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  • Author: Steven Blockmans
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Concerns about the deterioration of democracy in Turkey are not new: the trials over the 2003 „ Sledgehammer ‟ alleged coup plan (2010-12) and over the ‟ Ergenekon ‟ secret organisation (2008-13) broke the military‟s influence over politics, but were widely criticised because of their reliance on secret witnesses and disputes over evidence. Ironically, their outcome has recently been challenged by Prime Minister Erdoğan himself, who has disowned the trials now that the judiciary has the AK Party in its sights. International concern was also stirred by the violent crackdown on the countrywide protests of May/June 2013. Unrest then was triggered by the planned redevelopment of Istanbul‟s Gezi Park in May 2013, but developed into a wider movement critical of government corruption, increasing restrictions on freedom of speech and concerns about the erosion of secularism. Protests simmered on through September, winding down in autumn and winter only to reignite in March of this year.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Erwan Fouéré
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is a damning reflection of our times that one of the EU's most successful foreign policy achievements has never been under so much criticism. During the recent elections for the European Parliament, populist eurosceptic parties were in the forefront of those campaigning against the EU's enlargement agenda. Their attempts at equating further enlargement with the dangers of increased immigration from Turkey, the Western Balkans and even other EU member states were bolstered by the leaders of some long-standing member states, such as the UK, openly calling for restrictions on freedom of movement — one of the fundamental pillars of the EU.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Jacques Pelkmans, Weinian Hu
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This CEPS Policy Brief is based on a larger study for the EEAS and European Commission, written by the same authors in the run-up of the Milan ASEM summit of 16-17 October 2014. The main idea of the study is to assess whether ASEM works and how, by verifying the factual evidence in detail. After all, ASEM has no institutions, no budget and no treaty, whilst dialogues and a loose improvement over time in Asia-Europe relations refer to process much more than genuine 'results'. The stocktaking covers all ASEM activities since the 2006 Helsinki summit. Summit and foreign ministers' declarations and ASEM calendar of activities (and interviews) are used to trace ASEM activities in the three ASEM pillars (political, economic, and peoples-to-peoples/cultural). All the 'regular' ASEM meetings at ministerial and other levels (many of which are only known to relatively few) have been mapped. Also the ASEM working methods, based on the 2000AECF framework and many subsequent initiatives, have been scrutinised, including whether they are actually implemented or not or partially. Such methods refer to how to work together in areas of cooperation (beyond the typical ASEM dialogue), organisation, coordination and ASEM visibility.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Singapore
  • Author: Sébastien Peyrouse
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the start of the 2000s, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has become an increasingly important player on the Central Asian scene, which until then had been essentially divided between Russia and the US. Today, Central Asia's future lies in its ability to avoid the destabilisations of the Afghan–Pakistan zone, and through Chinese influence, to partake of the Asia–Pacific's economic prosperity. In less than two decades, Beijing has managed to make a massive and multiform entry onto the Central Asian scene: it has proven itself a loyal partner on the level of bilateral diplomacy and has succeeded in turning the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) into a regional structure appreciated by its members. China has also become a leading actor in trade as well as in the hydrocarbon sector and infrastructure. In examining the shift that China has generated in Central Asian realities, this paper focuses on the political and geopolitical impact of Beijing's growing influence, along with the economic implications of the Chinese presence in Central Asia. To what extent will this affect the objectives of the European Union? China is one of the EU's economic competitors in domains such as energy; it obstructs cooperation between Central Asian states and Western countries, and it encourages the authoritarian tendencies of political regimes. Yet, partnership and economic competition go hand in hand, as EU texts recognise. In addition, the EU's rationale for setting up in Central Asia is not to compete with neighbouring states, but instead to seek cooperation in accordance with the idea that a multiplicity of actors will guarantee the zone's stability and its geopolitical balance. So what joint interest might China and the EU have in Central Asia? On a certain number of questions such as security and long-term development, the EU and China share the same concerns and Beijing is seeking greater collaboration with Europe.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Central Asia
  • Author: Thomas L Brewer
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change, international trade, investment and technology transfer are all issues that have intersected in diverse institutional contexts and at several levels of governmental activity to form a new joint agenda. The purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of this joint agenda by identifying the specific issues that have emerged, the policies that have been adopted, especially in the EU and US, and the options that are available for further policy-making.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Nargis Kassenova
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The German Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2007 inspired great hopes regarding the development of relations between the European Union and the states of Central Asia. In Brussels and other European capitals, it was expected that Germany, as an EU political and economic heavyweight and one of the key promoters of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, would be able to foster a coordinated Central Asian policy giving direction and coherence to European engagement in the region. It was widely hoped – within both the governments of Central Asia and the societies of the region – that Germany, which has traditionally been the most pro-active European country in the region, would elevate the relations between the EU and Central Asian states to a higher level.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Asia, Germany
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Fabrizio Tassinari, Marius Vahl
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The 10th anniversary of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the EU and Russia, which falls on 1 December 2007, is already prompting thoughts on whether and how to replace it. This raises basic issues about the form, purpose and content of bilateral treaties in the context of an integrating Europe. The following scenarios are discussed: Retire the PCA without replacement, Extend the status quo, Extend the status quo, adding a Political Declaration on Strategic Partnership, Replace the PCA with a short Treaty on Strategic Partnership, Replace the PCA with a comprehensive Treaty on Strategic Partnership, Negotiate a Treaty of Strategic Union.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Gergana Noutcheva
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On the day before the European Commission's decision on the fitness of Bulgaria and Romania to become EU members on 1 January 2007 (due to be delivered 16 May 2006), it is becoming increasingly evident that the EU has fallen into its own 'rhetorical trap' from which there is no easy way out. Most EU officials and politicians would agree that the governance standards in the two Balkan candidates are not up to EU level yet, but everyone knows that there is not much the EU can do about it at this point.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas, Christoph Mayer, Michael Brüggemann
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In its recent White Paper on a European Communication Policy, the European Commission has promised a “fundamentally new approach”. The policy is meant to narrow the communication gap looming between the European Union and its citizens and ultimately to map a way towards the development of a European public sphere. In contrast to the socalled 'Action Plan' for improving the Commission's own communication from July 2005, the White Paper is addressed to the EU as a whole, including other central institutions, member states, European political parties and even 'civil society'. The purpose of this Policy Brief is to critically evaluate the proposals emanating from the White Paper and to advance several suggestions aimed at helping the current initiative to have a more tangible and long-term effect than its many predecessors, authored by Messrs Tindemans, Adonnino, Oostlander, DeClerq, Pex or Pinheiro.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the spring of 2004, the European Commission approved a draft Directive on Services in the Internal Market and sent it to the Council and the European Parliament. The proposal is the cornerstone of the ailing Lisbon strategy to revive growth and jobs in the European Union: services account for 70% of GDP and employment in advanced countries, and their performance is a main determinant of overall productivity and employment growth. In the European Union, the markets for services are still organised along national lines, cross border trade remains relatively underdeveloped and competition is scarce. The productivity gap with the United States is largely explained by these obstacles.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Lisbon