33

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Policy area
Author
Keyword
Date

Mediterranean Flows into Europe: Migration and the EU's Foreign Policy

12-03-2014

A series of heartrending stories from Europe’s southern shores – near the Italian island of Lampedusa, in the Greek waters of the Aegean Sea, at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta – have brought Mediterranean migration to the top of the political agenda. EU leaders have emphasised the need for policies treating migration to be guided by the principles of 'prevention, protection and solidarity'. The Mediterranean Task Force, established in October 2013, has suggested 38 ways to prevent further loss of life ...

A series of heartrending stories from Europe’s southern shores – near the Italian island of Lampedusa, in the Greek waters of the Aegean Sea, at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta – have brought Mediterranean migration to the top of the political agenda. EU leaders have emphasised the need for policies treating migration to be guided by the principles of 'prevention, protection and solidarity'. The Mediterranean Task Force, established in October 2013, has suggested 38 ways to prevent further loss of life. But beyond these immediate responses, the EU must engage in a broader and longer-term debate on the ways that migration is addressed by its different external policies – those touching on security, development cooperation, the neighbourhood policy and international protection. The European Parliament can play an important role by promoting a dialogue about migration with third countries. This discussion, which should be pursued through interparliamentary as well as inter-institutional discussions, may lead to stronger cooperation in the management of regular migration and a more effective fight against irregular migration. Whilst the Parliament should demand that all EU and third countries' policies fully respect human rights, it should also consider Mediterranean migration in a wider context and highlight the positive potential of human mobility for socioeconomic development.

Iran at a Crossroads: What Will Follow the Nuclear Deal?

11-12-2013

The agreement reached in Geneva on Iran's nuclear programme should allow Iran to return to the international scene as a political as well as a trade partner. While the terms of the deal will require attention and effort, hopes in Europe, Iran and the MENA region are running high for the first time in many years. Tehran could soon play the role of constructive regional power, helping resolve a wide range of regional security problems and serving as a motor of economic growth for the entire region. ...

The agreement reached in Geneva on Iran's nuclear programme should allow Iran to return to the international scene as a political as well as a trade partner. While the terms of the deal will require attention and effort, hopes in Europe, Iran and the MENA region are running high for the first time in many years. Tehran could soon play the role of constructive regional power, helping resolve a wide range of regional security problems and serving as a motor of economic growth for the entire region. If the country’s recently-elected president, Hassan Rouhani, also manages to carry out his ambitious political and economic reform programme, the Iranian people may gain civil rights and enjoy a more prosperous economic future. The EU has a strategic interest in supporting reformist forces within Iran.

Gaza's Population at the Breaking Point

29-11-2013

Over the past six years, Gaza's 1.8 million residents – 70 % of whom are refugees and 80 % of whom depend on humanitarian assistance for their daily livelihood – have struggled with the land, air, and sea blockade imposed by Israel for security reasons. In the last year, the decline of Gaza's socio-economic situation has accelerated dizzyingly. Almost one in three people is unemployed, with youth and women the hardest hit. The blockade and Israel's restrictions on the movement of goods and persons ...

Over the past six years, Gaza's 1.8 million residents – 70 % of whom are refugees and 80 % of whom depend on humanitarian assistance for their daily livelihood – have struggled with the land, air, and sea blockade imposed by Israel for security reasons. In the last year, the decline of Gaza's socio-economic situation has accelerated dizzyingly. Almost one in three people is unemployed, with youth and women the hardest hit. The blockade and Israel's restrictions on the movement of goods and persons to and from the territory mean that sustainable economic activity in Gaza is next to impossible. This bleak economic picture goes hand-in-hand with the fragile humanitarian situation, which has also deteriorated further in the last few months, as Egypt has closed most of the illegal tunnels for reasons of national security and limited crossings at Rafah. Fuel shortages have closed the only electric power plant in Gaza, adding to residents' sea of troubles. In the recent words of the Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), 'Gaza is quickly becoming uninhabitable.' To alleviate Gaza's economic woes and prevent a further radicalisation of the political landscape, humanitarian assistance must be delivered to the people in need. This assistance must be supplemented by greater efforts to improve governance in Gaza and to bring about a political solution to the siege of the enclave.

Iraq's Deadly Spiral toward a Civil War

09-10-2013

In recent months sectarian violence in Iraq has escalated worryingly. More than 6 400 people have been killed across the country this year, half of them in the last three months. The Shia-dominated central government has failed to address the grievances of the Sunni minority and has responded to public protests with a heavy hand, leading militant Sunni groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant to gain ground. The situation is compounded by the dangerous spill-over from the civil war ...

In recent months sectarian violence in Iraq has escalated worryingly. More than 6 400 people have been killed across the country this year, half of them in the last three months. The Shia-dominated central government has failed to address the grievances of the Sunni minority and has responded to public protests with a heavy hand, leading militant Sunni groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant to gain ground. The situation is compounded by the dangerous spill-over from the civil war in neighbouring Syria. Iraq matters for the entire Middle East. While the only real solutions to Iraq's problems are domestic, international actors can contribute to the process. The role of the European Union can be significant in consolidating the country's judicial and law enforcement authorities and in organising the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: Defined – for Better and Worse - by Its Religious Dimension

18-09-2013

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an intergovernmental organisation with a strong religious element that regroups 57 Muslim or predominantly Muslim member states. Its priorities are promoting the interests of Muslim communities across the world and fighting Islamophobia, especially in the Western world. The OIC has a loose parliamentary arm, the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC), based in Tehran. The PUIC has a rather limited role and low visibility, as it merely ...

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an intergovernmental organisation with a strong religious element that regroups 57 Muslim or predominantly Muslim member states. Its priorities are promoting the interests of Muslim communities across the world and fighting Islamophobia, especially in the Western world. The OIC has a loose parliamentary arm, the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC), based in Tehran. The PUIC has a rather limited role and low visibility, as it merely promotes meetings and dialogue among the parliaments of OIC members and encourages the exchange of parliamentary experiences and best practices. In June 2013, the OIC inaugurated a Permanent Mission Office to the EU in Brussels to increase cooperation with the EU. The EU-OIC agenda has included issues related to fighting intolerance and promoting interreligious / intercultural dialogue, as well as human rights and humanitarian assistance. A number of other sensitive issues, such as the rights and protection of Christian and other religious minorities in Muslim countries, have not yet been addressed. Some observers have suggested that the OIC may become more conservative vis-à-vis human rights after January 2014, when a new Secretary-General from Saudi Arabia takes the helm of the organisation.

Syria: Weighing the Risks

09-09-2013

Following two and a half years of bloody civil war in Syria, world leaders remain uncertain how to staunch a humanitarian calamity that has left more than 100 000 Syrians dead, 6 million displaced and immeasurable material damage and human suffering. China and Russia have incapacitated the United Nations, and the military conflict in Syria is escalating dangerously. The chemical attack on civilian targets near Damascus on 21 August has refocused the attention of the international community on the ...

Following two and a half years of bloody civil war in Syria, world leaders remain uncertain how to staunch a humanitarian calamity that has left more than 100 000 Syrians dead, 6 million displaced and immeasurable material damage and human suffering. China and Russia have incapacitated the United Nations, and the military conflict in Syria is escalating dangerously. The chemical attack on civilian targets near Damascus on 21 August has refocused the attention of the international community on the crisis, and the United States and France – supported by the Gulf states, Turkey and Israel – are calling for a targeted and limited military intervention to punish the Assad regime. Such action would have unpredictable consequences for the country, the region and world politics. It is unlikely that it would improve the dire situation of the Syrian people or foster a peaceful and democratic future for the country.

Handover of Power to a New Generation in Qatar

28-06-2013

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa transformed his country into a bold and assertive presence on the world stage. He supported new Islamist forces in countries affected by the Arab Spring, but ensured continuity in the Gulf. The appointment of the new cabinet suggests a slightly more domestic orientation. The youthful ruler may coordinate more with regional partners, but will maintain an independent approach to international questions.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa transformed his country into a bold and assertive presence on the world stage. He supported new Islamist forces in countries affected by the Arab Spring, but ensured continuity in the Gulf. The appointment of the new cabinet suggests a slightly more domestic orientation. The youthful ruler may coordinate more with regional partners, but will maintain an independent approach to international questions.

Algeria’s Underused Potential in Security Cooperation in the Sahel Region

24-06-2013

Algeria is a regional power in both economic, political and military terms. Up to now, relations between the EU and Algeria have been mainly based on economic considerations. The crisis in Mali, the Franco-African military intervention (AFISMA) and the terrorist attacks at the gas facility In Amenas in eastern Algeria have opened a new window of opportunity for reinforced cooperation in the field of security between Algeria and the EU in order to combat common threats. Given its strong military power ...

Algeria is a regional power in both economic, political and military terms. Up to now, relations between the EU and Algeria have been mainly based on economic considerations. The crisis in Mali, the Franco-African military intervention (AFISMA) and the terrorist attacks at the gas facility In Amenas in eastern Algeria have opened a new window of opportunity for reinforced cooperation in the field of security between Algeria and the EU in order to combat common threats. Given its strong military power and political stature in the region, Algeria has the potential to develop into an important ally of the EU in the Sahel region. The probable transfer of presidential powers in Algeria will offer a chance for Algeria to reshape its policy in the region, as an assertive and constructive regional power not only in the Maghreb but also in West Africa.

Cautious Reforms in Saudi Arabia

28-05-2013

While a number of recent 'firsts' have suggested that Saudi Arabia may be open to reform, particularly for women, the reforms have not altered the basic structure of the Saudi legal and administrative system. Saudi Arabia traditional position of leadership within the Islamic and Arab worlds is being seriously challenged. The judicial system is configured to maintain the status quo. Shari'a (Islamic law) is applied by ultraconservative religious leaders, slowing down efforts to reform Saudi society ...

While a number of recent 'firsts' have suggested that Saudi Arabia may be open to reform, particularly for women, the reforms have not altered the basic structure of the Saudi legal and administrative system. Saudi Arabia traditional position of leadership within the Islamic and Arab worlds is being seriously challenged. The judicial system is configured to maintain the status quo. Shari'a (Islamic law) is applied by ultraconservative religious leaders, slowing down efforts to reform Saudi society. Saudi Arabian judges apply shari'a (Islamic law) based on their individual interpretations. The judicial system lacks basic safeguards of fairness. Ignoring international and EU condemnation, Saudi Arabia has continued to execute criminals, including minors, for a wide range of offences. In Saudi Arabia, all women are subordinated to a male guardian. They face discrimination and lack of protection. It is important to maintain intensive political dialogue with Saudi Arabia on a wide range of issues, including the country's adherence to universally recognised human rights.

Recovering Tunisian and Egyptian Assets: Legal Complexity Challenges States in Need

16-05-2013

Freezing assets is an EU competence; recovering them, on the other hand, is a competence of the Member States. For the EU, recovering the assets of the ousted Tunisian and Egyptian regimes is an issue of political commitment and credibility, with the Union's reputation in Arab Spring countries partly at stake. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (in force since 2005) makes clear that recovering assets is a priority in a coordinated international fight against corruption. There exists ...

Freezing assets is an EU competence; recovering them, on the other hand, is a competence of the Member States. For the EU, recovering the assets of the ousted Tunisian and Egyptian regimes is an issue of political commitment and credibility, with the Union's reputation in Arab Spring countries partly at stake. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (in force since 2005) makes clear that recovering assets is a priority in a coordinated international fight against corruption. There exists a lack of efficient cooperation between 'requesting' and 'requested' states, as well as a paucity of reliable information about the amounts in question. The EU Council has recently adopted a decision to make it easier to share information relating to Egyptian and Tunisian funds in the EU. There are still many procedural problems to tackle, especially in the case of Egypt. An EU special task force could be set up to explore practical ways to better coordinate and exchange best practices between EU Member States and Tunisia and Egypt. The UK is a frontrunner in establishing a central structure facilitating the legal proceedings to recover assets. The European Parliament can send a clear signal of the EU's political commitment to helping Tunisia and Egypt recover their assets.

Partners

Stay connected

email update imageEmail updates system

You can follow anyone or anything linked to the Parliament using the email updates system, which sends updates directly to your mailbox. This includes the latest news about MEPs, committees, the news services or the Think Tank.

You can access the system from any page on the Parliament website. To sign up and receive notifications on Think Tank, simply submit your email address, select the subject you are interested in, indicate how often you want to be informed (daily, weekly or monthly) and confirm the registration by clicking on the link that will be emailed to you.

RSS imageRSS feeds

Follow all news and updates from the European Parliament website by making use of our RSS feed.

Please click on the link below to configure your RSS feed.