Analysis: Ukraine and Moldova: Why is progress towards the rule of law so challenging?
In young and fragile democracies, the judiciary and public prosecutors are frequently instrumentalized for political gain. This is all the more damaging, given the key role played by judges and prosecutors in advancing the rule of law and the fight against corruption.
Analysis: The European Neighbourhood Policy 2021: New impulses for the south
The European Union wants to make its neighbourhood policy in the southern Mediterranean more dynamic from 2021. ” A democratic, more stable, greener and more prosperous Southern Neighbourhood” is the goal, as noted in the conclusions of the EU Council of December 11, 2020. The EU-27 is (re)setting this high standard for its actions and activities.
Analysis: Regionalisation of supply chains – will the EU’s neighbours benefit?
The corona crisis and its economic fallout are promoting a “reshoring” of supply chains by Europe’s businesses. Could the EU’s more immediate neighbours become alternative production sites for at least some of the goods now supplied by China and India? Our new Policy Brief weighs the pros and cons: A business location’s attractiveness is determined by more than just geographic proximity. Other factors also count, namely good governance, functioning state institutions and secure property rights.
Analysis: Anti-corruption measures in the South Caucasus – how fighting corruption can promote democracy and the rule of law
The rule of law is a key prerequisite for a functioning democracy, social justice, freedom and enduring peace. Unfortunately, so far it has remained a pipe dream for many people in the countries on Europe’s periphery. Studies on transformation regularly cite corruption as a leading disruptive factor.
Policy Brief: Geopolitical Ambitions in the Black Sea and Caspian Region
It’s common knowledge that the Russian Federation annexed Crimea in a flagrant flouting of international law. Less widely known, however, is the manner in which Russia is going about consolidating its position in the Black and Caspian Sea region. Increasingly, this part of the immediate EU Neighborhood is being transformed into a conflict zone. Our new policy paper examines how Russia, Turkey, China and other powers in the region interact there and explores Europe’s opportunities for action.
Analysis: How can the EU help the Western Balkans and itself?
Analysis: Nine years of war Who is helping the Syrians?
Twelve million Syrians need humanitarian aid every day, a sombre figure that conceals much suffering and high costs. Europe bears 80% of those costs. The financial aid planned for 2020/2021 is not enough. The EU is mobilising donations and counting on civil society. But to stop the suffering, Brussels must take a stronger stance politically.
Analysis : How Europe’s southern neighbours are experiencing the corona crisis
Surprisingly, the corona pandemic has not hit the crisis- and conflict-ridden societies in the EU’s southern neighbourhood as hard as was originally feared. This may be due to the early and strict lockdown implemented by those societies, and to their relatively young populations, the high level of commitment evinced by their civil societies, and their experience dealing with crises.
Analysis: How can EU member states and the EU alike improve their external crisis and conflict management capabilities?
With the book "Europe's Coherence Gap in External Crisis and Conflict Management. Political Rhetoric and Institutional Practise in the EU and Its Member States", the Bertelsmann Stiftung, together with the Centre for European Policy Studies and other experts from the EU member states, is presenting a comprehensive inventory of European civil-military capabilities in crisis and conflict management.
Analysis: In the corona crisis, who is the more reliable international partner?
The corona pandemic is affecting people in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood later than in other areas. Yet poorly equipped health-care systems and weak social programs mean the entire region will be severely impacted by the crisis. Some heads of government are already using the pandemic to expand their power.
Stakeholder Dialogue: The EU and its neighbours: How to strengthen the economy and civil society?
Learning from each other in order to strengthen their own economies through more partnership with the EU. In Marrakech, the Saham Foundation and the Bertelsmann Stiftung discussed possible solutions for achieving more intensive social and economic cooperation.
Commentary: Nine years after the end of dictatorship: Making international financial aid to Tunisia more effective
Tunisia is still the only functioning democracy in the Arab world. But the country urgently needs structural reforms. Europe should make its future financial injections dependent on the implementation of reform steps, recommend Christian-P. Hanelt and Isabelle Werenfels (SWP).
By Mihai-Razvan CormanThe Moldovan experiment of a coalition across geopolitical lines is over. Only five months after its inauguration, the country’s government, to which many have attached high expectations, collapsed. Similar to the movie “Groundhog Day”, yet another Moldovan government failed to push through a European reform agenda. Moldova continues to be a state captured by vested interests. Concern is warranted regarding the country’s future European orientation.
Analysis: Europe´s Coherence Gap in External Crisis and Conflict Management. The EU’s Integrated Approach between Political Rhetoric and Institutional Practice
The end of the Cold War initially relaxed the security situation in Europe and enabled the EU to press ahead with the peaceful unification of the continent due to its enlargement policy. The situation in the EU's neighbourhood and beyond was and is different.
Lunchtime Expert-Dialogue: "Revolution at the ballot box" in Ukraine 2019: Assessments on future domestic and foreign policy
2019 was a super election year in Ukraine - in March the Ukrainians elected Volodymyr Selenskyy as their president, in July the presidential party "Servants of the People" entered parliament with an absolute majority. With the local elections to follow in 2020, the political system is in a state of flux. But how will the new politicians, managers and deputies shape Ukraine over the next five years?
Stakeholder Dialogue: A decade of the European Union's Eastern Partnership – Evaluation of the present, shaping the future
The challenges in Eastern Europe relate closely to questions of coexistence in the EU. On May 29, the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s "Future of Europe" program therefore invited participants to a dialogue on the "eastern dimension of the EU," as part of regular cooperation between the Foundation and the EU presidencies, which Romania currently holds.
Policy Brief: The EU can overcome strategic deficits in and around Syria
Since 2015, more than one million Syrians have fled their country for Europe. In order to facilitate their voluntary return, a safe and secure environment grounded in a functioning rule of law must first be established in Syria. In targeting this goal, the EU and its member states should combine their foreign policy instruments and examine carefully the details of Russian, Turkish, Iranian, Saudi Arabian, U.S. and Israeli policies toward Syria. In a new policy brief, individual country experts explain how each of these key states operate in the Middle East and identify which interests Europe can assert – and how.
Commentary: Ukraine as a European oasis of prosperity – Vasyl Holoborodko’s vision proved convincing
More than two-thirds of Ukraine’s voters believe Volodymyr Zelensky can put the country squarely on the path to becoming a modern state – just like Vasyl Holoborodko, the admirable history teacher and recently elected president in Zelensky’s TV series “Servant of the People” did.
Stakeholder Dialogue: Tunisian DCFTA negotiation team meeting in Georgia to share experiences
On DATE, in advance of the fourth round of negotiations on a free trade agreement and deeper economic integration between the EU and Tunisia, 12 representatives of the Tunisian negotiating team and their chairwoman convened in the South Caucasus. The objective of the meeting was to learn more about Georgia’s experience with the EU free trade zone.
Conference: Assessing Ukraine's Anti-Corruption Results Since the Euromaidan
Five years ago, at the Euromaidan and several other Maidans across the country, the people of the sovereign state of Ukraine impressively demonstrated their decision in favour of a future of European values, fundamental rights and the rule of law. Fighting corruption has been one of the driving powers of the Revolution of Dignity and, according to opinion polls in the run up to the upcoming election, remains a priority for Ukrainians.
Exclusive Interview with Yossi Alpher and Ghassan Khatib: Learnings from 25 years of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process
On September 13, 1993, Israelis and Palestinians started a peace process while concluding an agreement of mutual understanding known as the Oslo Accords. 25 years later, two think tank veterans – Israeli Yossi Alpher and Palestinian Ghassan Khatib – share their experiences and learnings for the future of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Bertelsmann Stiftung`s Middle East expert, Christian Hanelt.
Commentary: Warning signs from Moldova – It’s time to rethink the EU Neighborhood Policy
On February 24th, the citizens of Moldova went to the polls to elect their new parliament. The fact that key monitoring reports took longer than usual to be delivered, shows just how much is at stake. Whether observers deem the election to have been free and fair will have a considerable impact on the future of this small country in the EU’s neighborhood, and on Europe as a whole.
Interview with Denis Cenusa: Moldova – Giving in to Oligarchs or Fighting for Values and Democracy?
Denis Cenusa is a political scientist from Moldova. He is affiliated to the independent Moldovan Think-Tank “Expert-Grup” and a weekly contributor to the “Info-Prim” Moldovan News Agency. Currently, he works as a researcher at Justus Liebig University in Giessen.
Analysis: Opponent or partner? The EU and the neighbours of their neighbours
Political decisions taken by Russia, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia have a direct impact on stability and prosperity in the neighborhood of the European Union and on the EU itself. In a new project activity focusing on the EU’s neighbours and initiated by Bertelsmann Stiftung, country experts are analyzing the interests of these "key states," as well as the goals of their policies and interdependencies among themselves and with the EU.
Conference: Tunisia and Eastern Europe: Peer Learning in Reform Policymaking
Tunisia is negotiating for more integration with Brussels. Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova see closer economic and legal ties to the EU as an opportunity to advance structural reforms in their respective countries. Engaging with each other in direct discussion over these issues has highlighted the different paths forward.
Comment: Understanding Russia is not the same thing as accepting Russia
At the beginning of the 2018 World Cup, the Bertelsmann Stiftung hosted a visitor from Moscow. Speaking on 20 June in Berlin, historian and journalist Irina Scherbakowa provided valuable insight into the current situation in her country.
Twelve Stars: Online Debate on the Future of the EU
Together with the "Twelve Stars" project the Bertelsmann Stiftung is initiating a pan-European online debate starting 18 May. The project aims to bring together leading EU experts and academics with citizens from across Europe to jointly discuss the most urgent questions about the future of Europe.
Brief Overview: Seven Years of Syrian Civil War
In March the conflict entered its eighth year of war. It began in 2011 with social and political protests, escalated into a civil war and developed into a proxy war of various actors. Among them, crucial are Iran, Russia, Turkey and increasingly Israel and the United States. Half of the Syrian population have either fled abroad or been displaced within the country.
Commentary: Putin before his Re-election - Increasing the Dose of Nationalism
In Russia, there is no doubt as to Vladimir Putin's re-election next Sunday. A high turnout, however, is doubtful. The only serious challenger, Alexei Navalny, who is not admitted as a candidate, is calling for an election boycott. Putin is mobilizing by demonstrating Russia's military clout. A commentary by our Senior Expert for Eastern Europe, Miriam Kosmehl.
Commentary: The Sporty Way to Spur Nationalism – Soccer World Cup as a Political Tool
Sports and its mega events have become a tool of government policy in Vladimir Putin's Russia. Sports policy is an essential part of strategies that borrow heavily from the Soviet past. A commentary by Miriam Kosmehl and Richard Arnold.
Commentary : Kurdish Referendum Causes Turbulences in the Middle East
New turbulence is gripping the war-torn Middle East. With an overwhelming majority, the Kurds in northern Iraq have voted for state independence. They are also calling for the payment of wages for the nearby victory over the “Islamic State”. The “yes” vote is highly symbolic, but not binding. Now the crucial issue is: in what form will the result play out politically? Nevertheless, Baghdad, Tehran, and Ankara have announced their Opposition.
Event: Securing a Good Neighbourhood in the South and East
Civil war in Syria, Libya and Eastern Ukraine, major economic and social problems in the North African states: Europe is currently surrounded by crises and conflicts. What can the "European Neighbourhood Policy" do here? We discussed this with a group of experts, including the foreign ministers of Estonia and Malta, in Berlin on 14 July.
Publication: Benefits and Costs of the DCFTA
What are benefits and costs of the free-trade agreements (DCFTA) between the EU and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine? And what has to happen so that their potential can be more beneficial?
Commentary: The Implications of Brexit for the EU
The UK´s decision to leave the EU defines a watershed moment in the history of European integration. For the first time a country will quit his EU membership. How should the EU react? Can the European integration project, as we know it, survive?
Study : The EU Deal to Avoid Brexit: Take It or Leave
At the European Council summit of February 18-19 a “New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union" was reached. The agreement marks a watershed in acknowledging that EU integration is not a one-directional process of ‘ever closer Union’. Different paths of integration are now open to member states that do not compel them towards a common destination.
EU Reform: Will Cameron Get What he Wants?
What next for the EU and Great Britain? European think tanks have simulated possible outcomes of future negotiations with London about EU reforms.
Strategy Paper: Tunisia Needs a Security Package
The assassination of tourists in Sousse is a call: Tunisia needs European help in implementing democracy and market economy as well as speedy and robust support in building up its security sector.
Conference: A New Departure for the European Union
Is the new-look EU capable of making a fresh start? What are the political challenges for 2015? How can the EU stabilize relations with its neighbors? These issues were the focus of this year’s “Brussels Think Tank Dialogue”.