17

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Domaine politique
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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.

Empowering women in the EU and beyond: Leadership and conflict resolution

02-03-2017

Experts agree that much depends on women being involved on an equal footing in political leadership, as well as corporate governance, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict power structures. In most societies around the world, women hold only a minority of decision-making positions in public and private institutions. Yet for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), women’s political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for ...

Experts agree that much depends on women being involved on an equal footing in political leadership, as well as corporate governance, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict power structures. In most societies around the world, women hold only a minority of decision-making positions in public and private institutions. Yet for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), women’s political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for gender equality and genuine democracy. Furthermore, the European Union has increasingly recognised that conflict and crisis management are not gender-neutral and has introduced numerous gender policies and initiatives to forward the aims of landmark United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 (2000).

New sanctions against North Korea: The challenges of implementation and China

05-07-2016

In January 2016, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test, exposing the inability of UN sanctions to prevent the reclusive regime from gradually enhancing its ballistic missile capabilities and miniaturising a nuclear warhead. Despite China's past principled reluctance to agree to UN economic sanctions against its military ally, and its selective implementation of the previous sanctions scheme, which has been widely perceived as the major cause of its ineffectiveness, in March 2016 China endorsed ...

In January 2016, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test, exposing the inability of UN sanctions to prevent the reclusive regime from gradually enhancing its ballistic missile capabilities and miniaturising a nuclear warhead. Despite China's past principled reluctance to agree to UN economic sanctions against its military ally, and its selective implementation of the previous sanctions scheme, which has been widely perceived as the major cause of its ineffectiveness, in March 2016 China endorsed UN Security Council resolution 2270(2016). The latter expands significantly the scope of previous sanctions against North Korea. China's frustration at its lack of leverage over North Korea to prevent it from further escalating regional tensions, combined with the response from Japan, South Korea and the United States, has compelled it to endorse tougher sanctions against North Korea as a means of bringing it back to the negotiation table. However, China has emphasised that stiffer sanctions alone will not be a panacea for the Korean Peninsula's denuclearisation. China plays a vital role in ensuring a meaningful impact of the newly adopted sanctions, given its intense economic relations with North Korea. A consensus between China and the USA on a common approach to North Korea which accommodates their conflicting geostrategic interests would be crucial for engaging North Korea. But given the latter's staunch insistence on its status as a nuclear-armed state, prospects are grim for a resumption of the stalled Six Party Talks to replicate – under much more complex circumstances – what was achieved with Iran in 2015.

Syria: Turning commitments into action

13-06-2016

What started as local anti-government protests in the city of Daraa in 2011 quickly evolved into a popular uprising. The conflict has since cost the lives of 470 000 people and resulted in the displacement of almost 11 million. This is no longer a revolution but an internationalised conflict hijacked by big-power politics, and Syrians and their neighbouring countries are paying the price.

What started as local anti-government protests in the city of Daraa in 2011 quickly evolved into a popular uprising. The conflict has since cost the lives of 470 000 people and resulted in the displacement of almost 11 million. This is no longer a revolution but an internationalised conflict hijacked by big-power politics, and Syrians and their neighbouring countries are paying the price.

United Nations response to violent extremism

11-05-2016

Despite recurrent difficulties, the international community has developed an extensive repertoire of legal and institutional tools for global cooperation to counter terrorism. In the light of the rise of jihadi movements like ISIL/Da'esh, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, counterterrorism efforts have increasingly shifted towards countering violent extremism (CVE) as a threat to peace and security.

Despite recurrent difficulties, the international community has developed an extensive repertoire of legal and institutional tools for global cooperation to counter terrorism. In the light of the rise of jihadi movements like ISIL/Da'esh, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, counterterrorism efforts have increasingly shifted towards countering violent extremism (CVE) as a threat to peace and security.

Décision-cadre 2002/475/JAI relative à la lutte contre le terrorisme

04-05-2016

Les rapports disponibles au niveau de l'Union sur la mise en œuvre de la décision-cadre relative à la lutte contre le terrorisme indiquent que les dispositions de la décision ont été appliquées de manière largement satisfaisante dans les États membres. Plusieurs inquiétudes subsistent toutefois, notamment en ce qui concerne l'adéquation du cadre actuel pour garantir que les combattants étrangers mus par des convictions personnelles et qui voyagent à leurs frais seront poursuivis. L'évolution de l'état ...

Les rapports disponibles au niveau de l'Union sur la mise en œuvre de la décision-cadre relative à la lutte contre le terrorisme indiquent que les dispositions de la décision ont été appliquées de manière largement satisfaisante dans les États membres. Plusieurs inquiétudes subsistent toutefois, notamment en ce qui concerne l'adéquation du cadre actuel pour garantir que les combattants étrangers mus par des convictions personnelles et qui voyagent à leurs frais seront poursuivis. L'évolution de l'état de la sécurité et les développements sur la scène internationale (adoption de la résolution 2178 (2014) du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies et du protocole additionnel à la convention du Conseil de l'Europe) semblent rendre nécessaire la modification de la décision-cadre. La proposition de la Commission d'une nouvelle directive rendrait la législation de l'Union conforme aux dispositions des documents susmentionnés des Nations unies et du Conseil de l'Europe en élargissant la liste des infractions pour y inclure, entre autres, les voyages à l'étranger à des fins de terrorisme et la participation à un entraînement pour se préparer au terrorisme. Dans ce contexte, il est important de noter que des rapports récents soulignent que les États membres ont déjà, dans une large mesure, introduit de nouveaux délits criminels dans leur droit ou sont en train de le faire (en particulier les États membres dont la plupart des combattants étrangers sont originaires). La proposition irait également plus loin en exigeant des États membres qu'ils prennent des mesures pour garantir la protection et l'assistance aux victimes du terrorisme.

Foreign fighters – Member State responses and EU action

09-03-2016

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue, and terrorist activities worldwide appear to be on the rise, EU Member States are increasingly confronted with the problem of aspiring and returning 'foreign fighters'. Whereas the phenomenon is not new, its scale certainly is, explaining the wide perception that these individuals are a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. International fora, including the United Nations, have addressed the problem, ...

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue, and terrorist activities worldwide appear to be on the rise, EU Member States are increasingly confronted with the problem of aspiring and returning 'foreign fighters'. Whereas the phenomenon is not new, its scale certainly is, explaining the wide perception that these individuals are a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. International fora, including the United Nations, have addressed the problem, with the UN adopting a binding resolution in 2014 specifically addressing the issue of foreign fighters. The EU is actively engaged in international initiatives to counter the threat. Within the EU, security in general, and counter-terrorism in particular, have traditionally remained within the Member States' remit. The EU has, however, coordinated Member State activities regarding the prevention of radicalisation, the detection of travel for suspicious purposes, the criminal justice response, and cooperation with third countries. The EU is seeking to strengthen its role, given the public feeling of insecurity in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. The EU's role as a forum to discuss security issues has consequently grown during 2015. Individual Member States have stepped up their efforts to address the problem, using various tools including criminal law, administrative measures and 'soft tools', such as counter-radicalisation campaigns. The Member States most affected have also cooperated with each other outside the EU framework. The United States has a particularly developed counter-terrorism framework, now used to deal with foreign fighters. Since 9/11, the EU and the USA cooperate on counter-terrorism, despite differing philosophies on issues such as data protection. This briefing substantially updates an earlier one, PE 548.980, from February 2015.

Combating 'honour' crimes in the EU

09-12-2015

Awareness of 'honour' crimes has increased in the EU in the past decade. Even though the majority of such crimes still usually go unreported, even when made known to the police, this type of crime has often been miscategorised. Experts have warned that this type of violent behaviour is different from, for example, domestic violence, because perpetrators are usually groups of people who find rationale for their crime in their cultures or traditions. The perpetrators believe that by abusing or even ...

Awareness of 'honour' crimes has increased in the EU in the past decade. Even though the majority of such crimes still usually go unreported, even when made known to the police, this type of crime has often been miscategorised. Experts have warned that this type of violent behaviour is different from, for example, domestic violence, because perpetrators are usually groups of people who find rationale for their crime in their cultures or traditions. The perpetrators believe that by abusing or even killing the victim, they are protecting the family's or the community's 'honour', which has somehow been 'tarnished' by the behaviour of the victim. Globally, the majority of 'honour' crimes are committed in the Middle East and southern Asia. Even though such crimes have mostly been associated with Islam, they also occur in Hindu, Sikh, Druze, Christian and Jewish communities. The EU and the Council of Europe have given much attention to 'honour' crimes, mostly through documents dealing with violence against women in general. Although the incidence of 'honour' crimes is higher outside the EU, increased migration and subsequent problems with integration of immigrants into host communities have contributed to these types of crimes becoming a serious issue for some EU countries as well. Apart from individual, national efforts, EU institutions have also taken steps to combat 'honour'-based violence, mostly within the framework of combatting gender-based violence. The European Parliament has specifically addressed the issue through several resolutions covering 'honour' crimes as well as other types of violence over vulnerable groups. The EU institutions have also shown concern for victims outside EU borders, and repeatedly address these issues in countries wanting to join the EU (for instance, Turkey) and in others such as Pakistan and Yemen.

Understanding definitions of terrorism

06-11-2015

The international community remains divided over a universally acceptable definition of terrorism. Despite broad consensus that the threat of terrorism needs to be addressed urgently, the positions adopted by individual countries, regional and international organisations have resulted in a patchwork of approaches. This is primarily due to diverging views on what constitutes terrorism, as opposed to exercising peoples' right to self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter.

The international community remains divided over a universally acceptable definition of terrorism. Despite broad consensus that the threat of terrorism needs to be addressed urgently, the positions adopted by individual countries, regional and international organisations have resulted in a patchwork of approaches. This is primarily due to diverging views on what constitutes terrorism, as opposed to exercising peoples' right to self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter.

Conflict in Syria

02-10-2015

Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da'esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. Despite this humanitarian and security crisis, however, progress towards a political settlement to the conflict has been slow.

Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da'esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. Despite this humanitarian and security crisis, however, progress towards a political settlement to the conflict has been slow.

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