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The six Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,* Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) are all countries with substantial economic catch-up potential. The EU-led Berlin Process estimated an annual investment need of some €7.7 billion, which would provide the region with an additional 1 % GDP growth and a positive employment effect of up to 200 000 people. However, quality investments are scarce, or often attached to political, environmental and social conditionalities ...

On 23 June 2022, for the first time since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine, the Heads of State or Government of the EU and of the six Western Balkan countries will meet for a leaders' meeting in Brussels. The discussion will focus on enlargement, energy, security and defence, and youth. Discussion of Emmanuel Macron's 'European Political Community' proposal is not on the agenda, but it could come up during the debate.

International cooperation has been a key feature of modern and contemporary scientific and technological activities. The magnitude of global challenges, such as the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, has shown the relevance of joining forces and pooling resources to facilitate the creation and dissemination of knowledge and innovative solutions. In 2021, the European Commission adopted a communication on a global approach to research and innovation – the new European strategy for international ...

2021 Report on Turkey

Pārskats 01-06-2022

Turkey's relations with the European Communities/EU date back to 1959, with milestones including the Ankara Association Agreement (1963) and the customs union (1995). Turkey is a key strategic partner of the EU on issues such as migration, security, counter-terrorism and trade. Yet, after democratic backsliding in the country, the Council froze its accession negotiations. Overall EU-Turkey relations have improved slightly in the past year. The Parliament's position on the Commission's 2021 annual ...

EU regional policy in the Arctic

Briefing 01-06-2022

Local communities in the Arctic face a unique set of challenges, including remoteness, depopulation and a severe climate and topography. EU regional policy can support development in the European Arctic through investments under the European structural and investment funds, delivered through regional development and European territorial cooperation programmes, with further support also available in the form of a special aid allocation for northern sparsely populated regions. Structural funds represent ...

The European Commission is currently negotiating a revision of the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). This revision would, inter alia, reform the ECT's investor–state dispute resolution mechanisms and explicitly allow countries to take regulatory actions affecting existing investments, for reasons such as environmental protection or climate action. The overarching objective is to ensure that the ECT is modernised in a way that would avoid the EU and its Member States deciding to withdraw from the ...

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, 'nobody is safe until everybody is safe'. On this basis, the EU, along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public and private partners, set up a global initiative to facilitate the development, production and global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. COVAX was initially designed to pool funds and vaccine doses in order to ensure an equitable distribution between all participating economies until all of them – higher- and lower-income alike – reached ...

In the first year of the 117th US Congress (2021-2022), members of both the House and the Senate saw an urgent need both for a trade policy offensive specifically for the Indo-Pacific region to maintain US leadership in setting international standards and norms, and for an upgrade of defensive trade policy tools to address China's unfair trade practices. Congressional initiatives have coincided with debates in the European Parliament on the EU's Indo-Pacific strategy and on legislative proposals ...

China's meteoric economic and military rise, authoritarian political system and non-market economic model, and growing US-China strategic competition, have had a significant impact on how bilateral research ties are perceived in the US, and on how the US Congress and the Trump and Biden administrations have shaped the US research ecosystem in response to China's 'Thousand Talents' programme.

The first year of the 117th US Congress (2021-2022) under a 'unified government', where President Biden's party holds a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, saw strong bipartisan support for shaping closer security, economic and political ties with Taiwan. Perceived as a vibrant democracy, worth protecting to secure peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region, the Biden administration invited Taiwan to the 2021 US Summit for Democracy, defining shared values rather ...