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  • Author: Steven Blockmans
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Concerns about the deterioration of democracy in Turkey are not new: the trials over the 2003 „ Sledgehammer ‟ alleged coup plan (2010-12) and over the ‟ Ergenekon ‟ secret organisation (2008-13) broke the military‟s influence over politics, but were widely criticised because of their reliance on secret witnesses and disputes over evidence. Ironically, their outcome has recently been challenged by Prime Minister Erdoğan himself, who has disowned the trials now that the judiciary has the AK Party in its sights. International concern was also stirred by the violent crackdown on the countrywide protests of May/June 2013. Unrest then was triggered by the planned redevelopment of Istanbul‟s Gezi Park in May 2013, but developed into a wider movement critical of government corruption, increasing restrictions on freedom of speech and concerns about the erosion of secularism. Protests simmered on through September, winding down in autumn and winter only to reignite in March of this year.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Erwan Fouéré
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is a damning reflection of our times that one of the EU's most successful foreign policy achievements has never been under so much criticism. During the recent elections for the European Parliament, populist eurosceptic parties were in the forefront of those campaigning against the EU's enlargement agenda. Their attempts at equating further enlargement with the dangers of increased immigration from Turkey, the Western Balkans and even other EU member states were bolstered by the leaders of some long-standing member states, such as the UK, openly calling for restrictions on freedom of movement — one of the fundamental pillars of the EU.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Jacques Pelkmans, Weinian Hu
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This CEPS Policy Brief is based on a larger study for the EEAS and European Commission, written by the same authors in the run-up of the Milan ASEM summit of 16-17 October 2014. The main idea of the study is to assess whether ASEM works and how, by verifying the factual evidence in detail. After all, ASEM has no institutions, no budget and no treaty, whilst dialogues and a loose improvement over time in Asia-Europe relations refer to process much more than genuine 'results'. The stocktaking covers all ASEM activities since the 2006 Helsinki summit. Summit and foreign ministers' declarations and ASEM calendar of activities (and interviews) are used to trace ASEM activities in the three ASEM pillars (political, economic, and peoples-to-peoples/cultural). All the 'regular' ASEM meetings at ministerial and other levels (many of which are only known to relatively few) have been mapped. Also the ASEM working methods, based on the 2000AECF framework and many subsequent initiatives, have been scrutinised, including whether they are actually implemented or not or partially. Such methods refer to how to work together in areas of cooperation (beyond the typical ASEM dialogue), organisation, coordination and ASEM visibility.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Singapore
  • Author: Nargis Kassenova
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The German Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2007 inspired great hopes regarding the development of relations between the European Union and the states of Central Asia. In Brussels and other European capitals, it was expected that Germany, as an EU political and economic heavyweight and one of the key promoters of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, would be able to foster a coordinated Central Asian policy giving direction and coherence to European engagement in the region. It was widely hoped – within both the governments of Central Asia and the societies of the region – that Germany, which has traditionally been the most pro-active European country in the region, would elevate the relations between the EU and Central Asian states to a higher level.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Asia, Germany
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Fabrizio Tassinari, Marius Vahl
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The 10th anniversary of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the EU and Russia, which falls on 1 December 2007, is already prompting thoughts on whether and how to replace it. This raises basic issues about the form, purpose and content of bilateral treaties in the context of an integrating Europe. The following scenarios are discussed: Retire the PCA without replacement, Extend the status quo, Extend the status quo, adding a Political Declaration on Strategic Partnership, Replace the PCA with a short Treaty on Strategic Partnership, Replace the PCA with a comprehensive Treaty on Strategic Partnership, Negotiate a Treaty of Strategic Union.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Gergana Noutcheva
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On the day before the European Commission's decision on the fitness of Bulgaria and Romania to become EU members on 1 January 2007 (due to be delivered 16 May 2006), it is becoming increasingly evident that the EU has fallen into its own 'rhetorical trap' from which there is no easy way out. Most EU officials and politicians would agree that the governance standards in the two Balkan candidates are not up to EU level yet, but everyone knows that there is not much the EU can do about it at this point.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas, Christoph Mayer, Michael Brüggemann
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In its recent White Paper on a European Communication Policy, the European Commission has promised a “fundamentally new approach”. The policy is meant to narrow the communication gap looming between the European Union and its citizens and ultimately to map a way towards the development of a European public sphere. In contrast to the socalled 'Action Plan' for improving the Commission's own communication from July 2005, the White Paper is addressed to the EU as a whole, including other central institutions, member states, European political parties and even 'civil society'. The purpose of this Policy Brief is to critically evaluate the proposals emanating from the White Paper and to advance several suggestions aimed at helping the current initiative to have a more tangible and long-term effect than its many predecessors, authored by Messrs Tindemans, Adonnino, Oostlander, DeClerq, Pex or Pinheiro.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the spring of 2004, the European Commission approved a draft Directive on Services in the Internal Market and sent it to the Council and the European Parliament. The proposal is the cornerstone of the ailing Lisbon strategy to revive growth and jobs in the European Union: services account for 70% of GDP and employment in advanced countries, and their performance is a main determinant of overall productivity and employment growth. In the European Union, the markets for services are still organised along national lines, cross border trade remains relatively underdeveloped and competition is scarce. The productivity gap with the United States is largely explained by these obstacles.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer, Joe Kruger
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Emissions trading is a market-based mechanism designed to allow firms to choose the most cost effective strategy to meet environmental standards. The success of SO2 and NOx emissions trading systems in the United States and the launch of the ambitious European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) underscore the value of emissions trading as a tool for environmental policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe