All Foreign & Security Policy Content

All Foreign & Security Policy Content

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The Hungarian government trys to shut down the renowned Central European University. This is an attack on academic freedom in Europe.

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The most discussed topics at this year’s Munich Security Conference were the new U.S. administration’s position on NATO and European security, and European commitment to meet the 2% defense budget target. But doubts remain if the European members will meet the NATO target.

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Are the German Greens compatible with Angela Merkel? How can we explain the success of the xenophobic ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) party? And what awaits Europe in the year 2017? The Green European Journal sat down with Ralf Fücks, the outgoing President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, to talk about Christian Democrats, Trump, and the upcoming German election, as well as the foundation’s development over the past 20 years.

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European policymakers were astonished by Trump’s recent remarks on NATO and the EU in an interview with Bild and The Times. Europe should be prepared for pivotal changes in U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic relations.

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 "On a note of self-reflection, panelists agreed that liberal democracy has failed to redistribute the benefits of globalization."

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On the occasion of the release of the new EU progress reports on the Western Balkans, the Heinrich-Böll -Stiftung North America held a roundtable discussion on the EU’s accession process and the future of transatlantic cooperation in the region. 

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Lebanon has seen political stagnation and sectarian tensions for years. As a result of the Syrian conflict, Lebanon has also become the country with the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. To gain a more nuanced understanding of the situation in the country, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung North America and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Middle East organized a study tour to Lebanon in October 2016.

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Is the EU the cause of the injustices we face? Zygmunt Bauman discusses Brexit and the impact it has on the world.

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Hillary Clinton should be warned by the British referendum: Similar to the Brexit movement, Trump’s campaign benefits from anti-immigrant sentiment and anger over the “political elites” and “mainstream media”.

The calls by Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, for a referendum on Kurdish statehood, as well as Syrian Kurdish calls for autonomy have brought the question of Kurdish independence just at a time when the region is facing enormous turmoil. The Iraqi and Syrian Kurds have gained increasing international recognition for their efforts in combating ISIS and some observers conclude that the conditions for an independent Kurdistan have never been as favorable as they are now. But what are the prospects for a Kurdish nation state?

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What are strategic expectations of Member States to be addressed during the forthcoming Summit in Warsaw? Which major challenges will it face? What marks the Polish position vis-a-vis NATO and EU issues? Analysis by former Polish diplomat Piotr Łukasiewicz.

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Great Britain will leave the EU. What does that mean for European Union going forward? What can be done to strengthen political unity within the Union? A commentary by Ralf Fücks.

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We cannot quarantine ourselves from the instability that reigns south and east of Europe. Europe must strike a new balance between idealistic foreign policy and realism. The opening address of the  17th Annual Foreign Policy Conference

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On June 23, voters in the United Kingdom will go to the polls for a referendum on the country’s membership in the EU. Most experts agree that a Brexit would fundamentally reshape the transatlantic relationship. 

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Despite frustration over the pace of reform, many Ukrainians remain cautiously optimistic about the country’s direction. The new government would be well-advised to take advantage of this resolve, and leverage it to usher in a more democratic system. 

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Europe’s troubled neighborhood: from a “circle of friends” to a “ring of fire”? EU Commissioner Hahn on the future of EU neighborhood policy and the central objective of maintaining stability

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Invoking Yogi Berra’s overused quote may seem cliché, but for Kyiv watchers, it seems a bit like “déjà vu all over again.” GMF's Steven Keil reports from the #boell2Ukraine Tour. 

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Thirty years after the biggest nuclear disaster at Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine is still seriously dependent on nuclear energy. It is high time for Ukraine to take the path of nuclear phase-out.

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The migrant crisis and the subsequent political turmoil have banished from our minds a conflict that has been fairly present in Europe for the past two years: the war in Eastern Ukraine.

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There can be no normalisation of the relations with Russia as long as Moscow leads a war in the eastern Ukraine. This articles examines a new attempt to resolve the Ukraine conflict.

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The recent attacks in Brussels have left everyone in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe in shock. People feel more and more helpless in the face of what seems to be, after the attacks in Paris last November and in January 2015, an increasingly destructive threat.

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In the US presidential primaries, foreign policy issues have yet to play much of a role – but this may soon change.

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Since February 26, a truce has largely prevailed in Syria. However, hardly any improvements to the humanitarian situation in the country can be observed to date. People continue to suffer starvation. That is part of the war strategy.

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After a recent visit to Washington, Sergey Lagodinsky, head of the EU/North America Department at the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Berlin, reflects on Americans’ understanding of the European refugee crisis and the failure to anticipate long-term repercussions for US foreign policy interests.

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Syria and the fight against ISIS is the dominating foreign policy topic in the current presidential debates. The discourse on no-fly zones and efforts to topple Bashar al-Assad show that divisions run deep and beyond party lines. 

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The reasons behind people’s radicalization are individual. However, anger over lack of social recognition often plays an important role. Salafism and Islamophobia must be tackled simultaneously.

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“Helsinki II” is on everone’s lips of late. Yet, the new accord is to be an evolution rather than a mere revision of Helsinki I.

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After the United States and the European Union have lifted economic sanctions on Iran, the country can expect major economic rewards and greater interaction with the international community. This is a success for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, under whose leadership Iran complied with its obligations under the international agreement to restrict its nuclear program. Dr. Roubzeh Parsi explains the challenges the administration could face after the parliamentary election in February 2016.

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Anyone who wants to create or maintain peace must participate in shaping policy as well as know and make use of all available options, says General Klaus Naumann, Ret.

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Following the attacks in Paris, a global coalition in the fight against ISIL emerged. History seems to repeat itself. What have we learned from the events since 2001, and how did it come to the current escalation?

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We know that there’s war, and that there’s peace—but not that there’s something in between. Yet, the terrorists of the Paris attacks have added a new category to our notion of violence. A commentary by the political scientist Herfried Münkler.

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Those convinced that Israel should not have been created in the first place, or that it no longer has the right to exist, are entitled to their opinion. But they have obligations, too. They must come clean about seeking a post-Israel endgame. An essay by Prof. Dan Rabinowitz

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As the UK debates expanding its airstrikes to Syria, there is a striking absence of consideration for Syrian civilians. A commentary.

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Shrinking – closing – no space: Governments across all continents villainize civil society actors. Where does their sense of threat emanate from?

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Days after the Paris attacks, Europe is only slowly awakening from a state of shock. The events served as a painful reminder of our vulnerabilities from within and the daunting threats we face from abroad. A reflection on seven challenges looming on Europe’s horizon. 

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From China to Russia to Iran, voices questioning the universality of liberal democracy are growing louder. How confidently can and should the West stand up for democracy and human rights in the world? 

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Never before has the US-Israel relationship been as fraught as it is today. The Profound differences in strategic outlook vis-à-vis Iran, the Palestinian issue, and the toxic interpersonal relations between the US President and the Israeli Prime Minister all contribute to a tense political atmosphere. Will the bilateral relationship recover?

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Both Arab Israelis and Mizrahi Jews are increasingly reluctant to shed their Arab identity in order to fit in with the dominant concept of what it means to be Israeli. A new generation is emerging.  

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The AKP has gained the absolute majority in Turkey’s recent snap elections, allowing it to continue to rule without a coalition partner. Deep rifts within Turkish society, however, remain. A take on the elections by Kristian Brakel, hbs-office director in Istanbul.

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Support for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel is growing, generating great angst amongst Israel supporters – including pro-peace progressives – in the United States and elsewhere in the world. How can pro-peace progressives respond to the BDS movement?

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The relationship between the Israeli and American public appears strong. But the romantic vision of Israel is descending from its perch above US politics, and Americans increasingly examine Israel through the prism of their broader political views.  

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The battle over the Iran deal has shattered AIPAC’s myth of invincibility, as well as the notion that supporting Israel requires the American-Jewish community to unquestioningly support the Israeli government. The way is now open to a more nuanced concept of what support of Israel can and should entail.

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict arena is once again beset with violence. The parties have retrenched to recriminations and hardline positions, and once again the US faces the question of how to get things back on track. Is US engagement really worthwhile?   

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Poland has elected its new government. Not a single left-wing party has made it through the elections. Director Irene Hahn-Fuhr comments the outcome of the Polish parliamentary elections from a European perspective.

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Canada’s Conservative government often boasts having one of the strictest national control regimes for military exports in the world. A recent major arms deal with Saudi Arabia - the biggest in Canada's history- tells a different story. If a country like Saudi Arabia is classified as a suitable recipient for arms exports, what country, if any, would be classified as unsuitable?

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Triggered by Russia’s push to turn the military tide in Syria in Assad’s favor, Washington D.C. is currently seeing renewed debates about the need to revise the administration’s Syria policy. Prominent voices, such as former White House Coordinator for the Middle East Phil Gordon, have advocated for striving for a negotiated interim solution in Syria that defers the question of Assad’s fate. Bente Scheller, hbs office director in Lebanon, addresses some of the underlying myths and arguments shaping the current debate.  

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Canada’s national interest is often said to center around one single objective, namely a close but independent relationship with the United States. In the 90s and early 2000s, Canada's Liberal government begged to differ. During its international heyday, Canada became the patron of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Whatever happened to Canada's commitment to the R2P under Harper's Conservative government? 

While Russia’s recent military involvement in the Syrian war theatre has caught much of the West by surprise, the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine has increasingly slipped off the public’s radar. We spoke with Marieluise Beck, Member of the German Bundestag and spokesperson for Eastern Europe of the Green Parliamentary Group, about the daunting reform challenges in Ukraine, the prospects for the implementation of the Minsk agreement, and German public sentiments towards Russia.

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This Sunday, September 20, Greek citizens will go the polls for the third time in just eight months. While the refugee crisis in Europe has ousted Greece from the international headlines, the country’s political landscape is undergoing some deep and significant shifts. We spoke with Olga Drossou, director of our hbs office in Thessaloniki, to shed light on what moves Greece in these times of turmoil.

Turkey is currently undergoing a period of domestic turmoil while facing various external challenges along its borders. We spoke with Kristian Brakel, office director of hbs Turkey, about the recently announced snap elections, chances for reviving the peace process with the Kurdish PKK, and U.S.-Turkish cooperation in fighting the Islamic State (IS).   

In the aftermath of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed upon between the P5+1 and Iran on July 14, 2015, a heated debate has erupted in the United States over the pros and cons of the nuclear agreement. Republican-held Congress is set to vote on the deal after returning from recess in September. In order to shed some light on the political battle under way between the opponents and the proponents of the deal, we have spoken to Barbara Slavin, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center in Washington D.C. 

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Last week, negotiators attempted a final push for a nuclear agreement with Iran. While points of disagreement remained, both sides haven’t walked away from the negotiations. But what happens once both sides agree to a deal? Insight from our partners at The Strategist.

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For a committed European, opening the newspapers and social media feeds has resembled an emotional roller coaster for the past few weeks. Given the war of words on the Greek crisis, it is not enough to be right or win the argument. Rather than engaging in a destructive blame game, all sides should tone down their rhetoric. Germany in particular should take seriously the inflammatory resurgence of resentment it faces in Europe and abroad for its seemingly overly assertive stance.

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The Greek crisis and the past summit seems only like the first mile of a marathon. The next years will require a lot more bold decisions, strong political leadership, and solidarity among the European member states and their citizens. The project of reinvigorating Europe, regaining self-confidence, and redefining our common sense of mission in the 21st century has only just begun. An editorial by HBS North America Executive Director Bastian Hermisson.

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Violent conflicts and security crises around the world have many different causes and effects. The vast majority of them, however, are in one way or another related to energy policy. Yet making this link apparent to policy makers has been challenging. Experts from the foreign policy, security and energy communities have been reluctant to fully grasp the security implications of promising green energy technology and market developments.

A Transatlantic Conversation on Drone Policy

Armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — more commonly referred to as drones — have become a central pillar of the United States’ counterterrorism strategy. After more than a decade of use by the United States in an increasing number of theaters, a number of European state and non-state actors have expressed growing concern regarding the lack of transparency, accountability, and clarity surrounding the U.S. drone program. Europe’s concerns are of urgent priority now, more than ever, as drone proliferation increases at a rapid pace.

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The EU governing institutions' response to the euro crisis has been very poor. But the key message emanating from EU governing institutions throughout the crisis has too often been a type of ‘stay-the-course’ message. Ricardo Cabral contributed to our hbs Brussel's web dossier 'Europe@theCrossroads' by asking how to make the ‪‎Eurozone‬ more stable, prosperous and democratic. 

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While the air force of the U.S.-led coalition played a large role in defeating ISIS in Kobani, it didn’t react to ISIS’s latest attack on rebel-held areas. Many rebel leaders complained publically about the lack of U.S. interest in helping them defeat ISIS in Syria, although it is now apparent that the U.S. administration knows of the cooperation between Assad and ISIS. An analysis by Haid Haid, program manager of our Hbs office in Beirut.

During his recent visit to Washington, D.C., we spoke with Jürgen Trittin, Member of the German Parliament, about European energy independence in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, the role of TTIP in enhancing energy security across the Atlantic, and how the German Energiewende can serve as a model for policy makers worldwide.

On June 24, the Heinrich Böll Foundation together with the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) and the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement hosted a panel discussion examining Europe’s migration crisis featuring Cem Özdemir, co-chairman of the German Green Party. An audio recording of the event is now available.

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A no-fly zone is no solution for the conflict in Syria, but it would help save the lives of hundreds of people every month - and less people would be forced to seek refuge somewhere else. An analysis by Bente Scheller, director of our hbs office in Lebanon.

A new study released by the Pew Research Center finds that many European publics are highly conflicted over whether to defend a NATO ally against a potential future attack by Russia. In order to gain insight into the way the study was perceived in Washington’s policy circles, we interviewed Julianne Smith, Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

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Under Germany’s presidency, the G7 convened for the second summit in a row in the absence of Vladimir Putin. His continued suspension led to a vocal reprise of the German public debate on whether excluding Russia from the G7 was justified or counterproductive. As long as Putin does not change course in Ukraine, the G7 are well advised to stick to their suspension of Russia from their ranks.

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At the southern border of “Fortress Europe”, the Mediterranean has turned into a graveyard. The current migrant crisis in Europe is about more than a risk to the EU’s reputation. It strikes at the core of the EU’s founding values.  A continuation of its half-hearted response to the migration crisis is out of question.

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How will the failure of the 2015 NPT Review Conference affect the goal of the weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East? An Essay by Tiara Shaya.

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The Eastern Partnership summit in Riga has been tagged by the hosting Latvian minister of foreign affairs a “survival summit”. This implied that EU leaders might propose decisive actions to intensify relations with the Eastern Partnership countries in light of the Ukraine crisis. But to the disappointment of some of the Eastern European and South Caucasus countries, this did not happen.

 The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

In 2011, dramatic uprisings swept across the Middle East and North Africa, forcing several of the region’s authoritarian rulers from power and bringing hopes that the stagnation and despotism that has long dominated Arab politics would give way to more accountable, responsive, and democratic governments. Four years later, those hopes have largely vanished, as democratic transitions have been replaced by resurgent authoritarianism and widespread violent conflicts.

The Syrian National Coalition and the US – From Fading Faith to a New Commitment

What started with peaceful demonstrations in Damascus and Aleppo in spring 2011 has become the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. The war in Syria has now lasted for more than four years and there is still no end in sight. However, a surge of rebel gains over the course of the last weeks show that Assad’s position is in peril.

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50 years after Germany and Israel officially established diplomatic ties in May 1965, it is time to critically assess this relationship and look to the future.

Germany should support a ban on nuclear weapons

The five-yearly Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is taking place from April 27 to May 22, 2015. In order to increase pressure for nuclear disarmament and to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, nuclear weapons need to be banned under international law, as other weapons of mass destruction already are. A ban treaty would complement and strengthen the NPT. Germany should therefore stand up for a ban on nuclear weapons at the Review Conference.

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While an accord between the P5+1 and Iran would first and foremost stop Iran's nuclear program from expanding, it offers the prospect of paving the way for Tehran’s more constructive engagement with regional and international stakeholders. Regional actors should recognize that a deal would give the international community the greatest chance of affecting Iranian foreign-policy decisions in the future.

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If domestic politics kills the Iran nuclear program deal, it will be in Washington, not Tehran. The three months between the announcement of the agreement and when the final deal will be made public are a crucial phase that could make or break its success.

At the beginning of March, international experts discussed at the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Berlin Europe’s response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. They all agreed on Europe lacking a long-term strategy.

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The world seems to be out of joint. Bloody, intractable wars are being waged in the heart of Africa and the Middle East. Democracy and human rights are challenged all over the world by old and new forms of authoritarian rule. Climate change advances, unhindered by the international community’s cumbersome efforts to stop its progress. Within this mayhem, what are the international norms, political actors and concrete initiatives breathing life into a Green vision for peace, social justice and environmental stability?

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Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America and its partners organized two panel discussions on strengthening accountability for gender-based crimes in armed conflicts. On this occasion, several international experts and activists discussed the current situation in Colombia, continued barriers to justice and cautious hopes for a more peaceful future.  

We spoke with Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament and co-chair of the European Green Party, about thriving populism in Europe, SYRIZA's election victory in Greece and possible political and economic consequences for the European Union.

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With Minsk II threatened by its collapse only days after the agreement was reached, stern warnings have been voiced on both sides of the Atlantic on the looming possibility of a transatlantic rift in case the U.S. would decide to arm the Ukrainian government with defensive military equipment. But where do the German and U.S. public stand on this issue?

Foreign Fighters - The Perils and Perks of Western Policy Responses

The recent Charlie Hebdo attacks have raised the level of alert about the security threat foreign fighters might pose to their home countries upon their return from Syria and Iraq. Rudine Emrich, trainee at the Heinrich Boell Foundation, assesses Western governments’ policy responses to violent extremism thus far and highlights what risks and opportunities different policy approaches might harbor.

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Hannah Arendt would have found a lot to dislike about today’s Russia. But she would have loved Pussy Riot. An excerpt from the lecture of Ralf Fücks upon the occasion of the 2014 Hannah Arendt Prize.

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Genocide and mass atrocities do not occur out of the blue. Thanks to an abundance of research, we can now identify many early warning signs of mass atrocities before all hell breaks loose. On December 11th, the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) organized a conference on the implementation of Pillar II of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, White & Case LLP, and the Heinrich Boell Foundation North America.

 

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While foreign policy remains a controversial subject for the German Greens, much has changed since the stormy days when then Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer stirred the party toward supporting the NATO intervention against Serbia. The changing Green foreign policy debate over the past decade has been closely embedded in the evolution of a broader post-WWII pacifist discourse in Germany. Spelling out the practical meaning of Germany’s growing responsibility in a conflict-ridden world will be a gradual process dependent on a mosaic of debates in the Bundestag, public events, the media, classrooms and market places. The Greens, for their part, have embarked on the journey.

While the whole world has been watching the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, Iran has quietly expanded its de facto influence in the region. Tehran can now claim considerable influence over four capitals in the Middle East, ranging from Baghdad, to Damascus, to Beirut and Sana’a. The breakdown of the old regional order, however, cannot be managed by any one state alone. The only way to put out the fire in the Middle East is to increase regional cooperation.

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Nearly one year after the Maidan protests shook the very core of Ukraine’s political order, opposing narratives of the revolution and the unfolding war in Eastern Ukraine continue to shape the public debate. These discussions do not only determine how the conflict will go down in our history books. They inform our response to the war in Ukraine by paving the way to more or less confrontational approaches toward Russia.

We spoke with Parliamentarian and President of the Greens in the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms, about the future of Ukraine after the parliamentary elections, the external challenges the country is facing, and the responsibilities the EU has towards Ukraine.

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ISIS has plenty of funding, but it does not live on material sources only: one of their most powerful weapons is to commit the most monstrous atrocities - and make sure everybody sees them. Unable so far to stop them, Arab activists at least try and mock them, and the French foreign minister tries to ban them rhetorically where they want to be least: in the letter soup. Instead of their self-chosen name "Islamic State" he from now on want to refer to them only by the acronym Daesh which they hate and try to ban by all means.

We spoke to Marieluise Beck, Member of the German Bundestag, about the public mood in war-torn Ukraine, Germany’s hesitant stance towards Putin, and the track record of the transatlantic partnership in responding to the crisis.

Assessing Women’s Rights in Afghanistan in 2014: Many Stumbling Blocks on the Way towards Equality

The development of women’s representation in the political and security sector over the last decade can be seen in analogy to the developments of their general opportunities. Heinrich Böll Foundation trainee Timea Kasa gives an overview of women’s development in Afghanistan from the US-invasion in 2001 until today and highlights the current state of women’s rights in the country.

Ukrainian author Jurij Andruchowytsch, jointly with numerous intellectuals, calls for solidarity with Ukraine in an open letter to the German government.

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The Middle East is burning and, as usual, all eyes rest on Washington. The US bears a considerable share of responsibility for the current crisis. But neither Schadenfreude nor a “we told you so” approach are a viable foreign policy strategy, especially in the wake of the breathtaking costs in human lives. What, then, is Germany willing and capable to contribute to the crisis management in Iraq? The diffuse reactions by German politicians across the political spectrum serve as a case in point for a tentative process of political reorientation currently under way.

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It seems like a nightmare: The center of the crisis-ridden Middle East is seeing the formation of an Islamic entity that dilutes national borders and could potentially embroil the region in a war between radical militias. However, the West does not fear reorganization as much as it fears the impending disintegration.

With ISIS’ capture of Mosul, a nightmare seems to be becoming a reality: the development of a caliphate state in the heart of the Middle East. Should ISIS be allowed to become much more powerful in Syria, Assad can benefit from the West’s distorted perception of extremism.

Heinrich Böll Foundation

Series: Iran Advisory Group

The Iran Advisory Group convened its tenth meeting on May 30, 2014 in Beirut, Lebanon. It brought together experts and policymakers to discuss under Chatham House rules how substantial the changes are that have occurred in Iranian domestic politics under President Hassan Rouhani. The seminar aimed to shed some light on the impact the domestic dynamics have on Iran’s regional policy agenda, in particular Iran’s relationship with the Levant and the Gulf region.

At the opening event of our 15th Annual Foreign Policy Conference in Berlin, international guests discussed whether German foreign policy is ready to respond appropriately to current challenges.

Heinrich Böll Stiftung

For more than three years, heated discussions of the Syrian conflict have taken place in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). With few exceptions, the UNSC has been deadlocked by a clash between Russian and US interests, which has prevented a more decisive stance on Syria from the international community. This paper identifies both US and Russian primary interests and aims to analyze to what extent they have been advanced respectively in the UNSC. On what issues could cooperation in the UNSC be achieved and at what point has the great power rivalry stalled potential progress?

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa
Project on Middle East Democracy

More than three years have now passed since the Arab world was shaken by popular uprisings that brought a swift end to the rule of four of the region’s longstanding dictators. 2011 represented a remarkable moment of hope among supporters of democracy in the Middle East and North Africa—not only hope for political change and progress toward genuine democracy on the ground, but also hope that the dramatic events in the region would spur long overdue fundamental changes in U.S. policy toward this critical region. Although supporters of democracy had previously failed to convince the U.S.

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On May 23, HBF co-organized a panel discussion with Brookings and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung to assess Germany's new foreign policy and the challenges presented to it by the crisis in Ukraine.

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The Ukrainian government should promote an inclusive, participatory and transparent constitutional process. Such a process could help de-escalate the current conflict and build confidence in the central government and its willingness to integrate all constituencies into Ukraine’s political system. 

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US Americans may not care much about the upcoming European elections. Inferring from that a general indifference towards the European Union or its Parliament, however, is a short-sighted fallacy.

The German public's empathy or antipathy for the Ukrainian revolt against the Yanukovych regime is blanketed by a deeper difference: their view of Russia.

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On the occasion of Tarja Cronberg’s visit to Washington D.C., we spoke about the current nuclear negotiations with Iran, human rights and the role of the EU.

No, the Crimea crisis does not mean Germany needs a national gas reserve. A resource revolution is the most intelligent response to Russian gas and the Crimea crisis.

We would all love to have a democratic Russia as a partner in the European Union. However, the country’s current political leadership is moving away from Europe.

The international community will play an important but secondary role in Afghanistan’s future as Afghans work to create a more sustainable state.

Transitional Justice: Gender-political perspectives for societies in transition
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
 

Study

Transitional Justice

Gender-political perspectives for societies in transition
TTIP and Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
All issues: TTIP Series

TTIP Series

TTIP and Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Using international policy processes as entry points for reform in the EU and the USA

In this report, we assess the potential of three relatively promising international processes – the focus on fossil fuel subsidy (FFS) reform in the G20 group, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs
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On March 21, 2014 the political parts of the association agreement were signed between Ukraine and the EU. What does this mean, asks Dominik Tolksdorf: is the EU ready to put forward criteria for a reform in the country, and will Ukraine kick off such a reform agenda?

How the EU and the USA could collaborate in pioneering fair competition and an economy fit for the future. It is time for a positive, sustainable vision of free trade.

Afghan Women's Network (AWN)

Growing Opposition to President Hassan Rouhani: Is the Honeymoon Ending?Video

Article

Ukraine: What the EU can do

Birds-eye view of the Maidan in Kiew. Photo: spoilt.exile.
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TTIP is an initiative that aims to cement the dominance of the two largest economic powers in the world. Rainer Falk and Barbara Unmüßig consider a topic thus far left out of critical debate: TTIP’s implications for the “rest of the world,” particularly for developing and emerging economies.

HBS Berlin held an international expert conference on the “Future of Arms Control,” jointly organized with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Studies (IFSH).

Dossier - Perspectives/Africa

Perspectives: Political Analysis and Commentary from Africa

Perspectives from Africa

 

Perspectives is a publication series of the Africa offices of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
Investor-state dispute settlement under TTIP - a risk for environmental regulation?

TTIP Series

Investor-state dispute settlement under TTIP - a risk for environmental regulation?

This publication is part of the TTIP Series commissioned by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.

Executive Summary

Video

Reform Under Rouhani: Assessing Potential Change in Iran

Promises and Perils of the TTIP: Negotiating a Transatlantic Agricultural Market

TTIP Series

Promises and Perils of the TTIP: Negotiating a Transatlantic Agricultural Market

Executive summary 

Still reeling from the devastation of the global financial crisis, the EU and U.S.

Article

Bundestagswahl 2013: A Look at the Themes of the September Federal Elections

 

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014
Project on Middle East Democracy

Report

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

Dossier

High-Tech Wars: Challenges to peace and security in times of drones, robots and digital warfare

 

 
Wars are military conflicts between states and armed groups.

Article

Winning the Power of Information: How Assad Defines the Facts

Bente Scheller.

Policy Paper

Current Immigration and Integration Debates in Germany and the United States: What We Can Learn from Each Other

Image by Frank M. Rafik, Flickr

by Spencer P.

Policy Paper

What Can the European Union Do in Syria?

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Western governments look like they are turning their back on Afghanistan after a decade of aid and assistance but this is a dangerous approach, as history shows.

Afghanistan's Transition in the Making
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
All issues: Democracy

Study

Afghanistan's Transition in the Making

Afghanistan represents a very particular case of military intervention-cum-statebuilding-cum-democratization with high levels of political and sociocultural violence,ideologically based grievances, intersectional cleavages, a paucity of meritocratic,

Press Release

Closure of the Heinrich Böll Foundation office in Ethiopia

 

November 29, 2012
For a long time now, Ethiopia has been pursuing an authoritarian development model, but in recent years there has been a further dramatic clampdown on freedoms – of the press, of expression and of assembly.

Article

Diversity and Community: On the Future of the European Union

"Sevilla: Former pavilion of the European Union," by harry_nl, CC

Interview

The American Presidential Election from a Czech Perspective

Video

Understanding Iranian Public Opinion

 
In the midst of bombastic rhetoric exchanged among Iran, Israel, and Western states over the nuclear issue, Iranian public opinion is often lost in the discussion. Where do the Iranian people stand?

Article

NATO’s Defense and Deterrence Posture Review – A Missed Opportunity?

NATO flag
NATO flag
 
by Trine Flockhart

 

Heinrich Böll Stiftung
All issues: Democracy

Study

Sudan after Separation - New Approaches to a New Region

Hardly a year has passed since Sudan split in two. For much of the time, both sides have been embroiled in conflict. The independence of South Sudan has fundamentally altered the political landscape. And the governments of north and south lack a defined framework within which to discuss the many outstanding issues.
Project on Middle East Democracy

Report

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013

Democracy, Governance and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa
 
This fifth annual report by POMED Executive Director Stephen McInerney offers a detailed look at the U.S.

Report

Solidarity and Strength. The Future of the European Union

Policy Paper

International Security Guarantees on the Way to a Permanent Agreement on a Two-State-Solution Israel / Palestine

Israel/ Palestine region.
Syria's Revolution: Society, Power, Ideology

Report - Perspectives Issue 3

Syria's Revolution: Society, Power, Ideology

It is almost a year ago that Syrian citizens, inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, courageously took to the streets in protest against the decades-long denial of their basic rights by the Assad regime.

Contents

Policy Paper

Saving for Germany?

iStock.

A European Economic Government Alone Doesn't Solve the EU's Problems

 
Rainer Emschermann
The European cris

Article

The Euro Area Must not Founder on the Narrow-Minded Approach of the German Government

 iStock.
 
Renate Künast, Cem Özdemir, Claudia Roth, Jürgen Trittin, Sigmar Gabriel, Fran

Testimony

There Must Be a Freedom Square - And We Have Set the Date

May 6th, 2011. Banyas, Syria
May 6th, 2011. Banyas, Syria.

Policy Paper

Women, Revolution, Politics and Power

iStock.
 
by Dalal al-Bizri
During the Arab uprisings, an unprecedented number of women took to the streets, paving the way fo

Proposal

Solving the European Economic Crisis: Proposal of a "European Redemption Pact"

Report

Transatlantic 2020: A Tale of Four Futures

A Tale of Four Futures.
 
by Daniel Hamilton and Kurt Volker
 
What deep currents ar
by

Eleven years ago, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 (October 31, 2000). This groundbreaking resolution sent a significant message to many countries, including Israel. Anat Thon Ashkenazi of the NGO Itach-Maaki Women Lawyers for Social Justice describes the efforts of the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Israel to date.

by

The importance of Pakistan for the West’s continuation of their unfortunate involvement in Afghanistan is now generally understood. Far less clear, probably for most of the actors involved, is what Pakistan wants in Afghanistan at all.

Articles

Can a Stronger ESFS Save the Euro?

Euro sign in the sky.

Article

How did the EU and US Respond to the Arab Spring?

Arab Spring demonstrations.

Conference Report

Ten Years After 9/11 – Lessons Learned?

Panel on the conference.

Article

The German Mission in Afghanistan

Author Winfried Nachtwei at the 2011 Annual Foreign Relations Conference.

Article

Transatlantic 20/20: The US and Europe in an Interpolar World

Daniel Hamilton, Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Washington D.C.
All issues: Perspectives

Report - Perspectives Issue 2

People's Power - The Arab World in Revolt

© Gwenael Piaser

Perspectives Issue 2 - May 2011

 
Mouin Rabbani, Fawaz Trabouls
Project on Middle East Democracy
Democracy, Governance and Human Rights in the Middle East

This report offers a detailed look at the U.S. funding and assistance for democracy and governance in the Middle East, the Congressional appropriations process, and implications for U.S. policy in the Middle East during this turbulent time. In the wake of the Arab uprisings and amid an extremely constrained domestic budget environment, it is important to examine U.S.

After ten years of international involvement in Afghanistan, a second conference will take plan in Bonn this December 2011 to discuss the country’s future. Since 2002, the Heinrich Böll Foundation has actively supported the development of civil society in Afghanistan and has promoted exchanges between the German and Afghan public. The following dossier provides a venue for comments, analysis and debate ahead of the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan.

Article

After the Death of Osama bin Laden: Now to Break the Al- Qaeda Franchise

US Kills Bin Laden

Front page of the Chicago Tribune the day after Osama bin Laden was killed.

Article

Effects of the Arab Spring

Palestinian kids in front of the wall between Ramallah and Jerusalem
Palestinian kids in front of the wall between Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Article

The Big Green Tent

 

May 2, 2011
Lothar Probst
Last fall, the German Greens began to skyrocket in polls taken after the protests against the new train station in the city of Stuttgart.

Policy Paper

Ambition and Peril: Nuclear Energy and the Arab World

 

by:
Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Hamed Beheshti, Ali Darwish, Leila Ghanem, Dennis Kumentat, Nikolaus Supersberger, Najib

Policy Paper

Revolutions among the Southern Neighbors

Time for a new EU P

On the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the International Women's Day and to celebrate women empowerment, the Heinrich Böll Foundation publishes a dossier with articles and contributions from all over the world.

Atlantic-community.org in cooperation with the Gunda Werner Institute and others is launching a new op-ed competition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of UN Resolution 1325 and to contribute to the implementation of its goal of empowering women in peace and security.

Article

Europe’s New Divide

Ralf Fücks
Ralf Fücks, member of the executive board of the Heinrich Boell Foundation
 
by Ralf Fücks
The European Union ushers in the new year amid

Policy Paper

Tribal Jurisdiction and Agreements

by

A funny thing happened after the world's failure to agree on a climate-change plan at the 2009 Copenhagen summit: 2010 became the year of the Greens -- and more specifically, of the Green women.

Event

In the Wake of the Crisis

Report

Emerging Powers and the Middle East

Competition or Partnership in a Multi-Polar World Order?

December 2, 2010
The role of emerging powers on the scene of international politics has been the focus of a lot of interest ove

Event

Europe and the American Dream

by

On November 8, the Arms Control Association and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung hosted a conference where a range of national and international experts offered their insights on the future of arms control.

On September 28, 2010, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted Catherine Ashton, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, for a roundtable discussion on U.S.-European affairs with a small group of transatlantic policy experts.

Placing Human Rights Violations in Iran on Top of the Foreign Policy Agenda

Placing Human Rights Violations in Iran on Top of the Foreign Policy AgendaPolicy Paper

Article

Progressive Growth: Building a Prosperous World in the 21st Century

What Europe Can Do for Iraq: A Blueprint for Action
Heinrich Boell Foundation

Policy Paper

What Europe Can Do for Iraq: A Blueprint for Action

With contributions by Layla Al Zubaidi, Bülent Aras, Megan Chabalowski, Richard Gowan, Faleh Jabar, Daniel Korski, Sami Moubayed, Daniel Serwer, and Heiko Wimmen

Almost six years after the invasion of Iraq by US-led Coalition forces it is high time for a fundamental political debate in the European Union and in Germany abo

Report

Can Europe rise to the Challenge? EU Policy Responses to the Global Crisis

 

Foreword

By Ralf Fücks

by

On the occasion of the anniversary of U.S. President Obama’s Cairo Speech and the upcoming elections in Egypt, the North America and Arab Middle East offices of the Heinrich Boell Stiftung invited a delegation of human right activists from the Middle East.

by

Israel’s raid on a flotilla of humanitarian aid has refocused global attention on Gaza’s isolation. In a new Q&A, Taghreed El-Khodary, visiting scholar on hiatus from reporting in the Gaza Strip for the New York Times, details what’s happening on the ground in Gaza and how the incident will shape politics in the area. El-Khodary says that Israel’s action helps Hamas and the group is now operating from a position of greater strength.

The workshop was followed by the 2010 CUSE Annual Conference, which was co-organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Brookings.  The Annual Conference featured prominent speakers from both sides of the Atlantic who explored critical issues shaping the future of transatlantic relations in the post-Lisbon Treaty era, including Europe’s Eastern neighborhood and the role Russia plays, and the impact of the Eurozone crisis.

With a U.S. Administration still popular across Europe and a new Lisbon Treaty designed to enhance the diplomatic reach of the European Union, transatlantic relations should now be at their best in years. But this is clearly not the case, with the strategic partners often looking in opposite directions.

Report

FY2011 Appropriations and Middle East Democracy

FY2011 Appropriations and Middle East Democracy Report

 

Stephen McInerney, Project on Middle East Democracy
Summary

by Stephen McInerney, Project on Middle East Dem

Conference and dossier

Palestine and the Palestinians 60 Years after the "Nakba"

 

The historic event of the formation of Israel had, however, far-reaching consequences not only for the Jewish people and the yishuv, the Jewish community in the British mandate
by

Never waste a crisis.  In a few years, if we succeed in overcoming the current problems, we might say that the progress made in economic governance in the wake of the Greek crisis was a gift.

Policy Paper

The European External Action Service – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

Catherine Ashton
CC License Monika Flueckiger (

On April 8, 2010, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America and the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings will hold a panel discussion to launch the book "The Foreign Policy of the European Union. Assessing Europe's Role in the World" and discuss the past, present and future of EU foreign policy.

Article

The current nonproliferation debate in the light of bilateral nuclear deals

 
by Philipp Bleckmann

Despite ongoing skepticism in certain circles, the year 2009 raised hopes for substantial progress on the nu

Report

Peace and Security for All

Article

Global Zero or Nuclear Anarchy?

Article

London Conference and Pakistan

By Imtiaz Gul, head of the independent Centre for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad

This articel was published in the Friday Times. For the pdf version, please click here.

Article

State-building light won’t work. The path of re-constructing Afghanistan

Seminar/Policy Papers

One Year Obama: Have Transatlantic Differences Narrowed?

Brussels, 1 Place du Congress,

FRIDE, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and

Article

Afghanistan on the Eve of the London Conference

photo courtesy: Ahmed Rashid
 
By Ahmed Rashid, Lahore/Pakistan

Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist based in

Publication series

Pakistan - Reality, Denial and the Complexity of its State

 

Pakistan’s reputation in the western public could not be worse: it is seen as “the world’s most dangerous country”, a sanctuary for Islamist terrorist groups such as al-Qaida.

Politics can only succeed when it is inclusive of all genders. Gender justice is an ambitious goal, one that the Heinrich Böll Foundation is pursuing together with many different allies worldwide. This publication gives an overview of their work.

November 16, 2009
5th Floor Conference Room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
9:15 AM – 12:30 PM

by

The Frontiers of Europe conference will discuss the Eastern Partnership’s potential—and the challenges it will face—in achieving its stated goals of promoting democratic values and good governance; strengthening energy security; and fostering stability and economic development.

dossier

The Future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

 

The risk of nuclear anarchy is no longer a distant horror scenario; it has entered the realms of possibility.

In cooperation with the Center for American Progress, Fundacion Ideas & policy network
Thursday & Friday, 1 & 2 October 2009
Madrid, Spain, invitation only

Public event in cooperation with the Project on Middle East Democracy & the Center for American Progress
Monday, June 15, 2009 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Project on Middle East Democracy

study

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2010. Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East

Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East

Published by the Project on Middle East Democracy 
and the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America

The talk series The (Un)Making of Failing States: Profits, Risks, and Measures of Failure, organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America in Fall/Winter 2008/09, tried to explore state failure phenomenon via three dialogues.

 

study

Beyond Guantánamo. Restoring U.S.

Study

What Europe Can Do for Iraq: A Blueprint for Action

 

By Justin Vaisse & Sebastian Gräfe
Number 41
By Justin Vaïsse, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe

Panel Discussion

A New Start in Transatlantic Relations - The View from the Czech EU Presidency. An Address by H.E. Karel Schwarzenberg, Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic

Roundtable Discussion. With approximately two billion people living on the verge of institutional collapse in fragile states, state failures are a daily tragedy that affect their inhabitants and put in question the stability of the state system. Strengthening weak states and preventing state failure are urgent tasks for the 21st century.

Roudtable Discussion: With approximately two billion people living on the verge of institutional collapse in fragile states, state failures are a daily tragedy that affect their inhabitants and put in question the stability of the state system. Strengthening weak states and preventing state failure are urgent tasks for the 21st century.

As experts and practitioners from Europe, the United States, and the Middle East are brought together, this event will examine the humanitarian and security implications of Iraq’s displacement crisis, and also share and identify possible strategies and policy options to respond to the crisis.

International Conference in Cooperation with the Center for American Progress
Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Intro

The world in the 21st century seems more complex than ever before. The current international system is defined by the multiplication of political actors, a diffusion of power and an increasingly multipolar world. Mirroring the transfer of power to the sub- and supranational level, threats to global peace and security have become increasingly transnational in nature. They include the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, asymmetrical conflicts, and results of climate change in form of resource scarcity and forced migration.

The regional focus of our work in the field of foreign & security policy lies on the broader Middle East as well as Afghanistan. While the scope of transatlantic efforts to advance peace and security goes well beyond that troubled region, common stakes remain particularly high in the Middle East.

Focus on Ukraine