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  • Author: Piotr Plewa
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the course of the last 50 years, migration to the United States has transformed from European to Latin American, and predominantly Mexican. Increased legal migration from Latin America has been coupled with increased unauthorised entries from the region. The major challenges facing U.S. policymakers concern their ability to prevent unauthorised entries and the repatriation or integration of those already in the country. With decreased legal and unauthorised immigration rates, Poland has lost the potential to affect U.S. migration policymaking. Hence, it is worthwhile to assess whether the limited benefits stemming from visa-free travel to the U.S. would justify the increase in invested political capital required to secure one of Poland’s traditional foreign policy goals.
  • Author: Dylan O'Driscoll
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Recently, Turkey and the U.S. signed an agreement for Turkey to join the coalition’s fight against the Islamic State (IS, a.k.a. ISIS/ISIL). As part of this agreement an IS-free zone will be created in Syria, but it is not clear yet whether this will encroach on the territory of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main Kurdish armed group operating in Syria. The YPG has been one of the most successful forces on the ground in the fight against IS and despite the changing dynamics it still remains important. However, Turkey’s entry into the battle will lead to every aspect of the YPG being reassessed, as Turkey deems it to be a terrorist organisation. Nonetheless, the YPG still has a significant role to play and abandoning it now could lead to the situation in Syria becoming even more complex.
  • Author: Marcin Terlikowski, Pernille Rieker
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Recently, Turkey and the U.S. signed an agreement for Turkey to join the coalition’s fight against the Islamic State (IS, a.k.a. ISIS/ISIL). As part of this agreement an IS-free zone will be created in Syria, but it is not clear yet whether this will encroach on the territory of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main Kurdish armed group operating in Syria. The YPG has been one of the most successful forces on the ground in the fight against IS and despite the changing dynamics it still remains important. However, Turkey’s entry into the battle will lead to every aspect of the YPG being reassessed, as Turkey deems it to be a terrorist organisation. Nonetheless, the YPG still has a significant role to play and abandoning it now could lead to the situation in Syria becoming even more complex.
  • Author: Pinar Elman
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Turkey’s decision to open Incirlik airbase to the anti-IS coalition could offer a significant advantage in the fight against the Islamic State, including cutting it off from outside supplies, and changing the regional parameters. However, statements from the U.S. and Turkey still contradict each other, and their divergent priorities could hamper their operational capacity. Turkey’s contribution to the coalition may potentially reduce cooperation between the U.S. and the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the anti-IS zone. In addition, the absence of a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the domestic polarisation provide a permissible environment for potential provocations that may escalate the violence in Turkey, potentially diminishing its contribution. The U.S. and Turkey still have to overcome their differences in order to become effective coalition partners
  • Author: Konrad Zasztowt
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although it happens rarely, national governments, including those of EU countries, do sometimes hire foreign experts. In Ukraine, employing Georgians from former president Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration seems to be a logical move. His presidency’s biggest successes were the establishment of well-functioning police and an efficient fight against corruption, something both of which Ukraine badly needs. Other foreigners, including renowned experts such as Ukrainian American Natalie Jaresko and Lithuanian Aivaras Abromavičius, responsible for economic recovery, may be successful but face extremely difficult tasks. As all these figures are affiliated with the West in one way or another, their failure would be interpreted by pro-Kremlin media as a collapse of President Petro Poroshenko’s policies (perceived by Russia as a Western project).
  • Topic: Corruption, Politics, Governance, Self Determination, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Susanne Droge, Thomas Spencer, Alexandra Deprez, Liz Gallagher, Artur Gradziuk, Andrei Marcu, Sebastian Oberthur
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Prior to the Paris Climate Conference each country is to submit an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) – a vision of the country’s efforts to tackle climate change. The EU’s submission is very clear in its goal to reduce greenhouse gases emissions by 40% by 2030, but it leaves room for defining precisely how the Union plans to achieve this target. The European INDC also lacks specifics on the adaptation and climate finance, thus putting at risk the EU’s ability to build a more ambitious coalition in support of the Paris Agreement. Also important for the Union is to hammer out plans for adjusting its domestic policy processes to regular five-year review cycles.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Treaties and Agreements, Budget, European Union
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Victoria Bucătaru
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Leading up to the formation of Moldova’s third government since elections a year ago, Chisinau faces not only political and macro-financial instability, but also suffers from a severe trust deficit in relations with external partners, some of which have suspended aid flows this year. If Moldova was once the most advanced Eastern Partnership state in terms of aid coordination, government ownership of the process has significantly weakened as a result of the protracted political crisis. Although donors continue to cooperate among themselves via well-established channels, participation by state institutions is currently limited. Once the political setting is stabilised, the government will need to go to great lengths to regain the trust of its external partners and re-establish donor coordination. This is fundamental if Moldova is to make the best use of assistance in order to recover its finances quickly.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Governance, Elections
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For the first time since the outbreak of the war in Donbass, the situation on the frontline is nearly a proper cease-fire. This is the outcome of the interplay of three factors: the political-military balance in Donbass, sanctions and Russia’s military intervention in Syria. Nevertheless, it is premature to assume that military options in Donbass are no longer in the cards. Russia is likely to use force if needed to repel a Ukrainian attempt to retake parts of the area, to obstruct the Minsk process if it goes in a disadvantageous direction for Moscow, or to seize more territory if there is further political and social turmoil in Ukraine. To minimize the risks of an eruption of violence in Donbass, the EU and U.S. should prolong the sanctions, fine-tune the diplomatic pressure on both sides to implement and uphold the Minsk Protocols, and pay more attention to the political and economic transformations in the rest of Ukraine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Politics, Military Strategy, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Anita Sobjak
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine has seen an unprecedented boom in external assistance in support of reforms, which needs to be synchronised appropriately in order to be effective. Although most of the structures and mechanisms for aid coordination have been conceived, they still need to be set in motion, and this requires time. For the system to be functional, the donors should improve coordination at a planning stage (especially those large donors with strict development agendas), while the Ukrainian government has to enhance its capacities for implementation of the reform as a matter of urgency. The present set of 18 reform priorities also needs to be narrowed down further, to focus on the most urgent needs.
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During his first visit to Warsaw after re-election as prime minister of the UK, David Cameron found an ally in support of one of his ideas to reform the EU. Rafał Trzaskowski, the Polish minister for Europe, speaking on behalf of the Polish government, officially endorsed the British position to strengthen national parliaments in EU policymaking. Yet, the proposals to date either require treaty changes or are merely technical adjustments. In fact, much more could be achieved by enhancing the mechanisms of inter-parliamentary cooperation within the existing scope of the treaties. Although this would play very well with the current institutional climate of better regulation and more transparency, it also requires a genuine political will on the side of EU institutions and Member States, which seem to be the missing link.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, European Union
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe