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Područje politike
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Syria: Stalled Peace Process and Blocked Humanitarian Access

24-11-2016

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.

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.

Conflict in Syria: Trigger factors and the EU response

15-01-2016

Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives, and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon – and Europe. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da'esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. However, despite the humanitarian and security crisis, progress towards a United Nations (UN) negotiated political settlement ...

Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives, and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon – and Europe. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da'esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. However, despite the humanitarian and security crisis, progress towards a United Nations (UN) negotiated political settlement of the conflict has been slow, mostly due to 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 – offers new hope, but the real test will be in the implementation. The European Union laid down its approach to the crisis in Syria, as well as responding to the ISIL/Da'esh threat, in its Regional Strategy for Syria and Iraq, which is based on three main pillars: humanitarian assistance, prevention of regional spill-overs and fighting terrorism. While certain Member States have decided to join the US-led military operations in Syria, the EU has abstained from direct military involvement. Instead, it has proven to be a valued partner in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and support for the activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). For its part, the European Parliament has focused on addressing the implications of the refugee crisis inside the European Union, strengthening EU humanitarian assistance in Iraq and Syria and aid to vulnerable communities, and improving the EU response to the terrorist threat posed by ISIL/Da'esh.

Minsk peace agreement: still to be consolidated on the ground

12-02-2015

On 12 February, after more than 16 hours of negotiations in Minsk, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement to end fighting in eastern Ukraine. Representatives of the OSCE, Ukraine, Russia, and the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine signed the deal, which includes a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, to begin on 15 February, followed by the withdrawal of heavy weapons. In a joint declaration, Angela Merkel, François Hollande, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko stated ...

On 12 February, after more than 16 hours of negotiations in Minsk, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement to end fighting in eastern Ukraine. Representatives of the OSCE, Ukraine, Russia, and the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine signed the deal, which includes a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, to begin on 15 February, followed by the withdrawal of heavy weapons. In a joint declaration, Angela Merkel, François Hollande, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko stated their commitment to respecting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The document states that regular meetings will be held to ensure the fulfilment of the Minsk agreements. The tenor of most official international reactions was cautiously optimistic. International leaders said the deal gave 'hope', but at the same time emphasised that the agreement must now be implemented on the ground. Intense fighting continued during the talks, with the strategic transit hub of Debaltseve still contested. Moscow denies Ukraine's accusations that Russia is supplying troops and weapons to separatists fighting for the territory which Putin calls 'New Russia'. The on-going crisis in Ukraine erupted after former President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an Association Agreement (AA) with the EU in November 2013 and sought closer ties to Russia. Following radical protests from pro-Western groups, Yanukovych stepped down and fled to Russia. Moscow responded by annexing the Crimea in March 2014, sparking wide-ranging EU sanctions.

Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention: Maputo+15

25-11-2014

Fifteen years after its entry into force, the States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban (APMB) Convention met again in Maputo, Mozambique, to review the Convention's implementation and assess the remaining challenges in eradicating mines from the world.

Fifteen years after its entry into force, the States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban (APMB) Convention met again in Maputo, Mozambique, to review the Convention's implementation and assess the remaining challenges in eradicating mines from the world.

Colombia: new momentum for peace?

10-07-2013

In autumn 2012, Colombia's government and the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) started direct peace negotiations, in an attempt to put an end to the 50-year old conflict, which has had over 5 million victims to date. Recently, they have agreed on the first issue on the agenda, relating to land reform. However, the outcome of the talks remains uncertain, as four other difficult issues figure on the agenda: political participation, an end to the conflict, illegal drugs and victims ...

In autumn 2012, Colombia's government and the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) started direct peace negotiations, in an attempt to put an end to the 50-year old conflict, which has had over 5 million victims to date. Recently, they have agreed on the first issue on the agenda, relating to land reform. However, the outcome of the talks remains uncertain, as four other difficult issues figure on the agenda: political participation, an end to the conflict, illegal drugs and victims' rights.

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