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  • Author: Francesca Romana Bastianello
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: At a moment when the European Union is having an identity crisis, it is pertinent to remember the motivations, and the efforts of the men who dedicated their lives to its creation and who established the means and the organizations necessary to involve the citizens in the bottom-up part of this process. This book focuses on the role played by local authorities, the first to use the establishment of twinning – the development of cultural, political and economical bonds between two cities or villages belonging to different nations – as a parameter of real international policy and to view it as an essential phase of the establishment of a united Europe.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ivan Krastev
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European elections failed to mobilise public support for the European project. Despite the strong showing of populist parties in the European Parliament, there are indications that the European Union would rather be transformed than destroyed by the current political crisis.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrew Glencross
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article scrutinizes the merits of holding a referendum over UK membership of the EU. It queries the assumption that direct democracy can somehow resolve the longstanding Europe question in British politics. To do this, the analysis traces the existence of an exceptionalist approach to the EU within Britain, now associated with re-negotiating UK membership in the shadow of a referendum. The article argues that the prospects for a radical reconfiguration of the UK's treaty obligations are slim, thereby increasing the risk of a vote to withdraw. Yet withdrawal would be the opposite of a simple solution to the Europe question. Political and economic interests dictate lengthy politicking over a highly complex post-Brexit settlement revisiting free movement of goods, services, capital and people. Such negotiations undermine any mooted cathartic benefits of a popular vote, while Eurosceptics will remain dissatisfied in the event of a yes, a result likely to further destabilize the Conservative Party. Consequently, the simplicity and decisiveness that a referendum—particularly one that spurns the EU—promises is merely a mirage as relations with the EU necessarily form part of an enduring British political conversation.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Building on the heightened attention that the optic of judicial selection receives in the world of international courts, this article focuses its attention on one particular criterion that is gaining in importance in that respect: gender. By choosing the European Court of Human Rights as a case in point, the article provides a unique analysis of the history of the 2004 Resolution of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly that formulated a rule of gender balance on the list of candidates presented by states for the post of judge at the Court. It first unearths the dynamics that allowed the adoption of the rule as well as all of the fierce opposition it triggered as well as the ways in which counter-mobilization eventually prevailed and watered down the initial rule, with the help of states, the Committee of Ministers and the Court itself (which delivered its first advisory opinion on the topic in 2008). It then looks beyond the static analysis of the rule as a mere constraint and addresses in a more dynamic fashion the multiple interpretations, strategies and, ultimately, politics it opens up. By providing a unique qualitative, comparative and exhaustive analysis of the curriculum vitae of all the 120-odd women who were ever listed as candidates to the Strasbourg judicial bench (1959–2012), the article delivers original data and analyses both the features that women candidates put forth when listed for the job and the strategies of states with regard to the gender criterion. It concludes that while there is a strong proportion of candidates that support the notion that states do not differentiate according to gender or require different qualities from men and women candidates, there is a comparable proposition that contrarily indicates that the world of international judicial appointments is far from gender neutral.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel V. Speckhard
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After serving for two challenging years in the chaos of a war zone as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, I received word that I would become the next Ambassador to Greece. To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings. I looked forward to the challenge, but I imagined the post would be too sedate compared with the adrenalin-charged days and world-shaping events in Iraq. It was anything but. Within a year of my arrival, the streets were aflame with violent protests over a police shooting of a teenager. A year later, snap elections brought a socialist government to power. And soon thereafter, the onion was further peeled to expose a financial crisis and a crumbling economic foundation built on a corrupt, oligarchic, and debt-addicted system fed by billions of dollars of public and private EU loans and grants.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Simeon Djankov
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In the 15 years of President Vladimir Putin's rule, state control over economic activity in Russia has increased and is greater today than in the immediate postcommunist era. The concentration of political and economic power in Putin's hands has led to an increasingly assertive foreign policy, using energy as a diplomatic tool, while plentiful revenues from extractive industries have obfuscated the need for structural reforms at home. The West's 2014 sanctions on Russia have brought about economic stagnation, and with few visible means of growth, the economy is likely to continue to struggle. Watching Europe struggle with its own growth, in part because of deficiencies in its economic model, Russia will not be convinced to divert from state capitalism without evidence of a different, successful economic model. Changing course can only be pursued in the presence of political competition; the current political landscape does not allow for such competition to flourish
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • 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: Economics, Migration, Politics, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During his first visit to Warsaw after re-election as prime minister of the UK, David Cameron found an ally in support of one of his ideas to reform the EU. Rafał Trzaskowski, the Polish minister for Europe, speaking on behalf of the Polish government, officially endorsed the British position to strengthen national parliaments in EU policymaking. Yet, the proposals to date either require treaty changes or are merely technical adjustments. In fact, much more could be achieved by enhancing the mechanisms of inter-parliamentary cooperation within the existing scope of the treaties. Although this would play very well with the current institutional climate of better regulation and more transparency, it also requires a genuine political will on the side of EU institutions and Member States, which seem to be the missing link.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, European Union
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Patryk Kuglel
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004 has made only modest achievements and needs a thorough rethink. Both sides must reset cooperation and base it on a more realistic footing centred on common interests, such as economic cooperation, global governance, development cooperation, and defence. The resumption of free trade negotiations, the organisation of a long overdue bilateral summit, and more frank dialogue on contentious issues is necessary in order to utilise the partnership’s potential. Poland may use this strategic drift to revitalise bilateral cooperation and play a more active role in reviving EU-India dialogue.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, India
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has long been acknowledged that the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) act in a complex political setting. They represent national parties and are elected nationally, and their campaigns are often built around domestic issues. However, in the European Parliament (EP), the MEPs mostly work within transnational party groups, which form the main channel through which they can influence European decision-making. Although most national parties have affiliated themselves to party groups with similar ideological leanings, the views of the MEPs' national parties and their European party groups do not always overlap. In such situations, the MEPs are forced to choose between their different 'principals'. This raises several questions: Who do the MEPs ultimately represent? To what degree do domestic political factors and national concerns condition their behaviour in the EP? And to what extent do the political cleavages in the EP reflect the conflict lines in national politics?
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland