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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

21-09-2018

In today's context of renewed tensions on the European continent, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has an opportunity to play a stronger role as a forum for all Europe's security actors, helping to prevent a logic of confrontation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the EU versus Russia from prevailing. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) came into being during the detente of 1962-1979. It transformed the zero-sum game of ...

In today's context of renewed tensions on the European continent, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has an opportunity to play a stronger role as a forum for all Europe's security actors, helping to prevent a logic of confrontation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the EU versus Russia from prevailing. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) came into being during the detente of 1962-1979. It transformed the zero-sum game of the Cold War into a positive-sum game between European states, becoming a forum for discussion between the two superpowers and European countries. However, the main achievement of the Helsinki process that formed the CSCE was that it brought all the participating countries to the negotiating table. The main outcome of the Helsinki process was less the Final Act itself than the original process of negotiations between all the participating states. After the fall of the USSR and the subsequent EU and NATO enlargements, the OSCE (as the CSCE was renamed in 1994) was redesigned as a forum for resolving Cold War tensions and it became gradually less relevant. The main elements of the European security framework established by the CSCE (Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, Vienna Document, Open Skies Treaty) lost their ability to secure effective arms control and build confidence. There was a shift towards soft security cooperation (election monitoring, peace processes, the protection of minorities, and action to ensure a safe environment for journalists). Initiatives to reform the OSCE over the past decade have largely failed because of disagreements between member states on the objectives and the organisation's legal and financial means. Nevertheless, it remains a necessary forum when it comes to resolving a growing number of crises.

Kyrgyzstan's 2017 presidential election

09-10-2017

On 15 October 2017, Kyrgyz voters go to the polls. Despite worrying signs of backsliding into authoritarianism, the country is still the most democratic in Central Asia and the result is far from a foregone conclusion. The two main candidates are Sooronbai Jeenbekov, an ally of incumbent president Almazbek Atambayev, and his younger rival, Omurbek Babanov.

On 15 October 2017, Kyrgyz voters go to the polls. Despite worrying signs of backsliding into authoritarianism, the country is still the most democratic in Central Asia and the result is far from a foregone conclusion. The two main candidates are Sooronbai Jeenbekov, an ally of incumbent president Almazbek Atambayev, and his younger rival, Omurbek Babanov.

The future of multilateralism: Crisis or opportunity?

10-05-2017

Multilateralism lies at the core of the EU’s identity and of its engagement with the world. Both the 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 Global Strategy emphasised the importance of a rules-based global order with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations (UN) at its core, and made its promotion part of the EU’s strategic goals. Yet, in spite of widespread acknowledgement of the achievements of the multilateral international order established after the Second World War, ...

Multilateralism lies at the core of the EU’s identity and of its engagement with the world. Both the 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 Global Strategy emphasised the importance of a rules-based global order with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations (UN) at its core, and made its promotion part of the EU’s strategic goals. Yet, in spite of widespread acknowledgement of the achievements of the multilateral international order established after the Second World War, and in particular of the attainment of long-lasting peace, multilateral institutions and the liberal international order in which they are embedded have recently been the subject of severe criticism. The rise of populist nationalism has been interpreted, among other things, as a crisis in support for the multilateral order. Some of the causes of this crisis are related to the emergence of new actors in the global scene, the expansive nature of multilateral institutions, the widening gap between publics and international institutions and the decline of American power. The election of Donald Trump, who had repeatedly questioned the value of multilateral organisations such as the UN, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), has led to even greater preoccupation about the future of global governance. In this scenario, several scholars suggest that the EU and the G20 should be proactive in safeguarding multilateralism, while acknowledging and promoting the necessary reforms to the architecture of global governance.

The Frozen Conflicts of the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood and Their Impact on the Respect of Human Rights

08-04-2016

The present study provides a detailed overview of the actual human rights situation in the frozen conflict regions of EU’s Eastern neighbourhood, namely in Crimea, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The focus of the analysis is on the access to the justice system, as well as on the abilities of the de jure or de facto authorities to administer justice. Particular attention is paid to Crimea because the rapidly worsening human rights situation there affects far more people ...

The present study provides a detailed overview of the actual human rights situation in the frozen conflict regions of EU’s Eastern neighbourhood, namely in Crimea, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The focus of the analysis is on the access to the justice system, as well as on the abilities of the de jure or de facto authorities to administer justice. Particular attention is paid to Crimea because the rapidly worsening human rights situation there affects far more people than the population of the other four frozen conflicts combined. International community actions, as well as the role of civil society in protecting human rights are also analysed.

Vanjski autor

Andras RACZ (Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Finland)

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – 40 years after Helsinki

05-11-2015

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki final act, signed in 1975. A turning point in the Cold War, the Helsinki process created a forum involving all the actors of European security: European states, the United States, Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The formation of the Conference on the Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) came about during the Détente of 1962-1979. The CSCE transformed the zero-sum game of the Cold War into a positive-sum game between European ...

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki final act, signed in 1975. A turning point in the Cold War, the Helsinki process created a forum involving all the actors of European security: European states, the United States, Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The formation of the Conference on the Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) came about during the Détente of 1962-1979. The CSCE transformed the zero-sum game of the Cold War into a positive-sum game between European states and became a forum for discussion between the two superpowers and European countries. The main outcome of the Helsinki process is less the Final Act itself than the original process of negotiations between all the participating states. After the fall of the USSR, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) became an organisation focusing mainly on soft security (elections, peace processes, and protection of minorities). However the instability of the security situation in Europe and its neighbourhood may invigorate the pertinence of what has been known as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) since 1995. The OSCE set up Confidence and Security-building measures (CSBM) that are key to conflict resolution today in Europe (Ukraine, Transnistria and South Caucasus).

Cyber diplomacy: Confidence-building measures

28-10-2015

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution ...

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution of attacks to specific perpetrators, have further increased the risks of misunderstanding and misperception of operations in cyberspace. Against this background, a number of international and regional organisations in Europe, Asia and Latin America have embarked on the process of developing confidence-building measures in cyberspace, with a focus on improving communication and information exchange, transparency and verification, cooperation and restraint measures. While these are welcome, there is growing concern that the nascent global 'cyber stability regime' may be undermined by diverging concepts, methods and measures elaborated within these diverse frameworks. The European Union has embraced the peaceful development of cyberspace as one of its key priorities in the EU Cybersecurity Strategy. It contributes actively to the ongoing debates about norms, provides support to regional confidence-building processes, and pursues the objective of a stable, safe and secure cyberspace by providing funding for capacity building in partner countries.

Trafficking in Human Organs

18-06-2015

The commercial trade in human organs, including trafficking in persons for organ removal has developed into a global problem. This report describes the current situation regarding international organ trafficking, committed often by transnational criminal networks. It zooms in on the role of traffickers, international brokers, health professionals, and the recipients and suppliers. To combat and prevent organ commercialism and trafficking, a legal framework for the criminalisation of trafficking offences ...

The commercial trade in human organs, including trafficking in persons for organ removal has developed into a global problem. This report describes the current situation regarding international organ trafficking, committed often by transnational criminal networks. It zooms in on the role of traffickers, international brokers, health professionals, and the recipients and suppliers. To combat and prevent organ commercialism and trafficking, a legal framework for the criminalisation of trafficking offences, and tailor-made law enforcement instruments have been developed by a number of international organisations. A number of recent trafficking cases in which European citizens were involved, have been analysed in detail to highlight the different forms of organ trafficking and to demonstrate how investigation and prosecution can result in an effective justice response to these crimes. The efforts of the EU and other European organisations, such as the Council of Europe or the OSCE, to develop binding legal instruments and formulate policy actions to step up law enforcement and legal cooperation in the combat against trafficking in organs, are described. The report concludes with observations and recommendations for the EU to prepare next steps in successfully fighting and preventing trafficking in organs and organ commercialism.

Vanjski autor

Michael BOS (Eurotransplant International Foundation, the Netherlands)

Surveillance and Censorship: The Impact of Technologies on Human Rights

16-04-2015

As human lives transition online, so do human rights. The main challenge for the European Union and other actors is to transition all human rights to the digital sphere. This report argues that the human rights-based approach can be helpful in focusing discussions about security on individuals rather than states. It provides an overview of countries and companies that pose risks to human rights in the digital sphere. It lists the most relevant international laws and standards, technical standards ...

As human lives transition online, so do human rights. The main challenge for the European Union and other actors is to transition all human rights to the digital sphere. This report argues that the human rights-based approach can be helpful in focusing discussions about security on individuals rather than states. It provides an overview of countries and companies that pose risks to human rights in the digital sphere. It lists the most relevant international laws and standards, technical standards, business guidelines, Internet principles and policy initiatives that have been crucial in transitioning the human rights regime to the digital sphere. It also analyses the impact of recent EU actions related to Internet and human rights issues. It concludes that different elements of EU strategic policy on human rights and digital policy need be better integrated and coordinated to ensure that technologies have a positive impact on human rights. The report concludes that EU should promote digital rights in national legislation of the third countries, but also in its own digital strategies.

Vanjski autor

Ben WAGNER, Joanna BRONOWICKA, Cathleen BERGER and Thomas BEHRNDT (Centre for Internet and Human Rights, European University Viadrina, Germany)

Freedom of Media in the Western Balkans

22-10-2014

The study analyses media freedom and pluralism in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia) in light of the EU enlargement policy. Despite the different stages of their EU accession paths, these countries share similar challenges, even if they are of different intensities. The study analyses the overall legal framework and its unsatisfactory levels of implementation, the role and the independence of PSB, the media ...

The study analyses media freedom and pluralism in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia) in light of the EU enlargement policy. Despite the different stages of their EU accession paths, these countries share similar challenges, even if they are of different intensities. The study analyses the overall legal framework and its unsatisfactory levels of implementation, the role and the independence of PSB, the media market, and the status of journalists. It also outlines country-specific profiles, regarding these categories. The paper outlines and analyses the current EU policies and financial instruments to foster media freedom and media pluralism in the region, including the Stabilisation and Association Process and specific acquis. It also analyses the issues in the context of the EU ‘internal’ and ‘external’ policy on media freedom and media pluralism. The study outlines the complementary roles of the CoE and the OSCE as setting common standards on media freedom in Europe and the EU institutions as being the main engine and guarantor for their implementation. Finally, the recommendations point towards the EU establishing a more long-term, integrated and comprehensive strategy of external help, monitoring and capacity building, as well as further co-ordination with the CoE and OSCE.

Vanjski autor

Elda BROGI, Alina DOBREVA and Pier Luigi PARCU

The EU as a Global Actor : Its Evolving Role in Multilateral Organizations

15-03-2011

This study explores ways through which the EU could meet ifs full potential as a global actor and, specifically how it can act more effective in the multilateral organizations and forums. The main obstacle for the EU is the fragmented and divergent positions among the member states that occasionally arise over major international issues, and prevent the Union from acting with speed and determination required in international affairs. The departure point of this analysis is a thorough assessment of ...

This study explores ways through which the EU could meet ifs full potential as a global actor and, specifically how it can act more effective in the multilateral organizations and forums. The main obstacle for the EU is the fragmented and divergent positions among the member states that occasionally arise over major international issues, and prevent the Union from acting with speed and determination required in international affairs. The departure point of this analysis is a thorough assessment of the Lisbon Treaty. The latter provides the EU with legal personality and with new tools and competences that, if there was enough political will, could enable it to maximize its current capacity to act. Assessed against the division of competences between the EU and its Member States enshrined in the Treaty, the study looks at the current status of the EU in the most important multilateral organizations that form the central nucleus of the world governance, both in the political, defense and economic realms. For each of those organizations, the report proposes ways and means to enhance the membership status and influence of the Union. At the same time, it is recognized that the international architecture is clearly imperfect and unsuitable for global governance, often reflecting the old order and powers that emerged from World War II. Therefore, this report also provides suggestions on how to reform the system for global governance if it is to be more representative and efficient while allowing a more adequate insertion of the EU.

Vanjski autor

PALACIO Vicente (Fundación Alternativas), DE LA ROCHA V. Manuel (Fundación Alternativas), ESCARIO José Luis (Fundación Alternativas) and RUIZ Doménec (Fundación Alternativas)

Buduća događanja

22-01-2020
Understanding EU policy on data protection: State-of-play and future challenges
Drugo događanje -
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