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  • Author: Marta Abrantes Mendes
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Based on interviews with key Yemeni civil society organizations, the report finds that much more is needed to support a Yemeni-led vision of justice and accountability. After registering a diversity of views amongst Yemeni civil society—from a need to address the economic and social costs of the conflict to the role of civil society in any future transitional justice processes—this report also highlights the obstacles facing Yemeni civil society. Additionally, the report proposes more tactics and strategies for supporting Yemeni civil society and victims’ groups, and to ensure they have an influence over the contours of an eventual peace.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Peacekeeping, Transitional Justice, Accountability, Justice
  • Political Geography: Yemen
  • Author: Christine Hübner, Jan Eichhorn, Luuk Molthof, Srđan Cvijić
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: France is one of the European countries with the highest rates of popular disapproval of countries in the Western Balkans joining the European Union. What is this disapproval based on, and how important is the issue of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans for people in France? Using a combination of 2020 survey data representative of the adult French population and in-depth focus groups with French voters, this report offers a comprehensive insight into the views of the French on whether or not the countries of the Western Balkans should join the European Union.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 12-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: As part of its proposal for an EU Migration and Asylum Pact, the European Commission has pledged to present proposals on legal migration in 2021 to better match labour demand and supply, enable better, faster access to visas and work permits, and increase the intra-EU mobility of foreign workers. This report analyses the actions taken by three EU member states: Germany, Italy, and Spain. These countries have created or expanded labour migration pathways, regularised part of the undocumented population, and increased protections for some categories of migrants. The report examines how effective these different approaches have been and if there are lessons to be learned at the EU level.
  • Topic: Migration, Labor Issues, Work Culture, Migrant Workers
  • Political Geography: Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Jan Eichhorn, Luuk Molthof, Sascha Nicke
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: This report charts attitudes on the existence, causes, and impact of climate change in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also examines public attitudes to a series of policies that the EU and national governments could harness to reduce the damage inflicted by human-made emissions. Although a clear majority of European and United States respondents are aware that the climate is warming, and that it is likely to have negative impacts for humankind, this report finds there is confusion about the scientific consensus on climate change. This, the report argues, has created a gap between public awareness and climate science, leaving the public underestimating the urgency of the crisis, and failing to appreciate the scale of the action required.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Science and Technology, Fossil Fuels, Carbon Emissions, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: In recent years, several studies have reported on the exploitation endured by migrant workers in Southern European Union member states—especially in sectors such as agriculture and food production. However, there has been much less focus on the North. New research now shows that agri-food workers in Northern Europe also face poor and even abusive conditions. In this light, Are Agri-Food Workers Only Exploited in Southern Europe? focuses on production in Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden. These three EU member states have stronger social protections than Italy, Spain or Greece—yet the dynamics driving wage compression and the violation of workers’ rights are like those in Southern Europe. This publication provides recommendations on how the EU and national governments can act to make Europe’s agri-food system more sustainable, benefiting farmers, consumers, workers, and the environment.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Human Rights, Labor Issues, Sustainability, Farming, Exploitation, Consumerism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe
  • Author: Giorgia Ceccarelli, Daniele Fattibene
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Eradicating the exploitation of agri-food workers, promoting fairer food supply chains, and offering consumers effective tools to make truly informed food choices remain huge challenges in Europe. This report highlights the limitations of relying solely on food labelling schemes to meet these goals, and finds that voluntary certification schemes do not adequately enforce regulations or protect human rights. The report also argues, however, that the EU can use a number of tools to foster more just food supply chains, with ethical labels playing a role in that process as part of a “smart mix” of measures. The case studies in this report show that it is possible to have increased transparency in food labelling and supply chains, as well as better protections of workers in Europe and throughout the world. Additionally, the report explains how the EU can play an important role in providing food businesses with clear regulatory frameworks to ensure their operations do not harm workers or the environment.
  • Topic: Environment, Health, Human Rights, Labor Issues, Food, Regulation, Business
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: In January 2019, Macedonia’s parliament approved, by a two-thirds majority, a constitutional amendment to change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia. While this represented a major step toward North Macedonia’s ultimate goal of establishing a durable, stable democracy, the name change must still be endorsed by Greece’s parliament before it can go into full effect. But as a new report from the Open Society European Policy Institute shows, a newly-named North Macedonia would still face significant challenges—and opportunities. North Macedonia: What’s Next? examines the 2018 Prespa Agreement between neighboring Greece and North Macedonia, which laid out agreed upon conditions for resolving the longstanding dispute over Macedonia’s name, and what it means for the larger project of integrating the countries in the Western Balkans more fully into the political and economic systems of Europe, the British Isles, and the United States. The report further explores how key players—such as the European Union, NATO, Russia, other Western Balkans states—approach the Prespa Agreement, explains the significance of the name change in larger geopolitical terms, and offers insight into possible scenarios for the final resolution of this fraught and lengthy conflict.
  • Topic: NATO, Democratization, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Democracy, Constitution, Nation-State
  • Political Geography: Balkans, Macedonia, North Macedonia
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Despite deep concerns about the future of democracy, people in Central and Eastern Europe retain a strong attachment to civil society and faith in the freedoms achieved with the collapse of Communism, according to States of Change: Attitudes in Central and Eastern Europe 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, a report from the Open Society Foundations. Based on polling by YouGov conducted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, States of Change provides a snapshot of current opinion on democracy, freedom of speech, the market economy, and the media in the former Eastern Bloc and Germany.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Markets, Democracy, Media, Berlin Wall, Free Speech
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Central Europe
  • Author: Srđan Cvijić, Lisa Klingenberg, Delina Goxho, Ella Knight
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: The use of armed drones in the European Union has become a topic rife with controversy and misinformation. This report gives a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the approach to, and use of, armed drones in five European countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. Further, the report is intended to start a wider debate about armed drones in Europe and to serve as a guide on this topic for the European Parliament.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Drones
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands
  • Author: Srđan Cvijić, Marie Jelenka Kirchner, Iskra Kirova, Zoran Nechev
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: The need for the European Union’s involvement in the Western Balkans, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine has never been more acute. The European Commission’s structures are not up to the job. A new approach is needed to respond to the realities on the ground and in member states. The European Union needs to boost the tools of the European Commission to move the process on from enlargement and move decisively towards the unification of Europe. This means creating a directorate general that would have the resources to drive forward the accession process with the Western Balkans countries and the ambitious trade and reform agenda in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. A new directorate general Europe could play this role.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Europe Union, Trade, Economic Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Balkans