Abstract As countries participating in 'Factory Asia' grow more integrated with one another, regional trade agreements have flourished in recent years with the ultimate aim of making production networks in the region work as smoothly as possible. It is more and more important for the EU to secure good trade relations with Asia, the most dynamic area in world trade. To this end it must adopt a coherent trade strategy vis-à-vis the different Asian economies participating in regional value chains in which EU companies are significantly and increasingly involved.
Abstract The EU-Republic of Korea FTA (EU-ROK FTA) has so far been beneficial to both parties, although relatively more so for the EU (as it was already a more open market than South Korea). This has been partly due to the trade liberalisation with the FTA and partly due to macroeconomic factors, such as the slow GDP growth and sluggish demand in the EU, and the Euro depreciation vis-à-vis the Korean Won over the last 5 years. Sectorial developments have also been at work, such as the reduction in Korean output and thus exports in key sectors due to global overcapacity and oversupply, and a cross-border reorganisation of production in sectors that are important in EU–Korea competition. The most important increase in exports from the EU to South Korea has been in transport equipment, more specifically cars and trucks, but the size of the increase is substantially lower than that forecast.
Since the terrorism wave in Europe started with Charlie Hebdo and the Paris attacks in November, Brussels has been presented as the crib of foreign fighters in Europe. The attacks of yesterday morning in the city, which is the heart of the European Institutions, have demonstrated that Brussels is not just the nest where the eggs are brooded, on the contrary it could be the vulnerable theatre of terrorism and fear.
With the British referendum only a few months away and opinion polls pointing to an uncertain outcome, the key question of what would happen if the UK left the EU remains largely unanswered. All kinds of estimates have been kicking around. Some have said 3 million British jobs would be lost if the UK were to leave the EU. Some others have suggested that Brexit would make the UK better off by 10% of its GDP.
The agreement reached in Vienna on 14 July, 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom, Germany) has been greeted as an historical achievement. While offering a long-lasting negotiated solution to one of the biggest crises of the last decade, the deal represents an opportunity for a deep recalibration of the balance of power in the Middle East. It also paves the way to some sort of rapprochement between Iran and the United States. But the deal is also likely to have an impact on Iranian domestic politics, not least on its economy, which, after repeated rounds of sanctions, languishes in deep crisis.
This report aims to assess the potential effects of the deal by trying to answer the following question: what’s next for Iran, the Middle East and the countries involved in the negotiations? In particular, the report provides an assessment of the JCPOA agreed upon in Vienna. It also analyzes the impact of the deal on Iranian domestic politics as well as the consequences for its economy. In addition, it examines its effects on the balance of power in the Middle East, as well as on relations between Iran and the United States, and Iran and Russia. Finally a number of policy recommendations for the EU are provided.
Due to the Ukrainian crisis, relations between the EU and Russia hit rock bottom, the lowest point from the end of the Cold War. Indeed, it is crystal clear that today’s dispute is nothing but the latest chapter of a long story of misunderstandings and conflicting strategies on the post -Soviet states of Eastern Europe and South Caucasus. The further deepening of this cleavage would inflict serious damage on all interested parties: the EU, Russia and several post-Soviet states. Why is Ukraine so important both for EU and Russia? What are the real origins of the current crisis that brought to an open confrontation between Russia and the EU? What is the rationale behind Russia’s firm opposition to a further NATO enlargement? What are the viable options to escape the fate of a new ‘Cold War’?
The February 2014 protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) have highlighted a crisis which is more than social and economic. The paper summarizes the latest events in the BiH political scene in the context of the failing EU integration process, debating the different stances about renewed international engagement in the country. It argues that the Dayton system, which brought war to an end in 1995, needs reshaping and that the recent protests could represent the emergence of a new political actor, ready to move the country out of ethnic quagmire
The paper argues that, although it lost political relevance, the Europeanization of Western Balkans continues to offer results. While the so-called “enlargement fatigue” is generally overestimated, it has rather been bilateral controversies and domestic problems that obstructed the enlargement. Most of all it is the length of the process that should worry. Thus engaging the local public spheres has become fundamental to successfully accomplish the process and to avoid the serious risk of marginalizing the region.