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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: Krševan Antun Dujmović
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: The general elections held in Montenegro on 30 August 2020 has once again drawn the attention of the Western Balkans to the smallest, measured by population, among seven nations that emerged after the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This attention is due to a number of factors. Back in May of 2018 Montenegro has opened the last of the thirty-three chapters in the negotiation process with the European Union, making it a harbinger among Western Balkans nations on the path to Euro-Atlantic integrations, especially as the country had joined the North Atlantic Alliance in June 2017. Other countries in the region linger behind Montenegro – Albania and North Macedonia, both NATO members, are still waiting for the opening of the negotiations with the EU. Serbia has no intention to join NATO, and in spite of EU negotiations and ambitions, sees itself in balance between the West on one side, and Russia and China on the other. Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina are far from NATO membership and have merely the status of potential candidates for EU membership. This is why all eyes of the region and of the advocates of continuation of EU enragement policy are on Montenegro. The second factor are strong historical ties of this country on the Adriatic coast with its northern neighbor Serbia. Serbian minority makes up to one third of Montenegro’s population, and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC- Srpska Pravoslavna Crkva) plays a vital role in Montenegrin society, as this country does not have its own autocephalous Church recognized by other Orthodox Churches in Eastern Christendom. This gives Serbia and the SPC a significant clout within borders of its southern neighbor. The third factor is the involvement of global players in this country. The United Sates has advocated strongly to include Montenegro in NATO in order to stretch the line of NATO’s southern flank in the Northern Mediterranean from the Iberian Peninsula to the west to Greece and Turkey in the east. On the other hand, Montenegro’s authorities accused Russia of meddling in the general elections held in October 2016 when the alleged coup d’état occurred on the election day. Many feared a similar scenario on the eve of 30 August 2020 election, fathoming the outbreak of riots and violence that could ignite the powder keg in the Balkans. Although none of these happened, Montenegro is not ceasing to be the subject of the geopolitical chessboard. Considering these factors, the attention of neighbors to the events in this Balkan country is understandable. The unfolding situation after the elections in which the government of Montenegro is backed by a very thin majority in the Parliament (Skupština Crne Gore) and with no clear vision nor strategy for further political and economic development of the country, is only fueling the wariness of its neighbors and of Brussels about Montenegro as a success story.
  • Topic: NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Elections, European Union, Transition
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans, Montenegro
  • Author: Katherine Peinhardt
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Public spaces are an often-overlooked opportunity for urban climate adaptation. It is increasingly clear that the unique role of public spaces in civic life positions them to enhance not only physical resilience, but also to enhance the type of social cohesion that helps communities bounce back.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Social Cohesion, Resilience, Adaptation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Netherlands
  • 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: Thomas Brand, Fabien Tripier
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: Highly synchronized during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the Euro area and the US have diverged in the period that followed. To explain this divergence, we provide a structural interpretation of these episodes through the estimation for both economies of a business cycle model with financial frictions and risk shocks, measured as the volatility of idiosyncratic uncertainty in the financial sector. Our results show that risk shocks have stimulated US growth in the aftermath of the Great Recession and have been the main driver of the double-dip recession in the Euro area. They play a positive role in the Euro area only after 2015. Risk shocks therefore seem well suited to account for the consequences of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the subsequent positive effects of unconventional monetary policies, notably the ECB’s Asset Purchase Programme (APP).
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, Global Recession, Finance, Europe Union, Economic Growth, Risk
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Ben Lombardi
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In January 1879, a muzzle-loading gun aboard HMS Thunderer, one of the Royal Navy’s most powerful warships, exploded. A parliamentary investigation determined that the accident occurred because of human error brought about by a highly innovative, but complicated, loading mechanism. Given earlier unsatisfactory experience with early breech-loading guns, contemporary naval engagements and expectations of the future nature of conflict at sea, retention of muzzle-loaders seemed a reasonable course of action. Vast sums were, therefore, spent in ensuring that Britain’s navy had the biggest and most powerful of that type of ordnance. But the explosion and other advances in gun design meant that muzzle-loaders were a dead end, and the incident on Thunderer became the impetus for the Royal Navy to adopt breech-loaders. This incident shines light upon the thinking within the Royal Navy at the time regarding advanced guns. But it also underscores the uncertainty and unpredictability that is inevitably attached to rapid innovation by a large military institution such as the Royal Navy was in the late-19th century. This story is highly relevant to force development considerations today because in any era of continuous technological change, mistakes are inevitable and their expectation should be accommodated within planning.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Matthew Page
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Political, business, and cultural elites from around the world have a strong affinity for the United Kingdom (UK) education system. Nowhere is this truer than in West Africa, where some families in Nigeria and Ghana have a long tradition of sending their children to private boarding schools and universities in the UK. These institutions are especially popular destinations for the offspring of prominent politically exposed persons (PEPs) from the region. Immigration officials, admissions staff, and UK law enforcement are not likely to scrutinize the conditions under which the children of PEPs enroll in British schools, even though the PEPs themselves may have modest legitimate earnings and opaque asset profiles that in other circumstances would raise serious financial concerns. This relative lack of review has allowed some West African PEPs to channel unexplained wealth into the UK education sector. It is not easy to estimate the overall value of this flow, yet it likely exceeds £30 million annually.1 Most of these funds emanate from Nigeria and, to a lesser extent, Ghana; compared with these two countries, only a handful of students from elsewhere in West Africa seek an education in British schools. Tackling this small but significant illicit financial flow should be a priority for UK policymakers. In doing so, they would be helping to realize the UK’s global anticorruption objectives, advance its International Education Strategy, and close a troublesome anti–money laundering (AML) loophole. Failing to do so would exacerbate existing corruption challenges both at home and abroad and increase the UK education sector’s reputational liabilities.
  • Topic: Corruption, Education, Law Enforcement, Higher Education, Elites
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, Europe, West Africa
  • Author: Olivier Blanchard, Alvaro Leandro, Jeromin Zettelmeyer
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The European Union’s fiscal rules have been suspended until at least the end of 2021. When they are reinstated, they will need to be modified, if only because of the high levels of debt. Proposals have been made—and more are to come—suggesting various changes and simplifications. Blanchard, Leandro, and Zettelmeyer take a step back and discuss how one should think about debt sustainability in the current and likely future EU economic environment. They argue that, given the complexity of the answer, it is an illusion to think that EU fiscal rules can be simple. But it is also an illusion to think that they can ever be complex enough to accommodate most relevant contingencies. Instead, the authors propose abandoning fiscal rules in favor of fiscal standards, i.e., qualitative prescriptions that leave room for judgment together with a process to decide whether the standards are met. Central to this process would be country-specific assessments using stochastic debt sustainability analysis, led by national independent fiscal councils and/or the European Commission. Disputes between member states and the European Commission on application of the standards should preferably be adjudicated by an independent institution, such as the European Court of Justice (or a specialized chamber), rather than by the Council of the European Union.
  • Topic: European Union, Fiscal Policy, Deficit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marie Hyland, Simeon Djankov, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: reater legal equality between men and women is associated with a narrower gender gap in opportunities and outcomes, fewer female workers in positions of vulnerable employment, and greater political representation for women. While legal equality is on average associated with better outcomes for women, the experience of individual countries may differ significantly from this average trend, depending on the countries’ stage of development (as proxied by per capita GDP). Case studies from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, and Spain demonstrate this deviation. Especially in developing countries, legislative measures may not necessarily translate into actual empowerment, due mainly to deeply entrenched social norms, which render legal reforms ineffective. Women are more likely than men to be in vulnerable employment in low- and lower-middle-income economies but less likely than men to be in vulnerable employment in upper-middle- and high-income economies. Analysis of a 50-year panel of gendered laws in 190 countries reveals that country attributes that do not vary or change only slowly over time—such as a country’s legal origin, form of government, geographic characteristics, and dominant religion—explain a very large portion of the variation across countries. This finding suggests that the path to legal equality between men and women may be a long and arduous one. Nevertheless, the data also show that the past five decades have seen considerable progress toward legal gender equality. Gendered laws do evolve, suggesting a role for legal reforms in women’s economic empowerment.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Law, Women, Inequality, Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Asia, India, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Spain
  • Author: Julia Anderson, Francesco Papadia, Nicolas Véron
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: n 2020, European governments mitigated the economic impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and other pandemic-fighting programs through a host of initiatives, including efforts to support credit, such as guarantees for bank loans, particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises. This paper presents detailed information about these national credit support programs in the largest national economies of the European Union (France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) and the United Kingdom. The information was collected through thorough examination of published material and extended exchanges with national authorities and financial sector participants. The analysis focuses on (1) how countries positioned themselves on the many tradeoffs that emerged in designing and implementing the programs; and (2) what explains differences in usage across countries and its leveling off everywhere in the second half of 2020.
  • Topic: Government, European Union, Finance, Fiscal Policy, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Petar Jolakoski, Branimir Jovanovic, Joana Madjoska, Viktor Stojkoski, Dragan Tevdovski
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: If firm profits rise to a level far above than what would have been earned in a competitive economy, this might give the firms market power, which might in turn influence the activity of the government. In this paper, we perform a detailed empirical study on the potential effects of firm profits and markups on government size and effectiveness. Using data on 30 European countries for a period of 17 years and an instrumental variables approach, we find that there exists a robust relationship between firm gains and the activity of the state, in the sense that higher firm profits reduce government size and effectiveness. Even in a group of developed countries, such as the European countries, firm power may affect state activity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Political Economy, Profit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Landesmann, Isilda Mara
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: The South-North migration corridor, i.e. migration flows to the EU from Africa, the Middle East and EU neighbouring countries in the East, have overtaken the East-West migration corridor, i.e. migration flows from Central and East European countries to the EU15 and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). This is likely to dominate migration flows into the EU+EFTA over the coming decades. This paper applies a gravity modelling approach to analyse patterns and drivers of the South-North migration corridor over the period 1995-2020 and explores bilateral mobility patterns from 75 sending countries in Africa, the Middle East and other EU neighbours to the EU28 and EFTA countries. The study finds that income gaps, diverging demographic trends, institutional and governance features and persisting political instability, but also higher climate risks in the neighbouring regions of the EU, are fuelling migration flows along the South-North corridor and will most likely continue to do so.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Migration, Labor Issues, European Union, Human Capital, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This paper quantitatively explores news coverage on the subject of ‘Europe’ in three different countries and three newspapers: France (Le Monde), Italy (La Stampa) and Germany (Der Spiegel). We collected and organised large web-scraped datasets covering the period 1945 to 2019. After ensuring the quality of the archives, we identified articles referring to ‘European’ news while leaving aside national and other non-European news, based on a mix of keyword matching, large-scale natural language processing and topic identification on the full text of news articles. Once articles were classified and datasets labelled, we performed a time-series analysis, detecting salient events in European history, across France, Germany and Italy. We analysed these events in light of the evolution of European cooperation and integration since 1945. We found that the most important events in post-war European history are easily identifiable in the archives and that European issues have gathered substantially greater attention since the early 1990s.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Opinion, European Union, Media, Populism, Data
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Francesco Papadia, Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Giuseppe Porcaro
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: A disconnect between European Union integration and the level of interest of EU citizens in European matters is a potential weakness in the EU’s democratic foundations. The existence and possible size of this disconnect is a critical issue in assessing the potential for further integration of the EU and the risks to its stability. To move beyond qualitative assessments of this disconnect, we use three indicators to measure EU citizens’ interest in Europe: turnout in European Parliament elections relative to national elections, Eurobarometer surveys of interest in Europe, and the presence of European news in national newspapers, relative to all published news. We interpret our empirical results using three frameworks: Putnam’s social capital concept, the agenda-setting hypothesis and the no-demos hypothesis. All three indicators point to an increased interest in European matters, especially since the 1990s and the creation of the euro. However, this result does not settle the issue of whether the increased level of interest matches the actual state of integration of the EU’s member countries. Our results indicate the European construction maintains a technocratic character.
  • Topic: Governance, European Union, Media, Populism, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zsolt Darvas
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: GDP contractions are typically associated with within-country income inequality increases. While official income inequality data for 2020 will not be available for about two years, the already available employment data for 2020 shows that the difference between highly-educated and low-educated people in terms of job losses is correlated with the economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the depth of the economic recession is related to the increase in within-country income inequality in 2020. Scenarios based on historical patterns of recessions and within-country income inequality increases suggest relatively small increases in global income inequality in 2020. Factors mitigating global inequality increases in 2020 include larger GDP per-capita declines in richer advanced countries than in poorer emerging and developing countries, and the positive GDP growth of China, which suggests that within-country inequality in the world’s most populous country might have not changed much in 2020. In contrast, it is quite likely there was a significant increase in European Union income inequality in 2020, partly reversing the decline during the previous decades.
  • Topic: Poverty, European Union, Employment, Inequality, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zsolt Darvas, Jan Mazza, Catarina Midoes
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Due to problems with existing methodologies that aim to identify the causal impact of European Union cohesion policy on economic growth, we adopted a novel methodology. We first estimated ‘unexplained economic growth’ by controlling for the influence of various region-specific factors, and then analysed its relationship with about two dozen characteristics specific to projects carried out in various regions in the context of EU cohesion policy. We found that the best-performing regions have on average projects with longer durations, more inter-regional focus, lower national co-financing, more national (as opposed to regional and local) management, higher proportions of private or non-profit participants among the beneficiaries (as opposed to public-sector beneficiaries) and higher levels of funding from the Cohesion Fund. No clear patterns emerged concerning the sector of intervention.
