167

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Word(s)
Publication type
Author
Keyword
Date

Arctic continental shelf claims: Mapping interests in the circumpolar North

09-01-2017

As climate change has led to record sea ice decline, the Arctic has resurfaced as a region of global geopolitical relevance. The visibility of Arctic issues has increased, with international attention zooming in on the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole. The Arctic – one of the least populated areas on Earth – has been a peaceful and stable arena for growing intergovernmental and non-governmental cooperation since the end of the Cold War. However, potential competition for natural resources and new ...

As climate change has led to record sea ice decline, the Arctic has resurfaced as a region of global geopolitical relevance. The visibility of Arctic issues has increased, with international attention zooming in on the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole. The Arctic – one of the least populated areas on Earth – has been a peaceful and stable arena for growing intergovernmental and non-governmental cooperation since the end of the Cold War. However, potential competition for natural resources and new navigation routes has sharpened the focus on divisions between the states that have coasts on the Arctic Ocean. Overlapping continental shelf claims, combined with Russia's increasing assertiveness, have sparked concern over potential new or rekindled disputes. The focus on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – the international 'constitution for the oceans', which also regulates the Arctic Ocean – has increased accordingly. At the same time, the importance of the Arctic as an element in national identities and narratives plays a key role in the discourse on national Arctic policies, which are aimed at both international and domestic audiences, thus linking geopolitics and emotions.

2016: A Year of Shifts and Shocks [What Think Tanks are thinking]

22-12-2016

2016 may rank as an 'annus horibilis' for the European Union – a year when it confronted several simultaneous crises, or a 'polycrisis' as the President of the European Commission characterised the situation, including the United Kingdom's decision to leave the EU, deadly terrorist attacks, migration pressures, growing Russian assertiveness, eurozone uncertainty and the shock-effect of Donald Trump's election as U.S. President. This note offers links to selected recent commentaries and reports from ...

2016 may rank as an 'annus horibilis' for the European Union – a year when it confronted several simultaneous crises, or a 'polycrisis' as the President of the European Commission characterised the situation, including the United Kingdom's decision to leave the EU, deadly terrorist attacks, migration pressures, growing Russian assertiveness, eurozone uncertainty and the shock-effect of Donald Trump's election as U.S. President. This note offers links to selected recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks on those biggest challenges Europe has faced in 2016.

Syria: Stalled Peace Process and Blocked Humanitarian Access

24-11-2016

Amid stalled peace talks and a worsening humanitarian situation, the EU is working alongside the UN Special Envoy for Syria to engage key regional and international players and broker a return to the negotiating table. In parallel, an EU emergency humanitarian initiative for Aleppo has been launched to attempt to break the deadlock over humanitarian access and deliver aid to some of the 275 000 people in Aleppo and 13.5 million people across the country who are in desperate need of assistance.

Amid stalled peace talks and a worsening humanitarian situation, the EU is working alongside the UN Special Envoy for Syria to engage key regional and international players and broker a return to the negotiating table. In parallel, an EU emergency humanitarian initiative for Aleppo has been launched to attempt to break the deadlock over humanitarian access and deliver aid to some of the 275 000 people in Aleppo and 13.5 million people across the country who are in desperate need of assistance.

Universal Children's Day

18-11-2016

The annual Universal Children's Day represents an opportunity to consider how children in Europe are faring in some of the key areas covered in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and what the European Union is doing to protect their rights and ensure their wellbeing.

The annual Universal Children's Day represents an opportunity to consider how children in Europe are faring in some of the key areas covered in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and what the European Union is doing to protect their rights and ensure their wellbeing.

The coming Trump Presidency [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-11-2016

The Republican candidate, Donald Trump, won the US presidential election on 8 November, unexpectedly defeating the Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, after a bitter campaign during which the business tycoon, with little political experience, made a number of controversial promises to radically change the government's policies on migration, health care, climate change, international trade and NATO. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major ...

The Republican candidate, Donald Trump, won the US presidential election on 8 November, unexpectedly defeating the Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, after a bitter campaign during which the business tycoon, with little political experience, made a number of controversial promises to radically change the government's policies on migration, health care, climate change, international trade and NATO. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other research centres in response to the US election outcome. Analyses published before the ballot can be found in a previous edition of 'What think tanks are thinking.'

The Mandate of the Panama Inquiry Committee, an Assessment

15-11-2016

As of April 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists together with numerous reporting partners from around the world, started revealing more than 214,000 offshore entities, connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories, including EU Member States. Following these revelations, commonly known as the Panama Papers, the European Parliament decided to set up a special Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application ...

As of April 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists together with numerous reporting partners from around the world, started revealing more than 214,000 offshore entities, connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories, including EU Member States. Following these revelations, commonly known as the Panama Papers, the European Parliament decided to set up a special Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. This paper prepared by Policy Department A intends to serve as a preparatory document for the Committee's investigation.

External author

R. Houben

Does the EU Have the Right Instruments to Finance Assistance in Protracted Crises and the Needs of Upper Middle Income Countries?

14-11-2016

This study pays critical attention to two specific issue areas, which the financing instruments ought to be concerned with: First, the EU has developed tools and instruments to react to and prevent ‘protracted crises’. The results of this study show that the current set of instruments forms a good basis to the challenges associated with protracted crisis. In fact, no new instrument is needed to specifically address protracted crises. However, the operationalisation of instruments should be optimised ...

This study pays critical attention to two specific issue areas, which the financing instruments ought to be concerned with: First, the EU has developed tools and instruments to react to and prevent ‘protracted crises’. The results of this study show that the current set of instruments forms a good basis to the challenges associated with protracted crisis. In fact, no new instrument is needed to specifically address protracted crises. However, the operationalisation of instruments should be optimised. There is a clear need to find more sophisticated approaches that can establish a more holistic response to the various dimensions of protracted crises throughout the conflict cycle. In light of this, substantial improvements should be made to the responsiveness, flexibility, coherence and complementarity of the EU response in support of resilience. A critical point is that better incentives should be provided for long-term instruments to flexibly engage in protracted crises, including through support to peacebuilding, conflict prevention, post-crisis reconstruction and resilience. Second, the study focuses on the specific case of Upper Middle Income Countries (UMICs). The study acknowledges the importance and relevance of the ‘differentiated approach’ while also identifying some of the many problems which concern UMICs: first, the study shows that the Partnership Instrument has so far mainly targeted EU Strategic Partners, while thematic and regional programmes of the DCI hardly fill in the gap left following the graduation of some countries from bilateral aid programmes. The analysis also notes that exceptions which have been granted to some UMICs are strongly problematic. The analysis, however, also points to the fact that the question remains whether these exceptions will be extended to the period 2017-2020. While there is a clear need for a better coherence and coordination, the study argues that there is currently no need for the creation of a new instrument which would exclusively target UMICs.

External author

Matthieu BURNAY (University of Leuven, Belgium), Matthias DENECKERE (European Centre for Development Policy Management, Maastricht, the Netherlands), Kolja RAUBE (University of Leuven, Belgium) and Volker HAUCK (European Centre for Development Policy Management, Maastricht, the Netherlands)

US elections [What Think Tanks are thinking]

04-11-2016

The United States choses its next president on 8 November, with implications for international relations, security, trade and fight against climate change. The vote follows an acrimonious campaign, which analysts say points to a deeply divided nation on issues such as the US international role, immigration, social protection, taxation as well as trade and industrial policies. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other research ...

The United States choses its next president on 8 November, with implications for international relations, security, trade and fight against climate change. The vote follows an acrimonious campaign, which analysts say points to a deeply divided nation on issues such as the US international role, immigration, social protection, taxation as well as trade and industrial policies. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other research centres on the US elections.

The 2016 election of a new UN Secretary-General

21-10-2016

On 13 October, the United Nations General Assembly appointed a European, António Guterres, to the post of UN Secretary-General, after a selection that was, in part, unprecedentedly transparent. For the first time in history, the nominated candidates had the opportunity to present their vision in public dialogues organised in the General Assembly with member states and civil society representatives. Guterres emerged somewhat unexpectedly as the chosen candidate – without much diplomatic wrangling ...

On 13 October, the United Nations General Assembly appointed a European, António Guterres, to the post of UN Secretary-General, after a selection that was, in part, unprecedentedly transparent. For the first time in history, the nominated candidates had the opportunity to present their vision in public dialogues organised in the General Assembly with member states and civil society representatives. Guterres emerged somewhat unexpectedly as the chosen candidate – without much diplomatic wrangling in the Security Council, and defying expectations that the next secretary-general would be a woman and/or an eastern European, according to the principle of diversity which holds sway in the UN. Given his strong political and diplomatic experience and his commitment to the refugees cause (he served as head of the UN Refugee Agency), his election has raised expectations that he will improve the UN's functioning and address current global challenges, especially the Syrian crisis and the refugee crisis. In his vision statement, Guterres emphasised the importance of a 'diplomacy of peace' for his future mandate, focusing on the prevention of conflicts through political means. The commitment to human rights, sustainable development, women's empowerment and the value of diversity embodied in today's increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious societies defines his approach to rising global challenges. He intends to make the UN more efficient and more decentralised.

Towards the eighth BRICS Summit: What future for the 'emerging power' bloc?

13-10-2016

The next BRICS Summit will take place in Goa, India on 15 and 16 October 2016. This is the eighth year that the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (since 2011 only) will come together since the institutionalisation of cooperation among the major emerging economies in 2009. While a range of doubts exist regarding the longevity and cohesion of the bloc, given the disappointing economic performance of several of its members in recent years, the group appears confident that the ...

The next BRICS Summit will take place in Goa, India on 15 and 16 October 2016. This is the eighth year that the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (since 2011 only) will come together since the institutionalisation of cooperation among the major emerging economies in 2009. While a range of doubts exist regarding the longevity and cohesion of the bloc, given the disappointing economic performance of several of its members in recent years, the group appears confident that the summit will lead to further intra-BRICS cooperation, including in the areas of customs authorities, environment and agriculture. Terrorism will also be a key issue in the discussions. According to observers, the aim of the summit will be to consolidate existing institutions, including the BRICS-led New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement. It will also be an opportunity for India to underline its prime status among emerging powers, as it is currently growing faster than any other major economy. In 2017 the BRICS chair will be taken over by China.

Upcoming events

24-01-2017
"The role of lawyers, accountants and bankers in Panama Papers" - Part I
Hearing -
PANA
24-01-2017
Workshop on Building blocks of a future EU cohesion policy - first reflections
Workshop -
REGI
24-01-2017
Workshop : Human Rights in Iran after the nuclear deal
Hearing -
DROI

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