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  • Author: Sonali Chowdhry, Gabriel Felbermayr
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: In 2011, the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (EUKFTA) entered into force. With its focus on non-tariff barriers (NTBs), it is a leading example of a deep new generation agreement. Using detailed French customs data for the period 2000 to 2016, we investigate how exporters of different size have gained from the agreement. Applying a diff-in-diff strategy that makes use of the rich dimensionality of the data, we find that firms with larger pre-FTA sizes benefit more from the FTA than firms at the lower end of the size distribution, both at the extensive (product) and the intensive margins of trade. The latter finding is in surprising contrast to leading theories of firm-level behavior. Moreover, we find that our main result is driven by NTB reductions rather than tariff cuts. In shedding light on the distributional effects of trade agreements within exporters, our findings highlight the need for effective SME-chapters in FTAs.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Treaties and Agreements, Tariffs, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, South Korea, European Union
  • Author: Cornelius Adebahr
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rift between Europe and the United States over Iran is deepening. To regain leverage, the Europeans should engage all eight Gulf states in talks about regional security and nonproliferation. The rift between Europe and the United States over Iran is deepening. Two years of U.S. maximum pressure on Tehran have not yielded the results Washington had hoped for, while the Europeans have failed to put up enough resistance for their transatlantic partner to change course. Worse, the U.S. policy threatens to destabilize the broader Persian Gulf, with direct consequences for Europe. To get ahead of the curve and regain leverage, the European Union (EU), its member states, and the United Kingdom have to look beyond their relations with the Islamic Republic and address wider regional security challenges. The United States’ incipient retreat as a security guarantor and Russia’s increased interest in the region make it necessary for Europe to engage beyond its borders. Despite being barely alive, the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran offers a good starting point. The Europeans should regionalize some of the agreement’s basic provisions to include the nuclear newcomers on the Arab side of the Gulf. Doing so would advance a nonproliferation agenda that is aimed not at a single country but at the region’s broader interests. Similarly, the Europeans should engage Iran, Iraq, and the six Arab nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council in talks about regional security. Rather than suggesting an all-encompassing security framework, for which the time is not yet ripe, they should pursue a step-by-step approach aimed at codifying internationally recognized principles at the regional level.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Jyri Lavikainen
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Non-compliance and disputes between Russia and the US resulted in the US exiting the Open Skies Treaty. If Russia withdraws in response, European countries will lose an important source of intelligence.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Intelligence, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Jannike Wachowiak
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: As the end of the transition period nears, the EU must prepare for a fundamentally different and more conflictual relationship with the UK. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, there will be profound economic, political and geopolitical implications for the EU. While the EU as a whole might be better placed than the UK to absorb the economic shock of a no-deal, the fallout within the EU will be uneven, resulting in winners and losers. The asymmetrical impact and differential capacity and willingness of national governments to mitigate the shock could exacerbate regional disparities and unbalance the EU’s internal level playing field. As such, it might become more difficult to maintain the same level of EU unity post-no-deal.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Alberto-Horst Neidhardt, Olivia Sundberg Diez
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: A courageous and ambitious New Pact on Migration and Asylum is one that strengthens the right to asylum; sets the conditions for more equal relationships with third countries when it comes to managing migration; and puts forward a mechanism that can foster genuine solidarity between member states. When the new Commission entered into office in December 2019, it promised a fresh start on migration, breaking the deadlock between member states on long-awaited reforms. Unfortunately, based on a range of leaked papers and official (draft) documents that have been circulating since late 2019, it seems that the Commission may opt to reduce the New Pact to a collection of watered-down compromises on responsibility-sharing. It also appears to be doubling down on control-oriented measures. This Discussion Paper argues that a different approach is needed to set up an EU asylum and migration policy that is efficient, respects asylum seekers’ fundamental rights and can prevent and meaningfully address future humanitarian emergencies.
  • Topic: Migration, Treaties and Agreements, Refugees, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia Grübler, Oliver Reiter
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: Political debates and economic analyses often focus on single free trade agreements and their potential economic effects on participating trading partners. This study contributes to the literature by shedding light on the significance of trade agreements in the context of countries’ positions in worldwide trade agreement networks, by combining network theory with gravity trade modelling. We illustrate, both numerically and graphically, the evolution of the global web of trade agreements in general, and the network of the European Union specifically, accounting for the geographical and temporal change in the depth of agreements implemented. Gravity estimations for the period 1995-2017 distinguish the direct bilateral effects of trade agreements from indirect effects attributable to the scope of trade networks and countries’ positions therein.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Profit, Models
  • Political Geography: Europe, Austria
  • Author: Elie Perot
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 22 January 2019, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel signed a new treaty on “Franco-German cooperation and integration” in Aachen. Complementing the 1963 Elysée Treaty which symbolized the reconciliation between Germany and France in the post-war period, the Aachen Treaty aims to further strengthen the ties between the two countries in the domains of economy, culture, administration, environment, diplomacy and defence. Although the Treaty has been criticised for its lack of ambition, a closer reading of its text reveals some hidden gems, including its mutual defence clause. What does this new clause mean for the Franco-German tandem and for collective defence in Europe?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Bruno Hellendorff
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 1 February 2019, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that his country had suspended its compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty, and would withdraw from it within six months. The INF Treaty, little known outside of arms control and disarmament circles, was a landmark Cold War agreement between the United States of America and the USSR – the first to ban an entire category of weapons (ground-based medium- and intermediate-range missiles). The US withdrawal, announced in dramatic terms by President Donald Trump in October 2018, followed the claim that Russia had recently developed and fielded a missile with performances forbidden by the INF Treaty. The end of this little-known treaty is not anecdotal. Not only will it further strain the US-Russia relationship and antagonise allies, it will also contribute to the erosion of what is left of the global arms-control architecture and incentivise arms-race behav- iours among great powers. In a world where security is increasingly less a question of multilateral deliberation and rules-based interactions, the end of the INF Treaty is a further signal that missile technologies are again becoming a venue for competition between great powers: only this time, at least three are playing the game (United States, China and Russia) rather than two (United States and USSR). Additionally, missile technology proliferation has turned into a major dimension of contemporary battlefield realities, and missile programmes of countries such as Iran and North Korea continue to pose important diplomatic and non-proliferation challenges. Meanwhile, Europe is, by and large, left watching as its regional security architecture erodes. Welcome to what US National Security Advisor John Bolton recently termed ‘a multipolar missile world’. The EU should not try to salvage the INF Treaty. Its diplomatic capital might be better spent in areas where it could potentially make a difference, rather than in a treaty to which it is not even party. Existing multilateral regimes and agreements with the EU or its Member States as parties are already in dire need of reinforcement in the face of technological progress, a volatile diplomatic environment and self-centred, competitive political narratives. These include, inter alia, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) framework (including its Structured Dialogue), multilateral export control regimes (MECR) like the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), transparency and trust-building mechanisms like the Hague Code of Conduct against missile proliferation (HCoC), and nuclear-related frame- works like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or ‘Iran deal’) or the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Process. These, however, may simply fail to meet the challenge of a multipolar missile world. Renewed efforts, both conceptual and in the realm of capabilities, are needed in a NATO framework to reinforce the linkage between deterrence and diplomacy. NATO-EU dialogue and cooperation on defence issues could be further enhanced, and European countries should work more with like-minded partners at both bilat- eral or multilateral levels on the challenges of non-proliferation and disarmament in the twenty-first century. The demise of the INF Treaty should therefore re-energise the debate on European strategic autonomy, help support collective capability building – not least in NATO – and prompt new discussions on stronger multilateral rules on missile development, use and proliferation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Jim Cloos
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: In 2014, the European Parliament staged a small 'coup' when it imposed the EPP "Spitzenkandidat" Jean-Claude Juncker as the new Commission President, on the basis of a rather innovative reading of the Treaty. In 2019, the attempt at renewing this operation failed, because of some of the inherent flaws in the concept, and because the conditions were no longer the same. The European Council was quick to reclaim its prerogatives as set out in the Treaty. This may however not be the last word and a revised version of the Spitzenkandidaten could possibly emerge from the upcoming conference on the future of the EU. But any such move towards a more federal Europe requires an informed and transparent debate and cannot be introduced via the back-door.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Centralization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: György Fóris
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: The rule of law issue is not going anywhere anytime soon. The Polish and Hungarian governments will likely remain in power for years. Czech, Croat and some Romanian leaders seem impressed and ready to follow the paths Kaczyński and Orbán have paved. And Italy might not have seen the last of Matteo Salvini. Member states that increasingly question, ignore, or even attack previously agreed-upon policies, political priorities or common principles are becoming a regular occurrence within the Union, one that the new Commission will have to deal with. In this Discussion Paper, György Fóris finds that in an increasingly politicised Union, the design of the current rule of law mechanism is lacking. He argues it cannot function effectively on legal grounds alone as long as the existing Treaty foundations remain ambiguous and the final decision is taken at the political level, where it is the Council and not the Commission that is the decisive player. So the von der Leyen Commission will face a difficult choice: either try to live with all of the formal members of the Union, listening to and mediating between them, while continuing to defend the rules and values that were entrusted to it as the Guardian of the Treaty and thus preserve the EU’s unity. Or, take sides and lead an open political fight against those who seem to weaken the previously agreed interpretation of fundamental European rules and principles. Fóris, however, offers a third option: While not giving up on unity, likeminded and willing EU countries could intensify their level of cooperation, while formally retaining all parties within the framework of a larger (and looser) Community.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic