Highlights

Pakistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers. Report 4

Pakistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers. Report 4

Pak Institute for Peace Studies, Islamabad

The purpose of this series of quarterly monitoring reports (2014) is to monitor and track the actions as well as public statements of five key STAP RP regional actors (India, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia) on Pakistan; the development of, and their participation in relevant international and regional discussion meetings, including the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia, RECCA, SCO; the five key regional actors’ economic decisions and agreements, including, but not limited to, the energy and infrastructuresectors, which have implications for the identified sources of tension in Pakistan with regional implications (see CIDOB STAP RP Mapping Document at www.cidobafpakproject.com).

The purpose of this series of quarterly monitoring reports (2014) is to monitor and track the actions aswell as public statements of five key STAP RP regional actors (India, Iran, Russia, China, SaudiArabia) on Pakistan; the development of, and their participation in relevant international and regionaldiscussion meetings, including the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia, RECCA, SCO; the five key regionalactors’ economic decisions and agreements, including, but not limited to, the energy and infrastructuresectors, which have implications for the identified sources of tension in Pakistan with regionalimplications (see CIDOB STAP RP Mapping Document at www.cidobafpakproject.com).

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The Iranian Nuclear Issue: what Next?

The Iranian Nuclear Issue: what Next?

Roberto Toscano Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

No agreement was reached within the deadline that the two sides (the 5+1 and Iran) had agreed, and yet it would be a mistake to describe the situation as one of failure, and even of stalemate. The negotiation is still on, and the intermediate results that have been reached are very significant, very substantial. More important still, neither side can really envisage a breakdown of the negotiation: President Obama, in particular, cannot afford another focus of confrontation at a time when the Syria/Iraq situation is definitely not under control and threatens further regional destabilization; President Rohani's chances for implementing his program of moderate reformism are totally dependent from the success of the nuclear negotiations, and would most probably be doomed by a failure, since the hardliners within the regime could easily convince the Supreme Leader to turn the page and shift back to a radical political platform, similar to what had characterized the Ahmadinejad years.

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Kosovo: Multiple Crises and a Challenging Future

Kosovo: Multiple Crises and a Challenging Future

Raquel Montes, Independent Foreign Affairs Analyst

Kosovo is going through a period of deep crisis on several fronts. On one hand, the institutional and political crisis has been preventing the formation of a new government for almost six months after the June elections. Additionally, the recent scandal related to corruption allegations within EULEX has shaken its strongest institutional pillar and rendered the most important foreign EU mission questionable.

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  Abenomics and its regional dimension

Abenomics and its regional dimension

Lluc López i Vidal, Lecturer in International Relations at the UOC and UAB

The announcement made by the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, of a snap election mid-way through the term of a parliament in which he holds the absolute majority of the seats took nobody by surprise.

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Juncker's Dilemmas: What Will Determine the New EC President’s Success or Failure?

Juncker's Dilemmas: What Will Determine the New EC President’s Success or Failure?

Elina Viilup, Research Fellow, CIDOB, and Carme Colomina, Associate Researcher, CIDOB

Shortly after the investiture of the new European Commission, its President Jean-Claude Juncker and his first Vice-President Frans Timmermans have put forward a ten-point plan of priority initiatives for 2015 and beyond. It builds on the earlier five-point priority agenda that was outlined by the European Council in its conclusions of 26/27 June earlier this year.

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The Re-Emergence of Algeria

The Re-Emergence of Algeria

Francis Ghilès, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

Algeria spent much of the 1990s fighting its own insurgency after free elections that nearly brought the Islamists to power were cancelled by the army, acting with the support of millions of men and women who were adamant they did not want to live under sharia law.

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The Single European Supervisor, a Solution for the Future

To little media attention, the new Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) became operational on the 4th of November. With it, a large step forward was taken towards European banking union, the aim of which is to create an integrated financial framework to safeguard financial stability and minimise the costs of potential future bank failures.

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The Pakistan Taliban Movement: An Appraisal

The Pakistan Taliban Movement: An Appraisal

Michael Semple, Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice Queen's University, Belfast

In October 2014 the spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) announced his movement’s backing for the “Islamic State” (IS) and its efforts to re-establish the Caliphate. The spokesman pledged that the Taliban would align their efforts with the Islamic State by sending fighters and military experts to the Middle East. In the wake of the statement, the TTP had to issue a clarification that their admiration for the actions of the Islamic State did not imply any intention to formally affiliate with it.

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Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: Perspectives from the Region in 2013 & 2014: 8 Perspectives from Pakistan on Afghanistan

Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: Perspectives from the Region in 2013 & 2014: 8 Perspectives from Pakistan on Afghanistan

Emma Hooper, Associate Senior Researcher and Gabriel Reyes Leguen, Associate Researcher, CIDOB

Under CIDOB's "Sources of Tension in Afghanistan and Pakistan:Regional Perspectives (STAP RP)" policy research project on the regional powers and their interests, this series is a product of field research visits to a number of the key regional powers identified in the 2012 Mapping Document http://www.cidobafpakproject.com/ by the STAP RP project team.

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Hong Kong: supervised meritocracy or unhindered people power?

Hong Kong: Supervised Meritocracy or Unhindered People Power?

Sean Golden, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

A priori approaches to the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong based on consolidated Euroamerican models of democracy impede a better understanding of the underlying causes of the confrontation. In order to adopt a comparative approach we should examine the situation in terms of its own historical and ideological contexts.

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Is growth about to return to the European Union?

Is growth about to return to the European Union?

Àlex Ruiz Posino, Lecturer in Economic and Business Studies at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Europe's economic problems continue to be the focus of the attention and concern of EU citizens and politicians. This is logical: the European Union is attempting to recover from what has been, beyond any doubt, the worst economic crisis since the Second World War (it is actually two consecutive recessions, 2008-2009 and 2011-2013).

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Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: Perspectives from the Region in 2013 & 2014: 7. Formal & Non-Formal Economies in Afghanistan & Pakistan: The View from the Gulf

Under CIDOB's "Sources of Tension in Afghanistan and Pakistan:Regional Perspectives (STAP RP)" policy research project on the regionalpowers and their interests, this series is a product of field research visitsto a number of the key regional powers identified in the 2012 MappingDocument http://www.cidobafpakproject.com/ by the STAP RP projectteam.

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Thinking to Practice: Applying complexity The Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Global Drylands

Thinking to Practice: Applying complexity The Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Global Drylands

Daniel Yeo, Global Green Growth Institute’s Water and Energy Adviser

Since the German Government’s Nexus conference in Bonn in 2012, interest in holistic approaches to water, food and energy has exploded under the catchy label of “The Nexus”. The core tenet ofthe “Nexus” approach is that water, energy and food are intrinsically linked at both the bio-physical level and the policy-making level – that decisions and actions on water, food and energy are linked and affect each other.

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Avramopolous: a new face for an already set migratory agenda

Avramopoulos: a new face for an already set migratory agenda

Elena Sánchez-Montijano, Research Fellow, CIDOB

The creation of a migration portfolio in the new European Commission framework and the choice of Dimitris Avramopoulos to lead it reflect Europe’s migration priorities. In addition to a clear move in recent years towards border control, a commitment to highly-qualified migrants and the internal movement of European nationals, the European Union has also been obliged to confront irregular immigration and the significant growth in anti-immigration discourse.

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Mogherini y el Mediterráneo: tres citas inmediatas

Mogherini and the Mediterranean: three pressing engagements

Eduard Soler i Lecha, Research Coordinator, CIDOB

It may be a cliché, but we expect Southern European politicians to shift the EU's focus of interest towards the south and, in foreign policy terms, that means reinforcing its Mediterranean policy. It will not be only priority for the new High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

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How Long Will ISIS Last Economically?

How Long Will ISIS Last Economically?

Eckart Woertz, Senior Research Fellow, CIDOB

“There’s no trade without war; there’s no war without trade,” the famous quip by Jan Pieterzoon Coen, a leading officer of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, not only points to the dark beginnings of capitalism, it also spells out a basic fact: You need money to wage war, loads of it.

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In Libya, is Despair Key to a Turnaround?

In Libya, is Despair Key to a Turnaround?

Ethan Chorin, CEO of Perim Associates, LLC, a Middle East/ North Africa expert services firm, and Francis Ghiles, Associate Senior Researcher , CIDOB

The carrion-eaters screaming ‘Libya is a failed state’ have cause. If there are grounds for optimism in the current morass, it is that the chaos and despair gripping Libya is cutting some knots, sealing off some unproductive policy options, and consolidating positions across parties previously reluctant to speak with one another.

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Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: Perspectives from the Region in 2013 & 2014: 6. Iran

Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: Perspectives from the Region in 2013 & 2014: 6. Iran

Emma Hooper and Roberto Toscano, Associate Senior Researchers, CIDOB

Under CIDOB’s “Sources of Tension in Afghanistan and Pakistan: RegionalPerspectives (STAP RP)” policy research project on the regional powers and their interests, this series is a product of field research visits to a number of the key regional powers identified in the 2012 MappingDocument http://www.cidobafpakproject.com/ by the STAP RP project team.

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Central Europe ten years after: punching above weight in the EU?

Central Europe ten years after: punching above its weight in the EU?

Paweł Świeboda, President of demosEUROPA – Centre for European Strategy

When Central European countries joined the EU in 2004, it created a lot of unease around Europe. Never before had there been such an extensive enlargement of the European Union.

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The World Bank Eats Humble Pie,  But Will the West Really Help Tunisia?

The World Bank Eats Humble Pie, but Will the West Really Help Tunisia?

Francis Ghilès, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

The World Bank’s latest report on Tunisia makes for sober reading. For many years until the fall of Ben Ali, the country was the darling of the WB, the IMF, The European Investment Bank and the Davos World Economic Forum.

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Afghanistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers.3

Afghanistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers. Report 3

Malaiz Daud, Associate Researcher, CIDOB

The purpose of this series of quarterly monitoring reports (2014) is to monitor and track the actions, public statements of five key STAP RP regional actors (India, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia) on Afghanistan; the development of, and their participation in relevant international and regional discussion meetings, including the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia, RECCA, SCO; the five key regional actors’ economic decisions and agreements, including, but not limited to, the energy and infrastructure sectors, which have implications for the identified sources of tension in Afghanistan with regional implications (see CIDOB STAP RP Mapping Document at www.cidobafpakproject.com).

The purpose of this series of quarterly monitoring reports (2014) is to monitor and track the actions, public statements of five key STAP RP regional actors (India, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia) on Afghanistan; the development of, and their participation in relevant international and regional discussion meetings, including the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia, RECCA, SCO; the five key regional actors’ economic decisions and agreements, including, but not limited to, the energy and infrastructure sectors, which have implications for the identified sources of tension in Afghanistan with regional implications (see CIDOB STAP RP Mapping Document at www.cidobafpakproject.com).

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“Going, Going ... Once Again Gone?”  The Human Capital Outflow from Afghanistan Post 2014 Elections

The recent buzz about the impact of the political and security transition in Af­ghanistan (withdrawal of international military by the end of 2014 and mid-2014 presidential elections) has overshadowed a far more important underly­ing demographic and development challenge that the country shares with other least developed nations: rapid population growth1 and urbanization

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Pakistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers. Report 3

Pakistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers. Report 3

Pak Institute for Peace Studies,Islamabad

The purpose of this series of quarterly monitoring reports (2014) is to monitor and track the actions as well as public statements of five key STAP RP regional actors (India, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia) on Pakistan; the development of, and their participation in relevant international and regional discussion meetings, including the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia, RECCA, SCO; the five key regional actors’ economic decisions and agreements, including, but not limited to, the energy and infrastructure sectors, which have implications for the identified sources of tension in Pakistan with regional implications (see CIDOB STAP RP Mapping Document at www.cidobafpakproject.com).

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EU-Morocco relations between “success story” and hamster’s wheel

During his last visit to Morocco in May 2014, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle stated that “the EU-Morocco relation is a ‘success-story’ in the southern neighbourhood” and that it is becoming part of the “terms of reference in the region”. As a matter of fact, the number of initiatives taken in all fields of bilateral relations over the last 15 years since the accession to the throne of King Mohamed VI in July 1999 is impressive.

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The No Vote Offers a Reprieve – No More

The No Vote Offers a Reprieve – No More

Francis Ghilès, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

England, and the rest of the United Kingdom outside Scotland, has been spared the humiliation of loosing 30% of its landmass, 10% of its population and the sheer wit and culture of people of whom the writer George Bernard Shaw once said: “God help England if she had not Scots to think for her”.

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Mogherini's Challenge

Mogherini's Challenge

Roberto Toscano, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

Federica Mogherini should be satisfied, and indeed she looks very happy: her path to the job of High Representative, the EU foreign policy chief, was not an easy one. In a way it was an uphill fight. In part this was due to the complex alchemies related to the sharing of the top jobs in the Union’s structure, but there were also other hurdles to overcome. Her young age, alleged lack of experience and, more ominously, the explicit accusation – picked up and broadcast by several media – of being “soft on Russia”.

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Die Zeit - [12/04/2014]
Propaganda claims that oil has made IS self-sufficient are also bald-faced lies. At the end of the day, money is still just money, and it does no good if you can't buy anything with it. And if no goods reach IS-controlled regions, can a productive economy be kept afloat? If not, then oil revenues will merely drive inflation. Economist and oil expert Eckart Woertz, Senior Research Fellow at CIDOB, likens the IS to an "overvalued stock company" and speaks of a "Ponzi scheme" in need of constant expansion.