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  • Author: Steven Blockmans
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Concerns about the deterioration of democracy in Turkey are not new: the trials over the 2003 „ Sledgehammer ‟ alleged coup plan (2010-12) and over the ‟ Ergenekon ‟ secret organisation (2008-13) broke the military‟s influence over politics, but were widely criticised because of their reliance on secret witnesses and disputes over evidence. Ironically, their outcome has recently been challenged by Prime Minister Erdoğan himself, who has disowned the trials now that the judiciary has the AK Party in its sights. International concern was also stirred by the violent crackdown on the countrywide protests of May/June 2013. Unrest then was triggered by the planned redevelopment of Istanbul‟s Gezi Park in May 2013, but developed into a wider movement critical of government corruption, increasing restrictions on freedom of speech and concerns about the erosion of secularism. Protests simmered on through September, winding down in autumn and winter only to reignite in March of this year.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In recent decades the EU has widened and deepened to such an extent that it now deals in almost all areas of policy-making. Its budget, however, has barely changed over this period. It thus needs to be radically reformed if it is to reflect the priorities of an expanding and deepening Union. Over 40% of spending still supports agriculture, a declining sector; spending for research and innovation, recognised as the main driving force of productivity growth, is too low, and there is no room in the budget for the new public goods of domestic and external security that the public demands. However, the budget is determined through an inter-governmental negotiation in which no entity defends the over-arching European interest since all countries (rationally) care only about their 'net balance'.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Evelien Brouwer
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The recent proposals of the European Commission for a European Border Management Strategy are based on an almost blind faith in the use of large-scale databases, identification measures and biometrics for immigration and border control purposes. It is clear that these measures entail a risk to the protection of not only the right to privacy and the right to data protection, but also to the freedom of movement and the principle of non-discrimination. This paper by Evelien Brouwer, lecturer at the Law School of Utrecht University, considers the human rights implications of the Schengen Information System (SIS). Describing the case of Mr. and Mrs. Moon, who have been reported as “inadmissible” in the SIS for more than ten years, the difficulties for third country nationals trying to remedy a false or unlawful SIS report are highlighted. The Moon case illustrates that the outcome of national proceedings dealing with an SIS alert can be very different. The author concludes with recommendations to guarantee individuals' rights to effective remedies and to improve the position and powers of national courts.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas L Brewer
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change, international trade, investment and technology transfer are all issues that have intersected in diverse institutional contexts and at several levels of governmental activity to form a new joint agenda. The purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of this joint agenda by identifying the specific issues that have emerged, the policies that have been adopted, especially in the EU and US, and the options that are available for further policy-making.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Rising oil and gas prices appear to have helped shore up autocratic producer states across the world. They also seem to have led Western states to dilute their support for democratic reforms in these countries. But while this conventional wisdom correctly restates the problematic relationship between energy and democracy, the overall picture is more complex. The paper reveals that the opaque management of increased oil and gas revenues has sparked pressure for governance reforms from within producer states and has also encouraged new international initiatives linking energy security with good governance.
  • Topic: Corruption, Energy Policy, Government, International Political Economy, Oil
  • Author: Thierry Balzacq
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This working document offers a conceptual framework for understanding the processes underpinning the external dimension of EU Justice and Home Affairs (ED-JHA). Practically, it defines how the export of JHA principles and norms inform the geopolitical ambitions of the EU, i.e. the use of space for political purposes, or the control and management of people, objects and movement. The author begins by investigating how the ENP reconfigures the ED-JHA, and then goes on to discuss various conceptual stances on governance, specifically institutionalism, constructivism, and policy instruments. To conclude he traces the evolution of this external dimension, emphasising, whenever possible, its continuities and bifurcations. Overall, the aim is to ascertain the extent to which conceptual designs clarify or advance our knowledge of the contents and rationales of the ED-JHA.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Rising oil and gas prices appear to have helped shore up autocratic producer states across the world. They also seem to have led Western states to dilute their support for democratic reforms in these countries. But while this conventional wisdom correctly restates the problematic relationship between energy and democracy, the overall picture is more complex. The paper reveals that the opaque management of increased oil and gas revenues has sparked pressure for governance reforms from within producer states and has also encouraged new international initiatives linking energy security with good governance.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Oil
  • Author: John O'Brennan
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the electorate on 12 June 2008 has presented the Irish government with the most serious crisis in external relations since the Second World War. This was the third such referendum on Europe held in Ireland since the millennium and the second plebiscite in three to result in a rejection of an EU Treaty following the failed Nice poll in 2001. There is no obvious solution to the dilemma the government faces and no obvious pathway to achieve ratification. There is however a clear consensus amongst the political parties that ratification constitutes both a clear political priority and a fundamental national interest. At the October European Council summit in Brussels, Taoiseach Brian Cowen promised to come back to the December meeting “with a view to our defining together the elements of a solution and a common path to follow”. But the external context is now clear – EU leaders indicated an unwillingness to re-negotiate any part of the Treaty: it will be up to Ireland to find an Irish solution to this European problem. Thus the opportunity cost of the No vote has become somewhat clearer: Ireland faces marginalisation and isolation in Europe if a solution to the Lisbon dilemma is not found. The domestic context is also somewhat clearer now that we have access to extensive data that sheds light on the reasons for the No vote in the 12 June poll. In assessing the options for ratification this paper draws upon that data, presented in among other sources, the post-referendum Eurobarometer survey and the government-commissioned Millward Brown IMS research findings.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon, Ireland
  • Author: Vesna Pesic
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Large-scale systemic state capture, which is the root of widespread corruption, is acquiring such proportions in Serbia that it may undermine the success of its transition. 'State capture' is defined as any group or social strata, external to the state, that seizes decisive influence over state institutions and policies for its own interests and against the public good. The appropriation of state institutions and functions by the political party leadership is being carried out at an alarming rate in Serbia, as supported by research data in this paper by Vesna Pesic, an International Policy Research Fellow. The phenomenon of state capture is explored in depth looking at its background, prevalence and variety of mechanisms in Serbia today. The author concludes with policy options and recommendations to help curb corruption, address the deep mistrust expressed by the Serbian people about their political system, and to pave the way for democratic transition.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Author: Beata Huska
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In May 2001, the 17-month insurgency of Albanians in Southern Serbia came to an end. In the Konculj Agreement, Albanians agreed to disarm and disband the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB) in exchange for the promise of amnesty for their fighters, the return of refugees, the creation of a multi-ethnic police force and the integration of Albanians into public institutions. After decades of official discrimination and exclusion from state institutions, the adoption of the Covic Plan, which foresaw the goals mentioned above, provided an opportunity to respond to Albanian grievances and win loyalty of the Albanian minority to the Serbian state. The plan drawn up by Nebojsa Covic, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia in 2001, contained clear goals with deadlines, including “the integration of Albanians into the political, government and social system”, meaning into the police, judiciary, health services, education, municipal institutions, economy, etc. in proportion to their numbers.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Author: Ángel Ubide
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Following a long period of stagnation, Japan is growing again. The key to this success story is Koizumi's relentless focus on structural reform, with two objectives: breaking the structural trap of political constituencies defending old and unproductive economic sectors; and adopting a two-pronged macromicro approach to make reform unavoidable. This paper argues that Europe should follow a similar strategy whereby financial market integration, and not the EU bureaucracy and grandiose political declarations, should become the main driving force of national economic reforms, pressuring liberalisation in goods and services markets and making labour market reforms unavoidable.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas, Justus Schönlau
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The assertion that the enlarged EU will become dysfunctional under the current treaty provisions has been one of the strongest arguments in favour of the Constitutional Treaty. Also after the two 'no' votes to the text, political leaders continue to see the necessity of institutional reform. Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair, neither of whom is keen to resume the ratification process as such, have stressed independently that the issue needs to be addressed in the near future. The British Prime Minister argues that the EU cannot function properly with 25 member states under today's rules of governance, adding "Having spent six months as EU president, I am a good witness of that." His French counterpart even predicted that the status quo would eventually "condemn the EU to inertia and paralysis."
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rym Ayadi
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Following seven years of painstaking and demanding negotiations, European bankers and regulators breathed a sigh of relief when the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) finally got through the European Parliament on 28 September 2005, and was formally approved by the Council of Ministers of the 25 EU member states on 11 October 2005. The new CRD will finally apply the complex, risk-sensitive Basel II capital adequacy rules to some 8,000 European banks and some 2,000 investments firms in two stages, the first in January 2007 and the second one year later.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas, Marco Incerti, Justus Schönlau, Daniel Keohane, Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul, José I. Torreblanca, Martin Koopmann, Fredrik Langdal, Ben Crum, Anna de Klauman, Anne Mette Vestergaard, David Kràl
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: How can the deadlock after the 'no' to the European Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands be overcome? What should be the aim of the 'period of reflection' that has been agreed by the European Council?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Netherlands
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas, Marco Incerti, Justus Schönlau, Julia De Clerck-Sachsse
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The ratification process of the Constitutional Treaty has taken some unexpected turns, since the publication of our initial report. The situation has changed especially dramatically in France: within only 10 days the 'yes' camp slid from a previously stable figure of around 60% to below 50%. Our report had concluded that “if the reasons for a particular European compromise are not made transparent to the citizens, issues can be used in a divisive way at the national level”. It therefore called for a stronger European dimension in the national debates and expressed the hope that politicians and the media would play their role in stressing the common European significance of the European Constitution.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas, Marco Incerti, Justus Schönlau
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Following the success of the EPIN survey on the European elections 2004 (EPIN Working Paper No. 11), the authors decided to use a similar approach for monitoring the current ratification process of the European Constitutional Treaty. Accordingly, the findings presented in this paper are based on the results of a survey conducted among national experts associated with the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN). As such, they are inherently subjective, but nevertheless wellinformed. The report draws on survey data collected in 20 EU member states, supplemented by additional sources of information on the remaining countries where available. While the actual outcomes may prove our findings wrong in one respect or another, they do indicate interesting developments and differences in the respective member states. The added value of this EPIN survey lies in its broad comparative scope and analysis rather than its offering an in-depth assessment of each national debate. (For the latter, special country reports are envisaged at a later point in time.) The EPIN Ratification Monitor project plans to publish regular updates on the rapidly changing situation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rym Ayadi
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: After almost seven years of hard work to produce a new substantive piece of legislation updating the current banking regulation for European credit institutions and investment firms – the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) – it looks like its timely adoption is still uncertain. The main problem is the dissatisfaction of Parliament with its limited role in comitology and in the Lamfalussy process, which has led it to suspend 'temporarily' the comitology provisions of the CRD, casting doubt over the future ability to amend the legislation. The European Constitution addresses Parliament's concern about ensuring democratic accountability in the comitology process in Art. 36. The pause for reflection on the Constitution prompted by the no-votes in the French and Dutch referenda has re-ignited the issue and is forcing EU institutions to seek a new inter-institutional agreement on this issue.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It so happens that the epicentre of the EU's referenda earthquake – by way of its external impact – has now been located exactly in the middle of the Black Sea. Paradoxically, this comes at the same time that the region has begun to show signs of possibly getting a grip on itself.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Author: Emad El-Din Shahin
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The movement for democratic reform in Egypt seems to be gathering strength. Some of the factors that would make a good case for democratic transformation are rapidly converging: the formation of a wide spectrum of discontented segments in society; the mushrooming of pro-reform grass-roots movements that agree on a clear list of short-term demands; and a sympathetic pro-reform international context. With presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in September and November respectively, will Egypt finally experience its democratic spring? The answer to this question still seems uncertain. The reform movement faces numerous challenges: the possibility of being sidelined by an agreement between the regime and external actors for the sake of stability and containing change; regime repression of the reform movement; and the radicalisation of the movement itself and the possible eruption of sporadic violence or chaos. For reform to become a reality and not another missed opportunity, certain structural changes and institutional safeguards must be introduced.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: After the resounding Dutch no-vote of 62%, ratification of the Constitutional Treaty has become even less likely than it already was after the political earthquake caused by the French referendum three days before. While the German Chancellor and the French President encourage other countries to continue with the ratification process, the British message is clear: Any attempt to proceed at this point would be pointless. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw found rather subtle words in the House of Commons to describe the situation, but other sources suggest that instead of wasting their time on a lengthy and useless exercise that would cost the EU even more support, European leaders should bury the Constitution at the upcoming European Summit on 16-17 June (or soon afterwards) and then settle for something 'more modest'.
  • Topic: Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, France