Jean P. Froehly
The OSCE 40 Years after Helsinki: Fall Back or Reset?
More than 40 years after the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, the ongoing crisis in and around Ukraine brought the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) back to the centre of security discussions in Europe. The organisation’s normative acquis has been profoundly challenged, thus raising doubts about its legitimacy in terms of co-operative security based on commonly agreed standards and values. However, the reaction of the OSCE structures to the events in Ukraine in 2014 showed the relevance of its operational capacities in the field of crisis management, especially when guided by strong political leadership. The OSCE is indeed at a crucial point in its history. This contribution argues that it is not despite but because of the current crisis, that the OSCE is more relevant than ever, and that it is well placed within the European security architecture to contribute substantially to the restoration of security and stability in Europe, provided that it gets strong political backing from participating states for the full implementation of its comprehensive security concept.
The Issues of Political Security in South Asia and Its Implications for the EU and NATO
For many years South Asia has been perceived as an unstable area, albeit with great potential for economic development. It is the region where two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, coexisting in an uneasy and often tense relationship, may start another conflict with deadly consequences for the whole continent. It has also become a playground for the Asian superpowers, India and China, which will exert a powerful influence over regional affairs and contribute to some extent to reshaping global affairs only if they continue their balanced economic growth and develop their respective military capabilities. There is no efficient multilateral security mechanism in South Asia. The challenges of energy security, nuclear proliferation, failing states and piracy should compel nations in South Asia to look for additional frameworks, allowing them not only to talk, but also to work together, including militarily. NATO is one such a framework, and the only one with more than six decades of experience in multinational military planning and cooperation.
The Three Logics of EU Decision-making
EU decision-making has always been criticised, mostly due to its complexity. Nowadays, especially with regard to several crises Europe is facing, the criticism is overwhelming. However, such criticism is rarely accompanied by an even superficial attempt to explore EU decision-making and its specificity, which can briefly be described as multi-level, multi-faceted, and complex. The purpose of this article is to present and analyse decision-making in the European Union through the prism of three logics of political action often used in international relations, the logic of consequentiality, the logic of appropriateness and the logic of justification. These examine the motives, behaviour and goals of players who influence decisions. The main thesis of this article is that the specifics of the EU decision-making mean that each of the logics is reflected even in terms of single issues. This results in the fact that the European Union, in terms of its decision-making, remains a sui generis structure, with a mode of decision-making incomparable to other international structures. Analysis of EU decision-making through the prism of the three logics also gives a research perspective to help understanding of specific EU decisions in different integration and international contexts.
Russia and EU Relations in Light of Ukraine
The Ukrainian crisis, sparked by former President Yanukovych’s decision to reject the EU Association Agreement (EU AA) in November 2013, highlighted increasing frustration with the divergence of views between the EU and Russia. When Ukraine’s new government decided to sign the EU AA, in Russia’s eyes this confirmed their own view that the agreement had become a choice between East and West. Given the particular importance of Ukraine to Russia’s foreign policy, this signalled that a red line had been crossed. Russia had valid concerns regarding the implications of the agreement for trade relations with Ukraine, but the EU AA has also become part of the Russian narrative aimed at justifying its desire for Ukraine simply to remain within its sphere of influence. This article will seek to offer a better understanding of how Russia views the agreement, and what it means for policymakers engaging with Russia on Ukraine.
Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
Foreign Policy Behaviour: Ukraine and the CIS
Relying on a large quantitative data set from the United Nations General Assembly voting records in the years 1992 to 2015, this study analyses developments in the foreign policy preferences of Ukraine and the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It finds that the general level of disagreement between the CIS members as a whole has increased significantly, and that Ukraine is a major outlier and thus contributor to this development. The voting distance between Ukraine and Russia is now quite pronounced and seems to be increasing. This process was initiated with the 2004 Orange Revolution and it has since accelerated.
Alekandra Kuczyńska-Zonik, Janusz Kowalczyk
Nation-Building in Post-Maidan Ukraine
The process of nation-building started shortly after communism collapsed, but the democratic changes called the “Revolution of Dignity” in Maidan 2013 made it more intensive. The need for real independence and the prospect of connecting with the European Community raised awareness of new identity. A dynamic nation-building process has influenced Ukrainian society to integrate with common values and pivotal political ideas. The study assumed that: a) the democratic revolution, which began in 2013 on Maidan, was a result of the growth of political consciousness and national identity; b) political changes were accompanied by an intensification of the process of nation-building; and c) despite significant social mobilisation, there are some obstacles that impede the formation of a civic nation in Ukraine. They are results of the domestic factors (the weakness of institutions and civic organisations) and external elements (the war with Russia). It is clear that Euromaidan raised the issue of national political unity, despite the ethnic, linguistic and religious bases. A high level of inclusiveness and tolerance towards “others” ensures continuing integration of minorities into Ukrainian society. However, the key problems hindering national development remain unsolved.
Tomasz Grzegorz Grosse
Sovereignty in the European Union: A Critical Appraisal
Sovereignty in the European Union is restricted by EU law and policies. The weakest and peripheral states have the least impact on the shape of this law and policies and hence are most constrained thereby. In the case of the largest states sovereignty is reinforced. Countries with the greatest influence on the way the Union functions are able to use its instruments to implement goals that result from their national democratic processes, which means that the sovereignty of the most powerful states is enhanced at the expense of those on the periphery. The key to explain this phenomenon is the asymmetry of power in the EU among the Member States. In a way, the smaller states, which are weaker economically and politically, trade their national sovereignty for economic benefits or for a stronger sense of stability and security. At the same time, the crises that affect Europe show that the said benefits from limiting sovereignty are not durable, as they have resulted in a number of economic, social and political problems, undermining both stability and a sense of security.
Profiling Western Jihadists: Meta-Analysis of Intelligence Reports and Proposal of a Standard Jihadist Radicalisation Model
This paper is a meta-analysis of recent intelligence reports and scholarly studies profiling Western jihadists. In order to address radicalisation and diminish the threat of Islamic State terrorism in the West, extensive research into the characteristics of both jihadist foreign fighters (JFF) and jihadist terrorists (JT) is conducted. Furthermore, the paper focuses on the highly specific case of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, a Brussels municipality regarded as a hotbed of terrorism. Although the number of studies profiling post-Arab Spring jihadists is limited, some noteworthy conclusions can be drawn. Based upon these, a standard model of jihadist radicalisation is presented, identifying and clarifying the root causes and key triggers or indicators of the radicalisation process. It is argued that the rise of radicalisation is a direct result of the socio-economic problems infesting modern Western societies. Undoubtedly, more studies are needed to reinforce or refute some of the findings.
Bail-In: Fully-Fledged Illusion?
The financial crisis has resulted in EU Member States having to pay massive amounts of money to rescue their banks. To protect taxpayers’ money in the future, the EU institutions have made some profound amendments to the legal framework, shifting the financial burden stemming from banks’ failures to some stakeholders, mainly on banks’ shareholders and unsecured creditors. This is a part of the banking union, the supervision on banks by one body is supplemented by the Single Resolution Fund. However, the details of such a system are disappointing because they do not guarantee that taxpayers’ money really will be protected in future crises, as envisaged.