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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: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to campaign for the UK to stay in the EU in the incoming in-or-out referendum on the UK’s EU membership, but only if London succeeds in recalibrating its relationship with the Union. As the EU’s fourth largest country, Italy will play a crucial role in the negotiation. The challenge for Rome is to balance its long-standing commitment to strengthening European integration with the interest in keeping a country the size and influence of the UK in the EU. Matteo Renzi’s government should be supportive of British proposals about competitiveness, pragmatic as far as sovereignty issues are concerned, constructive but cautious regarding economic governance, and understanding of British concerns but also firm about immigration.
  • Topic: Markets, Regional Cooperation, Immigration, European Union
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-70-5
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Sarah Wolff
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The death of Aylan, a 3-year-old boy on a Turkish beach, prompted European leaders and public opinions to acknowledge that Europe is the deadliest migration destination in the world. In spite of this disturbing truth, there is little agreement on an EU solution to the Syrian refugee crisis. In September 2015, the EU Interior Ministers struggled to agree over the relocation of 120,000 refugees through a common compulsory mechanism, as Eastern European countries oppose the idea of “sharing the burden.” Progress regarding other solutions such as a European rescue at-sea-mission, the delivery of humanitarian visas or the opening of legal means of migration have also met strong member state resistance. If Europe is not up to the task, can international organisations (IOs), often critical of European states for their inaction, impulse change? What influence do IOs have on EU and Mediterranean migration and refugee policies? This paper investigates how IOs have been trying to frame an alternative debate and the challenges they meet in promoting transregional governance.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, War, Immigration, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-66-8
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Nicola Casarini
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: With the One Belt One Road (OBOR), arguably Beijing’s major diplomatic outreach in decades, a process towards greater Sino-European connectivity has been put in place. The implementation of the OBOR in Europe has focused so far on financing infrastructure projects, in particular railways in Southeast Europe and ports in the Mediterranean Sea. This has been complemented by growing monetary linkages between the People’s Bank of China and European central banks through the establishment of currency swap agreements and yuan bank clearing – so-called “offshore renminbi hubs” – with the aim of lowering transaction costs of Chinese investment and bolstering the use of the Chinese currency. While there are undoubtedly great economic opportunities, China’s OBOR initiative also presents the EU with a major political challenge. There is the risk, in fact, that a scramble for Chinese money could further divide EU member states and make it difficult for Brussels to fashion a common position vis-à-vis Beijing. Furthermore, China’s economic penetration into Europe may lead – if not properly managed – to a populist backlash as well as a strain in relations with Washington. All these elements should be taken into consideration by EU policymakers, as China’s OBOR makes inroads into the Old Continent.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-64-4
  • 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: Daniela Huber, Maria Cristina Paciello
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As the EU is reviewing its European Neighbourhood Policy, this paper calls for an entirely new approach that would give the EU a stake in the region by responding more effectively to key needs on both sides of the Mediterranean. It first outlines three strategic policy options for the EU – defensive, power-projecting and reflexive approaches – and analyses EU policies accordingly. After observing that EU policies in the Mediterranean since the Arab uprisings have oscillated between a defensive and a power-projecting approach, this paper discusses how EU policies could become more inclusive of key actors, more responsive to key challenges and more flexible on both the multilateral and the bilateral level.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Power Politics, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-59-0
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Never before was the lack of a single European government, or at least of a strong and effective European governance, as acutely felt as in these days. With wars and failed states in the neighbourhood, and an unstoppable exodus crossing Europe, the continent appears at once more interdependent and more fragmented than ever. A coherent model of governance, competent and cohesive, but above all empowered by a full democratic investiture, would be needed everyday, to cope with daily emergencies while painstakingly devising and developing a long-term strategy where such emergency responses would be framed. Instead, in spite of the remarkable efforts of creative leadership made by the Commission, we are “governed” (but the term sounds like a gross overstatement) by subsequent extraordinary summits, each summoned to remedy the failures of the previous one. What can thus be expected and what should be asked, in such dire circumstances, to the next of these ad hoc European Council meeting, scheduled on Wednesday 23 September?
  • Topic: Migration, War, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-58-3
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Lisanne Groen
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: At the 15th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, the European Union (EU) failed to achieve most of its objectives. In 2011, at the 17th COP meeting in Durban, the EU was crucial in bringing about a deal on a roadmap towards a new global climate change agreement, to be adopted in December 2015 at the 21st COP meeting in Paris. This paper examines the lessons the EU has learned and can learn from its experience in Copenhagen in the run-up to Paris. It considers, first, the EU’s relative bargaining power; second, the relative position of its objectives/interests mapped against those of other negotiating parties; and third, how the EU can leverage its relative power through strategic action in pursuit of its objectives. The paper recommends that the EU focus on building a broad alliance with other progressive negotiating parties on mitigation in order to avoid a lowest common denominator outcome.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Industrial Policy, Treaties and Agreements, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-57-6
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Stefano Volpicelli
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Human mobility has changed profoundly since the onset of globalisation, with old patterns of south-north movement of male economic migrants being replaced by mixed flows of people moving because of a variety of needs and motivations. In Europe these changes have gone largely unnoticed and the discourse on migration has been conducted in a confused and contradictory way. Policies have swung between two poles: on one end the view of migrants as a problem rather than as an opportunity; on the other, the view of migrants as vulnerable people escaping poverty or persecution. Through the analysis of policies, juridical terminology, concepts and stereotypes, this paper proposes a three-step approach for a different narrative of migration to curb the political manipulation that, labelling migrants as a threat, is dangerously fuelling racism and discrimination towards “aliens”.
