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This is the fifth Peace and Security Outlook produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series analyses and explains the European Union's contribution to the promotion of peace and security internationally, through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment as European security faces the most tangible military threat since ...

The Southern Neighbourhood (SN) of the European Union (EU) remains in what appears to be a state of permanent turmoil. Similarly, the rift in Euro-Mediterranean relations seems to be growing, as exemplified by reactions to the Russian aggression on Ukraine across the SN region and despite a window of opportunity the pandemic offered to relaunch cooperation between both sides of the Mediterranean. The Joint Communication on a ‘Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood: a New Agenda for the ...

US 'Peace Plan' for the Middle East

At a Glance 07-02-2020

On 28 January 2020, United States President Donald Trump released his administration's 'vision for Israeli-Palestinian peace'. The White House Plan, coupled with earlier Trump administration moves, marks a distinct departure from past US policy on the Middle East Peace Process. Key elements are illegal under international law, as they advocate the annexation of occupied territory. Israeli leaders have welcomed the plan, seen as meeting Israel's key demands. The leadership of the Palestinian Authority ...

With a resolute tone and a sense of urgency, the European Commission's new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans sets a clear direction for the region's six countries: it offers them a credible enlargement perspective and pledges enhanced EU engagement. It indicates 2025 as a possible enlargement date. However, seizing this opportunity remains a challenge, as the aspirants must each deliver on difficult, key reforms, and solve all outstanding bilateral disputes.

On 6 December 2017, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, mirroring the official Israeli position on the status of the city. In doing so, the US has become the first country to officially endorse the Israeli position on a hotly disputed issue that lies at the very heart of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), potentially weakening the role of the US in that process as an impartial mediator and tilting the odds further in Israel’s favour. The move has been widely ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, describes the legal, political and economic relations of the two parts of Ireland and the United Kingdom, and possible arrangements for dealing with "Brexit". The paper discusses several specific issues, in particular the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the United Kingdom, the consequences of an "invisible" border between the two parts ...

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned this study on UK withdrawal and the Good Friday Agreement (the ‘Agreement’). It provides an overview of the Agreement and an assessment of the potential challenges posed to its implementation by ‘Brexit’. In particular, it examines ways in which – through differentiation and ‘flexible and imaginative solutions’ – the Agreement can be upheld and the context for its effective implementation ...

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 ...

Nuclear deal with Iran

At a Glance 04-09-2015

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed on 14 July 2015 concludes the long process of negotiations concerning Iran's nuclear programme. A political understanding by the parties concerned, it aims to ensure that Iran's nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful, in exchange for termination of restrictive measures against Iran. The deal received a generally positive reaction in Europe and Asia but mixed reception in the US and the region.

On 17 December 2014, US President, Barack Obama, announced the start of a new phase in US-Cuba relations. The US embargo to Cuba has been in place for more than 50 years. International opposition to the embargo has grown since the beginning of the 1990s when US embargo legislation started to present extraterritorial implications. More recently, domestic support for the embargo has also started fading. US economic interest in the island has risen since Cuba became an importer of US agricultural products ...