14

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Rebuilding the Iraqi State: Stabilisation, Governance, and Reconciliation

15-12-2017

The victory over the so-called Islamic State’s territorial rule presents a chance for the Government of Iraq to rebuild its state institutions and re-assert its authority. In this transition, will the Iraqi leadership move past cycles of failure and address the structural problems that perpetuate state weakness and facilitate the emergence of groups like ISIS? To answer this question, this paper analyses the challenges of short-term stabilisation programming with longer-term governance reform at ...

The victory over the so-called Islamic State’s territorial rule presents a chance for the Government of Iraq to rebuild its state institutions and re-assert its authority. In this transition, will the Iraqi leadership move past cycles of failure and address the structural problems that perpetuate state weakness and facilitate the emergence of groups like ISIS? To answer this question, this paper analyses the challenges of short-term stabilisation programming with longer-term governance reform at the local and national levels. It argues that, without establishing representative and responsive state institutions, the processes of reconciliation and integration will be unsuccessful. To conclude, this paper offers policy recommendations on how the EU can support the upcoming state-rebuilding process.

Ārējais autors

Renad MANSOUR, Research Fellow, Chatham House, United Kingdom

Iraqi Kurdistan's independence referendum

11-10-2017

On 25 September 2017, the government of the autonomous Region of Kurdistan in Iraq, under its president, Masoud Barzani, organised a referendum on independence, disregarding calls by the Iraqi central government and the international community to postpone it. The referendum was held in the Kurdistan Region's constituencies and also in the neighbouring 'disputed' territories, in particular the oil-rich area of Kirkuk, which have de facto if not legally been governed by the Kurdish authorities since ...

On 25 September 2017, the government of the autonomous Region of Kurdistan in Iraq, under its president, Masoud Barzani, organised a referendum on independence, disregarding calls by the Iraqi central government and the international community to postpone it. The referendum was held in the Kurdistan Region's constituencies and also in the neighbouring 'disputed' territories, in particular the oil-rich area of Kirkuk, which have de facto if not legally been governed by the Kurdish authorities since the moment they were recaptured from ISIL/Da'esh. Even though the 'yes' side has won, it is by no means certain that a Kurdish state will emerge in the near future. Such a state would be weakened by internal divisions and poor economic conditions. In addition, Syria, Turkey and Iran strongly condemned the referendum and have taken retaliatory action. Among other considerations, they are worried that an independent Kurdish state would encourage their own Kurdish populations to seek greater autonomy. However, the prospect of a Greater Kurdistan is remote, since the regional Kurdish landscape is dominated by the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) and its affiliate parties, which do not share the Iraqi Kurdish leaders' ideology or strategic alliances. Concerned by the fragmentation of the Middle East, the EU, the USA, Russia, and most of the region's powers other than Israel, disapproved of the referendum, which took place in the context of the ongoing fight against ISIL/Da'esh, and called for negotiations within the existing Iraqi borders. This briefing updates Regional implications of Iraqi Kurdistan's quest for independence, EPRS, December 2016.

ISIL/Da'esh: From Mosul to Mosul

13-07-2017

In June 2014, ISIL/Da'esh took over the city of Mosul in Iraq, and from there declared the advent of an Islamic State. Three years later, in July 2017, after nine months of battle involving Iraqi security forces, popular militias and Kurdish troops, ISIL/Da'esh has been expelled from its Iraqi stronghold, adding to the past two years' severe territorial losses. This is an important victory; however, it does not yet represent the eradication of a terrorist group that still has many supporters.

In June 2014, ISIL/Da'esh took over the city of Mosul in Iraq, and from there declared the advent of an Islamic State. Three years later, in July 2017, after nine months of battle involving Iraqi security forces, popular militias and Kurdish troops, ISIL/Da'esh has been expelled from its Iraqi stronghold, adding to the past two years' severe territorial losses. This is an important victory; however, it does not yet represent the eradication of a terrorist group that still has many supporters.

2016 report on Turkey

27-06-2017

During its July plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the Commission's 2016 report on Turkey. Long-standing EU-Turkey relations, despite being a priority for both sides, have recently reached a low point, and accession talks risk being brought to a halt.

During its July plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the Commission's 2016 report on Turkey. Long-standing EU-Turkey relations, despite being a priority for both sides, have recently reached a low point, and accession talks risk being brought to a halt.

The Yazidis: An ongoing genocide

09-12-2016

The award of the 2016 Sakharov Prize to Nadia Murad Basee Taha and Lamiya Aji Bashar highlights the fate of their people, the Yazidis, one of the communities most affected, in proportion to their total population, by the violence committed by ISIL/Da'esh (or ‘Islamic State’).

The award of the 2016 Sakharov Prize to Nadia Murad Basee Taha and Lamiya Aji Bashar highlights the fate of their people, the Yazidis, one of the communities most affected, in proportion to their total population, by the violence committed by ISIL/Da'esh (or ‘Islamic State’).

Regional implications of Iraqi Kurdistan's quest for independence

06-12-2016

Strengthened by its victories over ISIL/Da'esh, the government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Iraq has announced that it plans to organise a referendum on independence. The deadline is still unclear, as political divisions have led the region to an institutional stalemate. Negotiations with the federal Iraqi government will focus on the territorial scope of the referendum. The Kurdish leaders want to include the 'disputed areas', in particular Kirkuk, in the poll. However, Iraq is not keen ...

Strengthened by its victories over ISIL/Da'esh, the government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Iraq has announced that it plans to organise a referendum on independence. The deadline is still unclear, as political divisions have led the region to an institutional stalemate. Negotiations with the federal Iraqi government will focus on the territorial scope of the referendum. The Kurdish leaders want to include the 'disputed areas', in particular Kirkuk, in the poll. However, Iraq is not keen to be cut off from this oil-rich region, which is already at the heart of a dispute on the sharing of oil revenues. The status of Mosul after it is recaptured from ISIL/Da'esh is also under discussion. Even if the referendum were to take place and the 'yes' side won, it is not certain that a Kurdish state would emerge. Such a state would be weakened by internal divisions and poor economic conditions. In addition, Syria, Turkey and Iran, neighbouring countries that have complex relations with Iraqi Kurdistan, are worried that an independent Kurdish state would encourage their own Kurdish populations to seek greater autonomy. Yet, the perspective of a Greater Kurdistan is remote, since the regional Kurdish landscape is dominated by the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) and its affiliates, which do not share Iraqi Kurdish leaders' ideology or strategic alliances. As for the EU and the great world powers, although they consider Iraqi Kurdistan to be a reliable ally in the fight against ISIL/Da'esh (again recently in the battle for Mosul), they do not want to openly back the fragmentation of the Middle-East.

EU-Turkey relations [What Think Tanks are thinking]

19-04-2016

Relations between the European Union and Turkey gained new momentum last month with an agreement aimed at addressing the migration crisis. One element of the deal is that Turkey shall take back migrants who cross to Greece illegally. The EU would accept Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and compensate it with financial aid, early visa-free travel and further progress in accession talks. The intention of the agreement is to ease pressure on the borderless Schengen area. Yet some critics say the ...

Relations between the European Union and Turkey gained new momentum last month with an agreement aimed at addressing the migration crisis. One element of the deal is that Turkey shall take back migrants who cross to Greece illegally. The EU would accept Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and compensate it with financial aid, early visa-free travel and further progress in accession talks. The intention of the agreement is to ease pressure on the borderless Schengen area. Yet some critics say the EU should not be forging closer ties with Turkey at a time when its regime seems to be becoming increasingly authoritarian in the areas of freedom of expression and assembly. The European Commission's recent report on Turkey, discussed by the European Parliament on 13 April, calls on Turkey to lift restrictions on media freedom and to stop political interference with the judiciary. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks on relations between the EU and Turkey, as well as on political developments in that country. More studies on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking'.

Turkey 2014: Work in progress

11-05-2015

2014 got off to a seemingly good start: then Prime Minister, and current President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared it the 'Year of the European Union', demonstrating Ankara's commitment to its EU path. However, several challenges strained Turkey's ties to the EU over the course of the year. Accordingly, the Commission's 2014 progress report highlights various political concerns.

2014 got off to a seemingly good start: then Prime Minister, and current President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared it the 'Year of the European Union', demonstrating Ankara's commitment to its EU path. However, several challenges strained Turkey's ties to the EU over the course of the year. Accordingly, the Commission's 2014 progress report highlights various political concerns.

Turkey: the 2013 progress report and beyond

06-03-2014

In October 2013, the European Commission published an overall positive report on Turkey, followed in November by the opening of Chapter 22 (Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments) of the accession negotiations. However, recent domestic developments have given rise to serious concern and overshadowed progress achieved by Turkey up to then.

In October 2013, the European Commission published an overall positive report on Turkey, followed in November by the opening of Chapter 22 (Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments) of the accession negotiations. However, recent domestic developments have given rise to serious concern and overshadowed progress achieved by Turkey up to then.

Turkey-Armenia Relations

02-10-2013

The two protocols signed by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers in Zurich in October 2009 addressed the twin issues of establishing diplomatic relations and reopening the closed Armenian-Turkish border. They offered a strategic roadmap for each country to “normalise” relations as a first step toward the broader process of reconciliation. Since the signing of the protocols, however, the “normalisation” process has dramatically stalled, with official state-level engagement suspended. During ...

The two protocols signed by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers in Zurich in October 2009 addressed the twin issues of establishing diplomatic relations and reopening the closed Armenian-Turkish border. They offered a strategic roadmap for each country to “normalise” relations as a first step toward the broader process of reconciliation. Since the signing of the protocols, however, the “normalisation” process has dramatically stalled, with official state-level engagement suspended. During this period, despite several new opportunities for reengagement or reactivity, each side has retreated to their previously hard-line positions. The two briefing papers drafted respectively by a Turkish and an Armenian analyst assess the past efforts and the current state of play of Turkey-Armenia relations, suggest possible future scenarios and present several specific recommendations for action.

Ārējais autors

Cengiz AKTAR (Hrant Dink Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey) and Richard GIRAGOSIAN (Regional Studies Center, Yerevan, Armenia)

Gaidāmie notikumi

05-11-2019
The Art and Craft of Political Speech-writing: A conversation with Eric Schnure
Cits pasākums -
EPRS
06-11-2019
Where next for the global and European economies? The 2019 IMF Economic Outlook
Cits pasākums -
EPRS
06-11-2019
EPRS Annual Lecture: Clash of Cultures: Transnational governance in post-war Europe
Cits pasākums -
EPRS

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