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Future EU-Turkey relations

23-10-2018

In June 2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected as president of Turkey, this time with extended powers under the revised Turkish Constitution. Over the previous couple of years, his country's relationship with the EU had been challenged by issues such as the ongoing management of the migration crisis and the EU-Turkey Agreement, the attempted military coup in Istanbul and Ankara, and the ensuing purge, which the EU and international organisations criticised for its disproportionate severity. With ...

In June 2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected as president of Turkey, this time with extended powers under the revised Turkish Constitution. Over the previous couple of years, his country's relationship with the EU had been challenged by issues such as the ongoing management of the migration crisis and the EU-Turkey Agreement, the attempted military coup in Istanbul and Ankara, and the ensuing purge, which the EU and international organisations criticised for its disproportionate severity. With the constitutional referendum and the subsequent parliamentary and presidential elections, President Erdogan further reinforced his position at the helm of the institutional system and raised concerns among the EU and NATO about his commitment to Western institutions. Turkey deepened its relations with Russia, buying military equipment and coordinating with it on Syrian policies on the ground. At the same time, US-Turkish relations worsened due to the Syrian conflict and the imprisonment of a US pastor by Turkey, although he was subsequently released. Negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU have nevertheless continued, despite an increasingly lively debate in some Member States about whether or not they should be halted. Some have proposed striking an economic agreement with Turkey as an alternative to membership. Others believe the outcome of the negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU might also provide a possible model for Turkey. Despite the numerous hurdles before it, accession not only remains the ultimate objective of EU-Turkey relations, endorsed by both the European Council and by Turkey, but it also provides potential for reform and dialogue regarding common standards, not least in the area of civil liberties.

Actions of the African Union against coups d'état

16-11-2017

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools.

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools.

Political developments in Libya and prospects of stability

01-06-2017

Six years after the ousting and death of Libya's dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 the country is facing political instability, economic problems and deteriorating security. The violence between rival factions resulted in tens of thousands of casualties, the collapse of the oil industry, favoured the rise of ISIL/Da'esh and contributed to the country's increasing role as a transit country for migrants hoping to reach Europe. Although the December 2015 UN-brokered agreement resulted in the creation ...

Six years after the ousting and death of Libya's dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 the country is facing political instability, economic problems and deteriorating security. The violence between rival factions resulted in tens of thousands of casualties, the collapse of the oil industry, favoured the rise of ISIL/Da'esh and contributed to the country's increasing role as a transit country for migrants hoping to reach Europe. Although the December 2015 UN-brokered agreement resulted in the creation of an internationally recognised Government of National Accord, the latter is still struggling for legitimacy. A political solution to reduce the instability in Libya is critical, both for Libya and for its neighbours. The EU remains committed to an inclusive political settlement under the framework of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), and to supporting the Presidency Council (PC) and the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, and backed by the United Nations. It welcomes their efforts to restore unified governance, prosperity and security to Libya. The EU works closely with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to facilitate the implementation of the LPA and to support mediation efforts in the interest of all Libyans. The EU also supports the mediation activities of neighbours and regional partners including by coordinating efforts with the League of Arab States (LAS), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN) in the framework of the Libya Quartet, in order to advance the political process and assist Libya in its democratic transition.

Mapping EU-Turkey relations: State of play and options for the future

03-04-2017

2016 was a challenging year for relations between the European Union (EU) and Turkey, with the on-going management of the migration crisis and the EU-Turkey agreement, the attempted military coup in Istanbul and Ankara, and the severe purge that followed, which the EU criticised for being disproportionately severe. Nevertheless, the EU and Turkey continued negotiations on Turkish accession to the EU and decided in December 2016 to upgrade the 20-year-old customs union. In the light of opinion polls ...

2016 was a challenging year for relations between the European Union (EU) and Turkey, with the on-going management of the migration crisis and the EU-Turkey agreement, the attempted military coup in Istanbul and Ankara, and the severe purge that followed, which the EU criticised for being disproportionately severe. Nevertheless, the EU and Turkey continued negotiations on Turkish accession to the EU and decided in December 2016 to upgrade the 20-year-old customs union. In the light of opinion polls in some Member States, and recent difficulties arising from Turkish politicians campaigning in the EU ahead of Turkey's April referendum on its constitution, as well as clear human rights breaches, a debate has emerged in some Member States about an alternative to enlargement, such as purely economic integration. Meanwhile, some believe the outcome of the negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU might also provide a possible model for Turkey. Despite the road to accession being paved with inevitable difficulties, accession remains the ultimate objective of EU-Turkey relations, endorsed by the European Council and Turkey, and provides potential for reform and dialogue over common standards, not least in the area of civil liberties.

Turkey and the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

24-03-2017

Relations between Turkey and the European Union have been strained for some time, and most recently, Ankara became embroiled in a diplomatic spat with Germany and the Netherlands, following decisions in both countries to prevent Turkish ministers from addressing rallies of expatriate Turks. On 16 April, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will hold a referendum to expand presidential powers. Mr Erdogan has said that Turkey, an EU candidate country, may review its relations with the Union ...

Relations between Turkey and the European Union have been strained for some time, and most recently, Ankara became embroiled in a diplomatic spat with Germany and the Netherlands, following decisions in both countries to prevent Turkish ministers from addressing rallies of expatriate Turks. On 16 April, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will hold a referendum to expand presidential powers. Mr Erdogan has said that Turkey, an EU candidate country, may review its relations with the Union after the coming vote. Government officials have also threatened to ditch last year's agreement between the EU and Turkey that has helped to stem the flow of migrants into Europe. In November, 2016, the European Parliament passed a resolution, calling for Turkey's EU entry talks to be suspended until Ankara ended its 'disproportionate' and repressive response to a failed coup in July that year. This note offers links to a series of recent studies and comments from major international think tanks and research institutes on Turkey and its relations with the EU.

Thailand in 2016: Restoring Democracy or Reversing it?

18-04-2016

After staging a military coup against the Yingluck Shinawatra government, a junta has been ruling Thailand since 22 May 2014. It has drastically restricted political activities and freedom of speech. There have been numerous human rights abuses, including torture. Under a ‘roadmap to democracy’, a referendum on a new constitution is planned for August 2017 and could be followed by elections at a later stage. However, the military might retain power until the king’s successor accedes to the throne ...

After staging a military coup against the Yingluck Shinawatra government, a junta has been ruling Thailand since 22 May 2014. It has drastically restricted political activities and freedom of speech. There have been numerous human rights abuses, including torture. Under a ‘roadmap to democracy’, a referendum on a new constitution is planned for August 2017 and could be followed by elections at a later stage. However, the military might retain power until the king’s successor accedes to the throne, in order to guarantee stability. Despite close trade ties, the EU has suspended the signing of a partnership and cooperation agreement and negotiations on a free trade agreement until democracy is restored. In April 2015, Thailand received a ‘yellow card’ warning by the European Commission for problems relating to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Actions of the African Union against coups d'état

04-04-2016

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools. This updates a note from March 2015; see also our notes on political and economic aspects of the AU.

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools. This updates a note from March 2015; see also our notes on political and economic aspects of the AU.

Tajikistan: New challenges to security

08-02-2016

Tajikistan is facing both internal and external security challenges mostly related to the rise of religious extremism and terrorist groups, in particular the Taliban. Terrorist attacks in September 2015, followed by a military response and closure of the Islamic Renaissance Party raised concerns about instability. The Taliban seizure of Kunduz on Tajikistan's borders further alarmed the country. Russia, the country's main security provider, is likely to increase its military presence and influence ...

Tajikistan is facing both internal and external security challenges mostly related to the rise of religious extremism and terrorist groups, in particular the Taliban. Terrorist attacks in September 2015, followed by a military response and closure of the Islamic Renaissance Party raised concerns about instability. The Taliban seizure of Kunduz on Tajikistan's borders further alarmed the country. Russia, the country's main security provider, is likely to increase its military presence and influence

Actions of the African Union against coups d'état

04-03-2015

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework and a consistent policy for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, the implementation of this policy has not been without difficulties, since there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools for the handling of more complex cases ...

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework and a consistent policy for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, the implementation of this policy has not been without difficulties, since there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools for the handling of more complex cases.

Burkina: One Old Regime Down, More to Fall?

27-11-2014

The resignation of Burkina Faso's president Blaise Compaoré in October 2014 should not have come as a surprise. The interplay of several political and socioeconomic factors led to his fall. International actors followed the events closely and urged a consensual approach in the transition negotiations. The role of the military has been central to the changes; it should be watched carefully in the coming months. A civilian president, a prime minister hailing from the Presidential Guard, a 26-member ...

The resignation of Burkina Faso's president Blaise Compaoré in October 2014 should not have come as a surprise. The interplay of several political and socioeconomic factors led to his fall. International actors followed the events closely and urged a consensual approach in the transition negotiations. The role of the military has been central to the changes; it should be watched carefully in the coming months. A civilian president, a prime minister hailing from the Presidential Guard, a 26-member government and a 90-member transitional council will steer the country until the elections, scheduled for November 2015. Events in Burkina Faso are followed in other African countries, where long-standing leaders are also likely to try to stay in power. Burkina, one of the world's poorest countries, needs a genuine transition to ensure a more inclusive and resilient future.

Socios