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Future EU-Turkey relations

23-10-2018

In June 2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected as president of Turkey, this time with extended powers under the revised Turkish Constitution. Over the previous couple of years, his country's relationship with the EU had been challenged by issues such as the ongoing management of the migration crisis and the EU-Turkey Agreement, the attempted military coup in Istanbul and Ankara, and the ensuing purge, which the EU and international organisations criticised for its disproportionate severity. With ...

In June 2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected as president of Turkey, this time with extended powers under the revised Turkish Constitution. Over the previous couple of years, his country's relationship with the EU had been challenged by issues such as the ongoing management of the migration crisis and the EU-Turkey Agreement, the attempted military coup in Istanbul and Ankara, and the ensuing purge, which the EU and international organisations criticised for its disproportionate severity. With the constitutional referendum and the subsequent parliamentary and presidential elections, President Erdogan further reinforced his position at the helm of the institutional system and raised concerns among the EU and NATO about his commitment to Western institutions. Turkey deepened its relations with Russia, buying military equipment and coordinating with it on Syrian policies on the ground. At the same time, US-Turkish relations worsened due to the Syrian conflict and the imprisonment of a US pastor by Turkey, although he was subsequently released. Negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU have nevertheless continued, despite an increasingly lively debate in some Member States about whether or not they should be halted. Some have proposed striking an economic agreement with Turkey as an alternative to membership. Others believe the outcome of the negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU might also provide a possible model for Turkey. Despite the numerous hurdles before it, accession not only remains the ultimate objective of EU-Turkey relations, endorsed by both the European Council and by Turkey, but it also provides potential for reform and dialogue regarding common standards, not least in the area of civil liberties.

The European Council and the Western Balkans: Overview of discussions since the Lisbon Treaty

14-05-2018

The Western Balkans have regularly featured on the agenda of the European Council since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009. Three dimensions – enlargement, counter-terrorism and migration – have been at the centre of the EU leaders' discussion of the subject. However, the message has often seemed technical and EU leaders have appeared less inclined to offer a strategic view of future relations between the EU and the Western Balkans. The European Council has held only one strategic ...

The Western Balkans have regularly featured on the agenda of the European Council since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009. Three dimensions – enlargement, counter-terrorism and migration – have been at the centre of the EU leaders' discussion of the subject. However, the message has often seemed technical and EU leaders have appeared less inclined to offer a strategic view of future relations between the EU and the Western Balkans. The European Council has held only one strategic debate on the Western Balkans, in March 2017, when it discussed the then deteriorating security situation in the region and agreed to keep it under review. The strategy for the Western Balkans put forward by the European Commission in February 2018 sends a strong political message of openness and inclusiveness to the countries in the region. In April 2018, the Commission’s country reports for Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia recognised the progress made, and supported the opening of accession negotiations. In this context, EU leaders may consider enlargement at their next regular meeting, following a Council meeting on enlargement in June 2018.

Euroopa Majanduspiirkond (EMP), Šveits ja põhjapoolsed riigid

01-05-2018

Euroopa Majanduspiirkond (EMP) loodi 1994. aastal, et laiendada ELi siseturgu käsitlevaid sätteid Euroopa Vabakaubanduse Assotsiatsiooni (EFTA) riikidele. Norra, Island ja Liechtenstein on EMP osalised. Šveits on EFTA liige, kuid ei osale EMPs. EL ja selle EMP partnerid (Norra ja Island) on omavahel seotud ka mitmesuguste põhjamõõtme poliitika meetmete ja foorumite kaudu, mis keskenduvad Euroopa kiiresti arenevatele põhjapiirkondadele ja Arktika piirkonnale tervikuna.

Euroopa Majanduspiirkond (EMP) loodi 1994. aastal, et laiendada ELi siseturgu käsitlevaid sätteid Euroopa Vabakaubanduse Assotsiatsiooni (EFTA) riikidele. Norra, Island ja Liechtenstein on EMP osalised. Šveits on EFTA liige, kuid ei osale EMPs. EL ja selle EMP partnerid (Norra ja Island) on omavahel seotud ka mitmesuguste põhjamõõtme poliitika meetmete ja foorumite kaudu, mis keskenduvad Euroopa kiiresti arenevatele põhjapiirkondadele ja Arktika piirkonnale tervikuna.

Western Balkans: Enlargement strategy 2018

13-03-2018

With a resolute tone and a sense of urgency, the European Commission's new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans sets a clear direction for the region's six countries: it offers them a credible enlargement perspective and pledges enhanced EU engagement. It indicates 2025 as a possible enlargement date. However, seizing this opportunity remains a challenge, as the aspirants must each deliver on difficult, key reforms, and solve all outstanding bilateral disputes.

With a resolute tone and a sense of urgency, the European Commission's new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans sets a clear direction for the region's six countries: it offers them a credible enlargement perspective and pledges enhanced EU engagement. It indicates 2025 as a possible enlargement date. However, seizing this opportunity remains a challenge, as the aspirants must each deliver on difficult, key reforms, and solve all outstanding bilateral disputes.

Valitsustevahelised otsustamismenetlused

01-02-2018

Ühises välis- ja julgeolekupoliitikas ning mitmes muus valdkonnas, näiteks tõhustatud koostöö, teatavate ametissenimetamiste ja lepingute läbivaatamise puhul, kasutatakse seadusandlikust tavamenetlusest erinevaid otsustamismenetlusi. Nende valdkondade otsustamismenetlustes on keskse tähtsusega tugev valitsustevaheline koostöö. Riigivõlakriisi probleemidest tingituna on selliste otsustamismehhanismide kasutamine suurenenud, eelkõige Euroopa majanduse juhtimise raamistikus.

Ühises välis- ja julgeolekupoliitikas ning mitmes muus valdkonnas, näiteks tõhustatud koostöö, teatavate ametissenimetamiste ja lepingute läbivaatamise puhul, kasutatakse seadusandlikust tavamenetlusest erinevaid otsustamismenetlusi. Nende valdkondade otsustamismenetlustes on keskse tähtsusega tugev valitsustevaheline koostöö. Riigivõlakriisi probleemidest tingituna on selliste otsustamismehhanismide kasutamine suurenenud, eelkõige Euroopa majanduse juhtimise raamistikus.

Western Balkans in the spotlight in 2018

15-01-2018

With positive messages and increased attention coming from the EU, 2017 seems to have ended on a high note for the Western Balkans. 2018 starts with the region being high on the agenda of Bulgaria's EU Council Presidency, and promises a favourable context for advancing its EU bids. For this to happen, however, the six WB countries need to show results on the core EU-related reforms.

With positive messages and increased attention coming from the EU, 2017 seems to have ended on a high note for the Western Balkans. 2018 starts with the region being high on the agenda of Bulgaria's EU Council Presidency, and promises a favourable context for advancing its EU bids. For this to happen, however, the six WB countries need to show results on the core EU-related reforms.

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.

Parlamendiväline autor

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

Youth challenges and opportunities in the Western Balkans

12-09-2017

Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are all candidates for EU membership, while Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are potential candidates. To improve their chances of EU accession and secure their citizens a more prosperous future, one of the key priorities these countries need to address are the problems facing their youth, who hold the key to such a future. Challenges – albeit of a different nature from one country to the next – confront young people ...

Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are all candidates for EU membership, while Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are potential candidates. To improve their chances of EU accession and secure their citizens a more prosperous future, one of the key priorities these countries need to address are the problems facing their youth, who hold the key to such a future. Challenges – albeit of a different nature from one country to the next – confront young people across the entire region. Persistently high levels of youth unemployment are seen as a direct consequence of the region's difficult economic context, but equally so of its outdated educational systems that fail to deliver to the needs of the labour market. Deeply entrenched regional stereotypes, a lack of awareness of other cultures, demographic changes and a youth 'brain drain' are some of the pieces that make up this complex regional puzzle. Raising awareness about these challenges and the need for timely solutions is therefore crucial. The EU has been encouraging dialogue on the future of youth in the region through a number of projects and initiatives, including the Erasmus+ programme. In recent years, a series of conferences, including in the framework of the Berlin process, have given young people increased prominence, drawing attention to the difficulties they face and the opportunities they need to be given. The establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office in 2016 is a tangible development in this respect, seen as a positive step towards promoting dialogue, involving young people in joint activities and changing the regional narrative. Further crucial measures include modernising the educational systems, promoting mobility and exchanges both within the region and with the EU, and encouraging youth entrepreneurial skills and active youth participation in civil society.

Lääne-Balkani riigid

01-09-2017

EL on välja töötanud poliitika, millega toetatakse Lääne-Balkani riikide järkjärgulist liiduga integreerimist. 1. juulil 2013 sai esimesena seitsmest riigist ELi liikmeks Horvaatia ning Montenegro, Serbia, Põhja-Makedoonia Vabariik ja Albaania on ametlikud kandidaatriigid. Ühinemisläbirääkimisi on alustatud ning läbirääkimispeatükke avatud Montenegro ja Serbiaga. Bosnia ja Hertsegoviina ning Kosovo on potentsiaalsed kandidaatriigid.

EL on välja töötanud poliitika, millega toetatakse Lääne-Balkani riikide järkjärgulist liiduga integreerimist. 1. juulil 2013 sai esimesena seitsmest riigist ELi liikmeks Horvaatia ning Montenegro, Serbia, Põhja-Makedoonia Vabariik ja Albaania on ametlikud kandidaatriigid. Ühinemisläbirääkimisi on alustatud ning läbirääkimispeatükke avatud Montenegro ja Serbiaga. Bosnia ja Hertsegoviina ning Kosovo on potentsiaalsed kandidaatriigid.

Russia in the Western Balkans

06-07-2017

The Western Balkans have emerged as a front in Russia's geopolitical confrontation with the West. Building on close historical ties, Moscow is taking advantage of the political and economic difficulties to expand its influence, potentially undermining the region's stability.

The Western Balkans have emerged as a front in Russia's geopolitical confrontation with the West. Building on close historical ties, Moscow is taking advantage of the political and economic difficulties to expand its influence, potentially undermining the region's stability.

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