Blogs

Entries with Categories Global Affairs Trials .

ESSAY / Blake Bierman

The Common Foreign, Security, and Defence Policy (CFSDP) of the European Union today acts a chameleonic hybrid of objectives and policies that attempt to resolve a plethora of threats faced by the EU. In a post 9/11 security framework, any acting policy measure must simultaneously answer to a wide array of political demands from member states and bureaucratic constraints from Brussels. As a result, the urgent need for consolidation and coherency in a common, digestible narrative has evolved into a single EU Global Strategy that boldly attempts to address today's most pressing security whilst proactively deterring those of tomorrow. In this analysis, I will first present a foundational perspective on the external context of the policy areas. Next, I will interpret the self-perception of the EU within such a context and its role(s) within. Thirdly, I will identify the key interests, goals, and values of the EU and assess their incorporation into policy. I will then weigh potential resources and strategies the EU may utilize in enacting and enforcing said policies. After examining the aforementioned variables, I will end my assessment by weighing the strengths and weaknesses of both the EU's Strategic Vision and Reflection Paper while identifying preferences within the two narratives.

EU in an External Context: A SWOT Analysis

When it comes to examining the two perspectives presented, the documents must be viewed from their correlative timelines. The first document, "From Shared Vision to Common Action: Implementing the EU Global Strategy Year 1," (I will refer to this as the Implementation paper) serves as a realist review of ongoing action within the EU's three policy clusters in detailing the beginning stages of integrated approach and outlook towards the internal-external nexus along with an emphasized role of public diplomacy in the mix. On the other hand, the second document, "Reflection Paper on the Future of European Defence," (I will refer to this as the Reflection paper) acts more so as a planning guide to define the potential frameworks for policies going forward into 2025. Once these documents are viewed within their respective timelines, a balanced "SWOT" analysis can assess the similarities and divergences of the options they present. Overwhelmingly, the theme of cooperation acts as a fundamental staple in both documents. In my opinion, this acts a force for unification and solidarity amongst member states from not only the point of view of common interest in all three policy areas, but also as a reminder of the benefits in the impact and cost of action as prescribed in the UN and NATO cases. Both documents seem to expand the EU's context in terms of scope as embracing the means and demands for security in a global lens. The documents reinforce that in a globalized world, threats and their responses require an approach that extends beyond EU borders, and therefore a strong, coherent policy voice is needed to bring together member states and allies alike to defeat them.

Examining the divergences, much is left to be desired as far as the risks and opportunities are presented. In my perspective, I believe this was constructed purposefully as an attempt to leave the both areas as open as possible to allow for member states to interpret them in the context of their own narratives. In short, member state cohesion at literally every policy inroad proves to be the proverbial double-edged sword as the single largest risk and opportunity tasked by the organisation. I think that the incessant rehashing of the need to stress state sovereignty at every turn while glamorizing the benefits of a single market and economies of scale identifies a bipolar divide in both documents that seems yet to be bridged by national sentiments even in the most agreeable of policy areas like diplomacy. The discord remains all but dependent on the tide of political discourse at the national level for years to come as the pace maker to materialize sufficient commitments in everything from budgets to bombs in order to achieve true policy success.

Who is the EU? Self-Perception and Potential Scenarios

After understanding the external context of the EU policy areas, we now turn to the element of self-perception and the roles of the EU as an international actor. Examining the relationship between the two stands as a crucial understanding of policy formulation as central to the core identity to the EU and vice versa. In this case, both documents provide key insight as to the position of the EU in a medium-term perspective. From the Implementation Paper, we see a humbled approach that pushes the EU to evolve from a regional, reactionary actor to a proactive, world power. The paper hones in on the legal roots and past successes of an integrated approach outside EU borders as a calling to solidify the Union's mark as a vital organ for peace and defence. The paper then broadens such an identity to incorporate the elements of NATO and the UN cooperation as a segmenting role for member states contributions, such as intelligence collection and military technology/cyber warfare. In the Reflection Paper, I think the tone and phrasing speak more to the self-perceptions of individual citizens. The emotive language for the promotion of a just cause attitude stands reinforced by the onslaught of harmonizing buzzwords throughout the paper and the three scenarios such as "joint, collaborative, solidarity, shared, common, etc.". In my perspective, such attempts draw in the need to reinforce, protect, and preserve a common identity both at home and abroad. This formation speaks to the development of both military and civilian capabilities as a means of securing and maintaining a strong EU position in the global order while supplementing the protection of what is near and dear at home.

Policy Today: Interests, Goals, and Values

When developing a coherent line of key interests, goals, and values across three focal policy structures, the EU makes strategic use of public perception as a litmus test to guide policy narratives. In the Reflection Paper, indications clearly point to a heightened citizen concern over immigration and terrorism from 2014-2016 taking clear priority over economic issues as the continent recovers. Such a reshuffling may pave the way for once-apprehensive politicians to re-examine budgeting priorities. Such a mandate could very well be the calling national governments need to allocate more of their defence spending to the EU while also ramping up domestic civilian and military infrastructure to contribute to common policy goals. Extending this notion of interest-based contributions over to the goals themselves, I think that member states are slowly developing the political will to see that a single market for defence ultimately becomes more attractive to the individual tax payer when all play a part. As the Reflection Paper explains, this can be translated as free/common market values with the development of economies of scale, boosted production, and increased competition. In each of the three scenarios outlined, the values act as matched components to these goals and interests. Therefore, readers retain a guiding set of "principles" as the basis for the plan's "actions" and "capabilities." The alignment of interests, goals, and values remains a difficult but necessary target in all policy areas, as the final results have significant influence over the perception of publics that indirectly vote the policies into place. In my perspective, a lack of coherence between the three and the policies could be a potential pitfall for policy objectives as lost faith by the public may sink the voter appetite for future defense spending and action.

Making it Happen: Resources and Strategies

As the balance between the EU's ways and means become a focal point for any CFSDP discussion, I wanted to enhance the focus between the resources and strategies to examine the distribution between EU and member state competencies. When it comes to resources in all three policy areas, individual member states' own infrastructures become front and centre. Even in the "collaborative" lens of a 21st century EU, foreign affairs, defence, and security mainly revolve as apparatuses of a state. Therefore, in order to achieve a common strategy, policy must make a concerted effort to maximize collective utilization of state assets while respecting state sovereignty. In the Reflection paper, an attempt to consolidate the two by bolstering the EU's own defence budget acts as a middle ground. In this regard, I think the biggest opportunity for the EU to retain its own resources remains in technology. States are simply more eager to share their military tech than they are their own boots on the ground. Similarly, technology and its benefits are more easily transferrable between member states and the EU. Just as well, selling the idea of technology research to taxpayers that may one day see the fruits of such labor in civilian applications is an easier pill to swallow for politicians than having to justify the use of a state's limited and precious human military capital for an EU assignment not all may agree with. A type of "technological independence" the third scenario implies would optimally direct funding in a manner that balances state military capacity where it acts best while joining the common strategy for EU technological superiority that all member states can equally benefit from.

Narratives and Norms: A Final Comparison

After reviewing the progress made in the Implementation Paper and balancing it with the goals set forth in the Reflection paper, it remains clear that serious decisions towards the future of EU CFSDP still need to be made. The EU Global Strategy treads lightly on the most important topics for voters like immigration and terrorism that remain works in progress under the program's steps for "resilience" and the beginnings of an integrated approach. That being said, my perspective in this program lens remains that the role and funding of public diplomacy unfortunately remains undercut by the giant umbrella of security and defense. To delve into the assessment of counterterrorism policy as a solely defensive measure does a disservice to the massive, existing network of EU diplomatic missions serving abroad that effectively act as proactive anti-terrorism measures in themselves. At the same time, supplementing funding to public diplomacy programs would take some of the pressure off member states to release their military capabilities for joint use. In this facet, I empathize with the member state politician and voter in their apprehensiveness to serve as the use of force in even the most justifiable situations. A refocus on funding in the diplomacy side is a cost effective alternative and investment that member states can make to reduce the likelihood that their troops will need to serve abroad on behalf of the EU. The success of diplomacy can be seen in areas like immigration, where the Partnership Framework on Migration has attempted to work with countries of origin to stabilize governments and assist civilians.

Turning the page to the Reflection Paper, I think much is left to be desired in terms of the development of the three scenarios. Once again, the scenario parameters are purposefully vague to effectively sell the plan to a wide variety of narratives. At the same time, I found it reprehensible that despite the massive rhetoric to budgetary concerns, none of the three scenarios incorporated any type of estimate fiscal dimension to compare and contrast the visions. Obviously, the contributions of member states will vary widely but I think that a concerted campaign to incentivize a transparent contribution table in terms financing, military assets, diplomatic assets, or (ideally) a combination of the three would see a more realpolitik approach to what the EU does and does not possess in the capacity to achieve in these policy areas. Ultimately, I believe that Scenario C "Common Defense and Security" retains the most to offer member states while effectively balancing the contributions and competencies equally. I think that the scenario utiles the commitments to NATO and reinforces the importance of technological independence. As such, the importance of a well-defined plan to develop and maintain cutting-edge technology in all three policy areas cannot be overstated and, in my opinion, will become not only the most common battlefield, but also the critical one as the world enters into a 21st century of cyber warfare.

 

WORKS CITED

European Union (2016). From Shared Vision to Common Action: The EU's Global Strategic Vision: Year 1.

European Union (2016). Reflection Paper on the Future of European Defence.

Categories Global Affairs: Security and defence European Union Trials

essay / Alejandro Palacios

The Republic of Mauritius, an island state of 1.2 million inhabitants in the southwest Indian Ocean, 900 kilometers off the coast of Madagascar, can be seen as a good example of the progress that various African governments are making on subject in the area of human rights. This is not to say that this archipelago is an exemplary country in the application of human rights, as it certainly still has a long way to go in their correct application. But its case is interesting as a country that, despite still being on the way to development, has been able to build a legal system in which respect for fundamental rights plays an essential role.

In this document, accredited specialization will be made on the state of Human Rights in some of the most important areas of political and social life in Mauritius, such as the democratic internship , labor activity or access to drinking water, among others. At the same time, an attempt will be made to answer the question of whether or not the Mauritian legal system is adequate to deal with the fight against abuses and violations of such rights and, above all, whether the Government, in view of the resources available, is capable of doing so. In other words, it will be assessed whether the legal will corresponds to a real will to attack injustices related to fundamental rights.

framework legal

Despite the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights in 1981 and the creation of the African Commission on Human Rights in 1986, respect for this value system remains the exception in the life of many countries on the African continent. This is due not to an absence of recognition of these rights in the respective national constitutions, but to the lack of both legal mechanisms and political will to effectively implement the law.

Mauritius does not escape this reality. Recently, the Human Rights committee of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) presented the fifth periodic report of Mauritius on the implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In its report, the committee highlighted the Mauritian government's lack of political will to develop the principles of democracy, rule of law, human and political rights and individual freedoms.

However, committee noted progress since its previous report, such as the creation of a Human Rights division within the Mauritian government structure and the adoption of theEqual Opportunities Act. Other measures taken forward in Mauritius include certain amendments made to the Civil Code and the adoption of both theCriminal Appeal Act and thePolice Complaints Act. These actions are intended to achieve in the long term deadline a development consistent with respect for human rights and individual freedoms in order to conform to quality of life standards based on dignity, social justice, economic empowerment and equality attention. According to the Government, this will help create a cohesive and tolerant community based on a set of shared values such as respect, unity, inclusion and solidarity.

In addition, Mauritius claims to have implemented in its laws many of the instruments agreed upon at the international level with a view to guaranteeing human rights. Among other actions, the Government highlights the reclamation of the Chagos Archipelago from the United Kingdom. In the opinion of the Mauritian Government, the archipelago was forcibly evicted by the United Kingdom, showing a "clear indifference" towards the rights of the islanders. Since then, the Republic has maintained an unalterable attitude in favor of the decolonization process. The international support that Mauritius has received has already been reflected in the adoption of resolution 71/292 of the United Nations General Assembly on the request to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.

Social and political life

Both the Mauritian Constitution of 1968 and the legislation adopted subsequently incorporate formulations of respect for human rights. However, as in many other countries, the institutional system lacks the tools and the will to effectively enforce punishments for human rights violations or negligence. In addition, there is a lack of an adequate system of protection for victims of various crimes, such as sexual offenses or discrimination against homosexuals.

It should be emphasized that not all areas are governed by patron saint . There are other areas in which legislation protects and respects fundamental rights. Therefore, it is convenient to analyze the cases individually rather than to provide a general evaluation of the state of Human Rights immediately.

We will start by making accredited specialization to the state of democracy in the island country. According to the 2017 Democracy Index, Mauritius is within what is considered a "full democracy", with scores higher than Spain, the United States or France, among others[1]. This ranking means that in Mauritius: 1) truly free and fair elections are held; 2) voters are guaranteed security staff ; 3) there is little influence by foreign powers on the government; and 4) civil servants are capable of implementing policies. All this at Degree higher than the 178 countries below Mauritius.

However, there are some internal criticisms of the country's democratic functioning. Although the 2014 elections were characterized by international observers as fair and free, some voices have criticized the system of representation, citing the modification of certain electoral constituencies in order to benefit certain social groups, a technique known in political science as gerrymandering. Other complaints have referred to the low issue of women candidates, the lack of transparency in the counting of votes due to the fact that this process takes longer than it should and the lack of equity in the access to the media to promote the electoral campaigns by the civil service examination. In this sense, the civil service examination alleges that the public television MBC TV favors the ruling party.

Finally, thanks to a 2012 resolution by the United Nations Human Rights committee , the Mauritian government amended the Constitution in 2014 to prevent voters from having to identify their ethnicity when voting. This behavior was reported by the committee as a clear violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Despite these criticisms, it is relevant to highlight the fact that Mauritius ranks 54th out of the 176 countries analyzed in terms of the Corruption Perceptions Index. Indeed, Mauritius is the African country with the lowest reported levels of corruption, surpassed only by Namibia, Rwanda and Botswana[2]. However, the existing levels of corruption have not come without consequences. In 2015 the President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the only female president in Africa at the time, was forced to resign after being embroiled in a political scandal also involving the NGO Planet Earth Institute[3].

The death penalty was officially abolished in 1995, the last execution having taken place in 1987[4]. Despite being a relatively recent date, Mauritius is one of the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa to have abolished it. Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland are some of the neighboring countries that still apply the death penalty in one way or another[5].

partnerMauritius prohibits abortion except in case of serious risk to the mother's life, and therefore abortion is not allowed in case of fetal defects, non-serious risk to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman, economic factors, or in case of rape[6].

Although there are situations of human rights abuses, the government's attitude is to accept mechanisms to monitor its work, some of them external. Mauritius has an ombudsman or ombudsman elected by the country's president, whose job is to investigate complaints against public servants, such as police and prison officials. The 2017 report on Human Rights in Mauritius considers the ombudsman to be independent, effective, and adequately resourced to carry out his or her work.

In addition, the Government has the Equal Opportunities Commission, which is tasked with investigating allegations of discrimination and promote equal opportunities in the public and private sector. According to the 2017 report , the Commission proves to be effective, independent and adequately resourced to carry out its duties.

All these controls, however, do not prevent discrimination among Mauritian citizens on the basis, among others, of gender and belonging to a specific community. This is the scenario in which the Creoles, i.e. Mauritians of Mauritian origin of African descent, find themselves. In this regard, the newspaper L'Express recently announced that it was in possession of a recording in which the former Vice-President and Minister of Housing and Land could be heard saying that, within the new urban planning project that the Government was going to develop, 90% of the housing would go to Hindus and 10% to Muslims. Consequently, the Creoles would not receive "any housing" in order to prevent "prostitution from spreading in the neighborhood". It should be noted that the Hindu ethnic group constitutes 48% of the Mauritian population and has been politically dominant since the country's independence.

In addition, women and children continue to be the groups most affected by discrimination. There are laws that prohibit and criminalize both rape and domestic violence, but neither the police nor the judicial system provide adequate coverage for these cases. The same is true for cases of sexual harassment. Cases of sex trafficking of minors have been reported (the minimum age for consensual sex is 16 years old).

People with disabilities also suffer from a certain Degree of discrimination. Despite the fact that Mauritian law requires that people with disabilities constitute a specific percentage of the workforce of work within a business, the authorities ignore this requirement. However, the Executive is responsible for financing programs for these people at financial aid , in order to facilitate their access to information and communication. For example, by adding subtitles to television programs or by creating a news program adapted to their communication difficulties. Finally, despite equal rights in terms of political participation, there are practical problems related to transportation and access to polling stations.

Likewise, the LGTBI collective suffers a high level of discrimination attention . For example, in practical terms, those who have had sex with other people of the same sex are prevented from donating blood, even though the law allows it. In addition, in 2015 there was a reported arbitrary arrest of a man for being transgender and externalizing it by wearing women's clothing. He was released without charge after being slapped, terrorized and forced to undress. One of the latest reported incidents was stone throwing during the annual LGTBI march. Despite these cases, the law does not criminalize same-sex sexual activity, but sodomy between people of the same and different sexes.

All these types of discrimination also carry over into the workplace where, despite being prohibited by law, discrimination on the basis of sex, race, HIV and disability exists. For example, Creoles and Muslims have difficult access to work positions in the public sector. In addition, women are paid less than men for a similar work and it is uncommon for them to occupy high positions. On the contrary, they tend to occupy positions where lesser training is required. The high Degree unemployment rate among the disabled is due to the lack of physically accessible work positions. Finally, minors are prohibited by law from working until the age of 16, and until the age of 18 in jobs classified as dangerous and with poor sanitary conditions. Nevertheless, there are cases of minors working on the streets, in small businesses and restaurants, as well as in the agricultural sector.

The minimum wage, which tends to rise in relation to the inflation rate, varies according to the sector. For example, for a domestic worker the minimum wage is 607 rupees (€15) per week, while for a factory worker it is 794 rupees (€20). The working week is stipulated at 45 hours. Despite these regulations, cases have been reported in which cleaning workers were not always paid the minimum wage for the entire conference work , as they only received 1,500 rupees (38 €) per month, which is equivalent to 375 rupees (9 €) per week.

On the other hand, the law recognizes the right to strike, although it is necessary to follow a mandatory process considered by the conveners of the strike as "long, complex and excessively long" in order to declare it. Even if the workers have complied with this process, the Executive reservation has the right to prohibit the strike and transfer the dispute to arbitration if it considers that the strike may seriously affect a specific sector or service. In addition, it is necessary that workers comply with a minimum of their services during the strike days. Strikes at the national level, referring to "general economic policy issues" and/or during sessions of the General Assembly, are prohibited. Labor is one of the few areas where the Government enforces the law more effectively. However, delays in procedures and appeals have been reported.

In relation to access to drinking water, no major problems have been reported. Although it is always advisable, not only in Mauritius, but also in Africa in general, to use bottled water for human consumption. In this regard, only in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea have serious problems with drinking water supply been observed. However, there is concern about the contamination of the aquifer in northern Mauritius, which is one of the five major groundwater reserves and provides 50-60% of the water needed for domestic purposes.

Good prospects

In conclusion, the efforts that the island government is making to put an end to situations that run counter to respect for fundamental rights should be emphasized. There is no doubt that, despite these efforts, Mauritius still faces many challenges. Many of them are caused by the lack of rigor in the application of Mauritian laws, which are, as noted above, exemplary in the respect and promotion of these rights.

In fact, Mauritius has legislation that, as we have seen, closely resembles that of developed Western countries at subject of respect for individual fundamental rights. One of the most serious problems facing the country in this regard is the lack of political will to implement the precepts of the law.

Despite the shortcomings pointed out by the above-mentioned reports, they also highlight the structural reform carried out and the assertive attitude of the Mauritian government in favor of the implementation of policies that are more respectful of fundamental rights. This is clearly seen in the honesty with which the Government allows third party institutions to exercise some monitoring activity.

development We are also talking about the fact that Mauritius is the African country with the highest Human Development Index (HDI), 0.781, classified as "high"[8]. This status places it as the issue 68th country in the world, above countries such as Ecuador, China or Turkey. Therefore, we can consider that Mauritius meets more than acceptable standards in subject of Education, health, life expectancy or GDP per capita.[9].

On the other hand, this island state is one of the few to provide teaching up to university level, free school transport and free health care. In addition, 87% of its inhabitants own their own homes, without having experienced a real estate bubble like the one that hit Western countries more than 10 years ago, the consequences of which are still being felt. Mauritius has achieved all this without being among the richest countries in the world (129th out of 189 analyzed by nominal GDP)[10]. This has been achieved through a diversification of its Economics, large cuts in defense and a very well structured social security system.[11] The Mauritius government has also been able to achieve this through the diversification of its social security system.

This leads to the conclusion that, despite the efforts that remain to be made at subject to promote and respect human rights, Mauritius is today one of the most economically prosperous African countries and therefore the most likely to see the early institutionalization and entrenchment of fundamental rights and freedoms. Indeed, Mauritius currently enjoys an annual growth rate of close to 4% and one of the highest GDP per Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) indices on the African continent, second only to the Seychelles[12]. This is significant, as one of the most important steps towards the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms is the economic empowerment of the population in order to put an end to cases of servitude and dependency, which undoubtedly encourage cases of abuses and violations of these rights.

 


[1] In this regard, see

[4] For more information, see

[5] It is fair to mention that Zambia and Tanzania are currently in the process of abolishing the death penalty.

[7] In this regard, see

development [9] The Human Development Index (HDI) is an indicator developed annually by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) development and is one of the most important in assessing whether government wealth has translated into higher living standards for its inhabitants.

Categories Global Affairs: Africa World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

essay / Lucía Serrano Royo

Currently, some 60 million people are forcibly displaced in the world (Arenas-Hidalgo, 2017). [1] The figures become more significant if it is observed that more than 80% of migratory flows are directed to developing countries development, while only 20% have as goal developed countries, which in turn have more means and wealth, and would be more suitable to receive these migratory flows.

In 2015, Europe welcomed 1.2 million people, which was an unprecedented magnitude since the Second World War. This status has led to an intense discussion on solidarity and responsibility among Member States.

The way in which this subject has been legislated in the European Union has given rise to irregularities in its application among the different States. This subject within the European Union system is a shared skill of the area of freedom, security and justice. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in its article 2.2 and 3 establishes that in these competences, it is the States that must legislate insofar as the Union does not exercise its skill. This has given rise to a partial development and inequalities.

development legislative

The figure of refugees is reflected for the first time in an international document in the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) and its 1967 protocol . (UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency, 2017)[2]. Despite this breakthrough, the treatment of refugees was different in each Member State, as their national policy was dealt with. Therefore, in an attempt to harmonize national policies, the Dublin agreement was signed in 1990. However, it was not until the Treaty of Amsterdam in May 1999, when it was established as goal to create an area of freedom, security and justice, treating the subject immigration and asylum as a shared skill . Already in October 1999, the European committee held a special session for the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union, concluding with the need to create a Common European Asylum System (CEAS) (CIDOB, 2017)[3]. Finally, these policies in subject of asylum become subject common with the Lisbon Treaty and its development in the TFEU.

Currently, its raison d'être is set out in Article 67 et seq. of the TFEU, which states that the Union shall constitute an area of freedom, security and justice with respect for fundamental rights and the different legal systems and traditions of the Member States. This area shall also guarantee the absence of controls on persons at internal borders. Furthermore, it is established that the EU will develop a common policy on asylum, immigration and external border control (art 67.2 TFEU) based on solidarity between Member States, which is fair towards third-country nationals. But the area of freedom, security and justice is not a watertight compartment in the treaties, but has to be interpreted in the light of other sections.

This skill should be analyzed, on the one hand, under the framework of free movement of persons within the European Union, and on the other hand, taking into account the financial field. As regards the free movement of persons, article 77 TFEU must be applied, which calls on the Union to develop a policy ensuring the total absence of checks on persons at internal borders, while guaranteeing checks at external borders. To this end, the European Parliament and the committee, in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure , must establish a common policy on visas and other short-stay permits residency program , controls and conditions under which third-country nationals may move freely within the Union. As regards the financial sphere, account must be taken of article 80 TFEU, which establishes the principle of solidarity in asylum, immigration and control policies, taking into account the fair sharing of responsibility among Member States.

Furthermore, a fundamental aspect for the development of this subject has been the harmonization of the term refugee by the Union, defining it as third-country nationals or stateless persons who are outside their home country and are unwilling or unable to return to it due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of their race, religion, nationality or opinion (Eur-ex.europa.eu, 2017)[4]. This is of particular importance because these are the characteristics necessary to acquire refugee status, which in turn is necessary to obtain asylum in the European Union.

status in Europe

Despite the legislative development , the response in Europe to the humanitarian crisis following the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, together with the upsurge of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea or Somalia, has been very ineffective, which has shaken the system.

The decision to grant or withdraw refugee status belongs to each State's internal authorities and may therefore differ from one State to another. What the European Union does is to guarantee common protection and ensure that asylum seekers have access to fair and efficient asylum procedures. This is why the EU is trying to establish a coherent system for decision making in this regard by the Member States, developing rules on the whole process of application asylum. In addition, in the event that the person does not meet the requirements criteria for refugee status, but is in a status sensitive situation due to risk of serious harm in case of return to his or her country, he or she is entitled to subsidiary protection. The principle of non-refoulement applies to these persons, i.e. they have the right first and foremost not to be taken to a country where there is a risk to their lives.

The problem with this system is that Turkey and Lebanon alone host 10 times more refugees than the whole of Europe, which up to 2016 only processed 813,599 asylum applications. Specifically, Spain granted protection to 6,855 applicants, of which 6,215 were Syrians[5]; despite the increase compared to previous years, the figures were still the lowest in the European environment.

Many of the people who disembark in Greece or Italy, set off again towards the Balkans through Yugoslavia and Serbia to Hungary, in view of the deficiencies of management and the precarious conditions they found in these host countries.

In an attempt to implement the principle of solidarity and cooperation, a series of quotas were established in 2015 to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and the pressure established in Greece and Italy. Member states were to share 120,000 asylum seekers, and all countries were to abide by it. The main stakeholder was Germany. Another mechanism that was set up was a fund with position to the Refugee Mechanism in Turkey, to meet the needs of refugees hosted in that country. The Commission allocated a total amount of €2.2 billion, and budgeted €3 billion in 2016-2017[6].

Faced with this status countries have reacted differently within the Union. In contrast to countries such as Germany, which is looking for a way to combat aging and population reduction in its state through the entrance of refugees, other Member States are reluctant to implement the policies. Even in some EU countries, nationalist parties are gaining strength and support: in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders (Freedom Party); in France, Marine Le Pen (National Front); and in Germany, Frauke Petry (Alternative for Germany party). Although these parties are not the main political force in these countries, this reflects the dissatisfaction of part of the population with the entrance of refugees in the States. The case of the United Kingdom is also noteworthy, since one of the causes of Brexit was the desire to regain control over the entrance of immigrants in the country. In addition, the United Kingdom initially opted out of the quota system applied in the other Member States. As confirmed in her negotiations, Prime Minister Theresa May prioritizes the rejection of immigration over free trade in the EU.

Specific mechanisms for development of the ESLJ

The borders between the different countries of the Union have become blurred. With the Schengen border code and the Community code on visas, borders have been opened and integrated, thus allowing the free movement of people. The operation of these systems has required the establishment of common rules on the entrance of persons and the control of visas, since once the external border of the EU has been crossed, controls are minimal. Therefore, documentation checks vary depending on the places of origin of the recipients, with a more detailed control for non-EU citizens. Only exceptionally is there provision for the reintroduction of internal border controls (for a maximum period of thirty days), in the event of a serious threat to public order and internal security.

Since the control of external borders depends on the States where they are located, systems such as Frontex 2004 have been created, from the ad hoc Border Control Centers established in 1999, which provides financial aid to the States in the control of the external borders of the EU, mainly to those countries that suffer great migratory pressures (Frontex.europa.eu, 2017) [7]. The Internal Security Fund, a financial support system emerged in 2014 and aimed at strengthening external borders and visas, has also been created.

Another active mechanism is the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), to strengthen the cooperation of EU countries, where theoretically Member States should allocate 20% of the available resources[8]. For its implementation, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) (2014-2020) was established necessary for promote the effectiveness of the management of migration flows. In addition, an asylum policy for the European Union has been established in the CEAS, which includes a directive on asylum procedures and a directive on reception conditions. The Dublin Regulation, from agreement with the Geneva Convention, is integrated into this system. It is a fundamental mechanism and although this system has been simplified, unified and clarified, it has caused more controversy at subject of refugees. It was established to streamline asylum application processes in the 32 countries that apply the Regulation. Under this law, only one country is manager of the examination of its application: the country that takes the refugee's fingerprints, i.e., the first one he or she arrived in and applied for international protection. This works regardless of whether the person travels to or seeks asylum in another country; the competent country is the one in which the refugee was first fingerprinted. This system relies on EURODAC, as it is a central system that financial aid EU Member States to determine the country manager to examine an asylum application by comparing fingerprints.

The committee European Refugees and Exiles has highlighted the two main problems of this system: on the one hand, it leads refugees to travel clandestinely and dangerously until they reach their destination country, in order to avoid being fingerprinted by a country other than the one in which they want to settle. On the other hand, Greece and Italy, which are the main destinations of migrant flows, cannot cope with the burden this system imposes on them to process the masses of people arriving on their territory in search of protection.

Cases before the EU Court of Justice

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled on various aspects relating to immigration and the treatment of refugees by the Member States. On some occasions the Court has remained steadfast in the application of the homogeneous rules and regulations of the Union, while in other cases the Court has left the matter to the discretion of the different Member States. 

The court ruled in favor of a joint action in the case of a third country national (Mr. El Dridi) who illegally entered Italy without permission from residency program. On May 8, 2004 the Prefect of Turin issued against him a decree of expulsion. The CJEU (CJEU, 28 April 2011)[9] ruled that despite the fact that an immigrant is in status illegally and remains in the territory of the referred Member State without just cause, even with the concurrence of an infringement of an order to leave the said territory in a given deadline , the State cannot impose a prison sentence, since following Directive 2008/115, they exclude the criminal skill of the Member States in the field of illegal immigration and irregular status . Thus, the States must adjust their legislation to ensure compliance with EU law.

On the other hand, the court leaves it up to the States to decide to send back to a third country an immigrant who has applied for international protection on its territory, if it considers that this country meets the criteria of a "safe third country". Even the court ruled (CJEU, December 10, 2013) [10]that, in order to streamline the processing of asylum applications and to avoid obstruction of the system, the Member State retains its prerogative in exercising the right to grant asylum regardless of which Member State manager of the examination of a application. This School leaves a large margin of appreciation to the States. Homogeneity in this case can only be seen in the case of systematic shortcomings of the asylum procedure and of the conditions of reception of asylum seekers in that State, or degrading treatment.

For a more active attitude

The European Union has established a multitude of mechanisms, and has skill to set them in motion, but its passivity and the reluctant attitude of the Member States in welcoming refugees call into question the unity of the European Union system and the freedom of movement that characterizes the EU itself. The status it faces is complex, as there is a humanitarian crisis arising from the flow of migrants in need of financial aid at its borders. Meanwhile, States are passive and even against improving the system, to the point that some States have proposed the restoration of internal border controls (El Español, 2017).[11] This status has been caused mainly by a lack of effective control over their borders within the Union, and on the other hand by a society that sample wary of open borders because of insecurity.

The refugee crisis is a real problem and closing the borders will not make the problem go away. This is why European countries should adopt a common and active perspective. The earmarking of funds serves as financial aid in this humanitarian crisis, but it is not the only solution. One of the main unresolved problems is the status of people in refugee camps, who are in precarious conditions and should be received in a dignified manner. The Union should react more actively to these situations, making use of its skill in subject of asylum and immigration arrivals with massive influx, as stated in art 78 TFEU c).

This status remains one of the main objectives for the diary of the European Union since the White Paper establishes the reinforcement of the diary Migration, actions on the refugee crisis and aspects on the population crisis in Europe. It advocates for an increase in immigration policies and protection of legal immigration, while combating illegal immigration, helping both immigrants and the European population (European Commission, 2014) [12]. Despite these positive plans and perspectives, it is necessary to take into account the delicate status that the EU is facing internally, with cases such as the withdrawal of a State with power within the Union (the Brexit), which could lead to a diversion in the efforts of community policies, leaving aside crucial issues, such as the status of refugees.

 


[1] Arenas-Hidalgo, N. (2017). Massive population flows and security. The refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. [online] Redalyc.org [Accessed 9 Jul. 2017].

[2] UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency (2017) Who is a Refugee? [online] [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017]

[3] CIDOB. (2017). CIDOB - Refugee policy in the European Union. [online] [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].

[4] Eur-lex.europa.eu. (2017). EUR-Lex - l33176 - EN - EUR-Lex. [online] Available [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].

[6] Anon, (2017). [online] [Accessed 11 Jul. 2017].

[7] Frontex.europa.eu (2017). Frontex | Origin. [online] [Accessed 12 Jul. 2017].

[8] https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/e-library/docs/ceas-fact-sheets/ceas_factsheet_es.pdf [Accessed 12 Jul. 2017].

[9] Court of Justice of the European Union [online]. ECLI:EU:C:2011:268, dated 28 April 2011 [accessed 10 June 2017].

[10] Court of Justice of the European Union [online].ECLI:EU:C:2013:813, of10 December 2013 [accessed 10 June 2017].

[11] El Español (2017). European border controls may squander a third of growth. [online] [Accessed 11 Jul. 2017].

[12] European Commission (2014). Migration and asylum.

Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

ESSAY / Elena López-Dóriga

The European Union's aim is to promote democracy, unity, integration and cooperation between its members. However, in the last years it is not only dealing with economic crises in many countries, but also with a humanitarian one, due to the exponential number of migrants who run away from war or poverty situations.

When referring to the humanitarian crises the EU had to go through (and still has to) it is about the refugee migration coming mainly from Syria. Since 2011, the civil war in Syria killed more than 470,000 people, mostly civilians. Millions of people were displaced, and nearly five million Syrians fled, creating the biggest refugee crisis since the World War II. When the European Union leaders accorded in assembly to establish quotas to distribute the refugees that had arrived in Europe, many responses were manifested in respect. On the one hand, some Central and Eastern countries rejected the proposal, putting in evidence the philosophy of agreement and cooperation of the EU claiming the quotas were not fair. Dissatisfaction was also felt in Western Europe too with the United Kingdom's shock Brexit vote from the EU and Austria's near election of a far right-wing leader attributed in part to the convulsions that the migrant crisis stirred. On the other hand, several countries promised they were going to accept a certain number of refugees and turned out taking even less than half of what they promised. In this note it is going to be exposed the issue that occurred and the current situation, due to what happened threatened many aspects that revive tensions in the European Union nowadays.

The response of the EU leaders to the crisis

The greatest burden of receiving Syria's refugees fell on Syria's neighbors: Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. In 2015 the number of refugees raised up and their destination changed to Europe. The refugee camps in the neighbor countries were full, the conditions were not good at all and the conflict was not coming to an end as the refugees expected. Therefore, refugees decided to emigrate to countries such as Germany, Austria or Norway looking for a better life. It was not until refugees appeared in the streets of Europe that European leaders realised that they could no longer ignore the problem. Furthermore, flows of migrants and asylum seekers were used by terrorist organisations such as ISIS to infiltrate terrorists to European countries. Facing this humanitarian crisis, European Union ministers approved a plan on September 2015 to share the burden of relocating up to 120,000 people from the so called "Frontline States" of Greece, Italy and Hungary to elsewhere within the EU. The plan assigned each member state quotas: a number of people to receive based on its economic strength, population and unemployment. Nevertheless, the quotas were rejected by a group of Central European countries also known as the Visegrad Group, that share many interests and try to reach common agreements.

Why the Visegrad Group rejected the quotas

The Visegrad Group (also known as the Visegrad Four or simply V4) reflects the efforts of the countries of the Central European region to work together in many fields of common interest within the all-European integration. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have shared cultural background, intellectual values and common roots in diverse religious traditions, which they wish to preserve and strengthen. After the disintegration of the Eastern Block, all the V4 countries aspired to become members of the European Union. They perceived their integration in the EU as another step forward in the process of overcoming artificial dividing lines in Europe through mutual support. Although they negotiated their accession separately, they all reached this aim in 2004 (1st May) when they became members of the EU.

The tensions between the Visegrad Group and the EU started in 2015, when the EU approved the quotas of relocation of the refugees only after the dissenting votes of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia were overruled. In asking the court to annul the deal, Hungary and Slovakia argued at the Court of Justice that there were procedural mistakes, and that quotas were not a suitable response to the crisis. Besides, the politic leaders said the problem was not their making, and the policy exposed them to a risk of Islamist terrorism that represented a threat to their homogenous societies. Their case was supported by Polish right-wing government of the party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) which came to power in 2015 and claimed that the quotes were not comprehensive.

Regarding Poland's rejection to the quotas, it should be taken into account that is a country of 38 million people and already home to an exponential number of Ukrainian immigrants. Most of them decided to emigrate after military conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine in 2014, when the currency value of the Ukrainian hryvnia plummeted and prices rose. This could be a reason why after having received all these immigration from Ukraine, the Polish government believed that they were not ready to take any more refugees, and in that case from a different culture. They also claimed that the relocation methods would only attract more waves of immigration to Europe.

The Slovak and Hungarian representatives at the EU court stressed that they found the Council of the EU's decision rather political, as it was not achieved unanimously, but only by a qualified majority. The Slovak delegation labelled this decision "inadequate and inefficient". Both the Slovak and Hungarian delegations pointed to the fact that the target the EU followed by asserting national quotas failed to address the core of the refugee crisis and could have been achieved in a different way, for example by better protecting the EU's external border or with a more efficient return policy in case of migrants who fail to meet the criteria for being granted asylum. 

The Czech prime minister at that time, Bohuslav Sobotka, claimed the commission was "blindly insisting on pushing ahead with dysfunctional quotas which decreased citizens' trust in EU abilities and pushed back working and conceptual solutions to the migration crisis".

Moreover, there are other reasons that run deeper about why 'new Europe' (these recently integrated countries in the EU) resisted the quotas which should be taken into consideration. On the one hand, their just recovered sovereignty makes them especially resistant to delegating power. On the other, their years behind the iron curtain left them outside the cultural shifts taking place elsewhere in Europe, and with a legacy of social conservatism. Furthermore, one can observe a rise in skeptical attitudes towards immigration, as public opinion polls have shown.

 

Refugee quote addressed per country vs refugee quote finally received

* As of September 2017. Own work based on this article

 

The temporary solution: The Turkey Deal    

The accomplishment of the quotas was to be expired in 2017, but because of those countries that rejected the quotas and the slow process of introducing the refugees in those countries that had accepted them, the EU reached a new and polemic solution, known as the Turkey Deal.

Turkey is a country that has had the aspiration of becoming a European Union member since many years, mainly to improve their democracy and to have better connections and relations with Western Europe. The EU needed a quick solution to the refugee crisis to limit the mass influx of irregular migrants entering in, so knowing that Turkey is Syria's neighbor country (where most refugees came from) and somehow could take even more refugees, the EU and Turkey made a deal on the 18th of March 2016. Following the signing of the EU-Turkey deal: those arriving in the Greek Islands would be returned to Turkey, and for each Syrian sent back from Greece to Turkey one Syrian could be sent from a Turkish camp to the EU. In exchange, the EU paid 3 billion euros to Turkey for the maintenance of the refugees, eased the EU visa restrictions for Turkish citizens and paid great lip-service to the idea of Turkey becoming a member state.  

The Turkey Deal is another issue that should be analysed separately, since it has not been defended by many organisations which have labelled the deal as shameless. Instead, the current relationship between both sides, the EU and V4 is going to be analysed, as well as possible new solutions.

Current relationship between the UE and V4

In terms of actual relations, on the one hand critics of the Central European countries' stance over refugees claim that they are willing to accept the economic benefits of the EU, including access to the single market, but have shown a disregard for the humanitarian and political responsibilities. On the other hand, the Visegrad Four complains that Western European countries treat them like second-class members, meddling in domestic issues by Brussels and attempting to impose EU-wide solutions against their will, as typified by migrant quotas. One Visegrad minister told the Financial Times, "We don't like it when the policy is defined elsewhere and then we are told to implement it." From their point of view, Europe has lost its global role and has become a regional player. Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban said "the EU is unable to protect its own citizens, to protect its external borders and to keep the community together, as Britain has just left".

Mr Avramopolus, who is Greece's European commissioner, claimed that if no action was taken by them, the Commission would not hesitate to make use of its powers under the treaties and to open infringement procedures.

At this time, no official sanctions have been imposed to these countries yet. Despite of the threats from the EU for not taking them, Mariusz Blaszczak, Poland's former Interior minister, claimed that accepting migrants would have certainly been worse for the country for security reasons than facing EU action. Moreover, the new Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki proposes to implement programs of aid addressed to Lebanese and Jordanian entities on site, in view of the fact that Lebanon and Jordan had admitted a huge number of Syrian refugees, and to undertake further initiatives aimed at helping the refugees affected by war hostilities.

To sum up, facing this refugee crisis a fracture in the European Union between Western and Eastern members has shown up. Since the European Union has been expanding its boarders from west to east integrating new countries as member states, it should also take into account that this new member countries have had a different past (in the case of the Eastern countries, they were under the iron curtain) and nowadays, despite of the wish to collaborate all together, the different ideologies and the different priorities of each country make it difficult when it comes to reach an agreement. Therefore, while old Europe expects new Europe to accept its responsibilities, along with the financial and security benefits of the EU, this is going to take time. As a matter of fact, it is understandable that the EU Commission wants to sanction the countries that rejected the quotas, but the majority of the countries that did accept to relocate the refugees in the end have not even accepted half of what they promised, and apparently they find themselves under no threats of sanction. Moreover, the latest news coming from Austria since December 2017 claim that the country has bluntly told the EU that it does not want to accept any more refugees, arguing that it has already taken in enough. Therefore, it joins the Visegrad Four countries to refuse the entrance of more refugees.

In conclusion, the future of Europe and a solution to this problem is not known yet, but what is clear is that there is a breach between the Western and Central-Eastern countries of the EU, so an efficient and fair solution which is implemented in common agreement will expect a long time to come yet.

 

Bibliography:

J. Juncker (2015). A call for Collective Courage. 2018, from European Commission Website.

EC (2018). Asylum statistics. 2018, from European Commission Website.

International Visegrad Fund (2006). Official Statements and communiqués. 2018, from Visegrad Group Website.

Jacopo Barigazzi (2017). Brussels takes on Visegrad Group over refugees. 2018, from POLITICO Website.

Zuzana Stevulova (2017). "Visegrad Four and refugees. 2018, from Confrontations Europe (European Think Tank) Website.

Nicole Gnesotto (2015). Refugees are an internal manifestation of an unresolved external crisis. 2018, from Confrontations Europe (European Think Tank) Website.

Categories Global Affairs: European Union Central Europe and Russia World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

essay / Alejandro Palacios

The violent revolts in Nicaragua, the war in Syria or the status in Yemen are examples of some of the most bloody episodes that are being experienced around the world. Such episodes are, for the most part, aggravated by the disintegrative mentality that prevails in a large part of the world's societies. The promotion of an inclusive culture of peace is one of the challenges posed by the Norwegian sociologist and mathematician Johan Galtung.

Johan Galtung is considered, due to his long trajectory and wide academic experience, as one of the best experts in the topic of alternative conflict resolution. In addition, he has been the founder of two of the most renowned institutions in the field of conflict resolution, such as the high school International Peace research in Oslo (1959) and the Journal of research on Peace (1964). As a result, his books and essays have been widely echoed in the community of experts in this subject. Here we will focus especially on his work "After Violence, 3Rs: Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Resolution", published in 1999 and still very relevant today, as it sheds light on the causes of the conflict and its possible solutions.

His main thesis is that conflict is innate in society as there are limited resources and overlapping interests, but whether these lead to violence depends on the will of the individual. In his own words: "Violence is not like eating or sexual relations, which are found all over the world with slight variations". That is why the author rejects Hobbes' thesis in the famous sentence "Homo homini lupus", i.e. that man, in his state of nature, tends to his extinction. From this point Galtung provides a series of aspects that the peace worker must take into account for the correct resolution of a conflict.

Galtung emphasizes the need for a deep analysis of the conflict in order to understand its multidimensionality. Otherwise, the peace worker may misdiagnose the conflict. He puts it this way: "One of the problems is not understanding that conflict has a broader dimension. Therefore, sometimes it may not be given the right treatment (as if the doctor says that an ankle inflammation is an ankle disease and not a heart dysfunction // or hunger as insufficient food intake and not a social problem)".

To make this task somewhat simpler, Galtung provides us with two triangles of violence, which are related to each other. The first is the ABC triangle: Attitudes adopted towards conflict or peace-making; behaviors adopted or peace-keeping; and contradiction underlying the (root) conflict or peace-building. The second triangle indicates that there are two types of violence: the visible and the invisible. The visible is direct violence and the invisible is cultural violence (which causes or feeds direct violence) and structural violence. This is why the author insists on the importance of promoting a culture of peace in which peaceful mechanisms to resolve a conflict without resorting to violence predominate, i.e. a culture based on non-violence, empathy and creativity (to go beyond the mental Structures of the parties to a conflict). Thus, the so-called golden rule "Don't do to others what you wouldn't want them to do to you," he says, is a good way to start forging such a culture. Although this, he says, has one problem: that tastes differ.

 

 

Politics, according to Galtung, can help create this culture, which he considers essential to avoid violence as much as possible. Galtung considers democracy to be the best system for creating what he calls a "culture of peace". However, he himself makes a number of criticisms of this political system. First of all, he claims that democracy is equivalent to the dictatorship of the 51% against the rest. This is something that, however, is mitigated thanks to human rights, as he himself acknowledges. Secondly, the author asserts that the sum of all democracies is not universal democracy. An action that affects other states does not have legitimacy just because it has been adopted democratically (something mitigated by international organizations, but which can lead to the status described in the first place). The conclusion to be drawn from all this is that democracy entails a certain Degree of structural violence, but less than with other systems of government.

Finally, Galtung makes a comparison between the Western and Eastern ways of resolving a dispute from the perspective of the temporal dimension of a conflict. While the Western one makes use of a diachronic approach of time, i.e. over time, the Eastern one makes use of a synchronic approach of time, i.e. at the same time. At summary, the Eastern perspective works in the three areas of resolution, reconciliation and reconstruction (the 3Rs) successively and not one after the other, as does the Western world.

Experts on subject of conflicts make a clear distinction between three types of conflicts. On the one hand we have direct violence staff (verbal or physical); indirect structural violence (political and economic exploitation); finally, there is cultural violence. In particular, the English economist Kenneth Boulding criticizes Galtung's analysis on the grounds that it analyzes conflicts from a purely structuralist perspective. In this way, he criticizes, on the one hand, that the method used is very taxonomic, since, according to Boulding, "taxonomy is a convenience of the human mind rather than a description of reality". On the other hand, Galtung's emphasis on equality, as opposed to hierarchies, for conflict mitigation is criticized, since, according to the Briton, Galtung does not take into account that such equality has negative consequences in terms of quality of life and freedom.

Categories Global Affairs: World order, diplomacy and governance Global Testing

essay / María Estrada

development One year after the ruling of the African Court of Human Rights recognizing the Ogiek's right to their land - long since seized by the Kenyan government for logging - it may be timely to review the legal basis for the collective land rights of indigenous peoples and how their recognition can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG 2030).

The Ogiek are a hunting and gathering people who since ancient times have inhabited the Mau Forest in the Tinet Forest in Molo, Nakuru District. Their existence and continuity depend on the forests because of the close social, spiritual and cultural ties that bind them to them. The May 2017 ruling handed down by the African Court of Human Rights forced a change of attitude on the part of the Kenyan government. The Court based its ruling on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the United Nations in September 2007, in whose vote Kenya abstained.

The United Nations Declaration recognizes the right of indigenous peoples to preserve and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to work for their development of agreement to their aspirations and needs. In its preamble, the text recognizes "the particular contribution of indigenous and tribal peoples to cultural diversity, to the social and ecological harmony of humankind and to international cooperation and understanding". development It is also worth considering agreement 107 of the ILO of 1957, which states: "The Declaration of Philadelphia affirms that all human beings have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual welfare in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity".

International law distinguishes between the notions of "land" and "territory" to highlight the difference between a given physical or geographic space (the portion of land itself) and the reproduction or manifestation of the cultural life associated with that space. This cultural life is expressed through different cultural patterns linked to ways of using the land and its resources, ceremonial and spiritual ties and multiple ways of being and conceiving the habitat and the world. The notion of territory does not protect an economic value, but the value of life in general and of cultural life in particular. What is then the amount of land that should be legally regularized in favor of a given people or community? The lands to be handed over must respect the criteria of suitability, sufficiency and traditionality. In other words, they must be of sufficient size and quality to allow the people or community to develop their life plan, in accordance with their options and priorities of development, to live with dignity as an organized people in accordance with their cultural identity, and to guarantee their historical and cultural continuity. The notion of traditionality defines as belonging to a community those territorial spaces that are in the collective report of current generations and that are still recognized as the natural habitat of the people in question, whether it is entirely under their control or has been subject to usurpation and dismemberment in recent years.

Based on these concepts, international law and the domestic legislation of the countries have defined that the right to land and territory implies: a) the submission of lands that are used by the people and community, respecting the different modalities of land and resource use; b) the restitution of lands involuntarily lost and to which they have traditionally had access, and c) the submission of additional or complementary lands to ensure the development and continuity of the people or community.

In addition to these sources of international law, there are other initiatives that would inevitably have led to the triumph of the Ogieks, thanks to the changes that global geopolitics has been undergoing in recent decades.

Firstly, more and more states in the international community are joining the initiatives of sustainable development models, either under pressure from non-state actors such as NGOs or activist groups, or on their own initiative, as governments realize that it is essential to include environmental security in their defense policies. In the field of strategic programs of study , international politics has been dominated since the Cold War by the realist current. This current has a very narrow vision, and considers war and conflict as inherent features of the international system. States are the main actors, and their goal is the accumulation of power, defined in terms of military capability. This approach has remained predominant even after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, although new perspectives have gradually been introduced. New currents have emerged that criticize the limited vision of the traditional currents, arguing that there are other non-military factors that are relevant when it comes to recognizing threats to the security of nations and individuals. Several authors, such as Dalby, Floyd or Mathew, among others, believe that it is necessary to begin to include and give priority to environmental security in the international diary ; in other words, to "securitize" the topic. source Some seven million people die every year as a result of climate change, and resource scarcity is often a source of conflict, especially in the least developed countries.

Secondly, in 2015, the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 were announced, which are grouped into 17 goals and 169 targets. These were proposed in 2014 at the United Nations lecture "Transforming our World", which analyzed the results of the Millennium development Goals (MDGs) of 2000. The MDGs achieved progress in areas such as reducing the issue number of people below the poverty line, but in other areas such as the environment there were setbacks. This time, the SDGs put on the table a more integral and comprehensive diary and have sustainability as a central element, ensuring equitable growth. The great challenge in this case will be their implementation, since the goals are not entirely clear and do not require specific commitments, so there is a risk that states will shirk their commitment. Among the established objectives, two are worth mentioning for the topic we are dealing with. The goal 13 speaks of "taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts" and the goal 15 of "protecting, restoring and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managing forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation and halting biodiversity loss". The sustainability strategy proposed by the SDGs includes maintaining the integrity of ecosystems through an efficient management of natural resources and a decoupling of environmental pressures from economic growth.

That said, and returning to the Ogiek, there are those who claim that their establishment in the Mau forest can help the conservation of the space, which would be in line with goal 15. The Ogiek consider themselves the guardians of the forest, and believe that it is their duty to contribute to the conservation of the forest and all the species that inhabit it. In African culture - without trying to overgeneralize - the link with the land is more than historical and cultural, it is also a spiritual link. It is there where their ancestors reside, whose spirits guard the people. In addition, one of the main activities of the Ogiek is the production of honey. Therefore, the free disposal of the forest by the Kenyan government would mean the moral and existential uprooting of these people, in addition to other serious consequences for climate change. The forest largely prevents droughts and financial aid to the cohesion of the soil.

In addition to this, we must also take into account the unsustainability of the current capitalist production and consumption model , which only generates inequality through a ferocious skill that is unfair to the most marginalized groups such as indigenous peoples. The Kenyan government justifies uncontrolled logging as necessary for development and income generation. However, other lifestyles must be considered, which in their own way allow for an equally comprehensive development for the people. In addition to preserving diversity and promote cultural enrichment, the lifestyle of the Ogiek people would be the solution for the sustainable development pursued by the SDGs.

In light of this case, it is necessary to raise the idea that perhaps elsewhere on the planet the solution for the conservation of the environment and species is to let the locals who know the land take care of it. This issue concerns many groups of people. In Latin America, disputes are frequent because of abuses by political entities against indigenous peoples, who likewise go to court to seek protection of their rights (to give examples). It is therefore likely that the imposition of a capitalist model without strong social considerations will be counterproductive in terms of achieving development, considered as that which raises people's standard of living. New steps must now find their basis in a broader conception of development, taking into account the diversity of lifestyles in the world, and seeing in the willingness of indigenous peoples to live in and protect forests an opportunity that guarantees forest conservation.

Categories Global Affairs: Africa Trials World order, diplomacy and governance

essay / Túlio Dias de Assis [English version].

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, surprised in December with another of his statements, which, like many previous ones, was not without controversy. This time the surprise topic was the advertisement of the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, thus consummating the recognition of the ancient city as the capital of the only Jewish state in the world today: Israel.

Trump's controversial advertisement , on an issue as controversial as it is sensitive, was criticized internationally and had little foreign support. Nevertheless, a few countries joined the U.S. initiative, and a few others expressed ambiguity. Among these, several European Union countries were singled out by the media. Has there really been a lack of internal cohesion within the Union on this issue?

Why Jerusalem matters

First of all, it is worth analyzing status in more detail, starting with a simple question: Why is Jerusalem so important? There are several factors that make Hierosolyma, Yerushalayim, Al-quds or simply Jerusalem so important not only regionally, but also globally, among which the following three stand out: its historical relevance, its religious importance and its geostrategic value.

Historical relevance. It is one of the oldest human settlements in the world, tracing its earliest origins to the fourth millennium BC. Apart from being the historical capital of both the region of Palestine or Canaan, as well as of the various Jewish kingdoms established throughout the first millennium BC in that part of the Levant.

Religious importance. It is a very sacred city for the three major monotheistic religions of the world, each for its own reasons: for Christianity, mainly because it is where the crucifixion of Christ took place; for Islam, apart from being the city of several prophets - shared in the beliefs of the other Abrahamic religions - and a place of pilgrimage, it is also where Muhammad made his well-known night journey; and obviously, for Judaism, for historical reasons and also because it is where the sacred Temple of Solomon was built.

Geostrategic value. At the geostrategic level it also has a great relevance, since it is a crucial point that connects the Levantine Mediterranean coast with the Jordan Valley. Therefore, its owner would have under its control a great geostrategic advantage in the Levant region.

It is not surprising, then, that the status of this city is one of the main points of conflict in the peace negotiations between the two peoples, as is well known. Hence, Trump's intervention has not been of great financial aid help in resuming the peace process; rather, it could be argued, it has been quite the opposite: it has provoked an outcry not only from the local Palestinians, but from the entire Arab world, thus further destabilizing the region. There have been counter-reactions from Hamas, Hezbollah and also from several Islamic governments in the Middle East (among them even Erdogan's, despite the fact that the Republic of Turkey is de jure a secular state). Hamas called for an intifada against Israel: the multiple demonstrations in the Palestinian territories ended with several hundred wounded and a dozen dead, due to clashes with Israeli police forces.

Europe's position

Europe, for its part, is trying to maintain a rather more neutral and balanced position, aimed at achieving regional peace. The European Union's willingness to mediate mainly takes into account the resolutions passed by the UN on this problematic issue topic. The European declarations, considered somewhat unrealistic and utopian from the perspective of many Israelis, are based on four essential points: the two states, refugees, security and the status of Jerusalem.

The existence of two states. According to the EU, a one-state solution would be contrary to the interests of both parties, since it would impose the sovereignty of one of the peoples over that of the other. Therefore, Brussels believes that a two-state solution would be more appropriate: each nation would have its own state and the borders between the two would be based on those in force on June 4, 1967, before the Six-Day War. Even so, changes to these sovereignty boundaries would be allowed, provided both sides so desired and approved.

The refugee issue. The EU believes that durable measures should be taken on the issue of Palestinian refugees outside their homeland (especially in neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Jordan), with the goal that they can return to their country.

Security. Another key issue for the Europeans would be the question of security, for both sides: On the one hand, measures should be put in place to put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. On the other hand, the problem of Palestinian terrorism in the area should be tackled with effective measures.

Status of Jerusalem. Taking into account the importance of this city, Brussels considers that there would be no better solution than a resolution in which there would be shared sovereignty between the two hypothetical states. In addition, the holy city of the three religions would also be the capital of both states simultaneously.

However, as previously mentioned, the position of several member states was mistrusted, even to the point of suspecting possible support for the American decision. This was inferred from states such as the Czech Republic or Hungary, due to some statements taken out of context or poorly explained, which made it appear that the dissidence between Brussels and Visegrad continued to grow. However, if there is one thing that stands out in the European response, it is unity and internal coherence.

The Czech government did no more than recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, just as it will do with East Jerusalem once Palestine regains sovereignty over its territory. The Magyar government did not contradict the European positions either, as its only statements were that Europe should not have to pronounce itself on US diplomatic actions. Subsequently, the Hungarian prime minister clarified that the EU should stand firm on the policy it has defended so far and that this is de facto the Magyar position on the matter. Furthermore, French President Emmanuel Macron, during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, already mentioned that France did not support Trump's decision on Jerusalem, and likewise Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, spoke to him, maintaining the neutral mediating stance that the EU has assumed so far.

Therefore, neither the EU nor any of its member states have shown any sign of support for the unilateral American decision. Europeans remain united in their diversity, quoniam "In varietate concordia".

 

Bibliography

European Union External Action, Middle East Peace process, 15/06/2016 - 12:32

European Council on Foreign Relations, EU backed into a corner on Israel-PalestineCommentary by Hugh Lovatt, 12th December, 2017

Politico, EU dismisses Netanyahu's Jerusalem prediction, by Jacopo Barigazzi, 12/11/17, 12:29 PM CET

EU Observer, Two EU states break ranks on Jerusalem, by Andrew Rettman, 7th Dec 2017, 16:36

Website of the Hungarian Government, Hungary has successfully represented its position on the issue of Jerusalem, December 15th, 2017

France Diplomacy, Israel/Palestinian Territories - Relations with the European Union

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Position of MFA to Issue of Jerusalem, 06.12.2017 - 20:00

European Union External Action, Netanyahu realised there is full EU unity on Jerusalem, Mogherini says after EU Foreign Affairs Council, 12/12/2017 - 18:06

European Union External Action, Middle East: EU stands by two-State solution for Israel and Palestine; Iran nuclear deal, 05/12/2017 - 18:22

European Union External Action, EU won't give up on peace in the Middle East, says Mogherini, 19/09/2017 - 18:33

The Guardian, Death toll rises to 12 in violence after Trump's Jerusalem recognition, Associated Press in Gaza, Sun 24 Dec 2017 18.55 GMT

El País, Hamas announces a third intifada over recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital, Madrid 7 DEC 2017 - 17:49 CET

Le Parisien, Trump sur Jérusalem : "C'est une nouvelle nouvelle humiliation inflicée au monde arabe"., International, par Myriam Encaoua, 08 décembre 2017, 9h47

Radio France Internationale, Vives reacts to Trump's announcement on Jerusalem, 06-12-2017

BBC, Muslim nations urge recognition of East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital, 13 December 2017

Categories Global Affairs: European Union Middle East World order, diplomacy and governance Essays Israel and Palestine

essay / Alejandro Palacios Jiménez

According to agreement article 3 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the EU's objectives are framed within the framework of promoting peace by fostering freedom, security and justice. However, situations of external instability can undermine the achievement of these internal objectives. Will the EU be able to respond effectively to such situations without betraying the values that created it?

This article tries to expose the main mediation efforts made by the European Union as a supranational entity. This article does not intend, however, to offer a deep analysis on the topic of mediation, but to show the main institutions that, at the European level, try to provide a response to conflicts through mediation as a process of peaceful resolution of (potential) disputes.

Mediation has become increasingly important in both conflict prevention and conflict resolution in many areas. The fact that mediation is more economically viable than war, and that it leads to more favorable situations for both parties, has favored its use to mitigate conflicts. Consequently, the EU is giving greater importance to mediation, with the European Union being one of the most important supranational institutions dedicated to this work.

What is mediation? This is an alternative process of conflict resolution, based on dialogue, through which the parties involved, voluntarily and confidentially, meet with an impartial mediator who will guide them in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement . In summary, to mediate is to help to communicate. Even though this is clear, the different organizations that are dedicated to it differ in the way it is carried out. In our case, the Union takes advantage of its normative nature and resilience to mediate conflicts that could lead to instability near its external borders through agreements, mainly of an economic nature.

The EU's commitment to mediation was first set out in the "Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities", elaborated in 2009. Although entrance in force of the Lisbon Treaty modified its modus operandi, this document served to set the instructions of the EU's objectives in subject of dialogue and cooperation. On the one hand, it expanded the definition of mediation by incorporating dialogue and facilitation and, on the other hand, it treated mediation as a "primary response instrument", i.e. as an instrument to be used in the first instance written request. Furthermore, the Concept emphasizes incorporating mediation as an integral part of the Union's foreign policy in order to develop it in a more systematic way, instead of concentrating these actions in mere ad hoc missions.

The Lisbon Treaty, signed in 2007 and in force since 2009, allowed the creation of a more efficient, complete and quasi-independent European External Action Service (EEAS), within which the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was developed, making possible a more complete treatment of the topic peaceful settlement of disputes. In fact, the CFSP meant an improvement of the EU capabilities in relation to, on the one hand, diplomatic instruments and political dialogue, and, on the other hand, of the strategy against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

This commitment of the EU is also reflected in its involvement at different levels, which differ according to the importance the EU attaches to each process. There are two ways of action: the first is reference letter to the attendance that the EU provides to the UN in its particular work for conflict prevention. It does this by contributing troops, police officers and international observers to its operations, amounting to a total of almost 6,000 troops, i.e. more than 6% of the staff total. The alternative way is for the EU itself to act as an actor in the process through the European Union Special Representatives (EUSRs), diplomats chosen by the High Representative to fulfill a specific mandate. An example of this are the so-called "CSDP Missions" related to the resolution of the conflict between Albania and Macedonia, known as the agreement of Ohrid in 2001; as well as in the agreement of Peace in the Aceh region in 2005. Sometimes it is the High Representative who directly mediates conflicts, as was and is the case of the E3+3 talks with Iran on its nuclear program or the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

At subject , the European Union presents both long and short term strategies deadline, giving priority to the former.

The EU's long-term action deadline focuses on tackling the structural causes that prevent peaceful life in a specific region. Such actions are based on the premise that most conflicts are due to socio-economic differences in developing regions development such as the Philippines, Iraq or Georgia. The EU focuses on bringing stability and cohesion to the region, mainly through the financial aid trade. In this task, the Union facilitates access to the European market for products from these areas. A clear example of this is seen in the fact that the European Union is the main trade partner for Africa.

In addition, the European Union, through its delegations, carries out consular cooperation plans to deal with possible crisis situations, including contingency plans, i.e. alternative procedures to the normal operation of an institution. Their purpose is to allow the institution to function, even when some of its functions cease to do so due to an incident, whether internal or external to the organization. At present, such plans are being developed in countries such as Nepal, Gaza, Libya, Lesotho and India.

These actions require a thorough analysis of the region in question by drawing up a roadmap flexible enough to allow the EU to react to a substantial change in the circumstances surrounding the conflict (new outbreak of conflict, increased tension, natural disasters leading to even more displaced persons, etc.).

In relation to the short deadline, the EU created in 2001 the so-called "Rapid Action Mechanism". This consists of supporting victims and providing financial aid financial support to NGOs, regional organizations, public and private agents and other actors with experience and capacity to act in the affected area. These contributions are non-refundable, i.e. the borrower is not obliged to repay the lender, in this case the EU, the money lent. In addition, under the ECHO Regulation C in 1996, the EU carries out missions to support civilian victims of natural or man-made disasters. Thus, the EU carries out tasks such as humanitarian financial aid in Syria, medical attendance in West Africa by the emergence of Ebola, water supply or construction of shelters in the Central African Republic, among others. All this is possible thanks to the almost 1,000 million euros allocated each year by the European Union to these tasks.

Both actions are coordinated by the Commission, which, once the actions have been completed, evaluates whether they have contributed as expected to the objectives previously set. All this will make it possible, in the short term deadline, to minimally reestablish stable conditions in the affected area.

In addition, the EU plays an important role in financing projects of outside organizations aimed at conflict prevention. In this respect, the EU has two main bodies. The first is the so-called Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), formerly Instrument for Stability (IfS), which currently finances more than 200 projects in more than 75 countries, a task for which it has 2.3 billion euros this 2014-2020 academic year. The second is the African Peace Facility (APF), founded in 2004. This system, financed by the European Fund development and which allocates annually about 1.9 billion euros, allows the Union to provide the African continent with funds to finance the efforts of the African Union on subject peace and security.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning the alliances that the Union has established with independent organizations belonging to civil society. The most important of these is the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO). Founded in 2001, its mission statement is to influence European politicians to take more effective and efficient action in the field of mediation. In total, EPLO has 33 partner organizations from 13 European countries (Berghof Foundation, Interpeace...) plus the so-called academic friends, which is an informal network of academics working on issues related to the peaceful resolution of disputes.

The EPLO organization, thanks to funding from member organizations and the Union, carries out parallel projects whose goal is the promotion of dialogue between European politicians and civil society. These include the network Civil Society Dialogue Network (CSDN) and the European Union Civil Capacity (EU-CIVCAP).

In conclusion, the European Union's commitment to mediation takes the form of both individual action and support for this amalgam of organizations dedicated to the search for an alternative method of dispute resolution. The many efforts in this direction reflect the concerns of a society increasingly committed to the development of peaceful policies, on civil service examination to belligerent ones that could only plunge humanity into violence, poverty, uncertainty and fear.

 

Bibliography

European Commission (2018, January 10). International coopeartion and development. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from International coopeartion and development: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/regions/africa/continental-cooperation/african-peace-facility_en

committee of the European Union (2001, June 7). Draft European Union Programme for the Prevention of Violent Conflicts. Retrieved January 6, 2018, from Draft European Union Programme for the Prevention of Violent Conflicts: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%209537%202001%20REV%201

committee of the European Union (2009, November 10). Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities. Retrieved January 6, 2018, from Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities: http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/cfsp/conflict_prevention/docs/concept_strengthening_eu_med_en.pdf

committee of the European Union (2015, July 20). Main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP. Retrieved January 6, 2018, from Main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP: https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/st_12094_2014_init_en.pdf

Finnish Institute of International Affairs (2012). Strengthening the EU's peace and mediation capabilities. Helsinki: Tanja Tamminen.

Hervás, M. Á. (2009). Unit of research on Security and Cooperation. Retrieved January 6, 2018, from research Unit on Security and Cooperation: http://www.unisci.es/la-politica-de-prevencion-de-conflictos-de-la-union-europea/

United Nations (2017, September 30). Contributors to UN Peacekeeping Operations by Country and Post. Retrieved January 6, 2018, from Contributors to UN Peacekeeping Operations by Country and Post.: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/msr_30_sep_2017-1.pdf

European Union (2003). Peacekeeping and conflict prevention. Retrieved January 6, 2018, from Peacekeeping and conflict prevention: http://eu-un.europa.eu/documents/infopack/es/EU-UNBrochure-5_es.pdf

European Union (2012). Treaty on European Union. Brussels.

European Union (2016, October 25). Service for Foreign Policy Instruments. Retrieved January 6, 2018, from Service for Foreign Policy Instruments: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/fpi/what-we-do/instrument_contributing_to_stability_and_peace_en.htm

Villalta Vizcarra, A. E. (2014). Dispute settlement in international law. Retrieved 02/17/2018, from Dispute settlement in international law: http://www.oas.org/es/sla/ddi/docs/publicaciones_digital_xli_curso_derecho_internacional_2014_ana_elizabeth_villalta_vizcarra.pdf

Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

ESSAY / Martín Villegas Jordán

The concept of humanity is a contemporary idea that took shape just recently. Many say that it took place after the conference of Yalta in 1945[1]. In other words, this concept was beginning to be conceived by one of the three leaders that shaped today's world, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During the conference, the three big leaders of the world, who at the time were British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and U.S. President Roosevelt[2], came to an agreement (mostly encouraged by Roosevelt) that would eventually give birth to the United Nations. Now it's vital to know that this intergovernmental organization is intricately composed of the idea of a global union.

Moreover, the concept of a global union, of the United Nations, embodies the idea of humanity as universal. It encompasses the idea of humanity as a composition of every existing nation. In short, humanity eventually becomes the nation for all human beings, a nation of nations. And this is where Mr. Roosevelt plays a relevant role when he said: "A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people"[3].

It's possible, then to say that the previous century was the time when global issues were given the attention that they deserved. For instance, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) marks 407.62 parts per million of carbon dioxide of earth and 0.99 degrees Celsius for the temperature anomaly of 2016 (denoting that year as one of the sixteen warmest years since 2001)[4].

Besides, humanity faces dramatic gaps in temperature. Take a look, for instance, at Oymyakon, Russia, where the temperature is normally around negative fifty-four degrees Celsius[5]. Now, looking at the Sahara desert, it's inhabitants face temperatures of fifty-nine degrees Celsius or more.

Moreover, climate change becomes a more pressing matter when looking at two reports of the NASA. On the first hand, the one titled "November of 2017 was the third warmest November on record" states: "The last three Novembers - 2015, 2016, and 2017 - are the three warmest in the entire modern record."[6]. On the other hand, the one titled "Greenland melt speeds East Coast sea level rise" states the following: "the Greenland and Antarctic influence alone would account for an increase in the rate of sea level rise on the East Coast of 0.0016 to 0.0059 inches (0.04 to 0.15 millimeters) each year, varying by location. That's equivalent to 7.8 inches (0.2 meters) of sea-level rise on the northern East Coast over the next century, and 2.5 feet (0.75 meters) in the south, though the estimates are quantitative and not an attempt at an actual projection"[7].

Still, having such a clear evidence of climate change, it is true that legislators choose to deny this, which actually ends up convincing people. This is evident, for example, when analyzing the politics of the current President of the U.S., Donald Trump. For instance, during his campaign (when addressing the mining community) he said: "If I take hairspray, and I spread it in my apartment, which is all sealed, you are telling me that affects the ozone layer. I say "no way folks" (...) that is like all of the rules and regulations you people have in mines"[8].

What is also true about this blind humanity is that the many pronunciations of the United States' president have a strong pull towards decisions that countries in Mesoamerica and South America take. Take Colombia, for instance. Now, this country had banned the eradication of illicit cultivations of drugs by aspartame but president Trump has been insisting and pushing for this harmful way for the environment and for humans that can possibly live by the crops[9]. Furthermore, it can be said that pressure from the North American country has not been light in the rest of Latin America.

Summing up, it is clear that America is clearly in need of renewable energy sources no matter what the political discourse states. Specifically, America is in need of "those sources of energy obtained from natural means that are renewable and susceptible to indefinite use"[10]. Take, for instance, countries like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, which are called to be the future in the study of sustainability due to their "geographical and climatological conditions, which make Latin America one of the regions that pose high potential from renewable energy sources"[11]. Furthermore, these countries are pioneer in the ambits of wind, hydropower, and large-scale soy growing, which makes them subject to the advantages that the implementation of renewable energy poses. In fact, experts Emma Mendoza and Vadim Pérez at the University of Chile insist on these advantages being: (1) the potential for creating almost six times of what global consumption is today (2) the production being national (3) the de-centralized consumption, meaning that energy is consumed in the place where it is produced and there is no necessity to export (4) the hygiene of the obtained energy, meaning that there are no significantly harmful remnants (5) and the investment in high tech industry[12].

In fact, in America there has been an exponential growth in the implementation of renewable energy projects since the implementation of the Paris 2015 accords on Climate Change. Such growth though, is directly proportional with the increments in federal or particular centralized companies with strong governmental support [13].

In Latin America the three pillars in the ambit of sustainability are the eolian industry, the hydroelectric industry, and the industry of the monocultures[14]. Of the countries previously mentioned, for example, Brazil and Mexico specialize in the eolian industry, Brazil also plays an important role in hydropower development, and Argentina leads the large scale soy growing. It is of vast importance though, to previously mention the fact that the development of renewable energies is not the only factor that is taken into account when analyzing the partner-scientific field of sustainable energies. Then, in addition to the plain development of these energies, the social movements that emerge in response to the expansion of these industries play a key role for the future of sustainable energies in the world.

It is interesting to look at each of the fields with important developments in America. Firstly, taking a close look at how the wind power is transformed into renewable energy and the toll that it has within a partner-economic sphere. Now, this type of energy is the least efficient among the three types analyzed in this paper because it has the least impact on the environment and on society. However, the two countries that contribute primarily are Brazil and Mexico, respectively, with a generation of 256 MW and 88 MW[15]. Mainly, the power generated in each country is based upon eolian parks built on the appropriate territories. For example, Brazil's main park is found in the municipality of Osório and it includes three projects that sum a generation potential of 150 MW. Unfortunately, the social outcome of eolian implementation has been negative. Experts Mendoza and Pérez state that the probable origin for the social unrest is the government for ignoring the process of negotiation between enterprises and local habitants. Also, the clean energy enterprises are paying only 1.5% of the incomes to the landowners that put their terrains for the disposition of these enterprises. Besides, another social unrest is the co-ownership of most of the terrains, presenting more negotiation difficulties between enterprises and landowners. In short, the main opponents (via judicial demands) in Mexico are: "la Union de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Itsmo" and "los centros de Derechos Humanos Topeyec y Gubiña"[16]. As if there was not enough opposition already, these denouncers even claim that some of the acts committed by the enterprises are unconstitutional. 

Secondly, it is important to look at hydroelectric power principally developed in Brazil because hydroelectricity is the principal source of electricity generation in Latin America. For example, Brazil's hydroelectric power in 2006 accounted for 60% of the total of electricity generated. Furthermore, hydroelectricity can be developed under low costs of operation and high efficacy. It is also important to look at hydroelectric power in Brazil as a pioneer due to the first efforts of implementation that have been present in the country since 1970.

Thirdly, the large-scale soy production can also be considered as a renewable energy source.

 


[1] History.com Staff. "Yalta Conference." History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/yalta-conference.

[2] Ibid.

[3] "151 Inspiring Environmental Quotes." Conserve Energy Future, 15 Apr. 2017, www.conserve-energy-future.com/inspiring-environmental-quotes.php.

[4] "Global Climate Change." NASA, NASA, 2 June 2014, climate.nasa.gov/.

[5] "Oymyakon, Russia Weather Forecast and Weather Conditions - The Weather Channel." The Weather Channel, 19 Jan. 2018, weather.com/en-EN/tiempo/hoy/l/63.46,142.77.

[6] "November 2017 Was the Third Warmest November on Record." NASA, NASA, 18 Dec. 2017, climate.nasa.gov/news/2666/november-2017-was-the-third-warmest-november-on-record/.

[7] "Greenland Melt Speeds East Coast Sea Level Rise." NASA, NASA, 13 Nov. 2017, climate.nasa.gov/news/2651/greenland-melt-speeds-east-coast-sea-level-rise/.

[8] mischegoss. "Donald Trump Talks Hairspray and Ozone." YouTube, YouTube, 5 May 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU2p6YakNJg.

[9] Cosoy, Natalio. "Asombro En Colombia Por Amombro Por Amenaza De Donald Trump Ante Incremento De Cultivos De Coca - BBC Mundo." BBC News, BBC, 14 Sept. 2017, www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-41275301.

[10] Mendoza, Emma and Pérez, Vadim. Renewable energies and social movements in Latin America. high school de programs of study Internacionales - Universidad de Chile. 2010.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] For more information of the forms of renewable energy consult: "Renewable Energy Explained." Renewable Energy Sources - Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy - Energy Information Administration, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 1 June 2017, www.eia.gov/energyexplained/?page=renewable_home.

[15] MW means mega watts. For more information go to the following citation: -guide-

[16] Mendoza, Emma and Pérez, Vadim. Renewable energies and social movements in Latin America. high school de programs of study Internacionales - Universidad de Chile. 2010.

Categories Global Affairs: Energy, resources and sustainability Latin America Essays

essay / Andrea Pavón-Guinea [English version].

  1. Introduction

The combination of terrorist attacks on European soil, the rise of the Islamic State, the Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis have highlighted the importance of intercultural dialogue between the European Union and the Islamic world. In this context of asymmetric warfare and non-traditional security challenges, the European Union is focusing its resources on soft power-based civil society initiatives that can contribute to the prevention of radicalization. Through the creation of the Anna Lindh Foundation for Intercultural development , the European Union has a unique instrument to bring civil societies on both shores of the Mediterranean closer together and contribute to the improvement of Euro-Mediterranean relations.  

  1. Euro-Mediterranean relations and intercultural dialogue 

Relations between the European Union and the Southern Mediterranean began[1] to be formally regulated with the creation of the Barcelona Process in 1995[2].

The Barcelona Declaration would give rise to the creation of the association Euro-Mediterranean; a forum for multilateral relations which, 'based on a spirit of association', aims to turn the Mediterranean basin into a 'area of dialogue, exchange and cooperation guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity'. The Barcelona Process would thus bring to mind one of the founding principles of the European Union, that of achieving common objectives through a spirit of co-responsibility (Suzan, 2002). The Declaration pursues three fundamental objectives: firstly, the creation of a common area of peace and stability through the reinforcement of security and political dialogue (this would be the so-called 'political basket'); secondly, the construction of a zone of shared prosperity through the economic and financial association ('economic and financial basket'); and, thirdly, the promotion of understanding between cultures through civil society networks: the so-called intercultural dialogue ('social, cultural and human affairs' basket). 

More than twenty years after the Declaration, the claims of today's politics in the Southern Mediterranean underline the importance of development intercultural dialogue for European security. Although European politicians rejected Huntington's thesis of the clash of civilizations when it was first articulated, it would nevertheless become a scenario to be considered after the September 11 attacks: a scenario, however, that could be avoided through cooperation in the 'third basket' of the Euro-Mediterranean association , i.e. through enhanced dialogue and cultural cooperation (Gillespie, 2004).

  1. Fighting radicalization through intercultural dialogue: the Anna Lindh Foundation 

Thus, emphasizing that dialogue between cultures, civilizations and religions throughout the Euro-Mediterranean region is more necessary than ever for promote mutual understanding, the Euro-Mediterranean partners agreed during the fifth Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers' meeting lecture in Valencia in 2002 to establish a foundation whose goal would be the development of intercultural dialogue. Thus was born the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures which, based in Alexandria, would start operating in 2005.

It should be noted that Anna Lindh is unique in its representation and configuration, as it brings together all Euro-Mediterranean partners in the promotion of intercultural dialogue, which is its only goal. To this end, it relies on the coordination of a regional network of more than 4,000 civil society organizations, both European and Mediterranean.

Although it has been in operation for more than ten years now, its work is currently focused on development intercultural dialogue in order to prevent radicalization. This emphasis has been continuously highlighted in recent years, for example at the Anna Lindh Foundation's Mediterranean Forum in Malta in October 2016, its mandate on intercultural dialogue contained in the new European Neighborhood Policy (18.11.2015) and in High Representative Mogherini's strategy for the promotion of culture at International Office.

However, it has been the recent terrorist attacks in Europe that have highlighted the urgent need to address the phenomenon of radicalization[3], which can ultimately written request lead to violent extremism and terrorism. In this sense, the prevention of radicalization[4] is a piece core topic in the fight against terrorism, as has been highlighted by the diary European Security in 2015[5]. This is so because most of the terrorists suspected of attacks on European soil are European citizens, born and raised in EU member states, where they have undergone radicalization processes that would culminate in acts of terrorist violence. This fact evidences 'the transnational dimension of Islamist terrorism' (Kaunert and Léonard, 2011: 287), as well as the changing nature of the threat, whose drivers are different and more complex than previous radicalization processes: 'Today's radicalization has different foundations, operates on the basis of different recruitment and communication techniques and is marked by globalized and mobile targets inside and outside Europe, growing in diverse urban contexts'[6]. The following map sample the issue of arrests for suspected jihadist terrorism in Europe in 2016.

 

source: Europol (2016)

 

Consequently, the Anna Lindh Foundation can be understood as an alternative and non-confrontational response to the speech of the clash of civilizations and the US-led war on terror (Malmvig, 2007). Its main goal which is to create 'a space of prosperity, coexistence and peace' by 'restoring confidence in dialogue and reducing stereotypes' is based on the importance given by the European Union to development intercultural dialogue between civilizations as a crucial element of any political and strategic program aimed at neighboring Mediterranean countries (Rosenthal, 2007). In other words, the creation of a area of dialogue, cooperation and exchange in the southern Mediterranean is a priority core topic of the European Union's foreign policy. Furthermore, with the creation of the Anna Lindh Foundation, the European Union is recognizing that for the Euro-Mediterranean association to work, dialogue between civil society organizations, and not only between political elites, is essential.

Thus, Anna Lindh, as an organization based on network of civil society networks, becomes a crucial instrument to address the prevention of radicalization. Along these lines, the group of work of the United Nations counter-terrorism implementation[7] has argued that the State alone does not have the necessary resources to combat terrorist radicalization, and therefore needs to cooperate with partners of a different nature to carry out this task. The involvement of civil society and local communities would thus serve to increase trust and social cohesion, even becoming a means of reaching out to certain segments of society with which governments would find it difficult to interact. The nature of local actors, as highlighted by the European Union through the creation of the Anna Lindh Foundation, would be the most successful in preventing and detecting radicalization in both the short and long term deadline[8].

Conclusion

In this way, intercultural dialogue constitutes a tool to address the phenomenon of radicalization in the Southern Mediterranean region, where the legacies of a colonial past demand that 'more credible interlocutors be found among non-governmental organizations' (Riordan, 2005: 182). With the goal of preventing terrorist radicalization inside and outside Europe, and assuming that practices based on dialogue and mutuality can offer a suitable framework for the development and improvement of Euro-Mediterranean relations, the European Union should move towards real partnerships aimed at building trust between people and reject any unilateral action program that involves a reproduction of the speech of the clash of civilizations (Amirah and Behr, 2013: 5). 


[1] Prior to the Barcelona Declaration, an attempt was made to regulate Euro-Mediterranean cooperation through the Euro-Arab Dialogue (1973-1989); however, although conceived as a forum for dialogue between the then European Economic Community and the Arab League, the tensions of the Gulf War would end up frustrating its work (Khader, 2015). 

[2] The association Euro-Mediterranean would be complemented by the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) in 2004. Based on the European enlargement policy, its underlying logic is the same: "To try to export the norms and values of the European Union to its neighbors" (Gsthöl, 2016: 3). In response to the conflicts in the Southern Mediterranean regions, the rise of extremism and terrorism and the refugee crisis in Europe, the ENP has undergone two major revisions, one in 2011 and the other in 2015, outlining a more differentiated approach among ENP countries to achieve further stabilization of the area. The ENP is based on differential bilateralism (Del Sarto and Schumacher, 2005) and abandons the prevalence of the multilateral and regional principle inherent to the Barcelona Process.

[3] Although several types of political extremism can be differentiated, this grade focuses on Islamist extremism and jihadist terrorism, as it is Sunni extremism that has been manager of the largest issue of terrorist attacks in the world (Schmid, 2013). It should also be noted in this regard that there is still no universally valid definition of the concept of 'radicalization' (Veldhuis and Staun 2009).

[4] Since 2004, the term 'radicalization' has become central to terrorism studies and counter-terrorism policy-making in order to analyze 'homegrown' Islamist political violence (Kundnani, 2012).

[5] The European diary on Security, COM (2015) 185 of 28 April 2015.

[6] The prevention of radicalization leading to violent extremism, COM (2016) 379 of 14 June 2016.

[7] First Report of the Working Group on Radicalization and Extremism that Lead to Terrorism: Inventory of State Programs (2006)

[8] The prevention of radicalization leading to violent extremism, COM (2016) 379 of 14 June 2016.

 

Bibliography

Amirah, H. and Behr, T. (2013) "The Missing Spring in the EU's Mediterranean Policies", Policy Paper No 70. Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute, February, 2013.

Council of the European Union (2002) "Presidency Conclusions for the Vth Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Foreign Ministers" (Valencia 22-23 April 2002), 8254/02 (Presse 112)

Del Sarto, R. A. and Schumacher, T. (2005): "From EMP to ENP: What's at Stake with the European Neighborhood Policy towards the Southern Mediterranean?", European Foreign Affairs Review, 10: 17-38.

European Union (2016) "Towards an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations, Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council" (https://ec.europa.eu/culture/policies/strategic-framework/strategy-international-cultural-relations_en).

European Commission. "Barcelona Declaration and Euro-Mediterranean Partnership", 1995.

Gillespie, R. (2004) "Reshaping the diary? The International Politics of the Barcelona Process in the Aftermath of September 11", in Jünemann, Annette Euro-Mediterranean Relations after September 11, London: Frank Cass: 20-35.

Gstöhl, S. (2016): The European Neighborhood Policy in a Comparative Perspective: Models, Challenges, Lessons (Abingdon: Routledge).

Kaunert, C. and Léonard, S. (2011) "EU Counterterrorism and the European Neighborhood Policy: An Appraisal of the Southern Dimension", Terrorism and Political Violence, 23: 286-309.

Khader, B. (2015): Europe and the Arab world (Icaria, Barcelona).

Kundnani, A. (2012) "Radicalization: The Journey of a Concept", Race & Class, 54 (2): 3-25.

Malmvig, H. (2007): "Security Through Intercultural Dialogue? Implications of the Securitization of Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue between Cultures". Conceptualizing Cultural and Social Dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean Area. London/New York: Routledge: 71-87.

Riordan, S. (2005): "Dialogue-Based Public Diplomacy: A New Foreign Policy Paradigm?", in Melissen, Jan, The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations, Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan: 180-193. 

Rosenthal, G. (2007): "Preface: The Importance of Conceptualizing Cultural and Social Co-operation in the Euro-Mediterranean Area". Conceptualizing Cultural and Social Dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean Area. London/New York: Routledge: 1-3.

Schmid, A. (2013) "Radicalization, De-Radicalization, Counter-Radicalization: A Conceptual Discussion and Literature Review", ICCT Research Paper, March 2013.

Suzan, B. (2002): "The Barcelona Process and the European Approach to Fighting Terrorism." Brookings Institute [online] https://www.brookings.edu/articles/the-barcelona-process-and-the-european-approach-to-fighting-terrorism/ [accessed 14 August 2017].

Veldhuis, T. and Staun, J. (2009) Islamist Radicalisation: A Root Cause Model (The Hague: Clingendael).

Categories Global Affairs: European Union Middle East World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

Content publisher

Content with Categories Global Affairs Trials .

Climate Refugees will raise, nations should find the way for shelter them

▲ Flood rescue in the Afghan village of Jalalabad, in 2010 [NATO]. ESSAY / Alejandro J. Alfonso In December of 2019, Madrid hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25,... ReadmoreAboutClimate Refugees will raise, nations should find the way for shelter them "

The 'why' of renewable energies in America

ESSAY / Martín Villegas Jordán The concept of humanity is a contemporary idea that took shape just recently. Many say that it took place after the conference of Yalta in 1945[1]. In other... ReadmoreAboutThe 'why' of renewable energies in America "