  • Topic: European Union, Finance, Economic Growth, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Heinrich Brauss, Christian Mölling
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: NATO must “stay strong militarily, be more united politically, and take a broader approach 1 globally”. When launching the reflection pro- cess on NATO’s future role, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg set these three priorities to frame his vision of NATO 2030. At their meeting in London in December 2019, NA- TO’s political leaders mandated a “forward-looking re- flection process” on how NATO should further adapt to ensure it was able to successfully cope with a world of competing great powers due to the rise of China and Russia’s persistently aggressive posture, together with instability along NATO’s southern periphery, new trans- national risks emerging from pandemics, climate change and disruptive technologies. Establishing a unified stra- tegic vision is vital for upholding the Alliance’s cohesion, credibility and effectiveness. Looking forward, what does this mean for NATO’s military dimension?
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Martin Hopner
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: In May 2020, for the first time in its history, the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) of Germany declared Union acts as being ultra vires. According to the FCC, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had acted beyond their mandates because they did not apply strong proportionality standards to the ECB’s Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP). The resulting stalemate within constitutional pluralism has revived the discussion about the possible introduction of an Appeal Court with the “final say” over constitutional conflict. As the analysis of the PSPP conflict shows, such a judicial authority would reach its limits the more we move from the surface to the core of the struggles between European and national constitutional law. The different readings of proportionality are difficult to bridge, and the mutually exclusive claims about the nature of the supremacy of European law are not accessible to compromise at all. We should therefore not expect too much from an Appeal Court, if it were introduced.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Law, European Union, Economic Cooperation, European Monetary Union, Banking
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Bjorn Bremer, Donato Di Carlo, Leon Wansleben
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Public investment spending declined steadily in advanced economies during the last three decades. Germany is a case in point where the aggregate decline coincided with growing inequality in investments across districts. What explains variation in local investment spending? We assembled a novel dataset to investigate the effects of structural constraints and partisanship on German districts’ investment spending from 1995 to 2018. We find that the lack of fiscal and administrative capacity significantly influences local investment patterns. Yet, within these constraints, partisanship matters. Conservative politicians tend to prioritize public investment more than the left. This is especially the case when revenues from local taxes are low. As the fiscal conditions improve, left-wing politicians increase investment more strongly and hence the difference between the left and the right disappears. Our findings are indicative of how regional economic divergence can emerge even within cooperative federalist systems and show that, despite rigid fiscal rules, partisanship matters when parties face trade-offs over discretionary spending.
  • Topic: Investment, Local, Federalism, Public Investment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Lily Salloum Lindegaard, Mikkel Funder, Esbern Friis-Hanse
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Evaluation of Danish Support to Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries has just come out. But what knowledge does it build on and what fundamental questions does it explore? This Preparatory Study, commissioned by the EVAL Department of Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2019, lays the groundwork for the evaluation. It sought to help define the scope of the evaluation; identify potential country case studies, case projects and evaluation themes; and point out overarching issues and questions to be addressed in the evaluation. To do so, the study provides overviews of all Danish climate change adaptation-related Official Development Assistance (ODA) from 2008 to 2018 and of adaptation support through the Danish Climate Envelope, which provides Fast Start Finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. The study also includes an analysis of trends and gaps in the Climate Envelope. These, and other outputs from the study, are now available in this DIIS Working Paper. The paper’s analysis and findings continue to have relevance for discussions of how we approach climate change, particularly adaptation, in Danish development assistance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Peer Schouten
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Horn of Africa and the Sahel are among the most fragile regions in the world: poor, lacking basic infrastructure and state presence across much of their respective territories, and both form hotbeds of conflict and political instability compounded by climate change. This DIIS Working Paper focuses on identifying evolving notions of fragility that could strengthen Danish stabilisation efforts in the Horn and Sahel. It foregrounds notions of fragility that move away from a focus on strong state institutions towards the adaptive capacities of populations in the hinterlands of the Horn and the Sahel to deal with conflict and climate variability. The paper gives an overview of this rapidly evolving field and distils key insights, challenges and future options by exploring the question, how can we support people in the Sahel and Horn to re-establish their responsibility for their respective territories and the management of their natural resources? The paper addresses this question by exploring the implications of recent climate change and livelihoods research on how we approach fragility and, by extension, stabilisation. On the basis of such research, the Working Paper advocates a move away from a sector-based understanding of fragility towards a way of working that is more in line with contextual realities, alongside the ‘comprehensive approach’ to stabilisation that Denmark promotes. The key message is that, programmatically, Danish stabilisation efforts across both regions could benefit from a more explicit focus on supporting the variability that dominant livelihood strategies require and that need to be considered if sustainable security and development outcomes are to be achieved. Failing to do this will only serve to marginalise key communities and may drive them further into the arms of radical groups.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Climate Change, Democratization, Development, Environment, Radicalization, Fragile States, Violence, Peace, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Denmark, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Lawreen Gyan-Addo, Madita Standke-Erdmann, Saskia Stachowitsch
