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A man gazes towards Kawergosk refugee camp, Erbil governorate, Kurdistan region of Iraq. Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Caroline Gluck

Labelled as Europe’s biggest challenge, the Syrian refugee crisis has revealed severe gaps in Europe’s response to collective problems. The ODI research report Challenges to a comprehensive EU migration and asylum policy (in partnership with ECDPM) we trace the evolution of the policy, the complex system of competences that underpin decision-making, conflicting interests and approaches, and the financial arrangements that obstruct the EU’s ability to offer a coherent response to the current migration crisis.

We recommend a number of incremental steps to overcome these obstructions, including the appointment of a senior political advisor to build bridges between the external and internal dimension of migration and asylum policies across the EU system and between the EU institutions and the Member States.

To be effective, however, the proposed measures would require far greater political recognition of the fact that a joint response is in the interests of EU Member States and the EU as a whole.

COP21 podium at press room 3

COP21 podium. Photo credit: Mark Dixon

Developing countries need a robust deal at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, as well as an ambitious action plan to ramp up action afterwards. The EU can help finalise the deal by offering more in the key negotiating fora, especially on adaptation support and finance.

This briefing note from the European Think Tanks Group (ODI, DIE, ECDPM, FRIDE and IDDRI) looks at the challenges and opportunities for EU climate action. Climate change and energy have become central issues in foreign and security policy, and the EU needs to look beyond 2030 and focus on sustainability issues up to 2050, both within Europe and beyond its borders.

EU flag_destroyed schoolHidden in the small print of the 27 & 28 June European Council conclusions – eclipsed by the crisis in Greece, the row about migration and the UK’s bid to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the EU – was an important commitment to continue the process of reflection leading to an “EU global strategy on foreign and security policy”.

The challenges facing Europe today have global implications and require global solutions. In an op-ed originally published on Euractiv, the directors of the European Think Tanks Group argue that from the Greek crisis to migration and climate change, the EU must seek answers beyond its borders.

Read the article here.

Source: rubra; Flickr

Source: rubra; Flickr

The European Commission has published what it calls the EU International Cooperation and Development Results Framework’. This is a Staff Working Paper, but looks final rather than draft, and has been forwarded to Member States as such.

In this commentary, Simon Maxwell suggests further work, stating that

(a) it’s a good idea for an agency to have a results framework,

(b) it’s a hard act to pull off, and

(c) the Commission has made a creditable and credible stab at the exercise. Member States should certainly welcome the EU Results Framework. If they do not already have one of their own, they should start at once to prepare one.

(more…)

Source: EU2015.lv

Source: EU2015.lv

Simon Maxwell was invited to moderate the High-Level Event on Women’s Economic Empowerment and Sustainable Development, in Riga on 2 March 2015. In this reflection on the conclusions to the event, Simon identifies seven indivisibilities that shaped the conversation. (more…)

In a major forthcoming report for the new EU leadership, the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) makes the case for joined-up thinking across the institutions and policies of the EU to address five global challenges: climate change; poverty and inequality; trade and financial policy; conflict and security and democracy and human rights.

Read more here.

In May 2014, European Parliament elections will be held across Europe. Our latest paper addresses the growing awareness that tEU radical righthe next European Parliament may contain a large contingent of anti-Europe radical right parties. At the domestic level, the reality is that 21 out of the 28 EU member states have a radical right party in their political system but only in nine countries have those parties gained in popularity since 2005. Nevertheless, at the European level, radical right parties could see an almost 50% increase in their number of seats. This increase could result in a stronger influence over European decision-making, with implications for reduced aid budgets, aid tied to national interests and potentially a threat to the EU aid programme. Read the working paper here.

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