EU Foreign Affairs

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    Mimicking reforms? Why corruption within state owned enterprises remains a key problem in Moldova

Mimicking reforms? Why corruption within state owned enterprises remains a key problem in Moldova

The European Parliament recently passed a resolution criticising Moldova’s progress in improving democratic standards and the rule of law. Alexandru Damian highlights the role of state owned enterprises in this wider picture. He argues that standards of reporting, transparency and accountability remain poor despite EU pressure for reforms, leaving the door open for state owned enterprises to be used […]

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    Book Review: Invisible Countries: Journeys to the Edge of Nationhood by Joshua Keating

Book Review: Invisible Countries: Journeys to the Edge of Nationhood by Joshua Keating

In Invisible Countries: Journeys to the Edge of Nationhood, Joshua Keating presents five present-day cases of border debates, humanising the issues they raise through personal stories and daily experiences. Covering topics from virtual citizenship to nested sovereignty, this book may rejuvenate the conversation about how countries and borders affect residents when they are neither static nor responsive to people, writes Jennifer Stubbs.
Invisible Countries: Journeys to […]

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    The EU talks big on protecting the Arctic, but it continues to prioritise economic interests over the environment

The EU talks big on protecting the Arctic, but it continues to prioritise economic interests over the environment

The Arctic is one of the world’s most environmentally fragile regions, but it also offers substantial economic opportunities. This has led many states and companies with an interest in the region to promote a policy of ‘sustainable development’ which can balance these opportunities with environmental protection. Sofía López, Bram De Botselier and Simon Schunz argue that while the EU […]

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    Symbolic identities: Understanding the Macedonia name dispute and its implications for EU politics

Symbolic identities: Understanding the Macedonia name dispute and its implications for EU politics

Efforts to end the Macedonia name dispute suffered a blow on 30 September when a referendum proposing to change the country’s name to ‘North Macedonia’ failed to reach the required 50 per cent threshold. However, the country’s Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, later won a vote in parliament on the issue on 19 October. Charalambos Tsekeris and Nicolas Demertzis write […]

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    Book Review: Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue by Sohail Daulatzai

Book Review: Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue by Sohail Daulatzai

In Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue, Sohail Daulatzai not only offers an ode to The Battle of Algiers, exploring the film’s intellectual lineage and its impact upon postcolonial liberation movements, but also argues that its revolutionary logic has more recently been inverted in service of the ‘war on terror’. This is a powerful, thought-provoking and stimulating book, finds Srini Sitaraman.
Fifty Years […]

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    The future of EU international investment policy – What clues to take from NAFTA 2.0?

The future of EU international investment policy – What clues to take from NAFTA 2.0?

What can the latest revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States tell us about the potential future of EU international investment policy? Robert Basedow suggests that NAFTA 2.0 indicates the love story of OECD economies with investment protection agreements and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms appears to be coming to […]

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    A missed opportunity: Assessing the EU’s strategy for Europe-Asia connectivity

A missed opportunity: Assessing the EU’s strategy for Europe-Asia connectivity

Federica Mogherini recently outlined a new EU strategy for improving connectivity between Europe and Asia. Thomas Kruessmann examines the proposals, which are widely viewed as a response to the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative launched by China in 2013. He argues that the overall direction of the strategy is misguided and that it largely ignores the potential to capitalise on […]

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    Why Turkey’s currency crisis is deepening the rift between Ankara and the West

Why Turkey’s currency crisis is deepening the rift between Ankara and the West

The value of the Turkish lira has hit record lows during 2018, with fears of the country slipping into an economic crisis. Didem Buhari-Gulmez explains that beyond the impact on Turkey’s economy, the crisis also has important geopolitical implications. The situation might deepen existing divisions between Turkey and the West, while encouraging the country to seek new allies among […]

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Kosovo and Serbia dialogue: Addressing the fears

Hashim Thaçi, the President of Kosovo, is due to meet with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić on 7 September. Bekim Çollaku, Chief of Staff to the President of the Republic of Kosovo, writes that the current limbo over Kosovo’s status serves no one’s interests, and that while a deal between Serbia and Kosovo might be opposed by some actors, […]

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    Kosovo and Serbia: A dangerous but not unprecedented Balkan land swap

