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  • 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
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: There is an urgent need to link the excessive deficit procedure with the issue of sustainability and hence the evolution of public debt. This note shows that there exists a simple way to introduce the evolution of public debt in the Stability Pact, which so far has focused exclusively on deficits. The link starts from the Maastricht criterion for participation in EMU concerning public debt and its reference value of 60% of GDP. The Maastricht criterion on public debt stipulates that if public debt exceeds 60% of GDP, it must be 'sufficiently diminishing and approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace''.This note provides a numerical rule for evaluating whether public debt is indeed diminishing 'at a satisfactory pace'. This numerical rule is in accordance with the reference values in the Treaty and could be used as the basis for an 'excessive debt procedure'.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul C. Light
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Public confidence is essential to America's 1.5 million charitable organizations and the 11 million Americans they employ. Confidence clearly affects the public's willingness to donate time and money, shapes the political and regulatory environment that governs charitable organizations, and has at least some influence on morale within the charitable workforce.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Lex Rieffel
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Peace Corps is one of the smallest instruments in the foreign policy toolkit of the United States. It is a “boutique” agency with a superb reputation. The Bush administration has proposed doubling the number of Peace Corps volunteers working in developing countries to 14,000 by 2007, still below the 1966 peak of over 15,000 volunteers.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Agriculture, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States