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Ημερομηνία

Algeria and the EU: Challenges before the elections

05-12-2018

Algeria will shortly be holding elections in April 2019 that will be crucial for its future. The country did, it is true, introduce constitutional reforms in response to the Arab Spring in the region, but whether or not President Bouteflika will have a fifth term in office is still the chief cause of the uncertainly hanging over the country. Although elderly now and in frail health, the President is still the glue binding Algeria’s political system together after its terrible civil war in the 1990s ...

Algeria will shortly be holding elections in April 2019 that will be crucial for its future. The country did, it is true, introduce constitutional reforms in response to the Arab Spring in the region, but whether or not President Bouteflika will have a fifth term in office is still the chief cause of the uncertainly hanging over the country. Although elderly now and in frail health, the President is still the glue binding Algeria’s political system together after its terrible civil war in the 1990s. In this context, the Algerian equation remains a complex one with three unknown factors (youth, climate and migration) that may shape short and medium-term prospects. Algeria has a high number of young people and constant growth is needed for them to find jobs on the labour market. Young people are still not particularly engaged in Algeria’s political system and little is known about their preferences. Climate warming is a second unknown: it will have major consequences for the area and will probably push both Algeria’s population and people in the wider Sahelian region towards coastal towns, making investment in sustainable urban planning and suitable public services essential. Lastly, demographic dynamics, both as regards the country’s own population and how migration affects it, constitute an important challenge for the future. These concerns place Algeria firmly in its regional context where it plays a central role in the conflicts in the western Sahara, in relation to Libya, and in the Sahel. Algeria is also a vital partner in the fight against international terrorism. The country’s economic situation still needs to be watched: Algeria’s economy is coming under pressure from fluctuating energy prices. The Algerian authorities agree that reforms are needed but they are difficult to bring in when the State is facing a fall in revenue. The European Union is Algeria’s main trade partner and the Association Agreement provides a framework for further developing trade relations. The two partners recently opened discussions on Algeria’s tariff barriers as they do not seem to be heading in the right direction.

Low oil prices and the fight against ISIL/Da’esh

09-03-2016

The price of oil has fallen significantly since June 2014, from a peak of US$115 per barrel (bl) then to US$26 per barrel in January 2016, although it has somewhat recovered recently. This can partly be explained by weaker demand, robust supply growth and the expanding coverage of mandatory energy effciency provisions worldwide. These changes come at a time of major turmoil in parts of the Middle East. Iraq – with the world’s fifth largest oil reserves – is engaged in the fight against ISIL/Da’esh ...

The price of oil has fallen significantly since June 2014, from a peak of US$115 per barrel (bl) then to US$26 per barrel in January 2016, although it has somewhat recovered recently. This can partly be explained by weaker demand, robust supply growth and the expanding coverage of mandatory energy effciency provisions worldwide. These changes come at a time of major turmoil in parts of the Middle East. Iraq – with the world’s fifth largest oil reserves – is engaged in the fight against ISIL/Da’esh which controls some of Iraq’s oil fields. Syria – with a national budget largely dependent on oil revenues – is torn apart by civil war. Iran, on the other hand, is returning to international oil markets as a result of the gradual removal of sanctions against it, in line with the agreement on its nuclear programme.

A Cold Winter to Come? The EU Seeks Alternatives to Russian Gas

24-10-2014

The crisis in Ukraine has led to seven rounds of sanctions between Russia and the EU – and may well lead to more. Energy is the most alarming casualty in this clash, with the EU and Russia largely interdependent in the domain. The level of dependency among EU Member States varies greatly, as does their ability to respond to Russian warnings and actions. Ukraine's gas situation is also at stake. The Russian gas exporter Gazprom ceased exporting to Ukraine in June. In late September, gas cuts were ...

The crisis in Ukraine has led to seven rounds of sanctions between Russia and the EU – and may well lead to more. Energy is the most alarming casualty in this clash, with the EU and Russia largely interdependent in the domain. The level of dependency among EU Member States varies greatly, as does their ability to respond to Russian warnings and actions. Ukraine's gas situation is also at stake. The Russian gas exporter Gazprom ceased exporting to Ukraine in June. In late September, gas cuts were registered in Slovakia, Austria, Poland and Romania – in some cases to prevent Russian gas from being diverted to Ukraine. A provisional solution for Ukraine's winter supplies was reached in Berlin on 26 September, but has yet to be completely endorsed by Moscow and Kiev. However, the risk of gas shortages for the rest of Europe has not been averted. Military and political tensions have obliged the EU to boost its energy security mechanisms and seek alternatives to Russian gas. The European Commission has just concluded a stress test on the EU gas system to assess the impact of a potential gas crisis. Several studies have suggested that, in the short term, the EU could substitute Algerian, Norwegian and Qatari supplies for Russian gas, although this would cost more and require new gas terminals. The Union’s reserves – at present 90 % full – will also help, but for how long depends on the coming winter. In the longer term, gas supplies from Azerbaijan, the United States, Iran, Mozambique, Australia, Israel and Turkmenistan could also supply the thirsty European market. EU energy policies (on renewable sources, greater efficiency, shale gas and interconnection of energy grids) could also play a role in reducing – if not completely eliminating – Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

The Strategic Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of EU Budget Support with Regard to Supporting Democratic Transitions in Southern Mediterranean Countries

15-10-2013

This study analyses to what extent the EU budget support provided to Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria has changed due to the Arab Spring and to what extent the EU budget support has contributed to the democratic transitions in those countries. Furthermore, the study provides information on (i) how resolutions of the European Parliament regarding Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria have been translated into the EU budget support provided to those countries, (ii) how the monitoring and reporting systems of the effects ...

This study analyses to what extent the EU budget support provided to Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria has changed due to the Arab Spring and to what extent the EU budget support has contributed to the democratic transitions in those countries. Furthermore, the study provides information on (i) how resolutions of the European Parliament regarding Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria have been translated into the EU budget support provided to those countries, (ii) how the monitoring and reporting systems of the effects of those budget support operations have been organised and to what extent respect of human rights and gender issues have been taken into account in the budget support programmes.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Martin VAN DER LINDE and Ms Anja WILLEMSEN (ECORYS Nederland BV, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Algeria’s Underused Potential in Security Cooperation in the Sahel Region

24-06-2013

Algeria is a regional power in both economic, political and military terms. Up to now, relations between the EU and Algeria have been mainly based on economic considerations. The crisis in Mali, the Franco-African military intervention (AFISMA) and the terrorist attacks at the gas facility In Amenas in eastern Algeria have opened a new window of opportunity for reinforced cooperation in the field of security between Algeria and the EU in order to combat common threats. Given its strong military power ...

Algeria is a regional power in both economic, political and military terms. Up to now, relations between the EU and Algeria have been mainly based on economic considerations. The crisis in Mali, the Franco-African military intervention (AFISMA) and the terrorist attacks at the gas facility In Amenas in eastern Algeria have opened a new window of opportunity for reinforced cooperation in the field of security between Algeria and the EU in order to combat common threats. Given its strong military power and political stature in the region, Algeria has the potential to develop into an important ally of the EU in the Sahel region. The probable transfer of presidential powers in Algeria will offer a chance for Algeria to reshape its policy in the region, as an assertive and constructive regional power not only in the Maghreb but also in West Africa.

Analysis of the National Indicative Programme (2011-2013) of Algeria

22-01-2010

Algeria is the only Maghrebi country which has officially refused to be part of the ENP despite its strategic position in the region. Yet it can benefit from the ENPI’s financial assistance without having its own Action Plan. Through its partnerships with the EU, governed by the Association Agreement (AA) and its bilateral partnerships with the member states (MS), Algeria has mainly benefited from its energy market exchanges and a reinforced security role in the fight against terrorism. With a markedly ...

Algeria is the only Maghrebi country which has officially refused to be part of the ENP despite its strategic position in the region. Yet it can benefit from the ENPI’s financial assistance without having its own Action Plan. Through its partnerships with the EU, governed by the Association Agreement (AA) and its bilateral partnerships with the member states (MS), Algeria has mainly benefited from its energy market exchanges and a reinforced security role in the fight against terrorism. With a markedly changed internal situation in 2009, the re-election of Bouteflika and a regained international credibility, Algeria is considered to have a relatively important and special place within the Euro-Med region. Given the strategic importance of Algeria and its urgent need for reforms, the total amount of financial assistance (€172 M for three years) seems rather negligible. The fact that there are only two cooperation priorities - sustainable development and culture and economic growth and jobs - also demonstrates the absence of the EU’s leverage and commitment to reforms. On the Algerian side, a lack of political will and suspicion of EU-designed reforms can also explain the inconsistency and incoherence of the new NIP. Considering the lack of progress in education and health reforms, the provision of further financial and technical assistance seems to be necessary. Instead of much needed support, both of these programmatic areas have been removed from the priority list of the new NIP. Overall, the Euro-Algerian partnership continues to be shaped by security concerns, economic interests and the fight against illegal migration.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

SOFRECO PARIS, FRANCE

The implementation of the EU guidelines on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Long version

02-04-2007

The present study contains the result of the work carried out to analyse the level of implementation of the Guidelines to EU policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (hereinafter referred to as ‘the guidelines’), which were adopted by the General Affairs Council on 9 April 2001 “to provide the EU with an operational tool […] to support and strengthen ongoing efforts to prevent and eradicate torture and ill-treatment in all parts of the ...

The present study contains the result of the work carried out to analyse the level of implementation of the Guidelines to EU policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (hereinafter referred to as ‘the guidelines’), which were adopted by the General Affairs Council on 9 April 2001 “to provide the EU with an operational tool […] to support and strengthen ongoing efforts to prevent and eradicate torture and ill-treatment in all parts of the world”. As stated in the Introduction to the guidelines, “[r]espect for human rights features among the key objectives of the EU’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP)”.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Anna-Lena Svensson-McCarthy, Lawyer, Human Rights Consultant

Human Rights = Women's Rights ?

01-06-1996

Summary of the public hearing organised by the Committee on Women's Rights, 26-27 June 1995 on violations of human rights inflicted on women because of their sex. Describes the violence against women in daily life in order to rouse the consciences of our societies and to find the tools and strategies to enable these revolting practices to be stopped.

Summary of the public hearing organised by the Committee on Women's Rights, 26-27 June 1995 on violations of human rights inflicted on women because of their sex. Describes the violence against women in daily life in order to rouse the consciences of our societies and to find the tools and strategies to enable these revolting practices to be stopped.

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