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Politikbereich
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Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Josep Borrell Fontelles – High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President: A Stronger Europe in the World

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

The Scope and Mandate of EU Special Representatives (EUSRs)

24-01-2019

The present study aims to assess the scope and mandate of EU Special Representatives (EUSRs) in an attempt to explore and provide an analysis on the role of this diplomatic instrument of the European Union, especially in light of the changes to the conduct of EU external action brought about by the Treaty of Lisbon, reflected in the creation of the European External Action Service and European Union Delegations. By doing so this study not only provides an update on the role of EU Special Representatives ...

The present study aims to assess the scope and mandate of EU Special Representatives (EUSRs) in an attempt to explore and provide an analysis on the role of this diplomatic instrument of the European Union, especially in light of the changes to the conduct of EU external action brought about by the Treaty of Lisbon, reflected in the creation of the European External Action Service and European Union Delegations. By doing so this study not only provides an update on the role of EU Special Representatives in the EU’s external action, but also looks forward by assessing their added value and the potential of their further institutional integration.

Externe Autor

Francisca COSTA REIS, Researcher, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Belgium; Sharon LECOCQ, Researcher, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Belgium; Dr. Guillaume VAN DER LOO, Senior Researcher, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Belgium; Prof. Dr. Kolja RAUBE, Senior Researcher, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Belgium; Prof. Dr. Jan WOUTERS, Director, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Belgium.

EU support for human rights defenders around the world

08-11-2018

Twenty years after the UN General Assembly adopted its Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to enhance recognition of their role and encourage states to create a more protective environment, many human rights defenders still face significant threats, and the situation of those working in certain areas has even deteriorated. Support for human rights defenders is a long established component of the EU's external human rights policy and one of its major priorities. The EU guidelines on HRDs ...

Twenty years after the UN General Assembly adopted its Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to enhance recognition of their role and encourage states to create a more protective environment, many human rights defenders still face significant threats, and the situation of those working in certain areas has even deteriorated. Support for human rights defenders is a long established component of the EU's external human rights policy and one of its major priorities. The EU guidelines on HRDs adopted in 2004 outline concrete measures for protecting HRDs at risk, including the provision of emergency aid, and encourage EU diplomats to take a more proactive approach towards HRDs. The European Commission manages a financial instrument in support of HRDs working in the world's most dangerous situations. The European Parliament is a long-standing advocate of a comprehensive EU policy on HRDs and has actively contributed to its shaping. Its urgency resolutions on human rights breaches around the world, some of which have focused on individual HRDs and the particular threats they face, have drawn attention to the difficulties facing HRDs in many countries. Parliament has also organised hearings with HRDs, issued statements about cases of HRDs at risk, and highlighted the plight of HRDs during visits by its delegations to the countries concerned. The Parliament's Sakharov Prize is the EU's most visible action in favour of HRDs. It has a significant impact on laureates, providing them with recognition and, in many cases, indirect protection. This a further updated version of a briefing from December 2017: PE 614.626.

Foreign influence operations in the EU

10-07-2018

Attempting to influence political decision-making beyond one's own political sphere is not a new phenomenon – it is an integral part of the history of geopolitics. Whereas hard power relies on military and economic force, the soft power of a state involves public diplomacy and dialogue on values, cultures and ideas, which should normally correspond with its behaviour abroad. Although the extent is hard to measure, democratic states whose values match the prevailing global norms – pluralism, fundamental ...

Attempting to influence political decision-making beyond one's own political sphere is not a new phenomenon – it is an integral part of the history of geopolitics. Whereas hard power relies on military and economic force, the soft power of a state involves public diplomacy and dialogue on values, cultures and ideas, which should normally correspond with its behaviour abroad. Although the extent is hard to measure, democratic states whose values match the prevailing global norms – pluralism, fundamental rights and freedoms, the rule of law as a principle within states and in international relations – and exert this influence by contributing to the prevention and resolution of conflicts, traditionally appear more attractive, thus having more soft power leverage. However, influence can also serve purposes of interference and destabilisation. Authoritarian state actors struggle to project soft power while engaging in disruptive or destructive behaviour. Instead, some state actors see a means of reaching their goals by making democratic actors, systems and values appear less attractive, through a number of overt and covert instruments. The tools are constantly evolving. Today, social media combines the oral tradition with new electronic means of dissemination, enabling (potentially disruptive) messages to spread instantaneously. Disinformation can be, and is being, combined with other instruments in an increasingly diverse, hybrid 'toolbox' that authoritarian state actors have at their disposal. In recent years, awareness in the research community of online disinformation by state actors has increased around the world, not least in the context of the United Kingdom referendum on EU membership and the US presidential election in 2016. Although their visibility increases in the context of elections and referendums, influence campaigns are not limited to democratic processes.

Women in CSDP missions

06-12-2017

Promoting women’s participation in CSDP missions and operations is important to sustain EU’s credibility, to improve effectiveness, to promote equality at home and abroad, to increase the talent pool for personnel, and to make the best use of our financial resources. More needs to be done by both member states and the EU to fulfil promises to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This report looks at three issues that contribute to more inclusion ...

Promoting women’s participation in CSDP missions and operations is important to sustain EU’s credibility, to improve effectiveness, to promote equality at home and abroad, to increase the talent pool for personnel, and to make the best use of our financial resources. More needs to be done by both member states and the EU to fulfil promises to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This report looks at three issues that contribute to more inclusion and better effectiveness: First, the structures that promote equality in the security sector institutions within the EU; second, the effects of women’s participation in missions and operations; third, how CSDP structures and EU member states policies could be further adapted to create a working environment that is conducive to both men and women contributing their full potential to better solutions to security challenges. Political commitment and hands-on leadership by the EU and its Member States is key to more diversity and inclusivity in CSDP structures. A pro-active approach to recruitment and retention of female staff, adapted job-descriptions, comprehensive family policies, and employing an approach that values diversity and creates a positive work environment are all necessary in this regard.

Externe Autor

WIIS, Women in International Security Brussels, Belgium

Hong Kong's Legislative Council and the rule of law

10-11-2017

Hong Kong 'localists' won six seats in the 2016 Legislative Council elections. Calling for greater autonomy or self-determination for Hong Kong, or even its independence from mainland China, they have challenged the fragile balance of power under the city's 1997 'one country, two systems' regime. The attempts of the now ousted members-elect to cross Beijing's bottom line has prompted mainland China to tighten its grip on the city's executive, legislature and judiciary, adding to concerns over creeping ...

Hong Kong 'localists' won six seats in the 2016 Legislative Council elections. Calling for greater autonomy or self-determination for Hong Kong, or even its independence from mainland China, they have challenged the fragile balance of power under the city's 1997 'one country, two systems' regime. The attempts of the now ousted members-elect to cross Beijing's bottom line has prompted mainland China to tighten its grip on the city's executive, legislature and judiciary, adding to concerns over creeping erosion of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by Hong Kong's Basic Law.

EU-Cuba relations: a new chapter begins

18-07-2017

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba, endorsed by the European Parliament (EP) on 5 July 2017, opens a new phase in EU-Cuba relations. Until now Cuba was the only country in Latin America without a cooperation or political dialogue agreement with the EU. The PDCA creates a framework for political dialogue and closer bilateral cooperation, including in trade. The parts of the agreement (mostly related to cooperation and trade issues) that fall within EU competence ...

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba, endorsed by the European Parliament (EP) on 5 July 2017, opens a new phase in EU-Cuba relations. Until now Cuba was the only country in Latin America without a cooperation or political dialogue agreement with the EU. The PDCA creates a framework for political dialogue and closer bilateral cooperation, including in trade. The parts of the agreement (mostly related to cooperation and trade issues) that fall within EU competence can already be applied provisionally, but the agreement will only enter into force in full after it has been ratified in all the EU Member States. Since negotiations on the PDCA began in 2014, Cuba’s relations with the EU and individual Member States have intensified considerably. For the EU, the PDCA is a tool for supporting a process of change and modernisation in Cuba, while for Cuba it represents the ‘normalisation’ of the relationship with an important economic and trade partner and helps it to diversify its external relations. Parliament will focus, in monitoring the implementation of the PDCA, on two areas of particular concern to the EP: human rights and civil liberties on Cuba, and the role of Cuban civil society.

Wirtschaftsdiplomatische Strategie der EU

03-03-2017

Angesichts der Globalisierung und des Erstarkens neuer Wirtschaftsmächte befindet sich die politische Nachkriegsordnung derzeit in einem tief greifenden Wandel. Agens politischen Einflusses ist heute zunehmend die Wirtschaft und anstelle früherer nationaler oder regionaler Risse tut sich die Kluft nun auf globaler Ebene auf. In dem Maße, in dem die EU als globaler Wirtschaftsakteur an Bedeutung gewann, wurde es angesichts der Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise immer wichtiger, ausländische Märkte zu erschließen ...

Angesichts der Globalisierung und des Erstarkens neuer Wirtschaftsmächte befindet sich die politische Nachkriegsordnung derzeit in einem tief greifenden Wandel. Agens politischen Einflusses ist heute zunehmend die Wirtschaft und anstelle früherer nationaler oder regionaler Risse tut sich die Kluft nun auf globaler Ebene auf. In dem Maße, in dem die EU als globaler Wirtschaftsakteur an Bedeutung gewann, wurde es angesichts der Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise immer wichtiger, ausländische Märkte zu erschließen. Mit der Gründung des Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienstes (EAD), der die EU-Delegationen umfasst, und der Schaffung einer neuen EU-Zuständigkeit für ausländische Direktinvestitionen im Rahmen des Vertrags von Lissabon verfügt die Union über ein Instrumentarium, das es ihr ermöglicht, eine eigenständige Wirtschaftsdiplomatie zu betreiben. Im Ergebnis entwickelte sich die EU-Politik der Unternehmensförderung zu einer differenzierten Strategie der Wirtschaftsdiplomatie, die die Kommission und der EAD strukturierter betreiben. Das Europäische Parlament ist nun über seine gesetzgebende und Aufsichtsfunktion hinaus in die Entwicklung dieser neuen Strategie einzubeziehen. Dabei kann das EP nicht nur die Debatte bereichern, sondern dank seiner langen Tradition parlamentarischer Diplomatie ferner die Kommission und den EAD unterstützen.

Der Europäische Rat und die Gemeinsame Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik (GSVP)

14-09-2016

In dieser Studie werden die Planung, die Führung und die Kontrolle ziviler und militärischer GSVP-Missionen und -Operationen bewertet. Ferner wird untersucht, welche Fortschritte bei der Entwicklung der zivilen und militärischen Fähigkeiten – insbesondere der Krisenreaktionsfähigkeit in Form der EU-Gefechtsverbände – erzielt wurden und welche Herausforderungen im Zusammenhang mit dem Truppengestellungsprozess entstehen. In den vergangenen Jahren hat der Rat in allen genannten Bereichen wiederholt ...

In dieser Studie werden die Planung, die Führung und die Kontrolle ziviler und militärischer GSVP-Missionen und -Operationen bewertet. Ferner wird untersucht, welche Fortschritte bei der Entwicklung der zivilen und militärischen Fähigkeiten – insbesondere der Krisenreaktionsfähigkeit in Form der EU-Gefechtsverbände – erzielt wurden und welche Herausforderungen im Zusammenhang mit dem Truppengestellungsprozess entstehen. In den vergangenen Jahren hat der Rat in allen genannten Bereichen wiederholt weitere Fortschritte gefordert. Die Studienergebnisse zeigen, dass zwar in letzter Zeit hinsichtlich der Überprüfung der Krisenbewältigungsverfahren Fortschritte erzielt wurden, dass die operative Planung jedoch nach wie vor schwerfällig und langsam ist. Ferner wäre es den Erkenntnissen zufolge vorteilhaft, die Befehlskette für militärische GSVP-Operationen weiter zu straffen, etwa durch die Einrichtung eines Beobachtungszentrums für Missionen und Operationen („Follow-up Centre for Missions and Operations“), das unter die Aufsicht des Militärstabs der Europäischen Union gestellt wird. Im Rahmen der Weiterentwicklung der militärischen Krisenreaktionsfähigkeit sollte vorrangig auch die Einführung „modularer“ Strukturen für Eingreiftruppen mit hoher Bereitschaft geprüft werden. Aus der Studie geht außerdem hervor, dass die Verzögerungen bei der Aufstellung von Einsatzkräften für zivile GSVP-Maßnahmen verringert werden könnten, indem die nationalen Listen der auf Missionen und Operationen einsetzbaren Experten weiterentwickelt werden.

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.

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