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  • Author: Daniele Ciani, Paolo Finaldi Russo, Valerio Vacca
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper describes the main features of European SMEs’ financial behaviour and the policies recently put in place to support their funding. European SMEs are structurally more leveraged and charged with higher interest rates than large firms. Moreover, the crisis has deeply affected their fund-raising capacity, as banks reduced credit supply while non-bank funding was unavailable to most SMEs. Against this background, EU has focussed its policies on long-term investment and on a more favourable environment for SMEs financing, including through the launch of the Capital Markets Union. At the national level, most governments have provided guarantees and enhanced the role of national development banks. Nevertheless, key issues are still outstanding, such as the funding of innovative firms and the improvement of transparency and of the legal and regulatory frameworks.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-71-2
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Zhao Minghao
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Council has mandated the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to draft a Global Strategy by June 2016. Given Europe’s status as a global power, such a strategy must respond to Europe’s own challenges as well as to the new grand strategies of other major players in world politics, like China. To better understand the central tenets of the Chinese leadership’s strategic thinking, two keywords are most important – the “Four Comprehensives” and the “One Belt and One Road” (OBOR). As an initiative mainly focusing on promoting Eurasian integration and reshaping Chinese geo-economic advantages, the OBOR is highly consequential to China’s interactions with Europe and the rest of the world at large in the decades to come. How to take advantage of the OBOR, create new EU-China synergies, and tackle relevant challenges are questions the EU leaders should be attentive to.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-61-3
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Erkan Erdogdu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is a European Commission initiative aimed at facilitating the diversification of the routes and sources of gas imported into Europe. This paper is devoted to the analysis of Turkey's role in this initiative. Following a summary of the current economic and energy situation in Turkey, the paper presents recent developments in the SGC and an analysis of Turkey's role in the EU's SGC vision. It concludes that although the newly-built infrastructure within the SGC framework will probably serve Azerbaijani and Turkish interests first in their future relations with the EU, rather than the other way round, as had been initially hoped by the EU, it still addresses the EU's basic strategic interests, namely, the diversification of gas supply routes and suppliers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Netherlands
  • Author: Ariel Cohen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia's occupation of the Crimea and possible incorporation of Eastern Ukrainian regions demonstrated Europe's vulnerability to Gazprom's energy power. Whatever the EU's reactions, diversification of energy supply to diminish Russia's market share is likely to be one of them. TAP is one step towards the strategic goal of diminishing Gazprom's huge presence in Europe. But in view of the proposed construction of the Russian South Stream, how could Central Europe, and especially Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Lithuania, ensure energy diversification? What next for the Southern Corridor? Is Russia going to accept and tolerate infrastructure growth of the Caspian and other competitors south of its borders?
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria
  • Author: Eleonora Poli
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Before the 1997 economic crisis in Asia, the institutional evolution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was very different from the European model. The economic downturn in the late 1990s and the global shift toward a neo-liberal economic era urged ASEAN countries to rethink their regional integration strategy and to mimic some of the institutional models in Europe. In light of this, this paper analyses the rationale behind the evolution of ASEAN since the late 1990, evaluating how and why the organization on a surface replicated aspects of the EU model without engaging in meaningful supranational institutionalization.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Giulia Rosa Maria Cavallo
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After the adoption of a single monetary policy which commits the European Central Bank to maintaining the euro's purchasing power and price stability in the Eurozone, the European Union is facing a new, but equally fundamental challenge: the implementation in a relatively short time of the so-called "Banking Union". Its purpose is twofold: (1) breaking the link between banking and sovereign risk, with the ultimate goal of achieving full protection of EU savers in the event of a crisis; and (2) ensuring uniformity of credit conditions - which are still too fragmented - within the European banking market, to ensure greater EU integration of the financial system. Starting from the Communication in which the European Commission stressed the need for a banking union, this paper intends to explore the complex process towards its establishment by looking at the EU institutional mechanisms and the legal aspects. In particular, the analysis will be based on two building blocks: (1) the Single Supervisory Mechanism, with a single supervisor at the heart of the banking union; and (2) the Single Resolution Mechanism as a new integrated resolution framework and a resolution fund to address the failure of banking institutions. The paper then assesses the next steps for a fully fledged banking union, necessary in order for this new instrument to lay the foundations for a genuine Economic and Monetary Union, thereby fostering financial and economic stability in the euro area and in the EU as a whole.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Vanessa Ushie
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the framework of the IAI-OCP Policy Center project this paper offers a conceptual framework to examine natural resource management in Turkey, Morocco and Italy and its implications for social and economic development. It recognizes the multiplicity of actors involved in natural resource management at the local, national and global level. It then proceeds by 1) advancing a definition of natural resources to be used in the context of this project; 2) highlighting relevant emerging issues in the empirical debates on natural resource management within economics and politics; 3) developing a series of indicators aimed at assessing the dimensions of the management and use of natural resources. In general, this conceptual framework adopts a flexible and plural approach that reflects the multidisciplinary nature of natural resource management, and recognizes the importance of country-specific factors in the relationship between natural resource management and socio-economic development.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Natural Resources, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, North Africa, Italy, Morocco
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci, Thanos Dokos, Eleonora Poli, Chiara Rosselli, Eduard Soler i Lech
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Eurozone crisis and the ensuing public disaffection towards what many view as deficient EU institutions and policies have resulted in a surge of euroscepticism across member states. Although euroscepticism is not a new phenomenon, the rise of mass anti- establishment movements notably in southern Europe is. Despite their different political and structural features, Five Star Movement in Italy, Syriza in Greece and several social movements sprung from the Indignados in Spain have recently become key actors in their national political arena by opposing, inter alia, EU-imposed austerity. Yet these movements are not anti-EU in toto; while they criticize what they view as the EU's lack of democracy and rigid economic policies, they are not opposed to the EU integration project as such. While a fine line distinguishes Euro-scepticism from Euro-criticism, provided such distinction is made, the critique of these movements could be galvanized into a constructive force for a more integrated EU political space.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anar Valiyev
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As Azerbaijan celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence, democratic development remains a key challenge facing the country. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan successfully coped with immediate problems such as poverty reduction and economic and political stability, the need to reform the public administration and decentralize governance has become particularly urgent. The main problems, however, remain the same: low public trust in institutions, the absence of a democratic political culture and the lack of bridging social capital. In this regard, the assistance of the Transatlantic Community is necessary. The European Union and the United States should pursue a developmental approach to democracy promotion in Azerbaijan, which has higher chances to succeed than a more explicitly political approach, considering the weak institutional capacity in the country.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Alessandro Marrone
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The economic crisis has impacted deeply on defence spending in Europe. It has led to uncoordinated cuts to defence budgets at national level, but has also revived interest in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Both the EU and NATO have made an effort to involve European countries in cooperative projects, under the banner s of “Pooling and Sharing” and “Smart Defence” respectively, with limited results. At the same time, the European Commission has adopted two directives regarding defence spending, and the European Defence Agency has been strengthened. While defence spending remains predominantly a national prerogative, European countries will soon face the choice of pooling certain capabilities at international level or losing them because of insufficient spending. In this light, Italy is rationalizing its defence budget, while preserving its commitments to international cooperation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Miguel Haubrich Seco
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In its external relations, the EU advances regional cooperation as a successful means of achieving peace and prosperity. In doing so, the EU promotes its own model as the most successful case of regional integration. A wide-reaching set of instruments, spanning from trade to political dialogue and aid, is used to promote regional cooperation and integration. Noneheless, regional organisations supported by the EU are far from accomplishing their set objectives. Using as a test case the Andean Community, the oldest Latin American regional organisation and a prominent case of EU support for regional integration, this paper examines the reasons behind the EU's lack of impact in promoting regional integration. Stemming from this analysis, the paper proposes a recalibration of EU policy by decoupling trade relations from political engagement and by increasing support for physical and visible integration as opposed to formal institutions detached from the perceived needs of the public.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Valerio Briani
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Italian defence budget is decreasing again. According to an analysis produced by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), in 2010 Italy will spend around €17,6 billion, or 1.13 percent of GDP, for defence. More worryingly, the budget is seriously unbalanced; personnel costs still gobbles up over 65% of the funds available for the Defence Function, while lack of resources will prevent troops recruiting (thus deepening the unbalance between troops and officers). Funding for the education and training of personnel, and equipment maintenance and support, is also decreasing. If the political and military leadership will not deal with this situation, the country runs the risk of having a military instrument that is unable to perform its duties fully.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Edward Burke, Ana Echagüe, Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: European foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a highly fragmented construction. Since the mid-1990s the EU's policies with Maghreb and Mashreq countries have been pursued under the rubric of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and now the Mediterranean Union. This plethora of highly institutionalised initiatives has been developed with negligible linkage to policy in the rest of the Middle East. Relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council remain low key and strikingly disconnected from the EMP. Contrary to its rhetorical emphasis on supporting regional integration around the world, the EU has failed to build its strategy towards Iran and Iraq into a regional security framework. Even more reproachable, given its credibility and influence in the economic sphere has been the EU's inability to foster regional economic integration between the Mediterranean and the Gulf.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Admittedly, the results of the EU's economic policy towards the Mediterranean are to some extent disappointing. What do we have to do? Do all we need is to modify and improve such policy? Or do we have to bring in some more substantive changes? Is the policy disappointing in itself or because of the way it is implemented? Furthermore, we are aware that these questions come up in conjunction with the advancement of the EU enlargement to Eastern European countries. Thus, a further question is what is the impact of the enlargement on EU economic co-operation with the Mediterranean. According to EU's own decisions, there must be a link between enlargement and Euro-Med Partnership: that is a fair balance between enlargement towards the East and co-operation towards the South. Is indeed that balance there? or there is a polarisation towards the East which demands for corrections?
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the hundred years that have elapsed since the birth of Saudi Arabia many important developments and changes have affected both this country and Italy. Still, whereas Saudi Arabia has progressed with remarkable political stability, Italy has suffered numerous shocks: the crisis and fall, after World War I, of the nationalist elites which had made Italy an independent and united country in the 19th century; the fall of the Fascist regime and the Savoy monarchy at the end of World War II; the emergence, during the Cold War, of a Western democracy run by the classes which the nationalist elite had excluded from the process of independence; today, after the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Catholic and communist parties that dominated the Cold War domestic stage and the painful attempt to establish a less ideologically-based, more market-oriented and liberal-minded democracy in the country.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Italy
  • Author: Daniela Pioppi
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the opening session the two directors of the IAI-SWP exercise, Roberto Aliboni and Volker Perthes, together with Franco Zallio (Fintesa Studi Paese) gave a first overview of the main issues and problems faced by the Euro-Med Partnership (EMP). Volker Perthes' introduction focused on more political issues. He started by underlining the fact that the EMP is an experiment of 'regional governance' (expression taken from 'global governance'). However, the region comprised by the EMP is not a geographical expression. The EU decided who was to be included (i.e. Libya and the Balkans are excluded, but Jordan or EU non-Mediterranean countries are comprised). Therefore, the problem remains: what is a proper region for the EMP undertaking?
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Balkans, Jordan
  • Author: Silvia Nenci, Marina Mancini
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: According to the “Eurobarometer” survey (Eurobarometer No 54), conducted in November and December 2000 among more than 16,000 citizens of the European Union, 55% (-3% in comparison with spring 2000) of Europeans support the single currency, whilst 37% do not. The Member States in which support is strongest are Italy (79%), Luxembourg (75%), Belgium (72%), Greece (70%), Ireland (69%), Spain (68%) and the Netherlands (64%). The majority of public opinion is against the Euro in Sweden (26%), the United Kingdom (21%), Denmark (41%) and Finland (45%). Looking at Italy, results show that 79% of citizens are in favour of the Euro (-2% in comparison with previous six months), 17% are against it (+ 3%) and the remaining 4% are indifferent.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Finland, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg