EU foreign affairs (including defence, development aid and trade) and the European neighbourhood

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    Understanding the role of agriculture in global climate policies

Understanding the role of agriculture in global climate policies

A significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions stem from agriculture, but many national climate policies still overlook the agricultural sector. Drawing on a new study, Nicole M. Schmidt shows that while mentions of agriculture in national climate policies are growing, particularly in the EU and Africa, there remains a highly fragmented picture globally, with over half the policy documents […]

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    Changing vulnerabilities on Samos: Why young men are not always the least vulnerable refugees

Changing vulnerabilities on Samos: Why young men are not always the least vulnerable refugees

Men between the ages of 18 and 39 are often assumed to be the most likely to survive troubling conditions in refugee reception centres. Drawing on recent research on the Greek island of Samos, Gemma Bird highlights that this is not always the case. Vulnerabilities are not fixed, and in environments such as the one on Samos, the basic […]

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    Tiptoeing around the two elephants in the room? Assessing the EU’s new Central Asia Strategy

Tiptoeing around the two elephants in the room? Assessing the EU’s new Central Asia Strategy

A new EU Central Asia Strategy was adopted by the European Council on 17 June. Thomas Kruessmann assesses the content of the new strategy, writing that the EU’s efforts to pursue ‘non-exclusive partnerships’ with Central Asian countries are likely to be heavily restricted by China and Russia’s influence in the region.

The new EU Central Asia Strategy (The EU and […]

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    Book Review: For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq by Ayça Çubukçu

Book Review: For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq by Ayça Çubukçu

In For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq, Ayça Çubukçu illustrates how different and sometimes colliding understandings of justice, human rights, legitimacy and international law co-existed in response to the Iraq occupation through the case of the World Tribunal on Iraq, which sought to document and provide grounds for adjudicating war crimes committed by the US, the UK and their allied […]

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    Time for an update: How to revisit the EU’s framework for international mediation engagements

Time for an update: How to revisit the EU’s framework for international mediation engagements

In 2009 the EU adopted the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities, its first-ever strategic document focusing specifically on mediation. Ten years later, the EU’s concept and practices of mediation need an update, write Julian Bergmann, Toni Haastrup, Arne Niemann and Richard Whitman.

The first two years of implementation of the EU Global Strategy focused on advancing the […]

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EU defence policy is becoming increasingly supranational

EU defence policy has traditionally been intergovernmental in nature: member states have typically adopted decisions through unanimity, while supranational institutions, such as the European Commission and European Parliament, have had little formal power. Pierre Haroche writes that recent developments are now changing this approach, with defence policy becoming increasingly supranational and politicised.

On 18 April, the European Parliament (EP) approved, […]

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    Book Review: International Courts and Mass Atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia by Ivor Sokolić

Book Review: International Courts and Mass Atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia by Ivor Sokolić

In International Courts and Mass Atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia, Ivor Sokolić focuses on the contradictions that can arise between the ‘truths’ provided by international courts’ judgments and national war narratives, focusing on the understudied case of Croatia. This is an in-depth analysis that will be a must-read for transitional justice scholars and practitioners both in the Balkans and […]

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    Can the EU and the League of Arab States develop closer relations? History suggests otherwise

Can the EU and the League of Arab States develop closer relations? History suggests otherwise

From 1974 to 1979, the EEC and Arab League met regularly for the Euro-Arab Dialogue, but efforts to establish close relations failed to meet expectations. Philipp Hirsch writes that today, the European Union and League of Arab States are once again attempting stronger cooperation. But based on historical experience, Brussels should not invest too much hope in the capacity […]

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    EU enlargement in the Western Balkans: The missing issue in the 2019 European election campaign

EU enlargement in the Western Balkans: The missing issue in the 2019 European election campaign

The campaign for the European Parliament elections on 23-26 May offers an opportunity for key EU policy areas to be debated. Yet as Anna Nadibaidze writes, the issue of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has so far remained far from the agenda. She explains that with public opinion focused on other topics and both mainstream and Eurosceptic parties […]

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    Bouteflika’s resignation means Algeria is ready to turn a page… or is it?

Bouteflika’s resignation means Algeria is ready to turn a page… or is it?

After two decades in power, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced that he will resign as President of Algeria. Luigi Lonardo explains that despite the announcement, there are signs it may not yet be game over for the country’s regime.

Almost ten years after the Arab uprisings, twenty years after taking power, Algeria’s president Bouteflika announced on Tuesday 2 April that he […]

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    Why the compromise over North Macedonia should offer a lesson for the rest of Europe

Why the compromise over North Macedonia should offer a lesson for the rest of Europe

The decision to change the name of Macedonia to ‘North Macedonia’ brought an end to a protracted bilateral disagreement between the country and Greece. Zoran Nechev and Adnan Ćerimagić write that the experience offers a rare lesson in how the will to compromise and build peaceful cooperation can overcome entrenched disputes.

The Western Balkan region is not an island isolated […]

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    Book Review: Inside Asylum Bureaucracy: Organizing Refugee Status Determination in Austria by Julia Dahlvik

Book Review: Inside Asylum Bureaucracy: Organizing Refugee Status Determination in Austria by Julia Dahlvik

In Inside Asylum Bureaucracy: Organizing Refugee Status Determination in Austria, Julia Dahlvik conducts an in-depth case study of Austria’s former Federal Asylum Office (FAO) to explore how bureaucrats and other decision-makers adjudicate asylum cases. The book offers insightful conclusions that can lead to tangible policy changes, finds Victoria de Keizer.
This review is part of a theme week published in the run-up to International […]

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    A new great game unfolding: Priorities for a new EU strategy on Central Asia

A new great game unfolding: Priorities for a new EU strategy on Central Asia

The EU is expected to approve a new strategy for engaging with countries in Central Asia this year. Ann Sander Nielsen writes that in developing the new strategy, the EU must avoid compromising its founding values under the guise of ‘principled pragmatism’.

During the first part of this year, the European Union will adopt a new strategy for its engagement […]

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Will transatlantic relations break down over Iran?

Tensions have grown in recent months between the EU and the United States over Iran, which was underlined at a US-backed conference on the Middle East in Poland last week that was largely sidestepped by many European governments. Cornelius Adebahr writes that the EU is right to take a more comprehensive approach to the region and resist attempts to […]

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    Book Review: Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime by Bruno Latour

Book Review: Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime by Bruno Latour

In Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime, Bruno Latour explores the political and philosophical challenges proper to a time defined by an environmental and socio-economic crisis. Rodrigo Muñoz-González welcomes this energetic, compelling and provocative attempt to find an alternative vision to the contradictory and flawed project of modernity. 
Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime. Bruno Latour (trans. by Catherine […]

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    Why is the EU unable to adopt a binding solidarity mechanism for the distribution of asylum seekers?

Why is the EU unable to adopt a binding solidarity mechanism for the distribution of asylum seekers?

Under the so called ‘Dublin Regulation’, asylum seekers are usually deemed to be the responsibility of the country where they first entered the EU. But following the migration crisis that began in 2015, there have been efforts to reform this system given it places greater strain on countries such as Italy and Greece, who faced large inflows due to […]

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    Austerity politics, global neoliberalism, and the official discourse within the IMF

Austerity politics, global neoliberalism, and the official discourse within the IMF

Is austerity a ‘dream come true’ for neoliberals, or did the global financial crisis force policymakers to question neoliberalism’s core principles and change direction? Focusing on speeches by members of the International Monetary Fund, Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving find little to suggest that the fundamental assumptions of neoliberalism have been displaced.

It is now over ten years since the […]

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    Assessing the revival of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans

Assessing the revival of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans

Several efforts aimed at giving greater impetus to the EU enlargement process in the Western Balkans took place in 2018, but without securing substantive results. Anna Nadibaidze outlines some of the major challenges that remain for the process as the EU seeks to balance its aspirations for influence in the region against concerns over what future enlargement might mean […]

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    Is Luigi Di Maio right about French policies in Africa? Paradoxes and dilemmas of Françafrique

Is Luigi Di Maio right about French policies in Africa? Paradoxes and dilemmas of Françafrique

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio has generated controversy in France by suggesting the country is preventing the economic development of Africa and thereby contributing to the flow of refugees into Europe. But how fair is this characterisation of French policies across the continent? Douglas Yates presents a detailed account of French involvement in Africa, noting that there […]

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    Strengthening the rule of law in the Western Balkans: Why should the EU care?

Strengthening the rule of law in the Western Balkans: Why should the EU care?

One of the main conditions set by the EU for aspiring members in the Western Balkans is to strengthen the rule of law, but the success of these efforts has so far been relatively limited. Drawing on a new study, Tena Prelec explains some of the major challenges that exist in the region and outlines why promoting the rule […]

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