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  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Algeria today faces a triple crisis. The collapse in global oil prices during 2014 and 2015 has meant that its economic future is potentially extremely sombre. In political terms, the regime faces a complex and uncertain transition as the Bouteflika era comes to an end. Moreover, Algeria’s security environment is threatening, given the chaos in Libya, the emergence of extremism in Tunisia and the ongoing violence in northern Mali because of the extremist groups located there. This situation is further complicated by the persistence of “residual terrorism,” as the government terms it, inside Algeria itself and the chronic crisis with Morocco over the latter’s annexation of the Western Sahara in 1975. This paper analyses each of these factors in turn before seeking to outline short- to medium-term scenarios for the future.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Islam, Oil, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: North Africa
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-62-0
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Maria Giulia Amadio Viceré
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Under certain conditions, such as security crises, an integrated external EU counter-terrorism policy can emerge without leading to the supra-nationalisation of policy-making. This paper analyses the role of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy with the objective of assessing the influence that such figure can have on the governance of EU counter-terrorism policies. It does so by assessing the EU’s response to three security crises, namely: the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent bombings in Madrid (2004) and London (2005); the Arab Spring and the following destabilisation of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); and the emergence and spread of Da’esh.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-53-8
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Eduard Soler i Lecha
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Mediterranean is currently facing a number of challenges, ranging from political instability and intra-state conflicts to economic and social disparities and uncontrolled pockets of criminality. Although the conceptualisation of the Mediterranean as a region is often disputed, this is a space where initiatives for dialogue, cooperation and integration have proliferated in the last two decades as an attempt to tackle some of those challenges either regionally or multilaterally in cooperation with external partners. This paper overviews the existing initiatives, analyses why some previous attempts have failed and examines the elements of the new context that could favour or hinder further attempts to revive regional dialogue and integration, by identifying potential goals and relevant actors to be involved.
  • Topic: Security
  • Author: Fatih Özgür Yeni
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Energy security is one of the hot topics on the European energy agenda. The EU's Southern Energy Corridor initiative is an attempt to reduce dependence on Russian supplies by tapping into Caspian and Middle-Eastern natural gas resources. Turkey, who aspires to be a regional energy hub, has emerged as the key country in the Southern Corridor. Although the TAP project in its current state satisfies neither Turkey's energy hub ambitions nor the EU's resource diversification efforts, it may serve as the first building block of the Southern Corridor. There are promising developments in the region that can increase volumes and add new routes to the initiative. Private companies have already shown their interest in developing a pipeline infrastructure for possible South-East Mediterranean and Northern Iraq natural gas exports but complex geopolitical issues pose the greatest threat to the way ahead. Thanks to its unique location, Turkey is destined to be one of the key players in the Southern Corridor. The convergence of Turkey's energy hub ambitions and the EU's energy security objectives present mutual gains, but also demand sustained collaboration between the two in light of several technical, legal and political hurdles.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Manuel Muniz
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: EU member states have proven incapable of clarity in their strategic planning, with their key strategic documents almost inevitably abstract and ambiguous. This is extremely unfortunate because without a clear catalogue of interests and an understanding of their location around the world it is impossible to determine a country's appropriate force structure, let alone conduct a coherent and effective foreign and defence policy. This lack of rigor in strategic planning is hurting European defence integration, as states are unable to have transparent and constructive debates about the interests they share. It would be wise to incorporate into the strategic planning process a model that allows for the capturing and quantifying of states' interests. Such a process might lead to the realization that EU member states share more strategic interests than is at first apparent.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nicolò Sartori
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union launched the ambitious Southern Gas Corridor initiative with the goal of enhancing the security of its energy supply. The corridor - a virtual transit route running from the gas-rich Caspian basin to the EU while bypassing Russian soil - is meant to increase diversification of the EU's supplier and transit countries. While various projects have been proposed to give life to the corridor, the European Commission has given particular support to the realisation of Nabucco, a 3,893km pipeline running from Turkey to the European gas hub of Baumgarten in Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. The Commission's choice is, however, flawed in several respects, as it fails to take account of key factors, such as the diverging, and sometimes conflicting, interests of individual EU member states, the geopolitical challenges of the Caspian basin, and the commercial constraints on Nabucco. This short-sighted approach has hindered the efficient development of the Southern Gas Corridor and weakened the EU's energy policy.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria
  • 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: Natalino Ronzitti, Nicoletta Pirozzi
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The United Nations (UN) is a central reference for the performance of the European Union (EU) on the international stage and one of the most interesting platforms to test the effectiveness of the innovations introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in its foreign and security policies. In particular, the EU's contribution to the reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) represents a crucial policy and institutional input to assess the Union's capability to act. The new Treaty could allow the EU to play a more assertive role at the SC and pave the way for a new regionalism within the United Nations.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Valérie Vicky Miranda
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: To what extent is foreign policy driven by norms and/or by interests? Considering the main trends of Italian foreign policy after World War II and two case studies, the Balkans and Libya, this paper investigates the role played by norms and interests and the interconnection between the two in Italian foreign policy. In the Balkans, norms and interests have neatly dovetailed: supporting democratization and the rule of law has also meant furthering Italian security and economic interests in the region. By contrast, Libya was the theatre of an essentially interest-driven foreign policy. Nevertheless, the Italian government's response to the Libyan crisis between March and May 2011 has interestingly marked a rupture from the recent past.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Libya, Kosovo, Balkans, North Africa, Italy