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  • Author: Majda Halilović, Heather Huhtanen
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Domestic violence has increasingly been recognized as a societal problem and a criminal act as opposed to a private family matter. This is demonstrated by legislation that criminalizes acts of family violence and promotes gender equality and human rights. The question remains, however, whether criminal justice system professionals (police, prosecutors and judges) are applying existing legislation intended to hold perpetrators accountable, protect victims and their children and ultimately interrupt the damaging intergenerational pattern of domestic violence. This research explores the experiences of survivors of systematic domestic violence and contrasts those stories with common theories on the causes of domestic violence and criminal justice system practices in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The resulting publication reveals the extent to which systematic domestic violence is not appreciated as a serious criminal violation, and as a result, places victims, their children and the community at increased risk. Survivors Speak goes on to concretely identify evidence based risk factors within cases of domestic violence, validated through qualitative research in BiH. These risk factors can be used by criminal justice system professionals to appropriately assess and tailor the police, prosecutorial and judicial response to domestic violence, thereby enhancing victim and community safety and interrupting the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence
  • Topic: Crime, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Law Enforcement, Gender Based Violence , Memory, Violence
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Europe, Eastern Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Cécile Guy, Alizée Henry, Habib Belkouch
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This report summarizes the discussions at the seminar on the protection of personal data in relation to the security sector in Morocco, held in Rabat on 19 and 20 October 2015. It aims to assess the situation of the protection of personal data in relation to the security sector in Morocco on the one hand, and to sensitize stakeholders to the importance of protecting citizens' privacy as an issue of major security governance in connected companies on the other hand.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Governance, Privacy, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Europe, North Africa, Morocco
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: Este es el cuarto informe sobre el estado de la Unión Europea que la Fundación Alternativas y la Fundación Friedrich Ebert elaboramos conjuntamente y que hemos titulado en esta ocasión Nueva legislatura: 11 desafíos de Europa. El motivo de haber elegido este título radica en el hecho de que recientemente se han celebrado las elecciones al Parlamento Europeo, se ha elegido una nueva Comisión, y nuevos presidentes de esta última institución y del Consejo Europeo. Estamos pues ante una nueva legislatura y con ella iniciamos una nueva fase en el devenir de la Unión en un momento decisivo del proceso de construcción de nuestra querida Europa
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Mehmet Ünlü, Samuel Doveri Vesterbye, Zerrin Cengiz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Full membership to the European Union (EU) has been a major foreign policy aspiration for any government leading Turkey in the past three decades. Accordingly, Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership since 1999 and accession negotiations started in 2005. Despite this positive momentum, Turkey is pretty far from full membership perspective as of mid-2015. A decade after the start of the accession negotiations, both sides seem quite busy with their internal problems and the official negotiation process is left into limbo. Although the current political climate does not offer an optimistic look, Turkey’s full membership aspirations are still present. It is clear that Turkey’s membership is different from any previous accession especially due to the size and the demography of the country. However, it should be noted that Turkey deserves a fair treatment and evaluation from the Union if the membership criteria are fully met. Here we face the question of how to tackle socio-cultural prejudice and discrimination with regards to Turkey’s accession process.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Daniel Khachatryan
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Daniel Khachatryan is a Hrant Dink Foundation fellow at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) within the framework of the Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process Programme financed by the European Union. Khachatryan’s academic background includes studies at Yerevan State University, University of Oslo and Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. In this article, Khachatryan dwells upon the possible steps to be taken by the EU towars the South Caucasus in order to define its role in the region by focusing on the recent developments in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. Daniel Khachatryan, Avrupa Birliği tarafından finanse edilen ve Hrant Dink Vakfı’nın yürütmekte olduğu “Ermenistan-Türkiye Normalleşme Süreci Destek Programı” kapsamında bursiyer olarak TESEV’de çalışmaktadır. Erivan Devlet Üniversitesi, Oslo Üniversitesi ve Tufts Üniversitesi’nde eğitimini tamamlamış olan Khachatryan bu makalesinde Azerbaycan, Ermenistan ve Gürcistan’daki gelişmelere odaklanarak Avrupa Birliği’nin Güney Kafkasya’daki yeri ve rolünü tanımlamak için atması gereken muhtemel adımlara ve mekanizmalara değinmektedir. Makale yalnızca İngilizce olarak yayınlanmıştır.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, European Union, Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Luca Barbone, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report provides estimates of the VAT Gap for 26 EU Member States for 2013, as well as revised estimates for the period 2009-2012. It is a follow-up to the report “Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member Statess, published in September 2013 (hereafter: 2013 Report), and to the report “2012 Update Report to the Study to Quantify and Analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States” , published in October 2014 (hereafter: 2014 Report). As in previous reports, it was not possible to include estimates for Croatia and Cyprus, due to as-yet-incomplete national account statistics for the two countries. The VAT Gap is an indicator of the effectiveness of VAT enforcement and compliance measures, as it provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies as well as miscalculations. As the VAT Gap in this study is based on a top-down approach, it does not readily lend itself to be deconstructed according to industrial sectors or other criteria (territorial, professional), and can be best used as a diagnostic tool in the context of its evolution over time. As discussed in previous reports, the VAT Gap is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT actually collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), in absolute or percentage terms. The VTTL is an estimated amount of VAT that is theoretically collectable based on the VAT legislation and ancillary regulations. This report calculates, for each country the VTTL on the basis of national accounts, by mapping information on standard, reduced rates and exemptions onto data available on final and intermediate consumption, as