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Reconciliation in the Western Balkans: The difficulty of emulating the EU model

17-04-2019

In 2017, the European Union turned 60, celebrating not only six decades of peace between its Member States but also integration – based on a framework for a peaceful European ethos – which helped bring reconciliation to its citizens that would have otherwise been impossible to achieve. In the Western Balkans, which were torn apart by wars after the disintegration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, conflicting narratives about the past continue to charge intra-regional relations with animosity ...

In 2017, the European Union turned 60, celebrating not only six decades of peace between its Member States but also integration – based on a framework for a peaceful European ethos – which helped bring reconciliation to its citizens that would have otherwise been impossible to achieve. In the Western Balkans, which were torn apart by wars after the disintegration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, conflicting narratives about the past continue to charge intra-regional relations with animosity, and a number of bilateral disputes await resolution. Just as the European Communities helped to bring peace to post-World War II western Europe, so does the EU promote the reconciliation process in the countries that were once part of Yugoslavia. A credible promise of accession to the EU for all Western Balkan countries gives them an incentive to improve their working relationships and work on reconciliation more vigorously. Since 2017, the EU has renewed its attempts to infuse the Western Balkan countries' enlargement process with fresh energy. In a March 2018 statement, the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, said it was 'time to close the wounds of the past' and take steps to guarantee stability for the whole of Europe. The European Commission's new enlargement strategy of February 2018, apart from placing special emphasis on solving all bilateral disputes, highlights reconciliation as a prerequisite for EU accession, and envisages a dedicated flagship initiative. This briefing aims to draw attention to the importance of reconciliation, both as part of the Western Balkans' EU integration process and as an answer to the region's widely perceived need to come to terms with the past. Civil-society representatives and experts often see reconciliation in the region as a prerequisite for building sustainable cooperation in many areas and a process that would help local youth to overcome their prejudices and restore their trust in their countries and region. However, achieving reconciliation requires cooperation in practice, something that will likely take decades to accomplish.

Turkish Cypriot community: Financial support instrument

10-04-2019

The Commission runs an aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community in order to prepare for and facilitate reunification of Cyprus.

The Commission runs an aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community in order to prepare for and facilitate reunification of Cyprus.

EU-Armenia people-to-people contacts

29-03-2019

EU-Armenia relations have recently been strengthened through the two parties' comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement (CEPA), applied provisionally since June 2018. This instrument, along with additional frameworks – an association agreement, the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership – promotes enhanced people-to-people contacts between the EU and Armenia.

EU-Armenia relations have recently been strengthened through the two parties' comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement (CEPA), applied provisionally since June 2018. This instrument, along with additional frameworks – an association agreement, the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership – promotes enhanced people-to-people contacts between the EU and Armenia.

EU-Eastern Partnership people-to-people contacts

25-03-2019

In 2009, the EU launched its Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative with the ambition to promote closer cooperation with six of its eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Support for people-to-people contacts is a key element of the EU's EaP strategy, and is extended through programmes in the areas of movement of persons, education and peace-building.

In 2009, the EU launched its Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative with the ambition to promote closer cooperation with six of its eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Support for people-to-people contacts is a key element of the EU's EaP strategy, and is extended through programmes in the areas of movement of persons, education and peace-building.

EU-Azerbaijan people-to-people contacts

19-03-2019

The European Union and Azerbaijan are negotiating a comprehensive agreement in order to reinforce their partnership. Even if Azerbaijan is geographically the most distant Eastern Partnership country, the EU remains its main trading partner. In 2019, the EU and Azerbaijan will celebrate the 20th anniversary since their partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) entered into force in 1999. In recent years, EU support for civil society in Azerbaijan has been made more difficult by a new legal framework ...

The European Union and Azerbaijan are negotiating a comprehensive agreement in order to reinforce their partnership. Even if Azerbaijan is geographically the most distant Eastern Partnership country, the EU remains its main trading partner. In 2019, the EU and Azerbaijan will celebrate the 20th anniversary since their partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) entered into force in 1999. In recent years, EU support for civil society in Azerbaijan has been made more difficult by a new legal framework against foreign-funded NGOs.

EU-Georgia people-to-people contacts

14-03-2019

Since 2003, relations between the EU and Georgia have deepened, and at present the country is the EU's closest partner in the South Caucasus region. Relations have been strengthened further through the recent signing of an association agreement between the two parties and the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) it introduced. The EU also seeks to promote more people-to-people contacts between its citizens and Georgians, as well as supporting the vibrant Georgian civil society.

Since 2003, relations between the EU and Georgia have deepened, and at present the country is the EU's closest partner in the South Caucasus region. Relations have been strengthened further through the recent signing of an association agreement between the two parties and the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) it introduced. The EU also seeks to promote more people-to-people contacts between its citizens and Georgians, as well as supporting the vibrant Georgian civil society.

Türkei: Länderbericht 2018

06-03-2019

Im Mai 2019 stimmt das Europäische Parlament über einen Entschließungsantrag zu dem Länderbericht 2018 über die Türkei ab. Sowohl in dem Bericht der Kommission als auch im Bericht des Ausschusses für auswärtige Angelegenheiten wird darauf hingewiesen, dass in wichtigen Bereichen Rückschritte festzustellen sind. Der Ausschuss für auswärtige Angelegenheiten fordert Verbesserungen und die Aussetzung der Beitrittsverhandlungen.

Im Mai 2019 stimmt das Europäische Parlament über einen Entschließungsantrag zu dem Länderbericht 2018 über die Türkei ab. Sowohl in dem Bericht der Kommission als auch im Bericht des Ausschusses für auswärtige Angelegenheiten wird darauf hingewiesen, dass in wichtigen Bereichen Rückschritte festzustellen sind. Der Ausschuss für auswärtige Angelegenheiten fordert Verbesserungen und die Aussetzung der Beitrittsverhandlungen.

Bosnien und Herzegowina: Länderbericht 2018

07-02-2019

2018 konnte Bosnien und Herzegowina wenig Fortschritte im Hinblick auf den Beitritt erzielen. In den vier Bereichen Rechtsstaatlichkeit, Grundrechte, öffentliche Verwaltung und wirtschaftliche Entwicklung müssen noch Reformen durchgeführt werden. Auf der Februar-Plenartagung soll das Europäische Parlament über eine Entschließung zu dem Länderbericht 2018 der Kommission über Bosnien und Herzegowina diskutieren.

2018 konnte Bosnien und Herzegowina wenig Fortschritte im Hinblick auf den Beitritt erzielen. In den vier Bereichen Rechtsstaatlichkeit, Grundrechte, öffentliche Verwaltung und wirtschaftliche Entwicklung müssen noch Reformen durchgeführt werden. Auf der Februar-Plenartagung soll das Europäische Parlament über eine Entschließung zu dem Länderbericht 2018 der Kommission über Bosnien und Herzegowina diskutieren.

Supporting Holocaust survivors

24-01-2019

Between 1933 and 1945, millions of Europeans suffered from Nazi crimes and the Holocaust. Today, the remaining survivors often live in difficult social conditions.

Between 1933 and 1945, millions of Europeans suffered from Nazi crimes and the Holocaust. Today, the remaining survivors often live in difficult social conditions.

The European Union and Holocaust remembrance

21-01-2019

The term Holocaust refers to the mass murder of 6 million European Jews, Roma and other persecuted groups whom the Nazi regime and its collaborators sought to annihilate. The expropriation of property, state discrimination and persecution of the Jews by the Nazi regime began in 1933, followed by pogroms and incarceration in concentration camps. Ultimately, the policy was extended to all the European territories and countries controlled by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was a policy that ...

The term Holocaust refers to the mass murder of 6 million European Jews, Roma and other persecuted groups whom the Nazi regime and its collaborators sought to annihilate. The expropriation of property, state discrimination and persecution of the Jews by the Nazi regime began in 1933, followed by pogroms and incarceration in concentration camps. Ultimately, the policy was extended to all the European territories and countries controlled by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was a policy that would culminate in mass summary executions ('Holocaust by Bullets') and extermination camps. The perpetrators were prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials in 1945-1946, but the charge of crimes against humanity was preferred over genocide. It was not until 2005, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, that a United Nations resolution on Holocaust remembrance designated 27 January as the day of commemoration. In the European Union, numerous programmes seek to preserve the memory of these tragic events in the history of the continent. Since 1995, the European Parliament has adopted resolutions drawing attention to the obligation to remember not only through commemorations but also through education. In November 2018, the EU became a permanent international partner of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (AISH). This is an updated version of a briefing from January 2018.

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