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Venezuela: The standoff continues

12-04-2019

Three months since Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela and won official recognition from over 50 countries, his standoff with Nicolás Maduro continues, as the Chavista regime steps up its pressure on the opposition. The outcome is uncertain, but some progress has been made on the humanitarian front.

Three months since Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela and won official recognition from over 50 countries, his standoff with Nicolás Maduro continues, as the Chavista regime steps up its pressure on the opposition. The outcome is uncertain, but some progress has been made on the humanitarian front.

Venezuela [What Think Tanks are thinking]

01-03-2019

The situation in Venezuela appears to be approaching a tipping-point, as President Nicolas Maduro faces growing international and domestic pressure to relinquish power to National Assembly leader and self-proclaimed acting President Juan Guaidó. The latter is recognised by many Western countries as the legitimate interim leader of the oil-rich Latin American country, which has seen its economy undermined by mismanagement and corruption. Maduro, political heir to Hugo Chávez, is backed by China, Russia ...

The situation in Venezuela appears to be approaching a tipping-point, as President Nicolas Maduro faces growing international and domestic pressure to relinquish power to National Assembly leader and self-proclaimed acting President Juan Guaidó. The latter is recognised by many Western countries as the legitimate interim leader of the oil-rich Latin American country, which has seen its economy undermined by mismanagement and corruption. Maduro, political heir to Hugo Chávez, is backed by China, Russia and the country’s military. He has recently ordered troops to block the opposition’s US-backed attempt to bring in aid to the country, leading to violent clashes. To date, some 3.4 million Venezuelans have left the country to escape the crisis. The European Parliament has already adopted a non-binding resolution that recognised Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the situation in Venezuela .

Venezuela: An unexpected turn of events

07-02-2019

The election of Juan Guaidó as president of the National Assembly and his subsequent self-proclamation as interim President of Venezuela has brought an unexpected turn to political events in the country and revived hopes for change both at home and abroad. Not only has Guaidó rallied massive popular support among Venezuelans, he has also obtained official recognition from the USA and most countries in the region. The European Parliament and 19 EU Member States have also recognised Guaidó as the legitimate ...

The election of Juan Guaidó as president of the National Assembly and his subsequent self-proclamation as interim President of Venezuela has brought an unexpected turn to political events in the country and revived hopes for change both at home and abroad. Not only has Guaidó rallied massive popular support among Venezuelans, he has also obtained official recognition from the USA and most countries in the region. The European Parliament and 19 EU Member States have also recognised Guaidó as the legitimate interim President.

The Venezuelan migrant crisis: A growing emergency for the region

17-12-2018

Although the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has traditionally been a country of destination for migrants, around 2010 its migratory profile started to change to that of a country of origin. In fact, in the past few years migration away from Venezuela has reached massive levels, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region. According to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of Venezuelans abroad has risen from under 700 000 in 2015 to 3 million ...

Although the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has traditionally been a country of destination for migrants, around 2010 its migratory profile started to change to that of a country of origin. In fact, in the past few years migration away from Venezuela has reached massive levels, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region. According to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of Venezuelans abroad has risen from under 700 000 in 2015 to 3 million in November 2018. About 70 % of this human wave has been directed to South American countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, but also to North and Central America and the Caribbean, and even Europe. The main factors contributing to this exodus are Venezuela's deteriorating political situation, a severe economic crisis and increasing violence. This mass migration could have a destabilising effect on the main recipient and transit countries. Besides individual responses developed by host countries to provide migrants with emergency assistance and protection and to facilitate their integration, Latin American countries are trying to give a coordinated regional response to the crisis. Furthermore, migration authorities, ombudsmen and NGOs have also promoted regional initiatives to defend the rights of Venezuelan migrants abroad and their access to basic services. The UN and regional organisations are also working to help deal with the crisis, and the EU is contributing €35.1 million in emergency aid and medium-term development assistance for the Venezuelan people and the affected neighbouring countries. The European Parliament sent an ad hoc mission to Brazil and Colombia in June 2018 to assess the situation, and has adopted resolutions on the subject.

Rule of law and human rights in Cuba and Venezuela and EU engagement

11-12-2018

The European Parliament (EP) has consistently followed the situation in Cuba and Venezuela. It has expressed its support for defenders of human rights and democracy with the award of the Sakharov prize to Cuban activists on three occasions (2002, 2005, 2010), and to Venezuela’s Democratic Opposition in 2017. In line with this engagement, a workshop on human rights and rule of law in both countries was held on 6 September 2018, in Brussels, at the request of the EP’s Subcommittee on Human Rights ( ...

The European Parliament (EP) has consistently followed the situation in Cuba and Venezuela. It has expressed its support for defenders of human rights and democracy with the award of the Sakharov prize to Cuban activists on three occasions (2002, 2005, 2010), and to Venezuela’s Democratic Opposition in 2017. In line with this engagement, a workshop on human rights and rule of law in both countries was held on 6 September 2018, in Brussels, at the request of the EP’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). Dr. Par Engstrom (University College London) presented the first draft of an independent study analysing the main human rights developments in Cuba and Venezuela since 2014 and the EU’s response. The paper, which focused specifically on the Sakharov laureates, was discussed with Members and other experts, including from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European External Action Service and the European Commission. During the lively discussion, there was broad agreement with the description of major trends in the human rights situation in the two countries. Critical comments and controversial issues related to the impact of the government’s repression of the Venezuelan opposition, the need to consider not only civil and political but also economic and social rights, the effectiveness of sanctions against Venezuela and the potential role of the Sakharov Prize. Observations and comments made during the workshop fed into the final version of the study, which is also included in this report.

Külső szerző

Par ENGSTROM; Giulia BONACQUISTI

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, July 2018

06-07-2018

The July plenary session highlights were: the continuation of the debate on the Future of Europe, this time with the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, the discussion on the outcome of the European Council meeting of 28-29 June 2018, and the review of the Bulgarian and presentation of the activities of the Austrian Presidencies. The European Commission and Council participated in discussions on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. VP/HR Federica Mogherini's statement ...

The July plenary session highlights were: the continuation of the debate on the Future of Europe, this time with the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, the discussion on the outcome of the European Council meeting of 28-29 June 2018, and the review of the Bulgarian and presentation of the activities of the Austrian Presidencies. The European Commission and Council participated in discussions on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. VP/HR Federica Mogherini's statement on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its borders was also discussed. Angola's President, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, addressed Parliament in a formal sitting. Parliament approved, inter alia, proposals for a European Travel Information and Authorisation System, a European Defence Industrial Development Programme, financial rules applicable to the general EU budget and two amending budgets for 2018. Parliament agreed on the conclusion of a partnership agreement between the EU and Armenia and approved the reform of the electoral law of the EU. Three reports on the social and market aspects of the first mobility package were rejected and sent back to the Transport and Tourism Committee.

Plenary round up - May I

03-05-2018

The May I plenary session highlight was the European Commission statement on the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework package adopted by the College of Commissioners on the morning of 2 May 2018. The package comprises proposals for a new post-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the European Union, as well as for a new system of own resources (OR) to provide the EU with the means to finance its annual budgets. Members will respond in a resolution to be voted at the end of May, and ...

The May I plenary session highlight was the European Commission statement on the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework package adopted by the College of Commissioners on the morning of 2 May 2018. The package comprises proposals for a new post-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the European Union, as well as for a new system of own resources (OR) to provide the EU with the means to finance its annual budgets. Members will respond in a resolution to be voted at the end of May, and the Commission will make a series of further legislative proposals for individual spending programmes later in May and in June. Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, also attended the session, for a debate on the future of Europe. Members also discussed VP/HR Federica Mogherini's statement on early presidential elections in Venezuela and approved a call for their immediate suspension. Parliament voted, inter alia, on a number of own-initiative reports

Energy as a tool of foreign policy of authoritarian states, in particular Russia

27-04-2018

Russia and other energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy exports for economic gains but also as a tool of foreign policy leverage. This study looks at the ways and methods these states have used to exert political pressure through their energy supplies, and what it means for the European Union. Most energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy wealth to ensure regime survival. But, more than others, Russia uses its energy wealth as well to protect and promote its interests in its ‘ ...

Russia and other energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy exports for economic gains but also as a tool of foreign policy leverage. This study looks at the ways and methods these states have used to exert political pressure through their energy supplies, and what it means for the European Union. Most energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy wealth to ensure regime survival. But, more than others, Russia uses its energy wealth as well to protect and promote its interests in its ‘near abroad’ and to make its geopolitical influence felt further afield, including in Europe. It uses gas supplies to punish and to reward, affecting both transit states and end-consumers. This study explores how supply disruptions, price discounts or hikes, and alternative transit routes such as Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream, are used by Russia to further its foreign policy ambitions, feeding suspicions about its geopolitical motives. The lack of transparency about Russia’s energy policy decisions contributes to this. In response, the EU is building an Energy Union based around the Third Energy Package, a more integrated European market and diversified supplies. By investing in new supplies, such as LNG, and completing a liberalised energy market, the EU will be better able to withstand such energy coercion and develop a more effective EU foreign policy.

Külső szerző

Rem Korteweg

The political crisis in Venezuela

07-12-2017

In December 2015, the results of elections to the Venezuelan National Assembly saw the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition (MUD) prevail by a wide majority over the ruling Socialist Unified Party of Venezuela (PSUV) of President Nicolás Maduro. Since then, Venezuela has faced increasing political crisis. Initiatives by the duly elected Parliament have been systematically blocked, first by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and the National Electoral Council, and since August 2017 by the new National ...

In December 2015, the results of elections to the Venezuelan National Assembly saw the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition (MUD) prevail by a wide majority over the ruling Socialist Unified Party of Venezuela (PSUV) of President Nicolás Maduro. Since then, Venezuela has faced increasing political crisis. Initiatives by the duly elected Parliament have been systematically blocked, first by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and the National Electoral Council, and since August 2017 by the new National Constituent Assembly, which has taken over most of the Parliament's legislative powers. Two attempts at dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, promoted by international mediators, have so far failed to break the deadlock. The economic and social situation in the country is far from improving, and the number of Venezuelan asylum-seekers abroad has risen exponentially. Nevertheless, regional elections were finally held on 15 October 2017 – with a PSUV victory in 17 of the 23 Venezuelan states, amid accusations of fraud from the opposition – and the government has promised to go ahead with the presidential elections due in 2018. This is an update of a briefing published in October 2017.

The 2017 Sakharov Prize

05-12-2017

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms. By awarding the 2017 Prize to the Venezuelan Opposition, the Parliament denounces the situation in Venezuela, re-affirms its support to the democratically elected National Assembly, calls for a peaceful transition to democracy, and pays tribute to the Venezuelan ...

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms. By awarding the 2017 Prize to the Venezuelan Opposition, the Parliament denounces the situation in Venezuela, re-affirms its support to the democratically elected National Assembly, calls for a peaceful transition to democracy, and pays tribute to the Venezuelan people, in particular to those who have been unjustly jailed for expressing their opinions.

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