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The South Stream in the Wake of the Ukrainian Crisis: a Test Case for the Third Energy Package

Marco Giuli - Research Fellow

Madariaga Paper, Vol. 7, No. 8 (September 2014)

As the Ukrainian crisis has added elements of political sensitivity to the EU's gas relation with Russia and furthered calls to reduce energy dependence, this paper aims at understanding whether the Third Energy Package raised the EU's profile as an energy actor to the point of effectively challenging the primacy of Member States' bilateral relations with Gazprom. Despite a certain degree of success in temporarily halting the South Stream, it is not sure that such a move could have a relevant impact on the costs of dependence, especially those associated with market concentration and transit risk. To reduce these costs, an approach based solely on spilling over competition rules might not be enough.

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Is the Central African Republic a Turning Point for European Engagement?
2 July 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

European officials have proposed that European countries move quickly to send troops into the Central African Republic (CAR), either to the capital Bangui or to the West of the country. The proposals for an EU force of at least battalion-strength will please France, which has urged allies to do more to bolster the 1,600 troops it sent to its former colony. Does this commitment signal a new momentum in Europe's engagement abroad, going beyond humanitarian assistance or support of one-country intervention? In particular, is Germany likely to adopt a new position, or rather does its limited commitment in the CAR only reflect the fact that this case, as a rigid application of the peacekeeping concept, is easier to get through constitutional barriers? What are the specificities of the Central African context, and in what ways could this case contribute to a European strategic concept for Sub-Saharian Africa?

Citizen’s Controversy with Thierry Tardy, Senior Analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies, and Alexander Mattelaer, Assistant Director, Institute of European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).  

The debate was moderated by Jo Coelmont, Senior Associate Fellow at the Egmont Institute. 

The debate was held in English.

 Report

 
Réforme de la PAC: la flexibilité, une avancée ou un piège?
6 mars 2014, Bruxelles, 13:00 - 14:30

Le Comité agriculture du Parlement européen a validé l'accord avec le Conseil sur la réforme de la PAC. Le nouveau régime, basé sur la proposition de la Commission de 2011, vise à remanier les paiements en faveur des petits exploitants et des nouveaux états-membres, afin d'encourager un renouvellement générationnel et de rendre cette politique plus verte. Cependant, la réforme fait l'objet de critiques grandissantes car la proposition originelle de la Commission a été diluée pendant les négociations, notamment concernant les aspects redistributionnels et environnementaux. La dégressivité envisagée, inférieure au niveau souhaité par le Parlement, mènera-t-elle à une distribution plus équitable des aides? La PAC est-elle réellement en train de verdir ou, au contraire, les régimes d'exception vont-ils laisser une large partie des terres agricoles en dehors des surfaces d’intérêt écologique, empêchant une diversification significative? La flexibilité introduite entre le Pilier 1 (paiements directs) et le Pilier 2 (développement rural) ne risque-t-elle pas de détourner les ressources utilisées pour la conservation et la durabilité de l'environnement au profit d'un supplément des revenus pour les producteurs alimentaires?    

Une Controverse citoyenne avec Marc Tarabella, Membre du Parlement européen, S&D, et Faustine Defossez, Senior Policy Officer, European Environmental Bureau.  

Le débat était modéré par Pierre Defraigne, Directeur Exécutif de la Fondation Madariaga-Collège d'Europe.

Le débat s'est tenu en français.

 Report

 
China, 1978-2013: from one Plenum to another. Reflections on hopes and constraints for reform in the Xi Jingping era

Professor Eric Florence - University of Liège

Madariaga Paper, Vol. 7, No. 7 (July, 2014)

Why is it so difficult to talk about China in a nuanced and contrasting manner without falling back on superlatives and generalisations? In about thirty years, China’s GDP per capita has multiplied by eight. From a marginal economic power during the Maoist period (1949-1978), China is now ranked tenth in terms of global economic weight. “Wealth and power” (fu qiang) is the expression that embodies China’s quest for modernity since the second half of the 19th century, when China was still under the yoke of the West. This ambition is still at the heart of the “Chinese dream of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” dear to Xi Jinping, which he set out during the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. But focusing only on this vision of “wealth and power” takes us back to one of the most common ways of representing China: reducing the ongoing socio-economic changes and dynamics to a set of numeric values, ultimately reified and homogenised. The increased power and internationalisation of the Chinese economy has prompted a combination of worry and enthusiasm. What does this imply about the paradigm shift in the way we portray this country? Perhaps it is still hard to leave behind the image of a subordinate, poor and voiceless China and consider the Chinese people as, at least, our equals.

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Is Eurosur the Right Response to Lampedusa?
28 April 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

Coinciding with the latest in a long series of humanitarian disasters in the Mediterranean, the European Parliament has given the green light to Eurosur, an integrated external border surveillance system combining satellite tracking, drones, intelligence equipment and offshore sensors. The system aims at ensuring better detection of migrant flows by informing the departure countries in real time, preventing smuggling and human trafficking, and improving coordination between different jurisdictions. This is in response to the concerns of Member States who claims to have being "left alone" by Europe in confronting maritime migrant arrivals. However, critical voices argue that the measures focus on issues of border defence rather than rescuing human lives: is Europe breaching its human rights commitments by "externalising" its borders to North African countries which have been repeatedly criticised for their treatment of refugees? Do Eurosur provisions risk giving the same treatment to smugglers, refugees, and asylum-seekers? Should the measures contain explicit reference to rescue operations, or has this the potential to further incentivise migrants to undertake dangerous sea journeys?    

Citizen’s Controversy with Kris Pollet, Senior Legal and Policy Officer at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, and Oliver Seiffarth, Policy Officer for Eurosur at the DG Home Affairs of the European Commission.  

The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.

 Report

 
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Blog

Choosing between a Conflict and a Frozen Conflict

Marco Giuli/4 eptember 2014
Dying of Tactics? The UK Down a Dangerous Path
Marco Giuli/19 June 2014

Post-Electoral Remarks 

Marco Giuli/3 June 2014

 



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