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  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: In this report the Open Society Iraq Revenue Watch (IRW) looks at Iraq’s national air transport sector, which is presently controlled by the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Despite CPA claims that it intends to return control of the country’s air industry to the Iraqi people, a document obtained by the Open Society Foundations shows that a backroom deal has already sold off 75 percent of the country’s air sector to a single family. The IRW argues that the secret deal is one among a number of suspect agreements that have occurred under the radar in a chaotic post-war Iraq. The report’s authors caution that Iraq risks following a similar path as Russia, where a class of oligarchs emerged after the fall of communism by buying up state assets at below market prices. Controlling Iraq’s Skies recommends that this contract be frozen and an investigation be launched by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board, as well as by the CPA Inspector General. The report also calls on the CPA to compensate Iraqi Airways for damage to its facilities committed by occupying forces, and fees for the use of its facilities.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Budget, Public Sector, Iraq War, Air Force, Revenue Management
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: British Muslims face severe obstacles in the United Kingdom's labor market and have a disproportionately high rate of unemployment, according to this report from OSI's EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program (EUMAP). Aspirations and Reality: British Muslims and the Labour Market calls for more effort to meet the employment aspirations and needs of Muslims in the UK, especially Muslim women and young Muslims. "Government, the private sector, and Muslims themselves must ensure that British Muslims are not left out of the workforce," said the report's author, Zamila Bunglawala, who co-authored the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit report on Ethnic Minorities and the Labour Market. British Muslims seeking employment face multiple obstacles, ranging from gaps in mainstream labor market policy and employer practices, poor service delivery and a lack of faith-friendly work environments. The extent to which Muslims face religious discrimination in the labor market is unknown; the report stressed that further analysis is needed to improve the understanding of the British Muslim group as a whole. Muslim youths are at particular risk of social exclusion. With Muslims set to comprise almost a quarter of the growth in the working age population in Britain between 1999 and 2009, integrating British Muslims into the mainstream labor market must now be a priority for the government, the report concludes.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Labor Issues, Minorities, European Union
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: For historical, geopolitical, domestic and other reasons the enlarged Europe of 25 ‘+2’;’+3’, or ‘+4’ does not have a homogenized vision of the extent to which EU should differentiate itself in the realm of security from the United States of America. This causes fundamental concerns to the new members of the Union and to the other two, three or four that would join in the next few years. The Bulgarian perceptions of this issue cause concerns as to the most appropriate roles and functions of the country in the EuroAtlantic area as well as relative to the Euro-Asiatic neighborhood when the country joins the Union.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Bulgaria, Atlantic Ocean
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: This report presents a leadership vision of a strong and open global trading system, and urges the United States and its trading partners to adopt vital policy reforms, including delinking agricultural subsidies from prices and production while opening agricultural markets everywhere, and eliminating all tariffs and non-tariff barriers in both manufacturing and services.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Leadership, Economy, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: These documents, prepared by the EU Accession Monitoring Program of the Open Society Institute, assess the state of minority protection in 10 Central and Eastern European states seeking full membership in the European Union and in five current member states. The reports examine candidate states' implementation of their minority protection or integration programmes, and each state's laws, institutions, and practices relating to minority protection of Roma or Muslims.
  • Topic: Islam, Law, Minorities, European Union, Civil Rights, Institutions, Political Rights, Freedom of Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Svetlana Tsalik
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Caspian Oil Windfalls: Who Will Benefit?, a publication from the Central Eurasia Project's Caspian Revenue Watch, calls for greater accountability, transparency, and public oversight in the oil and natural gas industries of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. It urges foreign oil companies, their home governments, and international financial institutions to promote good governance and democracy in both countries to ensure that petroleum revenues generate social prosperity and stable governments. Written by Svetlana Tsalik, director of the Caspian Revenue Watch, the report also offers recommendations based on in-depth analysis of natural resource funds in other nations as well as models of citizen oversight. The foreword was written by Joseph E. Stiglitz, the former chief economist of the
  • Topic: Oil, Natural Resources, Accountability, Public Policy, Transparency, Fossil Fuels
  • Political Geography: Caspian Sea, Central Eurasia
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Keeping Secrets, a report from the Open Society Iraq Revenue Watch project, concludes that Iraq’s public finances have so far fallen short of international standards of accountability. The report was released on the eve of an international donors’ conference for Iraq in Madrid, scheduled for October 23–24. It calls for greater transparency in the management of the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), the central repository for U.S. reconstruction assistance as well as Iraqi oil and gas revenues. The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)—the U.S.-established governing agency in Iraq—has delayed the establishment of a crucial oversight body and refused to disclose basic information about large purchase contracts and DFI expenditures, the report says. Keeping Secrets calls on the CPA to reverse these trends and offers a set of recommendations, including increased Iraqi involvement in the DFI, more substantial oversight authority for the United Nations’ International Advisory and Monitoring Board, and better public access to information.
  • Topic: Finance, Accountability, Public Sector, Fiscal Policy, Transparency, Public Spending
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: In late July 2003, Iraq’s Coalition Provisional Authority announced a tender to provide wireless telecommunications services for two years to Iraq. Expanding telephone access is a critical step toward improving Iraqis’ lives. Telecommunications contracts also provide lucrative opportunities for providers. If the United States is to succeed in its goal of building a capable and transparent public administration in Iraq, it is important that Iraqis are included in the contracting process and that the terms of the tender are not designed to preference U.S. companies. This report from the Iraq Revenue Watch project of the Open Society Central Eurasia Project describes some concerns with the mobile phone tender, and provides recommendations on how to improve the transparency and inclusiveness of subsequent tenders.
  • Topic: Communications, Iraq War, Revenue Management
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Todor Tagarev
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: In February 1998 the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet of the Bulgarian Government) with its Decree # 44 approved the ‘Plan for Organisational Development and the Structure of the Armed Forces till the Year 2010’, known as Plan-2010. Only twenty months later, with the exactly same ministers as members of the Cabinet and no changes in the senior military leadership of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, the Government approved radically different plans for defence reform, known as Plan-2004. This paper explains the seemingly abrupt change in the Bulgarian defence policy since the spring of 1998 with the introduction of a rigorous, albeit at the time rudimentary, defence planning process, solid civilian participation and strict oversight of every stage of the process. Our main thesis is that adequate defence reform plans, and developments in defence in general, result from a defence planning process based on goal-oriented interaction between expert civilians and the military and rigorous political—that is also civilian—control over defence policy. The institutionalisation of such defence planning process presumes relevant normative and organisational changes, as well as adequate qualification of the personnel involved. It may be further facilitated by implementation of information systems and decision support tools. Ultimately, however, the institutionalisation requires organisational culture that not only tolerates, but also encourages differences in opinion and rationality, while promoting cooperative decision- making and individual responsibility for planning and plans implementation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Affairs, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria
  • Author: Plamen Plantev
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: In the evolving situation of EU and NATO eastward enlargement within a dramatically changed global security environment Bulgaria’s role and prospects are shaped by powerful yet hard to organise and realise in practice interests: First, the interest of serving as a reliable boundary state of both EU and NATO while projecting the image and influence of a trustworthy bridge, linking a stable and well established region of EU and NATO states with countries of a still shaky though bearing positive economic opportunities area. With the support of EU and NATO Bulgaria is in a position to mobilise its potential to serve these uneasy jobs. Second, the interest not to be pushed or even just to be left in the position to choose between the EU and NATO as well as between the EU and the leading NATO country – the United States. Bulgaria’s perceptions of the world – from the point of view of EU and US interaction, is a place, calling for cooperation in approaching and solving the hard issues of the globe and not for trying to counter-balance the Americans. Any other reading of the EU/US relationship by Bulgaria would practically dilute and even dissolve the country’s chances to play an effective and forward targeted boundary and bridge roles. Third, the interest to project to the contending for EU and NATO membership countries in the Balkans and in the Black Sea area the lesson Bulgaria has learnt in the accession years, that joining the two institutions is not an issue of geopolitical bargaining, but one of mostly meeting standard conditions that would lead to social and economic progress of the aspirants themselves and make them compatible with the other members of the Union and the Alliance.
  • Topic: NATO, European Union, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Black Sea