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  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The rapid succession of events in Ukraine is impressive but the story is far from over: the state faces an economic crisis and the risk of default; pro-Russian separatism in Crimea threatens the territorial integrity of the country. How should the new government deal with these old challenges and what role could be envisaged for the EU and the US to assist Ukraine in this difficult moment of its statehood? The main objective of the Ukrainian government should be to stand united to overcome the monumental economic, social and political crisis. The EU and the US should encourage coalition-building initiatives to achieve this end. As for the separatist claims, Kiev needs to be more proactive in accommodating minority rights, while the EU should boost people-to-people contacts and promote cooperation between western and eastern Ukrainian civil society. In order to encourage long-lasting political and social reforms, the EU should begin to talk about Ukraine's membership perspective. On the international level, the West should acknowledge that Russia is part of the problem, but also an indispensable part of the solution. Securing Ukraine's integration within the EU, but maintaining the neutrality of its security posture may be a possible way out.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Economics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Ukraine
  • Author: David Koranyi
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Ukraine crisis brought European energy security and with it the Southern Gas Corridor back into the spotlight. The crisis is far from over, but it is already clear that both the scope and nature of Russia's relations with the European Union (EU) and the United States cannot remain unchanged. As the strategic context changes and Europe becomes more and more concerned about Russia's behaviour and reliability as an energy supplier, particularly for natural gas, the relative importance of alternative sources will grow further. Europe is in the midst of rethinking its entire energy and gas supply security strategy. The Southern Gas Corridor can and should be a critical component in this context, while its prospects should be assessed realistically. It is by no means a short-term solution, yet in the medium-term, the Corridor has the potential to become a major source of gas for Europe. The EU should deploy robust energy diplomacy as well as resources to speed up its development.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Kristina Kausch
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Middle Eastern and North African region is in flux, while attempts to identify a new dominant structural logic have been limited so far. For the time being, the new “order” appears to consist of the absence of any one clear-cut organising principle and in overlapping, dynamic, often contradictory geopolitical developments. Among many other features, the geopolitical equation in the Middle East is being altered by a number of larger structural shifts regarding the position and relative weight of specific actors. Notable instances include the relative loss of influence of the United states and Europe; the game-changing regional roles of Russia and China, respectively; the resurgence of the IranianSaudi rivalry; the emergence of a number of regional “swing states”; and the increasing role of non-state actors in shaping regional developments. the complexity of this outlook makes policy choices by regional and external actors ever more difficult.
  • Topic: Non State Actors
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Ebru Oğurlu
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, the Eastern Mediterranean has been increasingly fraught with growing competition between regional players, most notably Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel, signalling an apparent return of power politics in regional relations. Of all actors involved, Turkey stands out for being both an ever more influential power and a source of serious concern to other countries in the region due to its greater assertiveness and perceived hegemonic ambitions. Against the backdrop of recent regional developments and their international implications, including the dispute over drilling rights off Cyprus' coasts, Turkey's image as a constructive and dialogue-oriented country, a critical achievement pursued by a generation of Turkish politicians, diplomats and officials, risks being replaced by one of an antagonistic/assertive power. Facing the first serious challenge to its claim to embody a benign model as a secular Muslim democracy and a responsible international actor, Turkey should not indulge in emotional reactions. It should opt instead for a more moderate and balanced approach based on the assumption that only cooperation and constructive dialogue, even with rival countries, can help it realize its ambition of being the regional pivot.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Asia, Colombia, Cyprus
  • 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 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: Camilla Committeri
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Syrian crisis is dividing the international community like no other Arab uprising has done so far. While the United States and the European Union stand squarely against the Syrian regime, Russia remains a staunch defender of state sovereignty and the Al-Assad regime. There are three main factors that explain this position: Moscow's historical relations with Damascus; Russia's traditional opposition to US presence in the Middle East; and the surge in domestic opposition in Russia itself. This last factor, and the recent evolution of Russian domestic politics, is crucial to grasp Moscow's foreign policy towards Syria and the Middle East, a s well as towards the United States and Europe.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Arabia, Moscow, Syria
  • 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: Kseniya Oksamytna