  • Topic: Globalization, Migration, Political Economy, Poverty, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-56-9
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Mehdi Lahlou
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: If Morocco appears to be Africa's gateway to Europe, it is a gateway that until today has been used primarily by Moroccans – more than 3 million Moroccans currently live in EU countries such as France, Spain and Italy. The number of other nationalities entering Europe through Morocco has seldom exceeded 20,000 annually and was no more than 7,300 in 2014. Thus, while Morocco is a country of migrant departure, it is only a minor host/transit country for migrants in search of better living conditions outside of their region of origin. Such a configuration has been the basis of recent Moroccan migration policy.
  • Topic: Globalization, Migration, Political Economy, Bilateral Relations, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-54-5
  • 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: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: After surviving its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the near collapse of its common currency, Europe is now engulfed by hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa. It needs new and permanent migration institutions and resources not only to accommodate the influx of refugees but also to set up a new border control system throughout the region. These demands pose a challenge for European policymaking as serious as the euro crisis of the last five years. Kirkegaard proposes a migration and mobility union, to be implemented gradually, with the goal of comprehensively reforming European migration policy.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Governance, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Dr. Jose de Arimateia da Cruz
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: While the rest of the world is concerned about the refugee crisis in Europe, the conflict in Syria, and the potential contenders in the U.S. presidential elections of 2016, there is a brewing dispute between Guyana and Venezuela in Latin America. As a result of this diverted attention, there are few reports regarding the instability of an already fragile region. The dispute between the two nations centers on the lands west of the Essequibo River of Guyana. This stretch of land covers 40 percent of Guyana’s sovereign territory and, according to experts, is rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, and other natural resources. The dispute over control of the Essequibo region was initially settled by international arbitration in 1899, awarding the Guyana Government the region. However, the Venezuelan Government has rejected the final decision granting Guyana the Essequibo region; and, since the 19th century, it has been laying claim to this vast mineral rich area, alleging that the decision was fraudulent and therefore null (see map of Guyana)
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Venezuela, Guyana
  • Author: Dr. Ariel Cohen, Ivan Benovic
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, a number of gas disputes between Russia and Central and Eastern European countries have unveiled the strategic dependence of Europe on Russian piped gas. The recent Ukrainian crisis demonstrated that Europe has a desperate need to improve the security of its gas supply. The United States is interested in the economic stability and growth of Europe, because the European Union (EU) is its principal and largest economic partner. The United States and the EU enjoy the largest trade and investment relationship in the world, which should not be jeopardized by disruptive, anti-status-quo powers. Europe’s energy independence is not only an economic interest of America, but also a political and security one. Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas undermines European unity and weakens the primary U.S. allies in their relations with Russia. U.S. Armed Forces in Europe and the U.S. Army in particular can and should play an important role in promoting energy security. This involvement includes: increased situational awareness; deployment to the sensitive areas; and enhanced training activities, including with the allies of the U.S. military in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Military Affairs, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Keir Giles, Major General Aleksandr V Rogovoy
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Russia’s seizure of Crimea, and ongoing operations in eastern Ukraine, have refocused attention on the Russian military as a potential cause for concern in Europe. This Letort Paper, by an influential Russian general and military academic, lays out specifically Russian views on the essential nature of strong conventional land forces, and how they may be used. With an expert commentary providing essential context and interpretation, the Paper presents a valuable insight into Russian military thinking, at a potentially critical juncture for European security.
  • Topic: Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Teresa Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Violence at the hands of the Basque separatist organization ETA was for many years an anomalous feature of Spain’s transition to democracy. This report, which draws on the author’s book Endgame for ETA: Elusive Peace in the Basque Country (Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2014), explains why this was the case, examines both the factors that contributed to ETA’s October 2011 announcement of an end to violence and the obstacles encountered in moving forward from that announcement to disarmament and dissolution, and extracts lessons relevant for other contexts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Armed Struggle, Territorial Disputes, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Zheng Liansheng
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The shadow banking system was defined in 2007 by Paul McCulley, the managing director of Pacific Investment Management Company, but it began to receive significant attention in the immediate aftermath of the GFC. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the regulatory agencies of different countries, international organizations and think tanks have all carried out in-depth research into shadow banking and have released a series of results. Regulatory reforms have also addressed shadow banking, the most important of which is the US Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which aims to restrain the expansion and risk taking of shadow banking in the United States. The United Kingdom and the European Union have also adopted reforms and built up a supervisory system to track the risks of the shadow banking system.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: David Omand
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper describes the nature of digital intelligence and provides context for the material published as a result of the actions of National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Digital intelligence is presented as enabled by the opportunities of global communications and private sector innovation and as growing in response to changing demands from government and law enforcement, in part mediated through legal, parliamentary and executive regulation. A common set of organizational and ethical norms based on human rights considerations are suggested to govern such modern intelligence activity (both domestic and external) using a three-layer model of security activity on the Internet: securing the use of the Internet for everyday economic and social life; the activity of law enforcement — both nationally and through international agreements — attempting to manage criminal threats exploiting the Internet; and the work of secret intelligence and security agencies using the Internet to gain information on their targets, including in support of law enforcement.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Fan He, Qiyuan Xu
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: With a balance between radicalism and gradualism, renminbi (RMB) cross-border settlement covers all of the items in China's balance of payments (BoP), including financial accounts, although some of these accounts are still controlled by means of quotas and administrative approval. By the end of the first quarter in 2014, the amount of RMB trade settlement had reached ¥11 trillion since the pilot scheme was launched in July 2009. RMB cross-border settlement has become increasingly important for monetary authorities in terms of macroeconomic policy frameworks. This is especially the case with the more sophisticated conditions in global monetary markets, which result not only from the nontraditional monetary policies employed by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, but also the ongoing quantitative easing (QE) tapering by the US Federal Reserve and the spillover effects on emerging economies. It is increasingly important to evaluate the potential influence of RMB internationalization on China's macroeconomy. A framework, which includes monetary supply and demand, was created to analyze the influences of RMB cross-border settlement on China's domestic interest rate, asset price and foreign exchange (forex) reserves. RMB settlement behaves in different ways with the various items in BoP, such as imports, exports, foreign direct investment (FDI), overseas direct investment (ODI), RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII), RMB Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (RQDII) and cross-border loans. It was found that RMB settlement in different items leads to different effects on China's economy. For RMB export settlement, RMB overseas direct investment (RODI) and RQFII at the initial stage, RMB settlement does not affect China's interest rate and asset price. In addition, more favourable to the People's Bank of China (PBoC), foreign exchange reserves increase less with these reforms; therefore, they should be promoted with priority. However, it is necessary to stress that all settlements should be based on real transactions in order to prevent fake exports. For RMB import settlement, RODI and RQDII at the initial stage, these pilot schemes exert influences on China's economy through interest rate changes, causing an additional increase of forex reserves. Although other short-term items in the financial account could also impact the interest rate, the items in this group are either based on real business such as trade and investment or on financial transactions at the initial stage on a small scale. Therefore, this group has a relatively moderate influence on the interest rate. It is important to remember that this negative by-product is a result of the assumption that the PBoC targets exchange rate stability. If the PBoC sets the exchange rate system to be flexible enough, then such pilot schemes will not cause an increase of forex reserves. It is thus essential to advance exchange rate regime reforms to keep up with the steps of RMB internationalization. With the progress in RQDII and RQFII, the endorsement of issuing dim sum bonds for capital backflows and with the increase in lending from the offshore to the onshore market, these types of RMB cross-border settlements will not exert pressure on forex reserves; however, they do have an impact on the money market. If the amount of RMB flowing through these items is large enough, the interest rate and asset price will be significantly affected, and could be in conflict with the intended monetary policy. These types of transactions are the most risky to monetary authorities; therefore, they should be cautious regarding these items. In the short term, RMB settlements in these kinds of items should be regulated with quotas. In the medium to the longer term, these items should be opened in a gradual way.
  • Topic: Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe
  • Author: Chiara Oldan
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives played an important role in the buildup of systemic risk in financial markets before 2007 and in spreading volatility throughout global financial markets during the crisis. In recognition of the financial and economic benefits of derivatives products, the Group of Twenty (G20), under the auspices of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), moved to regulate the use of OTC derivatives. Although a number of scholars have drawn attention to the detrimental effects of the United States and the European Union (EU) to coordinate OTC reform, this overlooks an important aspect of the post-crisis process: the exemption of non-financial operators from OTC derivative regulatory requirements. Critically, they remain exempt under existing legislation regardless of the risks they continue to pose through unreported trades and counterparty risks to financial firms; there is still uncertainty around the pricing of derivatives (i.e., model risk) for non-financial operators that could pose a risk to the financial system. Nevertheless, the lack of coordination between the United States and European Union is detrimental for consistency and coherence among financial sectors. These, and similar inconsistencies in financial regulation, pose risks of conflict and fragmentation that should soon be addressed by the G20. The paper concludes by discussing what lessons can be learned from Canada, after it successfully avoided the worst of the crisis and contained the systemic risks posed by OTC derivatives before and after it.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada