„Dies ist ein Eingeständ
- Die ESI sieht es als selbstvers
- Die ESI berücksich
Die ESI gibt an, dass ihr Plan auch folgende Ziele hat:
- die Entwicklun
- eine vergleichb
Our latest discussion paper "Don’t believe the hype – Why Bosnian democracy will not end this October" explains the background to Bosnia's latest fake crisis – what it is about and why there is no need to intervene – in simple answers to seven questions.
The first newsletter of 2018 is out!
"A very real problem across the Balkans, and one of the least focused upon, is the crisis in the quality of basic education. One way to grasp the extent of this crisis it is to look at the regular assessments of education outcomes produced by the OECD and its PISA test.
In 2018, for the first time ever, all Western Balkan countries will take the OECD Pisa test. Let this also be the year in which leaders across the region, and their friends in the EU, commit to close this damaging gap between the Balkan countries and the rest of Europe."
From our recent "ESI Core Facts: Refugees and asylum in the Aegean"
Why are conditions so bad on the islands? The problem is obvious:
- If people stay on the islands on average for 5 months (as they did in 2017) and the average number of people who arrive each month is 2,000 (as it was until August), the capacity required to host people decently is at least 10,000....
- If more than 2,000 people arrive in any months (as has been the case since August 2017), even more reception capacity is needed. Its absence means that people are forced to live outside, in tents and makeshift shelters without heating.
- The only way to address this without offering more reception capacity is to keep people on the islands for shorter periods of time.
- At the same time there is a pattern: as more people were brought to the mainland, the number of new arrivals increased and the humanitarian problem on the islands worsened.
Here are the core facts that should guide any solution and keep the Greek islands from turning into a European Nauru.
NEW! Amsterdam in the Mediterranean - How a Dutch-style asylum system can help resolve the Mediterranean refugee crisis
"Leaders across the EU are looking for a fast, effective and humane asylum system; a system which determines quickly, but thoroughly, who needs protection; creates disincentives for people to get into boats; and manages to return those who are found not to need protection within a short period of time. The question is how to make this happen.
One place to ...look to for concrete inspiration is the
Netherlands. Nowhere else in the EU are asylum decisions including appeals delivered so fast. And no other system has the same focus on quality: asylum seekers are provided with free legal aid from the outset and can make their claim in at least two long interviews. A similar system should be built up at the EU’s external borders, beginning with pilot projects in Italy and Greece, under Italian and Greek law but fully funded by the EU."
We talked to The New York Times about migration debates in Europe and the consequences of Trump’s immigration remarks:
Mr. Knaus, of the European Stability Initiative, was one of several commentators who expressed fear that Mr. Trump would only embolden xenophobic rhetoric.
"This will have consequences because it's widely followed," he said. "In every Austrian and German village, they follow what the U.S. president is doing."...
"What is dangerous is if this kind of language migrates from the far-right to the mainstream," Mr. Knaus added. But some in migration policy circles fear this transition has already begun."
Mr. Knaus, who first dreamed up the parameters of the controversial E.U.-Turkey agreement, said it was wrong to conflate the racist rhetoric of Mr. Trump and Mr. Orban with efforts by less reactionary leaders to exert control over migration.
"There is a danger that in opposing this kind of rhetoric one basically strengthens it because we say that anyone who is in favor of controlling borders is in favor of Trump," Mr. Knaus said. "That is very dangerous because it concedes to racist politicians that being in favor of control is the same as being racist. And it's not."
To push the deal forwards, Knaus has suggested that the EU reform its migration policy, speeding up asylum procedures throughout Europe and setting up incentive-based deals with third countries to take back their nationals who do not qualify as refugees in Europe.
Bulgaria has a great interest in promoting such proposed reforms during its historic first Presidency of the European Council, starting in January 2018.
"The most effective way to combat post-truth politics is by establishing facts, connecting dots, presenting concrete recommendations. Only through facts can fact-free politics be beaten."
The debate over how to handle migration isn't going to end Europe, but it will define it. Stricter policies could mean more dead bodies washing up on Europe’s beaches. More liberal ones, if managed badly, could further embolden far-right agendas.
"This really is a battle over the soul of Europe. If we can show that it is possible to not only reduce arrivals but to reduce the number of deaths in the Mediterranean, while also treating those who arrive decently and allowing them to successfully integrate into society, we can achieve so much more for Europe as a whole."
"Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its military aggression in eastern Ukraine led Pace to suspend Russian’s voting rights in 2014. In subsequent years, Russia refused to send delegates to the Assembly but, since mid-2016, it has shown increasing interest in readmission to Pace, which it hopes to achieve without losing face.
Last June, it said it would no longer pay its membership dues and was considering withdrawing completely from the Council. In parallel, it held discussion...s with parliamentarians who have argued in support of restoring its voting rights, such as Mr Agramunt, Michele Nicoletti and Council Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
We believe that, once it became clear that the 2014 suspension would not be reversed, there were efforts to disguise this goal under the cloak of an alleged need to “harmonise” the composition of the Assembly with the Committee of Ministers. Since Russia continues to take part in the Committee, this would imply the return of the Russian delegation to Pace with full voting rights.
With its 2014 resolution, the Assembly demonstrated to European citizens that it took seriously its mission to defend human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
It must stick to that decision. Otherwise it will lose all credibility as the champion of fundamental European values, raising the risk of a gradual erosion of the rule of law and of legal protections for ordinary citizens, and giving support to those who amass wealth and influence through illegal means."
The EU needs a humane policy on asylum and borders that can obtain majority support in elections and produce an immediate impact in the Mediterranean. To get there it needs to learn from what has worked and what has failed, and apply it in Greece and Italy.
A different, humane and effective policy is possible. The Mediterranean is the place to start. The time to do so is now.
Talk Europe! We need a common European Migration Policy.
The refugee and migration crisis exposed the limits of cooperation, solidarity and democratic principles in Europe. The EU is failing to deliver an effective collective response and live up to its values. ERSTE Foundation asked Gerald Knaus what can be done to reverse this dangerous trend.
To maximize the chances for success, name talks between Macedonia and Greece need to focus on one key issue and key incentives for both sides to improve relations over time.
"Gerald Knaus, the head of the European Stability Initiative think tank, said that for the talks to be successful, it is crucial to immediately focus solely on finding a mutually acceptable name with a geographical qualifier for international use.
This would allow Greece to unlock Macedonia’s Euro-Atlant...ic integration process for next year but would only come into full effect once Macedonia finally joins the EU, Knaus said in an interview with Macedonia’s NOVA TV.
It would ensure that “both sides have guarantees that if the other side goes off the path of reconciliation, they have not lost anything, and create a dynamic where both sides want to work together”, he said."
Brussels event tomorrow morning - 10am - at EPC
Wednesday 6 December 2017...
A Greek (Tsipras) plan for Europe How to overcome the crisis in the Aegean
Gerald Knaus Chairman, European Stability Initiative
Julian Rappold (Moderator) Project Leader “Connecting Europe”,
European Policy Centre 10.00–11.30
(registration from 9.45)
EPC Conference Centre,
14-16 Rue du Trône,
The situation in the Aegean and on the Greek islands for asylum seekers and migrants is once again dramatic. As winter approaches, vulnerable people are living in tents, social and medical services are inadequate, reception facilities are seriously overcrowded, posing concerns for their security. On the islands tensions are rising, as authorities and citizens warn that their patience is running out.
A recent ESI paper highlights the mixed impact of the EU-Turkey statement implementation since March 2016:
- 46,598 people have arrived on the Greek islands between March 2016 and September 2017
- 9,286 people have arrived in the first six months of 2017
- 9,010 people have arrived only in September and October 2017
- 1,337 people have been returned to Turkey by the end of September 2017
The probability so far for Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans who applied for asylum to be returned to Turkey is zero.
As more people arrive on the islands, local authorities and NGOs are demanding to move everyone to the mainland immediately - thus suspending implementation of the EU-Turkey statement. At the same time, the Greek Prime Minister, the Minister for migration and the Leader of the main opposition party have all expressed their determination to stick to the EU-Turkey statement.
How can the Greek government and the EU get out of this impasse?
Can a new initiative by the Greek government, backed by its European partners, turn the situation around and lay the foundations for resolving the Aegean refugee crisis?
Can a Tsipras Plan for the Aegean even point the way for how to overcome the current stalemate on the Dublin reform discussions in Brussels?
Please send your participation request to firstname.lastname@example.org European Policy Centre Tel: +32 (0)2 714 21 68
Audrey L. Altstadt on fighting and preventing corruption through strengthening integrity and transparency policies:
"Despite rampant global corruption, there are still laws and ethical standards and there are still entities that strive to conform to them. There are still international organisations that want, or can be compelled, to uphold their own stated norms and ideals. Sponsors can withdraw advertising and other support if their business partners complain or shame them. ...Thus corruption can be made more difficult and more costly.
The 2012 report Caviar Diplomacy, produced by European Stability Initiative (ESI), documented Azerbaijani gifts and payments to CoE members. After five years, the report was used to force the resignation this past October of PACE President Pedro Agramunt, considered a supporter of the Aliyev regime who quashed criticism of Azerbaijan’s human rights record and mismanaged corruption charges against CoE deputies."
Our latest report on Bosnia is out! How six clichés are shaping today's perception on Bosnia and taking attention away from the real problems.
"Clichés are terrible guides to action. They distort how other countries deal with Bosnia. They led the EU to conclude for many years, against actual experience, that Bosnian leaders were incapable of coordinating their responses to EU conditionality. Clichés divert limited attention from real problems and how to form reform coalitions to address them. It is time to take a closer look."