well as gross fixed capital formation, from national accounts and use tables. Thus, the quality of the VAT Gap estimates depends on the accuracy and completeness of national accounts data and use tables. The year 2013 saw a continuing overall unfavourable economic environment, as the GDP of the European Union was nearly stagnant. This contributed to a slowdown of nominal final consumption and of other economic aggregates that form the basis of the Value Added Tax. Six countries applied changes to standard or reduced rates in 2013, marking a relatively stable policy environment. During 2013, the overall VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL) for the EU-26 Member States grew by about 1.2 percent, while collected VAT revenues rose by 1.1 percent. As a result, the overall VAT Gap in the EU-26 saw an increase in absolute values of about Euro 2.8 billion, to reach Euro 168 billion. As a percentage, the overall VAT Gap stayed constant at 15.2 percent. The median VAT Gap rose by 1.6 percentage point, to reach 13.9 percent. In 2013, Member States’ estimated VAT Gaps ranged from the low of 4 percent in Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, to the high of 41 percent in Romania. Overall, 15 Member States decreased their VAT Gap, with the largest improvements noted in Latvia, Malta and Slovakia. 11 Member States saw an increase in the VAT Gap, generally of small magnitudes, with the largest deteriorations in Estonia and Italy. This report also provides new and expanded evidence on the Policy Gap for the EU-26. The Policy Gap is an indicator of the additional VAT revenue that a Member State could theoretically collect if it applied standard rate to all consumption of goods and services supplied for consideration. We provide here estimates of the Policy Gap adjusted to take into account items that could not easily be taxed even in an “ideal” system (imputed rents, public goods, financial services). The results moderate views of the relative importance of reduced rates and exemptions in reducing the revenue potential of VAT, and suggest that better enforcement remains a key component of any strategy of improvement of the VAT system. The results of this report and the underlying data were presented to Member States in advance of publication and discussed on several occasions with the representatives of Member States. Deviating approaches and views of Member States are noted in the relevant country section in Chapter 3. The authors are grateful for the constructive cooperation and helpful input of Member States.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Monika Blaszkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The design of the euro area Quantitative Easing (QE) programme raises the question of whether insufficient liquidity in the bond markets will reduce the impact of the programme and lead to market volatility. While estimates suggests that scarcity of around €102 billion may arise over the life of the programme, to date the QE programme has met its monthly targets and bond market volatility has been managed. Questions also arise in respect of the fact that risk is not fully shared on up to €738.4 billion to be purchased over the life of the programme. Partial risk sharing raises the spectre of defaulting central banks exiting the euro system, and existing members being unwilling to bear associated costs, and thus the future of the euro area. However, estimations suggest that, at present, all national central banks should be able to bare losses stemming from sovereign debt purchases under the current round of QE. This report was prepared within a research project entitled Sovereign bond purchases and risk sharing arrangements: Implications for euro-area monetary policy, which received funding from the European Parliament.
  • Topic: Finance, Economic growth, Banks, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This paper discusses why Greece has done so poorly in comparison with all other European Union countries since the onslaught of the global financial crisis in 2008. To show what was wrong with its fiscal adjustment, this paper compares Greece with the other European Union country that was hit be the most severe fiscal crisis, namely Latvia. The conclusion is that front-loaded fiscal adjustment works much better. Greek economic policy has been a popular topic among opinion writers, notably Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who claimed that Greece suffered from austerity. Because of his prominence in the international public debate, I shall scrutinize his arguments on the Greek crisis. The paper also examines what policy the International Monetary Fund has pursued with regard to Greece, and how its views have been influenced by the debate and Greek economic developments. Finally, the paper assesses what lessons can be drawn from the contrasting experiences of Latvia and Greece. The conclusion is that a fiscal adjustment should be sufficient to resolve the crisis to restore confidence and that it should be as front-loaded as is practically and politically possible.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis, Finance, Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Greece, Latvia
  • Author: Andres Võrk, Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska, Elena Jarocinska, Niku Määttänen, Robert Gál, Theo Nijman
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Life expectancies are rapidly increasing and uncertain in all countries in Europe. To keep pension systems affordable, policy reforms are to be implemented which will encourage individuals to work longer. In this paper we analyze the impact of working and living longer on pension incomes in five European countries and assess the impact of these policy reforms on the financial well-being of the elderly. The paper shows the diversity of the policy measures taken in these countries. Furthermore, we analyze the financial incentives for working longer and postponing claiming pension benefits and we assess the attractiveness of these options. Lastly, we study how increases in life expectancies and survival probabilities affect pension incomes.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Innovation, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Netherlands, European Union
  • Author: Gabor Hunya, Lidis Garbovan, Magdolna Sass, Oliver Kovacs
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The report focuses on the potential of the development of small and mid-size businesses in Moldova. It provides an economic overview of the country, and then analyzes various best practices and lessons learned from the development of SMEs in the Visegrad countries, especially Hungary. The report provides a description of economic developments, main trade figures, relevant labor developments, migration and the role of remittances and defines the bottlenecks for SME development in the country. The authors built their analysis on available literature and statistics as well as their own survey and interview series. The study highlights six case studies relevant for SME development selected for deeper investigation such as simplified tax schemes, online tax reporting, entrepreneurship education, agriculture and producers’ organizations, the wine industry and issues of measurement of the SME sector. Finally the report draws up potential intervention schemes for Moldovan stakeholders and provides further recommendations for longer term initiatives and actions taken for the support of economic and SME development.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Business , Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, Moldova, Eastern Europe, Georgia