Historic climate deal in Paris: U.S and EU leads transparent climate system.

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The attention of the international community is fixated more than ever on climate and risks climate change impacts pose to international security. And how to work together with international partners to enhance climate resilience. More than 190 countries came together in Paris this week to adopt the most ambitious climate change agreement in history.

The Paris Agreement establishes a long term, durable global framework to reduce global greenhouse gas imageemissions. For the first time, all countries commit to putting forward successive and ambitious, nationally determined climate targets and reporting on their progress towards them using a rigorous, standardized process of review.

This new global framework lays the foundation for countries to work together to put the world on a path to keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and sets an ambitious vision to go even farther than that. Under the Agreement, all countries will communicate their climate targets every five years, starting in 2020.

The deal builds on the unprecedented participation of 187 countries that submitted post-2020 climate action targets in advance of the meeting, and establishes a framework to ratchet up ambition by driving down global emissions in the decades to come. This process will begin in 2018 and occur every five years to help inform countries’ future targets and strategies.

The deal is the culmination of years of efforts by the international community to bring about a universal multilateral agreement on climate change. Following limited participation in the Kyoto Protocol and the lack of agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, the EU has been building a broad coalition of developed and developing countries in favour of high ambition that shaped the successful outcome of the Paris conference.

This new approach – where countries set non-binding targets for themselves – paved the way for 187 mitigation contributions this year and will form the basis for a long-term, durable system to ratchet down emissions using the best available science. Paris Agreement also sends a strong signal to the private sector and policy-makers that the global transition to clean energy is here to stay and resources have to shift away from polluting fossil fuels towards clean energy, and that through innovation and ingenuity, we can achieve our climate objectives while creating new jobs, raising standards of living and lifting millions out of poverty.

Sweden has shown a longstanding commitment to the environment, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and nitrogen leaching and has pioneered several policy instruments, many based on the principle of putting a price on environmentally harmful activities. For nearly a quarter of a century, the Nordic countries have shown that it is possible to grow the economy without increasing the level of emissions. In fact, while GDP in the Nordic region has grown almost 50 percent the last twenty years, the level of greenhouse gas emissions has gone down nearly 20 percent and energy consumption likewise. Even when you take into account the issue of carbon leakage and imported goods, our climate balance still adds up.

Paris Agreement also represents a legacy-shaping success for Obama administration by transforming the U.S. into global climate change leader. This global climate agreement had been possible in large part because the President had done so much in fighting climate change at home and encouraged other nations to set their own climate goals. I think it´s fair to say that President Obama is leading as no other president has yet dared to do. His Administration put in place fuel standards that empowered automakers to invest in more efficient automobiles., and making investment in harmful energy far less attractive than investment in cleaner alternatives, in order to make it easier to get new clean energy projects up and running. The United States did that with bipartisan support, both sides of the aisle recognizing that leaving aside their differences and their fight over the evidence, investing in clean energy just makes good business sense. And he has done much to promote democracy and human rights through US foreign policy, especially with Russian aggression in Ukrain.

American commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are now encouraging other nations. Our values and economies are so intertwined that we cannot ignore the reality of climate change. It is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emission in ways that protect all our citizens’ health and grow the economy at the same time.

However, important questions remained. Solving climate change will require climate action mindset, perhaps the largest public-private partnership the world has ever attempted. At its core, the Paris agreement is about ensuring public-private energy collaboration in every part of the world, for generation to come. In Paris The United States demonstrated its commitment to mobilizing finance from public and private sources. That we now have the Paris agreement,  such a move would be a boon to the global clean energy business, including the US – home to the majority of clean energy patents.

The Paris deal provides a shift towards greater policy action to crate a framework based on ambitious, individually determined emissions-reduction targets and commitment on climate change., that is designed to become even more ambitious as time goes on and energy technology evolves

The Agreement establishes a robust transparency system to help make sure that all countries are living up to their commitments.

This will send a market signal to the private sector and investors that countries are serious about meeting the targets they have set. These steps include:

  • Putting in place an enhanced transparency system for all countries.
  • Requiring countries to report on greenhouse gas inventories.
  • Requiring countries to report on mitigation progress.
  • Establishing a technical review process with agreed upon standards.

Paris agreement is therefore a defining moment for the development of life and human activity on our planet. Tackling climate change will require to shift our thinking, to embrace new technology and increase global investment flows needed towards clean energy technology, forest protection, and climate-resilient infrastructure.

Today, from hydroelectric dams, which can cause grave environmental damage, to high-polluting cooking stoves, many developing countries face major threats to agriculture and public health. And same nations are both big polluters and victims of climate change. Developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable, will need support from the global community as they pursue clean and resilient growth. The Paris Agreement makes real progress on this front.

This Agreement provides strong assurance to developing countries that they will be supported as they pursue clean and climate resilient growth. Moreover, the outcome of Paris provides further confidence that the goal to shift the world away from polluting fossil fuels towards greener and clean energy will be met and that climate finance will continue to flow.

The mitigation components of the Paris Agreement, combined with a broad push on innovation and technology, will help significantly scale up energy investments over the coming years – investments that will accelerate cost reductions for renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions. This set of actions will create a mutually reinforcing cycle in which enhanced mitigation increases investment and enhanced investment allows additional mitigation by driving down costs.

The Paris Agreement also features a standalone article dealing with the issue of loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change. Countries also acknowledge the need to cooperate and enhance the understanding, action and support in different areas such as early warning systems, emergency preparedness and risk insurance.

In striking first global climate deal of the world, the nations of the world with world leaders have shown what unity, ambition and perseverance can do for many, many generations to come – and what is possible when the world stands as one. There is nothing more important than that to move the world forward. Paris agreement is vital for our longterm economic, public health and our security commitment. The U.S. and EU should continue to take the lead.

Finally, let’s not forget that Paris is only the beginning of a long journey. Together with all the stakeholders – NGOs, the business community and every citizen, we will now have the responsibility to translate this agreement into actions. The Paris climate change agreement is a bridge between today’s policies and climate-neutrality before the end of the century.

In Paris, governments agreed on ambition, commitment, and solidarity. The EU and U.S. will continue to support climate action to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change impacts in developing countries. The EU fought for this agreement to be as strong as possible.  and have been a successful bridge builder throughout these negotiations.

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Sec Kerry defines U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changing World.

When we think of the world in dynamic terms as being open to change, that conduces to the public good, the legitimacy of authority becomes the condition for effective action. All the more difficult against this background, is the alternative concept of global governance, a continuing process of policy negotiation among states and its communications under recurrent pressure from manifold manifestations of civil society that has been faltering in its ability to establish confidence in its efficacy.

In all major fields of international law, e.g. environmental law, economic law, human rights law, international humanitarian law, health law, peace-and security law demands for more transparency have recently been voiced by civil-society actors, by states, and within the international institutions themselves and have to a large extent also been honoured. A cross-cutting legal principle of transparency is emerging and what this might mean for international law, specially for the well-functioning of negotiations and deliberations.

In our era, we face now a set of amazing challenges – diplomatic efforts to end the war in Syria and Ukraine crisis raising tensions in the international system, to continued support peace, security and stability in individual regions, and in the world as a whole, countering terrorism and violent extremism in Africa and the Middle East, and addressing key regional security issues in the Asia-Pacific, including maritime disputes in the South China Sea, nonproliferation, human trafficking,  to curbing greenhouse gases to promoting shared prosperity among all people. Enormous progress has been made in that direction. That’s good news. But still there are much more to be done.

It is wise to refrain from assuming that today’s turbulent global environment and boundaries will be the same tomorrow. To deal effectively with these issues, how global policy and global order is decided will affect the way in which the major issues confronting the future of humanity can be dealt with. There is a call for the creation of greater global coalitiona on shared values through a diplomatic process. And to find a common system and principles, responsibiity between states is the major challenges of the world politics and international relations today.

Faced by these new challenges, earlier this week , the U.S. Secretery of State, John Kerry, visited Indiana University, one of the finest public universities in America, to convey an important message about the United States of America’s foreign policy: advancing global policy in four critical areas.

You can read here how the U.S. Secretery of State, John Kerry defines U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changing World and his entire remarks at Indiana University here. on how each of us can make different in shaping A better world.image

Speaking of world that is finding common ground, Sec Kerry underscored despite the many challenges we face, we have many reasons to be confidence.

  • A Trade Agreement That Represents 40 Percent of the Global Economy
  • A Potential Climate Accord That Will Require Contributions from Every Nation
  • A Nuclear Agreement Involving Iran and Six Very Different Global Powers
  • A Counterterrorism Coalition of 65 Members That Carries with it the Hopes of Good and Decent People Everywhere.

These issues are all global in scope: Each is a product of principle and pragmatism, embodying both what world leaders should do and what we can do. And each will have an impact on the United States of America’s foreign policy advancing global policy, and the liberal global order in a changing world.

The first is a global trade agreement that reflects our values, directly guiding grand policies within the arena of international economics and trade that grows all our economy, creates mor jobs and opportunity. Growing economic and political interdependence among nations affects the substance and procedures of national policy making, including of course the channels for communications, to engage in international cooperation.

The question which concerns us here is whether deepeing economic integration improves the channels for the expression of democratic policy instruments and preferences. It is clear that deepeing economic integration may improve the quality of policy making by making national leaders more aware of the international impacts of their decesions, and make more open to ideas and suggestions coming from their foreign counterparts, from international institutions, and from non-governmental organizations to satisfy the demands of their citizens.

In fact, the demand for more transparency in public decision making, the search for new forms of accountability, and the growing reliance on persuasion rather than on traditional forms of governmental coercion can be shown to be related, at leas in part, to growing economic and political interdependence. This is the more optimistic view which sees international integration and cooperation as an opportunity not only to expand the scope of consumers choice, but also enrich the national agenda. And today it’s more integrated and the world is more globalized and integrated than ever before.

Foreign trade should be viewed as an opportunity, not a threat. This connection, as Sec John Kerry said many times, from the day he was nominated, that foreign policy  is economic policy (a trade policy that needs a novel 21st century approach).

However, as Sec Kerry says; the globalization is not simply a policy choice on which you can come down on one side of the other. It is a force driven not only by technology, but also by the aspirations of people around the world for opportunity and a better life. The angoing TTIP and TPP negotiation among states also matters for reasons far beyond trade. That will be welcome news for our allies and friends, a huge boost for stability achieved through international cooperation in a region vital to our future well-being, and glad tidings for American companies and workers.

A second major area along global trade, where the world is coming together is on global climate change.

As the COP21 talks in Paris approach, the attention of the international community is fixated more than ever on climate and risks climate change impacts pose to international security. And how the United States can work with international partners to enhance climate resilience. In just two months, representatives from around the world will gather in Paris to approve what Mr Kerry hope will be by far the most ambitious agreement on global climate ever reached. There’s nothing uniquely liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, American or foreign about wanting to preserve the health of our planet. “We’re all affected because we all share the same fragile home”.

If, together, we continue to put in the hard work, if we stick to the revolutioneary course that we´re on, if we refuse to get sidetracked by those who cannot see beyond the outmoded and downrightt dangerous energy sources of the past, and if we have the common sense to respond boldly to the urgency of this moment, then we will unlock the enormous potential of these opportunities for renewable energy development to come for our businesses and our communities. An opportunity to transform the way people live, which is to safeguard the future for genarations. Ee have distributive power and other opportunities available to us, which a lot of people have worked very hard to new directions for economic growth in a low carbon future energy.

A third area where major countries have come together with U.S. leadership— along with the European Union is a nuclear agreement involving Iran and six very different global powers. It is true that this is stabilization policy creating an historic agreement to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusivelyimage peaceful going forward.

A primary U.S. objective in international negotiations with Iran has been to limit Iran´s enrichment capacity.

No one can deny that this agreement, building on previous interim or framework agreements (concluded in Geneva in November 2013 and Lausanne in April 2015), is a comprehensive one. And should Iran violate any aspect of this deal, the U.N., U.S., and E.U. can snap the sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy back into place. Now, with this deal in place, the U.S., our allies, and the international community can know that tough, new requirements will keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

This agreement, moving now to the implementation stage, came together as a result of years of tough diplomacy extending over two presidencies. And every nation in the region — including Israel, key allie of U.S. and many European powers — is safer because of the agreement.

Only by direct negotiations with support from a broad array of partners — including Russia, China, and the leaders of Europe -were we able to convince Iran’s top officials to accept the severe limits on their nuclear program that they have.

The fourth critical area in which the United States have come together with different partners is the fight against international terrorist organizations. A counterterrorism coalition of 65 Members that carries with it the hopes of good and decent people everywhere.

Along with climate change, international terrorist organizations may well be the defining challenge of our generation

In order to discuss terrorists organizations and conflict between states it is highly important that there is more willingnes to engage in international cooperation. And without principles and management as an instrument of domestic stabilization policy there is no way to fight against terrorism and it would mean nothing from the point of view of international law.

This is a long-term struggle that will be won with a comprehensive approach in concert with state and nongovernmental actors across the globe—which is exactly what the UN70 Leadership Summit hosted by President Obama, highlighting the international community’s efforts to counter ISIL, addressed.

The President has made clear that ISIL poses a threat to the the international community, and that we will use all instruments of power to defeat it. He has also made clear that this fight will not be won quickly, solely through military means, or by the United States alone.

So to find a way out of this conflict we have to bring together all who oppose both despotism and terrorism. And the way to do that is through a diplomatic process that gives hope to every Syrian who wants to marginalize the extremists and put in place a government capable of uniting and leading the whole country. The opposition to international terrorists — whether groups like ISIL (or Daesh) in the Middle East, al-Shahbaab in East Africa, and Boko Haram in West Africa — and repugnance at their actions has become a powerful unifying force.

The right of self‑defence in Article 51 of the UN Charter shows in some detail the clear legal basis for military action against ISIL in Syria and Iraq. because of the grave danger that ISIL poses to our security now and in the future. Over the past 14 months, the 65 member U.S.-led Global Coalition has launched thousands of air strikes forcing Daesh to change how it conducts military operations and impeded its command and control. The Coalition continues to strike Daesh targets in both Iraq and Syria, degrading its leadership and putting it under more pressure than ever before.

As it should be, because the terrorists are committing heinous crimes that include: destroying ancient cultural treasures; attacking schools and butchering teachers; beheading innocent journalists; and literally auctioning off terrified girls in a modern day slave market complete with notarized sales contracts; and using the term “marriage” to describe what is actually systematic rape.

In Syria, we see a chance to increase pressure on Daesh from more than one direction, especially if Russia makes good on its commitment to help. But the reality is there will be no end to the refugee crisis that comes with an increased migration until there is an end to the conflict. All these initiatives are distinct in purpose, but each requires both American leadership and the strong support of our partners.

American leadership is critical to global success. And America’s choices matter to the rest of the world.

Finally, the basic objective of US strategy must be to protect the Wold of Liberty, which is an unstable duel commitment to both global justice and American “well-being”. This is, anyway, the centrality of U.S. exceptionalism, mostly unstated, that becomes a non-negotiable norm. Every bit as much as Roosevelt’s pledge to make America the world’s “arsenal of democracy” by challenging the nation to become an “arsenal of democracy,”Like Americans before, then and since, he viewed the promise of American democracy as an ever-evolving concept.

In Central and Western Europe we have achieved far greater liberty than ever before, and in the most diverse spheres. But, the restoration of a military balance in Europe is not an end in itself. It is the necessary condition for the development of relations between East and West. Over the past two years, the United States has increased military activities in Eastern and Central Europe to reassure allies and partners security and territorial integrity. The persistent, rotational U.S. air, land, and sea presence in the region provided for by ERI funding began following the Russian occupation of Crimea and continues today.

In June 2014, President Obama announced the ERI to increase U.S. force presence in Europe, expand exercises and training with NATO Allies and partners, and augment prepositioned equipment for use in joint exercises. Allies reinforced these efforts at the September 2014 NATO Summit in Wales when they agreed to the Readiness Action Plan, which included a series of assurance and adaptation activities to enhance NATO’s defense posture and increase allied readiness and responsiveness.

The United States together with its closest allies and partners face unprecedented international challenges that pose significant threats to global security and prosperity. It is vital that U.S. EU and NATO cooperate demanding security challenges we face today. And U.S. is engaged in more areas of the world, on more issues, with more partners then any other time in history. The fact is that every fundamental issue of conflict today, the United States is in the center leading and trying to find an effort to make peace where peace is very difficult.

International politics today is as much institutional as intergovernmental. It is sometimes possible to transfer policy-making powers to higher level of governance, so that what can not loneger be done at the national level my be achieved through international cooperation. Support for human rights and vibrant civil societies remains at the fore front of American foreign policy. And “We have a duty to peace” say U.S. Secretery of State, John Kerry.

This is also true if there is a security gap in the sense of inability of protection. From this standpoint, the logic of international institutions and international Law built on shared values of distributive and procedural justice should be able to perpetuate themselves in the absence of strong central authority as long as members perceive the specific norms and normenforcement to be anchored in these shared values.

The main basis of the global coalition’s actions against ISIL in Syria is the collective “self-defence” of Iraq. This is a topic that the UNS council has explored many times. Going back to the 9/11 attacks and even before, to condemn terrorism and also to take concerted action to counter violent extremist organizations. Iraq has a legitimate government, one that we support and help to contribute to long term solution for Iraq’s new government.

It is also clear that the Assad regime is unwilling and/or unable to take action necessary to prevent ISIL’s continuing attack on Iraq. For the international community it is important to address risks facing our partners. This Global Coalition has united to agree a common, multifaceted and long-term approach to degrade and defeat ISIL which was reiterated most recently in a joint statement released on 28 September 2015.

In Iraq, with support from Coalition air forces, Da’esh can no longer operate freely in more than 30% of the populated territory it once held. Tikrit has been liberated, and more than 100,000 civilians have returned there and to imagesurrounding areas. In northern Syria, Da’esh has lost much of the territory it had seized, and is now cut off from all but about 100 of the 822-kilometer border between Syria and Turkey.

More than 5,000 Coalition trainers and advisors from 18 countries are in Iraq supporting the Iraqi government’s efforts to strengthen and develop local security forces in the campaign to liberate Ramadi and in preparation for the liberation of Mosul. Separately, more than 900 Coalition personnel are assisting the train and equip mission for Syrian opposition.

We will work with our partners to reduce conflict, and to promote stability, good governance and human rights. Vision that reflect a world, in which source of insecurity are identified and causes of conflicts and the security threats we face are prevented or resolved, and peace is sustained.

Upcoming Events May 2, 2016: This year’s theme is “America’s Role in the World,”

Atlantic Council´s Strategy Initiative, in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, for its flagship annual conference, the Global Strategy Forum.

We should answer the call from our allies and the grave danger ISIL poses to our security

All across France, blue-white-red national flags flew from buildings on Friday. President Francois Hollande had asked people to hoist the tricolor in patriotic solidarity with the 130 people massacred two weeks ago in Paris. And when imagePresident François Hollande announced that we are at war with the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), the “we” included you and me. France’s fight is Europe’s fight. It involves all of us.

 

France has been attacked, Europe as a whole has been attacked. Today France sought the help and assistance of all of Europe. And today Europe, united, responded yes. ’Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy stated in the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 November 2015

Although the EU FAC Ministers expressed their unanimous and full support to France and their readiness to provide all the necessary aid and assistance’, the question about the real meaning and consequences of this remain unclear for the majority, including same of the politicians. While EU law also includes a solidarity cause in the event of a terrorist attack, to “protect democratic institutions and the civilian populace”, France chose to ask for help for its external military operations.

The reaction of France to the terrorist attacks of Friday the 13th and mening of “we are at war” statement of President Holland and FAC’s position was invoking the EU’s mutual assistance clause. The introduction of a mutual assistance clause in the Treaty framework of the European Union ‘Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe’ (Article I-41(7)).

This part of the Treaty, also known as the ‘mutual assistance clause’ (MAC) was virtually unchanged by the ‘reflection phase’ that followed the negative referenda in France (May 2005) and the Netherlands (June 2005), and found its way into the Treaty of the European Union under Article 42(7), part of the intergovernmental structure of the Common Security and Defence Policy.

In addition the solidarity of common defence and security policy can not be implemented in real-life military situation without the support of NATO. There is a strong argument, too, for NATO to recognize that one of its members, France, has been attacked, thereby activating Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which ensures mutual defense. It is no secret that NATO faces a series of security challenges from all directions – from the Syrian civil war and the influx of migrants, refugees; to the vile threat that is posed by Daesh, which has been more immediate.

When the wording of Article 42(7) is compared with that of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, three main differences are obvious: (1) Motive: Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is based on an armed attack against one or more NATO members. Article 42(7) can be invoked in case of armed aggression. In concrete terms, the blockade of a harbour by a warship would be armed aggression, but not an armed attack.

(2) Area of responsibility: Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty limits itself to Europe, North America and other defined areas north of the Tropic of Cancer. The MAC of the Treaty of the European Union refers to ‘its territory’ and could therefore be seen as applicable world-wide due to the many overseas areas of the EU Member States. Taking the Falklands war in 1982 as an example, this war would not fall under Article 5 of NATO (south of the tropic of cancer), but could activate Article 42(7) of the Treaty of the European Union.

Means: Whereas Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty refers to assistance to ‘the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force’. With this wording, the Treaty allows the parties to decide on their assistance, from ‘diplomatic measures’ to ‘armed countermeasures’.

The key words in this aspect are ‘as it deems necessary’ which gives the parties to the Treaty the possibility to decide on a national basis which action is appropriate and which one is not.

Bilateral talks have begun between France and other member states to clarify French needs and other countries’ capabilities. Although all member states agreed to activate the mutual defence clause, some are more or less constitutionally hampered in participating in attacks outside its borders, but when Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Paris this week, Hollande reportedly called out his close ally.

To his credit, British Prime Minister David Cameron clearly understands the importance of increasing the military pressure on ISIS. As he explained in his statement in the House of Commons,

 We should answer the call from our allies.  The action we propose to take is legal…it is necessary.  It is because of the grave danger that ISIL poses to our security

UK Prime Minster give as reasons the “right of self-defence” as recognised in Article 51 of the UN Charter. Saying that “there are additional reasons why action now is so important. Not just the attack in Paris. But the world has come together and agreed a UN Security Council resolution 2249 on ISLI”.

The UN Security Council Resolution states that ISIL “constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security.

It is also clear that ISIL’s campaign against the UK and our allies has reached the level of an ‘armed attack’ such that force may lawfully be used in self-defence to prevent further atrocities being committed by ISIL. UK Government document published today shows in some detail the clear legal basis for military action against ISIL in Syria. It is founded on the right of self-defence as recognised in Article 51 of the UN Charter. Based primarily on this Charter, the most commentators describe the commonly accepted parameters for the use of force in anticipatory self-defense as follows:

  1. Necessity;
  2. Imminence;
  3. Proportionality; and
  4. Exhaustion of peaceful options

Article 51 of the Charter provides the State parties with the right of individual or collective self-defense when an armed attack occurs. The first substantive part of the third Chapter seeks to establish,in the light of the debates in the doctrine, whether the concept of self-defense is restrictive or whether it might be widened in certain circumstances.

These requirements have been modified substantially by state practice in the last forty-five years. In 1986, the United States responded to a series of terrorist attacks by bombing specific targets in Libya´s command and control structure. The U.S. claimed it was acting in anticipatory self-defense against future attacks, consistent with Article 51 of the UN Charter. In 1998, terrorists bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The United States fired cruise missiles on six terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, and a facility in Sudan believed to be used to produce chemical weapons.

President Clinton expressly invoked Article 51, saying that “these strikes were intended to prevent and deter additional attacks by a clearly identified terrorist threat.” This was another important development, arguably supporting the use of force against states that harbor or otherwise enable terrorists.

The legality of such strikes under U.S. and international law; about “accountability and morality”, Drone strikes, are effective and legal. Fighting against terrorism has always been the matter of law enforcement effort. That‘s to say, fighting against terrorism is a matter of international human rights law. It is also explicit from the remarks of the political and military leadership as well as the strategy documents that in the war against terrorism anticipatory or preemptive actions constitute the basis of the fighting strategy so as to eliminate the threat of terrorist attacks before they come into existence.

Article 51 does not directly authorize force “if and only if, an armed attack occurs”, but rather there remains a general right under customary international law. States have initiated and cooperated in the use of force to extend self-defense to instances in which the possibility of an attack is not imminent, but merely expected. These actions are based on an assessment of the following factors.

  1. The protection of nationals;
  2. The probability of an attack;
  3. The magnitude of potential harm;
  4. The need to disrupt terrorist planning and activities; and
  5. The need to eliminate safe havens.

The law of armed conflict (IAC), also known as international humanitarian law, applies to armed conflict situations and governs the conduct of hostilities and the protection of persons during conflict. In this regard when one or more States have resorted to use of force against another, then the rules of IAC come into play irrespective of the reason or the intensity of this encounter or of whether the parties to the conflict consider themselves to be at war with each other and how they describe this conflict.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 (hereinafter 9/11), the United States has initiated military operation, Operation Enduring Freedom, together with the United Kingdom against the de facto government of the Taliban in Afghanistan on 7 September 2001 in order to eliminate Al-Qaeda and its associates from the territory of Afghanistan.

In fact, in order to legally justify its counterterrorism effort and particularly the use of drone strikes against terrorists in different countries, the US authorities pursued two alternative arguments. In his speech to the American Society for International Law’s Annual Meeting in March 2010, the US State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh claimed that:

―…as a matter of international law, the United States is in an armed conflict with Al-Qaeda, as well as the Taliban and associated forces, in response to the horrific 9/11 attacks, and may use force consistent with its inherent right to self-defense under international law.

In the minds of the national political and military authorities of the US there
is no doubt that the US is really at war with terrorism. In this regard, under the goal of “strengthen alliances to defeat global terrorism and work to prevent attacks against us and our fiends” the U.S. National Security Strategy-2002 expresses that. Likewise, the other strategy and guidance documents explicitly recognize that the nation is waging a global war on terrorism. For example, the National Defense Strategy promulgated in March 2005 begins with express saying that ―America is a nation at war.

Following 9/11, a Security Council Resolution recognized the inherent right of self-defense in accordance with the U.N. Charter. Troops were deployed against the Taliban in Afghanistan by twenty seven states.

This time, the use of force extended to Regime Change, and it decisively extended the right of self-defense to include force against countries that provide a safe haven for terrorist groups that have already struck.

Soon after Barack Obama was elected, as U.S. president, he was strongly urged by the outgoing CIA director, Michael Hayden, and his new top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to adopt special counterterrorism operations to confront Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups plotting attacks against the U.S. And Pentagon officials pressed the new president to dramatically ramp up the wars in Yemen and Somalia to fight the emerging threats in those countries. The view among President Obama´s inner circle was that Iraq, Afghanistan and those other countries in Africa had served as safe haven for terrorist groups, but deploying them outside conventional war zones meant different legal and diplomatic consideration would apply.

The U.S. Security Strategy has looked more to its own military power for remedies. The National Security Strategy of made it clear that “the U.S. would feel free to use armed force without authorization of the United Nations Security Council to counter not only and actual or imminent attack involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD) but also a WMD threat that might be uncertain as to time and place”. The declared U.S policy reaffirmed on this point by the strategy issued in March 2006 has, therefore parted ways with the UN Charter provisions on self defence. The aim of the strategy was said to be “to help make the world not just safer but better”, indicating that the US believed that this policy had benefits for all.  One reason is the focus on the war on terrorism and the handling of specific cases to help to prevent the terrorist attack.

There are more than 15,000 nuclear weapons left on the planet, and there are countries and terrorists threatening to acquire and use them. Whether by accident or by malice, it would just take one nuclear weapon detonating in New York, London, or Mumbai to kill instantly hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. No one underestimates the difficulties on the road to disarmament and to outlawing nuclear weapons in the same manner in which the other weapons of terror, biological and chemical weapons have been outlawed.

International law matters a great deal in how a country approach counterterrorism operations against ISIL. In this way, international law serves as a critical enabler of international cooperation and joint action on a full range of matters.

In short, some of the hard questions that arise on terrorism issues come from the strain of trying to impose traditional legal structures on new threats. However, the right of self‑defence in Article 51 of the UN Charter may be exercised individually where it is necessary based on factors on customary International Law (CIL). CIL is typically defined as the collection of international behavioral regularities that nations over time come to view as binding on them as a matter of law.

