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  • Author: Giacomo Luciani
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at restrictions of passage, accidents and oil transportation norms as causes of interruption in oil supplies. The key 'chokepoints' are discussed in detail: the Straits of Hormuz, Malacca, Bab el-Mandeb, the Canals of Suez and Panama, the Turkish Straits and the entrance to the Baltic Sea. It is concluded that in most cases the danger of closure can only be temporary; nevertheless, investment in bypasses and alternatives is highly desirable, and in the case of the Turkish Straits, has not been forthcoming. The discussion then turns to threats to navigation outside the chokepoints, such as piracy and oil spills in enclosed seas, particularly the Mediterranean. The final section looks at changing international norms, especially the entry into force of the requirement of double hulls for oil tankers. The paper's main conclusion is that there is no scenario of interruption of maritime oil and gas transportation that may cause a severe physical shortage of oil, in general or specifically for Europe. In almost all cases potential tensions could be easily allayed if responsible governments took the necessary steps to create alternatives (notably pipeline bypasses) or to curb illegal activities. The main factor preventing the required investment in transportation alternatives is the lack of a well-functioning market mechanism for burden sharing. Where passage must be paid for, the resulting income stream supports investment to increase capacity and accommodate growing demand.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Oil, Maritime Commerce, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Robert Springborg
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The social, political and economic power of moderate Middle East and North African Islamist movements has been growing for a generation or so. The question of how to deal with Islamists who reject violence, embrace democracy and outperform their competitors at the polls has therefore become a central concern not only of incumbent Middle East elites, but also of interested foreign actors such as the EU and US. Robert Springborg sees the need for the EU to clarify its policies towards the MENA region and Muslim democrats within it. The present lack of EU policies on engaging with moderate Islamists leads them to be at best curious about the EU and at worse to be suspicious of it. Engagement might itself help to contribute to policy formation in this important area, and serve as a vehicle to disseminate information about relevant EU policies.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries, North Africa
  • Author: Senem Aydin, Rusen Çakir
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Turkey differs from the Arab states studied in the CEPS–FRIDE Political Islam project in not only in having a European Union membership prospect, but also in the fact that a broadly Islamist-oriented party has been in office since 2002. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) still enjoys the primary support of pro-Islamic constituencies in Turkish society and its orientation towards the EU has not changed since its assumption of power. An overwhelming majority in the party still sees the EU as the primary anchor of Turkish democracy and modernisation despite the inferred limitations of cooperation on issues relating to the reform of Turkish secularism. Yet the growing mistrust towards the EU as a result of perceived discrimination and EU double standards is beginning to cloud positive views within the party. Decreasing levels of support for EU membership in Turkish society and the fact that explicitly Euro-sceptic positions are now coming from both the left and the right of the political spectrum suggest that the sustainability of the pro-European discourse within the party could be difficult to maintain in the longer run.
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Arabia
  • Author: David Kernohan
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Recent research from the World Bank and elsewhere suggests that openness to trade was a vital ingredient in the transition of the former Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) that joined the EU in May 2004. Current EU association agreements in South East Europe indicate that future enlargements may need to accommodate the remaining former Yugoslav Republics as well as the existing candidate countries. This paper examines persistent concerns that trade openness in South East Europe generally, and the former Yugoslav Republics in particular, is much less advanced than it was for the former CEECs in the mid to late 1990s. In particular we examine the issue of whether the present network of bilateral trade arrangements put in place under the Stability Pact has had much effect in boosting trade integration and whether trade within the region is currently at or below its potential. Given the small size of many of the countries in the region, we find that trade patterns remain problematic. In some cases they are smaller than might be expected but in several cases there is an overdependence on trade with old Yugoslav neighbours. In view of this, we consider that current plans to extend the Stability Pact matrix of bilateral trade agreements into a pan-regional trade association are likely to be inadequate. A better option, and one more likely to have a more immediate effect, would be to extend the present Customs Union with Turkey to include trade with the entire South East European zone of countries linked to the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Author: Paul Brenton, Miriam Manchin
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The economic prospects of the Mediterranean countries are currently constrained by the lack of ambition in their relationships with each other and with their major export market, the EU. These economic relationships are limited by a lack of coverage (agriculture and services are effectively excluded), by a lack of depth (substantial technical barriers to trade remain due to differences in regulatory requirements and the need to duplicate testing and conformity assessment when selling in overseas markets), and they are limited by rules (restrictive rules of origin and lack of cumulation limit effective market access). In addition, the rest of Europe, including Turkey, is integrating at a faster pace to create a Wider European Economic Space. If nothing is done to invigorate the integration process in the Mediterranean, then the region will fall (further) behind relative to other regions on the periphery of the EU, such as the Balkans and Russia and the Ukraine.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, Balkans