While the EU’ member states are absorbed by the political campaign in view of the European elections and apprehensive about the implications of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Balkan question remains in the background. The Balkans, nevertheless, continue to make progress on the convergence with the EU and for some of them the membership is getting closer. After Croatia's accession to the EU last July, thanks to the Brussels agreements of April 2013, Kosovo opened the negotiations for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement in October 2013 and Serbia for the EU accession in January 2014. Meanwhile, the European Commission and the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee issued positive opinions on granting candidate status to Albania, even though the Council later postponed the signature of further verification to June 2014. Despite the successful path towards the EU, there are still unsettled issues (Kosovo's status, ethnic slow down the process of European integration and make the region unstable. For this reason the EU needs to not neglect the Balkans and to continue with its commitment towards enlargement.
When the decision about shifting the election date to the European Parliament to May was taken, an exceptional opportunity for the party campaigners in the Central and Eastern Europe seemed to arise. It had to be a relatively easy task to combine the stocktaking of the decade of EU membership with the positive narrative as to the future (mainly domestic) challenges, with the politicians ensuring to be the only ones able to properly cope with them and find the right answers.
Jihadism in Italy has followed a route that differs somewhat from the paths it has taken in most Western European countries. Italy was one of the first countries on the Continent to witness jihadist activities on a relatively large scale: as early as the first part of the 1990s, various Italian-based North African networks were playing a prominent role in the nascent global jihadist movement. Yet, in the early and mid-2000s, when most Western European countries were confronted by various challenges coming from both traditional and home-grown jihadist networks, the situation in Italy was relatively quiet.
This was the result of two factors. First, the pressure put by Italian authorities on structured networks either disrupted them or forced them to decrease the intensity of their activities. At the same time, this diminished role did not correspond to a growth of home-grown networks. Throughout the early and mid-2000s, Italian authorities did not detect any sign of the forms of home-grown radicalisation that were increasingly spotted throughout Europe.
Three years after the Libyan uprising in 2011, and a few days after the elections for the Constitutional Assembly, the country is preparing for the “Friends of Libya Conference” in Rome on March 6, designed to provide support on security, justice and the rule of law in the country. The conference, a follow-up to one a year ago in Paris, arrives against a background of continuing insecurity. The European Union and its individual members are trying to support Libyan transition, but, till now, they have had little impact on stabilization.
Executive branches of governments have always enjoyed a primacy in managing foreign policy and waging war. However, the highly influential parliamentary debates in the United Kingdom, the United States or France on the Syrian conflict have given rise to the perception that parliaments are becoming increasingly influent in first-order international affairs. When looking at recent developments concerning the Syrian crisis, could it be that parliamentary prerogatives in matters of foreign and defense policy are gaining new momentum?
Executive branches of governments have always enjoyed a primacy in managing foreign policy and waging war. However, in several contemporary constitutional systems this trend has been offset through (more or less effective) parliamentary powers. When looking at recent developments concerning the Syrian crisis, could it be that parliamentary prerogatives in matters of foreign and defense policy are gaining new momentum?
This Report is based on the International Workshop with academia, think tanks and media representatives entitled ‘Promoting Religious Freedom and Peaceful Coexistence’ held on 11 February 2013 at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome. The authors have not provided a simple summary of the proceedings but have constructed the report as a critical engagement and reflection of the workshop’s discussion in the context of the growing international attention given to the so-called international religious freedom agenda. As such the report reflects the authors’ personal and selective interpretations of the proceedings. It is offered for the consideration of policy-makers and various stake-holders as a contribution to the conceptual and policy debate on what is such a crucial issue for the future of a peaceful and multicultural international society. (...)
The existence of territorial and diplomatic disputes in East Asia raises serious concerns and, if escalated, could risk the region’s stability and prosperity. Focusing on three territorial and diplomatic disputes involving Japan, the Northern Territories, Takeshima, and the Senkaku Islands, this article explores ways to manage those disputes so as to maintain regional stability and prevent the situation from escalating in consistent with international law, practice and norms. The most basic principles to be adhered in this regard include, first, allowing the other party (or parties) to disagree, and second, maintaining the status quo not trying to change it by force. While these measures cannot by themselves solve the disputes, we at least need to prevent the current tensions from escalating into armed conflicts amongst the involved parties.
Undoubtedly, integrated Europe and the United Kingdom have a curious and strange relationship. Since the very beginning of the European integration process the UK showed skepticism and, often, annoyance. The reasons for such a feeling can be identified in the peculiar history of the British people: local conflicts led to stabilization, growth and imperial splendor. The end of the Second World War, nevertheless, introduced a new era of international dialogue, mutual respect and led almost inevitably to the decolonization process.
The economic crisis is severely affecting many EU policy areas. Observers have been looking very closely at the distressing effects brought about by the austerity measures implemented by European governments. However, little attention has been paid to the impact on the foreign policy of the European Union and its member states. This "ISPI Studies" intends to shed light on this issue and tries to understand to what extent this general disregard has being translating into an increasingly inward-looking attitude of the EU in times of crisis.
Europe’s weakness and a stronger China in Eurasia pose new challenges, among them new possibilities for both competition and cooperation.
Nevertheless China and the EU are not only powers and factors of the geopolitical equation in Central Asia understood as macro-region.
Furthermore, Central Asia is in the process of positioning itself at the vanguard in some hot issues of the global agenda.