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
  • Abstract: The year 2020 commemorated the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Security Council’s landmark Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). Despite the notable advances achieved at a legislative and regulatory EU level, the implementation and integration processes still fail to ensure an effective protection of women’s rights. One important gap in this regard concerns borders and migration which are not fully recognised as WPS-related issues nor are they integrated into the appropriate policy frameworks. Against this background, this paper calls for a greater acknowledgement of the increased danger faced by women arriving at European borders including, but not limited to, sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), and for appropriate levels of protection.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Migration, United Nations, European Union, Refugees, Borders
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jakub M. Godzimirski
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This research paper examines the critical external and internal challenges that faced NATO at its 70th anniversary, and how the policies of two members – Norway and Poland – can influence the internal cohesion of the Alliance and thus its ability to provide security to all its members. The survival of NATO as a viable security actor will depend on its capacity to maintain internal cohesion, a crucial factor influencing its ability to address external risks, challenges and threats in the increasingly turbulent international environment. This study places the debate in the broader context of discussion on alliance survivability in general, maps the external and internal challenges facing the Alliance after seven decades of its existence, and examines possible risks that the policies of Norway and Poland may pose to NATO’s internal cohesion and thus its ability to react to external challenges.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Norway, Poland
  • Author: Mathilde Tomine Eriskdatter Giske
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This research paper examines the concept 'resilience' as a response to the constantly changing environments and turbulence of the world. While resilience is used by several international organisations and nation states, there is still a lack of consensus regarding what the concept really means – it denotes both resisting change and being willing to adapt at the same time. This paper offers some clarity and argues that a temporal dimension is needed when applying the concept of resilience.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, International Organization, European Union, Pandemic, Resilience, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sofia Koller
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: In tertiary prevention of Islamist extremism, civil society and governmental exit programs support individuals (and their families) who wish to disengage from violent extremist groups and distance themselves from extremist ideologies. Exit work and successful reintegration into society involves security agencies as well es very practical elements provided by municipal actors, public services, and civil society organizations. Effective cooperation between civil society and governmental actors including statutory bodies is crucial but can be challenging.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government, Violent Extremism, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands
  • Author: Klaas de Vries, Abdul Erumban, Bart van Ark
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: This paper analyses quarterly estimates of productivity growth at industry level for three advanced economies, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, for 2020. We use detailed industry-level data to distinguish reallocations of working hours between industries from pure within-industry productivity gains or losses. We find that all three countries showed positive growth rates of aggregate output per hour in 2020 over 2019. However, after removing the effects from the reallocation of hours between low and high productivity industries, only the US still performed positively in terms of withinindustry productivity growth. In contrast, the two European economies showed negative within-industry productivity growth rates in 2020. While above-average digital-intensive industries outperformed belowaverage ones in both France and the UK, the US showed higher productivity growth in both groups compared to the European countries. Industries with medium-intensive levels of shares of employees working from home prior to the pandemic made larger productivity gains in 2020 than industries with the highest pre-pandemic work-from-home shares. The paper also experiments with US data on employment at county level by allocating within-industry productivity contributions for 2020 to urban, sub-urban and rural areas, showing that the contributions to within-industry productivity growth from manufacturing and other production industries in urban and sub-urban areas increased during the pandemic. Overall, after taking into account the productivity collapse in the hospitality and culture sector during 2020, productivity growth shows no clear deviation from the slowing pre-pandemic productivity trend. Future trends in productivity growth will depend on whether the favourable productivity gains (or smaller losses) in industries with above-average digital intensity will outweigh negative effects from the pandemic, in particular scarring effects on labour markets and business dynamics.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Work Culture, Pandemic, COVID-19, Productivity, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, United States of America
