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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