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Azerbaijan ahead of the parliamentary elections

06-02-2020

Azerbaijan is an authoritarian country in the southern Caucasus. Part of the Eastern Partnership, Azerbaijan has attempted to keep a pragmatic balance between the European Union (EU) and Russia. Rich in oil and natural gas, Baku's poor human rights record and consistent failure to hold free and fair elections have continued to hamper its ties with the EU. The 9 February 2020 snap elections in the wake of abrupt top-down reforms in late 2019 are not expected to substantially change the country's leadership ...

Azerbaijan is an authoritarian country in the southern Caucasus. Part of the Eastern Partnership, Azerbaijan has attempted to keep a pragmatic balance between the European Union (EU) and Russia. Rich in oil and natural gas, Baku's poor human rights record and consistent failure to hold free and fair elections have continued to hamper its ties with the EU. The 9 February 2020 snap elections in the wake of abrupt top-down reforms in late 2019 are not expected to substantially change the country's leadership or its overall (geo-)political orientation.

Commitments made at the hearing of Josep BORRELL FONTELLES, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President-designate of the European Commission

22-11-2019

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President designate of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, appeared before the European Parliament on 7 October 2019 to answer MEPs’ questions. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President designate of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, appeared before the European Parliament on 7 October 2019 to answer MEPs’ questions. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document.

Commitments made at the hearing of Olivér VÁRHELYI, Commissioner-designate - Neighbourhood and Enlargement

22-11-2019

Commissioner-designate Olivér Várhelyi appeared before the European Parliament on 14 November 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (the Committee on International Trade was invited). This document highlights a number of commitments which he made during the hearing. They refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: Western Balkans and Turkey; Eastern Neighbourhood ...

Commissioner-designate Olivér Várhelyi appeared before the European Parliament on 14 November 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (the Committee on International Trade was invited). This document highlights a number of commitments which he made during the hearing. They refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: Western Balkans and Turkey; Eastern Neighbourhood; Southern Neighbourhood.

Situation of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina

14-11-2019

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has become a transit route for migrants heading towards western Europe since early 2018. Around 8 000 migrants are currently present in the country, mainly originating from southern Asia and the Middle East. Reception capacities were expanded in 2018, using EU funds, but remain insufficient. In 2019, BiH has been unable to establish additional locations for temporary reception centres, despite EU funds being available. Access to asylum in BiH is also effectively being ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has become a transit route for migrants heading towards western Europe since early 2018. Around 8 000 migrants are currently present in the country, mainly originating from southern Asia and the Middle East. Reception capacities were expanded in 2018, using EU funds, but remain insufficient. In 2019, BiH has been unable to establish additional locations for temporary reception centres, despite EU funds being available. Access to asylum in BiH is also effectively being denied to migrants that seek to claim it. Recently, local authorities in the Una-Sana Canton (Bihać), which have been shouldering most of the burden of migration management, have resorted to action such as restricting movement and forcibly transferring migrants to the Vučjak site, which is unsuitable for human occupation on account of severe health and safety risks for its residents. The government of Croatia has meanwhile been accused by some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations of pushing migrants back into BiH, in violation of international norms on non-refoulement. Croatia has committed to investigate allegations of mistreatment of migrants and refugees at its external borders. The lack of appropriate policy responses in BiH has led to a humanitarian crisis in the Una-Sana Canton. In the absence of timely and serious preparation, and without better internal coordination among state-level and local authorities, BiH may face an even stronger humanitarian emergency this upcoming winter.

EU Patent and Brexit

05-11-2019

This In-depth Analysis resumes the possible scenarios concerning several Intellectual Property provisions of EU and international law in the event of a withdrawal of the United Kingdom with or without a proper withdrawal agreement. It tries to clarify the question how Brexit may affect the entry into force of the new European Patent with Unitary effect (EPUE), especially, if the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) can enter into force, even in case the UK has withdrawn from the EU. What would be ...

This In-depth Analysis resumes the possible scenarios concerning several Intellectual Property provisions of EU and international law in the event of a withdrawal of the United Kingdom with or without a proper withdrawal agreement. It tries to clarify the question how Brexit may affect the entry into force of the new European Patent with Unitary effect (EPUE), especially, if the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) can enter into force, even in case the UK has withdrawn from the EU. What would be the necessary steps to be taken by the EU in order to ensure the functioning of the future European Unitary patent and in case the UPC Agreement would have to be revised because of Brexit.

Diversifying unity. How Eastern Partnership countries develop their economy, governance and identity in a geopolitical context

30-10-2019

This study analyses the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the year of its 10th anniversary. The Eastern Partnership was set up in 2009 as a joint policy initiative aiming at deepening and strengthening relations between the European Union, its Member States and the six EaP countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. While each of these countries shares a past in the former Soviet Union, they have developed over time in different directions. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have ...

This study analyses the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the year of its 10th anniversary. The Eastern Partnership was set up in 2009 as a joint policy initiative aiming at deepening and strengthening relations between the European Union, its Member States and the six EaP countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. While each of these countries shares a past in the former Soviet Union, they have developed over time in different directions. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have concluded Association Agreements with the EU, which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas. They will have to fulfil conditions laid down in the Association Agreements to make progress on reforms of governance, the judiciary and fighting corruption. Moreover, Georgia and Ukraine are seeking to integrate more deeply into the Western world order, aspiring to membership of NATO and the EU. Armenia and Azerbaijan have different ways of cooperating with the EU. Belarus is furthest from the EU because of its poor record on democracy and human rights. All six countries are to a certain extent within Russia’s sphere of influence and have to deal with several geopolitical constraints, but they have increasingly developed economic relations and national identities of their own. It will be a challenge to maintain a common perspective for the next 10 years of the Eastern Partnership and a further divergence between the countries is likely. This will not only be between countries with an Association Agreement and the others, but along multiple vectors. While further developing statehood, the eastern partners will want to decide increasingly for themselves which forms of cooperation they want to pursue in the future. They may choose international partners according to their perceived needs, including Russia, the US, China or Turkey. The EU for its part should continue to pursue its strengths of assisting in achieving better governance and democracy and strengthening economic ties, while contributing to diminishing geopolitical tensions.

North Macedonia: A step closer to EU membership

17-10-2019

On 15 October 2019, the General Affairs Council discussed the issue of enlargement as regards Albania and North Macedonia without reaching unanimity (opposition of one EU Member State) on the decision to open EU accession negotiations with these countries. The Council will return to the issue after the European Council meeting on 17 18 October. In line with the 2018 western Balkans strategy, which aimed to inject new momentum into the enlargement process, Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission ...

On 15 October 2019, the General Affairs Council discussed the issue of enlargement as regards Albania and North Macedonia without reaching unanimity (opposition of one EU Member State) on the decision to open EU accession negotiations with these countries. The Council will return to the issue after the European Council meeting on 17 18 October. In line with the 2018 western Balkans strategy, which aimed to inject new momentum into the enlargement process, Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President-elect, and Josep Borrell, incoming High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President-designate of the Commission (HR/VP), have declared the western Balkans to be their priority.

Údar seachtarach

Staníček, Branislav;

Serbia: sitting on two chairs

16-10-2019

Until recently, Serbia was considered a frontrunner among the western Balkan candidate countries. However, Serbian frustration at slow progress towards EU membership has opened a space for closer links with the Russian Federation and, more recently, China, shedding doubt on Belgrade's commitment to a European perspective.

Until recently, Serbia was considered a frontrunner among the western Balkan candidate countries. However, Serbian frustration at slow progress towards EU membership has opened a space for closer links with the Russian Federation and, more recently, China, shedding doubt on Belgrade's commitment to a European perspective.

Ukraine: Navigating multiple challenges

07-10-2019

Five years after the 'revolution of dignity', in which Ukrainians demanded a functioning democracy and an end to kleptocracy, the country elected a new President in April 2019 and a new Parliament in July. The new leaders in Kyiv are facing a wide range of persistent challenges. Russia's ongoing hybrid war against the country, including the illegal occupation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine, as well as the continued reform process dominate the agenda. The High Representative of the Union ...

Five years after the 'revolution of dignity', in which Ukrainians demanded a functioning democracy and an end to kleptocracy, the country elected a new President in April 2019 and a new Parliament in July. The new leaders in Kyiv are facing a wide range of persistent challenges. Russia's ongoing hybrid war against the country, including the illegal occupation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine, as well as the continued reform process dominate the agenda. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission is expected to make a statement on the situation in Ukraine during the October I plenary session.

The European Parliament's evolving soft power - From back-door diplomacy to agenda-setting: Democracy support and mediation

27-09-2019

For the past 40 years, Members of the European Parliament have been working at boosting Parliament's role in EU foreign policy. These efforts have continued to be stepped up since the launch of the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) in 1993. Over recent decades, the European Parliament has significantly raised its profile as a credible moral force with strong focus on strengthening human rights, supporting democracy and enhancing the rule of law worldwide. Perhaps less visible than the European ...

For the past 40 years, Members of the European Parliament have been working at boosting Parliament's role in EU foreign policy. These efforts have continued to be stepped up since the launch of the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) in 1993. Over recent decades, the European Parliament has significantly raised its profile as a credible moral force with strong focus on strengthening human rights, supporting democracy and enhancing the rule of law worldwide. Perhaps less visible than the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, the European Parliament's democracy support activities are part of its 'soft-power' approach to international relations. Moreover, Parliament can convey messages through channels that are different from, and complementary to, those employed by the EU's traditional diplomatic players; for example, through its parliamentary networks. Parliament also enjoys Treaty-based information and consultation rights, which allow its Members to shape the EU's external policies. In addition, the European Parliament has become a public forum for debating with representatives of partner countries and international organisations, as well as influential non-state actors. MEPs pro-actively engage in inter-parliamentary delegations and missions to third countries as well as joint parliamentary assemblies. Moreover, parties in different countries often share strong links via their political families.

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