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  • Author: Helen McEntee
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On December 5, 2019, Georgetown University welcomed Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee, to the conference “Bridging the Atlantic: Ireland’s Role in EU-US Relations after Brexit.” Following the event, GJIA and The Europe Desk sat down with Minister McEntee to discuss the Good Friday Agreement, Brexit, and transatlantic relations. The Europe Desk is a podcast launched by the BMW Center for German and European Studies where leading experts discuss the most pertinent issues facing Europe and transatlantic cooperation today.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Negotiation, Interview
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland
  • Author: Ieva Gajauskaite
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Warsaw East European Review (WEER)
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Lithuania is a small state by objective features (population, territory, GDP) and subjective ones (geopolitical position, resilience from external security threats, national identity). The goal of this research is to define the main roles of Lithuania, which are relevant to the Lithuanian foreign policy decision-making process nowadays. Those roles are the structure for Lithuania’s new President Gitanas Nausėda. While during his presidency he will have the possibility to modify them, for now for the roles formed and enacted over the last ten years serve as the limits of the change of the policy in the Euro-Atlantic area. The main assumption regarding the roles of Lithuania in the Euro-Atlantic area is that policymakers emphasize the smallness of the state. Accordingly, being a small state is translated to a set of expected and appropriate behavior. Therefore, the classical definition of smallness suggests that Lithuania’s roles should include the strategies of hiding and appeal to democratic values. In order to deny or confirm the assumptions, the research includes the definition of small states, an analysis of small state foreign policy strategies, the main thesis of the Role theory, the theoretical basis of subjective smallness concept, and discussion of Lithuania’s roles in the Euro-Atlantic area, using an interpretive methodology of Social constructivism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Small states, Constructivism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lithuania, Baltic States
  • Author: Adrian Popa, Cristian Barna
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Warsaw East European Review (WEER)
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Russia’s recent buildup of A2/AD (anti-access/area denial) forces in Crimea and Kaliningrad, coupled with its increasingly confronting rhetoric in the Black and Baltic Seas, pose a serious challenge for the NATO’s Eastern flank countries. While the mare sui generis status of the Black Sea might be altered under the expected inauguration of Canal Istanbul in 2023 as it would probably require the revision of the Montreux Convention, the mare liberum status of the Baltic Sea might also be questioned as Russia contests NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in this region. Facing this challenging geostrategic context, Pilsudski’s ideas of Intermarium seem to have revived within the Central and Eastern European countries under modern interfaces such as the Bucharest Nine and the Three Seas Initiative. This paper proposes a comparative analysis between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea in terms of their newly-emerged geostrategic context, discusses the feasibility of the recent endeavours to promote cooperation within the Central and Eastern European countries and not ultimately, highlights the utility of a regional military alliance in support of NATO.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Security, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Crimea, Baltic Sea, Baltic States
  • Author: Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China hits back after NATO calls it a security challenge, dormant Chinese hacking group resumes attacks, and more.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, North Atlantic, Beijing, Asia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Dean Vuletic
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After winning the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) with her song “Toy” (inspired by the #MeToo movement), Netta Barzilai issued the declaration, “Next year in Jerusalem!” By using the traditional Jewish phrase, she was suggesting that the 2019 ESC would be held in that city.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Culture, Music
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Myroslava Lendel
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: Since 2009, the main mechanism of Eurointegration in Ukraine, in addition to the bilateral diplomatic efforts and internally driven pro-European reforms, has been the Eastern Partnership (EaP), a multilateral project has that brought Kyiv both new opportunities and additional challenges and uncertainty. Although the positives outcomes have generally been welcomed, these have not detracted from the commonly held view among experts that despite good outcomes in stimulating economic reform, support for the new government and citizen institutions, and a tangible contribution to stability on the EU borders, the current strategy alone will not secure the stable development of the democracy and market economy in Eastern Europe generally, and Ukraine in particular. The commitment of these countries to general European principles has to be supported by the prospect of EU membership and that means revisiting the current format and especially the philosophy behind the Eastern Partnership. One possible scenario could be the formation of EaP+3 within the European Partnership, which would bring together Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova – the countries with Association Agreements with the EU – and a commitment to EU membership.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia
  • Author: Slawomir Matuszak
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The paper analyzes the first years of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, focusing on the economic part: the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement (DCFTA). It describes the causes and results of changes in the flow of goods, and the implications of these for Ukraine’s policy. The DCFTA was one of the key tools that allowed Ukraine to survive the difficult period of economic crisis. The aim of this article is to show to what extent, starting from 2015, Ukraine has begun to integrate with the EU market and at the same time become increasingly independent of the Russian market and more broadly the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. It can be assumed that this process will only accelerate. It is just the first stage on the pathway followed by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s. To achieve full integration requires an increase in investment cooperation, currently at a fairly low level.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Dario Cristiani
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In March 2019, Italy and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed a broad and comprehensive, albeit not legally binding, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Italy to join the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This has triggered a significant debate—in Brussels as well as in Washington—about whether this decision signalled an Italian shift away from its historical pro-European and pro-Atlantic position, to a more nuanced position open to deepening strategic ties with China. The MoU is not definite proof of such a shift, and the Italian government has denied any strategic change. However, Italy is the first major European country, and the first Group of Seven (G7) member, to formalize its participation with the BRI project. As such, this development is particularly remarkable.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Italy
  • Author: Victor Esin
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The stabilizing role of the INF Treaty is still relevant. Its importance has even increased against the background of the sharp deterioration of relations between Russia and the West in recent years due to the well-known events in Ukraine, aggravated by mutual sanctions and NATO’s military build-up near Russian borders. Preserving the INF Treaty, which has now become the subject of controversy and mutual non-compliance accusations between Russia and the United States, is therefore doubly important.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Inès Abdel Razek, Claudia Del Prado Sartorius
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: It is a busy diplomatic period among the Heads of State and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union and the Mediterranean countries. On the 24 and 25 February 2019, the EU and the League of Arab States (LAS) are set to hold their very first Euro-Arab Summit at the level of heads of state. The two regional blocks are meant to focus on “stability” and “migration”, going back to prioritising the security and stability agenda over the promotion of democracy and human rights. The aim is also to forge a new European-African Alliance, where Arab countries must play a necessary bridging role. This goal already questions whether the centre of gravity of EU-Arab cooperation is moving away from the Mediterranean to Africa. A few months back, the Conference of Mediterranean Ministers of Foreign Affairs – that includes all EU countries and 10 Arab countries – marking the tenth anniversary of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), was held on the 8th of October 2018. However, it passed almost unnoticed on mainstream media. The event could be considered as an achievement in itself given that it gathered the 43 UfM countries, with their divergent and sometimes antagonistic geopolitical agendas – including Israel, Turkey, alongside the European and Arab countries – and allowed to reaffirm a rhetorical commitment to this regional partnership that focuses more on the socioeconomic issues. The Conference did not manage to produce a formal conclusive document, but just a mere declaration signed by the co-presidents1 . The UfM Conference was followed more recently by the Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the 5+5 dialogue (Western Mediterranean Forum2 ) on 18 and 19 January 2019, where parties adopted a declaration focused on reinforcing western Mediterranean ties focusing on “sustainable development, youth, migration and mobility”3 . The more “Mediterranean” format of this dialogue only composed of riparian states in the western part of the Mediterranean is attractive to its member countries as more manageable than the UfM, composed of 43 countries, including countries that are remote from the Mediterranean itself. 1 https://ufmsecretariat.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Conclusions-of-the-Co-Presidency.pdf 2 Malta, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania, 3 http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-01-18/local-news/5-5-Western-MediterraneanDialogue-Foreign-Ministers-meeting-held-in-Malta-6736202278 Memorandum Opex Nº 239/2019. The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) ten years after its foundation - How to overcome the frustrated ambitions 2 In that regard, France is pushing for its initiative of the “Summit of the two shores”, announced by President Macron, that will take place on the 24th of June 2019 in Marseille. It aims to revive the 5+5 Dialogue format, with 10 of the 43 countries of the UfM, while making it more inclusive and less government-driven, including civil society and all actors of the “voices of the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue”. It proposes a new “Mediterranean policy”, hinting on the existing failures of the UfM formula4 . In this paper, the authors zoom in the UfM, today considered, within the Mediterranean countries political and diplomatic circles, as a positive forum for formal political dialogue among its 43 member-states. However, throughout the past ten years, none have passed without analysts or politicians asking for revitalisation and necessary changes in the partnership, which lacks depth and vision. If you address the 43 capitals of the UfM, you are likely to find at least 20 different interpretations of the value and meaning of this somehow forgotten partnership. The EU, on a discursive level, presents the UfM as a model for regional integration complementing its Neighbourhood policy. Southern Mediterranean countries, on their end, continue to maintain low profiles, showing their moderate interest in an organisation which has failed to become a partnership based on equal footing – one country, one vote- that would increase regional economic integration with the EU. Critical security and geopolitical issues are put on the discussion table outside the UfM’s realm, through the League of Arab States or 5+5 Dialogue. The partnership’s lack of coherence and articulation with the other forums and partnerships (Neighbourhood Policy, 5+5, EU-Arab League) contributes to its weakening. At a time when multilateralism is vilified all around the world, when the EU is internally divided and marked by the rise of nationalist populist forces and securitydriven agendas; at a time when the Arab world, all the more divided, stands far from the short-lived optimism brought by the Arab Springs, is the Mediterranean agenda going to be central to its member states’ international cooperation? Will the UfM hold a central place in the Mediterranean agenda and more broadly EU-Arab relations, or just be one of many actors? Despite all its shortfalls, the authors believe in the added value of the UfM forum to advance people-centred socioeconomic models. We argue for reinforcing its 4 Foreign Policy Speech at the « conférence des Ambassadeurs » http://www.elysee.fr/declarations/article/discoursdu-president-de-la-republique-a-la-conference-des-ambassadeurs/ Memorandum Opex Nº 239/2019. The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) ten years after its foundation - How to overcome the frustrated ambitions 3 existing institutions in order for all Mediterranean countries to advance a progressive socio-economic agenda, whether in the North or the South.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Migration, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Europe, Mediterranean, Southern Europe