This standard definition contain two elements. There must be a widespread and uniform practice of nations. And nations must engage in the practice out of a sense of legal obligation. This second requirement, often referred to as opinio juris, is the central concept of CIL. Because opinio juris refers to the reason why a nation acts in accordance with a behavioral regularity, it is often described as the “psychological” element of CIL. It is what distinguishes a national act done voluntarily or out of comity from one that a nation follows because required to do so by law.

CIL suffers additional doubts about its legitimacy that do not burden treaties. But, the conventional wisdom holds that international custom as evidence of general practice(s) accepted by States as law; and those obligations bind nations to act together. And this is further underscored by the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2249. The resolution states that ISIL “constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security.” It calls for member states, “to take “all necessary measures” to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL and it says that we should: “eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria.”

Efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL will continue to require coordination and cooperation among a wider range of partners, and U.S. is strongly committed to defeating Daesh. It is time to join forces to stop ISIL/Daesh, and we can significantly extend the capabilities of the international coalition forces. Today every alliance member expressed clear backing for the efforts of the International Syria Support Group in order to facilitate Syrian-led negotiations for a ceasefire and for political transition in keeping with the Geneva communiques, and also in order to isolate and defeat the terrorists. Nothing would do more to cut the legs from beneath Daesh than success in de-escalating the war in Syria, and bringing closer the day when refugees from that battered land can return to their homes, to their communities.

According to the Treaty of the European Union, the Member States are obliged to provide ‘aid and assistance by all the means in their power’.

Referring to the ESS 2003, ‘Dealing with terrorism may require a mixture of intelligence, police, judicial, military and other means.’ that response must include dialogue and diplomacy.  Legally, what is more important is that the responding State must ensure that resort to use of force was a necessity as a result of failure in practical or alternative solutions. Armed aggression does not necessarily need the imminent threat of an attack, but preventive countermeasures could be taken. This interpretation would also be in line with the European Security Strategy of 2003, which advocates the development of “a strategic culture that fosters early, rapid, and when necessary, robust intervention”, in other words “preventive engagement” in a comprehensive manner.

 

There is no obligation to honor an Interpol Red Notice” – to assure that fundamental due process rights of those targeted are not violated.

Since World War II, there has been a profound shift in power away from legislatures and toward courts and other legal institutions around the world. Recent work demonstrates that decisions made in one jurisdiction are tied to decisions taken in others, and that actual jurisdictional boundaries are no longer confined to the nation state. Not surprisingly from this perspective, much of the development of the European Common market, and indeed of European social and economic integration, has been guided by the Commission and the Court of Justice rather than by the Parliament or the national governments.

The Court of Justice of the European Union is the first and last resort for the majority of decisions taken by the Commission and other EU organs in all areas where the European Union holds competences. And indeed the European Court of Justice has stated that the ECB must be allowed “broad discretion” when it “prepares and implements an open market operations programme”.

Ordinary European judges are not permitted to strike down legislation; that authority is confined to specialized constitutional courts located outside the judicial system. Nevertheless, many of these new European constitutional courts have been at least as willing to invalidate and modify parliamentary legislation as the U.S. Supreme Court has been—even in its most activist periods.

This shift, which has been called “judicialization,” has become more or less global in its reach. Newly energized French

Justice Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court: - Whether we refer to questions that come up abroad or not has nothing to do with what the American people are worried about. The world has changed and our docket has changed.

Justice Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court: – Whether we refer to questions that come up abroad or not has nothing to do with what the American people are worried about. The world has changed and our docket has changed.

judges hounding prime ministers and presidents, are only the most visible aspects of these developments. One could also point to the role, and recent success, of judges in seeking to arrest and prosecute dictators and military leaders.

Supreme Court cannot do its job without a careful understanding of foreign law and practice, Justice Stephen G. Breyer argues in a new book, examining the work of the Supreme Court of the United StatesIn in an increasingly interconnected world, a world in which all sorts of activity, both public and private—from the conduct of national security policy to the conduct of international trade—obliges the Court to understand and consider circumstances beyond America’s borders. As transnational issues pervade the U.S. Supreme Court docket, international law plays an increasingly important role, even in cases once considered purely domestic.

The rule of law has been gradually developed and promoted at the national level over centuries, however at the international level it has only recently received (more in rhetoric than in implementation) support from a macro perspective – developments of international rules and institutions, and from a micro perspective – ethical codes, independence and un-bias of professionals, working in international organizations and tribunals. The more abstract questions about the nature of law and its relationship to social norms and moral standards are now seen to be directly relevant to more practical and indeed pressing questions about the justification of punishment, civil disobedience, the enforcement of morality, and problems about justice, rights, welfare, and freedom.

As there is no international parliament to pass law or the rules to make laws, we have to consider a variety of sources of law making. International law provides fundamental tools and mechanisms to address emerging global issues. The role of international law in conflict mitigation remains key – whether by building commercial links between states, fighting corruption, dictators and improving democratic governance, or providing methods for resolving international and ethnic disputes.

Infact, it is this development that leads us to Interpol’s constitution order and work (one of 2000 institutions all over the world that make international rules) As stated in it’s website “The role of interpol is to enable police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place”. It also has seven regional offices across the world and a representative office at the United Nations in New York and at the European Union in Brussels.

Interpol publishes notices either on its own initiative, or based on requests from its member states’ National Central Bureaus (NCBs) or authorised international entities such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. It is generally accepted that Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice is a complete statement of the sources of international law. All notices published on Interpol’s secure website and extracts of notices may also be published on Interpol’s public website if the requesting entity agrees.

However, Interpol can only publish a notice that adheres to all the proper legal conditions. For example, a notice will not be published if it violates Interpol’s constitution, which forbids the organisation from undertaking activities of a political, military, religious or racial character. Interpol can refuse to publish a notice that it considers inadvisable or a potential risk. In many countries, Red Notices have the weight of an international arrest warrant, but they lack sufficient procedural safeguards to prevent regimes from using them to oppress, harass, and silence political and economic opponents. Even more troubling is the rise in the number of Interpol-sponsored Diffusions, which are informal electronic wanted alerts that countries are using to bypass the Red Notice system in order to achieve essentially the same goals.

The wanted alert disseminated by Interpol for Rasoul Mazrae’s (a citizen of Iran) capture was a Red Notice, which under Interpol’s constitution should not have been issued because Mazrae’s crime was of a “political character.” His case is just one example of numerous instances where Interpol’s Red Notice system has been exploited by its members to locate, detain, and extradite persons for political, racial, or religious reasons. Mr Mazrae was an outspoken critic of his government. Although his political speech would have been protected in the United States as a constitutional right, (if he was a person who is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, who is “not subject to any foreign power”—that is the original meaning of the jurisdiction language in the Fourteenth Amendment) in Iran his conduct was considered a crime against the state.

This article, Interpol’s Transnational Policing By “Red Notice” and “Diffusions”: Procedural Standards, Systemic Abuses, and Reforms Necessary to Assure Fairness and Integrity” By Peter M. Thomson: FedSoc.org Engage Volume 16, Issue 2 September 04, 2015, provides an overview of the procedures governing the publication of Red Notices, and describes problems with the system and urges reforms. Thomson’s article also briefs the growing threat to human rights posed by Interpol’s Diffusion alert and the reforms necessary to assure that fundamental due process rights of those targeted are not violated.

As reported by Fair Trials International (FTI), a number of countries, including Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Belarus, Indonesia, Iran, and Venezuela, have exploited Interpol’s system to pursue political dissidents, refugees and journalists. In those cases, Interpol’s entire international community was used to further the corrupt regime’s goals. Reliable procedural safeguards should exist to prevent the Red Notice system from being exploited to oppress and silence, or to arrest and extradite someone for less than a serious crime or for conduct that is arguably not even criminal at all. But Interpol’s system of checks and balances has not sufficiently prevented these and other kinds of abuses.

The CCF itself has come under scrutiny as well. FTI has argued that the CCF’s expertise is centered on data processing and that it therefore institutionally lacks the competence and requisite procedural safeguards to review challenges to either Red Notices or Diffusions. Diffusions present even more of a threat to human and due process rights than the flawed Red Notice system. For example, in 2012, a Diffusion was disseminated by Egypt for the arrest of 15 Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) democracy workers even though Interpol had refused to publish Red Notices. Because Interpol policy permits a Diffusion to be requested simultaneously with a Red Notice, Egypt effectively bypassed Interpol’s review process by the General Secretariat – a process that subsequently rejected the same Red Notice requests because the charges against the NGO workers were politically motivated.

Diffusions routinely are reviewed only after they have been internationally disseminated. By endorsing this policy, Interpol effectively is aiding member nations in circumventing the Notice system and its procedural safeguards. Together with provisional Red Notices, Interpol should end this practice. Except for urgent cases, there is no reason Diffusions should not be reviewed by Interpol’s General Secretariat prior to transmission,

Interpol’s Red Notice: Procedures and Requirements for Publication:

Red Notices are processed through each Interpol member country’s National Central Bureau (NCB). An Interpol Red Notice seeks the provisional arrest (i.e., temporary detention) of a wanted person with a view towards extradition based on an arrest warrant or court decision issued by the requesting country. The U.S. NCB within the U.S. Department of Justice provides the following guidance concerning Red Notices:

Red Notices are issued in order to seek the location and arrest of fugitives for the purpose of extradition. A Red Notice serves as an international wanted notice and provides information on the identification of fugitives charged with, or convicted of serious crimes.

The country initiating the notice commits to seeking the provisional arrest and extradition of the fugitive in question should he or she be located.

A request for a Red Notice must concern a person who is the subject of an arrest warrant and is wanted for prosecution or to serve a sentence.

Once the originating NCB assures the foregoing requirements have been met by the official applicant and approves the Red Notice, it forwards the application and supporting documents to Interpol’s General Secretariat in Lyon, France. It is the General Secretariat’s responsibility to ensure that all Red Notices meet international legal requirements prior to disbursement to member nations.

Approximately one-third of Interpol member countries consider a Red Notice to be a valid request for provisional arrest and will detain the subject of a Red Notice. For That reason most Interpol member countries commit themselves to honoring Red Notices because, generally, they are believed to be issued in compliance with both domestic and international law.

The ultimate goal of a Red Notice is to secure the wanted individual’s extradition back to the requesting country. The most common method of extradition is by treaty between two countries. However, absent proof that the foreign offense also constitutes a violation under the laws of the country in which the fugitive is located, in such case, there is no obligation to honor an Interpol Red Notice. Extradition treaties usually set forth a list of qualifying offenses. Many require “dual criminality,” which means the extraditable offense’s underlying conduct must also constitute a criminal offense in the country being asked to extradite.

In such case we look at three fundamental legal requirements: The rule of law, Neutrality and Legality.

To work correctly by the law, Interpol relies on its member countries to request Red Notices in compliance with Interpol’s Constitution and international law. According to Interpol’s stated legal basis, a Red Notice will be issued only where it fulfills “all conditions for processing the information.”For example, Interpol states that “a Notice will not be published if it violates Article 3 of its constitution, which forbids the organization from undertaking any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character. Occasionally, when legal issues involving Article 3 of Interpol’s Constitution are implicated, Interpol’s Office of Legal Affairs can also become involved in the review process. Including CCF, for compliance with interpol’s specific legal requirements and rule of Law.

Diffusions, like Red Notices, are originated by a member’s NCB at the request of local authorities. Although Diffusions may be circulated worldwide over Interpol’s “I-Link” network and recorded in Interpol’s primary database, the requesting NCB has the same discretion as with Red Notices to limit Diffusions to select countries or police organizations of its choice. This option has advantages because it permits an NCB to request foreign assistance in apprehending a wanted person without risking disclosure of its existence to a complicit member nation that might be providing aid and support to the same person. As with Red Notices, Diffusions must comply with Articles 2 and 3 of Interpol’s constitution and are subject to CCF review. However, that is where the similarities end.

In its gatekeeping role, the General Secretariat has the responsibility of ensuring not only that Red Notices meet international legal requirements, but that they comply with Interpol’s Constitution and its fundamental rules. In ensuring compliance, the General Secretariat may request that the prosecuting country address any concerns it may have of either a procedural or substantive nature and may reject the application where its publication would conflict with Interpol’s rules or Constitutional principles. As a threshold matter, there are three fundamental legal precepts that cannot be violated:

1. Rule of Law: A Red Notice must respect “the basic rights of individuals in conformity with . . . the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

2. Neutrality: There can be no intervention of a “political, military, religious or racial character.”

3. Legality: The General Secretariat must verify that domestic authorities process information through Interpol’s communication channels in compliance with the international conventions to which they are a party, as well as “in the context of the laws existing” in their countries.

Red Notice Challenges: Preventing or defeating ex post the issuance of a Red Notice based on a legitimate or arguably legitimate criminal offense is an exceedingly difficult and complex process in most cases. Nevertheless, there are a number of legal and procedural options available through which one might successfully defeat a Red Notice.

First, the initial application can be challenged directly through the originating NCB in an attempt to prevent it from forwarding the Notice to Interpol’s General Secretariat in Lyon, France, as long as Interpol has not yet reviewed or acted upon the Red Notice application. In such a case, the aggrieved party may file a “preemptory objection” with the NCB. Second, through local counsel, a court challenge in the originating jurisdiction can be mounted on procedural and/or substantive grounds against the application.

Third, a Red Notice can be contested directly with the General Secretariat. Objections can be based on a number of procedural and substantive grounds, including violations of Interpol’s constitution. Fourth, relief can be sought from Interpol’s Office of Legal Affairs, also located at Interpol headquarters in France. Fifth, a “preventive request” can be filed with the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF), Interpol’s “watchdog” arm, based on violations of Interpol’s constitution, rules, and/or the general law of extradition.

Sixth, in the event that any or all of the above strategies fail to prevent publication of the Red Notice, an ex post challenge can be made pursuant to a formalized procedure available for its removal. This review procedure includes the filing of a complaint with Interpol’s Office of Legal Counsel and the CCF, which can intercede post-publication as well on a peremptory basis.

Legal Arguments in Support of Red Notice Challenges.

More particularly, to successfully defeat a Red Notice, evidence must be provided indicating that the request is in violation of Interpol’s constitution, legal rules, and/or the general law of extradition. The following legal arguments present the strongest likelihood of success when challenging a Red Notice application:

1. The Prosecution is of a “Political Character”

Under Article 3, Interpol is strictly forbidden from intervening in matters of a “political character.” The term “political character,” however, is not defined by Interpol’s Constitution. Where an individual is not charged with a “political” crime per se (for example, treason or sedition), a valid argument can nevertheless be presented that the prosecution itself is politically motivated.

2. The Criminal Charges Are Misrepresented

Misrepresentation or mischaracterization of a criminal charge against a defendant violates Interpol’s rules. Accordingly, although the General Secretariat and its legal office cannot intervene to verify the guilt or innocence of a defendant, a challenge can nevertheless be made arguing that the charges have been concocted based on political and other reasons. Further, regardless of whether a mischaracterization argument can stand substantively on its own, it should be considered as an argument in support of a political challenge under Article 3.

3. A Violation of Due Process has Occurred

A challenge to a Red Notice may also be made by a claim of a due process violation. This kind of claim can also be supported with the evidence used to challenge the Red Notices based on the mischaracterization argument referenced above.

In the event a Red Notice has actually been published and circulated worldwide, a formalized review procedure can still be initiated by the CCF. The CCF, an independent monitoring body within Interpol, is empowered to scrutinize Red Notices for compliance with the rule of law, including Interpol’s specific legal requirements. If a Red Notice has not yet been filed, its intended target can file a “preventive request” so that, in the event a Red Notice is sought, “it should not be published for the alleged reasons. In such a case, the information provided by the individual [target] could be taken into account upon reviewing the request (if submitted) and may lead to the application of the procedure in article 10.1(c) of the Processing Rules.

One of the CCF’s primary functions is to ensure that the processing of information “conforms to all the relevant rules adopted by the Organization” and does “not infringe the basic rights of the people concerned.”Accordingly, the subject of an issued Red Notice may challenge its validity with the CCF, either on procedural or substantive grounds. If the CCF calls into question the processing of the Red Notice, it forwards its concerns to the General Secretariat, and the CCF may invite the General Secretariat to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the request.

In some cases, Interpol has taken years to retract an improperly issued Red Notice. Thomson’s article argues “The organization appears to lack the necessary resources, capacity, transparency, and expertise to address objections raised by targeted individuals, and there is no truly independent administrative, judicial, or parliamentary oversight”..The only body claiming “independence” from Interpol and having an oversight role is the CCF, but the CCF is funded by Interpol and is part and parcel of the organization’s internal legal structure. In typical bureaucratic fashion, the CCF has a reputation of being slow to resolve complaints. Moreover, an aggrieved party has no right to a hearing, and the CCF typically does not provide detailed explanations for its decisions, from which there is no right to appeal.

As with a General Secretariat review, the CCF can only verify the validity of charges, not their accuracy.The CCF cannot check or amend charges which could intrude into national sovereignty. Hence, the CCF has its limitations; it cannot assess the legal situation in a member country with a view to giving an opinion on the validity of an arrest warrant or legal decision. The CCF’s power is advisory, so when doubts are raised with respect to a Red Notice, the CCF may only recommend that the General Secretariat proceed with caution or cancel the Notice. Further, a member state may challenge the General Secretariat’s decision based on the CCF’s advice, subjecting it to the dispute settlement procedure with the Executive Committee and General Assembly.

Due Process:

Because due process is not administered equally by Interpol’s sovereign members in the filing of Red Notice applications, a leveling of the playing field is needed to require that all nations and NCBs operate pursuant to the same procedural and substantive standards. Interpol should adopt more comprehensive procedural and enforcement mechanisms to better guarantee that a targeted person is afforded due process by both the requesting and arresting member nations. Reforms in procedural and substantive due process, comprehensively applied, will help reduce instances where the arresting jurisdiction, knowingly or unknowingly, aids and abets an originating jurisdiction in a persecution, rather than in a legitimate prosecution warranting Interpol’s intervention.

Interpol should scrupulously abide by its own constitution, which requires that Red Notices respect the basic rights of individuals and that no intervention occur in matters of political, military, religious, or racial character. Questions have been raised regarding Interpol’s intention to uphold its own constitutional mandates in view of several controversial cases in which the organization has become involved over the last few years. In fact, in a recent report, FTI concluded that, because Interpol’s procedural safeguards have proved ineffective, the organization should absolutely refuse or delete Red Notices where there are “substantial grounds to believe the person is being prosecuted for political reasons.” Likewise, Interpol should modify its current policy requiring that Red Notice applications merely certify the existence of a properly issued arrest warrant. Instead, Interpol should require that the requesting jurisdiction provide an actual certified copy of the arrest warrant as an attachment to its application.

Transparency:

With an eye toward comprehensive reform, additional measures are also needed to increase transparency in the process of issuing Red Notices and Diffusions. One author has suggested that Interpol completely end the practice of removing controversial Red Notices from public view. One of Interpol’s practices, when faced with a controversial Red Notice, particularly ones questioned on Article 3 grounds, is to remove the summarized contents of the Red Notice from the Internet and therefore from public scrutiny.

In those cases, the Notices still remain active and visible to law enforcement agencies worldwide. However, if Interpol receives information post-publication that establishes grounds to believe that the Notice should not have been published, Interpol must be obligated to retract it completely, not merely from public view. Red Notices also should be subject to systematic review. For example, some Red Notices have remained published despite extradition decisions recognizing the political nature of the cases. Interpol, therefore, should routinely follow up with nations that have reported arrests based on Red Notices and inquire into the outcome of the post-arrest proceedings.

As Roosevelt once said, “Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere.” Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Today, with the inclusion of many ex-Soviet nations in the European Convention on Human Rights, over 800 million people now rely on these protections.

U.S. Global Leadership and commitment to the Arctic.

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In the context of rapidly growing interest in the Arctic, a wide range of actors, from non-Arctic states to NGOs, have been forced to re-think the future of the Arctic and their own relations to this remote region. The European Union has also started a process of legitimising itself as an Arctic actor and laying the groundwork for its own Arctic policy. For Sweden, Denmark and Finland, the Arctic represents an area of both domestic and foreign policy, but the EU tends to emphasise more strongly on the foreign policy aspects in its Arctic communications, whilst also using domestic policies to legitimise its Arctic engagement.

In its two years as Chair of the Arctic Council, Sweden has contributed to strengthening cooperation within the Arctic Council. The U.S. delegation also took an active stance in the meeting and promoted increased work in the different Arctic Council working groups. The end result was the historical signing of the Search and Rescue agreement by the eight Arctic Council member states, and further commitments to increase cooperation in the region.

As U.S.A. assumes Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, Former U.S. Ambassador in Sweden Mark Brzezinski, who is very well known in Sweden, is appointed as Executive Director of the U.S. Government’s Arctic Executive Steering Committee. Since beginning as Ambassador Brzesinski, and Mrs. Brzezinki has advanced the relationship between U.S. and Sweden and the value that America and Sweden share, including on climate change and the the future of the Arctic. During his tenure in Stockholm, which included the period of Sweden’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Ambassador Brzezinski worked closely with the Swedish government on a wide range of Arctic issues.

Under his leadership, the U.S. Embassy developed new partnerships with governments and diplomats, businesses, and the environmental and NGO communities, with emphasis on the link between what is happening in the Arctic and what is happening in the rest of the world. OurSharedArctic is one good example, of how the private sector might be better integrated and how to connect industry with opportunity.

Other governments, too, do acknowledge that bringing the private sector into the discussion does add value, if they’re given a meaningful mechanism to talk with the Arctic Council and work with the Council. And what they’ve already been doing in the Arctic can have a meaningful impact in shaping the policies that the Arctic Council, or individual Arctic countries produce.

Naturally, Ambassador Brzezinski’s appointment as Executive Director of the AESC underscores the importance that President Obama attaches to coordination of U.S. efforts in the Arctic.

As the President said when introducing the National Strategy for the Arctic Region in May 2013, “We will seek to prioritize and effectively integrate the work of Federal departments and agencies with activities that are already underway in the State of Alaska and at the international level. And we will partner with the State of Alaska and Alaska Natives, as well as the international community and the private sector, to develop innovative solutions and new ways of operating.”

Arctic countries and those with interests in the region have to work together on the basis of international law, through broad networks, and via cross-cutting collaboration to safeguard the future of the Arctic and protect the human, economic, and environmental interests that exist there.

To further confirm the U.S. commitment Secretary of State Kerry has stated, that “Every nation that cares about the future of the Arctic has to be a leader in taking and urging others to move forward with bold initiatives and immediate, ambitious steps to curb the impact of greenhouse gases.

GLACIER reinforces the United States’ deep commitment to the Arctic. The Obama Administration has demonstrated this commitment through its Arctic strategy, Arctic Strategy Implementation Plan, and the January 2015 Executive Order that imagePresident Obama signed on enhancing the coordination of national efforts in the Arctic. President Barack Obama will also travel to Alaska to join this important dialogue in Anchorage on August 30-31, 2015. Sweden will be represented by Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.

GLACIER provide an unprecedented opportunity for world leaders and stakeholders to broaden global awareness and engage on ways the international community can address the effects of Arctic climate change.

Political commitment and leadership are generally considered very important for the establishment and development of Arctic policy and integration in the Arctic business development. This is exactly what the global Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, & Resilience, or just GLACIER,  is all about — bringing global leadership together to focus on the Arctic to generate momentum and expedite progress in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the region, including the transition away from fossil fuels to more renewable energy sources like wind and solar, an effort in which America is already leading.

The issued Plan for the U.S. National Strategy for the Arctic Region, provide more detail on how to achieve the strategy’s major objectives. The Implementation Plan identifies two related areas to advance U.S. policy in the region regarding hydrocarbon development: promote Arctic oil pollution preparedness, prevention, and response internationally, and work through the Arctic Council to advance U.S. interests in the Arctic Region. With regard to the latter, the plan specifically calls for developing “a robust agenda for the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.

The White House also announced on Sunday government support for programs to allow Alaska Natives to be more involved in developing their own natural resources, including an initiative to include them in the management of Chinook salmon fisheries, a youth exchange council focusing on promoting “an Arctic way of life,” and a program allowing them to serve as advisers to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. President Obama has stepped up his engagement with Native Americans since June last year, when he visited Cannon Ball, N.D., in the ancestral lands of Chief Sitting Bull and took part in a powwow to honor American Indians who have served in America’s foreign wars.

A Historic Deal Will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon.

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After many months of principled diplomacy, the P5+1 – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany — along with the European Union, have achieved a long-term comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran that will verifiably prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusivelyimage peaceful going forward.

In announcing a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States, P5+1 and EU partners, and Iran have taken a measurable step away from the prospect of nuclear proliferation, towards transparency and cooperation.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered remarks saying “It is a step away from the specter of conflict and towards the possibility of peace.”

President Obama, who had the courage to launch this process, has been resolute in insisting from the day he came to office that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon, and he has been equally strong in asserting that diplomacy should be given a fair chance to achieve that goal. President Obama famously proposed an ambitious nuclear risk-reduction program in a speech in Prague at the beginning of his first term, and followed it up with a number of early achievements. He reiterated the importance of his agenda in a June 2013 speech in Berlin.

This deal concluded in Vienna on 14 July 2015 and hailed as “A Historic Deal that Will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon” stands on the foundation of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), achieved in November of 2013, and the framework for this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), announced in Lausanne on April 2, 2015 that set the requirements for the deal with the P5+ 1 and Iran, alongside the European Union announced today.

No one can deny that this agreement, building on previous interim or framework agreements (concluded in Geneva in November 2013 and Lausanne in April 2015), is a comprehensive one. It results from some 20 months of intensive negotiations that put an end to a process initiated in 2003 by three European countries – France, Germany and the United Kingdom – as well as the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (EU3) and enlarged in 2006 to China, Russia and the United States (from then on, the EU3+3).

As it stands today, Iran has a large stockpile of enriched uranium and nearly 20,000 centrifuges, enough to create 8 to 10 bombs. If Iran decided to rush to make a bomb without the deal in place, it would take them 2 to 3 months until they had enough weapon-ready uranium (or highly enriched uranium) to build their first nuclear weapon. This deal removes the key elements needed to create a bomb and prolongs Iran’s breakout time from 2-3 months to 1 year or more if Iran broke its commitments. And contrary to the assertions of some, this agreement has no sunset. It doesn’t terminate. It will be implemented in phases — beginning within 90 days of the UN Security Council endorsing the deal, and some of the provisions are in place for 10 years, others for 15 year, others for 25 years.

The deal called for the embargo to be lifted after a maximum of eight years for ballistic missiles and five years for conventional weapons. The JCPOA was cleverly drafted to allow both sides to claim victory on this issue. According to the Implementation Plan (Annex V), sanctions relief will begin upon “IAEA-verified implementation of [certain specified] nuclear-related measures.” It is not entirely clear when “IAEA-verified implementation” will begin, but it will probably be sometime in early 2016.

Over the next few months, Iran will provisionally apply the Additional Protocol (allowing for increased inspections), and fully implement both modified code 3.1 (obligating Iran to disclose new nuclear facilities before construction starts) and the “Roadmap for Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues.” The IAEA will have to verify that these (as well as other measures) have been completed in order to trigger “Implementation Day.” And certain provisions — including many of the transparency measures and prohibitions on nuclear work — will stay in place permanently.

The 109 pages that P5+1 and EU partners, and Iran have agreed upon outline commitments made on both sides. (Here’s a comprehensive summary) In the end, however, this agreement will live or die by whether the leaders who have to implement it on both sides honor and implement the commitments that have been made. The day the agreement is reached, and is endorsed by Iran and the P5+1: July 14, 2015. The deal is submitted to the UNSC and the EU Council, and Iran and the IAEA begin working on transparency arrangements. Participants in the agreement will “make necessary arrangements and preparations” to implement their commitments on “Adoption Day,”

President Obama and U.S. Congress has 60 days to review the agreement. During that time, President Obama cannot lift the sanctions Congress has imposed on Iran. Congress can reject the deal, and keep the sanctions in place, but President Obama can veto that. It would need a two-thirds majority to overturn the veto, which is unlikely.

From the brief discussion above, it can be concluded the activities taking place in UNSC. 90 days after the UNSC votes to endorse the JCPOA, passing resolutions that will, on Implementation Day, lift all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. (Adoption Day can also come earlier by mutual agreement of the parties.) There is the Additional Protocol that deals with intrusive inspections, and then there is the modified Code 3.1 that deals with the intent to construct a new nuclear facility. Iran provisionally applies the Additional Protocol (allowing for increased inspections), fully implements modified code 3.1 (obligating Iran to disclose new nuclear facilities before construction starts), and provides certain information in writing to the IAEA about “outstanding issues.”

The EU and US President will pass those regulations and issue those waivers necessary to begin sanction relief on Implementation Day.

Importantly, Iran won’t garner any new sanctions relief until the IAEA confirms that Iran has followed through with its end of the deal. And should Iran violate any aspect of this deal, the U.N., U.S., and E.U. can snap the sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy back into place. Now, with this deal in place, the U.S., our allies, and the international imagecommunity can know that tough, new requirements will keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And we also know that the entire region would become worse if Iran had a nuclear weapon. That’s why this deal is so important. Further delays would only send the opposite signal. Thanks to this deal, Iran’s four possible pathways to a nuclear weapon are blocked.

Iran also needs tens of thousands of centrifuges to create highly enriched uranium for a bomb. Right now, Iran has nearly 20,000 centrifuges between their Natanz and Fordow facilities. But under this deal, Iran must reduce its centrifuges to 6,104 for the next ten years. No enrichment will be allowed at the Fordow facility at all, and the only centrifuges Iran will be allowed to use are their oldest and least efficient models.
In short, here’s the difference this historic deal will make.

The same is true for the plutonium path. Iran’s heavy-water reactor at Arak will be rebuilt — based on a final design that the United States and international partners will approve — so that it will only be used for peaceful purposes. These joint projects include: nuclear power plants, research reactors, fuel fabrication, agreed joint advanced R&D such as fusion, establishment of a regional nuclear medical center, personnel training, nuclear safety and security, and environmental protection. The EU, EU Member States, and US will issue clear public guidance about the sanctions relief, and will refrain from any policy intended to adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran. They commit to engaging in joint projects with Iran, including through IAEA cooperation projects, in the field of peaceful nuclear technology. Iran and these countries will also agree on steps to ensure Iran’s access in areas of trade, technology, finance and energy.

Another potential consequence of the implementation of the agreement with Iran, and surely one of the calculations of the Obama administration, is that, over time, thanks to the gradual lifting of sanctions and reintegration of Iran into the international community, foreign investment and international trade, attracted by the country’s potential in energy supply and a market of some 80 million consumers, will contribute to economic recovery and social dividends. It can safely be expected that the billions of dollars in unfrozen assets and potential revenues of new oil and gas exports will not be massively reinvested in military spending or support for terrorist groups but actual economic needs.

Certainly as a way of placating the conservative opponents to normalisation, the rhetoric will remain critical (especially against Israel) and the vested interests of some powerful groups such as the Revolutionary Guard or the clerics will be preserved. But popular pressure for more openness, easier travel and greater freedom of expression will no doubt be exerted domestically. How the regime will respond to it will determine the future of the country.

EU, German heads attend funeral of former Polish Foreign Minister.

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In grateful remembrance: In Warsaw, FM Steinmeier signs the book of condolence in memory of W. Bartoszewski.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, former Polish foreign minister, academic, journalist, honorary Israeli citizen, and a key figure in German-Polish reconciliation after the Second World War has died in Warsaw  April 24 at 93.

Wladyslaw Bartoszwski, the former Auschwitz prisoner who helped save Jews from the Holocaust and later became Poland´s foreign minister, was a joyful person who inspired deep respect, top European officials said in eulogies Monday at his state funeral in Warsaw.

During the war, Bartoszewski had worked for the “Zegota” underground movement seeking to save Jews from death at Nazi hands, an organization that is believed to have saved in the region of 4,000 lives. Bartoszewski had organized assistance for the resistance fighters. Prior to this, Bartoszewski spent several months as an inmate at the Ausschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in occupied Poland – he was released after efforts from the Polish Red Cross, having served as a stretcher bearer for the group during the civil defense of Warsaw..

Bartoszewski had two short stints as foreign minister of Poland, resigning in 1995 when President Lech Walesa’s term came to an end. He returned to the role in June of 2000, as part of Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek’s cabinet, leaving the post in October of 2001. He had also operated as Poland’s ambassador to Austria, and played a crucial role in mending fences between Poland and Germany in the post-war era.

G7 FMs in Luebeck sends out a strong signal of unity to prevent future crises and enhance security in Africa beyond Ebola.

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Ebola showed that the international community is confronted with new types of crises posing new security challenges. In September 2014, the UN Security Council declared Ebola a threat to international peace and security. The human suffering of the people of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and the whole region is a constant reminder for us to reinforce our efforts to fight the epidemic and its consequences.

G7 Foreign Minsters: underscored willingness to provide relief to the countries ravaged by the virus and our intention to enter into a dialogue with the most affected countries, neighbouring states and international partners”.

“Today, we reiterate our commitment by ensuring sustained efforts to fight this disease and its consequences as well as improve preparedness to prevent and fight the spreading of other infectious diseases, in close cooperation with African partners, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the international community

We strive to:

  • intensify support and capacity building (for national level) with regard to the health sector in close collaboration with the WHO, global health partnerships and health sector donors, while encouraging increased national sustainable investment in the health sector to develop and improve the national capacities required by the WHO’s International Health Regulations, including laboratories and surveillance and tracing systems.

In New York on 25 September 2014, G7 Foreign Ministers, welcomed the leading role of the United Nations and the World Health Organization and the decision to launch the first UN Mission to tackle a health security challenge, the “United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.”

The international conference on Ebola organised in Brussels on 3rd March stressed the need to sustain the international mobilisation until there are zero new cases of Ebola in the affected region, to ensure that funding for this critical activity is secured and to plan the next steps in the fight against the virus as well as to help the affected countries to recover. The G7 Foreign Ministers, meeting  in Luebeck, send out a strong signal of unity to prevent future crises and enhance security in Africa beyond Ebola, a G7 agenda to help prevent future crises and enhance security in Africa” Lübeck, 15 April 2015

The fight against Ebola reveals that in reaction to such crises, a complex, tailored multi-actor response, including in-depth involvement of experts of different areas – here: of the health and the science and research sector – is required. It underlines the importance of preparing for the prevention and management of new types of crises now by improving regional and international cooperation with regard to prevention, early detection as well as rapid response mechanisms. We therefore welcome the Ebola resolution agreed by the Special Session of the WHO’s Executive Board in January which formally initiated the lessons learned process with respect to health crises in the WHO.

HIV/AIDS, the disease also has severe economic consequences. Often afflicting the heart of the working-age population, the illness — especially when left untreated. Several international meetings are already planned such as the spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank, a conference of the UN General Secretary in New York, an African Union conference in Malabo in July, and a new European conference during the second semester of 2015.

Regarding the upcoming ninth NPT Review Conference. G7 partners also agreed following statement on NonProliferation and Disarmament. Strong commitment to a diplomatic solution with regard to the Iranian nuclear programme reached by the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 2 April in Lausanne

Historic understanding on a framework for a final deal with Iran.

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The understanding we’ve reached is a solid foundation for the good deal we seek. Sec Kerry

– The understanding we’ve reached is a solid foundation for the good deal we seek.

After week of round-the-clock principled diplomacy, the United States and its five international partners managed to hammer out the key provisions of an accord that Washington has been pursuing for nearly a decade — a deal to verifiably constrain Iran’s expansive nuclear program. The deadline for final deal was June 30, 2015.

The marathon Iran nuclear talks yield a milestone agreement, a “good deal” which is not a final deal — not by a long shot — but the framework announced on Thursday was far more substantive than many had been expecting. The elements form the foundation upon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reflect the significant progress that has been made in discussions between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke about the agreement on a framework for a final deal on the future of Iran’s nuclear program.

President Barack Obama hailed the announcement as a “historic understanding with Iran which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As President and Commander in chief, I have no greater responsibility than the secrutiy of the American people. I am convinced that if this framework leads to a comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer… It is our best option by far….And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.”

APRIL 2, 2015 President Obama Statement on Iran Nuclear Talks Framework Deal.

– serious evidence that the parties can reach a deal that meets the international community’s requirements for ensuring Iran does not achieve nuclear weapons capability.

Here, are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland. Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation, and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

“There will be no sunset to this deal” said Secretary of State John Kerry – as Iran pursues a peaceful nuclear programme. Iran will receive sanctions relief, if it verifiably abides by its commitments.

This deal provides the best possible defense against Iran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon covertly — that is, in secret. International inspectors will have unprecedented access not only to Iranian nuclear facilities, but to the entire supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program — from uranium mills that provide the raw materials, to the centrifuge production and storage facilities that support the program.

U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.

Sustained economic growth in an economy is likely to encourage FDI.

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As the EU has become larger, there have been a number of reports produced in recent years that have highlighted the importance of adopting the right approach to supporting exports and inward investment. In particular, as the EU has become significantly larger and a number of low wage countries particularly in Eastern Europe have joined the EU. A recent publication by the New Economics Foundation stated that there is a strong relationship between internationalisation and productivity improvements.

Exporters, subjected to the pressures of international competition, tend as a result to be the most innovative and most productive firms. Evidence for Wales has tended to confirm this relationship, with research showing a strong, positive correlation between exporting and increased output. The New Economics Foundation suggested that as global foreign direct investment (FDI) is shifting rapidly away from the developed world and into emerging markets, developed world should not attempt to compete on a cost basis in a shrinking FDI market. It needs a novel 21st century approach instead.

<> on March 23, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Obama: America is one of the easiest places in the world to do business. It has an open, transparent and unbiased legal system; strong protection of intellectual property rights. A nationwide network of business-friendly incentives and regulations.

The relative importance of these changes highlighted the importance of adopting the right approach to supporting new innovation, exports and inward investment over time and across countries, rule for calculating antidumping margins and produce the overall degree of international financial integration of a given country.

I was delighted to attend virtually and participate in this years SelectUSA investment Summit 2015, which just concluded in Washington, Housed in the Department of Commerce, Select USA serves as a single point of contact to ensure investors get the answers and assistance they need across the federal government.

Established by President Obama in 2011, Select USA promotes and facilitates business investment by working with companies that want to establish U.S. operations and by partnering with U.S. economic development organizations to attract them. The Select USA Investment Summit is the premier venue for international investors of all sizes to find the right place, with the people, resources, and market they need to be successful.

President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzer, and other officials attendied the event highlighting in various ways, reasons for supporting inward investment are clear cut.

The highlight for all was the arrival of President Barack Obama, who addressed the Summit shortly after lunch. His remarks highlighted the dynamism of the U.S. economy. For example, $2.35 trillion of goods and services were exported from the United States in 2014, and the United States remains at the top of the global FDI table, based on sound economic fundamentals.

In 2013 alone, companies like Novartis, Michelin, and Samsung spent a whopping $53 billion on American research and development. That same year, companies like Honda and L’Oréal, exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States.

As the President noted, America is one of the easiest places in the world to do business. It has an open, transparent and unbiased legal system; strong protection of intellectual property rights; a highly educated and productive workforce; a nationwide network of business-friendly incentives and regulations that simplify site selection and investment decisions; and the deepest pool of investment capital and the most reliable and transparent banking systems in the world.

The economic impact of this foreign investment goes beyond the direct jobs. International companies help drive American innovation, connect American communities with the world, and bring new techniques to improve productivity. In 2013 alone, companies like Novartis, Michelin, and Samsung spent a whopping $53 billion on American research and development. That same year, companies like Honda and L’Oréal, exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States.

All of this direct economic activity generates additional motion in the local and national economy. For example, these companies rely on other companies within their supply chain. The employees of these companies all earn income, which they can in turn spend at restaurants or on other goods for their families. Employees are trained with new skills, which benefit them for the rest of their lives as they move on to future jobs.

America´s greatest export is the creativity and innovation of the American people. When foreign companies invest in the U.S., they also create jobs and innovation, and they generate profits and exports for their home countries. Not only that, they bring back technology, management expertise, cultural understanding, innovative products, and access to new markets to their countries. They can also increase prosperity, as well as economic and political stability for nations and workers alike.

As President Obama put it, “America is the safest, strongest and smartest place for you to invest than we’ve been in a very long time.” it’s easy to see the economic imperative of the global opportunity.

Investment in research and development (R&D) has made the United States a world leader in technology, innovation, and economic growth across sectors. In a competitive market, business successes come in all sizes. President Obama tell us (here) the vital importance of trade and benefits of trade on Small Businesses. The Obama administration is also hoping to conclude a trade deal, called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP).

USA is the world largest recipient of foreign investment, which reached 92,000 million dollars in 2014, according to official data preliminary. The initiative SelectUSA was born in 2011 and since then, according to the White House, and has helped to attract more than 20,000 million dollars in investment and has created thousands of jobs in the USA.

FDI plays a role in supporting jobs in the state. Majority-owned, U.S. affiliates of foreign firms employ approximately 38,600 workers in New Hampshire. Since 2003 New Hampshire has been an important destination for FDI projects.

According to The World Economic Forum the U.S. is finally showing signs of strength, but the global economy…that’s another issue entirely. Why? Because roughly half of all U.S. companies get some of their revenue from outside the country. A slowing global economy could translate into slowing global sales and will negatively impact revenue and earnings growth of American companies, pushing equity prices lower with fears of a stock market correction in the U.S.

However, sustained economic growth in an economy is likely to encourage FDI, while recession will deter it. The U.S. economy is forecast to grow by 3.1% in 2015. And it is excellent news for a country that gets 70% of its GDP from consumer spending. This may be why the U.S. economy is forecast to grow by 3.1% in 2015. That would represent the strongest annual GDP growth since 2005, when the economy grew 3.3%.

With stable inflation an increase in interest rates that reflects a robust improvement in the U.S. economy is likely to bring positive effects. And, U.S. practice has survived numerous appeals, under the WTO antidumping agreement. Naturally, those countries more directly linked to the United States are better positioned to benefit from such improvement. In assessing the actual strength of the labor market and the broader economy, we must bear in mind that these very welcome improvements have been achieved in the context of extraordinary monetary accommodation.

Changes in monetary conditions in an investor or recipient country can also affect investment decisions. Tighter policy will tend to inhibit investment, while looser policy will encourage it. However, fears of inflation might act as a check against FDI if monetary expansion is seen as reckless. As noted in recent speech by Chair Janet L. Yellen At the “The New Normal Monetary Policy,” the current stance of monetary policy is clearly providing considerable economic stimulus,.. But we need to keep in mind the well-established fact that the full effects of monetary policy are felt only after long lags. This means that policymakers cannot wait until they have achieved their objectives to begin adjusting policy.

Responding to changes:

The global economy has grown incredibly fast since 1950, with global GDP expanding six-fold and average per capita income nearly tripling. A larger workforce and increased productivity spurred this growth (McKinsey report.)  However, the global workforce is expected to grow more slowly over the coming years, and peak in size around 2050. The world economic roles of America must be reconciled with the growth of Europe and Asia and, there must be fundamental reform of the international trade and monetary system.

If strong economic growth is to be achieved, in both the United States and globally, policy makers need to stimulate consumer demand, productivity must increase strongly to drive growth. There are ground to be positive about the global economic outlook, but the U.S. alone cann’t solve problem of weak global demand.

The twentieth century was not only the American Century but the Human Capital Century. America will not dominate the 21st century by making cheaper computer chips but instead by constantly reimagining how computers and other new technologies interact with human beings. The technologists argue, that technical training STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is the new path forward—which also allows some foreign students to work in the U.S. – It is the only way, we are told, to ensure that Americans survive in an age defined by technology and shaped by global competition.

At issue, FDI is a way of compensating for the lack of domestic investment, and can help ‘kick-start’ the process of economic development. Governments support for international trade development was significantly established International Business support and promote exports and the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) Select USA Summit reaffirms the United States´ongoing and unwavering comitment to an open, welcoming investment climate.

Not only for the jobs and other economic benefits it brings – for both the soruce and recipient countries, but also for the political ties such partnership can help to build — history has proved that nothing does better in the long run. Both TTIP and TTP are renewed efforts to reduce world trade barriers leading the effort to strengthen the rules governing global trade and investment and to power Europe and Japan.

It is fair to say that a stong and vibrant business climate can only remain sustainable through innovation, strong intellectual property rights protections, a transparent legal system and a stable regulatory environment.

West has found itself on the right side of history in Ukraine.

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The arrival of John Kerry as U.S. Secretary of state in the world stage marks a hopeful sign that US would remain in Europe and deal with Russia together with European allies and that Obama administration is prepared to revisit familiar, if intractable, problems.

Kerry´s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, made her maiden voyage as secretary of state to Japan, China, Indonesia, and South Korea, underlining the Obama administration´s intended pivot to Asia, where America´s greaterst challenges and opportunities were widely believed to lie. Where China is going politically in the world order is a key question, but we don’t yet know the answer to that. There is no guarantee that one gets, a strong sustainable diplomatic relationship in trade and investment with China unless we see further reform, opening up of the market, particularly in financial services and services in general [and] further progress on the rule of law.

Common values- the enduring hold of old alliances and areas of vital US-UK interests

Sec Kerry: I am confident that the United States and the United Kingdom and others are prepared to stand up and take the measures necessary to add to the cost of these Russian actions.

At first stop of Kerry´s first foreign trip in London 2013 followed by the ritual invocation “the special relationship” between the US and UK, and a joint declaration of intent on Middle East peace, Iran nuclear challenge, Syria, and the familiar challenge to maintain solidarity between the west and its Gulf allies.

The London visit had also a familiar 20th-century feel, reflecting the enduring hold of old alliances and areas of vital US interests, such as the Iranian nuclear programme challenge and to take a more activist stance on Syria.

Washington has found it impossible to extricate itself from the Middle East, and that in turn has reminded Washington of its dependence on tradition allies, the UK foremost, in the bid to prevail on the world stage. For a British foreign secretary, at the time William Hague, who had bet heavily on Kerry, there was no higher policy goal for the UK and Europe than staying close with Washington. Ukraine events in 2014 and Russia, however, complicated this overarching global strategy, and the old neighbourhoods in Europe have proved hard to escape.

To be sure, there are issues on which the interests of the United States and the West, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, coincide. These include preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, avoiding a return of the Taliban or chaos in Afghanistan, the broader counterterrorism struggle, and controlling nuclear weapons and materials. But these interests should not outweigh the West’s interest in blocking Russian aggression that poses a threat not just to Ukraine, but also to the security of broader Europe and the transatlantic community.

The big challenge now lay in what to do with this immensely destructive Russian power, which seem eminently capable of exceeding any reasonable political boundaries. Russia now appears to be sending in “volunteers” to train a separatist army that could ultimately go on the offensive. Of course, from Ukraine’s perspective, a one-on-one military confrontation with Russia is not a viable option and we need a strategy. We are clearly reaching a point when further diplomatic efforts will be fruitless unless credibly backed up by further action.

Last year, when separatist forces in the Donbas region appeared to be crumbling under the weight of Ukraine’s counter-offensive, it seemed possible that Ukraine would be able to reassert its sovereignty over the area. But the Kremlin quickly deployed battalion-size tactical groups from the Russian army to support the rebels. Ukraine’s relatively weak forces did not stand a chance.

The American leadership is indispensable in Europe and Putin does not take seriously ministrations by European leaders. The US, Russia´s equal from cold war days, is the only diplomatic interlocutor Moscow takes seriously. European leaders and allies also expect deeper US engagement. When Nato expanded, encompassing the Baltic states and other countries in 2008, Nato declared that Ukraine and Georgia will become members. ‘wen Georgia tested that commitment in 2008, Putin struck back, sending troops into Georgian territory. The lessons Putin learnt then might go some way to explaining what he has done in Ukraine. The alliance has promised to protect certain countries, notably Poland and the tree Baltic republics, but it has not such obligation to Ukraine. Yet, Ukraine deserve and need more help to improve its defensive capabilities.

Recently, a year ago the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, when support for the Ukrainian´s European Association turned into fight for human dignity. The West has found itself on the right side of history in Ukraine.  The many visit of President Obama to Europe and request of Vice President Biden to de-escalate the situation, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Secretary of State Kerry’s strong statements, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs won the hearts of many Ukrainians for the West.

The most important outcome of the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine is that Ukrainians are not afraid of the oppressing regime any more, and are taking responsibility for their country into their own hands. The adolescent expectation that a new leader will come and produce a miracle is replaced by the sober knowledge that no one but Ukrainians can build Ukraine as they want it to be.

Ukraine must be allowed to follow the path chosen democratically by its citizens. U.S and its European partners should support Ukrainians efforts. Defending Ukraine improving the prospects for stability, peace and democratic futures for millions of others in Russia´s neighborhood. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others are clearly right when they say that there is no purely military solution to the conflict in Ukraine. But,  as Russia continues on its path violations of the Minsk I ceasefire and self-destruction in Ukraine. we are reaching a point when further diplomatic efforts will be fruitless unless credibly backed up by further action.

Today, the developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area. The second ceasefire struck in Minsk last week was at best the end of the begining. People are still dying. Strong defence and deterrence have ensured peace and stability in Europe for almost 70 years. The political, economic and military bonds between Europe and North America remain as important as ever in the defence of our common values shared by the United States and Europe.

Years of mutually beneficial progress that brought 140 million Russians into the orbit of global economic governance are now in doubt. Businesses without political protection will see atrophied sales, no access to finance and an indefinite postponement of investment. Those enterprises that put the greatest store on Russia’s integration with the European Union, many of them Swedish and other companies the United States, are being hit hardest.

Today, all nations, including Russia, depend on a rules-based international system. For those rules to remain credible there must be costs attached to breaking international agreements. After the Soviet empire collapsed, the hope was to have a Europe whole and free and for Russia to be a part of it. President George HW Bush sought to avoid Russia a repetition of Germany´s humiliation after the first world war. President Bill Clinton continued in the same vein. The Nato-Russia founding act, negotiated when Robert Hunter was US ambassador to Nato, accepted limits on force deployments to central Europe.

Expectedly, the loudest voices concernig Rassia-Ukraine crisis have been raised by the Baltic states,  (and other member stats see thier own history being repeated, such as Prague Spring in 1968) with Estonia calling upon the other Baltie states to increise thier defence spending. If the United States and NATO do not adequately support Ukraine, Moscow may well conclude that the kinds of tactics it has employed over the past year can be applied elsewhere. Of particular concern would be Russian actions to destabilize Estonia or Latvia, each of which has a significant ethnic Russian minority and both of which are NATO members to whom the United States and allies have an Article 5 commitment. The Kremlin has already demonstrated aggressive intent in the Baltics by kidnapping an Estonian security official the day the NATO Wales summit ended. In recent months, Russia has crossed into Sweden’s maritime territory and its airspace. Sweden and Russia border the Baltic Sea.

Today, we are united with Ukraine. Former Swedish Foreign minister Carl Bildt – strongly suggest that It is time to consider which actions powers like the US and Europe could take to improve Ukraine’s defensive capabilities. Such strategy cannot be ignored. Because it deals with an event posing the greatest challenge to the international system and its key units. Also new report, authored by eight former senior U.S. diplomatic and military officials, urges the United States and NATO to bolster Ukraine’s defense. The report, says “The United States and NATO should seek to create a situation in which the Kremlin considers the option of further military action in or against Ukraine too costly to pursue. The combination of closing off that option plus the cumulative impact of Western economic sanctions could produce conditions in which Moscow decides to negotiate a genuine settlement that allows Ukraine to reestablish full sovereignty over Donetsk and Luhansk.”

America and Europe have done extraordinary things together before. Then, as now,what is at stake now are the core values of “democracy, the rule of law, freedom of religion and speech and human rights,” those “shared values”. After 1991 and the fall of the Soviet Union, these nations, particularly the Europe-facing border states of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova have established themselves as independent states, with entrenched democratic institutions. Their independence can only be preserved by counterpressure against Russia. We must not stop increasing sanctions nor withhold military support for these states, even if EU diplomacy and political dialogue should always be the essential tool to reach peace and security in the region.

Speaking to reporters today in London, with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Kerry said he expected that the United States and its European allies would impose some “very serious” sanctions and other steps to punish Moscow after repeated cease-fire violations by Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists. And I am confident that the United States and the United Kingdom and others are prepared to stand up and take the measures necessary to add to the cost of these Russian actions.

Never before have the EU and the U.S collaborated on such global issues, not only related to EU-US bilateral economic TTIP agenda, but about sanctions against Russia, combating violent extremism both at home and abroad, seeking to limit Iran´s nuclear program, and responding to Ebola, dealing with numerous refugee crises and many other crises. Ever since President John Kennedy, the United States has been a supporter of European integration. A strong US conviction that a united Europe can be a strong partner of the united states in the world stage.

NATO was created to counter fears of Soviet expansion– and to United States and Great Britain at that moment to prevent yet another war in Europe. Indeed, NATO was the first peacetime military alliance forming a European-American alliance (The grand Alliance). In the worlds of Winston Churchill, “The safety of the world requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast”.

The correct response to Putin´s seizure of Crimea, his attempt to destabilise all of Ukraine his intimidation of other countries on Russia´s periphery and the huge increase in Russian defence spending is to establish Nato permanent bases in Poland and to challenge the European members of the alliance to meet the agreed norm for defence spending of 2 per cent of GDB. And if we are to have a robust political relationship between our own neighbours and us then it is In the EU’s own interests to develop peace, stability and prosperity defined by partnership and ideological suasion. In a globalised, interconnected world, the EU has a vital interest in building strong partnerships with its neighbours and special relationship with U.S. Ukraine would benefit from wester co-operation, but its status would not be finalised until an effort had been made to create a constructive place for Russia within the European security system.

The Special Relationship – a phrase famously coined by Churchill in his Iron Curtain speech 69 years ago in march 5, 2015. The United States and the United Kingdom are evoking the spirit of that mission. The ‘special relationship’ was the key to Britain’s continued status and role as a world power, and American military commitment to Europe was the linchpin of a viable defence against the perceived Soviet menace. The two nations continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of emerging threats, including ISIL and resurgent Russian aggression, threatening new allies in Europe, so NATO’s reassurance role is still vital.

Knowledge of the other must be put to the task of better knowing.

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The White House yesterday hosted, Summit on Countering Violent Extremism with local practitioners and civil society leaders from more than 60 nations of many faiths, including Muslim, who gathered to highlight the community-led efforts that can prevent terrorist recruitment and infiltration. The potential threat may have grown because of the excitement the Islamic State has created among some young Muslims.

Mostly it was to talk about facts, realities, what is at stake, and how we can engage countries where there are significant challenges, and to take those realities and put them into a real strategy that we all implement together. The violent extremist ideologies that underpin today’s terrorist threats and its spread are not found on the battlefield, but rather in mindsets, and within communities, schools, and families. So we have a broad challenge here.

Washington Summit 2015 on CVE.

EU, UN, US and Egypt meet on Libya in Washington to support UN efforts for unity government and coordinate our action.

Why do people make what to many of us would seem to be an utterly wrongheaded choice and become the kind of terrorists that we’re seeing?

Certainly, there is no single answer, but how to counter the violent extremism It’s a questions that we need to approach with humility, but also with determination, because you cannot defeat what you don’t understand.

Knowledge of the other must be put to the task of better knowing.

We need to identify and amplify credible voices, expanding religious and other education that promotes tolerance and peace and respect for all religions. Freedom of religion is also in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Those were some of the messages in Remarks by John Kerry Secretary of State White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. No one country, no one army, no one group is going to be able to respond to this adequately. And we see that in the numbers of countries that are now being touched by it.

  • The partnership against violent extremism has room for anyone who is willing to respect the fundamental rights and dignity of other human beings.This also implies the right of every individual to develop their identity and their own personality and to have a fair say on matters that may have a direct impact on them.

We have a broad challenge here.

Why is there so little interest in international relations scholars having knowledge of societies other than their own? Why is there so little teaching about the perspective of foreign policy to counter violent extremism?

All this is the more serious because, for most of its history, the politics of international relations have been spatially circumscribed. Traditionally the discipline´s concern was with “high politics”. It surveyed the world from the “top down”. Even now there is a resistance in some part of the world to addressing the impact of international processes on the lives of ordinary people: And that world politics takes different forms at the grass roots.

In U.S. the U.S. Diplomacy Center, which is in fulllspeed, will be the first museum and education center in the United States dedicated to telling the story of America’s diplomats and explaining to the public why diplomacy matters.

The Washington Summit on Countering Violent Extremism stabilise the order of things.

As President Obama said, “Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies”. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.

In the face of this challenge, President Obama said “we must stand united internationally and here at home.

By working along with these lines our goal today is to take this chance to think broadly about how to prevent violent ideologies from taking hold, and how to prevent terrorist networks such as ISIL or Boko Haram or any group of other names from linking up with aggrieved groups elsewhere, and how to prevent them from thereby expanding their influence.

These questions direct attention to the politics here and there and between self and the other. Whether in classrooms or houses of worship or over the internet or on TV, our message is very straightforward.

  • Whatever one’s individual experience might be, there are no grounds of history, religion, ideology, psychology, politics or economic disadvantage, or personal ambition that will ever justify the killing of children, the kidnapping or rape of teenage girls, or the slaughter of unarmed civilians. These atrocities cannot be rationalized; they cannot be excused. They must be opposed and they must be stopped.

The attacks in Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen shook our continent. Once again, years after London and Madrid, we were brutally reminded that terrorism is a global and European threat.

Terrorism targets not just the security of people, but also freedom of speech and diversity”.

Those were some of the messages EU High Representative Federica Mogherini delivered in a speech yesterday at the Washington Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

Countering the violent extremism that is driving today’s terrorist threats and stemming its spread is a generational challenge. The U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are committed to countering today’s threats, and building capacity. In Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, ongoing programs focus on strengthening understanding of the local drivers of violent extremism.

This includes research and trend analysis that focuses on gender and governance through “Regional Violent Risk Assessments” in Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, and Uganda. The United States is also supporting civil society practitioners and partner governments to share the latest research on CVE through workshops, online trainings, and in practice.

The EU has also defined its vision through the EU Strategy on Prevention of Radicalization and Recruitment. EU is increasing its efforts and its role for solving the many conflicts and crisis that lay the ground for terrorist groups to recruit and prosper, from Sinai to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, from Middle East to Libya.

The European Union and each of its Member States are determined to do their part.As EU High Representative Federica Mogherini laid out the EU’s next steps to counter violent extremism, she said that prevention and education are core elements to its strategy

Presidents Day: Honoring Both U.S: Presidents Washington and Lincoln.

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Washington enjoyed nearly universal respect, not least for spurning all offers of political power at the moment of his military triumph.

Washington’s Birthday is a U.S. federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Increasingly, the holiday has become an occasion to celebrate the birthdays of both President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln. Many Americans call the holiday Presidents Day.

In 1775, when the American War for Independence broke out between the colonies and Great Britain, Washington was unanimously selected by the Continental Congress as commander in chief of the Continental Army. His small band of soldiers faced a well-equipped, professional army, but he led his often ragged forces to victory in the face of incredible hardships. Washington enjoyed nearly universal respect, not least for spurning all offers of political power at the moment of his military triumph.

As president, Abraham Lincoln, guided his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis — the American Civil War (1861–1865). Lincoln believed that a constitutional amendment was necessary to ensure the end of slavery, and he supported passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which was adopted in December 1865.

The holiday is also a tribute to the general who created the first military badge of merit for the common soldier. Revived on Washington’s 200th birthday in 1932, the Purple Heart medal (which bears Washington’s image) is awarded to soldiers who are injured in battle.

As with Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Washington’s Birthday offers another opportunity for the United States to honor its veterans.

And the fact is that every fundamental issue of conflict today, the United States is in the center leading and trying to find an effort to make peace where peace is very difficult. WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2015 – The president’s fiscal year 2016 budget request of $534 billion protects America today, while positioning the U.S. military to face the threats of tomorrow, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer Mike McCord said.

As Presidents Day, so too does annual reflection about U.S. greatest presidents and how president Obama, current U.S. chief executive stacks up against them. DoD must make the case to Congress that the president’s budget is the level that is needed. “The president has continually taken the position … that we should come up with an alternative, and many members on the defense committees feel the same way.”..It is the view of defense leaders that the military cannot fulfill the national security strategy if sequestration triggers.

Statistical mastermind Nate Silver’s MTM scholarly polls (2013) placed president Obama at #17, just behind John Adams and before Bill Clinton.

Britain paid tribute to Winston Churchill.

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Winston Churchill is still in twenty-first century regarded by many as one of the greatest Britons ever. Even today, to call someone “Churchillian” is generally a sign of respect. Politicians are often called Churchillian when they appear to be uncompromising, focused, and strong, as Churchill was a powerful and determined wartime Prime Minister.Sir Winston Churchill´s funeral procession passing the Foreign Office and Cenotaph 50 years ago today Churchill2015

Britain paid tribute to Winston Churchill on Friday Jan. 30, 2015, with a number of events in London to commemorate it. Churchill died on Jan. 24,1965. Its´s not every day that a country commemorates the funeral of one of its statesman.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. It happened in 1953. Among the twenty-five contenders were the American Ernest Hemingway, the Icelandic writer Halldor Laxness, and the Spaniard Juan Ramon Jimenez; all three were successively to win the Prize in the following years. At any rate, they did not offer a serious threat to Churchill’s candidacy. On October 15, the Prize was voted to him “for his mastery of historical and biographical descriptions as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.

Among his publications are: The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898), The River War (1899), London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900). Lord Randolph Churchill (1906-07), My African Journey (1908), Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909), The World Crisis of 4 vols, 1923-28), My Early Life (1930), Marlborough (1933, War Speeches 1940-5 (1946), The Second World War (6 vols, 1948-54), and A History of the English-speaking Peoples (4 vols, 1956-58).

Whatever may have been the literary merits of this extraordinary laureate, it is certain that for most people throughout the world he was chiefly, if not exclusively, the great statesman who saved U.K and had been the architect of victory in the greatest of all wars.

Winston Churchill was born in 1874 at Blenheim Palace, near Oxford, England. The palace was a gift from Britain’s Queen Anne to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (one of Europe’s great generals and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs his victories allowed Britain to rise as a major power, ensuring the country’s growing prosperity throughout the 18th century) following his victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, raised the standing of British arms to a level not known since the Middle Ages. The overwhelming Allied victory ensured the safety of Vienna from the Franco-Bavarian army, thus preventing the collapse of the Grand Alliance, formed in an attempt to halt Louis XIV of France’s expansive roll. If The 9th Duke and Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Malborough failed to produce an heir, the dukedom would pass to Winston Churchill (Lady Randolph’s son), something the time duchess of Marlborough was loath to see happen.

The central assertion about the rights of a constitutional monarch, as defined by Walter Bagehot in 1867, remains as true as ever: ‘the sovereign has under a constitutional monarchy, as UK three rights – the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. The Queen has exercised all three rights. Much attention has been paid to the Queen’s first prerogative, the right to appoint a Prime Minister.

Churchill was a formidable presence for the young Queen, who remained in awe of the great war leader. At their first audience, Churchill told the Queen he could advise her from a lifetime of experience, but the time would come when she would advise Prime Ministers younger than herself from a similar standpoint. So it has proved. The first of the 12 Prime Ministers younger than the Queen was John Major. Tony Blair and David Cameron, who were not even born when she acceded to the throne.

Winston Churchill was eldest son of Lord Randolph Churchill. (third son of the 7th duke of Marlborough). Winston enter the army in 1895 and served in Cuba, India, Egypt, and the Sudan, was present as a war correspondent at Spion Kop, Diamond Hill, etc. And served in France as Lt.-Col. in 1916. He was under-secretary of state for the colonies, 1906-08; President of the board of trade, 1908-10, home secretary 1910-11; first lord of the Admiralty 1911-15; secretary of state for war, 1918-21; chancellor of the exchequer 1924-29; prime minister, 1940-45 and 1951-55.

Upon his very first entrance into the House of Commons as Britain’s new Prime Minister on Monday, May 13, 1940, Winston Churchill made this brief statement, which has become one of the finest call-to-arms yet uttered. It came at the beginning of World War II when the armies of Adolf Hitler were roaring across Europe, seemingly unstoppable, conquering country after country for Nazi Germany, and when the survival of Great Britain itself appeared rather uncertain.

– We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realized; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, “Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.”

Winston Churchill – May 13, 1940.

After the Soviet Union and the United States entered the war in 1941, he worked to build what he called a “Grand Alliance,” …we must be certain that our temple is built, not upon shifting sands or quagmires, but upon a rock. Anyone can see with his eyes open that our path will be difficult and also long,..— I cannot doubt that we shall achieve our common purpose in the end.

Hostilities in Europe ended officially at midnight on 8 may 1945 almost five years to day since Churchill, in the hour of greatest crisis, had become Prime Minister.

He would say then ..The armed forced of Germany surrendered unconditionally on 7 May..That is the message which I have been instructed to deliver to the British Nation and Commonwealth. I have only two or three sentences to add. They will convey to the House my deep gratitude to this House of Commons, which has proved itself the strongest foundation for waging war that has ever been seen in the whole of our long history.

We have all of us made our mistakes, but the strength of the Parliamentary institution has been shown to enable it at the same moment to preserve all the title-deeds of democracy while waging war in the most stern and protracted form.

I wish to give my hearty thanks to men of all Parties, to everyone in every part of the House where they sit, for the way in which the liveliness of Parliamentary institutions has been maintained under the fire of the enemy, and for the way in which we have been able to persevere-and we could have persevered much longer if need had been-till all the objectives which we set before us for the procuring of the unlimited and unconditional surrender of the enemy had been achieved.

Some of his most memorable speeches were given in this period, and are credited with stimulating British morale during periods of great hardship. In his 1946 speech in the USA, the instinctive pro-American famously declared that “an iron curtain has descended across the Continent”, and warned of the continued danger from a powerful Soviet Russia.

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill condemns the Soviet Union’s policies in Europe and declares,

“We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties enjoyed by individual citizens throughout the United States and throughout the British Empire are not valid in a considerable number of countries, some of which are very powerful. In these States control is enforced upon the common people by various kinds of all-embracing police governments to a degree which is overwhelming and contrary to every principle of democracy.

The power of the State is exercised without restraint, either by dictators or by compact oligarchies operating through a privileged party and a political police. It is not our duty at this time when difficulties are so numerous to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of countries which we have not conquered in war. but we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.

All this means that the people of any country have the right, and should have the power by constitutional action, by free unfettered elections, with secret ballot, to choose or change the character or form of government under which they dwell; that freedom of speech and thought should reign; that courts of justice, independent of the executive, unbiased by any party, should administer laws which have received the broad assent of large majorities.

Churchill´s Iron Curtain Speech, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946 is considered one of the opening volleys announcing the beginning of the Cold War.

Its´s not every day that a country commemorates the funeral of one of its statesman. University of Leeds politics lecturer Victoria Honeyman said to @MailOnline “the timing of the anniversary could help Cameron by reminding voters that under Churchill’s Conservatives, Britain was one of the victorious Allied nations that “set the tone for the latter half of the 20th century.”

  • Lessons of the past can inform how we understand and confront the future.

Winston Churchill, who was the conservative Prime Minister had played a major part in helping the Allies to win the war. But, the United States joined the wars in Europe with Britain and France to defend free peoples, not to gain territory or resources. It helped rebuild its enemies Germany and Japan, and it provided peace and stability to Asia that allowed the region’s nations to thrive.

There is no better diplomatic investment in the years ahead than the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreements, which would bring higher standards of free market rules to two-thirds of the global economy and strengthen American and European prosperity for decades to come. U.S Secretary of State John Kerry continually reminds diplomats that “foreign policy is economic policy.” I could not agree more.

ESM would become an effective vehicle for risk sharing.

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The latest research of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) suggests that unless increases in labor productivity compensate for an aging workforce, the next 50 years will see a nearly 40 percent drop in GDP growth rates and a roughly 20 percent drop in the growth rate of per capita income around the world. Globally, the potential for diminished growth varies considerably among countries.

A useful precedent can be found with the monetarist revolution (Weingast & Wittman, 2008). In the 1960 and 1970s, monetarist proposed monetary targeting rules arguing that monetary policy matters rather than fiscal policy (their Kenyanesian opponents argued the opposite), and that stabilizing the money supply would serve to stabilize employment and output. In other words, monetary targeting rules were celebrated for their economic properties and not their political properties.

The reason why policy-makers adopted monetary targeting regimes in the 1970s, however, was because in the oil price shock era monetary targeting rules turned out to be a useful political device to fend off political pressures to inflate.

In the political implementation of monetary targeting rules, their political properties prevailed. And so it went with macro political economy. The message that filtered through to policy-makers and central bankers was that money cannot systematically raise employment and output. Moreover, political attempts to stimulate employment and output are futile and damaging, all they do is create inflation. For this reason, policy-makers themselves are better off delegating monetary policy to an independent central bank. Macro political economy thus made a successful case for the depoliticization of monetary policy.

In history the initial steps in opening up the global economy were made in the 1950s and 1970s as the desire to avoid the economic and political mistakes of the interwar period led to the gradual dismantling of trade barriers. Some of this was done within specific geographies notably with the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, the forerunner of the European Union. The question is now what role monetary policy will play in EU. Is is simply to say that Monetary policy always has redistributional consequences. Because monetary policy is such a powerful toll of redistribution, and likely to get dragged into the distributional conflict over the split of the GDP.

After the Great Depression and World War II, the financial system in many countries was tightly controlled. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere this was partly to encourage the holding of public debt, which had been such an important part of paying for the war effort. From the 1950s, however, interest rates were liberalized, and a broader array of financial instruments became available. By 1970s which marked the beginning of a wave of deregulation, capital flows into developing countries also became increasingly liberalized.

Until recently, high income countries were thought to have become less vulnerable to severe banking crises that have lasting negative effects on growth. Between 1970 and 2011, 80 percent of G20 nations experienced at least one systemic banking crisis. As mentioned, in Speech by Vitor Constancio, VP of ECB, at Warwick Economic Summit “monetary policy cannot cope with two different objectives and the need for macro-prudential policy has become more acute with the realisation that advanced economies are very likely faced with a prolonged period of low real and nominal growth.” The trend for lower GDP and productivity growth and for ever lower real interest rates has continued for quite some time. For instance, the U.S. annual productivity growth was 2.36% from 1890 to 1972. Then it declined to 1.67% from 1972 to 2004 and to 1.33% from 2004 to 2013. However, this development cannot be explained by the absence of structural reforms, as often done by economists in relation to other countries.

