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  • Author: Michele Comelli
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The eurozone's debt crisis has exposed structural economic and political rifts within the European Union. Specifically, it has created a new cleavage between creditor and debtor countries, the former being mainly located in Central-Northern Europe and the latter in Southern Europe, each with its own understanding of the causes of and remedies to the crisis. This paper explores how a debtor country - Italy - has changed its political discourse on the EU as a result of the crisis, focusing on political elites, civil society and public opinion. It argues that while the discourse of political elites and of civil society clearly mirrors this cleavage, public opinion does not necessarily follow this pattern, being mainly concerned with the country's domestic ills.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Debt, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Rossella Marangio
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The long-lasting Somali conflict is profoundly linked to the country's historical development and its socio-cultural specificities. The political milieu and the struggle for power in Somalia reflect the cleavage between tradition and modernity. This rift has led to a legitimacy vacuum, which has made it difficult for the warring parties to find enough common ground for a compromise. Furthermore, external influences, at both regional and international levels, have contributed to the fragmentation of the political arena, due notably to the emphasis on the use of force as the principal tool for acquiring or maintaining power. In this unfolding crisis, regional pressures and rivalries, international interventions, economic and strategic interests as well as piracy, corruption and Islamic extremism all play an interlocking role. In view of this, a new approach to the crisis is badly needed. The EU, in particular, should promote a new strategy based on three components: enhancement of social cohesion through local cooperation programmes, state-building and development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Somalia
  • Author: Pasqualina Lepore
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the context of the ongoing EU-mediated dialogue, Serbia and Kosovo have reached several agreements, the most important of which being that on regional representation and cooperation. Also known as the “asterisk agreement”, the agreement reached in February 2012 allows Kosovo to represent itself at all regional meetings with the nameplate of “Kosovo*”. While widely appreciated by the international community, it has generated divergent interpretations in Belgrade and Pristina and has provoked turmoil in both countries. On the whole, the agreement has enhanced Kosovo's and Serbia's path towards the EU, with the mandate for a feasibility study for the former and EU candidacy for the latter being achieved. However, the agreement has not addressed the key bones of contention between the parties, namely North Kosovo and Pristina's status. As a result, the situation remains unsustainable and a more comprehensive solution needs to be found.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Jean-Pierre Darnis
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: François Hollande's election as president of the French republic seems to mark a political rupture, interrupting 17 years of right wing presidencies (under Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy) and a decade of conservative government. Hollande claims that he will be a “normal” president, in contrast with Sarkozy's flamboyant style. This paper assesses whether Hollande's presidency truly represents a turning point in France's trajectory by gauging its impact on French foreign policy. The argument elaborated below is that French foreign policy is and will continue to be driven by strong continuities, although differences in style are likely to impinge upon France's role in the world and in the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ekaterina Vladimirova
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Individual behaviour plays a key role in resolving the climate change problem. The main obstacle for such behavioural change is often poor public knowledge about the ethical dimension of climate change and about the practical solutions available to individuals in order to make informed choices. Promoting sustainable lifestyles should top the political agenda in Europe. In this light, this paper suggests how the EU could engage with civil society to promote sustainable lifestyles through joint media campaigns, by establishing local sustainability centres and by working together to change educational standards. This collaboration would benefit from knowledge and expertise exchange, lower transaction costs and, most importantly, it would increase public trust in the quest for sustainability.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Education, Environment, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Silvia Cavasola
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: For years the EU has been fostering a common policy to integrate immigrants. Yet, whether its efforts have progressively created something like a homogeneous European model of integration remains an open question. An analysis of the approach to immigrant integration in the EU member states that receive the largest immigration flows, as well as of EU initiatives to promote greater policy harmonization among its member states, shows that partial convergence in national integration strategies is linked more to interstate emulation and parallel path development than to proactive EU legislation on the matter. This trend can be referred to as a process of “informal Europeanization”.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Migration, Labor Issues, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alessandro Riccardo Ungaro
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The new US strategic guidance released in January 2012 represents a hallmark of US President Barack Obama's foreign policy and forms integral part of the so-called “Pivot to Asia”. However, rather than a radical departure from the past, the strategic guidance represents an evolution and extension of US foreign policy towards the region, envisaging the reallocation of American military assets from Europe to the Asia-Pacific. The implementation of the guidance strategy is a long-term and complex process: several challenges, tensions and frictions between the US and regional actors may hamper the implementation of the policy and will require a delicate balancing act in which China will play a key role. On the European side, the US shift should be seen as an opportunity to review the European Security Strategy and elaborate its own strategy towards Asia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Europe, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Antonio Bultrini
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: It is widely recognized that the European Convention on Human Rights has led to the most advanced human rights protection system to date - and represents an important benchmark for several other international bodies. The individual right of application to the European Court, which unlike other human rights treaties is compulsory for State parties, is a unique feature and pillar of the system. However, the European Court is presently overwhelmed by an abnormal caseload: about 150,000 applications are currently pending in Strasbourg. Recent reforms have increased the Court’s efficiency. Yet the British Government has just tried to promote a new reform of the system. This attempt was not entirely disinterested and has led to an unprecedented mobilization by international civil society. The British move has nonetheless triggered a debate on the real challenges facing the European system.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Nicoletta Pirozzi, Valérie Vicky Miranda, Kai Schäfer
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Joint Africa-European Union Strategy, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in December 2007, was intended to overcome an unequal partnership between the African and European continents by establishing a framework of cooperation based on shared values and common objectives. However, in the first implementation phase it became clear that these conditions were far from being fully realized. In particular, the Partnership on Peace and Security has shown a tendency to institutionalize dialogue and crystallize practices of cooperation along the well-established Brussels-Addis Ababa axis, while efforts to engage with other crucial actors remain to some extent limited. This paper focuses on the sub-optimal involvement of two crucial stakeholders, namely African regional organizations and civil society actors. It presents the main findings and policy recommendations of a study concluded by IAI in September 2012, with the support of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the European Parliament.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • 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: Luigi Napolitano
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The ongoing peace process in Cyprus, started in March 2008, is still work in progress, which has not yet reached the point of no return. All negotiating matters have been explored, classified and discussed. Some of them have been negotiated in depth and a few agreements have even been reached. But most of the knots to reach a comprehensive settlement are yet to be untied. A solution to governance matters is in sight, whereas a compromise on the all important question of property is still elusive. The UNSG Ban Ki-moon will meet the leaders of the two Cypriot communities in Geneva on January 26th to take stock of the outstanding problems and of the leaders' plans to solve them. In reconstructing and analysing the main developments, this article strives to keep equal distance from the contending sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Europe, Cyprus
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci, Rym Ayadi, Maria Cristina Paciello, Silvia Colombo
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Owing to its macroeconomic achievements, for decades Tunisia projected an image of stability to the world and distinguished itself from other Arab countries for its progress in the areas of economic growth, health, education and women's rights. This widely held view of apparent stability was shattered on January 14, when President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country after high levels of unemployment and inequalities resulted in widespread chaos and social unrest. Events in Tunisia raise sharp questions regarding the country's current situation and its future prospects and, more generally, the often taken-forgranted sustainability of many regimes of the Middle East and the policies of the European Union towards the region.
  • Topic: Democratization, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro, Andrea Dessì
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Frustrated by years of inconclusive peace talks, the Palestinians are turning to the United Nations to gain recognition as an independent state. Their bid is opposed by Israel and the United States, with the latter threatening to block any bid for full UN membership in the UN Security Council. To bypass the US veto, the Palestinians plan to request recognition to the UN General Assembly, where they are sure to get the two-third majority of votes needed for the approval of the resolution. While legally non-binding, a favourable vote in the UNGA would be a political boost for the Palestinians' cause - or so they hope. Full EU backing would give critical political weight to the Palestinians' claim. EU states are deeply divided on the issue of Palestinian membership of the UN but instead of opposing the initiative altogether, the EU has been engaging the Palestinian leadership in the hope of modifying its stance. Should the EU fail to persuade the PA to give up on its request for full UN membership, it should abstain in bloc while tabling a concurring resolution that would spell out clearly the parameters for renewed peace talks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Federica Di Camillo, Valérie Miranda
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The modern-day importance of the cyber/Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector rests upon various considerations: it is at the basis of most of the critical infrastructures of modern societies, and can be both the direct object of attacks or incidents on Critical Information Infrastructures (CIIs) and the means of striking indirectly at the critical infrastructures whose own operations are based on it (i.e., transport networks, energy and water distribution networks, nuclear plants and banking and financial systems). This paper aims at showing that the existence of problems of definitions, and above all of their harmonisation, brings inefficiencies to various aspects of the management of the cyber sector, in particular normative production, countermeasures and law enforcement. As a way forward, it suggests some proposals for improvement at the European, transatlantic and international levels.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Infrastructure, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Felician
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Korean Peninsula, despite its size, is one of the most critical areas of the world. A land that bears a bitter legacy of the Cold War, and that is still heavily militarized, Korea shows a striking contrast from North to South. These two opposite political systems cohabit under a fragile peace that could be broken at any moment. This has led to a massive military development and the deployment of a wide array of troops on both sides. The future of North Korea is crucial for the entire region and could affect the EU's economy as well. Many issues remain to be solved in order to achieve a durable peace in the region or, at the very least, to avoid the resumption of war. The European Union could play a role in this unfolding crisis in a manner that could also help its ailing economy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Cold War, Peace Studies, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Michele Comelli, Raffaello Matarazzo
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) have transformed the delegations of the EU abroad which are the face of the EU in third countries and in international organisations. Previously they dealt with trade and aid only, now they also deal with foreign and security policy, coordinating and representing the positions of the EU in third countries. This is an important innovation, but one which poses new challenges. In addition, EU delegations to international organizations are confronted with specific problems: the member states' reluctance to recognize the new competences conferred by the Treaty to the EU and the discrepancies between the new provisions of the EU's external representation and the internal procedures of international organizations themselves. In order to use all the space for manoeuvre provided for by the Treaty EU delegations must pursue a double objective: further adapting the EU's external representation to the procedures of the main international organizations; and promoting deeper coordination between the EU and the member states, particularly when shared competences are at stake.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Anna Veclani, Nicolò Sartori, Rosa Rosanelli
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EU is one of the major space actors in the world and, like other principal space faring nations, relies on an independent access to space system for implementing its space policy. Indeed, for more than thirty years, the European launcher Ariane has guaranteed the success of numerous institutional and commercial missions, both for civil and military purposes. Given the importance of the EU's space policy for the effectiveness of the Union's internal and external action, an autonomous, reliable and cost-effective access to space is a fundamental and strategic necessity. This paper presents the main challenges faced by European institutions and industry in maintaining an independent access to space. As satellite technology quickly evolves and new space competitors rise, the EU needs to step up its launch capabilities and to effectively confront international competition. To these ends, the main European space actors must renew their approach to the policy on access to space, in particular by addressing the problems affecting the launch company Arianespace, for which the paper provides policy options.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Communications
  • 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: Nicole Koenig
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EU's reaction is slow, the EU is divided, the EU is unable to deliver: time and time again, newspapers depict the image of an incoherent and uncoordinated EU foreign policy. This time, the topic under discussion is the EU's response to the Libyan crisis. Many have compared the EU's internal divisions over Libya with those over the Iraq war, an often-used example to illustrate the limits of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). This paper aims to assess the coherence of the EU's short- to medium-term response to the Libyan crisis. It distinguishes between the horizontal, interinstitutional, vertical and multilateral dimensions of EU coherence. The analysis shows that unilateral actions or inactions of the member states mainly account for the EU's incoherent response. The post-Lisbon institutional structure has done little to compensate for these internal divisions. While the EU cannot change the course of national foreign policies, it should increase its 'leadership for coherence', communitarize its crisis response in the medium term and aim at preventing incoherence in the longer term.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Libya, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Hanna Ojanen, Rosa Balfour
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EEAS was established to give EU foreign policy new impetus, greater coherence and efficacy. It remains to be seen whether the current organizational concept will give rise to more strategic approaches to foreign policy issues and more holistic foreign policy tools. The most immediate potential of the EEAS lies in its role in merging the broad toolbox of EU external action. The EEAS also has potential to improve vertical coordination and outreach. In the long-term, incremental changes could contribute to forming a new mindset, both when it comes to the relationship between the EU and its citizens, and to reviewing traditional models of diplomacy. The EEAS still needs recognition as a real diplomatic service both from within the Union and by other actors. Its performance, with tangible deliverables, will be key to its legitimacy and future prospects, as will be communicating the strategies and the outcomes to the wider European public.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe