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Regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations are key elements in the EU accession process for all western Balkan countries. Serbia and Kosovo have both declared their intention to join the EU. However, despite some initial successes, such as the Brussels Agreement of 2013, the dialogue facilitated by the EU and initiated in 2011 has stalled. In 2020, the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue was relaunched and supported by the international community. The appointment of United States (US) special presidential ...

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 ...

Six years after the ousting and death of Libya's dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 the country is facing political instability, economic problems and deteriorating security. The violence between rival factions resulted in tens of thousands of casualties, the collapse of the oil industry, favoured the rise of ISIL/Da'esh and contributed to the country's increasing role as a transit country for migrants hoping to reach Europe. Although the December 2015 UN-brokered agreement resulted in the creation ...

Multilateralism lies at the core of the EU’s identity and of its engagement with the world. Both the 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 Global Strategy emphasised the importance of a rules-based global order with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations (UN) at its core, and made its promotion part of the EU’s strategic goals. Yet, in spite of widespread acknowledgement of the achievements of the multilateral international order established after the Second World War, ...

Despite the humanitarian and security crisis, progress towards a United Nations (UN) negotiated political settlement of the conflict has been slow, mostly on account of disagreement over President Bashar al-Assad's future. The adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on 18 December 2015 – setting out a roadmap for a peace process in Syria with a clear transition timeline – offered new hope but failed to produce results. After several failed attempts at a cessation of hostilities, the ceasefire ...

The study considers the options for suspending obligations under the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in connection with violations of human rights, democratic principles or the rule of law following the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020. It outlines the functioning of the human rights clause in the Cotonou Agreement, before considering the possibilities for suspending the EPAs under their own provisions, or for other reasons in international law, such as countermeasures. Next, ...

Amid stalled peace talks and a worsening humanitarian situation, the EU is working alongside the UN Special Envoy for Syria to engage key regional and international players and broker a return to the negotiating table. In parallel, an EU emergency humanitarian initiative for Aleppo has been launched to attempt to break the deadlock over humanitarian access and deliver aid to some of the 275 000 people in Aleppo and 13.5 million people across the country who are in desperate need of assistance.

North Korea's propaganda strategy

Briefing 04-10-2016

The internationally isolated regime of the Democratic Popular Republic of Korea (or North Korea) needs to build consensus around the idea that, under the direction of a young dynamic leader, the nation's living standards have improved amidst vivid economic and technological growth. North Koreans are often forced to contribute their free labour to campaigns, as a way to attest their devotion to the nation and help make it stronger in the face of its external enemies. Kim Jong Un's coming to power ...

This study provides an overview of China’s current approach to foreign policy and external relations. It focuses more particularly on the role and actions of China in global governance, its territorial claims and relations with countries in Asia, and its emergence as an important actor in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. It assesses the implications for the EU and makes recommendations on how the EU should deepen its strategic partnership with China. The study ...

On 18 May 2015, the Council established a new Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operation – EUNAVFOR MED, with the aim of disrupting the business model of human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean. The EU is currently seeking both a UN Security Council (UNSC) mandate and consent from Libya for certain aspects of its planned operations.