18

résultat(s)

Mot(s)
Type de publication
Domaine politique
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Date

Uzbekistan comes in from the cold: A new era of reforms

17-12-2018

Until recently, Uzbekistan was one of the most repressive countries in the world. Under its long-time leader Islam Karimov, human rights abuses included torture, child and forced adult labour, as well as severe restrictions on religious freedom, the media and civil society. Following Karimov's death in 2016, his successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev has launched an ambitious reform programme. Some of the worst human rights abuses (such as torture and forced labour) have been phased out, or at least diminished ...

Until recently, Uzbekistan was one of the most repressive countries in the world. Under its long-time leader Islam Karimov, human rights abuses included torture, child and forced adult labour, as well as severe restrictions on religious freedom, the media and civil society. Following Karimov's death in 2016, his successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev has launched an ambitious reform programme. Some of the worst human rights abuses (such as torture and forced labour) have been phased out, or at least diminished. Judges have become more independent, and the parliament has gained new powers. Steps have been taken to make the country's civil service more accountable to citizens. Media and civil society now have slightly more freedom to operate. Political reforms have been flanked by economic liberalisation. Barriers to trade and investment are being lifted, including by floating the som, the Uzbek currency, and by cutting red tape for businesses. On foreign policy, Uzbekistan has repaired ties with all its main international partners, from the US and EU to Russia and China. The most dramatic change has been the shift from Karimov-era confrontation with neighbours, such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, to regional cooperation. These are highly positive changes, but Uzbekistan still has a long way to go. The economy remains largely state-controlled and uncompetitive, and liberalising reforms need to continue. On the political front, the system remains fundamentally authoritarian, and transition to genuine multiparty democracy seems unlikely.

European Union – Council of Europe cooperation and joint programmes

28-09-2018

The Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) are to a significant extent based on shared values, and have overlapping membership. This has led them over time to develop a strategic partnership and joint actions beyond the EU's and, more recently, the CoE's borders, making use of the latter's longstanding technical expertise on human rights, the rule of law and democracy. For the EU, the CoE convention system and the European Court of Human Rights remain central instruments for defending ...

The Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) are to a significant extent based on shared values, and have overlapping membership. This has led them over time to develop a strategic partnership and joint actions beyond the EU's and, more recently, the CoE's borders, making use of the latter's longstanding technical expertise on human rights, the rule of law and democracy. For the EU, the CoE convention system and the European Court of Human Rights remain central instruments for defending human rights in Europe, as stated in the EU's 2017 Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World. The relationship between the CoE and the EU is generally seen as mutually beneficial and thriving, each partner contributing according to its own strengths and capabilities. In 2011 the CoE launched a new approach towards the EU's neighbourhood regions, endorsed by the EU. Cooperation has become more structured, with the Council of the EU agreeing and adopting the EU's priorities for cooperation with the Council of Europe on a biannual basis, in cooperation with the CoE. The EU-CoE relationship has not escaped some criticism, however, namely that the CoE acts as a political consultancy or a junior partner to the EU owing to the latter's budgetary clout and its disproportionate and larger contribution to joint activities. There is arguably room to improve the partnership. According to some, the EU countries (which are all CoE members) need to develop a strategic and long-term vision regarding future cooperation with the CoE.

Water in Central Asia: An increasingly scarce resource

12-09-2018

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian ...

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian countries have to share limited resources fairly, while balancing the needs of upstream hydroelectricity generation and downstream agriculture. For this reason, cooperation is vital. However, competition for water has often been a source of tensions, particularly between Uzbekistan and its upstream neighbours. The situation has improved recently, now that Uzbekistan's new president has taken a more constructive approach to resolving these regional water-related problems. Water use also has many environmental implications. Soviet engineers succeeded in turning deserts into fertile farmland, but at the expense of the Aral Sea, a formerly huge inland lake that has all but dried up. Intensive agriculture is also polluting the region's rivers and soils. Leaky irrigation infrastructure and unsustainable greening projects are wasting huge amounts of water. In future, more efficient water use and closer cooperation will become increasingly necessary, as population growth and climate change pile pressure on the region's scarce water resources. The EU has made water one of the main priorities of its development aid for the region. Among other things, EU funding supports regional cooperation and improvements to water infrastructure.

The EU's Russia policy: Five guiding principles

08-02-2018

While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2014 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and fomented separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. To date, little progress has been made towards ending the Ukraine conflict. In addition, new sources of tension have emerged, for example: Russia's military backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and alleged Russian interference in EU politics. In the short term, an easing of tensions seems unlikely. In March ...

While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2014 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and fomented separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. To date, little progress has been made towards ending the Ukraine conflict. In addition, new sources of tension have emerged, for example: Russia's military backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and alleged Russian interference in EU politics. In the short term, an easing of tensions seems unlikely. In March 2016, EU foreign ministers and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, agreed on five guiding principles for EU-Russia relations: full implementation of the Minsk agreements; closer ties with Russia's former Soviet neighbours; strengthening EU resilience to Russian threats; selective engagement with Russia on certain issues such as counter-terrorism; and support for people-to-people contacts. Implementing each of these principles faces major difficulties. The EU is unlikely to lift sanctions against Russia while implementation of the Minsk agreements remains stalled; the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood remains a zone of confrontation; EU security is threatened by dependence on Russian energy imports and the destabilising effects of aggressive propaganda; EU-Russia cooperation on international issues has become a victim of tensions between the two sides; repressive Russian legislation obstructs EU support for Russian civil society; diplomatic tensions are mirrored by mutual suspicion between ordinary EU citizens and Russians. This is an updated edition of a briefing from October 2016.

Asie centrale

01-01-2018

La stratégie de l’Union européenne pour l’Asie centrale de 2007 a été revue en 2015. Elle vise à instaurer la stabilité et la prospérité, tout en favorisant des sociétés ouvertes, l’état de droit, la démocratisation, et la coopération en matière de sécurité et de diversification énergétiques. Le Parlement européen a mis l’accent sur l’importance des Droits de l’homme, de la bonne gouvernance et du développement social. Les pays d’Asie centrale présentant des niveaux de développement et de démocratisation ...

La stratégie de l’Union européenne pour l’Asie centrale de 2007 a été revue en 2015. Elle vise à instaurer la stabilité et la prospérité, tout en favorisant des sociétés ouvertes, l’état de droit, la démocratisation, et la coopération en matière de sécurité et de diversification énergétiques. Le Parlement européen a mis l’accent sur l’importance des Droits de l’homme, de la bonne gouvernance et du développement social. Les pays d’Asie centrale présentant des niveaux de développement et de démocratisation très variables, l’Union adapte sa stratégie au cas par cas. Une proposition de nouvelle stratégie est attendue d’ici la mi-2019.

The United States' role in Central Asia

22-11-2017

Geographically distant and without historical ties to the region, the USA has never been a major player in Central Asia. However, both sides stand to gain from closer ties: for the USA, Central Asian countries are key partners in meeting security challenges; for Central Asia, benefits could include increased investment and reduced dependence on Russia and China, the two main regional powers.

Geographically distant and without historical ties to the region, the USA has never been a major player in Central Asia. However, both sides stand to gain from closer ties: for the USA, Central Asian countries are key partners in meeting security challenges; for Central Asia, benefits could include increased investment and reduced dependence on Russia and China, the two main regional powers.

China's role in Central Asia

07-06-2017

Since 2013, China's growing trade and investment in Central Asia have been boosted by its ambitious 'One Belt, One Road' project. However, China only has limited security involvement and soft power in the region, and it is not challenging Russian supremacy there for the time being.

Since 2013, China's growing trade and investment in Central Asia have been boosted by its ambitious 'One Belt, One Road' project. However, China only has limited security involvement and soft power in the region, and it is not challenging Russian supremacy there for the time being.

Russia's role in Central Asia

13-03-2017

Some 25 years after the breakup of the USSR, Russia is still the dominant player in Central Asia. China and the EU have more trade and investment in the region, but Russia is in the lead on security and defence. Moscow consolidates its influence through a series of Russia-led regional organisations, such as the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Some 25 years after the breakup of the USSR, Russia is still the dominant player in Central Asia. China and the EU have more trade and investment in the region, but Russia is in the lead on security and defence. Moscow consolidates its influence through a series of Russia-led regional organisations, such as the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Review of the EU Strategy for Central Asia

05-04-2016

In June 2007, the EU adopted an EU Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia ('EU Strategy for Central Asia'), in recognition of the region's increasing importance for the Union's security, stability, governance and energy diversification. The strategy provides a framework for EU relations with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The European Parliament is due to discuss the implementation and review of the strategy during the April plenary session.

In June 2007, the EU adopted an EU Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia ('EU Strategy for Central Asia'), in recognition of the region's increasing importance for the Union's security, stability, governance and energy diversification. The strategy provides a framework for EU relations with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The European Parliament is due to discuss the implementation and review of the strategy during the April plenary session.

Implementation and Review of the European Union-Central Asia Strategy: Recommendations for EU Action

29-01-2016

The 2007 European Union (EU) Strategy for Central Asia was reviewed for the fourth time in 2015. Over the last eight years, the EU has successfully established several institutionalised mechanisms for strengthening relations and working with Central Asian governments, including an increased presence on the ground. Despite this, the EU’s engagement in Central Asia is one of limited to no impact. The region has become more unstable; forecast gas deliveries from the region to Europe have so far not ...

The 2007 European Union (EU) Strategy for Central Asia was reviewed for the fourth time in 2015. Over the last eight years, the EU has successfully established several institutionalised mechanisms for strengthening relations and working with Central Asian governments, including an increased presence on the ground. Despite this, the EU’s engagement in Central Asia is one of limited to no impact. The region has become more unstable; forecast gas deliveries from the region to Europe have so far not materialised; trade is minimal with the exception of EU-Kazakhstan links, democracy is seen by the Central Asian regimes as a threat to their survival; corruption severely undermines economic development and siphons off much of the development aid; and the human rights situation has been backsliding. The EU should not and cannot compete with Russia and China in the region. The EU would do best to focus on a few key areas where it can achieve concrete results. Besides broader economic and some security cooperation, the EU should focus on education in supporting the region’s development while further emphasizing human rights and strengthening political and financial support to civil society.

Auteur externe

Jos BOONSTRA (FRIDE, Spain) and Tika TSERTSVADZE (International Partnership for Human Rights, Belgium)

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11-12-2019
Take-aways from 2019 and outlook for 2020: What Think Tanks are Thinking
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