The Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs
The issue 3/2013 of the Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs was published in mid-September with a focus on border issues and the war in Ukraine. Contrary to what was hoped for during the heydays of globalization in the 1990’s, the world has not become borderless. There is a massive development of new barriers, border fences and highly controlled areas around Europe’s external borders and other parts of the world. In most cases, these rigid borders separate wealthy people from the poor.
In the profile interview, Ilkka Laitinen, the former director of EU’s border agency Frontex, explains why sending more patrols to borders will not stop illegal immigration to Europe. In another high profile interview, MEP Olli Rehn, looks back at the key decisions made during his term as EU’s economic commission¬er. Rehn acknowledges that Germany has consolidated its position as EU’s leading nation but advises Finland to seek also other partners inside EU.
The Journal can be read both as a printed journal and as an e-paper at www.lehtiluukku.fi. Selected full text articles are available at www.ulko¬politiikka.fi.
Andrei Yeliseyeu: Keeping the Door ajar: Local border traffic regimes on the EU’s eastern borders
The EU eastward 2004 enlargement and the consequent entry of new EU member states into the Schengen area in December 2007 resulted in a considerable increase in visa fees and complications concerning visa procedures for applicants. This ushered in a sharp decrease in the number of issued visas, especially in Ukraine, Belarus and the Kaliningrad oblast (Russia). As a result, the Local Border Traffic (LBT) Regulation appeared to be a timely legal tool for the eastern EU member states to mitigate the negative effects of their accession to the Schengen area and to keep the borders ajar for legitimate border-crossing for family, cultural, social and economic reasons.
The 2006 EU Regulation makes it possible for the EU countries and Schengen non-EU members to conclude agreements with neighbouring third states on a visa-free land border-crossing regime for border residents (30-50 km zone on both sides of the border). As of early 2014, out of the 14 border sections at the EU’s eastern borders, namely the borders with Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova, 8 are covered by an operational LBT regime.
Since the adoption of the LBT Regulation, about 600,000 local border traffic permits have been issued, which allowed for many millions of border-crossings and stays in the adjacent border areas without visas. The impact of the LBTRs is multidimensional, with various effects on the mobility of the border population, and the economic and social development of the borderlands. The aim of this report is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the functioning and potential LBT regimes on the European Union’s and Norway’s eastern borders.
Matthew Hoddie: Managing Conflict after Civil War: The Power-Sharing and Power-Dividing Approaches
This paper considers two institutional alternatives for managing conflict following the negotiated settlement of civil war. The most common set of institutional structures that former civil war combatants adopt are associated with power sharing. These power-sharing institutions may be constructed across the political, military, territorial, and economic dimensions of state power. Recent research suggests that post-civil war states that specify greater numbers of power-sharing institutions within their peace agreements tend to have a lower risk of the re-initiation of conflict. At the same time, critics of power sharing emphasize that these mechanisms lack a capacity to foster common identities among rivals and have characteristics that are inconsistent with the principles of democracy.
An alternative to power sharing for states that are emerging from civil war is the adoption of power-dividing institutions. The core features of the power-dividing approach are limiting the scope of government authority and establishing a wide-ranging system of checks and balances intended to manage the competing interests within a country. In many respects, these institutional structures parallel those established by the constitution of the United States. Those who are sceptical about the power-dividing approach, however, point out that these institutions have not yet been adopted in any state emerging from civil war. It thus remains unclear how effective these structures would be at managing conflict within this particularly challenging environment.
Sean Roberts, Anaïs Marin, Arkady Moshes, Katri Pynnöniemi: The Eurasian Economic Union: Breaking the pattern of post-Soviet integration?
The Eurasian Economic Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia consolidates a market of 170 million people with a combined GDP of almost 3 trillion US dollars. On paper, this union has the potential to transform economic relations in the region and to offer an alternative to the EU in the post-Soviet space.
The Union, which comes into effect from January 2015, marks the latest achievement in the current ‘intensive phase’ of integration, which has seen the creation of a Eurasian Customs Union (2010), a Single Economic Space (2012) and a Eurasian Economic Commission (2012), all intended to facilitate the four economic freedoms – the free movement of goods, people, services and capital. Expanding the Union is also seen as a priority, with Armenia set to join the Customs Union and Kyrgyzstan already at an advanced stage of negotiation.
However, despite early successes, further deepening and widening of the Union are fraught with difficulties and the pace of integration will inevitably slow, as member states come to terms with the commitments they have made. Plans to deepen the Union have encountered a number of implementation issues leading to multi-speed integration from the outset. Likewise, plans to expand the Union have revealed a creeping politicisation that threatens to undermine the ‘economic only’ nature of this integration project.
More importantly, the latest phase of post-Soviet integration shows strong signs that the older problems of weak institutions and large asymmetry between member states are continuing to hinder closer ties. Taken together, and against the backdrop of an increasingly hostile international environment that has accompanied the crisis in Ukraine, the Eurasian Economic Union faces an uphill struggle to maintain momentum and deliver the results member states desire.
András Rácz: Divided Stands the Visegrad? The V4 have been united towards the Ukraine crisis but remain split concerning Russia
The destabilization of Ukraine and the possible escalation of the crisis have presented a direct security risk to the Visegrad countries – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – particularly concerning military security, the potential interruption of energy transit, and the possible influx of refugees. These factors have forced the Visegrad states to show unprecedented unity and activism in addressing the crisis.
However, regarding the possibility of sanctioning Russia, the Visegrad Group is unable to take a joint position. The main reason for this is that Russia does not pose a direct military threat to the region.
Consequently the individual policies of the Visegrad countries towards Russia are defined by a constellation of geopolitical concerns, normative motivations, business interests and domestic political ambitions, which are decidedly different in all four cases.
Domestic political motivations, such as the will to increase domestic legitimacy, and concerns over the economic effects of sanctions, obviously influence the foreign policy actions of the Visegrad governments. However, Viktor Orbán of Hungary was the only one to break the Visegrad solidarity on Ukraine with his domestically-motivated remarks in May 2014 and demanding autonomy for Hungarians living in the Trans-Carpathian region.
As most normative, business and domestic political motivations are of a lasting strategic nature, it is highly likely that the general incoherence of the Visegrad region regarding Russia will prevail.
Sanna Salo: Eurosceptics in the 2014 EP Elections: Protest parties mobilized on national cleavages between globalization winners and losers
In the May 2014 European Parliament elections, Eurosceptic parties mobilized on a new cleavage between the winners and losers of globalization, which mainstream parties have neglected.
The Eurosceptic surge should not be regarded merely as populism or protest, but a legitimate articulation of concerns about the new economic underclass – the globalization losers.
The articulation of the new cleavage varies according to domestic political contexts and traditions: in France, the Front National mobilized on themes of ethnic unity and national sovereignty; in Germany, the Alternative für Deutschland raised concerns over monetary independence in the eurozone, while in the UK, UKIP campaigned with anti-immigration and economic welfare themes.
Since the EP elections, the Eurosceptics have seemed intent on polishing their images and on being perceived as respectable office-seeking parties, both in the EP and at domestic levels.
Respectability requires a non-xenophobic agenda: in the EP, other Eurosceptics refused to cooperate with the FN due to the party’s anti-semitic past; yet the AfD, mobilizing on a more economic agenda, managed to join the ECR group dominated by British Conservatives, while UKIP managed to reform its EFD group.
Katri Pynnöniemi: Russian thinking in the Ukraine crisis: From drawing a line of defence to seeing a threat to national security
Three articles written by Russian foreign policy analyst Sergei Karaganov and published at the turning points of the Ukraine conflict shed light on how the reasoning on Russia’s strategic interests in Ukraine has evolved amid the conflict.
The meaning of the conflict, as explained in the first essay, is that Russia is drawing a line of defence against Western interference in its sphere of interest.
In the second essay, the assertion that with the Crimean operation Russia has forced the West to put an end to the Cold War, is reconfigured into a choice that Russia needs to make between the Western or non-Western path.
Finally, in an essay written after the downing of flight MH17, it is argued that without de-escalation the situation in Donbass will become a threat to Russian national security.
The evolution of the argumentation shows that some sort of ‘reality check’ has occurred in the vicinity of the general line. However, while the dangers inherent in the conflict are recognized, Karaganov fails to acknowledge Russia’s active involvement in the conflict.
Kristi Raik: Another try for Ukraine and Europe: Tensions between the EU and Russia continue as Ukraine aims to build a functioning European state
For a second time since the failed attempt of last November, Ukraine is gearing up to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union – this time on 27 June. The Ukrainians have chosen their domestic development path, which is closely tied to the country’s foreign policy orientation.
Charly Salonius-Pasternak: Kriisinhallinnan aikakausi Natossa päättyy: Muutokset horjuttavat Suomen aitaa
András Rácz: Putin’s Humanitarian Convoy and the Road to Ukraine: Russia may intend to change the course of the fighting
By using the humanitarian convoy as a pretext, Moscow may seek to establish an open, legitimate-looking ground presence in Eastern Ukraine, thus blocking the continuation of Kyiv’s military operation there, and sustaining the rule of pro-Russian separatists.
Niklas Helwig: Two foreign policy chiefs for Europe? Donald Tusk’s election could boost the foreign policy profile of the European Council President
The appointment of Donald Tusk and Federica Mogherini indicates a further shift in the dynamics of EU foreign policy-making towards the European Council. The two leaders will have to avoid rivalry and use their powers in Brussels to improve the EU’s international profile.
Arkady Moshes: A pause in the conflict in Ukraine: The moment to step up Western involvement in the country
Make no mistake: the ceasefire in Donbass, agreed upon in Minsk on September 5, does not herald stability and a sustainable resolution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Toni Alaranta: ‘New Turkey’ has to face the regional realities: Turkey’s Islamic identity has resulted in a bold foreign policy
The narrative of true Muslims re-conquering the Turkish state is a crucial component explaining the AKP’s policies and its continuing success. However, the reality of the Middle East doesn’t correspond to Turkey’s vision of itself as a regional leader.
Mari Neuvonen: What can the EU do for Gaza? Existing instruments should be utilised to support lifting the Gaza blockade
The EU should focus on its civilian crisis management missions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in order to contribute to lifting the Gaza blockade. In this way, the EU could also promote the ‘bottom-up’ confidence-building needed to find a sustainable solution for Gaza.
Bart Gaens: Japan warms to collective self-defence: The constitutional reinterpretation is in line with other recent shifts in defence policy
The Japanese government has issued a reinterpretation of the constitution in order to allow Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defence. While seemingly of minor importance, the new procedure, together with other recent changes in defence policy, risks exacerbating the arms race in Asia in the longer term.