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Mapping threats to peace and democracy worldwide: Normandy Index 2021

06-07-2021

The Normandy Index, now in its third year, aims at measuring the level of threat to peace, security and democracy around the world. It was presented for the first time on the occasion of the Normandy Peace Forum in June 2019, as a result of a partnership between the European Parliament and the Region of Normandy. The Index has been designed and prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in conjunction with and on the basis of data provided by the Institute for Economics and Peace ...

The Normandy Index, now in its third year, aims at measuring the level of threat to peace, security and democracy around the world. It was presented for the first time on the occasion of the Normandy Peace Forum in June 2019, as a result of a partnership between the European Parliament and the Region of Normandy. The Index has been designed and prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in conjunction with and on the basis of data provided by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This paper sets out the findings of the 2021 exercise, and explains how the index can be used to compare peace – defined on the basis of a given country's performance against a range of predetermined threats – across countries and regions. It is complemented by 51 individual country case studies, derived from the Index. The paper forms part of the EPRS contribution to the Normandy World Peace Forum 2021. It is accompanied by two papers, one on the EU's contribution to peace and security in 2021, the other on the EU's relations with Turkey.

Albania: No closer to joining the EU

07-06-2021

Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and has been an EU candidate country since June 2014. After having made some progress in meeting the political criteria and the objectives related to the five key priorities for opening its EU accession negotiations on 26 March 2020, Albania has been advancing towards EU membership at a very slow pace. The main remaining obstacles include flaws in the functioning of its judiciary, in the fight against corruption and in the safeguarding of media freedoms and minority ...

Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and has been an EU candidate country since June 2014. After having made some progress in meeting the political criteria and the objectives related to the five key priorities for opening its EU accession negotiations on 26 March 2020, Albania has been advancing towards EU membership at a very slow pace. The main remaining obstacles include flaws in the functioning of its judiciary, in the fight against corruption and in the safeguarding of media freedoms and minority rights.

North Macedonia's accession prospects dimmed

07-06-2021

North Macedonia was the first Western Balkan country to sign a stabilisation and association agreement with the EU in 2004; just one year later, it became a candidate country. However, bilateral disputes with Greece and Bulgaria have blocked accession negotiations so far.

North Macedonia was the first Western Balkan country to sign a stabilisation and association agreement with the EU in 2004; just one year later, it became a candidate country. However, bilateral disputes with Greece and Bulgaria have blocked accession negotiations so far.

Serbia: EU accession progress stalled

07-06-2021

The EU opened accession negotiations with Serbia, a country with a population of 6.7 million, in 2013. Serbia got off to a strong start, but progress has stalled in recent years. Unresolved regional issues, in particular the stalemate of the political dialogue with Pristina, as well as lukewarm progress in rule-of-law reforms, are blocking accession negotiations. Parliamentary elections held in June 2020 have not yet provided the expected momentum, and the risk is that the country will progressively ...

The EU opened accession negotiations with Serbia, a country with a population of 6.7 million, in 2013. Serbia got off to a strong start, but progress has stalled in recent years. Unresolved regional issues, in particular the stalemate of the political dialogue with Pristina, as well as lukewarm progress in rule-of-law reforms, are blocking accession negotiations. Parliamentary elections held in June 2020 have not yet provided the expected momentum, and the risk is that the country will progressively turn to Russia and China, confirming its ambiguous geopolitical orientation, which was also criticised by the European Parliament.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Difficult path towards EU membership

07-06-2021

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), alongside other Western Balkans countries, was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the European Council's Thessaloniki summit of June 2003. BiH applied for EU membership in February 2016. The Commission adopted its opinion on BiH's EU membership application in May 2019, but internal political instability and lack of political reforms have dampened the country's prospects of joining the EU.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), alongside other Western Balkans countries, was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the European Council's Thessaloniki summit of June 2003. BiH applied for EU membership in February 2016. The Commission adopted its opinion on BiH's EU membership application in May 2019, but internal political instability and lack of political reforms have dampened the country's prospects of joining the EU.

Turkey: 2019 and 2020 country reports

12-05-2021

Turkey's relations with the European Communities/Union date back to 1959, with milestones including the Ankara Association Agreement (1963) and Customs Union (1995). Turkey is a key strategic partner of the EU on issues such as migration, security, counter-terrorism and trade. However, following democratic backsliding, in June 2018 the Council of the EU decided to freeze accession negotiations. During its May 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate a resolution on the Commission's ...

Turkey's relations with the European Communities/Union date back to 1959, with milestones including the Ankara Association Agreement (1963) and Customs Union (1995). Turkey is a key strategic partner of the EU on issues such as migration, security, counter-terrorism and trade. However, following democratic backsliding, in June 2018 the Council of the EU decided to freeze accession negotiations. During its May 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate a resolution on the Commission's latest country reports on Turkey.

Montenegro: 2019 and 2020 country reports

12-05-2021

In 2008, Montenegro applied for EU membership, and accession negotiations began in 2012. Montenegro has opened all 33 negotiation chapters, three of which have been provisionally closed. Public opinion surveys show that 75 % of the population support the country’s accession to the European Union. A new government led by Zdravko Krivokapić took office in Montenegro on 4 December 2020. During its May 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate a resolution on the Commission's latest ...

In 2008, Montenegro applied for EU membership, and accession negotiations began in 2012. Montenegro has opened all 33 negotiation chapters, three of which have been provisionally closed. Public opinion surveys show that 75 % of the population support the country’s accession to the European Union. A new government led by Zdravko Krivokapić took office in Montenegro on 4 December 2020. During its May 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate a resolution on the Commission's latest country reports on Montenegro.

EU support for vaccination efforts in the Western Balkans

10-05-2021

The coronavirus pandemic has accentuated the call for global solidarity and increased the need for health care and social support in the Western Balkans. The EU's response has included the 'Team Europe' facility, but also specific initiatives for the Western Balkans. In addition to the EU co-funded Covax facility, the most recent proposal by the European Commission and Austria, announced in April 2021, confirmed the delivery of some 651 000 vaccines to the region, where the EU is competing with other ...

The coronavirus pandemic has accentuated the call for global solidarity and increased the need for health care and social support in the Western Balkans. The EU's response has included the 'Team Europe' facility, but also specific initiatives for the Western Balkans. In addition to the EU co-funded Covax facility, the most recent proposal by the European Commission and Austria, announced in April 2021, confirmed the delivery of some 651 000 vaccines to the region, where the EU is competing with other global actors, such as Russia and China.

Belgrade-Pristina dialogue: The rocky road towards a comprehensive normalisation agreement

10-03-2021

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 ...

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 envoy Richard Grenell and special EU representative Miroslav Lajčák reflected the importance of the normalisation process. However, a lack of coordination and communication between the US and the EU means that no real progress has yet been made. The reasons for the very limited results are multiple, ranging from the internal political situation in both countries, to ambiguous and asymmetrical expectations of the normalisation agreement. Whereas for Kosovo the final goal is clear – recognition by Serbia of its statehood – for Serbia, normalisation of relations is interpreted in economic terms as an 'economic normalisation' and there is only limited space to go beyond those terms. Serbia also stresses that the process must remain within the framework defined by the Serbian Constitution, which considers Kosovo to be an integral part of the Serbian territory, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. Currently, the most sensitive issue, the setting-up of the association/community of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo, agreed in 2013, shows that the challenges are rooted deeply in history and have a much broader regional context.

Charting a course through stormy waters: The EU as a maritime security actor

25-02-2021

The European Union (EU) is a one-of-a-kind maritime actor, which brings both opportunities and responsibilities. It is argued that if the EU-27 were to combine the capacities and capabilities of their navies, they would form one of the world's largest maritime powers. There is therefore space for better integration of capabilities and for greater coherence among the EU's tools to promote its multi-dimensional strategic maritime interests. As around 90 % of global goods are traded via maritime routes ...

The European Union (EU) is a one-of-a-kind maritime actor, which brings both opportunities and responsibilities. It is argued that if the EU-27 were to combine the capacities and capabilities of their navies, they would form one of the world's largest maritime powers. There is therefore space for better integration of capabilities and for greater coherence among the EU's tools to promote its multi-dimensional strategic maritime interests. As around 90 % of global goods are traded via maritime routes, freedom of navigation, security, sustainability and respect for international law are crucial for the EU. These routes are however becoming increasingly contested and restricted, reflecting new patterns of global power distribution. In the security and defence field, the EU's common security and defence policy instruments, particularly its missions and operations abroad, are the most visible manifestation of its maritime actorness. The maritime dimension of the EU's security and defence policy has been put in the spotlight by Portugal, the holder of the EU Council presidency in the first half of 2021. Two of the 17 EU missions and operations are naval military operations: EUNAVFOR Somalia Atalanta in the western part of the Indian Ocean, and EUNAVFOR MED Irini in the central part of the Mediterranean Sea. EU Member States also participate in multinational maritime coalitions as well as in NATO's own maritime operation, Sea Guardian, patrolling the entire Mediterranean Sea. In following the orientations provided by its maritime and global strategies, the EU is aiming to increase its capacity and reliability as a maritime security actor. One example is its coordinated maritime presences, launched in January 2021 with a pilot case in the Gulf of Guinea to boost the EU's maritime capacity and global outreach. Another is the EU's action to boost its maritime defence capabilities through the various post-2016 initiatives that aim to incentivise collaborative projects. Finally, the EU has also enhanced its cooperation with NATO in ensuring maritime security in the transatlantic space, although political obstacles remain.

Avvenimenti fil-ġejjieni

07-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: What is the future of (European) sovereignty?
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08-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Statistics, Data and Trust: Why figures matter [...]
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21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Matters of Record: Inside European Politics
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