News and Commentary

Democratic scrutiny of EU foreign policy: From Juncker’s election to the “Pirate Transfer Agreement” judgment

19 Aug 2014   | by Joris Larik

Opinions may differ on what is the “most dangerous branch” in the European Union. However, at the moment the most ambitious institution regarding the expansion of its own powers is doubtlessly the European Parliament (EP). Following the first-time ever election of the European Commission President last month, a recent judgment of the European Court of Justice, also shows that even the Union’s “sovereignty-sensitive” Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is not immune to the Parliament’s advances. 


Europe Should Dare to Think Big Again

Credit: Viktor Kovalenko
14 Aug 2014  | Nikola Dimitrov


“Europe, for many Ukrainians, is not so much a geographical concept as an idea representing honesty, decency, and stability. This is why protesters fought so hard to remove Yanukovich …” underlined recently Oliver Bullough. Maidan was a collective cry for what Europe stands for, for the European narrative. 


Sanctioning Russia at What Cost? Potential Economic Implications for EU Member States

08 Aug 2014  | Agnese Macaluso


Last week, the European Council's Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) reached an agreement to impose sanctions on the Russian banking and arms sectors, and to some degree the energy sector. The decision marked a turning point, after a five-month debate on the economic risks for EU member states to imposing sectoral sanctions on its third trading partner.


New Policy Brief on Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean

07 Aug 2014  While piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean are current issues, so-called Great Power rivalry is not yet an immediate security threat in the region. However, as the authors of our latest Policy Brief argue, the potential effects of Great Power rivalry are more fundamental and reach further than acts of terrorism or piracy. Therefore, policy-makers in the European Union ought to pay close attention to issues of maritime security in the Indian Ocean.

More than just Scarcity: Multifaceted Water Conflicts in Yemen

06 Aug 2014  |  by Ting Zhang, Patrick Huntjens, and Rens de Man


Yemen's capital, Sana’a, will likely run out of water in 10 years. That is the pressing reality of water scarcity in Yemen today. However, scarcity is not the only cause of water-related conflicts in Yemen. Structural factors such as increasing competition over diminishing water sources (mainly because of population growth and qat plantations), chronic poverty and growing urban-rural disparities, decades of conflict, and weak governance in times of rapid political change also contribute and interplay.



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