Recent publications from IAI, Autumn 2016

Ten new reports on European Union by the Istituto Affari Internazionali  – IAI, September-December 2016 


Italy’s Role in Europe under Renzi, by Ettore Greco, (Documenti IAI 16|20) December 2016, 9 p.

The Renzi government has pursued two main and interconnected objectives within the EU: the defence and promotion of Italy’s role, not least in response to the ever-looming risk of marginalization; and the creation of new forms of integration and solidarity among member states, particularly in such sectors as the economy and migration, where vital national interests are at stake. However, Italy continues to find itself in a position of inherent weakness due to a series of persistent structural problems including massive public debt and a fragile banking system. There have been unprecedentedly sharp tensions with the European Commission and Germany on Italy’s compliance with the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact and other fiscal rules. In parallel, the Renzi government has continued to demand a redefinition of the EU’s economic priorities and strategy that, in addition to a greater flexibility on national budgetary policies, would allow for broader risk sharing and a more effective anti-cyclic effort at the European level. It has also advanced a number of proposals on migration, calling for a real collective management of the refugee crisis based on the principles of solidarity and a more equitable burden sharing. However, on both fronts – migration and economic policy – most of the reform plans have been frozen or remained a dead letter. This has contributed to fuelling anti-EU sentiments among the Italian public. The Renzi government has tried to cultivate preferential relations with Germany and France but a big three format is unlikely to consolidate into a group capable of providing effective leadership at the EU level given the growing complexities of the diplomatic game within the EU. In fact, the advancement of a credible reform agenda requires a broader agreement among Eurozone members.

Did 2016 Mark a New Start for EU External Migration Policy, or Was It Business as Usual? By Anja Palm, (Working paper 16|33) November 2016, 17 p.

2016 has been sold as the year of innovative EU external migration policies. Have recent EU decisions and initiatives in this field really represented a change in direction? This paper argues that the EU’s external migration policy has long been based on the principles of externalization of migration control and conditionality in the relationship with third countries. The securitization of the EU’s external borders has long existed along with the lack of adequate legal migration channels. This has come at the cost of the protection of migrants’ and especially refugees’ rights. The EU-Turkey agreement and the New Partnership Framework are examined in order to assess whether they represent a change of this trend or merely its latest manifestation. The paper concludes that, despite some clear steps forward in 2016, there is still much left to do in order to create a real framework of common external migration action which moves away from securitization and externalization towards a protection-sensitive entry system.

EUnited Against Crime: Improving Criminal Justice in European Union Cyberspace, by Tommaso de Zan & Simona Autolitano (eds.), (Documenti IAI 16|17) November 2016, 96 p.

In today’s ultra-connected world, much of our life occurs online. From watching TV series on Netflix, buying discounted airplane tickets on Kayak, to chatting with an old friend living in another continent on Facebook, it is hard to imagine a “disconnected” life. Despite the benefits generated by increased connectivity and more powerful processing tools, ICT systems have not only been employed to foster social and economic development. Terrorists and cybercriminals are increasingly using cyberspace to conduct their malfeasances. In June 2016, the Council of the European Union underlined the importance of improving the effectiveness of criminal justice in cyberspace. Using the Council conclusions as a starting point, the paper provides some “policy suggestions” for the ongoing debate taking place within EU institutions. In order to do so, the paper seeks to answer three main questions: What are the main challenges that EU member states face today when they collect e-evidence? How are they tackling these issues? Can an EU common framework provide solutions to solve these problems?

Mapping Member States’ Stances in a Post-Brexit European Union, by Eleonora Poli  (IAI Working Papers 16|31) November 2016, 17 p.

During the 2016 Bratislava Summit, European Union member states concluded that although the UK vote to leave the EU is a serious matter, the EU can survive a British exit. Nonetheless, the current political atmosphere is one of deep unease. Brexit has exacerbated a general European malaise, highlighting member states’ struggle in reaching agreement when dealing with EU matters. This will have a fundamental impact on future negotiations with Britain. To date, while countries are afraid that public opinion might support exit referenda at national levels – especially if EU institutions negotiate too “soft” a deal with the UK – their ideas regarding a British exit agreement are not always aligned. In an attempt to foresee the UK-EU negotiating pattern, this paper will map the member states’ views, which the EU should take into consideration while discussing the exit deal with the UK.

European Security Governance and Transatlantic Relations, by Matteo Brunelli, (Documenti IAI 16|15) November 2016, 12 p.

The Middle East and North Africa are in turmoil, Europe’s security is inextricably linked to what happens in this region, and yet the EU has limited capacities to change realities on the ground. These are three of the main messages of the EU Global Strategy presented in June 2016. The document presents Europeans and the wider world with a vision on the international context in which the EU will operate in the coming years. It depicts a complex, contested and connected world, where the EU’s strategic interests must be coherent with its values. It also espouses the concept of principled pragmatism as a guide for the EU’s external action in the years ahead and mentions the concept of resilience more than forty times. The strategy acknowledges that the EU is not alone, that it needs to partner to be influential and that it has an interest in promoting cooperative regional orders. In the framework of the MENARA project, let’s launch a discussion on what could be the practical implications of this new vision for EU policies in the Middle East and North Africa in the next decade.

The Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Between Mutual Distrust and Interdependency, by Bilge Yabanci, (FEUTURE paper no. 3) November 2016, 37 p.

This paper aims to assess the significance of Brexit for the future of the UK as a unitary state and to identify various possible outcome to the future of the UK. The first part provides an overview of the current status of Scotland and Northern Ireland in the UK and the differences between both cases. The second part of the article assesses the significance of the EU for the devolved administrations and analyses key party responses to the Brexit debate in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In conclusion the impact of Brexit on the future of the UK as unitary state is assessed.

The EU’s Struggle with Normative Leadership in Sub-Saharan Africa, by Bernardo Venturi, (IAI Working Papers 16|29) November 2016, 20 p.

This paper provides an overview of the European Union’s relations with Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in the fields of peace and security and of development cooperation. Africa and Europe are close neighbours and the EU has a strong interest in strengthening relations with SSA countries and organisations. The EU’s complex and multi-layered development cooperation in Africa is presented analysing the main agreements and some critical issues, such as the link with trade liberalisation over development or conditionality to incentivise democratic governance. At the same time, addressing the instability of the African continent represents a major concern for EU Member States, as they are experiencing its repercussions in terms of irregular immigration, drugs, arms and human trafficking, terrorism and organised crime. The main strategic strands and tools of the EU as a peace and security provider in Africa are presented and analysed. On the basis of the most recent trends in the EU’s development and security relations with SSA, the paper formulates a series of policy recommendations for the EU and the US on how to engage in SSA, also triangulating with other global powers.

Mapping Periods and Milestones of Past EU-Turkey Relations, by Hanna-Lisa Hauge, et. al., (FEUTURE paper no. 2) September 2016, 24 p.

This Working Paper aims to embed FEUTURE’s analysis of drivers of EU-Turkey relations in a historical context. It does so by outlining and discussing several narratives which represent influential interpretations of EU-Turkey relations at different times in history. It is argued that narratives on EU-Turkey relations became increasingly competitive in the course of time, both within EU and Turkey as well as between them. The paper maps these changes of narratives in light of different historical milestones and phases. The periodization also serves to outline trends of conflict, cooperation and convergence as manifested in the political discourse. Thereby, the paper also serves as starting point for the ensuing qualitative analysis of a vast set of sources, representing the debates in Turkey and the EU.

Turkey and the European Union: Scenarios for 2023, by Nathalie Tocci, (FEUTURE paper no. 1) September 2016, 16 p.

FEUTURE – Future of EU-TUrkey RElations – analyses the past, present and future drivers of the EU-Turkey relationship. In order to navigate the possible future, a compass is necessary. This paper establishes this compass by imagining, delineating and systematizing three reference scenarios in order to organize subsequent research and eventually map out a most likely “feuture”. Drawing from Schwartz, the aim of these scenarios is to construct different pathways that might exist in future, suggesting and informing appropriate scholarly analysis or policy decisions that may be taken along those possible paths. Several conditions are proposed for the realisation of possible conflictual, cooperational or converging futures, taking into consideration forms of differentiated integration relating to these ideal-type scenarios.

The International Spectator, Vol. 51, No.3, September 2016

The Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy, “Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe”, presented at the European Council on 24 June 2016 by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, was drafted by Nathalie Tocci, Deputy Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and co-editor of The International Spectator. Given the importance of the document, we asked Nathalie for an interview and 18 foreign policy experts from around the world to comment on it.