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union's mission to contribute to the training of the Somali Security Forces is the first military training mission launched by the EU. Deployed in April 2010, EUTM is nearing the end of its mandate: the training of the recruits will be completed by mid-July 2011. The mission was carried out in close coordination with the US, the African Union and the Ugandan army, and contributed to the EU's visibility in East Africa. However, given the overall feebleness of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its inability to implement reform, the political effectiveness of the mission is doubtful. In the current context, EUTM should not be extended beyond its original mandate. The EU and other donors should instead support more functional local administrations and make future assistance to the TFG contingent upon tangible progress towards completing transitional tasks, a normalization of political life, and restoring the provision of public services.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, United States, Europe, Somalia, East Africa
  • Author: Alessandro Marrone
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In 2011 NATO initiated the Inteqal process, i.e. the "transition" of security responsibilities from ISAF to the Afghan state and its security forces. The main pillars of this process are the build up of the Afghan Army and Police and the improvement of Afghanistan's governance system at both national and local level. Progress has been made in this respect, although challenges remain. NATO aims to complete the transition by 2014, while reducing its military presence in the country, but a substantial Allied footprint is likely to remain in Afghanistan beyond that date. The death of Bin Laden has brought about little changes to the situation on the ground, while it may have a significant impact on the US's attitude towards peace talks with the Taliban and thus influence the transition timeline and nature.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, Terrorism, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The looming stalemate in the Libyan conflict is likely to lead to more civilian casualties, a de facto separation of Libya, the under-use of the country's energy resources, and an increase in illegal activities due to the legal and governance vacuum in the country. In addition, it risks denting NATO's credibility as a security provider. To break the stalemate, the coalition is leaning towards intensifying military operations and/or arming the rebels. Both imply a number of risks and political costs. A way to contain such risks and costs would be for NATO and its partners to re-calibrate the mission so that, alongside military action, the mission would foresee also a national reconciliation process, mediated by an international team. Linking military operations to a credible plan for Libya's political future would improve the odds for Gheddafi's regime to collapse.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Libya, Arabia, United Nations
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Elaborating a Strategic Concept is a delicate undertaking which implies a good deal of resolve, far - sightedness, and realism. Allies should neither search for a new North Star nor give in to the temptation of de facto acceptance of the status quo as the optimal solution. Instead, they should make choices reflecting a synthesis, not just a list, of their security priorities. In particular, they should consider the future of the allied deterrence and defence strategies in a security environment characterised by significant political and technological changes, including by thinking about steps towards withdrawing US nuclear weapons in Europe and creating an integrated missile defence system; learn the lessons from the Balkans and Afghanistan and accord greater priority to stabilisation than to rapid reaction capabilities; recognise that compromises will be inevitable if they are serious about considering Russia as a partner, and start by pausing for a while with enlargement. Allies should also make it clear that they have no ambition of turning NATO into a world gendarme and shift towards cooperative crisis management.
  • Topic: NATO, Treaties and Agreements, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Caucasian-Caspian region has become a stage for the collision of opposing foreign security and energy policies. After 16 years of a very fragile ceasefire, the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh continues to depend not only on the attitudes of the conflict parties, but also and perhaps even more on the re-organization of the region at the political, security and energy levels. Three main developments can affect the prospects for conflict resolution in Karabakh: the parties' growing frustration with the OSCE Minsk-Group mediation; the US-brokered Turkish-Armenian rapprochement and the deterioration in US-Azeri relations; and finally, Russia's resurgence in the region. These three inter-related factors could result in a new regional scenario marked by the emergence of an energy triangle between Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey, which in turn could impact on the destiny of Nagorno- Karabakh.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Nicoletta Pirozzi
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper aims to assess the EU's contribution to the work of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and outline the prospects for future developments under three main dimensions: representation, coordination and outreach. The first part analyses the EU's presence in terms of its unitary representation and coordination among the EU members of the UN Security Council, with a particular focus on the innovations introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. The second part is dedicated to the EU's contribution, in terms of process and outreach, to the main policy areas within the SC's competence. These include traditional SC matters, such as peacekeeping and non-proliferation, as well as emerging and still contested competences of the UN's supreme organ, such as climate change. The paper was prepared for the second meeting of Working Group I on “The Reform of the UN Security Council: What Role for the EU?”, held in Rome on 14 May 2010, in the framework of the IAI-University of Kiel project on “The European Union and the Reform of the United Nations” (Effective Multilateralism).
  • Topic: United Nations, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Silvia Colombo
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), in cooperation with the International Affairs Institute (IAI) of Rome, held the second seminar of the Mediterranean Strategy Group in Genoa on May 10-12 2009 under the title “Is Regional Cooperation in the Maghreb Possible? Implications for the Region and External Actors”. The meeting is part of a multi-year project of dialogue and analysis exploring critical Mediterranean issues in a transatlantic context. The Mediterranean Strategy Group is conducted with the support of the Compagnia di San Paolo, ENEL, OCP Group, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Luso-American Foundation. The decision to convene the meeting in Genoa was in keeping with the city's identity and role as a “gateway to the Mediterranean,” and the discussion benefited from both the setting and the assistance of the municipality.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Germany, North Africa
  • Author: Sofia Chiarucci, Sara Raffaelli
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Moved by the conviction that any serious reflection on the future of European security should take into consideration Russia's contribution to it, the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) of Rome organized a Transatlantic Symposium on US-Europe-Russia security relations.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The resurgence of sea piracy has made headlines in recent months, becoming the object of intense debate, also among scholars and practitioners. Attention has concentrated particularly on piracy off the Horn of Africa (especially in the Gulf of Aden), where the phenomenon has reached critical levels. Reports speak of over a hundred attacks in 2008 alone and rising figures in 2009. Some 18 merchant ships are currently detained by Somali pirates together with a growing number of hostages. Ransoms paid in 2008 are estimated to be in the range of over a hundred million US dollars.
  • Topic: Security, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri, Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After a period of severe turbulences, the United States, Europe, and Russia seem willing to start out on a new course. 'Pushing the reset button', as suggested by US Vice President Joe Biden, is an alluring formula, but it is no guide for action. A new US and European arrangement with Russia is more likely to endure if all parties learn from the troubled experience of the last few years.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: John Van Oudenaren
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The origins of the UN Security Council go back to the Congress of Vienna and the peacemaking process that followed the Napoleonic wars of 1799-1815, when the distinction between the great powers and all other powers first was enshrined in the practice of international diplomacy. The great powers were said to be those powers with interests general to the European system and thus by implication a stake in the system as a whole, in contrast to lesser powers, which had merely local or regional interests. This distinction carried over into the peace-making process after World War I and was formalized in the Covenant of the League of Nations, which identified the Principal Allied and Associated Powers as the permanent members of the League Council. The distinction lived on in the United Nations Organization and the UN Charter, which assigned responsibility for the maintenance of peace to the Security Council, in which the five states defined as great powers were given a permanent veto.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Center for Global Counter Terrorism Co-operation (Center) convened a brainstorming on 11 - 12 July in Rome on “Implementing the UN General Assembly's Counter-Terrorism Strategy: Addressing Youth Radicalisation in the Mediterranean Region. Lessons Learned, Best Practices and Recommendations.” The event was organised in co-operation with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centro Studi sul Federalismo (Turin), with the support of the Compagnia di San Paolo. The participants included experts from the UN and other multilateral bodies, officials from the Italian and German governments, and academic and other non-government experts from the United States, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The meeting also included a roundtable of representatives of the “Consulta Giovanile per il Pluralismo Religioso e Culturale” (Youth Consultative Council), a youth advisory board recently established by the Italian Ministries of Youth and Sport and Interior to enhance the role of youth in promoting dialogue and tolerance among different cultures and religions. The Rt. Hon. Giovanna Melandri, the Italian Minister for Youth Policies and Sport addressed the brainstorming.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Islam, Science and Technology, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, North Africa