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EU-Armenia people-to-people contacts

29-03-2019

EU-Armenia relations have recently been strengthened through the two parties' comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement (CEPA), applied provisionally since June 2018. This instrument, along with additional frameworks – an association agreement, the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership – promotes enhanced people-to-people contacts between the EU and Armenia.

EU-Armenia relations have recently been strengthened through the two parties' comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement (CEPA), applied provisionally since June 2018. This instrument, along with additional frameworks – an association agreement, the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership – promotes enhanced people-to-people contacts between the EU and Armenia.

Ukraine's presidential election 2019

19-02-2019

Ukrainians will be heading to the polls twice in 2019, five years after Ukrainians toppled the pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovich, demanding a functioning democracy and an end to kleptocracy. On 31 March, Ukrainians will cast their ballot in the first round of the first presidential election since the Euromaidan revolution. In October, they will elect a new parliament. Amid Russia's ongoing hybrid war against Ukraine, the elections are a test case for the country's democracy, its unprecedented ...

Ukrainians will be heading to the polls twice in 2019, five years after Ukrainians toppled the pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovich, demanding a functioning democracy and an end to kleptocracy. On 31 March, Ukrainians will cast their ballot in the first round of the first presidential election since the Euromaidan revolution. In October, they will elect a new parliament. Amid Russia's ongoing hybrid war against Ukraine, the elections are a test case for the country's democracy, its unprecedented reform process and its European path.

Misuse of Interpol’s Red Notices and impact on human rights – recent developments

17-01-2019

International organisations continue to report the abuse by some states of Interpol’s Notice System to persecute national human rights defenders, civil society activists and critical journalists in violation of international standards of human rights. Available case studies, written reports and interviews with organisations working in the field confirm the reported abuses. Recent Interpol reforms have made significant impact on safeguarding individuals both substantially and procedurally. Nevertheless ...

International organisations continue to report the abuse by some states of Interpol’s Notice System to persecute national human rights defenders, civil society activists and critical journalists in violation of international standards of human rights. Available case studies, written reports and interviews with organisations working in the field confirm the reported abuses. Recent Interpol reforms have made significant impact on safeguarding individuals both substantially and procedurally. Nevertheless, and especially considering the significant increase in the number of Notices and Diffusions in the Interpol system, reforms remain to be fully implemented and transparency and enforcement mechanisms continue to leave room for improvement. Taking as a point of departure the responses from the EU institutions and bodies, and EU Member States, the study recommends taking further steps for Interpol to ensure full implementation of recent reforms, a fully transparent system and consistent legal and procedural safeguards for individuals in the Interpol Notice System..

External author

Dr. Rasmus H WANDALL, Dan SUTER, Gabriela IVAN-CUCU

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

21-09-2018

In today's context of renewed tensions on the European continent, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has an opportunity to play a stronger role as a forum for all Europe's security actors, helping to prevent a logic of confrontation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the EU versus Russia from prevailing. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) came into being during the detente of 1962-1979. It transformed the zero-sum game of ...

In today's context of renewed tensions on the European continent, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has an opportunity to play a stronger role as a forum for all Europe's security actors, helping to prevent a logic of confrontation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the EU versus Russia from prevailing. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) came into being during the detente of 1962-1979. It transformed the zero-sum game of the Cold War into a positive-sum game between European states, becoming a forum for discussion between the two superpowers and European countries. However, the main achievement of the Helsinki process that formed the CSCE was that it brought all the participating countries to the negotiating table. The main outcome of the Helsinki process was less the Final Act itself than the original process of negotiations between all the participating states. After the fall of the USSR and the subsequent EU and NATO enlargements, the OSCE (as the CSCE was renamed in 1994) was redesigned as a forum for resolving Cold War tensions and it became gradually less relevant. The main elements of the European security framework established by the CSCE (Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, Vienna Document, Open Skies Treaty) lost their ability to secure effective arms control and build confidence. There was a shift towards soft security cooperation (election monitoring, peace processes, the protection of minorities, and action to ensure a safe environment for journalists). Initiatives to reform the OSCE over the past decade have largely failed because of disagreements between member states on the objectives and the organisation's legal and financial means. Nevertheless, it remains a necessary forum when it comes to resolving a growing number of crises.

Kyrgyzstan's 2017 presidential election

09-10-2017

On 15 October 2017, Kyrgyz voters go to the polls. Despite worrying signs of backsliding into authoritarianism, the country is still the most democratic in Central Asia and the result is far from a foregone conclusion. The two main candidates are Sooronbai Jeenbekov, an ally of incumbent president Almazbek Atambayev, and his younger rival, Omurbek Babanov.

On 15 October 2017, Kyrgyz voters go to the polls. Despite worrying signs of backsliding into authoritarianism, the country is still the most democratic in Central Asia and the result is far from a foregone conclusion. The two main candidates are Sooronbai Jeenbekov, an ally of incumbent president Almazbek Atambayev, and his younger rival, Omurbek Babanov.

The future of multilateralism: Crisis or opportunity?

10-05-2017

Multilateralism lies at the core of the EU’s identity and of its engagement with the world. Both the 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 Global Strategy emphasised the importance of a rules-based global order with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations (UN) at its core, and made its promotion part of the EU’s strategic goals. Yet, in spite of widespread acknowledgement of the achievements of the multilateral international order established after the Second World War, ...

Multilateralism lies at the core of the EU’s identity and of its engagement with the world. Both the 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 Global Strategy emphasised the importance of a rules-based global order with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations (UN) at its core, and made its promotion part of the EU’s strategic goals. Yet, in spite of widespread acknowledgement of the achievements of the multilateral international order established after the Second World War, and in particular of the attainment of long-lasting peace, multilateral institutions and the liberal international order in which they are embedded have recently been the subject of severe criticism. The rise of populist nationalism has been interpreted, among other things, as a crisis in support for the multilateral order. Some of the causes of this crisis are related to the emergence of new actors in the global scene, the expansive nature of multilateral institutions, the widening gap between publics and international institutions and the decline of American power. The election of Donald Trump, who had repeatedly questioned the value of multilateral organisations such as the UN, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), has led to even greater preoccupation about the future of global governance. In this scenario, several scholars suggest that the EU and the G20 should be proactive in safeguarding multilateralism, while acknowledging and promoting the necessary reforms to the architecture of global governance.

The Frozen Conflicts of the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood and Their Impact on the Respect of Human Rights

08-04-2016

The present study provides a detailed overview of the actual human rights situation in the frozen conflict regions of EU’s Eastern neighbourhood, namely in Crimea, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The focus of the analysis is on the access to the justice system, as well as on the abilities of the de jure or de facto authorities to administer justice. Particular attention is paid to Crimea because the rapidly worsening human rights situation there affects far more people ...

The present study provides a detailed overview of the actual human rights situation in the frozen conflict regions of EU’s Eastern neighbourhood, namely in Crimea, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The focus of the analysis is on the access to the justice system, as well as on the abilities of the de jure or de facto authorities to administer justice. Particular attention is paid to Crimea because the rapidly worsening human rights situation there affects far more people than the population of the other four frozen conflicts combined. International community actions, as well as the role of civil society in protecting human rights are also analysed.

External author

Andras RACZ (Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Finland)

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – 40 years after Helsinki

05-11-2015

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki final act, signed in 1975. A turning point in the Cold War, the Helsinki process created a forum involving all the actors of European security: European states, the United States, Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The formation of the Conference on the Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) came about during the Détente of 1962-1979. The CSCE transformed the zero-sum game of the Cold War into a positive-sum game between European ...

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki final act, signed in 1975. A turning point in the Cold War, the Helsinki process created a forum involving all the actors of European security: European states, the United States, Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The formation of the Conference on the Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) came about during the Détente of 1962-1979. The CSCE transformed the zero-sum game of the Cold War into a positive-sum game between European states and became a forum for discussion between the two superpowers and European countries. The main outcome of the Helsinki process is less the Final Act itself than the original process of negotiations between all the participating states. After the fall of the USSR, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) became an organisation focusing mainly on soft security (elections, peace processes, and protection of minorities). However the instability of the security situation in Europe and its neighbourhood may invigorate the pertinence of what has been known as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) since 1995. The OSCE set up Confidence and Security-building measures (CSBM) that are key to conflict resolution today in Europe (Ukraine, Transnistria and South Caucasus).

Cyber diplomacy: Confidence-building measures

28-10-2015

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution ...

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution of attacks to specific perpetrators, have further increased the risks of misunderstanding and misperception of operations in cyberspace. Against this background, a number of international and regional organisations in Europe, Asia and Latin America have embarked on the process of developing confidence-building measures in cyberspace, with a focus on improving communication and information exchange, transparency and verification, cooperation and restraint measures. While these are welcome, there is growing concern that the nascent global 'cyber stability regime' may be undermined by diverging concepts, methods and measures elaborated within these diverse frameworks. The European Union has embraced the peaceful development of cyberspace as one of its key priorities in the EU Cybersecurity Strategy. It contributes actively to the ongoing debates about norms, provides support to regional confidence-building processes, and pursues the objective of a stable, safe and secure cyberspace by providing funding for capacity building in partner countries.

Trafficking in Human Organs

18-06-2015

The commercial trade in human organs, including trafficking in persons for organ removal has developed into a global problem. This report describes the current situation regarding international organ trafficking, committed often by transnational criminal networks. It zooms in on the role of traffickers, international brokers, health professionals, and the recipients and suppliers. To combat and prevent organ commercialism and trafficking, a legal framework for the criminalisation of trafficking offences ...

The commercial trade in human organs, including trafficking in persons for organ removal has developed into a global problem. This report describes the current situation regarding international organ trafficking, committed often by transnational criminal networks. It zooms in on the role of traffickers, international brokers, health professionals, and the recipients and suppliers. To combat and prevent organ commercialism and trafficking, a legal framework for the criminalisation of trafficking offences, and tailor-made law enforcement instruments have been developed by a number of international organisations. A number of recent trafficking cases in which European citizens were involved, have been analysed in detail to highlight the different forms of organ trafficking and to demonstrate how investigation and prosecution can result in an effective justice response to these crimes. The efforts of the EU and other European organisations, such as the Council of Europe or the OSCE, to develop binding legal instruments and formulate policy actions to step up law enforcement and legal cooperation in the combat against trafficking in organs, are described. The report concludes with observations and recommendations for the EU to prepare next steps in successfully fighting and preventing trafficking in organs and organ commercialism.

External author

Michael BOS (Eurotransplant International Foundation, the Netherlands)

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