex by other observers, while many emphasise that it is improving at a good pace. The paper summarizes knowledge on tax gaps in Poland with respect to PIT, CIT, VAT, and excise. An introduction to the Polish tax system is given, trends in tax collectability and estimates of the tax gaps are discussed, and methods of combating tax evasion and avoidance are reviewed. The paper has been written as part of the project “Mutual Learning for Reducing Tax Gaps in V4 Countries and Ukraine” co-financed by the Visegrad Fund in the years 2016-2017.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Free Trade, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Iakov Frizis, Krzysztof Głowacki
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: ax gaps, or the differences between tax amounts that are due by the taxpayers and the amounts that are actually collected by the state, remain a challenge for many European Union (EU) Member States, including for the V4 countries. Tax gaps also present a formidable challenge for Ukraine, which is currently reforming many aspects of its financial and legal systems. To help increase awareness about tax compliance and exchange knowledge on the state-of-the-art methods used to combat tax gaps, the project Mutual Learning for Reducing Tax Gaps in V4 Countries and Ukraine has been implemented. The paper is a summary of the exchange of knowledge and experience that took place in the course of the project co-financed by the Visegrad Fund in the years 2016–2017.
  • Topic: Economics, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Poland, European Union