11

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The United States and the Western Balkans

17-11-2017

The United States has contributed greatly to the post-war reconstruction of the Western Balkans and remains a key player. While the region is not as high on the US foreign policy agenda as in the 1990s, the USA has consistently shown commitment to its Euro-Atlantic integration. US engagement is seen as crucial in this historically volatile region, weakened by unresolved past and emerging challenges.

The United States has contributed greatly to the post-war reconstruction of the Western Balkans and remains a key player. While the region is not as high on the US foreign policy agenda as in the 1990s, the USA has consistently shown commitment to its Euro-Atlantic integration. US engagement is seen as crucial in this historically volatile region, weakened by unresolved past and emerging challenges.

Turkish humanitarian policy: An emerging donor

17-05-2016

Over the last 10 years, Turkey has become a leading emerging donor. Most of Turkey's official development assistance goes to humanitarian aid, above all in support of Syrian refugees.

Over the last 10 years, Turkey has become a leading emerging donor. Most of Turkey's official development assistance goes to humanitarian aid, above all in support of Syrian refugees.

Japan's humanitarian assistance

17-05-2016

Domestic experience of natural disasters has made Japan a global leader in disaster risk reduction. Japan is now the fifth largest donor of humanitarian aid, and Japan Disaster Relief teams are highly appreciated. On the eve of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), Tokyo underlines the importance of strengthening coordination between humanitarian and development assistance.

Domestic experience of natural disasters has made Japan a global leader in disaster risk reduction. Japan is now the fifth largest donor of humanitarian aid, and Japan Disaster Relief teams are highly appreciated. On the eve of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), Tokyo underlines the importance of strengthening coordination between humanitarian and development assistance.

World Humanitarian Summit 2016

02-05-2016

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), on 23 and 24 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey, will bring together a panoply of representatives of world governments, business, and civil society, in order to find a way to improve humanitarian responses to increasingly challenging conditions. The May plenary is due to hear from the Commission and Council on the EU approach to the WHS.

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), on 23 and 24 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey, will bring together a panoply of representatives of world governments, business, and civil society, in order to find a way to improve humanitarian responses to increasingly challenging conditions. The May plenary is due to hear from the Commission and Council on the EU approach to the WHS.

Policy Coherence for Development: still some way to go

11-05-2015

Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) has become an EU legal obligation, after years of slow progress. PCD aims to incorporate development concerns in non-aid policies in order to minimise contradictions, and if possible, create synergies between policies. However, despite a reiterated political commitment and reinforcement of the institutional framework to follow up on PCD, scepticism prevails outside the Commission on the feasibility of achieving PCD. Difficult-to-reconcile objectives, and the ...

Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) has become an EU legal obligation, after years of slow progress. PCD aims to incorporate development concerns in non-aid policies in order to minimise contradictions, and if possible, create synergies between policies. However, despite a reiterated political commitment and reinforcement of the institutional framework to follow up on PCD, scepticism prevails outside the Commission on the feasibility of achieving PCD. Difficult-to-reconcile objectives, and the differing values and institutional cultures underpinning development policy and other policies, make PCD a challenge. Particular questioning surrounds EU trade policy, where PCD-related measures in favour of developing countries look marginal in an overall EU strategy prioritising its economic and security interests. In food-security related agricultural and fisheries policies, criticism is less strong, taking into account the gradual elimination of export subsidies that have long been the focus of criticism by some NGOs, and the recent reform of fisheries agreements. In the migration and climate change policy areas, ambiguities in EU policies remain, in spite of development-friendly rhetoric. As for the security and development nexus, inter-institutional tensions add to the overall difficulties in coordinating these legally heterogeneous fields, making the achievement of PCD a minor issue compared to overall problems of coherence and coordination. The question some raise is whether this quest for PCD will not, in the end, result mostly in the instrumentalisation of development policy, which would be used to compensate for EU hard economic and security goals rather than to alter them. The European Parliament's pragmatic approach aims to strengthen PCD implementation tools, in particular by proposing an EU arbitration mechanism and a complaints system, in order to remedy possible inconsistencies between policies.

Addressing the Human Rights Impact of Statelessness in the EU’s External Action

12-11-2014

Statelessness is a significant human rights challenge: it is often a product of human rights problems, such as gender or racial discrimination, while it also has a serious and lasting impact on the enjoyment of other human rights. This study explores how the European Union can play a greater role in the fight against statelessness around the world as part of its external action on human rights issues. It demonstrates the nexus between statelessness and the EU’s current human rights priorities and ...

Statelessness is a significant human rights challenge: it is often a product of human rights problems, such as gender or racial discrimination, while it also has a serious and lasting impact on the enjoyment of other human rights. This study explores how the European Union can play a greater role in the fight against statelessness around the world as part of its external action on human rights issues. It demonstrates the nexus between statelessness and the EU’s current human rights priorities and identifies the ways in which the EU has already contributed to addressing statelessness in its external action. The study then discusses the ways in which the EU can strengthen its contribution to the fights against statelessness through multilateral action, bilateral action and improved institutional arrangements. Finally, the paper identifies a set of three thematic and five country priorities for EU engagement on statelessness, providing recommendations for action in each case.

Externe auteur

Laura VAN WAAS (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)

Regional Integration in the Mediterranean - Impact and Limits of Community and Bilateral Policies

25-04-2014

The economic integration of the south and east Mediterranean partner countries with Europe has made very little progress, just as relations between them are not showing signs of development. The immediate periphery of the Union has not yet become a dynamic area of trade with Europe, and Community aid, which is focused on the commercial aspects, has not managed to stimulate sufficient economic growth in its neighbours to absorb new entrants on to the labour market. This lack of regional economic dynamism ...

The economic integration of the south and east Mediterranean partner countries with Europe has made very little progress, just as relations between them are not showing signs of development. The immediate periphery of the Union has not yet become a dynamic area of trade with Europe, and Community aid, which is focused on the commercial aspects, has not managed to stimulate sufficient economic growth in its neighbours to absorb new entrants on to the labour market. This lack of regional economic dynamism is in contrast with the intensity of human relations which has developed over a long period due to the presence of an essentially North African and Turkish diaspora in Europe and the North-South tourist traffic to the Mediterranean, which are undervalued. While the Arab revolutions are a reminder that the movement of ideas and people goes hand in hand with a greater homogeneity of lifestyles and aspirations from a democratic and social viewpoint, little has been done in a Euro- Mediterranean context to encourage this movement, particularly from a social and political standpoint. We should therefore redirect the priorities of European aid from a commercial emphasis to a truly industrial policy and set out a politicial and social priority for the region.

Externe auteur

Cécile JOLLY (Commissariat général à la stratégie et à la prospective, sous l'Office du Premier ministre, France)

Iraq's Deadly Spiral toward a Civil War

09-10-2013

In recent months sectarian violence in Iraq has escalated worryingly. More than 6 400 people have been killed across the country this year, half of them in the last three months. The Shia-dominated central government has failed to address the grievances of the Sunni minority and has responded to public protests with a heavy hand, leading militant Sunni groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant to gain ground. The situation is compounded by the dangerous spill-over from the civil war ...

In recent months sectarian violence in Iraq has escalated worryingly. More than 6 400 people have been killed across the country this year, half of them in the last three months. The Shia-dominated central government has failed to address the grievances of the Sunni minority and has responded to public protests with a heavy hand, leading militant Sunni groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant to gain ground. The situation is compounded by the dangerous spill-over from the civil war in neighbouring Syria. Iraq matters for the entire Middle East. While the only real solutions to Iraq's problems are domestic, international actors can contribute to the process. The role of the European Union can be significant in consolidating the country's judicial and law enforcement authorities and in organising the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The Role of EU Delegations in EU Human Rights Policy

10-07-2013

The EU Delegations are playing a more important role in political analysis and policy shaping, thanks to their leadership in drafting the new Human Rights Country Strategies, are better able to carry out human rights diplomacy, thanks to their improved standing through the Lisbon Treaty changes, are strengthening the Delegations’ structures to deal with human rights in third countries, and are improving their outreach and contacts on the ground. However, there is space for improvements by making ...

The EU Delegations are playing a more important role in political analysis and policy shaping, thanks to their leadership in drafting the new Human Rights Country Strategies, are better able to carry out human rights diplomacy, thanks to their improved standing through the Lisbon Treaty changes, are strengthening the Delegations’ structures to deal with human rights in third countries, and are improving their outreach and contacts on the ground. However, there is space for improvements by making the Delegations’ performance less varied and dependent on the good will of individuals, by revising cooperation mechanisms between the diverse institutional actors involved in human rights, both in Brussels and on the ground, by integrating human rights in general EU policy, and by giving the Delegations more powers to carry out policy and diplomacy with greater autonomy.

Externe auteur

Rosa BALFOUR (European Policy Centre, Belgium)

Water scarcity in least developed countries

01-06-2012

Lack of water is expected to affect one-third of the population worldwide by 2025. Today, 1.2 billion people live in areas of scarcity, while 1.6 billion face water shortages due to economic problems. The issue is particularly worrying in least developed countries (LDCs), where water is scarce or there is little or no infrastructure to extract, distribute or conserve water.

Lack of water is expected to affect one-third of the population worldwide by 2025. Today, 1.2 billion people live in areas of scarcity, while 1.6 billion face water shortages due to economic problems. The issue is particularly worrying in least developed countries (LDCs), where water is scarce or there is little or no infrastructure to extract, distribute or conserve water.

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