Kosovo and Serbia: A dangerous but not unprecedented Balkan land swap

Kosovo and Serbia have recently discussed an exchange of territory, with some commentators suggesting a deal on a ‘land swap’ might be imminent. Andrea Lorenzo Capussela writes that while critics have rightly decried the plan as a redrawing of borders along ethnic lines, they neglect the fact that Kosovo itself is the product of a unilateral, ethnicity-based partition. He […]

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    Book Review: Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey by Begüm Adalet

Book Review: Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey by Begüm Adalet

In Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey, Begüm Adalet offers an account of the historical construction of the ‘Turkish Model’ as a manufactured product of American Cold War policy juxtaposed with Turkish domestic politics. Exploring the conceptualisation and execution of modernisation through examples of survey research, infrastructure and architecture, this is a valuable study of the politics of […]

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    A lack of critical public debate: Questioning the EU’s support for the Southern Gas Corridor

A lack of critical public debate: Questioning the EU’s support for the Southern Gas Corridor

The Southern Gas Corridor is an initiative put forward by the European Commission to transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Southeastern Europe and Italy. As Marco Siddi writes, the project raises several important economic, security, ethical and ecological concerns. He argues that these issues have not been properly debated at the European level, and that cheaper and […]

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    Book Review: Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment by Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease

Book Review: Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment by Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease

In Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment, Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease delve into the hypocrisies and failings of international justice projects. Their book offers a timely reminder that the current international justice regime has not offered a silver bullet for complex political problems, writes Teemu Laulainen.
Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment. Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease. Polity Press. […]

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    EU accession talks on the horizon? Assessing Albania’s priorities for the next year

EU accession talks on the horizon? Assessing Albania’s priorities for the next year

EU leaders agreed in June to open accession talks with Albania in 2019, subject to the country making sufficient progress on judicial and anti-corruption reforms. Andi Hoxhaj assesses where Albania now stands and what the priorities will be over the next year as the country seeks to demonstrate tangible results to its EU partners.

In June, the European Council recognised […]

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    Moldova’s political crisis is calling the country’s commitment to European integration into question

Moldova’s political crisis is calling the country’s commitment to European integration into question

The EU has voiced criticism of Moldova following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to invalidate recent mayoral elections in Chisinau. Alexandru Damian explains that with parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year, there is concern in the West at the direction the current government is taking, and the possibility of the pro-Russian Party of Socialists winning power.

EU-Moldova […]

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    Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

The 2018 Western Balkans Summit was held in London on 9-10 July. As Denisa Kostovicova explains, there was hope that the summit might officially launch a regional fact-finding commission – RECOM – which would record the victims of human rights violations to help aid the reconciliation process in the region. However, even though the summit put legacy issues on […]

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    Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump

Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump

Many of the protests that took place against Donald Trump during his visit to the UK focused on his policies toward refugees. Amanda Russell Beattie, Gemma Bird and Patrycja Rozbicka argue that while the protesters were right to voice opposition to Trump’s policies, the treatment of refugees at Europe’s borders is just as worthy of criticism.

Donald Trump arrived in […]

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    Book Review: 1917: War, Peace, Revolution by David Stevenson

Book Review: 1917: War, Peace, Revolution by David Stevenson

In 1917: War, Peace and Revolution, David Stevenson offers a detailed and well-structured narrative of the complex, interlocking events of this fateful year, with an eye to their subsequent impact on the unfolding twentieth century. Stevenson’s masterful account should be essential reading for anyone with a particular interest in the First World War, recommends Benjamin Law. 
1917: War, Peace, Revolution. David Stevenson. Oxford University Press. 2017.
Find this book: 
Last year […]

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    The UAE’s presence in the Balkans: Commercial interest, geopolitical calculations, or a meeting point between ‘sultanism’ and authoritarianism?

The UAE’s presence in the Balkans: Commercial interest, geopolitical calculations, or a meeting point between ‘sultanism’ and authoritarianism?

In recent years, the United Arab Emirates has been increasingly active as an investment partner in the Western Balkans. Tena Prelec traces the involvement of the UAE in the region, and examines how western actors have responded to its presence. Given the limited geopolitical significance of the country’s involvement, there is little justification for concerns about the UAE ‘taking up […]

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    Book Review: Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity by Akbar Ahmed

Book Review: Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity by Akbar Ahmed

In Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity, Akbar Ahmed scrutinises the experiences of Muslims living in European nations that are facing challenge to their hegemonic position in a global age. This is no ordinary book project, writes Tahir Abbas, praising the unprecedented wealth of information contained in this gripping, engaging and immersive study.
Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity. Akbar Ahmed. Brookings […]

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