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Diversifying unity. How Eastern Partnership countries develop their economy, governance and identity in a geopolitical context

30-10-2019

This study analyses the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the year of its 10th anniversary. The Eastern Partnership was set up in 2009 as a joint policy initiative aiming at deepening and strengthening relations between the European Union, its Member States and the six EaP countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. While each of these countries shares a past in the former Soviet Union, they have developed over time in different directions. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have ...

This study analyses the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the year of its 10th anniversary. The Eastern Partnership was set up in 2009 as a joint policy initiative aiming at deepening and strengthening relations between the European Union, its Member States and the six EaP countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. While each of these countries shares a past in the former Soviet Union, they have developed over time in different directions. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have concluded Association Agreements with the EU, which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas. They will have to fulfil conditions laid down in the Association Agreements to make progress on reforms of governance, the judiciary and fighting corruption. Moreover, Georgia and Ukraine are seeking to integrate more deeply into the Western world order, aspiring to membership of NATO and the EU. Armenia and Azerbaijan have different ways of cooperating with the EU. Belarus is furthest from the EU because of its poor record on democracy and human rights. All six countries are to a certain extent within Russia’s sphere of influence and have to deal with several geopolitical constraints, but they have increasingly developed economic relations and national identities of their own. It will be a challenge to maintain a common perspective for the next 10 years of the Eastern Partnership and a further divergence between the countries is likely. This will not only be between countries with an Association Agreement and the others, but along multiple vectors. While further developing statehood, the eastern partners will want to decide increasingly for themselves which forms of cooperation they want to pursue in the future. They may choose international partners according to their perceived needs, including Russia, the US, China or Turkey. The EU for its part should continue to pursue its strengths of assisting in achieving better governance and democracy and strengthening economic ties, while contributing to diminishing geopolitical tensions.

Ukraine: Religion and (geo-)politics: Orthodox split weakens Russia's influence

18-02-2019

Five years after the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople – widely seen as the spiritual leader (primus inter pares) of the Eastern Orthodox world – granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) 'autocephaly' on 5 January 2019, formalising a split from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). The move follows an intensified Ukrainian campaign to obtain religious independence and thereby reduce the influence of the ROC, which plays a key role in the Kremlin's identity ...

Five years after the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople – widely seen as the spiritual leader (primus inter pares) of the Eastern Orthodox world – granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) 'autocephaly' on 5 January 2019, formalising a split from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). The move follows an intensified Ukrainian campaign to obtain religious independence and thereby reduce the influence of the ROC, which plays a key role in the Kremlin's identity politics in the region. This development could have wide-reaching implications. Such a blow to the ROC undermines the Kremlin's 'soft' spiritual influence. The Kremlin views the development as a question of national security and is unlikely to accept the defeat without resistance. The issue is expected to play a prominent role in the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine. In a wider context — reflecting Moscow's nexus between geopolitics and religion — the decision of the ROC to sever ties with Constantinople in response to the decision to grant the OCU autocephaly could mark the beginning of a wider rift in the Orthodox world. Moscow appears to be exerting pressure on other Orthodox patriarchates to sever ties with Constantinople.

Research for CULT Committee - EU funding for cultural work with refugees: current practice and lessons learned

06-11-2017

This study is an overview of publically funded cultural projects with refugees as target group. These projects are analysed in the light of two interconnected challenges in contemporary Europe, the challenge of good governance of cultural diversity and refugees’ aspiration to a good life in Europe. It asks the fundamental question of what it is to live a good life together in Europe today and how cultural interventions can contribute to this aspiration.

This study is an overview of publically funded cultural projects with refugees as target group. These projects are analysed in the light of two interconnected challenges in contemporary Europe, the challenge of good governance of cultural diversity and refugees’ aspiration to a good life in Europe. It asks the fundamental question of what it is to live a good life together in Europe today and how cultural interventions can contribute to this aspiration.

Údar seachtarach

Rasoul Nejadmehr

Research for CULT Committee - Why cultural work with refugees

06-11-2017

Cultural work with refugees has a long history. It is a contentious area. Instrumental approaches to cultural work with refugees raise significant issues. This briefing outlines the contentions, provides a theoretical basis for the work, gives leading examples of cultural work with refugees, including work that promotes intercultural understanding and work that promotes fear. It outlines key findings and recommendations, which have a substantial focus on ethical engagement, aesthetic importance and ...

Cultural work with refugees has a long history. It is a contentious area. Instrumental approaches to cultural work with refugees raise significant issues. This briefing outlines the contentions, provides a theoretical basis for the work, gives leading examples of cultural work with refugees, including work that promotes intercultural understanding and work that promotes fear. It outlines key findings and recommendations, which have a substantial focus on ethical engagement, aesthetic importance and societal wellbeing.

Údar seachtarach

Prof Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow, UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts

Research for CULT Committee - EU funding for cultural work with refugees: towards the next programme generation

06-11-2017

This briefing analyses the EU’s current programmes 2014-2020 that support cultural work with refugees in Europe and provides case studies of EU-funded projects in this field. It offers feedback from these projects, recommendations on the future programme generation, and suggests actions for the CULT Committee and its Members in order to inform and influence the future EU programme generation beyond 2020.

This briefing analyses the EU’s current programmes 2014-2020 that support cultural work with refugees in Europe and provides case studies of EU-funded projects in this field. It offers feedback from these projects, recommendations on the future programme generation, and suggests actions for the CULT Committee and its Members in order to inform and influence the future EU programme generation beyond 2020.

Údar seachtarach

BIPE: Rosanna LEWIS (author), Polly MARTIN (co-author)

RESEARCH FOR CULT COMMITTEE - European Identity

12-04-2017

This study seeks to examine the concept, challenges and prospects of ‘collective identity’ in a European context. The text acknowledges the complex nature of collective identities in general and a common ‘European identity’ in particular. On that basis, the study critically assesses the potential of cultural and political approaches to foster allegiances with a supranational body politic such as the European Union. Particular attention is paid to the role of history and historical remembrance, as ...

This study seeks to examine the concept, challenges and prospects of ‘collective identity’ in a European context. The text acknowledges the complex nature of collective identities in general and a common ‘European identity’ in particular. On that basis, the study critically assesses the potential of cultural and political approaches to foster allegiances with a supranational body politic such as the European Union. Particular attention is paid to the role of history and historical remembrance, as well as that of bottom-up initiatives aimed at active civic engagement, in strengthening a European sense of belonging.

The US President's State of the Union Address

04-09-2015

Since 2010, the European Parliament holds an annual State of the Union debate in the September plenary session, in which the President of the European Commission delivers an address taking stock of the current year and looking at future priorities. The EU State of the Union address is largely modelled on the US President's annual address to Congress. Every January, the President of the United States presents his policy priorities to Congress. The speech, called the State of the Union Address, has ...

Since 2010, the European Parliament holds an annual State of the Union debate in the September plenary session, in which the President of the European Commission delivers an address taking stock of the current year and looking at future priorities. The EU State of the Union address is largely modelled on the US President's annual address to Congress. Every January, the President of the United States presents his policy priorities to Congress. The speech, called the State of the Union Address, has evolved over time. Originally designed as a lengthy administrative report, it is today a strategic political instrument. Indeed, empirical evidence suggests that the State of the Union Address is a major tool in the hands of the President to set the tone for the upcoming congressional session. Moreover, because the address is broadcast on television and radio, and more recently web-streamed, the President can potentially reach all US citizens and thereby influence public opinion with the aim of gaining support for future actions. It is not an easy task to assess the political impact of this instrument as there are many variables. With that in mind, on the one hand, academic research argues that a reasonable proportion of policy proposals mentioned in the address have been enacted by Congress over the years; on the other hand, the State of the Union Address rarely seems to affect the President's approval rating.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: still awaiting the green light for enlargement talks

30-01-2014

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia obtained the status of candidate country in December 2005. The European Commission's annual progress reports since 2009 have consistently recommended the opening of negotiations. However, the name issue still appears the main stumbling block. The dispute arose in 1991, when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia seceded from Yugoslavia and declared independence under the name "Republic of Macedonia".

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia obtained the status of candidate country in December 2005. The European Commission's annual progress reports since 2009 have consistently recommended the opening of negotiations. However, the name issue still appears the main stumbling block. The dispute arose in 1991, when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia seceded from Yugoslavia and declared independence under the name "Republic of Macedonia".

Breach of EU values by a Member State

15-10-2013

The European Union is founded on values common to all Member States (MS). These are supposed to ensure a level of homogeneity among MS, while respecting their national identities, so facilitating the development of a European identity and the integration process. Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) provides mechanisms to enforce EU values. These are based on a political decision by the Council with the participation of the Commission and the Parliament, and are exempt from judicial review ...

The European Union is founded on values common to all Member States (MS). These are supposed to ensure a level of homogeneity among MS, while respecting their national identities, so facilitating the development of a European identity and the integration process. Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) provides mechanisms to enforce EU values. These are based on a political decision by the Council with the participation of the Commission and the Parliament, and are exempt from judicial review.

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