The purpose of this paper is to understand why and how the European External Action
Service (EEAS) has developed a specific approach towards religion, an approach
characterised by the focus on freedom of religion and belief (FoRB). The research
question is to assess the level of autonomy and distinctiveness of religion as a policy
issue. The European diplomatic strategy on religion reflects geopolitical and societal
changes at the global scale. It is also an effort of the EEAS to assert itself as a political
player and to reinforce the profile of the European Union (EU) in international relations.
In practice, the handling of religion is framed by...
Bassotti , Giorgio
This analysis addresses the European Union’s (EU) democracy promotion policy in Tunisia,
aiming at understanding its evolution and at assessing its effectiveness: how did the EU’s
approach to democracy promotion evolve overtime? To what extent was it effective in
promoting Tunisia’s democratic transition? In order to assess the impact of an external
actor in the democratic transition, I opted for a two-folded approach: on the one hand,
I analysed the EU’s declaratory policy regarding democracy promotion and its
implementation. On the other hand, I identified several domestic key actors and
analysed their perception of the EU’s contribution to the transition process. I argue that
the EU did not...
This is the third in a series of National Reports to be published as part of the new phase of the New Pact for Europe project.* Since becoming a member of the EU in 1995, Finland has been of the EU’s more constructive member states. But with the rapid emergence of an openly populist and Eurosceptic party in the 2010s (coinciding with the financial and economic crisis in the EU) Finland’s image has somewhat changed: it is now often seen as a hardliner and, at times, a difficult member state. Despite these developments, the Finns still sees the Union as...
Funk, Marco; Mc Namara, Frank; Pardo, Romain; Rose, Norma
Faced with a large influx of asylum seekers in recent years, but little agreement among member states on how
to share the burden, the European Union (EU) is increasingly turning to third countries to stem the flow. This
push for external action focuses on tackling the 'root causes of migration' as well as strengthening third
countries' migration management efforts. The current approach is based on the premise that increasing
development aid to developing countries will reduce the stimulus for emigration. At the same time, the
principle of conditionality has emerged as a means of ensuring cooperation on operational matters such as
border control and readmission. Development...
The atmosphere of crisis surrounding the International Criminal Court (ICC) seems to be slowly dissipating after Gambia and South Africa revoked their notices of withdrawal from the Court in February and March 2017 respectively. Concerns that the threats of withdrawal made by Burundi, Gambia and South Africa in late 2016 would produce a domino effect, and even become the harbinger of the ICC’s demise in the long term, have proven premature. This development should, however, not make us complacent about the challenges the ICC continues to face, even in the absence of further state withdrawals.
This is the second in a series of National Reports to be published as part of the new phase of the New Pact for Europe project.* While the German National Reflection Group (NRG) views the current state of the Union as critical, it is also convinced that the EU can still be a positive sum game for all. Drawing on the discussions held amongst the members of the group, this report presents a set of conclusions on how Germany sees the future of the European project.
"Reconstructing the Union" was the ambitious but timely theme of CEPS’ fourth big forum for debate, the Ideas Lab, which was held in Brussels, 23-24 February 2017. Experts from 11 policy domains shared their insights on the many complex challenges facing Europe. A total of 834 participants attended the event over the two days. This report gives an overview of the insights gleaned from the many constructive discussions
This report contains the Executive Summary of the proceedings of a high-level conference organised jointly by the German Federal Ministry of Finance and Deutsche Bundesbank, in cooperation with CEPS, on the occasion of Germany’s presidency of the G20, which runs from 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017. The conference, held on 30 November 2016 in Berlin, aimed to ensure that the German Government’s performance during the presidency was underpinned by solid expert advice and that there was continuity between the work done under previous G-20 presidencies and also the work being carried out in an academic and research context.
Since the publication of the European Union Global Strategy (EUGS) in June 2016, there have been innumerable calls for the re-launch of the EU’s much misunderstood Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). One can call this CSDP-redux. What is the objective behind this renewed energy?
Over the past fifteen years, the presence in Russia of several million labour migrants from Central
Asia has been a key determinant of the region’s stability. This migration has contributed to
reducing internal problems and has helped provide a source of income to societies in specific
countries. At present, due to the economic crisis, Russia is unable to continue its involvement
in relieving socio-economic tensions in the region. Remittances from migrants have declined
by 50% over the last three years. Undeveloped Central Asian economies are unable to offer
an alternative to labour migration and other states which migrants previously chose as destination,
such as Kazakhstan, Turkey and...
Illegal amber mining in Ukraine has intensified since the Revolution of dignity. The practice has progressed at an unprecedented rate and has contributed to the degradation of vast swathes of forests in areas where there are deposits of amber, mainly in the north-western part of the country (Polesia). Ukraine has the world’s second largest deposits of amber in terms of amount, following the Kaliningrad area. As little as approximately 4 tonnes are legally mined each year, whereas 150-200 tonnes are extracted illegally and over several thousand people are involved in this practice. According to the Ukrainian government’s calculations, the state...
The indicators published in recent months by the Russian Statistics Office (Rosstat) are much more optimistic than the estimates and forecasts announced several months earlier. A significant improvement in statistical data is evident in particular regarding the figures for GDP and industrial production. According to new information, over the last two years (2015-2016) the Russian economy shrank by 3%, and not by 4.5% as previously estimated. Moreover, data compiled by Rosstat show an increase in industrial production was registered, even in the face of a decline in citizens’ income and fixed investment. In addition, the slowdown in the industrial sector...
On 16 April the citizens of Turkey voted in a national referendum to amend the constitution. This will lead to a radical strengthening of the president’s power. 51.4% of the voters backed the amendments. They will come into force after the next presidential and parliamentary election (scheduled for 2019). The amendments are an important step in the thorough reconstruction of the Republic of Turkey which began in 2002. They will strengthen the position of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in legal terms, and – with all the controversies that entails – will adjust the legal status to the situation on the ground....
Emmanuel Macron is the first European leader to be elected on a platform that embraces the electoral reform of the European Parliament. He is convinced that, in order to change the Union, the EP needs greater legitimacy, and that such legitimacy will only come if the relationship between the Parliament and the electorate gets to be closer and more direct. In this Discussion Paper, Andrew Duff examines the likelihood of electoral reform of the Parliament, and whether or not the circumstances today are right to introduce a transnational list on the ballot in time for the European elections of May...
In the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy, there is a chapter devoted to “An Integrated Approach to Conflicts and Crises”. It sets out a ‘multi-dimensional’ approach through the use of all available policies and instruments aimed at ‘conflict prevention, management and resolution’. The difficulty of transforming such lofty aspirations into reality couldn’t be more evident than in the ongoing and deepening crisis in Macedonia – an EU candidate country in the heart of the Western Balkans.
Alcidi, Cinzia.; D’Imperio , Paolo; Thirion, Gilles
The resounding victory of the centrist, pro-European Emmanuel Macron, who will become the next French president, has shown that populism can be defeated; not by trying to appease xenophobic voters, but by offering an alternative based on openness and European integration. This was also confirmed by regional elections in Germany, which delivered another victory to the CDU party of Angela Merkel and only a modest score of 6% to the German radical right, AfD.
Kucharczyk, Jacek; Łada, Agnieszka
May 1, 2017 marks 13 years since Poland and other central European states joined the European Union. What has become of the hopes and aspirations in recent years?
Foreword. This report is inspired by the discussions of the BELGIAN National Reflection Group enriched by exchanges
with National Reflection Groups from FINLAND and SLOVAKIA. It reflects on the ‘state of the Union’ from a
national perspective and discusses the main challenges the EU and its members are facing, taking into
account both the European and national perspective. Finally, it proposes ideas and recommendations on how
the EU and its members should react to these main challenges and sets out how the EU and European
integration should develop in the years to come.
This paper is part of a series of ten national reports. These reports...
“We, the political leaders of the EU member states, in order to ensure the security of our citizens and to resolve more effectively and more efficiently the common problems we face at present do agree on a global EU strategy that couples unity of vision with unity of action.”
Foreign and security policy was not an area in which Prime Minister Cameron sought to alter the relationship between the UK and the European Union (EU) in renegotiating the terms of Britain’s membership. However, security has become a key theme in the referendum debate. The airport and metro bombings in Brussels have focused particular attention on the issue of border and ‘homeland’ security, and whether the UK has its security enhanced, or compromised, through its membership of the EU. There are also broader questions about the EU’s historic role in bringing peace to the European continent and its capacity to...