  • Author: Elad Ben David
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In January issue of Beehive, Elad Ben David analyses the reaction of French Muslim preachers to the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s republication in September 2020 of the controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Malte Winkler, Sonja Peterson, Sneha Thube
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Linking the EU and Chinese Emission Trading Systems (ETS) increases the cost-efficiency of reaching greenhouse gas mitigation targets, but both partners will benefit – if at all – to different degrees. Using the global computable-general equilibrium (CGE) model DART Kiel, we evaluate the effects of linking ETS in combination with 1) restricted allowances trading, 2) adjusted allowance endowments to compensate China, and 3) altered Armington elasticities when Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets are met. We find that generally, both partners benefit from linking their respective trading systems. Yet, while the EU prefers full linking, China favors restricted allowance trading. Transfer payments through adjusted allowance endowments cannot sufficiently compensate China so as to make full linking as attractive as restricted trading. Gains associated with linking increase with higher Armington elasticities for China, but decrease for the EU. Overall, the EU and China favor differing options of linking ETS. Moreover, heterogeneous impacts across EU countries could cause dissent among EU regions, potentially increasing the difficulty of finding a linking solution favorable for all trading partners.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sonali Chowdhry, Gabriel Felbermayr
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: How do firms of different sizes react to trade liberalization? Leading theories suggest that, amongst continuing exporters, lower trade costs should boost exports of smaller firms by the same or a greater rate than those of larger firms. However, studying the entry into force of the ambitious EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (EUKFTA) with French customs data, we find robust evidence to the contrary. Applying a triple-difference framework, we report that the FTA increased sales in the top quartile of continuous exporters by 71 percentage points more than in the bottom quartile. More than 90 percent of that growth premium is driven by a stronger effective reduction in broadly defined non-tariff barriers (NTBs); the remainder by a higher sensitivity to trade costs. These findings have implications for both heterogeneous firm trade models and for the capacity of FTAs to magnify inequality. In contrast, on the entry margins, our results are in line with the literature with the FTA selecting intermediate-sized firms into exporting to South Korea.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, European Union, Trade Liberalization, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Matteo Gaddi, Nadia Garbellini
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: In this paper we examine the main transformations that are affecting European automotive industry and which challenges, in particular due to the transition to new forms of propulsion, the industry is going to face. The automotive industry is central to the European economy and the nature of the Global Value Chains are rapidly shifting. While individual countries have developed economic plans to address this, a broader EU wide plan is critically important to addressing the employment and environmental effects of these shifts.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, European Union, Manufacturing, Global Value Chains
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Matteo Cavallaro
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of local spending, particularly on social welfare, and local inequality as factors in the Italian political crisis following the adoption in 2011 of more radical national austerity measures. We employ two different methods. First, we develop an original database of municipal budgets. There we show that even the lowest level of social welfare spending, that offered by Italian municipalities, though also hit by austerity, was still able to moderate this national shock. We test three operationalizations of local spending: aggregate current expenditures, aggregate current expenditures on social services, and current expenditures disaggregated by function. We show that municipal current expenditures, particularly on social spending, significantly affected the post-2011 share of votes for the progressive coalition. The results also show that social spending, especially on education, significantly moderated the combined effect of national austerity and the economic crisis on voting for populist radical right parties, while no significant results appeared for populist parties in general. Local inequality appears to significantly enhance vote shares of populist radical right parties and populist parties in general. We caution that, although significant, the effect is not strong: that local policy and economic conditions can moderate national shocks but cannot reverse them. The second analysis relies on survey data to ascertain the individual-level mechanisms behind the role of local welfare. The paper argues that local economic inputs influence voters’ position on non-economic issues. Our results, however, do not identify any significant individual-level channel of transmission, be it cultural or economic.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections, Inequality, Populism, Austerity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Mika Aaltola, Johanna Ketola, Aada Peltonen, Karoliina Vaakanainen
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although their timing and nature is unexpected and disrupts normality, pandemics are not black swans, but rather an expected feature of a feverishly con- nected and globalizing world. Since the end of the Cold War, there have been several serious cases of and close calls with pandemics, including SARS in 2003, H1N1 infuenza (“swine fu”) in 2009 and Ebola in 2014. By now, we know the usual features of pandemics, how they emerge and the shape of their temporal context: rapid onset leading to a politically compelling impact followed by decreasing attention and lessening restric- tive policies resulting, in some cases, in the return of the disease. Te most serious pandemics, like the 1918 infuenza pandemic (“Spanish fu”), come in waves. Te less restrictive policies are followed by subsequent waves, partially propelled by diminishing attention and wishful policies until a cure or vaccination is found, or immunity achieved. Despite the growing awareness, pandemic diseases nevertheless often catch us of guard and bring about human misery. Te latest form of Severe Acute Res- piratory Syndrome caused by a novel coronavirus, Covid-19, which spread like wildfre around the globe in 2020, came as a surprise even though the point of origin and secrecy surrounding its emergence were similar to that of its predecessor, SARS, in 2003. In other words, pandemics continue to include “un- known” aspects, which have to do with their specifc characteristics, perhaps most notably their timing, but also other features such as infection and fatality rates, patterns of spread, and the outbreak location zone(s). Our starting point in this Working Paper is that se- rious contagious diseases are political as their cascad- ing and nonlinear efects impact people’s livelihoods and disrupt normality. Tis applies to the most recent coronavirus pandemic, as highlighted in this paper. Te key research question concerns how the European Union (EU) and its member states, illustrated through the case of Finland, became aware of the prevailing health crisis, and the kind of political ramifications that the response had, and could have had. Te focus of this paper is on the frst two and a half months of the coronavirus pandemic, from January to mid-March 2020, by which time the pandemic had replaced the prevailing agendas in the EU and in its member states and saturated the public debate, reach- ing a tipping point. Te onset entails a build-up to a clear situational policy necessity, a sentiment that drastic, exceptional actions need to be taken to con- tain or at least to slow down the pandemic outbreak, as well as a remorseful debate and fnger-pointing at actions that should have been taken sooner. Te paper studies this build-up phase while recognizing that the next phase of political reaction to a pandemic tends to include the sentiment that enough has been done or even that the actions that were taken earlier were somewhat excessive and overblown.1 Tis phase may be followed by – and is an important constituent of – yet another phase, the second wave of the pandemic. The timeframe for the Working Paper extends to mid-March 2020 when Covid-19 became the prevail- ing topic of public concern in Europe. We refer to this prevalence as the tipping point. Te term tipping point is used to identify the critical juncture, both nation- ally as well as in the EU, when sudden changes to be- haviour took place at the public and political levels. At such moments, public attention becomes heightened, single-issue focused, and rushed. Te pressure for po- litical action becomes paramount. Te mobilization of resources as well as the introduction of diferent states of emergency suddenly seem possible. Te emergent, situational requirements become the context for pol- icymaking, instead of the requirements of the then prevailing normality; namely, exceptional political acts can prevail when urgency seems to necessitate them. Te situated characteristics of a pandemic include a heightened sense of exceptionality, particularly if there is a sense that prior preparations at national, regional, and global levels were inadequate and the contingency planning insufcient. Any delays and hesitations are easily seen as weaknesses although, in normal times, they are often the keys to stable and rational political deliberation. Tis was the scenario that actualized with Covid-19, as the preparedness planning for pandem- ic security was largely perceived as defcient and the global as well as the European regional coordination in short supply.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Sergey Utkin
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU is determined to maintain the transatlantic bond, while Russia tends to interpret the EU’s strategic autonomy precisely as autonomy from the US. The Western unity effort is significantly strengthened by the poor state of the EU’s relations with Russia. Russia is ready to pay lip service to the idea of a more capable EU, but instead it sees opportunities in areas where bilateral cooperation with member states is possible. The EU-wide consensus is doomed to remain critical vis-à-vis Russia for the foreseeable future. The EU will increasingly focus on gaining autonomy from Russia, primarily in the energy field and in terms of hard security deterrence. The EU-Russia geopolitical tension, centred on the common neighbourhood, is long-term and might cause as yet unseen damage to the relationship if it is not handled carefully.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Conflict, Regionalism, Autonomy, Rivalry, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Veera Laine
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In January 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a set of constitutional amendments, aiming to secure the continuity of his power in the years to come. At the same time, the amendments allowed ideological visions on national identity to be inscribed in the Constitution. Since summer 2020, the Constitution has enhanced the symbolic status of the Russian language, which is now not only the state language but also the language of those who speak it (i.e. of “ethnic” Russians or “Russian-speakers”), implicitly referred to as the state-founding people. These provisions, together with support for compatriots abroad, not only continue the turn observable since the 2010s in Russia’s nation-building from a civic vision towards an ethnic vision of nation, but also challenge the existing interpretations of state borders. The provisions on safeguarding the “historical truth” and establishing a single framework for education hinder the republics from pursuing their identity policies. This Working Paper argues that the amendments both adjust the earlier changes and signal new ones in the official discourse and nationalities policy.
  • Topic: Corruption, Governance, Authoritarianism, Democracy, Constitution, Leadership
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Loic Cobut
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: In 2016, the European Commission recognized the role of renewable energy communities (RECs) in the Clean Energy Package (CEP). This package has been accompanied by a narrative of citizen empowerment while the EU energy and climate governance since the Paris Agreement has become more polycentric, seeking to further include non-state actors in the fight against climate change. This policy paper takes the opportunity of these evolutions to present RECs and the concepts of polycentric governance and empowerment based on existing academic literature. It combines these two concepts to analyse the evolution of the renewable energy governance of the EU through the CEP. The analysis is conducted in a reflexive manner that sheds light on the analytical inputs and limits of these concepts. More particularly, it pinpoints the limits of the EU interpreta- tion of empowerment and polycentricity, namely by exploring the place given to RECs and their struggle with energy incumbents. In a nutshell, this paper considers both the outcome of the CEP and what it tells about the renewable energy govern- ance of the EU itself. Ultimately, it provides with recommendations for a future revision of the renew- able energy policy of the European Union as well as for the coming transposition of the measures that were delivered by the CEP.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Governance, European Union, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Guillaume Van der Loo, Thijs Vandenbussche, Andreas Aktoudianakis
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The EU-US Summit on 15 June 2021 marked the beginning of a renewed transatlantic partner- ship and set an ambitious joint agenda for EU-US cooperation post-COVID-19. The new Biden administration offers the EU the opportunity to re-establish transatlantic relations, which reached their lowest point since World War II under the turbulent Trump administration, and to address the bilateral disputes and tensions that have emerged, partly as a result of Trump’s ‘America First’ policies. One of the key deliverables of the Summit was the establishment of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The TTC aims to deepen EU-US relations on trade and investment and to avoid new technical barriers to trade by cooperating on key poli- cies such as technology, digital policy issues and supply chains. Despite the optimism in Brussels and Washington about renewing and strengthening transat- lantic cooperation, there are several challenges for EU-US cooperation. In the areas of trade, digital and climate in particular several differing views or outstanding disputes (most of them inherited by the Trump administration) will need to be addressed by the new TTC (the first meeting is scheduled on 29-30 September 2021) or other joint bodies. Only then will the EU and the US be able to deliver on the new ambitious transatlantic agenda. This paper will there- fore discuss the key challenges and opportunities for EU-US cooperation in the three inter- related areas of trade, digital and climate. For each of these areas, the outcome of the June 2021 EU-US Summit will be discussed and the challenges and opportunities for delivering on the renewed transatlantic agenda will be analysed. Moreover, this paper will present several policy recommendations, for the TTC or on EU-US cooperation in general, on how to advance the transatlantic partnership.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, European Union, Digitalization, Summit
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Timo Smit
  • Publication Date: 11-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The Civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Compact has been the most serious attempt to date to strengthen civilian CSDP. However, progress on the commitments to increase secondments to missions and to promote a better representation of women in them has been mixed at best. Secondments have increased in absolute terms, enabled by the expansion of several missions, but the share of seconded personnel has fallen to 62 per cent overall and even lower in some missions. Women’s representation has not increased overall, although it has improved in some missions and among heads of mission. Personnel contributions by European Union member states have not increased enough to prevent a steady rise in contracted personnel in missions, including in operational positions. It is therefore increasingly unlikely that the aim to raise the share of seconded personnel to 70 per cent can be achieved by mid 2023, when the compact ends. This SIPRI Insights paper analyses these trends and recommends, among other things, alternative indicators for demonstrating progress towards the more effective staffing of civilian CSDP missions.
  • Topic: Security, European Union, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ian Anthony, Jiayi Zhou, Jingdong Yuan, Fei Su, Jinyung Kim
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The long-standing relationship between China and the European Union (EU) is being subsumed into a broader geopolitical competition between major power centres. Alongside cooperation, elements of competition and rivalry have been sharpened by a re-evaluation of the bilateral relationship by EU actors. Areas of cooperation have included Chinese involvement in the EU’s internal connectivity projects—specifically in transport and digital networks. This report examines this cooperation and assesses its prospects. Enhancing connectivity within and around the EU to facilitate trade and commercial relations was relatively uncontroversial even if initiatives were never fully aligned. But the space for common projects has been narrowed by political divergence and new sensitivities in the EU regarding the security implications of Chinese investments. China understands that the EU’s scrutiny of its investments and restrictions on its involvement in connectivity projects are affected by EU–US relations. Despite these tensions, the report shows that constructive ways forward in this globally significant relationship are still possible, both within and beyond the connectivity domains.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, European Union, Conflict, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Peace
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China hits back after NATO calls it a security challenge, dormant Chinese hacking group resumes attacks, and more.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, North Atlantic, Beijing, Asia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka