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  • Author: Nathalie Tocci, Riccardo Alcaro, Francesca Caruso, Silvia Colombo, Dario Cristiani, Andrea Dessì, Flavio Fusco, Daniela Huber
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Winds of change are blowing in North Africa and the Middle East. They originate from Washington, where the new Biden administration is expected to abandon its predecessor’s zerosum, erratic approach and take steps towards supporting regional balances and cooperation. Effects are visible especially in the Gulf, with the US pondering its options to re-activate nuclear diplomacy with Iran and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates grudgingly agreeing to put their feud with Qatar on ice. One way or another, these winds of change are working their way through the Levant, the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya. Admittedly, they are still feeble and can easily fade out like a morning breeze. Were that to happen, Europeans would be amongst the most affected – aside, of course, from regional populations themselves. It is now high time for the EU and its member states to leave the backseat they have (un)comfortably been sitting in for years, seize the opportunity of a cooperative US administration and work to play a more proactive role in North Africa and the Middle East commensurate with their considerable financial, diplomatic and military resources.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa, United States of America
  • Author: Simona Autolitano, Agnieszka Pawlowska
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: There is currently much discussion about “digital sovereignty” in Europe. While the term encompasses very diverse connotations, it refers to a broad concept involving data, technological, regulatory and political elements. Cloud computing represents one example of the concrete materialisation of the European Union’s quest for “digital sovereignty” – especially through the development of its GAIA-X project. It is too early to assess whether or not GAIA-X will definitively help the Union to achieve this much-desired goal; however, some challenges have already emerged along the way. Looking to the future, if the EU wants to achieve “digital sovereignty”, a different strategy to the one currently under discussion will be needed.
  • Topic: Politics, Science and Technology, Sovereignty, European Union, Digital Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Alessandro Marrone, Karolina Muti
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Europe’s missile defence is structurally linked to NATO deterrence and defence architecture, and it has to face both a worsened international security environment and an accelerating, worldwide technological innovation. Russia and China are heavily investing in new hypersonic systems which dramatically decrease the time needed to reach the target by flying mostly within the atmosphere. The US remains a global leader in the development and deployment of missile defence capabilities, including the Aegis systems which represent the cornerstone of NATO integrate air and missile defence covering the Old Continent. European countries are increasingly collaborating within the EU framework on the related capability development, primarily via the TWISTER project under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PeSCo). Being exposed to missile threats from Middle East and North Africa and participating to allied nuclear sharing, Italy has a primary interest in upgrading its military capabilities through PeSCo, maintaining them fully integrated within NATO, and involving the national defence industry in cutting-edge procurement programmes.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Science and Technology, European Union
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, France, Poland, Germany, Italy, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Francesca Ghiretti
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The debate on technological development and the unfolding fourth technological revolution tends to neglect the role of the EU, relegating it to follower status. The leadership positions are occupied by the US and China, who compete with one another for technological supremacy. Yet, despite lagging behind in some areas, the EU is better placed than is often assumed and still stands a chance of guaranteeing the delivery of a technological revolution that is not only environmentally but also socially sustainable. This is critical in proposing a model of technological development alternative to that of China, in particular, and especially in such sectors as artificial intelligence, supercomputing and digital skills.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, European Union
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Luca Franza
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Hydrogen is the most promising vector for harnessing North Africa’s largely untapped renewable energy potential. Low-carbon hydrogen produced in North Africa can play an important role in enabling the European Union and Italy to reach their increasingly ambitious decarbonisation targets as a complement to electrification and locally produced renewables. It is estimated that the EU could achieve cost savings by producing at least part of its future renewable energy needs in neighbouring high-yield regions. Italy is set to play a particularly important function as both a gateway and a catalyst for North African hydrogen exports. In turn, North Africa stands to benefit from hydrogen both as a source of revenues and as an instrument of diversification, industrialisation and local economic development. This would in turn improve social resilience, increase political stability, reduce the risk of radicalisation and limit migration flows. Italy has a particularly strong strategic interest in all of these areas, given its geographic location in the Central Mediterranean and marked exposure to social, political and security developments in North Africa. North African hydrogen could also create profitable business opportunities for several Italian companies. In sum, hydrogen can contribute to fighting climate change while preserving positive trade interdependence across the Mediterranean. Strong coordination between the private sector and policy-makers is going to be key to abate costs along the hydrogen value chain and launch successful international hydrogen trade schemes.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, European Union, Trade, Imports, Hydrogen
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Italy, Mediterranean
  • Author: Philip Remler
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has been returning to its origins as a Cold War–era Conference – a forum where states and blocs, often antagonistic to one another and espousing opposing ideals, can air their frictions and hostilities. The OSCE was created without legal personality and with the liberum veto of the consensus principle. These constraints stunted the growth of executive capabilities and bound the OSCE closely to the will of its participating States. That rendered most mediation efforts ineffective, especially where an OSCE state is both belligerent and mediator in the same conflicts. Peace operations have been more effective – notably the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine – but the same factors have tightly constrained its activity. Though all participating States committed themselves to democratic governance, rule of law and respect for human rights, these ideals failed in much of the former Soviet Union, and autocrats have used the organisation’s lack of legal personality and the consensus principle to hobble the OSCE’s efforts. If the OSCE’s participating States want it to remain an Organization, not a Conference, they must take action to secure its executive autonomy.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Peacekeeping, Democracy, Conflict, OSCE
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Flavio Fusco
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Building on emerging debates on the need to develop de-escalation mechanisms for the Middle East, the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Brussels-based Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), with support from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, launched a one-year research and outreach project entitled “Fostering a New Security Architecture in the Middle East”. Connected to the research, an expert survey targeting European, US, Russian, Middle Eastern and Chinese experts and practitioners was conducted on key themes, principles and approaches associated with a potential new security architecture for the region. The results of the survey – first published in an edited book volume jointly published by IAI and FEPS in November 2020 – are analysed below, complete with tables and infographics on key themes associated with the research project and the search for new, inclusive mechanisms for dialogue and de-escalation in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Daniela Huber
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Historically speaking, the European Community and then the European Union have always reacted with paradigm changes in their foreign policies to watershed moments in the Middle East. In response to the two Arab-Israeli wars in 1967 and 1973, the European Community actually set up its own foreign policy in the first place and initiated the Euro-Arab Dialogue. After the Camp David Accords, the nine foreign ministers came out with the Venice Declaration in 1980 which reminded its partners in Washington and Tel Aviv that the Palestine question had been ignored and set the parameters for diplomacy in the 1990s. After the Cold War, however, the European Union became absorbed into the so-called Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), resulting in less independent EU agency on Israel/Palestine. This trend has become particularly obvious over the past four years of the Trump presidency, during which time the EU seemed almost paralyzed. While Europeans are now counting on the incoming Biden administration, during the election campaign Joe Biden stated that he will leave the US embassy in Jerusalem and that he is also favourable of the normalization deals between Israel and certain Arab states which President Trump had pushed for. At the same time, the Biden team seems hesitant to return to negotiations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Human Rights, Territorial Disputes, European Union, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Katarzyna Kubiak
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The global treaty-based nuclear order is running out of steam. The problems facing it are progressively building up, while problem-solving is losing momentum. The search for a “golden key” to address disarmament and non-proliferation in a way fit for the 21st century prompts decision-makers to look for novel approaches. NATO needs to actively shape this newly emerging space. Acting today from within a tight policy and institutional “corset”, the Alliance should strengthen its non-proliferation and disarmament portfolio, and harness its consultative and coordination strengths for agenda-setting, norm-shaping and awareness-raising within the international community.
  • Topic: NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Mehdi Lahlou
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic has turned into a global economic crisis with severe social effects in the least developed countries, particularly in Africa. Pre-existing challenges related to widespread poverty, demographic growth, food insecurity and governance issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic. While migration remains one of the key elements of the partnership agenda between Africa and the European Union, the aggravating socioeconomic situation in the African continent due to the impact of COVID-19 and its implications for migration dynamics requires going beyond business-as-usual approaches. The renewed scenario calls for a more comprehensive and development-oriented approach to migration, requiring new policy initiatives addressing the wider set of conditions that, beyond constituting developmental challenges in their own right, also drive migration in North Africa as well as in Sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, European Union, Mobility, Asylum, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, North Africa
  • Author: Alessandro Marrone, Ester Sabatino
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In 2016 NATO recognised cyber as a domain comparable to the air, land and sea ones, in consideration of the growing number of cyberattacks and of their negative impact on the cyberspace, as well as on the “real world”. Both NATO and its member states have launched initiatives to better tackle the cyber challenge both operationally and in terms of capability development. Nevertheless, among major NATO’s members a common approach to cyber defence is still missing, thus generating a division among countries that pursue a more active defence – US, UK and France – and those that prefer a more defensive approach – Germany and Spain.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, National Security, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, Germany, Spain, United States of America
  • Author: Tsio Tadesse Abebe, Ottilia Anna Maunganidze
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the current state and prospects of partnership between the East African countries and the European Union on migration and forced displacement. The pandemic has exacerbated the root causes of migration and forced displacement. This is manifested by the continuation of irregular arrivals in Europe including from East Africa, after a brief decline in the initial phase of the COVID-19 response. The strong economic impact of the pandemic on the region has also disrupted the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees that aspires to address forced displacement challenges through facilitating refugees’ self-reliance. These challenges require East African countries and the EU to work towards establishing a better migration governance system with a people-centred approach and with a view to addressing the root causes of migration. East African states should drive their migration and forced displacement policies in ways that benefit their citizens. This should include devising ways of engaging the EU in line with its proposed talent partnerships in its New Pact on Migration and Asylum. The EU should work towards easing the economic burden of countries in East Africa including through providing additional development support and debt cancellation.
  • Topic: Migration, Politics, European Union, Refugees, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Daniela Huber
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The coronavirus crisis deeply challenges the assumption that we human beings can dominate nature. Contraposing the new European Commission Green Deal and geopolitical language with critical/green thought, this paper aims to provoke reflections on a re-imagination of the European Union as part of a larger regional and global community that lives together within a green and diverse planet.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Environment, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Asli Selin Okyay, Luca Barana
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Europe’s institutional landscape and political context have evolved considerably over the past year, with implications spanning numerous policy domains, including migration. The formation of the new European Commission, its commitment to deliver a New Pact on Migration and Asylum and the negotiations for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) have set the stage for much needed reforms in the migration field, a policy area still largely driven by the emergency mindset inherited from the 2015–16 “crisis”.
  • Topic: Migration, Reform, European Union, Refugees, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kari M. Osland, Henriette U. Erstad
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: On 23 September 2020, the EU launched its new Pact on Migration and Asylum. In a refreshingly blunt press-release accompanying the Pact one could read: “The current system no longer works. And for the past five years, the EU has not been able to fix it”. The stated aim of the Pact is a fairer sharing of responsibility and solidarity between member states while providing certainty for individual asylum applicants. This is intended to rebuild trust between EU members as well as improve the capacity to better manage migration. However, whether the Pact will be implemented and have an effect on EU external migration policy in the Sahel remains to be seen.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Roderick Parkes, Mark McQuay
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: When the October 2020 summit between the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) was postponed, leaders blamed the pandemic. Yet, there was a sense that the issue went deeper. Both sides still resent the other’s handling of what Europeans refer to as the “migration crisis” of 2015. AU officials complain about the EU’s divide-and-rule approach to managing migration, while their European counterparts allege that AU officials encouraged African states to leverage migration flows to extort cash. Yet migration remains an area where the EU and AU policy agendas are in fact broadly aligned, on paper and in political rhetoric at least. The AU has adopted a free movement protocol and is looking at mobility to strengthen the continental labour market and promote intra-African capital flows. The EU has lent its support to the project, keen to build bridges with Africa on a traditionally divisive issue.
  • Topic: European Union, Mobility, African Union, Freedom of Movement
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Lucia Bird
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic set the backdrop to the EU’s new framework for addressing irregular migration. Yet, this emergency mindset should not dictate that future responses to human smuggling remain focussed on border control, as they have done during the pandemic. We are at a pivotal moment in EU policy-making, following the release of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum[1] and preceding the publication of additional plans for legal migration and improved responses to human smuggling. This is therefore a key time to take stock of how state responses to the pandemic have impacted human smuggling dynamics, in order to build sustainable and humane response frameworks going forward.
  • Topic: Migration, European Union, Smuggling, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Tamirace Fakhoury
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Prior to 2011, Lebanon was no traditional gatekeeper in managing migrant and refugee flows to the EU. Following mass refugee influx from Syria, the small Middle Eastern state acquired key importance in the EU’s architecture of externalisation, alternatively framed as the set of norms and practices that the EU crafts to govern migration from a distance. Lebanon currently hosts more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees and since 2012 the EU has been the key funding power seeking to help the refugee-hosting state cope with the spillover effects that mass displacement brought about on the country. The EU’s recently published New Pact on Migration and Asylum reiterates support to refugees and refugee-hosting countries – including those in Syria’s neighbourhood – as one of the central elements of cooperation with third countries on migration and displacement. After nearly a decade of cooperation between the EU and Lebanon in this area, and ahead of the EU’s new budgetary and policy-planning cycle (2021–27), now is a key moment to critically assess EU-Lebanon cooperation on displacement from Syria.
  • Topic: Government, Foreign Aid, European Union, Refugees, Economy, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Martin Ruhs
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Commission’s recently published “New Pact on Migration and Asylum” calls on EU member states to increase legal labour migration pathways, including for lower-skilled workers. To help achieve this goal, the Pact proposes greater and more effective cooperation with non-EU countries through so-called “Talent Partnerships”. These proposals are not new. The idea of partnerships with non-EU countries that include expanded labour migration programmes was at the heart of the EU’s “Global Approach to Migration” launched in 2005, and this approach has been further discussed and developed over the past 15 years. These ideas, however, have never led to a significant opening of European labour markets to lower-skilled non-EU workers. An obvious question therefore arises: Will this time be different? Will EU member states (which have primary competence in regulating labour immigration from outside the EU) engage with non-EU countries to develop new policies that expand legal labour migration opportunities in meaningful ways? Will these opportunities be inclusive of low- and medium-skilled workers?
  • Topic: Migration, Politics, Labor Issues, European Union, Institutions, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marta Massera
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In mid-October, the European Commission issued a communication on energy poverty to member states[1] that was published jointly with the Renovation Wave initiative[2] for the building sector under the European Green Deal. The document gave further impetus to the long-standing discussion on energy poverty in Europe and can be related to renewed references to the need for a “just transition” in EU policy. Energy poverty is an important issue in Europe today and a number of recent factors risk exacerbating the problem. Action by member states has thus far been limited and differences persist regarding national definitions and approaches. Addressing energy poverty is urgent and the next months will be a test for Europe’s ability to protect the poorest segment of the society while pursuing increasingly ambitious goals of decarbonisation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Green Technology, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Carisa Nietsche
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has been a turning point in Europe’s calculus regarding China. Beijing’s ham-fisted mask diplomacy, attempt to rewrite the pandemic’s origins and use of the World Health Organisation to advance the objectives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) underscored for Europe the nature of Beijing’s objectives. Europe has grown more attuned to the “strategic challenge” China poses in the economic, technology and global governance realms as a result. The growing convergence between US and European perspectives on China provides a solid foundation for future cooperation between the transatlantic partners. Yet, addressing the China challenge will require broadening beyond the transatlantic partnership and bringing Indo-Pacific partners to the table.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Communications, Partnerships, Cybersecurity, Transatlantic Relations, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Dario Cristiani
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In September 2019, the once anti-establishment Five Star Movement (Movimento Cinque Stelle – M5S) agreed to enter a ruling alliance with the Democratic Party (Partito Democratico – PD).[1] By establishing this “yellow-red” coalition government with what was considered its political nemesis, the M5S managed to preserve its presence in power and avoid early elections. However, its influence gradually weakened, as attested to by poor performances in local elections. The M5S’s declining political fortunes and the changing composition of the government have a significant foreign policy dimension, especially if addressed through the lens of Italy–US relations. The PD is a solidly pro-Atlanticist party in Italy. The M5S, despite its evolution towards greater pragmatism over the years, remains a source of concern, being still perceived as the most pro-China actor within the Italian political landscape.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Geopolitics, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Italy, United States of America
  • Author: Wilfred Wan
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In a difficult geopolitical environment marked by increased tensions among nuclear-armed and nuclear-allied states, there has emerged an urgent and widespread call for the implementation of practical measures to reduce the risk of nuclear-weapon use – whether intentional or inadvertent. A concerted effort to take risk reduction forward must address the spectrum of use scenarios by drawing on past activities, building on existing agreements and considering innovative approaches. NATO will have a key role to play, given the nuclear nature of the Alliance and the involvement of its members in strategic and regional competition. Alliance activities past and present can provide insight relevant to the development of multilateral risk-reduction measures. At the same time, in highlighting the dynamism and multi-faceted nature of risk, they underline the scale of the challenge ahead.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Risk, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Rose Gottemoeller, Steven Hill
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Times may be tough in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation (ADN). But ADN is by no means dead. This is a moment of opportunity, a chance to look to the future and consider what we should be doing differently to improve the international architecture for ADN in the future. NATO is in the process of considering how it can adapt to continue to be relevant in the changing global security environment. The time is therefore ripe for the Alliance to take on an enhanced role in preserving and strengthening more effective ADN. There are a number of areas in which it can support these efforts. These include specific steps to preserve and implement the Non-Proliferation Treaty, modernise the Vienna Document, adapt nuclear arms control regimes and deal with emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs). NATO should position itself as a focal point for innovation in the ADN area, including promoting advances in verification, improving the multinational sharing and use of data, and advancing dialogue related to outer space.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nonproliferation, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sandra Lavenex, Ivo Križić
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In light of rising internal cleavages and centrifugal tendencies, differentiated integration (DI) has (re)arisen as a major topic in debates on the future of the European Union. As new forms of participation below the threshold of full membership are needed, this paper provides a conceptualisation of effective and legitimate DI. Going beyond existing scholarship’s focus on the legal dimension of DI, the paper emphasises its organisational component, meaning the variegated participation of EU member states, sub-state entities and third-country actors in the panoply of EU policy-making institutions, such as regulatory agencies and transgovernmental networks. The paper subsequently discusses how to measure effectiveness of such differentiated arrangements in terms of their output, outcome and impact, before theorising under what conditions we are likely to see effective DI. Finally, the paper turns to the question of legitimacy of DI, discussing its meaning, measurement and determinants.
  • Topic: Governance, Democracy, Regional Integration, Accountability, Legitimacy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The evolving external threat environment is impacting the internal political dynamics of NATO nations and is accentuating a series of already existing trends – differences in threat perceptions, burden-sharing difficulties, challenges to respond to sub-threshold threats and the rise of populism – which altogether affect the cohesiveness and potentially the effectiveness of NATO as a political and military alliance. NATO’s operational future over the next decades will be shaped by the ingenuity of the transatlantic leadership in developing new arrangements of institutional cooperation between the Alliance and the burgeoning forms of the “coalition of the willing”. The Alliance should nonetheless remain the main transatlantic political forum, given Brexit as well as the rising need for a common political response to the many challenges ranging from migration to failed states. NATO has been relatively successful in adapting to the changing security environment. Its military capabilities remain unparalleled and unrivalled. The more interesting question is however the political one. Namely how the politics of sustaining this Alliance are being shaped by the underlying dynamics that are transforming the global political, economic and military context. The paper is divided in three chapters.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Politics, Institutions, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Much is being said about European power these days. From the new European Commission President von der Leyen and new High Representative Borrell to French President Macron, the idea that Europe must exert power on the global scene is gaining traction. The political intuition behind these statements is absolutely correct. The 21st century rationale for the European project is a profoundly global one. However, to turn it into a practical reality, it’s worth delving into the detail of European power, what it meant, how it has transformed, and what should be done to exercise it in future.
  • Topic: International Relations, Power Politics, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Funda Tekin, Vittoria Meissner, Nils Fabian Müller
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Heterogeneity among countries in the European Union has continuously grown through enlargement processes or the outbreak of specific crises. After reaching important outcomes such as the European Monetary Union or the Schengen Agreement, in the face of the “big bang” enlargement of 2004 both national and European Union representatives subsequently committed to the motto “united in diversity”, confident that the European project would progress and deepen. Nevertheless, the crises in the euro area posed a number of new internal and external challenges to the overall European integration process as well as the EU’s political unity in terms of member states sharing the same rights and obligations, making permanent forms of differentiated integration more likely. Against this background, the paper presents a new collected dataset to outline how the EU narrative of political unity changes during times of increasing political differentiation and consequent differentiated integration. As such, it conducts a narrative analysis in two selected cases, the period between 2000 and 2004 preceding the big bang enlargement as well as the years of the crises in the euro area between 2010 and 2014. Although the existing narrative of political unity in the EU has changed in response to the crises under the more sceptical phrase “divided in unity”, our analysis shows that differentiation is not a threat to political unity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Regional Integration, Institutions, Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Poland, Germany, Italy, European Union
  • Author: Nicola Bilotta, Lorenzo Colantoni
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The electrification of Sub-Saharan Africa has traditionally suffered from a lack of adequate investments, given the scarcity of domestic funds and the higher regional risk perceived by foreign investors. And yet, electrification of the continent has accelerated lately, driven by innovative financing instruments that fit the African framework. Such tools as aggregation, securitization and guarantee instruments reduce risk premiums, thus increasing the attractiveness of the sector and making it easier for international institutions to provide back-up funding for private, local and decentralized projects. Critical in this regard has been Africa’s FinTech system, which enables forms of mobile payment and micro-credit access, resulting in innovative business models. Such sets of tools will be then fundamental to maintaining the current trends and, eventually, reach the long-awaited universal access to energy for those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Paper prepared in the framework of the IAI-Eni Strategic Partnership, December 2018.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Foreign Direct Investment, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Cornelius Adebahr
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Europe and Iran had begun to invest in a closer commercial relationship just when the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018. Since then, Washington has re-imposed its stringent economic sanctions, targeting Iran’s oil exports as a major source of government revenue but also banning financial transactions with the country. This poses an enormous challenge for the EU, which had intended to use the 2015 agreement as a stepping stone to promote regional cooperation and, ultimately, a more comprehensive relationship with Iran. Paper produced in the framework of the IAI-FEPS project entitled “Europe and Iran in a fast-changing Middle East: Confidence-building measures, security dialogue and regional cooperation”, December 2018.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Francesca Capano
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Concerns over migration, economic growth and the rise of populism seemed to overshadow the threat of terrorism in many European countries during 2018. While the number of attacks and alleged plots in Europe have declined considerably compared to previous years, experts have long warned that measuring the terrorism threat on the basis of successful attacks was a “mistake”.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Prisons/Penal Systems, Radicalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Karim Makdisi
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Refugee movements are not a new phenomenon in the Middle East and North Africa. The history of the region has been shaped by waves of displacement and refugee crises, and the most recent, the dramatic case of Syria, is still in process. This paper investigates refugee movements in the region and their impact on regional dynamics by focusing on two important case studies: Lebanon and Turkey. It explores each country’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis in detail, while addressing the role of relevant stakeholders, such as international organizations, civil society and government, in humanitarian relief efforts as well as in refugee protection and management.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Refugees, Syrian War, Mobility
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria, European Union
  • Author: Giorgio Gomel
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: There is some degree of ambivalence, mistrust, and even hostility between Europe and Israel. Europeans see Israel on a path of permanent occupation of Palestinian territories. Israel sees the European posture as unbalanced and biased against Israel. Economic and institutional linkages are strong. A further strengthening of relations is however difficult unless a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is reached. For the EU resolving the conflict is a matter of both interests and values. The engagement of the EU can take different forms, in the realm of sticks one may point to legislation concerning the labelling of products from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and carrots such as the EU offer of a special privileged partnership with Israel. For the Israeli public a clearer perception of the costs of non-peace and the benefits from a resolution of the conflict could help unblock the stalemate and remove the deceptive illusion that the status quo is sustainable.
  • Topic: Politics, Geopolitics, Israel, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel
  • Author: Marie-Claire Aoun
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: European energy security challenges have changed dramatically in the past 20 years. On the one hand, the current tensions between Russia and the EU are undermining their historical partnership on energy; on the other, deep transformations in the energy landscape at the global level, triggered by technological advances and major geo-political transformations, are leading the EU to rethink its energy security strategy. The aim of this paper is to discuss European energy security in a changing global context and to analyse the tools and policies implemented to strengthen it. The role of potential future vectors of energy cooperation between the EU and its Mediterranean neighbours is also examined.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Maria Giulia Amadio Viceré
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Because of the intergovernmental nature of EU foreign policy, the role of the European Commission in EU external action is often considered minimal or residual. Providing a systematic review of the case of Kosovo, this paper demonstrates that it is possible to identify different degrees of integration in EU foreign policy. It does so by investigating under which conditions Member States delegate foreign policy competences to the Commission. In the case of Kosovo, integration in EU foreign policy has been conditioned by the level of control Member States have chosen exercise on or delegate to supranational institutions.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Giuseppe Martinico
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Asymmetry has frequently been experimented within federalising processes, especially in those federal or quasi-federal contexts characterised by the coexistence of different legal and cultural backgrounds (Canada, for instance). By adopting a comparative approach, this paper offers a reflection on asymmetry as an instrument of differentiated integration in the current phase of the EU integration process. It aims to show the potential of the concept and some of the risks connected to its use.
  • Topic: Markets, Regional Cooperation, Culture, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-73-6
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Francesca Monaco, Alessandra Scalia
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper reports the key elements of a closed-door seminar hosted by IAI on 13 October 2015 within the framework of the project Defence Matters 2015. The initiative is aimed at stimulating the Italian debate on defence issues by engaging policy-makers, stakeholders and the public opinion. The seminar, in particular, was devoted to discussing the current threats faced by NATO with regard to both the Alliance’s Eastern and Southern “flanks”. The debate addressed the complexity of the ongoing international dynamics not only in terms of threats, but also of potential opportunities for reforming and modernising NATO. The present report aims at outlining the key points that emerged from the discussion, as well as further stimulating the debate concerning the NATO agenda in view of the 2016 Warsaw Summit.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-6812-596-7
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Enrico Calossi
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Although much progress has been achieved in the last sixty years, the European Union still lacks a unique electoral system and a proper party system. Recently some changes have been proposed or introduced in order to homogenise the national electoral systems of the EP and to strengthen political parties at the EU level. Andrew Duff’s proposal for a transnational party list; the establishment of European political foundations in 2007; the updating of the Statute of the European political parties in 2014; the designation of the Spitzekandidaten by Europarties were all useful attempts. More could be done. National democracies can become sources of inspiration for new proposals. Some suggestions may require new formal regulations. Others are more informal or political, and would give political actors new opportunities on voluntary bases.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-72-9
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Daniele Ciani, Paolo Finaldi Russo, Valerio Vacca
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper describes the main features of European SMEs’ financial behaviour and the policies recently put in place to support their funding. European SMEs are structurally more leveraged and charged with higher interest rates than large firms. Moreover, the crisis has deeply affected their fund-raising capacity, as banks reduced credit supply while non-bank funding was unavailable to most SMEs. Against this background, EU has focussed its policies on long-term investment and on a more favourable environment for SMEs financing, including through the launch of the Capital Markets Union. At the national level, most governments have provided guarantees and enhanced the role of national development banks. Nevertheless, key issues are still outstanding, such as the funding of innovative firms and the improvement of transparency and of the legal and regulatory frameworks.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-71-2
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to campaign for the UK to stay in the EU in the incoming in-or-out referendum on the UK’s EU membership, but only if London succeeds in recalibrating its relationship with the Union. As the EU’s fourth largest country, Italy will play a crucial role in the negotiation. The challenge for Rome is to balance its long-standing commitment to strengthening European integration with the interest in keeping a country the size and influence of the UK in the EU. Matteo Renzi’s government should be supportive of British proposals about competitiveness, pragmatic as far as sovereignty issues are concerned, constructive but cautious regarding economic governance, and understanding of British concerns but also firm about immigration.
  • Topic: Markets, Regional Cooperation, Immigration, European Union
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-70-5
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Sarah Wolff
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The death of Aylan, a 3-year-old boy on a Turkish beach, prompted European leaders and public opinions to acknowledge that Europe is the deadliest migration destination in the world. In spite of this disturbing truth, there is little agreement on an EU solution to the Syrian refugee crisis. In September 2015, the EU Interior Ministers struggled to agree over the relocation of 120,000 refugees through a common compulsory mechanism, as Eastern European countries oppose the idea of “sharing the burden.” Progress regarding other solutions such as a European rescue at-sea-mission, the delivery of humanitarian visas or the opening of legal means of migration have also met strong member state resistance. If Europe is not up to the task, can international organisations (IOs), often critical of European states for their inaction, impulse change? What influence do IOs have on EU and Mediterranean migration and refugee policies? This paper investigates how IOs have been trying to frame an alternative debate and the challenges they meet in promoting transregional governance.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, War, Immigration, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-66-8
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Nicola Casarini
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: With the One Belt One Road (OBOR), arguably Beijing’s major diplomatic outreach in decades, a process towards greater Sino-European connectivity has been put in place. The implementation of the OBOR in Europe has focused so far on financing infrastructure projects, in particular railways in Southeast Europe and ports in the Mediterranean Sea. This has been complemented by growing monetary linkages between the People’s Bank of China and European central banks through the establishment of currency swap agreements and yuan bank clearing – so-called “offshore renminbi hubs” – with the aim of lowering transaction costs of Chinese investment and bolstering the use of the Chinese currency. While there are undoubtedly great economic opportunities, China’s OBOR initiative also presents the EU with a major political challenge. There is the risk, in fact, that a scramble for Chinese money could further divide EU member states and make it difficult for Brussels to fashion a common position vis-à-vis Beijing. Furthermore, China’s economic penetration into Europe may lead – if not properly managed – to a populist backlash as well as a strain in relations with Washington. All these elements should be taken into consideration by EU policymakers, as China’s OBOR makes inroads into the Old Continent.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-64-4
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Zhao Minghao
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Council has mandated the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to draft a Global Strategy by June 2016. Given Europe’s status as a global power, such a strategy must respond to Europe’s own challenges as well as to the new grand strategies of other major players in world politics, like China. To better understand the central tenets of the Chinese leadership’s strategic thinking, two keywords are most important – the “Four Comprehensives” and the “One Belt and One Road” (OBOR). As an initiative mainly focusing on promoting Eurasian integration and reshaping Chinese geo-economic advantages, the OBOR is highly consequential to China’s interactions with Europe and the rest of the world at large in the decades to come. How to take advantage of the OBOR, create new EU-China synergies, and tackle relevant challenges are questions the EU leaders should be attentive to.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-61-3
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Daniela Huber, Maria Cristina Paciello
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As the EU is reviewing its European Neighbourhood Policy, this paper calls for an entirely new approach that would give the EU a stake in the region by responding more effectively to key needs on both sides of the Mediterranean. It first outlines three strategic policy options for the EU – defensive, power-projecting and reflexive approaches – and analyses EU policies accordingly. After observing that EU policies in the Mediterranean since the Arab uprisings have oscillated between a defensive and a power-projecting approach, this paper discusses how EU policies could become more inclusive of key actors, more responsive to key challenges and more flexible on both the multilateral and the bilateral level.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Power Politics, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-59-0
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Never before was the lack of a single European government, or at least of a strong and effective European governance, as acutely felt as in these days. With wars and failed states in the neighbourhood, and an unstoppable exodus crossing Europe, the continent appears at once more interdependent and more fragmented than ever. A coherent model of governance, competent and cohesive, but above all empowered by a full democratic investiture, would be needed everyday, to cope with daily emergencies while painstakingly devising and developing a long-term strategy where such emergency responses would be framed. Instead, in spite of the remarkable efforts of creative leadership made by the Commission, we are “governed” (but the term sounds like a gross overstatement) by subsequent extraordinary summits, each summoned to remedy the failures of the previous one. What can thus be expected and what should be asked, in such dire circumstances, to the next of these ad hoc European Council meeting, scheduled on Wednesday 23 September?
  • Topic: Migration, War, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-58-3
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Lisanne Groen
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: At the 15th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, the European Union (EU) failed to achieve most of its objectives. In 2011, at the 17th COP meeting in Durban, the EU was crucial in bringing about a deal on a roadmap towards a new global climate change agreement, to be adopted in December 2015 at the 21st COP meeting in Paris. This paper examines the lessons the EU has learned and can learn from its experience in Copenhagen in the run-up to Paris. It considers, first, the EU’s relative bargaining power; second, the relative position of its objectives/interests mapped against those of other negotiating parties; and third, how the EU can leverage its relative power through strategic action in pursuit of its objectives. The paper recommends that the EU focus on building a broad alliance with other progressive negotiating parties on mitigation in order to avoid a lowest common denominator outcome.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Industrial Policy, Treaties and Agreements, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-57-6
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Stefano Volpicelli
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Human mobility has changed profoundly since the onset of globalisation, with old patterns of south-north movement of male economic migrants being replaced by mixed flows of people moving because of a variety of needs and motivations. In Europe these changes have gone largely unnoticed and the discourse on migration has been conducted in a confused and contradictory way. Policies have swung between two poles: on one end the view of migrants as a problem rather than as an opportunity; on the other, the view of migrants as vulnerable people escaping poverty or persecution. Through the analysis of policies, juridical terminology, concepts and stereotypes, this paper proposes a three-step approach for a different narrative of migration to curb the political manipulation that, labelling migrants as a threat, is dangerously fuelling racism and discrimination towards “aliens”.
  • Topic: Globalization, Migration, Political Economy, Poverty, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-56-9
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Mehdi Lahlou
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: If Morocco appears to be Africa's gateway to Europe, it is a gateway that until today has been used primarily by Moroccans – more than 3 million Moroccans currently live in EU countries such as France, Spain and Italy. The number of other nationalities entering Europe through Morocco has seldom exceeded 20,000 annually and was no more than 7,300 in 2014. Thus, while Morocco is a country of migrant departure, it is only a minor host/transit country for migrants in search of better living conditions outside of their region of origin. Such a configuration has been the basis of recent Moroccan migration policy.
  • Topic: Globalization, Migration, Political Economy, Bilateral Relations, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-54-5
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Maria Giulia Amadio Viceré
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Under certain conditions, such as security crises, an integrated external EU counter-terrorism policy can emerge without leading to the supra-nationalisation of policy-making. This paper analyses the role of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy with the objective of assessing the influence that such figure can have on the governance of EU counter-terrorism policies. It does so by assessing the EU’s response to three security crises, namely: the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent bombings in Madrid (2004) and London (2005); the Arab Spring and the following destabilisation of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); and the emergence and spread of Da’esh.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-53-8
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Elif Burcu Günaydin
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: South-Eastern Mediterranean gas findings have raised much interest in recent years. Even though the estimated quantity of reserves is not globally significant, it is enough to be a regional game changer, promising a considerable amount of gas surplus to be exported. The main export route and potential customers are still being debated. Turkey, with its growing gas consumption, geographical location and existing pipeline system, is considered to be the most feasible option both as a customer and a transport route. Nevertheless, the fact that Israel and Cyprus, with whom Turkey had difficult relations, are the first two explorers of significant resources complicates considerably the situation. Optimistically, the reserves may lead to a solution to the Cyprus conflict and restore diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey. However, energy resources are known to be a double-edged sword that can lead to collaboration but also to conflict. Either way, gas production will find its way to the markets. It will be up to regional actors to decide whether this way will be paved via interim agreements or via a permanent settlement that could initiate regional energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Olgu Okumus
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since the international media reported crude oil flowing from the KRG to Turkey, doubts about the act's legality, political acceptability and opacity have surfaced. This oil trade is commercially enticing for energy-hungry Turkey, but is also politically risky. The Turkish government's lack of transparency regarding the KRG energy deal's economic and technical aspects has triggered domestic criticism - an especially risky proposition given the proximity of next year's election - and the KRG deal may also hinder international reliance on Turkey as a reliable energy hub. Turkey would be better advised to position itself as a partner for the export of Iraqi oil and gas, without making any distinction between federal and regional authorities. An Ankara-Erbil-Baghdad partnership based on normalized energy relations would help Turkey build new energy bridges with the EU, reducing gas prices for European consumers and strengthening Turkey-EU relations.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Oil, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Erkan Erdogdu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is a European Commission initiative aimed at facilitating the diversification of the routes and sources of gas imported into Europe. This paper is devoted to the analysis of Turkey's role in this initiative. Following a summary of the current economic and energy situation in Turkey, the paper presents recent developments in the SGC and an analysis of Turkey's role in the EU's SGC vision. It concludes that although the newly-built infrastructure within the SGC framework will probably serve Azerbaijani and Turkish interests first in their future relations with the EU, rather than the other way round, as had been initially hoped by the EU, it still addresses the EU's basic strategic interests, namely, the diversification of gas supply routes and suppliers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Netherlands
  • Author: Ariel Cohen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia's occupation of the Crimea and possible incorporation of Eastern Ukrainian regions demonstrated Europe's vulnerability to Gazprom's energy power. Whatever the EU's reactions, diversification of energy supply to diminish Russia's market share is likely to be one of them. TAP is one step towards the strategic goal of diminishing Gazprom's huge presence in Europe. But in view of the proposed construction of the Russian South Stream, how could Central Europe, and especially Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Lithuania, ensure energy diversification? What next for the Southern Corridor? Is Russia going to accept and tolerate infrastructure growth of the Caspian and other competitors south of its borders?
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria
  • Author: David Koranyi
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Ukraine crisis brought European energy security and with it the Southern Gas Corridor back into the spotlight. The crisis is far from over, but it is already clear that both the scope and nature of Russia's relations with the European Union (EU) and the United States cannot remain unchanged. As the strategic context changes and Europe becomes more and more concerned about Russia's behaviour and reliability as an energy supplier, particularly for natural gas, the relative importance of alternative sources will grow further. Europe is in the midst of rethinking its entire energy and gas supply security strategy. The Southern Gas Corridor can and should be a critical component in this context, while its prospects should be assessed realistically. It is by no means a short-term solution, yet in the medium-term, the Corridor has the potential to become a major source of gas for Europe. The EU should deploy robust energy diplomacy as well as resources to speed up its development.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Kim Talus, Nicolò Sartori, Sirja-Leena Penttinen
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, the European Union has put in place various policy and regulatory instruments to address climate change and ensure environmental protection. These European efforts, however, have been far from fully successful for a number of reasons, including the difficulty of achieving simultaneously the objectives set by the "2020 Climate and Energy Package" and the inefficient governance mechanisms to pursue them. For this reason, the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy agreed by the European Council in October 2014 proposes a new governance structure which introduces greater flexibility for governments in reaching the targets. While the new structure allows Member States to choose policies that are best-suited to their national energy mix and preferences, it will have to ensure that the commitments undersigned at EU level are respected and the overall targets set by the Commission are met.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Elif Burcu Günaydın
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: South-Eastern Mediterranean gas fields are still under exploration and development. Meanwhile, the question of which route or routes such gas would take into the global markets remains unanswered. The various possible routes appear to be problematic either politically or financially, leaving development stifled. However, with the crisis between Russia and Ukraine deepening Europe's interest in diversification of supplies, and with gas field owners and developers eager to monetise the resources, Eastern Mediterranean gas could become a potential source for the European Union. This paper tries to answer whether the South-Eastern Mediterranean resources can be regarded as a considerable supply for Europe and, if so, what are the alternative routes that would benefit all the parties involved.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Arab uprisings alongside the Ukrainian crisis have triggered the perfect storm. The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), developed at the height of enlargement EUphoria, is in tatters. To be fair, its failure is only partly endogenous, and largely due to the dramatic transformation of the neighbourhood – east and south – which no one could have foreseen at the turn of the century. Be that as it may, the EU will have to fundamentally rethink its approach towards its turbulent backyard. To move forward, the EU needs to devise conceptually different approaches to the east and south. In both cases, instability and crises abound. In both, the magnitude of the challenges that the EU faces is so great that down-to-earth realism must be its guiding light. Formulating and pursuing down-to-earth objectives for the neighbourhood that reflect current realities is not cynical. It is responsible.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Arabia
  • Author: Silvia Colombo, Nicolò Sartori
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Energy is a key factor shaping relations between Europe and North Africa. Due to the Maghreb's strategic role for European energy security, in the last two decades the EU has attempted to promote deeper energy cooperation both with and within the region. The success of the EU's bilateral and multilateral initiatives, however, has been hindered by diverging interests between European countries and their North African counterparts. The upheaval in the region unleashed by the Arab awakening, along with critical socio-economic challenges like population growth and urbanization, are altering this picture. In this context, the EU should urgently rethink its energy cooperation models with the southern partners, seizing the opportunities engendered by the current moment of change in the region.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa
  • Author: Eleonora Poli
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Before the 1997 economic crisis in Asia, the institutional evolution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was very different from the European model. The economic downturn in the late 1990s and the global shift toward a neo-liberal economic era urged ASEAN countries to rethink their regional integration strategy and to mimic some of the institutional models in Europe. In light of this, this paper analyses the rationale behind the evolution of ASEAN since the late 1990, evaluating how and why the organization on a surface replicated aspects of the EU model without engaging in meaningful supranational institutionalization.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sohbet Karbuz
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze EU-Turkey relations from an energy perspective. Energy is of mutual strategic interest to Turkey and the EU, insofar as both face serious and multiple energy challenges. Both Turkey and the EU seek to bridge supply and demand, and to establish a more competitive, diverse, secure and sustainable energy system. Common challenges and complementary objectives offer an unparalleled opportunity for the EU and Turkey to intensify cooperation and deepen integration in this field. To that end, this paper discusses the growing relevance of energy in the EU-Turkey relationship, focusing on Turkey's increasing importance in enhancing EU energy security. It then examines how future energy challenges could be turned into opportunities. Turkey and the EU have a lot to gain from close cooperation and deeper integration in the field of energy. However, the full potential of such cooperation and integration can best met by opening the energy chapter in Turkey's accession negotiations.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Giulia Rosa Maria Cavallo
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After the adoption of a single monetary policy which commits the European Central Bank to maintaining the euro's purchasing power and price stability in the Eurozone, the European Union is facing a new, but equally fundamental challenge: the implementation in a relatively short time of the so-called "Banking Union". Its purpose is twofold: (1) breaking the link between banking and sovereign risk, with the ultimate goal of achieving full protection of EU savers in the event of a crisis; and (2) ensuring uniformity of credit conditions - which are still too fragmented - within the European banking market, to ensure greater EU integration of the financial system. Starting from the Communication in which the European Commission stressed the need for a banking union, this paper intends to explore the complex process towards its establishment by looking at the EU institutional mechanisms and the legal aspects. In particular, the analysis will be based on two building blocks: (1) the Single Supervisory Mechanism, with a single supervisor at the heart of the banking union; and (2) the Single Resolution Mechanism as a new integrated resolution framework and a resolution fund to address the failure of banking institutions. The paper then assesses the next steps for a fully fledged banking union, necessary in order for this new instrument to lay the foundations for a genuine Economic and Monetary Union, thereby fostering financial and economic stability in the euro area and in the EU as a whole.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nicolò Sartori
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union launched the Southern Gas Corridor initiative with the twofold aim of strengthening the diversification of Europe's gas sources and transportation routes, and reducing the role of upstreamers in the European gas market. The clear preference expressed by the European Commission - the corridor's mastermind - for Nabucco was expected to weigh in heavily, allowing the EU-backed project to easily win the competition. However, other factors, beyond political support, ended up tilting the balance decisively in favour of Nabucco West's final rival, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). These do not include only the technical and commercial criteria set out by the Shah Deniz II consortium, but also more mundane considerations. Nabucco West' s complex organizational and decision-making procedures, the attractiveness of the exemption from Third Party Access (TPA) granted by the EU to TAP, and SOCAR's specific interest in the Greek market also influenced the consortium's final decision. An analysis of the Southern Gas Corridor competition suggests that when it comes to energy, political support and institutional involvement do not always represent the decisive element, and may be counterproductive at times.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Fatih Özgür Yeni
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Energy security is one of the hot topics on the European energy agenda. The EU's Southern Energy Corridor initiative is an attempt to reduce dependence on Russian supplies by tapping into Caspian and Middle-Eastern natural gas resources. Turkey, who aspires to be a regional energy hub, has emerged as the key country in the Southern Corridor. Although the TAP project in its current state satisfies neither Turkey's energy hub ambitions nor the EU's resource diversification efforts, it may serve as the first building block of the Southern Corridor. There are promising developments in the region that can increase volumes and add new routes to the initiative. Private companies have already shown their interest in developing a pipeline infrastructure for possible South-East Mediterranean and Northern Iraq natural gas exports but complex geopolitical issues pose the greatest threat to the way ahead. Thanks to its unique location, Turkey is destined to be one of the key players in the Southern Corridor. The convergence of Turkey's energy hub ambitions and the EU's energy security objectives present mutual gains, but also demand sustained collaboration between the two in light of several technical, legal and political hurdles.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Manuel Muniz
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: EU member states have proven incapable of clarity in their strategic planning, with their key strategic documents almost inevitably abstract and ambiguous. This is extremely unfortunate because without a clear catalogue of interests and an understanding of their location around the world it is impossible to determine a country's appropriate force structure, let alone conduct a coherent and effective foreign and defence policy. This lack of rigor in strategic planning is hurting European defence integration, as states are unable to have transparent and constructive debates about the interests they share. It would be wise to incorporate into the strategic planning process a model that allows for the capturing and quantifying of states' interests. Such a process might lead to the realization that EU member states share more strategic interests than is at first apparent.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Vanessa Ushie
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the framework of the IAI-OCP Policy Center project this paper offers a conceptual framework to examine natural resource management in Turkey, Morocco and Italy and its implications for social and economic development. It recognizes the multiplicity of actors involved in natural resource management at the local, national and global level. It then proceeds by 1) advancing a definition of natural resources to be used in the context of this project; 2) highlighting relevant emerging issues in the empirical debates on natural resource management within economics and politics; 3) developing a series of indicators aimed at assessing the dimensions of the management and use of natural resources. In general, this conceptual framework adopts a flexible and plural approach that reflects the multidisciplinary nature of natural resource management, and recognizes the importance of country-specific factors in the relationship between natural resource management and socio-economic development.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Natural Resources, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, North Africa, Italy, Morocco
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci, Thanos Dokos, Eleonora Poli, Chiara Rosselli, Eduard Soler i Lech
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Eurozone crisis and the ensuing public disaffection towards what many view as deficient EU institutions and policies have resulted in a surge of euroscepticism across member states. Although euroscepticism is not a new phenomenon, the rise of mass anti- establishment movements notably in southern Europe is. Despite their different political and structural features, Five Star Movement in Italy, Syriza in Greece and several social movements sprung from the Indignados in Spain have recently become key actors in their national political arena by opposing, inter alia, EU-imposed austerity. Yet these movements are not anti-EU in toto; while they criticize what they view as the EU's lack of democracy and rigid economic policies, they are not opposed to the EU integration project as such. While a fine line distinguishes Euro-scepticism from Euro-criticism, provided such distinction is made, the critique of these movements could be galvanized into a constructive force for a more integrated EU political space.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nicolò Sartori
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union launched the ambitious Southern Gas Corridor initiative with the goal of enhancing the security of its energy supply. The corridor - a virtual transit route running from the gas-rich Caspian basin to the EU while bypassing Russian soil - is meant to increase diversification of the EU's supplier and transit countries. While various projects have been proposed to give life to the corridor, the European Commission has given particular support to the realisation of Nabucco, a 3,893km pipeline running from Turkey to the European gas hub of Baumgarten in Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. The Commission's choice is, however, flawed in several respects, as it fails to take account of key factors, such as the diverging, and sometimes conflicting, interests of individual EU member states, the geopolitical challenges of the Caspian basin, and the commercial constraints on Nabucco. This short-sighted approach has hindered the efficient development of the Southern Gas Corridor and weakened the EU's energy policy.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria
  • Author: Ebru Oğurlu
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, the Eastern Mediterranean has been increasingly fraught with growing competition between regional players, most notably Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel, signalling an apparent return of power politics in regional relations. Of all actors involved, Turkey stands out for being both an ever more influential power and a source of serious concern to other countries in the region due to its greater assertiveness and perceived hegemonic ambitions. Against the backdrop of recent regional developments and their international implications, including the dispute over drilling rights off Cyprus' coasts, Turkey's image as a constructive and dialogue-oriented country, a critical achievement pursued by a generation of Turkish politicians, diplomats and officials, risks being replaced by one of an antagonistic/assertive power. Facing the first serious challenge to its claim to embody a benign model as a secular Muslim democracy and a responsible international actor, Turkey should not indulge in emotional reactions. It should opt instead for a more moderate and balanced approach based on the assumption that only cooperation and constructive dialogue, even with rival countries, can help it realize its ambition of being the regional pivot.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Asia, Colombia, Cyprus
  • Author: Fabienne Zwagemakers
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Through the inclusion of human rights and democracy clauses in the trade and association agreements of its common external trade policy, the European Union seeks to promote and transmit the values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law globally. However, trade partners from the developing world often feel that these clauses offend their national sovereignty, and sometimes resort to alternative agreements offered by countries notorious for cutting corners. This working paper offers an assessment of the motives for non-compliance and sketches out how the EU could engender compliance. The paper concludes that there is a pivotal role to be played by education, civil society, business, and political parties in the nexus between economic growth, democracy, and the respect for human rights. The EU must target these factors directly, as they largely determine the domestic enforcement of HR clauses. In addition, the EU should develop a human rights strategy coordinated with global, regional, and local actors.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, India, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Elnur Soltanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP), proposed by BP in late September 2011, could eventually be the pipeline carrying Azeri gas to European markets. Compared to its competitors in the Southern Corridor concept - Nabucco, TAP and ITGI - it goes furthest in terms of optimality for all the parties involved. The combined advantages of its size, scalability, usage of existing gas infrastructure in Europe and direction, promises a more reasonable economic and political value for the Shah Deniz Consortium, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Europe, while posing a bearable challenge to Russia. The SEEP seems to offer a greater value to a greater number of actors.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Daniela Huber
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: For the last two decades, the EU has sent mixed signals concerning democracy and human rights to its Mediterranean neighbourhood. Has this changed since the outbreak of the Arab Spring? After observing the EU's response to the revolutions in two key countries, Tunisia and Egypt, this paper finds that signalling to Tunisia has become more coherent, while it remains ambiguous towards Egypt - a trend reinforced by US foreign policy in the region. In order to send a coherent message, the EU has to outline more concretely, what are the benchmarks and rewards for progress. For signalling to be effective, bilateral and multilateral dialogues are key. While bilateral dialogue platforms do exist, they should meet more frequently and at the highest levels. A multilateral dimension is conspicuously missing in the array of instruments set up by the EU in response to the Arab Spring, but would be crucial not only in order to understand the different democracy languages spoken, but notably also to anchor reform and set regional standards for it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Human Rights, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Anar Valiyev
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As Azerbaijan celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence, democratic development remains a key challenge facing the country. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan successfully coped with immediate problems such as poverty reduction and economic and political stability, the need to reform the public administration and decentralize governance has become particularly urgent. The main problems, however, remain the same: low public trust in institutions, the absence of a democratic political culture and the lack of bridging social capital. In this regard, the assistance of the Transatlantic Community is necessary. The European Union and the United States should pursue a developmental approach to democracy promotion in Azerbaijan, which has higher chances to succeed than a more explicitly political approach, considering the weak institutional capacity in the country.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Michele Comelli
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The eurozone's debt crisis has exposed structural economic and political rifts within the European Union. Specifically, it has created a new cleavage between creditor and debtor countries, the former being mainly located in Central-Northern Europe and the latter in Southern Europe, each with its own understanding of the causes of and remedies to the crisis. This paper explores how a debtor country - Italy - has changed its political discourse on the EU as a result of the crisis, focusing on political elites, civil society and public opinion. It argues that while the discourse of political elites and of civil society clearly mirrors this cleavage, public opinion does not necessarily follow this pattern, being mainly concerned with the country's domestic ills.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Debt, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Rossella Marangio
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The long-lasting Somali conflict is profoundly linked to the country's historical development and its socio-cultural specificities. The political milieu and the struggle for power in Somalia reflect the cleavage between tradition and modernity. This rift has led to a legitimacy vacuum, which has made it difficult for the warring parties to find enough common ground for a compromise. Furthermore, external influences, at both regional and international levels, have contributed to the fragmentation of the political arena, due notably to the emphasis on the use of force as the principal tool for acquiring or maintaining power. In this unfolding crisis, regional pressures and rivalries, international interventions, economic and strategic interests as well as piracy, corruption and Islamic extremism all play an interlocking role. In view of this, a new approach to the crisis is badly needed. The EU, in particular, should promote a new strategy based on three components: enhancement of social cohesion through local cooperation programmes, state-building and development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Somalia
  • Author: Pasqualina Lepore
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the context of the ongoing EU-mediated dialogue, Serbia and Kosovo have reached several agreements, the most important of which being that on regional representation and cooperation. Also known as the “asterisk agreement”, the agreement reached in February 2012 allows Kosovo to represent itself at all regional meetings with the nameplate of “Kosovo*”. While widely appreciated by the international community, it has generated divergent interpretations in Belgrade and Pristina and has provoked turmoil in both countries. On the whole, the agreement has enhanced Kosovo's and Serbia's path towards the EU, with the mandate for a feasibility study for the former and EU candidacy for the latter being achieved. However, the agreement has not addressed the key bones of contention between the parties, namely North Kosovo and Pristina's status. As a result, the situation remains unsustainable and a more comprehensive solution needs to be found.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Jean-Pierre Darnis
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: François Hollande's election as president of the French republic seems to mark a political rupture, interrupting 17 years of right wing presidencies (under Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy) and a decade of conservative government. Hollande claims that he will be a “normal” president, in contrast with Sarkozy's flamboyant style. This paper assesses whether Hollande's presidency truly represents a turning point in France's trajectory by gauging its impact on French foreign policy. The argument elaborated below is that French foreign policy is and will continue to be driven by strong continuities, although differences in style are likely to impinge upon France's role in the world and in the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ekaterina Vladimirova
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Individual behaviour plays a key role in resolving the climate change problem. The main obstacle for such behavioural change is often poor public knowledge about the ethical dimension of climate change and about the practical solutions available to individuals in order to make informed choices. Promoting sustainable lifestyles should top the political agenda in Europe. In this light, this paper suggests how the EU could engage with civil society to promote sustainable lifestyles through joint media campaigns, by establishing local sustainability centres and by working together to change educational standards. This collaboration would benefit from knowledge and expertise exchange, lower transaction costs and, most importantly, it would increase public trust in the quest for sustainability.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Education, Environment, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Silvia Cavasola
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: For years the EU has been fostering a common policy to integrate immigrants. Yet, whether its efforts have progressively created something like a homogeneous European model of integration remains an open question. An analysis of the approach to immigrant integration in the EU member states that receive the largest immigration flows, as well as of EU initiatives to promote greater policy harmonization among its member states, shows that partial convergence in national integration strategies is linked more to interstate emulation and parallel path development than to proactive EU legislation on the matter. This trend can be referred to as a process of “informal Europeanization”.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Migration, Labor Issues, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alessandro Riccardo Ungaro
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The new US strategic guidance released in January 2012 represents a hallmark of US President Barack Obama's foreign policy and forms integral part of the so-called “Pivot to Asia”. However, rather than a radical departure from the past, the strategic guidance represents an evolution and extension of US foreign policy towards the region, envisaging the reallocation of American military assets from Europe to the Asia-Pacific. The implementation of the guidance strategy is a long-term and complex process: several challenges, tensions and frictions between the US and regional actors may hamper the implementation of the policy and will require a delicate balancing act in which China will play a key role. On the European side, the US shift should be seen as an opportunity to review the European Security Strategy and elaborate its own strategy towards Asia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Europe, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Antonio Bultrini
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: It is widely recognized that the European Convention on Human Rights has led to the most advanced human rights protection system to date - and represents an important benchmark for several other international bodies. The individual right of application to the European Court, which unlike other human rights treaties is compulsory for State parties, is a unique feature and pillar of the system. However, the European Court is presently overwhelmed by an abnormal caseload: about 150,000 applications are currently pending in Strasbourg. Recent reforms have increased the Court’s efficiency. Yet the British Government has just tried to promote a new reform of the system. This attempt was not entirely disinterested and has led to an unprecedented mobilization by international civil society. The British move has nonetheless triggered a debate on the real challenges facing the European system.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Nicoletta Pirozzi, Valérie Vicky Miranda, Kai Schäfer
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Joint Africa-European Union Strategy, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in December 2007, was intended to overcome an unequal partnership between the African and European continents by establishing a framework of cooperation based on shared values and common objectives. However, in the first implementation phase it became clear that these conditions were far from being fully realized. In particular, the Partnership on Peace and Security has shown a tendency to institutionalize dialogue and crystallize practices of cooperation along the well-established Brussels-Addis Ababa axis, while efforts to engage with other crucial actors remain to some extent limited. This paper focuses on the sub-optimal involvement of two crucial stakeholders, namely African regional organizations and civil society actors. It presents the main findings and policy recommendations of a study concluded by IAI in September 2012, with the support of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the European Parliament.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Alessandro Marrone
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The economic crisis has impacted deeply on defence spending in Europe. It has led to uncoordinated cuts to defence budgets at national level, but has also revived interest in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Both the EU and NATO have made an effort to involve European countries in cooperative projects, under the banner s of “Pooling and Sharing” and “Smart Defence” respectively, with limited results. At the same time, the European Commission has adopted two directives regarding defence spending, and the European Defence Agency has been strengthened. While defence spending remains predominantly a national prerogative, European countries will soon face the choice of pooling certain capabilities at international level or losing them because of insufficient spending. In this light, Italy is rationalizing its defence budget, while preserving its commitments to international cooperation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Luigi Napolitano
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The ongoing peace process in Cyprus, started in March 2008, is still work in progress, which has not yet reached the point of no return. All negotiating matters have been explored, classified and discussed. Some of them have been negotiated in depth and a few agreements have even been reached. But most of the knots to reach a comprehensive settlement are yet to be untied. A solution to governance matters is in sight, whereas a compromise on the all important question of property is still elusive. The UNSG Ban Ki-moon will meet the leaders of the two Cypriot communities in Geneva on January 26th to take stock of the outstanding problems and of the leaders' plans to solve them. In reconstructing and analysing the main developments, this article strives to keep equal distance from the contending sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Europe, Cyprus
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci, Rym Ayadi, Maria Cristina Paciello, Silvia Colombo
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Owing to its macroeconomic achievements, for decades Tunisia projected an image of stability to the world and distinguished itself from other Arab countries for its progress in the areas of economic growth, health, education and women's rights. This widely held view of apparent stability was shattered on January 14, when President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country after high levels of unemployment and inequalities resulted in widespread chaos and social unrest. Events in Tunisia raise sharp questions regarding the country's current situation and its future prospects and, more generally, the often taken-forgranted sustainability of many regimes of the Middle East and the policies of the European Union towards the region.
  • Topic: Democratization, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro, Andrea Dessì
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Frustrated by years of inconclusive peace talks, the Palestinians are turning to the United Nations to gain recognition as an independent state. Their bid is opposed by Israel and the United States, with the latter threatening to block any bid for full UN membership in the UN Security Council. To bypass the US veto, the Palestinians plan to request recognition to the UN General Assembly, where they are sure to get the two-third majority of votes needed for the approval of the resolution. While legally non-binding, a favourable vote in the UNGA would be a political boost for the Palestinians' cause - or so they hope. Full EU backing would give critical political weight to the Palestinians' claim. EU states are deeply divided on the issue of Palestinian membership of the UN but instead of opposing the initiative altogether, the EU has been engaging the Palestinian leadership in the hope of modifying its stance. Should the EU fail to persuade the PA to give up on its request for full UN membership, it should abstain in bloc while tabling a concurring resolution that would spell out clearly the parameters for renewed peace talks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Federica Di Camillo, Valérie Miranda
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The modern-day importance of the cyber/Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector rests upon various considerations: it is at the basis of most of the critical infrastructures of modern societies, and can be both the direct object of attacks or incidents on Critical Information Infrastructures (CIIs) and the means of striking indirectly at the critical infrastructures whose own operations are based on it (i.e., transport networks, energy and water distribution networks, nuclear plants and banking and financial systems). This paper aims at showing that the existence of problems of definitions, and above all of their harmonisation, brings inefficiencies to various aspects of the management of the cyber sector, in particular normative production, countermeasures and law enforcement. As a way forward, it suggests some proposals for improvement at the European, transatlantic and international levels.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Infrastructure, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Felician
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Korean Peninsula, despite its size, is one of the most critical areas of the world. A land that bears a bitter legacy of the Cold War, and that is still heavily militarized, Korea shows a striking contrast from North to South. These two opposite political systems cohabit under a fragile peace that could be broken at any moment. This has led to a massive military development and the deployment of a wide array of troops on both sides. The future of North Korea is crucial for the entire region and could affect the EU's economy as well. Many issues remain to be solved in order to achieve a durable peace in the region or, at the very least, to avoid the resumption of war. The European Union could play a role in this unfolding crisis in a manner that could also help its ailing economy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Cold War, Peace Studies, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Michele Comelli, Raffaello Matarazzo
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) have transformed the delegations of the EU abroad which are the face of the EU in third countries and in international organisations. Previously they dealt with trade and aid only, now they also deal with foreign and security policy, coordinating and representing the positions of the EU in third countries. This is an important innovation, but one which poses new challenges. In addition, EU delegations to international organizations are confronted with specific problems: the member states' reluctance to recognize the new competences conferred by the Treaty to the EU and the discrepancies between the new provisions of the EU's external representation and the internal procedures of international organizations themselves. In order to use all the space for manoeuvre provided for by the Treaty EU delegations must pursue a double objective: further adapting the EU's external representation to the procedures of the main international organizations; and promoting deeper coordination between the EU and the member states, particularly when shared competences are at stake.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Anna Veclani, Nicolò Sartori, Rosa Rosanelli
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EU is one of the major space actors in the world and, like other principal space faring nations, relies on an independent access to space system for implementing its space policy. Indeed, for more than thirty years, the European launcher Ariane has guaranteed the success of numerous institutional and commercial missions, both for civil and military purposes. Given the importance of the EU's space policy for the effectiveness of the Union's internal and external action, an autonomous, reliable and cost-effective access to space is a fundamental and strategic necessity. This paper presents the main challenges faced by European institutions and industry in maintaining an independent access to space. As satellite technology quickly evolves and new space competitors rise, the EU needs to step up its launch capabilities and to effectively confront international competition. To these ends, the main European space actors must renew their approach to the policy on access to space, in particular by addressing the problems affecting the launch company Arianespace, for which the paper provides policy options.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Miguel Haubrich Seco
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In its external relations, the EU advances regional cooperation as a successful means of achieving peace and prosperity. In doing so, the EU promotes its own model as the most successful case of regional integration. A wide-reaching set of instruments, spanning from trade to political dialogue and aid, is used to promote regional cooperation and integration. Noneheless, regional organisations supported by the EU are far from accomplishing their set objectives. Using as a test case the Andean Community, the oldest Latin American regional organisation and a prominent case of EU support for regional integration, this paper examines the reasons behind the EU's lack of impact in promoting regional integration. Stemming from this analysis, the paper proposes a recalibration of EU policy by decoupling trade relations from political engagement and by increasing support for physical and visible integration as opposed to formal institutions detached from the perceived needs of the public.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Nicole Koenig
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EU's reaction is slow, the EU is divided, the EU is unable to deliver: time and time again, newspapers depict the image of an incoherent and uncoordinated EU foreign policy. This time, the topic under discussion is the EU's response to the Libyan crisis. Many have compared the EU's internal divisions over Libya with those over the Iraq war, an often-used example to illustrate the limits of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). This paper aims to assess the coherence of the EU's short- to medium-term response to the Libyan crisis. It distinguishes between the horizontal, interinstitutional, vertical and multilateral dimensions of EU coherence. The analysis shows that unilateral actions or inactions of the member states mainly account for the EU's incoherent response. The post-Lisbon institutional structure has done little to compensate for these internal divisions. While the EU cannot change the course of national foreign policies, it should increase its 'leadership for coherence', communitarize its crisis response in the medium term and aim at preventing incoherence in the longer term.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Libya, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Hanna Ojanen, Rosa Balfour
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EEAS was established to give EU foreign policy new impetus, greater coherence and efficacy. It remains to be seen whether the current organizational concept will give rise to more strategic approaches to foreign policy issues and more holistic foreign policy tools. The most immediate potential of the EEAS lies in its role in merging the broad toolbox of EU external action. The EEAS also has potential to improve vertical coordination and outreach. In the long-term, incremental changes could contribute to forming a new mindset, both when it comes to the relationship between the EU and its citizens, and to reviewing traditional models of diplomacy. The EEAS still needs recognition as a real diplomatic service both from within the Union and by other actors. Its performance, with tangible deliverables, will be key to its legitimacy and future prospects, as will be communicating the strategies and the outcomes to the wider European public.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kseniya Oksamytna
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union's mission to contribute to the training of the Somali Security Forces is the first military training mission launched by the EU. Deployed in April 2010, EUTM is nearing the end of its mandate: the training of the recruits will be completed by mid-July 2011. The mission was carried out in close coordination with the US, the African Union and the Ugandan army, and contributed to the EU's visibility in East Africa. However, given the overall feebleness of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its inability to implement reform, the political effectiveness of the mission is doubtful. In the current context, EUTM should not be extended beyond its original mandate. The EU and other donors should instead support more functional local administrations and make future assistance to the TFG contingent upon tangible progress towards completing transitional tasks, a normalization of political life, and restoring the provision of public services.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, United States, Europe, Somalia, East Africa
  • Author: Eva Gross, Alessandro Rotta
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the performance of the EEAS in the Western Balkans to date. It identifies political deadlocks, particularly over Kosovo's status, and the weakening pull of EU membership as a catalyst for reform as the main challenges the EU must address. The paper argues that the EU's first tangible success was the initiation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. In order to maintain the positive momentum this has generated, the EU must improve the coherence between its political and operational instruments, thus increasing its collective political impact vis-à-vis local but also international stakeholders. The authors make three suggestions for maximizing the future impact of the EEAS: continue to invest in political leadership on the part of the HR/VP; connect the EU's global strategic work with regional and local political challenges in order to improve its coordination with its strategic partners; and work to improve the political and operational links between Brussels and the field.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Matteo Garavoglia
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The democratic deficit in the relationship between European institutions and citizens stems from the lack of a pan-European public sphere where supranational policy-making and national politics can be reconciled. One of the key reasons for the absence of a pan-European public sphere is the extremely limited politicization of European policy-making in the eyes of European citizens in a context whereby Europe is perceived as an entity of "policy without politics". The aim of this paper is to highlight how a politicization of the European policy-making process through a dialectical engagement of progressive and liberal forces with conservative and nationalistic ones can contribute to the development of a pan-European public sphere.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Natalino Ronzitti, Nicoletta Pirozzi
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The United Nations (UN) is a central reference for the performance of the European Union (EU) on the international stage and one of the most interesting platforms to test the effectiveness of the innovations introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in its foreign and security policies. In particular, the EU's contribution to the reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) represents a crucial policy and institutional input to assess the Union's capability to act. The new Treaty could allow the EU to play a more assertive role at the SC and pave the way for a new regionalism within the United Nations.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Silvestri
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union urgently has to work out a new strategy towards the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It has to back the democratic transformations of Arab societies, but also assert the need for new cooperation in the field of security so that the inevitable changes do not produce new international crises and do not generate new threats. The EU can take advantage of a favourable situation which, however, may not last long. This is a crucial test for the Union's common foreign and security policy after Lisbon.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Lisbon
  • Author: Michele Comelli
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Once a renowned Euro-enthusiastic country, Italy has experienced a decrease in public support for European integration. Many are the reasons, including the emergence of a less idealistic vision of the EU, a general disaffection vis-à-vis politics, particularly at the domestic level, and the increasingly more vocal Euroscepticism of some political forces within the centre-right ruling coalition. The current Berlusconi government does not show the same degree of interest for European integration as previous centrist and centre-left governments. This is not to say that Italy's love affair with Europe has come to a bitter end. Italians continue to trust European institutions significantly more than national ones and would like the EU to acquire more competences. In addition, the vocal anti-EU rhetoric of some political forces within the governing coalition, and especially the Northern League, is often not matched by deeds, largely because EU policy-making is generally used as a source of leverage to obtain concessions in other policy domains. Tellingly, the Treaty of Lisbon was speedily ratified by the Italian parliament by unanimous vote - something unthinkable in most EU countries.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy, Lisbon
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci, Jean-Pierre Cassarino
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The revolts sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 have shaken long-held truths about the region. Most strikingly, the sustainability of these regimes has proved a chimera. The events in the region and the many truths they uncovered call for a serious rethink in Western policies towards the region. The aim of this paper is to explore what such a rethink might entail for the European Union. Reviewing the European Neighbourhood Policy by revamping the benefits on offer, reconsidering the effective use of conditionality, establishing adequate monitoring mechanisms and engaging with a plethora of partners both within and beyond the region is imperative. Such a review is contingent on the recognition of a reversed hierarchy of priorities, induced by the force of historical events unfolding in the region. To reverse policy priorities is no small feat, considering the entrenched logic that has sustained Euro-Med policies so far. Nonetheless, various dynamics press for a new way of thinking. The proposals contained in this study constitute concrete steps to rethink the EU's Mediterranean policies in line with the fundamental rights and principles which the Union seeks to advance in its external action.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa