20

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Europeiska ekonomiska samarbetsområdet (EES), Schweiz och Norden

01-05-2018

Europeiska ekonomiska samarbetsområdet (EES) inrättades 1994 i syfte att utvidga EU:s bestämmelser om den inre marknaden till att även omfatta länder i Europeiska frihandelssammanslutningen (Efta). Norge, Island och Liechtenstein är parter i EES. Schweiz är medlem av Efta, men deltar inte i EES. EU och EES-partnerna (Norge och Island) är även knutna till varandra genom olika initiativ kring den nordliga dimensionen och andra forum som fokuserar på den nordiska horisonten och dess snabba utveckling ...

Europeiska ekonomiska samarbetsområdet (EES) inrättades 1994 i syfte att utvidga EU:s bestämmelser om den inre marknaden till att även omfatta länder i Europeiska frihandelssammanslutningen (Efta). Norge, Island och Liechtenstein är parter i EES. Schweiz är medlem av Efta, men deltar inte i EES. EU och EES-partnerna (Norge och Island) är även knutna till varandra genom olika initiativ kring den nordliga dimensionen och andra forum som fokuserar på den nordiska horisonten och dess snabba utveckling i Europa och den arktiska regionen som helhet.

Centralasien

01-01-2018

EU:s strategi för Centralasien från 2007 sågs över senast 2015. Dess syfte är att uppnå stabilitet och välstånd samtidigt som den främjar öppna samhällen, rättsstatsprincipen, demokratisering och samarbete om energisäkerhet och energidiversifiering. Parlamentet har lyft fram betydelsen av mänskliga rättigheter, goda styrelseformer och social utveckling. Utvecklings- och demokratiseringsnivåerna i regionen är mycket varierande, och EU anpassar sitt upplägg därefter. Ett förslag till ny strategi förväntas ...

EU:s strategi för Centralasien från 2007 sågs över senast 2015. Dess syfte är att uppnå stabilitet och välstånd samtidigt som den främjar öppna samhällen, rättsstatsprincipen, demokratisering och samarbete om energisäkerhet och energidiversifiering. Parlamentet har lyft fram betydelsen av mänskliga rättigheter, goda styrelseformer och social utveckling. Utvecklings- och demokratiseringsnivåerna i regionen är mycket varierande, och EU anpassar sitt upplägg därefter. Ett förslag till ny strategi förväntas i mitten av 2019.

The Outcome of the Ninth Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting

05-05-2015

The ministerial meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut (Canada), closed Canada's two-year Arctic Council (AC) chairmanship. Arctic cooperation seems relatively unaffected by the poor state of Russia's relations with the West. Canada invested much in its AC Chairmanship, but its deliverables have been less significant than those of previous chairs. Canada's two main achievements are the Arctic Economic Council and the framework for action on black carbon and methane. The framework is only a step in the right ...

The ministerial meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut (Canada), closed Canada's two-year Arctic Council (AC) chairmanship. Arctic cooperation seems relatively unaffected by the poor state of Russia's relations with the West. Canada invested much in its AC Chairmanship, but its deliverables have been less significant than those of previous chairs. Canada's two main achievements are the Arctic Economic Council and the framework for action on black carbon and methane. The framework is only a step in the right direction, not a full agreement. The programme of the new AC chair, the USA, has the potential to enhance practical cooperation between the EU and the AC. As Canada and the EU had resolved their differences, it seemed possible that the EU would at last receive formal observer status to the Council at the Iqaluit meeting, but Russia's geostrategic interests led Moscow to block the process. Given the growing number of observers, the US chair may propose that only one third of observers join high-level AC meetings under any one chair.

Commitments Made at the Hearing of Johannes Hahn - Commissioner-Designate

14-11-2014

Johannes Hahn, the recently-confirmed European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, appeared before the European Parliament's Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET) on 30 September 2014 to answer MEPs' questions. In that hearing and in his answers to the questionnaire prepared for the meeting in advance, Commissioner Hahn made a number of statements of interest to the European Parliament. This document provides a summary of his most salient points.

Johannes Hahn, the recently-confirmed European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, appeared before the European Parliament's Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET) on 30 September 2014 to answer MEPs' questions. In that hearing and in his answers to the questionnaire prepared for the meeting in advance, Commissioner Hahn made a number of statements of interest to the European Parliament. This document provides a summary of his most salient points.

Commitments Made at the Hearings of the Commissioners-Designate, Juncker Commission (November 2014 - October 2019)

14-11-2014

This compilation of briefings presents the most salient points and essential commitments made by the commissioners-designate during the hearings held in September/October 2014 before the parliamentary committees. These commitments concern the main on-going legislative procedures, the preparation of future legislative proposals as well as the scrutiny of the implementation of existing legislation. They also touch upon the crucial issue of inter-institutional cooperation.

This compilation of briefings presents the most salient points and essential commitments made by the commissioners-designate during the hearings held in September/October 2014 before the parliamentary committees. These commitments concern the main on-going legislative procedures, the preparation of future legislative proposals as well as the scrutiny of the implementation of existing legislation. They also touch upon the crucial issue of inter-institutional cooperation.

Will the Afghan Government Deal Provide the Country the Stability it Needs?

21-10-2014

A dangerous political crisis ignited in Afghanistan this year – just months before the International Security Assistance Force was to be replaced by a reduced US and NATO force. Both presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, alleged that the second, June round of the presidential elections had been marred by fraud. A power-sharing agreement was finally reached between President Ghani and 'CEO' Abdullah in September, following intense international pressure. The outcome has frustrated ...

A dangerous political crisis ignited in Afghanistan this year – just months before the International Security Assistance Force was to be replaced by a reduced US and NATO force. Both presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, alleged that the second, June round of the presidential elections had been marred by fraud. A power-sharing agreement was finally reached between President Ghani and 'CEO' Abdullah in September, following intense international pressure. The outcome has frustrated the Afghan people, whose high turnout at the poll, despite high security risks, demonstrated a real commitment to democracy. Turnout in the 2015 parliamentary elections will suggest whether voters' disappointment persists. Providing a minimum of security to the population and to international agencies will be the new government's highest priority. Violent attacks are on the rise, though government camps may disagree on whether and how to negotiate with the Taliban insurgency. Disputes about the appointments of high officials from different political and ethnic groups may also distract Ghani from one of his principal goals: fighting corruption. The European Parliament could ask the EU to reinforce its support for the new government and reiterate its call that a new EU-Afghan agreement stress democracy and human rights – particularly those of women.

The World Bank Considers Feasible the Building of the Tajik Rogun Dam

22-07-2014

Water issues in Central Asia, which have proven contentious since the breakup of the Soviet Union, have attracted international attention with the World Bank's recent impact assessment condoning Tajikistan's plan to build an enormous dam. The Rogun Dam, under construction for decades, is strongly contested by downstream Uzbekistan. Tensions between energy-deprived Tajikistan and water-starved Uzbekistan – exacerbated by the region's endemically unsustainable resource management and growing competition ...

Water issues in Central Asia, which have proven contentious since the breakup of the Soviet Union, have attracted international attention with the World Bank's recent impact assessment condoning Tajikistan's plan to build an enormous dam. The Rogun Dam, under construction for decades, is strongly contested by downstream Uzbekistan. Tensions between energy-deprived Tajikistan and water-starved Uzbekistan – exacerbated by the region's endemically unsustainable resource management and growing competition – have prevented the countries from pooling their complementary resources. Downstream Uzbekistan has applied political and economic pressure to its poorer upstream neighbour to ensure the huge Uzbek cotton fields continue to be watered. For its part, Tajikistan hopes to export electricity to Afghanistan with the hydropower project, which has suffered from a lack of funding as well as political wrangling. The dam, located in an earthquake-prone region, would be the tallest in the world – and the most cost-effective way to boost Tajikistan's economy and energy efficiency. According to the World Bank, whose reports included technological and environmental considerations, the construction and operation of the dam are feasible, and the proper application of international standards would reduce the risk of failure. The Bank also recommends that downstream countries have an equity participation in the project.

The Signature of the Eurasian Union Treaty: A Difficult Birth, an Uncertain Future

16-07-2014

The smiles at the signing ceremony for Eurasian Union Treaty held on 29 May 2014 revealed little of the arduous negotiations that had led to the agreement – or of its uncertain future. Present in Astana were the presidents of the same three countries that had formed the Customs Union, in force since 2010: Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. The media offered pictures of the cheery trio joining hands, cementing the agreement that Russian President Vladimir Putin had strongly advocated. But the next steps ...

The smiles at the signing ceremony for Eurasian Union Treaty held on 29 May 2014 revealed little of the arduous negotiations that had led to the agreement – or of its uncertain future. Present in Astana were the presidents of the same three countries that had formed the Customs Union, in force since 2010: Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. The media offered pictures of the cheery trio joining hands, cementing the agreement that Russian President Vladimir Putin had strongly advocated. But the next steps will be difficult, not least because of the terms to be offered to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – the two countries that have agreed to join the Customs Union and the Eurasian Union. Several economic and political issues, with important regional implications, will need to be solved before the ‘first enlargement’. The treaty’s provisions are vague about the Union’s real content and will also need to be clarified in the months ahead – preferably before the Eurasian Union enters into force, on 1 January 2015. Conceived in haste in response to Moscow’s pressure, the Union is experiencing a dilemma that its model, the European Union, has also faced: should the union deepen or enlarge? Or how can it cope if it chooses to do both?

Minorities in the South Caucasus: New Visibility amid Old Frustrations

27-06-2014

One of the most multi-ethnic regions on Europe’s periphery, the South Caucasus’s bumpy path to democracy has often been accompanied by ethnic conflict, stoked by nationalism. Since acquiring independence from the Soviet Union, secessionist movements have grown among local minorities in the areas surrounding the countries’ new, sovereign borders. The lack of state mechanisms to channel such sentiments has led to violent ethnic clashes with long-lasting consequences. Today still, a lack of experience ...

One of the most multi-ethnic regions on Europe’s periphery, the South Caucasus’s bumpy path to democracy has often been accompanied by ethnic conflict, stoked by nationalism. Since acquiring independence from the Soviet Union, secessionist movements have grown among local minorities in the areas surrounding the countries’ new, sovereign borders. The lack of state mechanisms to channel such sentiments has led to violent ethnic clashes with long-lasting consequences. Today still, a lack of experience in conflict resolution and powersharing between dominant and minority communities hinders the development of common ground and democratic co-existence. Mechanisms which promote parliamentary representation, law-making and the oversight of minority rights are still largely absent. Although reforms in the South Caucasus have pushed for new laws to create greater accountability, instruments promoting inclusive dialogue with the minorities require further development. For the minorities of the South Caucasus, the most pressing issues are a lack of respect and the protection of their rights. For the sake of state-building and democratic development of the region, inclusive policies must be implemented with respect to ethnic minorities, through their political participation, including them in the higher levels of decision-making.

Greenland: The Challenge of Managing a Key Geostrategic Territory

17-03-2014

Greenland’s geostrategic location will grow in importance in the coming years – and not only because the island’s melting ice sheet lies at the forefront of climate change concerns. After acquiring home rule status from Denmark in 1979, Greenland’s 2009 Self- Government Act substantially increased its powers, including the management of its substantial untapped natural resources. Despite the difficulties inherent in exploiting these resources, they have already attracted international attention, ...

Greenland’s geostrategic location will grow in importance in the coming years – and not only because the island’s melting ice sheet lies at the forefront of climate change concerns. After acquiring home rule status from Denmark in 1979, Greenland’s 2009 Self- Government Act substantially increased its powers, including the management of its substantial untapped natural resources. Despite the difficulties inherent in exploiting these resources, they have already attracted international attention, notably from Asian countries. Although Greenland is still heavily dependent on an annual grant from Copenhagen, the territory will probably become self-sustainable in the medium term. Its sparse population faces a challenge in administering the huge territory. Elections in March 2013 focused mainly on the conditions for implementing large mining and industrial projects in the future and their effects on the Inuit way of life. The vote returned the Siumut party to power, with Greenland’s first female Prime Minister, Aleqa Hammond. Greenland is the only territory to have withdrawn from the European Union, but it remains one of the EU's Overseas Countries and Territories, closely tied to the Union through an extensive partnership agreement and a fisheries protocol. Greenland is also a focus of the EU’s Arctic policy.

Kommande evenemang

16-10-2019
State of the Union: The view from regions and cities
Övrigt -
EPRS
17-10-2019
What Europe is Thinking: The latest Pew survey of opinion in 14 EU Member States
Övrigt -
EPRS
05-11-2019
The Art and Craft of Political Speech-writing: A conversation with Eric Schnure
Övrigt -
EPRS

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