We’re just wrapping up day 1 of our Global Briefing event. We’ve had fascinating discussions covering topics such as the EU and conflict prevention to tension in the China seas and stability in the Sahel.
Showing posts tagged as "EU"
Showing posts tagged EU
Top Iran, EU diplomats agree to meet to plan new nuclear talks | Laura Rozen
Top European diplomat Catherine Ashton has agreed to meet soon with Iran’s new Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, to advance preparations for resumed nuclear negotiations. The meeting plans come amid unconfirmed Iranian media speculation about Zarif possibly playing a key role in the negotiations–speculation that may be linked to new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s expressed interest in having the nuclear negotiations conducted at higher level representation, Iran analysts suggested.
Photo: European External Action Service/Flickr
Security on the line in Kosovo-Serbia | Today’s Zaman
By Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director
After years of posturing, punctuated by outbursts of violence in 2009 and 2011, Kosovo and Serbia first agreed to take part in EU facilitated talks in March 2011. They clinched agreements on trade relations, participation in regional meetings and recognition of one another’s diplomats. Ashton then took up the reins of the dialogue to focus more broadly on the political challenge of normalizing Kosovo-Serbia relations and transforming Belgrade-financed institutions in Serb majority northern Kosovo into ones that could fit into Kosovo’s jurisdiction.
Photo: Flickr/European Parliament
The cost of frozen conflict for Cyprus, Greece and Turkey | Kathimerini
By Hugh Pope
Last month, iron anti-riot shutters boarded up the street-side windows of the Grande Bretagne hotel ballroom in Athens as fine-suited patriarchs of Greek and Cypriot industry gathered for the annual Athens Energy Forum, hoping that recent discoveries deep beneath the Mediterranean might power them out of austerity budgets and Eurozone bailouts.
But the idea of hydrocarbon salvation in the eastern Mediterranean is wishful thinking. The potential riches remain buried under decades of sterile politics: a lose-lose-lose failure to compromise between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey that will likely keep gas in the ground for much longer than is ever admitted in silver-tongued speeches at the Grande Bretagne.
The underlying reason is this: neither Turkey, nor Greece, nor Cyprus can securely say what belongs to whom. They have snookered themselves with maximalist claims to Exclusive Economic Zones in the Aegean and Mediterranean that cannot be resolved without major compromises. (According to the U.N. Law of the Sea, EEZs can extend up to 200 nautical miles from a country’s coast line; countries usually agree a median line if there is an overlap; islands may or may not allow EEZs to extend much further than a country’s mainland). If they try to drill without these compromises, they will have less reputable partners and higher costs; they will make un-economic development decisions; and they will risk igniting new conflicts.
Photo: Flickr/ European Parliament
2012 ends with little progress in EU enlargement | SE Times
By Muhamet Brajshori
The EU concluded its annual enlargement report in December, but it did not meet the expectations of the regional countries.
Albania was not offered a candidate status, and while candidate countries Serbia and Macedonia made progress in the accession, they were not given concrete dates. Kosovo is still waiting for a date to launch stabilisation and association agreement talks.
Sabine Freizer, director of Europe program at the International Crisis Group, told SETimes that while EU member states have come out with conservative conclusions on enlargement for the Western Balkans, the European Commission (EC) wants to keep some dynamism in the process.
Photo: European Parliament/Flickr
Zimbabwe — Crisis Over? | allAfrica
European governments placed targeted sanctions on the leadership of ZANU-PF, then Zimbabwe’s ruling party, after flawed presidential elections in 2002. Two kinds of sanctions were used, “restrictive measures” and “appropriate measures”, said Piers Pigou, the project director of Southern Africa for the International Crisis Group. Restrictive measures included a travel ban and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe and over 100 senior party officials, while appropriate measures suspended EU aid to the Zimbabwe government under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.
Photo: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center/Flickr
World hails election of Somalia president | Gulf News
For Abdirashid Hashi, an analyst with International Crisis Group in Nairobi, the new president’s resounding victory was also “a protest vote” against Sharif.
Hassan “is very passionate about Somalia,” Hashi said.
“He has a good feel for what’s going on on the ground,” he said.
Photo: European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr
Setting Kosovo Free | Today’s Zaman
By Sabine Freizer
Kosovo has been set free. The 90-plus states that recognize it lifted the Balkan state’s unique form of “supervised” independence on Monday, making it a fully sovereign entity.
Photo: Genc B. Kastrati/Flickr
Kosovo question still divides EU | Deutsche Welle
By Christoph Hasselbach
If the international civilian office in Kosovo’s capital Pristina is shutting its doors, what will change? Not much, according to Marko Prelec, Balkans expert at the International Crisis Group in Brussels.
"Kosovo is still unstable, above all regarding the rule of law and relations with Serbs in the north of the country and in Serbia itself," he said.
Prelec added that for now, neither EU recognition of Kosovo’s independence nor United Nations membership for the territory can be expected. He believes that any withdrawal of the international presence in Kosovo can only mean more danger for the Serbs there.
Photo: President Atifete Jahjaga of Kosovo
Credit: European Parliament/Flickr
EU needs to help stem regional water conflicts | Chicago Tribune
By Justyna Pawlak
Experts say the European Union could help water-starved countries in North Africa better manage their water usage, helping address criticism that Europe has not reacted effectively to challenges stemming from the Arab Spring.
"Where the EU may have a role to play is in the area of water sustainability, reuse of water waste," said William Lawrence, North Africa Project Director at the International Crisis Group.
"If downstream countries are using less water and using it better, then this can address upstream politics, which can be cantankerous."
Photo: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons