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This tag is associated with 144 posts

European Court of Human Rights urges Russia to refrain from military action in Ukraine

On 13 March 2014, just three days before the referendum in Crimea took place, the Government of Ukraine lodged an inter-State application against the Russian Federation before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Given the urgency, Ukraine also asked for interim measures to prevent threats to the life and health of the civilian population … Continue reading

The tsunami in Japan, three years after

Three years after a tsunami hit the north-eastern coast of Japan, reconstruction is well behind schedule, while the nuclear accident in Fukushima remains a source of concern and reflexion and no one has been indicted for the consequences of the disaster. A triple disaster On 11 March 2011, the north-eastern coast of Japan was hit … Continue reading

Private law, democracy, fairness

The famous political philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002) put forward a theory of justice according to which the ‘basic structure of society‘ (its political, legal and economic arrangements) has the key task of distributing benefits and burdens among members of that society. Whether a given society is fair, depends ultimately on its ‘basic structure‘. A controversial … Continue reading

The cantons’ role in Swiss EU policy

From the perspective of the Swiss government sectoral agreements (the so-called bilateral route) are the most appropriate vehicle for the Switzerland-EU relations. This bilateral approach has found backing in the Swiss population and has domestic political majority. Many European policies concern the competence of the cantons which, in principle, are empowered by the federal constitution to participate in decision-making. Article … Continue reading

Can e-skills boost job growth in Europe?

Computers and the Internet are changing the world. The innovations produced by the digital economy are gaining in popularity: think of cloud computing, social networks, mobile broadband, to name a few. But can these be the solution for unemployment in Europe? As Internet in Europe rapidly penetrates all areas of life, EU-citizens are acquiring basic … Continue reading

A macro-regional strategy for the Carpathian Region?

Macro-regional strategies: a valuable and cheap tool The European Commission defines a macro-region as “an area including territory from a number of different countries or regions associated with one or more common features or challenges“. Macro-regional strategies may only be developed if the benefit of facing those common problems is significant and visible, through the implementation of … Continue reading

Sarajevo process : the 1992-95 war refugee problem in the Western Balkans

The Sarajevo Process takes its name from the Sarajevo Declaration adopted in January 2005 at a Regional Ministerial Conference on Refugee Returns (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. It was further supported by the Belgrade Declaration, adopted at the Migration, Asylum and Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) Regional Forum, on 7 April 2006. The participating states committed to find a solution for the remaining … Continue reading

European Capitals of Culture: preparing the programme for 2019

Based on the results of the evaluations of the previous programmes, the online and the public consultation, the Commission introduced its proposal (COM 2012/407 final) for a decision about a new Community action on the European Capitals of Culture on 20 July 2012. This document retains successful aspects of the current programme while bringing also some innovations. … Continue reading

What prospects for Transnistria after the Vilnius Summit?

The Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, better known as Transnistria, is a breakaway territory of 500 000 inhabitants in eastern Moldova, located between the river Dniester and the Ukrainian border. This strip of land gained autonomy after the collapse of the Soviet Union as a result of the 1992 war with Moldova. Since then, it has become … Continue reading

Bosnia 2013 Census

The 2013 census in BiH did not start off well. The Bosnian political parties could not agree for many years whether to call for the census or not. The main issue was the return of refugees to pre-war homes, as foreseen by Annex 7 of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords. Continue reading

Republika Srpska

Republika Srpska  The Dayton Peace Agreement modified the structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It created two entities – the Federation of BiH  (51% of the territory, predominantly inhabited by Bosniaks, but also by Bosnian Croats) and the Republika Srpska (49% of the territory, with a majority of Bosnian Serbs) – as well as the Brcko District, which is a self-governing unit under the jurisdiction of … Continue reading

Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian Croats, the smallest of the country’s three main communities, complain of a lack of political power. Many left Bosnia during the war and a majority settled in Croatia. In what is now Republika Srpska,  only 5-10% are thought to have returned. Several estimates have been made, that range from 434 000 to 570 000, significantly less than in 1991 census when there were 760 000. In October 2013, … Continue reading

EU integration – no going back for Moldova?

The Eastern Partnership’s Vilnius Summit in November 2013 has generally been seen as a milestone for EU-Moldova relations, with the initialling of the Association Agreement (AA), including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the two partners. Although planned for some time, the initialisation was far from being a simple formality, with both … Continue reading

Does online surveillance violate fundamental rights of EU citizens?

In the wake of revelations of large-scale electronic surveillance by the American National Security Agency (NSA), concern has been growing about European participation in surveillance of EU citizens. According to studies conducted by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), EU intelligence services often cooperate with the NSA and conduct their own legally questionable surveillance. On 4 July … Continue reading

The Vilnius Summit – what’s in for Moldova?

In the run-up to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit in Vilnius, the expectations of the six partner countries are rather diverse. For some (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus) this summit will have little impact, whereas for others (Ukraine and Georgia) it could represent an epochal step on their road to deeper political and economic integration with … Continue reading

Human rights issues under the spotlight ahead of Sochi Olympics

In recent years, the Russian Federation has actively looked to increase its international standing by hosting a series of prestigious sporting events including the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the 2018 Football World Cup and the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Even if the start of the Olympics is still several months away, the eyes of the international community … Continue reading

Iran’s nuclear programme: 10 years of talks

On 15 October 2013, a new round of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme began between Iran and the group of major world powers known as the E3+3 (the group is also commonly referred to as the P5+1 and consists of France, Germany, the UK, China, Russia and the US). A second session was held from 7-10 November, … Continue reading

The key elements of a European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision reform

Natalia Gorczowska, Andrew Symeou, Robert Hörchner are just three of the names often invoked to demonstrate what appear to be the lacunae of the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision (EAWFD). A long-standing advocate for the reform and improvement of the EAWFD, MEP Sarah Ludford (ALDE, UK) has been appointed Rapporteur for a report on the review of the EAW. In … Continue reading

A sunny outlook for cloud computing

Part of our daily life Cloud computing is becoming a part of everyday life. Most of us use webmail services and social networks to communicate; we can also use the cloud to store and share our photos and videos. I wrote and edited this text on a blog publishing platform in the cloud – maybe … Continue reading

Selecting Europe’s judges: time for more democratic legitimacy?

On 4 November 2013, eminent European scholars and practitioners gathered at the College of Europe (CoE) in Bruges to discuss the process of appointment of judges to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In his opening address, Jörg Monar (Rector of CoE) stressed the importance of legitimacy of appointments to the European courts … Continue reading

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