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Politics

Preparing Europe for the next 25 years

Title Original Language: 
Préparer l'Europe pour les 25 prochaines années
Abstract Original Language: 
'Préparer l'Europe pour les 25 prochaines années' est une contribution du Secrétaire Général du Parlement européen pour ESPAS (The European Strategy and Policy Analysis System). ESPAS est un cadre de coopération et de consultation, au niveau administratif, sur une base volontaire, entre le Parlement européen, la Commission européenne, le Conseil de l'Union européenne et le Service d'Action extérieure, avec le Comité des Régions et le Comité économique et social en tant qu'observateurs, dans le but d'analyser ensemble les tendances à court et moyen termes pertinentes pour l'Union européenne
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Preparing Europe for the next 25 years is a contribution from the Secretary General of the European Parliament to the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS). ESPAS provides a framework for cooperation and consultation at administrative level, on a voluntary basis, between the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European External Action Service, with the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee as observers, to work together on medium and long-term trends facing or relating to the European Union.
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37
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Conceivable Surprises

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Russia’s foreign policy has taken numerous unexpected turns since 2013. Developments such as the annexation of Crimea, the military intervention in Syria, the crisis in relations with Turkey and the instrumentalisation of obscure incidents such as the “Lisa F. case” to discredit the German government all took most Western experts and decision-makers by surprise. Moscow appears to be using unpredictability tactically to take the initiative vis-à-vis other actors. In the process, the Kremlin is deliberately taking risks with potentially unforeseeable consequences for European and inter-national security. The lack of transparency in decision-making processes and the absence of open public debate also make Russia’s foreign policy actions difficult to assess. Moreover, with decision making processes in Russia highly centralised and monopolised, the Kremlin is in a position to act rapidly and does not need to consult with international partners or take account of democratic procedures and domestic political reservations.
That does not mean, however, that there is no room for Germany and Europe to be better prepared. This study identifies conceivable surprises in Russian foreign policy that should expand our thinking about the activities of the political leadership in Moscow.
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78
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Regional innovation ecosystems - Learning from the EU's cities and regions

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This book is produced by the Members of the European Committee of the Regions in close collaboration with Europe's cities and regions. The book is all about pioneering cities and regions - or reviewing the content of the book from activities perspective: about regional innovation ecosystems. In recent years it has increasingly become apparent that only through sharing knowledge and working in partnership it is possible to create truly competitive and sustainable economies meeting the needs of the 21st century. In order to achieve this, the European Union can and must work with and for our citizens. For this to happen we need to achieve a change in mindset. This publication therefore seeks to stimulate bench-learning between regions and cities, sparking new ideas and fundamentally stirring economic development. Presenting some of the most inspiring projects across the EU, this book offers readers an opportunity to understand and explore how Europe's cities and regions are breaking new ground in regional development. The European Committee of the Regions is the EU's Assembly of 350 regional and local representatives from all 28 Member States, representing over 507 million Europeans. This book is an essential part of the process of implementing our political priorities for 2015-2020 and giving Europe's citizens the fresh start they need. In order to overcome its current challenges, Europe must establish a culture of co-creation and break its boundaries by moving towards entrepreneurial discovery, open innovation, experimentation and action
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288
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Public opinion and EU policies - Exploring the expectations gap

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, July 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Citizens’ expectations of the European Union vary widely across policy areas. A Eurobarometer survey of the European Parliament – Europeans in 2016: Perceptions and expectations, fight against terrorism and radicalisation – seeks to identify those areas in which EU citizens want to see the Union doing more. Having identified areas in which there is a gap between the EU’s current action and citizens’ expectations of the Union, the next step is to look at the potential – within the constraints of the EU legal foundations – for the EU to do more to meet citizens’ expectations.
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72
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The Future of US Global Leadership Implications for Europe, Canada and Transatlantic Cooperation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Today’s global challenges are developing faster than ever as the world grows more interdependent. Advanced technologies are empowering individuals and organizations in new and unpredictable ways, creating new partnerships but also enabling the rise of new adversaries. A wide array of actors – from non-state groups to rogue states to revisionist powers – are testing these new tools. In parallel, the international system built in the second half of the 20th century is being challenged by emerging regional and global powers, while environmental and other transnational issues have become a determining factor in geopolitics. The resulting complexity and growing number of challenges have made the global security environment more difficult to navigate. It is in this context that the transatlantic relationship is evolving.
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20
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The Future of Capitalist Democracy UK–Japan Perspectives

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Domestic political backlashes against inequality, corporate malfeasance and the stagnation of real incomes over the past decade are being reinforced by uncertainties about the durability of the post-Cold War international order. Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, China’s strategic and territorial claims in the South China and East China seas, the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Syrian civil war, the migrant crisis affecting Europe and the Mediterranean, and evolving threats to cyber security – all constitute serious challenges to the rules of the global game.
A natural, and perhaps inevitable, question that emerges in the light of such concerns is: ‘How can the United Kingdom and Japan work together to deal with these issues?’ This, however, is a question more appealing to diplomats than to scholars or journalists. We are sceptical about the idea that bilateral cooperation can play a significant role in these matters, even if we are not at all opposed to it. Rather, we feel – and our feeling was confirmed by the September discussions – that what is most valuable is to enhance British and Japanese awareness and understanding of each other’s perspectives and, in particular, of the differences in emphasis or priority seen in the two countries, and thereby to help each other promote solutions more effectively in multilateral forums.
This essay aims to contribute to that process. There is plainly a great deal of overlap and agreement between Japan and the UK on many issues. There is always a lot that each country can learn from the other. But it is in the differences – whether of perspective, of experience or of emphasis – that the most important learnings lie. This essay will therefore explore differences more zealously than it seeks similarities.
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30
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No End of History: A Chinese Alternative Concept of International Order?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Abstract in English: 
There is no end of history. Francis Fukuyama’s famous claim has turned into quite the opposite. Today, liberal democracies and the Western concept of international order are being permanently challenged by an increase in political and economic crises, global and local dissent with established mechanisms of international affairs, and other political ideologies. These challenges increase the leverage of newly emerging actors such as China to push forward alternative ideas of international order.

Among all the different Chinese foreign policy initiatives announced by President Xi Jinping, China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative clearly stands out. It is by far the most comprehensive and visible Chinese initiative of the last three years. China’s OBOR initiative is regarded as a vision for building up a comprehensive cultural, economic, and political network that promotes connectivity and cooperation between countries, regions, and cities along the Silk Road. Furthermore, the OBOR initiative is flexible, inclusive, and open. OBOR has the potential to grow into an alternative idea showing how the common space of international politics could be organized in the future. Consequently, OBOR challenges the still dominating Western vision of the international system and could effectively transform the existing structure of the current international order.

For this reason, this study aims to conceptualize China’s OBOR initiative in a broader context. Instead of only focusing on specific mechanisms linked to OBOR, such as, for example, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, it develops an analytical approach that also highlights the various dimensions of China’s OBOR initiative.
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24
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Friends, Foes, and Future Directions: U.S. Partnerships in a Turbulent World

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report is the third in RAND's ongoing Strategic Rethink series, in which RAND experts explore the elements of a national strategy for the conduct of U.S. foreign and security policy in this administration and the next. The report evaluates three broad strategies for dealing with U.S. partners and adversaries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in a time of diminishing defense budgets and an American public preference for a domestic focus. The three strategies are to be more assertive, to be more collaborative, or to retrench from international commitments. All three of these alternative approaches are constrained and a balance will need to be struck among them — that balance may differ from region to region. In general, however, the United States may need to follow a more collaborative approach in which it seeks greater collaboration and burden sharing from strong partners who have until now not been pulling their weight. To further reduce risk, the United States should seek to prevent deeper security ties from developing between China and Russia. It should work closely with its most vulnerable partners not only to reassure them, but to coordinate crisis management with them to limit the risk of unwanted escalation of incidents. And it should sponsor new trilateral efforts to draw together partners in both Europe and Asia that face similar security, political, economic, societal, and environmental problems. Only by working together across regions can many of these challenges be effectively managed. Trilateralism might serve as a useful follow-on strategy to the pivot to Asia.
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184
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The Strategic Perspective and Long-Term Socioeconomic Strategies for Israel

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Publication date: 
Friday, January 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report highlights selected inputs the researchers made to the government team to summarize the essential mechanics and roles for bringing a strategic perspective to the consideration of policy. In doing so, it provides the example of problems associated with an aging population as an illustration of how one can use a strategic perspective in an analysis of policy choices.

Israel will benefit from bringing a systemic strategic perspective into its policy process. The concept is integral to formal strategic planning but distinct; although the latter places emphasis on an output (a strategic plan), a strategic perspective is a process for bringing an analytical element into policy decisionmaking. A strategic perspective helps to bridge not only the gap between a short-term focus and longer-term outcomes but also that across ministerial portfolios and responsibilities.

A strategic perspective typically begins with a vision of what a desirable future state of the world might be. Translating a vision into policy requires an understanding of the challenges to achieving the vision and employing processes for setting specific goals to meet those challenges, identifying indicators to measure both status and progress toward goals, and designing and implementing policy measures that will contribute to achievement of goals.
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186
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South Africa’s Second Term at the UN Security Council: Managing Expectations, ISS Situation Report

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Abstract in English: 
The re-election of the Republic of South Africa as a non-permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council for 2011 to 2012 follows shortly after its previous tenure from 2007 to 2008, and has attracted attention from a variety of quarters. Much of this attention is the result of selective interpretations in the West of the country’s conduct during its previous tenure.1 This is unfortunate because the associated caricature of Africa’s largest economy, the only African member of the G20 and which aspires to membership of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and to permanent membership of the UN Security Council, prevents a serious interrogation of its potential role on the Council during the next two years.
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23
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