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Peace and Security in 2018: An evaluation of EU peacebuilding in the Western Balkans

22-05-2018

This first thematic study of the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. Examining EU engagement in the Western Balkans, the study assesses the extent to which the Union has been able to transform and strengthen the region's governance, economy and resilience. The study is organised around three key inter-connected ...

This first thematic study of the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. Examining EU engagement in the Western Balkans, the study assesses the extent to which the Union has been able to transform and strengthen the region's governance, economy and resilience. The study is organised around three key inter-connected (and at times overlapping) phases in EU post-conflict peacebuilding − stabilisation, state-building and EU enlargement − to explain the strengths, weaknesses and limits of EU engagement. It ends with an assessment of the new EU strategy for the Western Balkans and analyses the potential to remedy past deficiencies and help move the region towards genuine, inclusive and sustainable peace. A parallel study, published separately, provides an overview of current EU action on peace and security and of the outlook for the future. The studies have been drafted with a view to their presentation at the Normandy World Peace Forum, in June 2018.

Serbia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

30-04-2018

The first EU-Western Balkans Summit in a decade and a half takes place in Sofia in May 2018, under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council. That is just one indicator of the EU's renewed engagement with the six countries of the region, with the Commission's February 2018 enlargement strategy reaffirming their perspective of joining the Union. This infographic, one of a series produced by EPRS in cooperation with Globalstat, offers an overview of the main economic and trade data – in particular on ...

The first EU-Western Balkans Summit in a decade and a half takes place in Sofia in May 2018, under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council. That is just one indicator of the EU's renewed engagement with the six countries of the region, with the Commission's February 2018 enlargement strategy reaffirming their perspective of joining the Union. This infographic, one of a series produced by EPRS in cooperation with Globalstat, offers an overview of the main economic and trade data – in particular on trade with the EU – of Serbia, as well as information on EU grants and loans to the country.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - February 2018

05-02-2018

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Serbia’s cooperation with China, the European Union, Russia and the United States of America

21-11-2017

Since 2000, Serbia has undergone a halting yet persistent reintegration into the global economy. However, Serbian foreign policy currently faces a dilemma, as (at least) four separate powers are vying for influence within the country. This study examines Serbia’s foreign policies towards the European Union (EU), the United States (US), Russia, and China, in particular examining the influence of each power with regard to foreign aid, trade, investment and security. Our analysis shows that each partner ...

Since 2000, Serbia has undergone a halting yet persistent reintegration into the global economy. However, Serbian foreign policy currently faces a dilemma, as (at least) four separate powers are vying for influence within the country. This study examines Serbia’s foreign policies towards the European Union (EU), the United States (US), Russia, and China, in particular examining the influence of each power with regard to foreign aid, trade, investment and security. Our analysis shows that each partner of Serbia has their own specific interest and comparative advantage in the country, with the EU focusing primarily on rule of law, aid, and increasing investment, the US on security, Russia on energy and foreign policy support, and China on infrastructure and markets. The scale of cooperation is divergent, however, and the EU accession process has pushed the EU to primus inter pares for the Serbian government. The demarcation across activities, however, means that Serbia may be able to keep its non-aligned status in the short-term. Unfortunately, the country is in an unstable equilibrium, as continued progress towards EU accession means that it will eventually have to sacrifice some independence in foreign affairs. The role of the EU in the coming years will be to emphasise the economic and security benefits that come with EU accession, while acknowledging that Serbia has its own cultural and historical links that need tending to.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Christopher HARTWELL, President, CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research, Poland; Katarzyna SIDLO, Political Economist, CASE

Saudi Arabia in the Western Balkans

17-11-2017

The Gulf States, along with other external players, have raised their profile in the Western Balkans in recent years. While most have set out on an economic quest, Saudi Arabia is considered to have a more ideological approach, seeking a strong role among the region's Muslims. In the 1990s Bosnian war, it provided significant aid for the Muslim cause and has stayed in the region to expand its influence, introducing stricter interpretations of Islam that are gradually taking root there.

The Gulf States, along with other external players, have raised their profile in the Western Balkans in recent years. While most have set out on an economic quest, Saudi Arabia is considered to have a more ideological approach, seeking a strong role among the region's Muslims. In the 1990s Bosnian war, it provided significant aid for the Muslim cause and has stayed in the region to expand its influence, introducing stricter interpretations of Islam that are gradually taking root there.

Serbia: 2016 country report

07-06-2017

In June 2017, the European Parliament is to vote on a motion for a resolution on Serbia's 2016 country report. It acknowledges Serbia's progress with EU accession talks and its rigorous reform agenda, and highlights that dialogue with Pristina and 'rule of law' reforms remain areas for priority action.

In June 2017, the European Parliament is to vote on a motion for a resolution on Serbia's 2016 country report. It acknowledges Serbia's progress with EU accession talks and its rigorous reform agenda, and highlights that dialogue with Pristina and 'rule of law' reforms remain areas for priority action.

Media freedom trends 2017: Western Balkans

03-05-2017

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

2016 Enlargement package: Prospects for the Western Balkans

30-01-2017

In November 2016, the European Commission presented its annual enlargement package, consisting of a communication that takes stock of the implementation of the 2015 multiannual strategy and a set of reports on the Western Balkan countries and on Turkey in their capacity of candidates or potential candidates for EU membership. Since 2015, the Commission has been applying a new reporting methodology aimed at enhanced transparency and comparability among the aspirant countries. In 2016, it shifted the ...

In November 2016, the European Commission presented its annual enlargement package, consisting of a communication that takes stock of the implementation of the 2015 multiannual strategy and a set of reports on the Western Balkan countries and on Turkey in their capacity of candidates or potential candidates for EU membership. Since 2015, the Commission has been applying a new reporting methodology aimed at enhanced transparency and comparability among the aspirant countries. In 2016, it shifted the timeframe for publishing the next enlargement package from the autumn of 2017 to the spring of 2018, to better align it with the release of the economic reform programmes and the increased focus on economic governance. In 2016, the Commission continued prioritising complex and long-term reforms as part of its 'fundamentals first' approach. Its main message was that enlargement policy continued to deliver results and promote reforms, albeit slowly and unevenly. The EU's reconfirmed commitment to the Western Balkan countries' accession processes was duly reflected in the Slovak Presidency programme, which stressed the importance of enlargement policy for the EU's own political and economic stability. Amidst a host of increasing complexities and declining public support, concerns have been raised that enlargement policy might be side-lined. Thus, while the EU needs to keep up momentum, a significant part of the responsibility rests with the countries themselves. The region needs political will to keep reforms on the agenda and deliver results. In this context, regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations are once again brought to the fore as an indispensable means of re-energising common reform priorities and maximising the benefits for the region.

The inclusion of financial services in EU free trade and association agreements: Effects on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance

21-06-2016

This study examines the implementation and effects of the inclusion of financial services in existing EU free trade and association agreements (FTAs) and, in particular, their impact on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. The opening analysis outlines the geopolitical and trade context, as well as the EU policy framework to combat money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. It examines the effects of the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks; assesses the consequences of tax evasion and money laundering ...

This study examines the implementation and effects of the inclusion of financial services in existing EU free trade and association agreements (FTAs) and, in particular, their impact on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. The opening analysis outlines the geopolitical and trade context, as well as the EU policy framework to combat money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. It examines the effects of the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks; assesses the consequences of tax evasion and money laundering and their link to trade in Africa; evaluates the implementation of the EU-Central America Agreement; and provides a synthesis of the key findings and policy recommendations presented in the annexed study. The annexed expertise investigates the implementation and effects of financial services provisions in selected EU FTAs with third countries, with a particular focus on their propensity to curb money laundering, tax evasion and elusion. It concludes that the liberalisation of trade in goods and services with developing countries increases the threat of money laundering, and that it is therefore likely to contribute to an increase in illicit financial flows from developing countries to the EU. The study does not find conclusive statistical data to support a causal link between the EU FTAs that are in force and an increase in illicit financial flows. Nonetheless, the far-reaching commitments made by the EU and the developing countries in the selected EU FTAs regarding access to the markets for goods and services, including in the financial services sector, translate into such agreements significantly increasing trade openness, and hence also the threat of money laundering facing developing countries. To remedy these threats, the study provides a number of policy recommendations.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Ex-Post Impact Assessment Study on the impact of financial services in EU Free Trade and Association Agreements on money laundering, tax evasion and elusion, written by Dr Wybe Th. Douma, Onur Güven LL.M., Dr Davor Jancic, Dr Luca Pantaleo, Steffen van der Velde LL.M. (T.M.C. Asser Instituut) and Prof. Dr Olha O. Cherednychenko and Prof. Dr Heinrich B. Winter (Groningen Centre for European Financial Services Law (GCEFSL), University of Groningen), with Prof. Dr Femke de Vries (The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets) acting as an advisor.

Serbia and Kosovo: Normalisation of relations

09-03-2016

Resolving their deep-seated rivalries has been one of the conditions placed on Serbia and Kosovo for achieving their shared goal of EU entry. Since 2011, an EU-mediated dialogue has sought to strike a balance between their past conflicts and present aspirations. Although tensions persist, the goal is to translate the deals signed by both sides into reality, and to keep their dialogue going.

Resolving their deep-seated rivalries has been one of the conditions placed on Serbia and Kosovo for achieving their shared goal of EU entry. Since 2011, an EU-mediated dialogue has sought to strike a balance between their past conflicts and present aspirations. Although tensions persist, the goal is to translate the deals signed by both sides into reality, and to keep their dialogue going.

Προσεχείς εκδηλώσεις

20-11-2019
Europe's Future: Where next for EU institutional Reform?
Άλλη δραστηριότητα -
EPRS

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