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  • Author: Steven Blockmans, Luigi Scazzieri
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On January 20th, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran had been implementing its commitments as part of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) agreed by the E3+3 in Geneva on November 24th of last year. In particular, the Agency confirmed that Iran had not installed new centrifuges, that it had stopped enriching uranium above 5%, that it had disabled connections between cascades being used to enrich up to 20%, and that it had begun the process of diluting half of its stockpile of 20%, while the other half is to be converted to oxide over the next six months. Over the next six months, the IAEA will continue to monitor Iranian enrichment, and activities at Arak, Fordow and Natanz. Immediately following the IAEA announcement, the US and EU suspended some of the sanctions currently imposed on Iran. Sanctions relief, quantified at $7 billion, comprises both the suspension of some sanctions and the repatriation of $4.2 billion of oil revenues in tranches.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Lukas Obholzer
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The code of conduct that was agreed by a cross-party working group of the European Parliament (EP), the EP Bureau and Conference of Presidents, is a watered-down compromise that lacks provision for the introduction of the 'legislative footprint' that the plenary requested the Bureau to set up. The legislative footprint is a document that would detail the time, person and subject of a legislator's contact with a stakeholder. Published as an annex to legislative reports, it would provide insight into who gave input into draft legislation. Unfortunately, the Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) Committee with Carlo Casini (EPP) as Chair and Rapporteur has so far failed to improve the draft in this respect. Against a backdrop of past scandals and recent criticism of early agreements negotiated in trilogues behind closed doors, the EP is about to miss an opportunity to show that it has learnt its lesson, and that it takes seriously its role as guarantor of legitimacy in EU decision-making. Transparency means proactive action: by adding a provision for a legislative footprint that identifies the interest representatives with whom key actors met and from whom they received advice, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have a chance to turn the EP into a role model for parliamentary transparency in a pluralistic democracy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Organization, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The idea of an official organisation of democratic states wishing to promote democracy worldwide has surfaced periodically in recent years. In 2000 the Community of Democracies was inaugurated and survives as a body committed to supporting democratic change (and we comment on this little-noticed initiative further below). Now the notion is gaining further currency. US Presidential candidate John McCain has advocated a League of Democracies. And analyst Robert Kagan, an advisor to McCain, has recently made a contribution on the subject in the Financial Times. It is quite possible that the European Union will need to adopt a position on this proposal.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Sebastian Kurpas
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Irish no-vote on the Treaty of Lisbon, numerous scenarios are currently being debated. This paper critically assesses the legality and political feasibility of the principal proposals and then puts forward an alternative 'Plan B', which we believe would amply satisfy both criteria.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: John Temple Lang, Eamonn Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon in June 2008, Irish voters who voted against the Treaty gave several specific reasons as well as a variety of vague or general reasons that were unrelated to anything that was in the Treaty. These vague or general reasons are important because they probably were also significant influences in the “no” votes in France and the Netherlands. Moreover, they may be shared by a substantial but unknown number of people in other EU member states who did not get an opportunity to vote in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty or the Treaty for a Constitution. There were positive referendum results in Luxembourg and Spain. Other countries promised referenda, but did not hold them.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Netherlands, Ireland
  • Author: Amitai Etzioni
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The main challenge currently facing the EU is a community deficit: the low valuation the majority of its citizens accord the evolving collectivity. The EU is challenged by the mismatch between its increasing supranational decision making and the strong loyalties of its citizens to their respective nation states. To deal with this community deficit, the EU must either introduce strong measures of community building or else significantly scale back its plans for action in unison.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John O'Brennan
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the electorate on 12 June 2008 has presented the Irish government with the most serious crisis in external relations since the Second World War. This was the third such referendum on Europe held in Ireland since the millennium and the second plebiscite in three to result in a rejection of an EU Treaty following the failed Nice poll in 2001. There is no obvious solution to the dilemma the government faces and no obvious pathway to achieve ratification. There is however a clear consensus amongst the political parties that ratification constitutes both a clear political priority and a fundamental national interest. At the October European Council summit in Brussels, Taoiseach Brian Cowen promised to come back to the December meeting “with a view to our defining together the elements of a solution and a common path to follow”. But the external context is now clear – EU leaders indicated an unwillingness to re-negotiate any part of the Treaty: it will be up to Ireland to find an Irish solution to this European problem. Thus the opportunity cost of the No vote has become somewhat clearer: Ireland faces marginalisation and isolation in Europe if a solution to the Lisbon dilemma is not found. The domestic context is also somewhat clearer now that we have access to extensive data that sheds light on the reasons for the No vote in the 12 June poll. In assessing the options for ratification this paper draws upon that data, presented in among other sources, the post-referendum Eurobarometer survey and the government-commissioned Millward Brown IMS research findings.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon, Ireland
  • Author: Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, Sara Hagemann
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In its Communication on Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006-2007, released 8 November 2006, the European Commission concluded: “Overall, the fifth enlargement has been a considerable success” and “(t)he EU's institutions have continued to function effectively” (p. 4). In his speaking points to the press, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn (2006) stressed two important criteria for evaluating the integration process: With respect to institutional matters, the EU's decision-making processes must remain effective and accountable, for the sake of current member states as well as in view of further enlargement. With respect to policy-making, the EU needs to be in a position, as it enlarges, to continue developing and implementing common policies in all areas. Accordingly, assessment of the impact of enlargement on EU policies is planned to take place at all key stages of the enlargement process.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It so happens that the epicentre of the EU's referenda earthquake – by way of its external impact – has now been located exactly in the middle of the Black Sea. Paradoxically, this comes at the same time that the region has begun to show signs of possibly getting a grip on itself.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Author: Richard E. Baldwin
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The failure to reach a budget deal at the June summit may prove a blessing in disguise. The spectacular failure of the European Council to agree the last-minute compromise on the 2007-2013 Financial Perspective generated massively negative media coverage. In the short run, it will create huge difficulties for the EU, but things might have been even worse had they agreed.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The pressure is on for the defenders of the European Constitution. Although initially it seemed as if referenda would only be problematic in countries that have a reputation for a certain degree of Euroscepticism, now even France and the Netherlands look like unsafe candidates for public approval. While there is still a fair chance that a majority of the French will vote 'yes' when actually at the ballot box, there is an understandable nervousness among prointegrationists. A French 'no' would be the most serious obstacle that any one member state among those holding a referendum could create. In the likely case that other member states besides France then reject the text – possibly for entirely different or even opposing reasons – it would become extremely difficult to 'save' the Constitution in its entirety.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Wider Europe has become a prominent feature in European foreign policy discourse. The EU's first policy documents on this subject, however, have been thin in substance, mainly seeking to develop more active bilateral relations with countries such as Ukraine and Moldova. At the same time, however, the EU is discussing bilaterally just with Russia a set of common European policy spaces that should be at the heart of a Wider Europe policy. This paper argues that the EU should adopt a systematic approach to defining a complete set of seven common European policy spaces, with multilateral institutional developments to match, thus bringing together the bilateral and multilateral approaches. The overarching institutional mechanism should be through transforming the present very weak 'European Conference' into a seriously structured 'Pan-European Conference', led by a Coordinating Group consisting of the EU, Russia and a few other rotating places for non-EU states, with institutionalised linkages to the Council of Europe and other European multilateral organisations for the specific common policy spaces.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo, Arman Khachaturyan
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief criticis es the European Commission's proposal to mandate compliance with a local corporate governance code and to set minimum criteria for these codes. It argues that the European Commission missed an opportunity to set a European corporate governance code in the mid -1990s, and that much of the proposals are simply reactive to events and new legislation in the US. Europe should have highlighted the strength of its diversity, and emphasised that the basic elements of corporate governance are better controlled in the EU than t hey are in the US, rather than embarking on a complex harmonisation exercise.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Baldwin, Mika Widgren
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The EU's draft Constitutional Treaty proposes the most radical reform of EU institutions ever put forward - more radical than those in the Single European Act, the Maastricht and Nice Treaties combined. Many of the changes have been debated, but little notice has been paid to what is perhaps the most critical reform: the change in the EU's decision-making procedures.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas L. Brewer
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper is based on an analysis of the results of more than 40 public opinion surveys taken during the period from 1989 through 2002; special attention is given to surveys taken during 2000-02. The analysis concludes that approximately two-fifths of the public are seriously concerned about global warming. Another two-fifths are moderately concerned; shifts in the opinions of this moderately concerned group would likely alter the future course of government policies. The other one-fifth of the public does not consider global warming much of a problem, does not worry about it very much or not at all, and does not believe that carbon dioxide emissions are a cause of it. A substantial majority of the US public wants the government to do something about the problem of global warming, and they would like the US to participate in the Kyoto Protocol. Most respondents prefer mandatory rather than voluntary emission reductions by industry. A majority of the public supports US economic assistance to fund mitigation projects in developing countries. Gaps between the US public and US leaders are evident, with the public exhibiting more concern and more support for new policies. The level of US public concern is nearly as high as it is among European publics, where there is also opposition to current US policy.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marc Houben, Dirk Peters
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Multinational military formations exist in many forms, shapes and colours. Their size varies; their raison d'être varies; the type of military units involved varies; and the countries involved vary. In most cases governments take into consideration the economic, militarytechnical and operational arguments for participation in a multinational formation. They participate because it will save them money for example, or it enables them to maintain a critical capability, such as F-16 fighter planes. States thus usually take care to shape the units in a way that contributions complement each in technical terms and that the whole unit pays off in economic terms. Not often, however, is the compatibility of the political systems of the participating countries taken into account when a multinational unit is formed. Our contention is that more attention should be paid to the political/institutional compatibility of participating states when creating multinational units. Some political systems are more compatible than others and this fact has consequences for the effectiveness of jointly owned multinational units.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Three years ago, after the Kosovo war and the launch of the Stability Pact for South East Europe, there was a spasm of interest in the idea of a stability pact for the Caucasus. However nothing came of this, since neither the region's leaders nor the international community were willing or able to do anything of substance, although a comprehensive proposal had been published by CEPS as a 'track 2' initiative. As a result, the de facto secessions of Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabakh have become more deeply entrenched, but only with the protection of Russia and Armenia, respectively, with which these entities have become increasingly integrated de facto. Since conventional diplomacy in the Caucasus under UN or OSCE auspices has failed to deliver solutions over a whole decade, we take a wider look here at the kind of solutions that may emerge for these so-called frozen conflicts of the European periphery. New developments external to the region are coming from the EU and the US: the widening of the Europeanisation process on the one hand, and the 'democratic imperialism' or Pax Americana coming out of Washington since 11 September 2001 and now the Iraq war. We explore below how these developments may affect the prospects for the Caucasus.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Eric Philippart
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Policy development in the EU is often impeded by member states being either unwilling or unable to participate. One way to overcome that problem is to resort to flexible approaches accommodating diversity. Convinced that an enlarged Union would require more flexibility, the current member states agreed in 1997 to introduce a new safety valve in the treaties, named 'enhanced cooperation'. Thanks to that mechanism, a group of member states may be authorised to use the EU framework to further their cooperation or integration in policy areas under EU competence whenever it appears impossible to do so with all of the member states.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is widely accepted that enlargement requires reform of the highest decision-making bodies of the European Central Bank (ECB). In particular, there are concerns that the Governing Council, which is composed of the six-member Executive Board of the ECB plus the governors of the participating national central banks (NCBs), will grow too large to work efficiently. In the absence of reform, it could end up having over 30 members - resembling more a mini-parliament than a decision-making body that has to manage a global currency in fast-moving financial markets. Moreover, the accession of a number of small countries is often perceived as a threat to the "power balance" in the Governing Council.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gráinne De Búrca, Jonathan Zeitlin
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Within the Convention process, the final reports of no less than four separate working groups - those on Simplification, Complementary Competences, Economic Governance and Social Europe - have come out in favour of including the 'Open Method of Coordination' (OMC) within the Constitutional Treaty. The relevant sections of these reports are attached in an annex.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe