TEPSA Brief: The issue of solidarity in the European Union, June 2012

by Andreas Raspotnik, Marine Jacob and Laura Ventura

The present paper briefly highlight European solidarity, including its public perceptionregarding three related and interdependent European agendas: 1) financial solidarity 2) asylum and border management solidarity and 3) social solidarity. As an exhaustive synopsis cannot be provided the paper aims to coherently tackle the notion of European solidarity, consequently setting academic and professional thinking.

Please download here below to read the entire brief and feel free to contact Andreas Raspotnik  (andreas•raspotnik©tepsa•eu)  Marine Jacob  (marine•jacob©coleurope•eu)   and Laura Ventura  (laura•ventura©tepsa•eu)   to discuss and to learn more on the future developments about this issue.

TEPSA Brief: Libya: A wakeup call for CSDP?, March 2012

By Nicole Koenig

In the past couple of years, there has been recurrent talk of ‘CSDP fatigue’. In the wake of the Libyan crisis, some even declared the death of the CSDP. Current developments indicate that the CSDP is not dead, although the Libyan crisis highlighted some of its existing flaws. These flaws include the lengthy and cumbersome planning process, the continued reticence of the Member States to use the EU’s rapid reaction instruments, internal coordination problems and military capability gaps. The on-going lessons learnt processes should be seen as an opportunity to tackle some of these weaknesses and to circumvent existing obstacles. This brief proposes measures to:

(1) increase the EU’s capacity for comprehensive, timely, and rapid planning;
(2) encourage a more proactive use of the EU’s rapid reaction instruments;
(3) learn the lessons for internal coordination; and
(4) ‘get real’ about pooling and sharing military capabilities.

If the EU misses this opportunity, there is a real risk that the CSDP will go back to sleep.

Please feel free to contact Nicole Koenig  (nicole•koenig©coleurope•eu)   to discuss and to learn more on the future developments about this issue.

TEPSA Brief: Time for a new generation of Trade Agreements?, February 2012

by James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh

For the past 9 years, the European Union (EU) has been negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with economic blocs of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The aim has been to ensure that trading with the region is compatible with rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and to promote regional integration among the ACP states as a means to integrate them into the global economy.

Although there has been some progress, the states of negotiations are far below expectation. Almost a decade of preparations and negotiations has resulted in the conclusion of only one regional EPA – the EU-CARIFORUM EPA adopted in October 2008. There remain six regional negotiations which have been stalled for the past 111 months due to unambiguous disagreements on several issues. Despite the efforts of the EU to push the negotiations ahead, there is still little hope for the conclusion of the regional EPAs in their existing forms any time soon. It is therefore recommended that the EU reconsiders the currently deep and comprehensive EPAs in favour of specific sector agreements. The EU could recognize its now WTO-compatible trade relations with the ACP region and faction specific Special Trade Agreements as a stepping stone towards a new generation of comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the region in the future, but only when the conditions are ripe.

Please feel free to contact James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh   (James•Nyomakwa-Obimpeh©tepsa•be)  to discuss and to learn more on the future developments about this issue.

TEPSA Brief: European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) – September 2010

by Laura Ventura

The Treaty of the EU introduced a new dimension of participatory democracy for European citizens. With its proposal, the European commission aims at enhancing citizens’ right to participate in the democratic life of the Union by enabling them to bring forward their concerns at the EU level.

This TEPSA brief intends to provide a description of this ongoing initiative while comparing it to initiatives at national level and assessing its democratic power.

Please click here to read the entire brief and feel free to contact Laura Ventura  (laura•ventura©tepsa•be)   to discuss and to learn more on the future developments about this issue.

TEPSA Brief on the Recommendations to the Czech Presidency, December 2008

TEPSA has a long tradition in offering recommendations to future Presidencies. TEPSA Brief No. 4 thus presents the recommendations from TEPSA Board members Iain Begg (LSE, London), Nikos Frangakis (EKEME, Athens), Gunilla Herolf (SIPRI, Stockholm) and Hanna Ojanen (UPI-FIIA, Helsinki) to the Czech Presidency.

TEPSA Brief: Energy Agency

The second issue is dedicated to the proposal for the establishment of an Agency for Cooperation on Energy Regulators.

TEPSA Brief: Energy Agency


TEPSA Brief is a monthly policy brief, which informs concisely about current and ongoing policies and developments in the European Union.

TEPSA Brief: European Leadership

The events of January 2009 reveal a picture which could hardly be more confusing: Whereas in the United States Barack Obama’s inauguration as President of the United States of America seems to demonstrate the maximum leadership possible, the European Union is currently led by a Presidency which puts own national considerations first. Both the positions of the President of the Commission and the High Representative – which will be merged with the Commissioner for External Relations when the Treaty of Lisbon will come into force – are subject to their five-yearly revisions in 2009. Thus, where is European leadership heading?


TEPSA Brief 1/2009 discusses in this context the topic of European leadership.

TEPSA Brief: EU’s Baltic strategy

EU’s Baltic strategy: realities of the crisis and the vision of a region


by Vadim Kononenko, Finnish Institute of International Affairs (vadim•kononenko©upi-fiia•fi)


How is the global economic crisis shaping the dynamics of cooperation around the Baltic sea? The

region’s image of “success story” quickly gave place to worries and doubts as the economies of the

Baltic countries plunged into recession. The crisis puts under question various ambitious plans and

strategies for the region’s development as a role model for global competitiveness, innovation and

cooperation. More importantly, the crisis reveals that “region-building”, which has been one of the

trademarks of EU’s policy-making, becomes increasingly problematic for both Brussels and national


TEPSA Brief: Eastern Partnership, July 2008

TEPSA Brief N° 1 summarizes the main findings and positions regarding the Eastern Partnership.

Please download the TEPSA Brief Eastern Partnership.



TEPSA Brief: Conclusions of the European Council

On 15/16 October 2008 the European Council met for the second time under the French Presidency. While the focus of the meeting was clearly placed on solutions for the financial crisis, also topics such as climate change and energy security were touched upon, as well as the follow-up to the crisis in Georgia. TEPSA Brief No. 3 summarizes the conclusions of the summit of 15/16 October 2008.