European Parliament workshop’s proceedings on the Role of the European External Action Service in Consular Protection and Services for EU Citizens, January 2013

Cover website role of EEAS on consular protection

By Anita Sęk

The workshop concerning the role of the EEAS in Consular Protection and Services for EU Citizens was organised at the European Parliament in Brussels on 9 January 2013. The workshop was chaired by Elmar BROK, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the following speakers took part: Pierre VIMONT, Executive Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS); Charles HAY, Director Consular Services at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom; Aurora DÍAZ-RATO, Ambassador, Special Adviser at the State Secretariat for EU Affairs, Spain; and Kristi RAIK, Researcher, Finnish Institute for International Affairs (FIIA). Additional remarks were presented by Chiara ADAMO, Head of Unit Union Citizenship and Free Movement, DG Justice, European Commission; and Edit BAUER, Rapporteur from Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

European Parliament’s Study on the EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa : A Critical Assessment of Impact and Opportunities, October 2012

Cover website Horn of AfricaAdoption of the Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa should open new opportunities for successful engagement in the region. More coherent action creates the opportunity for the EU to be recognised in the region as an actor in its own right, and with the influence that the scale of its engagement should bring. The appointment of an EUSR for the Horn of Africa should allow the EU to speak more clearly with one voice in the region. Doing so would allow the EU to exploit more fully its comparative advantage in the region: as a bloc, it is one of the most significant sources of assistance and investment into the region and an important trade partner. The EU is clearly active across the region, especially through high profile engagement in Somalia and the Sudans. However, quiet engagement in Ethiopia and Eritrea presents the greatest new opportunity to influence constructive shifts in regional security and economic dynamics. This was true before the recent death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, and is even more the case now. Strengthening IGAD will also be essential if the region’s potential and the EU’s goals are to be realised.

Developments in and Obstacles to the US Pivot to Asia: What Alternatives for Europe? by Alessandro Riccardo Ungaro, IAI Working Papers, 24 September 2012

The US strategic guidance released in January 2012 represents a hallmark of US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and forms integral part of the so-called “Pivot to Asia”. Rather than a radical departure from the past, the strategic guidance represents an evolution of US foreign policy towards the region, envisaging the reallocation of American military assets from Europe to the Asia-Pacific. Challenges, tensions and frictions between the US and regional actors may however hamper the implementation of the policy and require a delicate balancing act in which China will play a key role. On the European side, the US shift should be seen as an opportunity for the EU to review its policy priorities and elaborate its own strategy towards Asia.

Please read the entire working paper here.

“The Moral Enigma of an Intervention in Syria: A Just War Analysis” by Niamh Maria O’Sullivan, The Moral Enigma of an Intervention in Syria: A Just War Analysis Niamh Maria O’Sullivan, IAI Working Paper, 22 August 2012

Few issues in international politics have sparked more debate this year than the events unfolding in Syria. What began 17 months ago as peaceful marches seeking reform has brought Syria to the brink of a civil war that threatens to stop the Arab Spring dead in its tracks. As the death toll rises and accusations of crimes against humanity mount against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ruling Ba’ath Party, many are calling for an armed intervention to put an end to the Assad regime’s widespread human rights abuses. Finding the right way forward for Syria, however, is proving elusive and so we turn to philosophy and, in particular, to Just War theory for guidance. Though often criticized as a soft or unrealistic approach to foreign policy, principles like just cause and proportionality guide our way through the moral enigma that has confounded the international community since the uprising began. The answers are far from easy. As the battle for Syria rages on, the most ethical, and difficult, thing to do might just be to stay out.

Please read the entire working paper here.

European Parliament workshop report on the Responsibility to Protect, March 2012

Cover website Responsiblity to ProtectBy Marlene Gottwald

Since its endorsement in the UN World Summit Outcome Document in 2005, the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) principle remains rather weakly defined in international law. However it has made some political and institutional progress within the United Nations (UN) system. Most recently, it has been applied in practice with regards to the military operation in Libya.

 

European Parliament’s study on Towards a More Comprehensive, Strategic and Cost-effective EU Foreign Policy : The Role of National Parliaments and the European Parliament, March 2012

Cover website cost-effective foreign policyThis study explores the powers of the EP and six selected national parliaments (the British, Danish, French, Irish, Italian and Polish) in setting, amending and scrutinising budgets. It then considers European engagement in three conflict regions – Libya, Palestine and Afghanistan – assessing how the selected parliaments have overseen various aspects of foreign policy, including finance for core activities and responses to sudden crises, and considers whether there are possible synergies between national and European budgets in foreign policy broadly defined.

European Parliament’s Study on The EU Foreign Policy towards the BRICS and other Emerging powers: objectives and strategies, October 2011

Cover website BRICS and other emerging powersFive years after the launch of the ‘BRIC’ acronym, Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2006 started a process of political dialogue, with South Africa being admitted as a new member in 2011 – leading to the transformation of ‘BRIC’ into ‘BRICS’. This study demonstrates that the BRICS countries are not acting systematically as a coherent bloc in the UN and other international forums. However, their coordination within the BRICS framework as well as within other forums such as the G20 have an impact upon international negotiations – leading to negative effects for the EU’s ability to pursue its interests. This also points to the major failure of the EU’s ’strategic partnerships‘ with the individual BRICS countries. The strategic partnership concept has been mainly important in rhetorical terms. The EU has not been able to use these partnerships to substantially upgrade its relations with the BRICS countries or to prepare itself to the shifting balance of power to the South and the Asian-Pacific region. This study presents several options for the EU to further develop the strategic partnerships and with policy recommendations to engage more actively with new and emerging powers.

Authors: researchers from the University of Leuven, Belgium and the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Helsinki

European Parliament’s study on Impact of sanctions and isolation measures with North Korea, Burma/Myanmar, Iran and Zimbabwe as case studies, May 2011

Cover website impact of sanctionsThe present study explores how the introduction of targeted sanctions has transformed the practice of international organisations, looking at the examples of North Korea, Burma/Myanmar, Iran and Zimbabwe. Although the ultimate effectiveness of the individual sanctions measures can hardly be ascertained, not least due to their co-existence with unilateral sanctions proactively enforced by the US, the analysis demonstrates that the character of sanctions measures, and the changing nature of the international system, has put the use of sanctions and isolation measures in different terms than was the case just a couple of decades ago. While it is beyond the scope of this study to reframe the scholarly and policy controversies on the use of sanctions, it is posited that such debate should shift from the “whether” sanctions should be used to the “how” sanctions should be employed, and that the quality of the public debate would benefit from enhanced public awareness of the EU’s policies in this regard. Finally, the study concludes that despite the absence of formal decision making powers over EU sanctions policies, the European Parliament can play a decisive role in their formulation building up on its proactive record in the scrutiny of EU foreign policy. It should enhance its contribution by requesting from the Council to report regularly on the design of sanctions, their use in negotiations with the target, their role in supporting reformists within the elites and the position of democratic forces, their conformity with human rights and their ultimate political efficacy.

European Parliament’s study on The EU as a Global Actor : Its Evolving Role in Multilateral Organizations, March 2011

Cover website multilateral organisationsThis study explores ways through which the EU could meet ifs full potential as a global actor and, specifically how it can act more effective in the multilateral organizations and forums. The main obstacle for the EU is the fragmented and divergent positions among the member states that occasionally arise over major international issues, and prevent the Union from acting with speed and determination required in international affairs. The departure point of this analysis is a thorough assessment of the Lisbon Treaty. The latter provides the EU with legal personality and with new tools and competences that, if there was enough political will, could enable it to maximize its current capacity to act. Assessed against the division of competences between the EU and its Member States enshrined in the Treaty, the study looks at the current status of the EU in the most important multilateral organizations that form the central nucleus of the world governance, both in the political, defense and economic realms. For each of those organizations, the report proposes ways and means to enhance the membership status and influence of the Union. At the same time, it is recognized that the international architecture is clearly imperfect and unsuitable for global governance, often reflecting the old order and powers that emerged from World War II. Therefore, this report also provides suggestions on how to reform the system for global governance if it is to be more representative and efficient while allowing a more adequate insertion of the EU.

Authors: Vicente Palacio (Fundación Alternativas), Manuel V. De La Rocha (Fundación Alternativas), José Luis Escario (Fundación Alternativas) and Doménec Ruiz (Fundación Alternativas)

Conference “The Democratic control of the European Foreign, security and defense policy”, 15th of November 2010, European Parliament, Brussels.

The Conference “The Democratic control of the European Foreign, security and defense policy”, was organized by the . Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) – TEPSA.

Following the transformations in the process of European integration triggered by the Treaty of Maastricht, a contentious debate has started over the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. Even though this debate has focused mainly on Community activities, it has recently been extended to the instruments and procedures of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The debate over the democratic control of foreign, security and defence policy, that has revolved among other things on the level where this control should be situated (national, EU or transnational parliamentary bodies), has acquired a renewed importance and urgency following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. On the one hand, the creation of new figures and bodies, and especially the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European External Action Service (EEAS), creates new opportunities for the European Parliament to control European foreign and security policy. On the other hand, on 31 March WEU members decided to terminate the founding Treaty and wind up the organisation and its bodies and on that occasion also called for the enhancement of dialogue among national parliaments in order to ensure an appropriate parliamentary control of European security and defence policy.

Several TEPSA researchers have examined this issue of democratic control on EU’s foreign and security policy more in depth in three papers that have been presented during the seminar. We would like to discuss their findings with you. The seminar has dealt with the following topics:

Session 1. The saliency of the issue of the democratic control of European foreign, security and defence policy.

Paper by: Graham Avery, Senior Member of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and Honorary Member of the Board, TEPSA; and Gunilla Herolf, Senior Researcher, SIPRI, Stockholm, and Member of the Board, TEPSA

Session 2. The level of democratic parliamentary control: national, transnational or European?

Paper by: Hanna Ojanen, Director of research, SIIA, Stockholm, and Member of the Board, TEPSA

Session 3. The Lisbon Treaty and the powers of the European Parliament in the democratic control of CFSP-CSDP

Paper by: Michele Comelli, Senior Fellow, IAI, Rome

The conference has been held on Monday 15 November 2010 from 10.30 to 16.00 at the European Parliament and was organised in cooperation with the Polish Delegation EPP/ the Member of the European Parliament Jacek Saryusz-Wolski.

The Final report from the conference is available at this link.