Across advanced economies, Germany currently stands out as a nation where sound fiscal policies are publicly supported. However, even Germany has built up large public debts, while letting its banking system sink into crisis, during the last three decades. It was German and French governments that initially backed efforts to weaken Europe´s stability and growth pact in the early 2000s.

Its hard to to know how much debt any government can safely issue before risk premiums start rising in dangerous manner. But, if debt levels continue to drift upwards, then eventually all nations will reach their debt capacity, and at that point every nation would be on a a path to crisis.

The crisis experience suggests that, in times of extreme market tensions, even a sound initial fiscal position may not offer absolute protection from spillovers

When crises occur, central banks and governments step in to ensure the system is stable. They lower interest rates, bail out institutions and they increase fiscal spending. Low interest rates reduce incentives to cut budget deficits. Business and households with mortgages are key actors who pressure governments to cut deficit, hoping to reduce interest rates. This practical lessons was major factor behind Bill Clinton´s steps to reduce the deficit during his first term in office. The astonishing nature of monetary policy becomes clear once you understand that essentially the same apply to fiscal policy.

One of Clintons priorities was to reduce the budget deficit using a combination of cuts in spending and increases in taxes. President Clinton was worried, however, that by itself, such a fiscal contraction would lead to a decrease in demand and trigger another recession. The right strategy was to combine a fiscal contraction so as to get rid of the deficit, with a monetary expansion to make sure that demand and output remained high. What triggered the recession was not, as in 1990-1991, a decrease in consumption demand but a sharp decline in investment demand. 

Lower interest rates also buttress the lobbies that call for more spending. Given high levels of leverage, it is no surprise that, in the aftermath of crises, companies and households try to rebuild their equity capital. This drives up savings rates, and lowers interest rates. It becomes then reasonable to argue there is no better time for governments to invest in the future, as well as support demand, since the costs of such support are small compared to the benefits.

Private sector-led financial development can also play an important role in sustaining economic growth and improving welfare. However, the lessons from developing countries is there are advantages from keeping regulation tighter and capital requirements higher. This was the lesson drawn, for example, from the experience in 1982 in Chile and from 1997-1998 in Korea and other Asian countries. But the financial sector in those places is smaller and less powerful than in today´s rich countries. Its much hard to do in countries where finance has a great deal of political power and cultural prestige, and where leverage is already high.

Models of the political monetized economies are politically vulnerable for two reason. The first consists of the incentive to fund government spending with increases in the money supply, the second, of the incentive to inflate to increase employment and output. First, political pressures for government spending can translate into an excessive use of the money printing press. The second source of political vulnerability consists of sticky prices, or contracts denominated in nominal currency that are not inflation indexed and cannot be quickly adjusted.

Political business cycle (the time-consistency problem and opportunistic and partisan political business cycles) depends on the time horizon of the party in office. The promise of economic voting is after all that voters would be able to use economic conditions as a measure of the success or failure of governments, the anticipation of being thus measured would induce politicians to improve economic conditions on their watch. But, once growth resumes, the case for financial sector reform seems less pressing. Banks, however, often have multiple contracts. Unfortunately, the dynamics of this system are not entirely stable. The high cultural prestige of finance, combined with the government´s need to sell debt, means that financial sector executives continue to run fiscal policy. This contributes to the fact that once the crisis is over, the regulatory system relaxes, and new risks build up. Financial development or the move from public choice to political economy transforms the political economy of finance.

Experience over the past decade suggests we have built a global financial system in which there is an incentive to build up unsustainable and dangerous levels of both private and public debt. Jorda, et al (2014) show in a historical overview spanning 140 years that the link between loose monetary conditions and booms in mortgage lending and house prices has become stronger post-WW2. A large housing bubble preceded the 2008 crisis in the hardest-hit countries (the US, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy).

The strong rise in aggregate private debt over GDP in many Western economies in the second half of the 20th century has been mainly driven by a sharp increase in mortgage debt. Mortgage credit has risen dramatically as a share of banks’ balance sheets from about one third at the beginning of the 20th century to about two thirds today.

In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, Ireland faced its worst banking crisis after the bursting of the property bubble. The property boom, fuelled by domestic and cross-border banking credit, did not only lead to unsustainable residential and commercial real estate prices but also to massive new construction. Not only macro factors, but also a weak supervisory approach played an important role.

To restore the capital base of the Irish banking system, the Irish government provided up to € 64 bn to the banks (amounting to about 40 per cent of GDP). The Irish taxpayers have been brave in shouldering the full costs of re-capitalising the Irish banking system. In the depths of financial crisis, the taxpayers are the main losers from such crisis, but advanced countries have managed to postpone costs by issuing public sector debts, so ultimately it is future generations who pay for the damage caused by financial sector excess risk-taking. 

There was considerable volatility in the public finances around the time of the contentious intervention in the banking system, but since 2012 the deficit has followed a gradual falling trend, against a backdrop of ongoing austerity and, more recently, a rebound in economic output. Strengthening activity and a recovery in the labour market have underpinned a marked upturn in government revenue and in nominal GDP, both of which have helped to bear down on the headline fiscal deficit (in absolute terms and as a share of GDP). The Central Statistics Office (CSO) data suggest that the public finances remained on track last year to achieve the government’s latest estimate (in its 2015 budget) of a deficit of 3.7% of GDP in 2014, down from 5.7% in 2013 (The Economist Intelligence Unit 2015:Special report Where next for the euro zone?). This CBI-CEPR-IMF Conference paper provides a high-level overview of the crisis management by the Irish authorities and lessons from its Recovery from the Bank-Sovereign Loop.

As Friedrich Hayek warned back in the 1930s, the consequences of such a process of misplaced investment take time to resolve, owing to the subsequent oversupply of specific capital (in this case, of the housing stock). The housing bubble was the financial panic that gripped capital markets worldwide after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The panic was sharp and severe, requiring central banks to play their fundamental role as lenders of last resort.

2012 when those political failures came close to ripping apart the euro, ECB´s Draghi stepped into the breach. Just 20 words from him were enough to simultaneously shock and soothe the markets threatening the currency´s destruction.

“The ECB Governing Council is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro”, he told delegates at a London investors conference. “And believe me, it will be enough”

Properly managed sovereign debt is helpful to financial development because it provides a relatively low risk and liquid asset for both individuals and firms. It can also play an important role in stabilizing the macroeconomy when and if it enables the the government to increase its budget deficit as the financial system comes under pressure and credit conditions tighten.

To allow national fiscal stabilizers to work, governments must be able to borrow at an affordable cost in times of economic stress. A strong fiscal framework is indispensable to achieve this, and protects countries from contagion. Governments need to assess whether and how to go on opening up their economies and integrating them into the world economy.

There is a robust debate about how much growth is actually desirable, Yet without growth, the world is a poorer place—and fulfilling social and debt commitments becomes harder. So there is a strong case for sharing more sovereignty in this area – for building a genuine economic union. This means governing together. In this case, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) would become an effective vehicle for risk sharing and cut the bank-sovereign loop.

It is also clear that our monetary union is still incomplete. This was the diagnosis offered two years ago by the so-called “Four Presidents” (the European council president in close collaboration with the presidents of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the Eurogroup).

In the euro area, stability and prosperity anywhere depend on countries thriving everywhere. And, though important progress has been made in some areas, unfinished business remains in others. A key part of the solution is to improve private risk-sharing by deepening financial integration. Indeed, the less public risk-sharing we want, the more private risk-sharing we need. A banking union for the euro area should be catalytic in encouraging deeper integration of the banking sector. But risk-sharing is also about deepening capital markets, especially for equity, which is why we also need to advance quickly with a capital markets union. Limiting the potential for servere financial crisis through well-designed regulation is a sensible goal and an important lesson from the Great Depression.

Financial Stability depends on working together of EU rules and well-aligned national authorities.

Monetary policy operation always has some fiscal implication, and for the Central Bank what matters first and foremost is that monetary policy is effective. Usually, these fiscal implications are dealt with easily within a one-country framework, between the central bank and the treasury. But in the euro area, there is no European treasury, and each national treasury gives an implicit or explicit indemnity to its own central bank, but not the euro system as a whole. The US Treasury has argued that its recent bailouts were profitable for US taxpayers, because they managed to get back more than what they directly gave out.

Indeed, it required new leaders to break the panic in both institutions – Haruhiko Kuroda at the BOJ and Mario Draghi at the ECB – finally to set monetary policy right. Yet, The Bank of Japan and the ECB were, characteristically, the slowest to react, keeping their policy rates higher for longer, and not undertaking QE and other extraordinary liquidity measures until late in the day. So, too, did the Bank of England, though it was too a bit slower to react.

The good news is that, even near the zero lower bound (ZLB), monetary policy works. QE raises equity prices; lowers long-term interest rates; causes currencies to depreciate; and eases credit crunches, even when interest rates are near zero

Now, the expected announcement by Mr Draghi, will bring the bank closer into line with the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, which adopted QE in the wake of the global financial crisis. But QE has split the central bank’s 25-strong governing council, with both German members voicing their opposition in recent weeks. Today, Germany´s new demands reflect its role as a large creditor to other EU nations.

Under the securities markets programme, the ECB’s first bond buying scheme, the national central banks shared responsibility for losses and profits according to the ECB’s capital key, which reflects member states’ economic size. That made Germany, the region’s powerhouse, the biggest potential loser — and winner. To appease QE’s German opponents, which include the chancellor Angela Merkel herself, Mr Draghi is expected on 22nd Jan 2015 to say that bonds bought will remain with national central banks, so losses will not be spread among eurozone members.

The ECB´s governing council includes representatives from each central bank of the euro-zone nations to ensure price stability, and to supporting economic activity in Europe. The ECB decisions are being taken by the ECB´s Governing Council with a euro area focus, and the decisions are meant to affect monetary and financial conditions across the whole euro area.

Given the very different circumstances and risks faced by different member states, it is also important that the rules allow sufficient flexibility to recognise national financial stability responsibilities. And that they are applied by national authorities that have responsibility for financial stability.

Capital Markets Union:

Monetary policy is focused on maintaining price stability over the medium term and its accommodative stance contributes to supporting economic activity. However, in order to increase investment activity, boost job creation and raise productivity growth, other policy areas need to contribute decisively.

In particular, the determined implementation of product and labour market reforms as well as actions to improve the business environment for firms needs to gain momentum in several countries.

Turning to the issue of Capital Markets Union, in a speech on Tuesday to a conference organised by the City of London Corporation and Open Europe, Jon Cunliffe discusses how the European Union has achieved and should continue to achieve a balance between developing a single market for financial services and the need for financial stability. Jon sets out how the establishment of a Capital Markets Union can help to further the objective of encouraging the free movement of capital in the EU by promoting the development of market-based financing.

He notes that the regulatory framework for openness and for managing the financial stability risk around the single market in financial services in the EU was built on the principles of common rules – with force of law – commonly applied and on mutual recognition.

This is key, because to be confident of maintaining financial stability in a single market with free movement of capital, each member state needs to be confident in the strength and in the application of prudential regulation in other member states.

The benefits of Capital Markets Union could be very large. Indeed, One reason the American economy recovered from the recession faster than Europe’s was that it “had an active capital market to help provide finance for businesses at the time when its banks were under strain. However, the American private placement market (a form of direct lending typically between institutional investors and midsize firms) is almost three times bigger than that in the European Union, and debt securities markets, including the market for corporate and government bonds, are three times larger in the United States.

Bankers in London, (which has the largest, most internationally active and most complex financial sector in the EU) and Europe have long called for the region to shift from a bank-lending economy to one driven by capital markets. The political and economic events taking place in Greece and across Europe are shaking confidence in the future of the euro zone, and the spotlight has been focused on where the economic future of Europe lies.

Sir Jon, who has specific responsibility within the Bank for the supervision and oversight of Financial Market Infrastructures recommends that the objectives should be: first, to put European savings to better use by deepening and diversifying the sources of finance available to business and offering more investment choices and portfolio diversification to savers. Companies must seize the opportunity to accelerate productivity growth and the value-creation potential it holds. 

The focus on productivity needs to go hand in hand with improving skills. As the new wave of innovation hits, jobs are becoming more skilled. Thus, Innovation has become the central driver of national economic wellbeing and competitiveness

Second, to enable greater risk sharing across the EU by creating deeper cross-border markets. And third, to create resilience by ensuring that if the banking system is damaged, there is an effective alternative channel of finance to the real economy. Reforms will be needed to both supply and demand to achieve those Capital Markets Union objectives. On the supply side, measures will be needed that enable household and corporate savings to flow to vehicles that will invest in capital markets, and investors will need to be encouraged to allocate capital across borders, reducing their “home bias”.

On the demand side, Cunliffe suggests that more diverse forms of borrowing will be needed and could include forms of finance in which investors directly acquire assets, such as equity and corporate bonds, and indirect forms of finance in which banks and markets work together through securitisation markets to lend to the real economy.

Domestic demand should also be further supported by ECB´s monetary policy measures, the ongoing improvements in financial conditions and the progress made in fiscal consolidation and structural reforms. Furthermore, demand for exports should benefit from the global recovery.

The move toward embracing deeper capital markets also mirrors a widely held sentiment in financial circles that regulators and policy makers should shift their focus from regulating the markets to encouraging their growth.

A more integrated capital market would provide deeper equity markets that could enable a wider range of corporates to issue equity. As equity provides the most efficient forms of risk-sharing, Sir Jon suggests that this area should be a priority for CMU.

Federalists and Jeffersonians.

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To understand America, you have to know its origin and Constitutional law, especially the separation of powers, its three great provinces: the legislative, executive, and judiciary; and the privileges and powers of the different legislative branches. For a range of views of constitutional theory, (see 2004, Russell Hardin) a typical reason for having a constitution is to place limits on government. Among the early advocates of limited government are Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Wilhelm von Humboldt and Mill. Locke and Sidney argued against the those who advocates with Hobbes, absolute power for the sovereign.

Hume generally supposes that the reason for the scheme of justice is to serve our interests. To achieve justice and social order we must design institutions or norms to bring about just resolutions (deliberately by design or by unintended consequence of various actions taken for other purposes). Hume´s task therefore is largely to show that government officials can be constrained to act for the general good. Why? In part because they act on general principles that do not directly affect their own interests.

Virtually all constitutions are ostensibly designed to secure democratic government and development. Advances in the “science of politics” and skill in the science of government had fostered principles that ensured that abuses of power could be prevented, such as the division of powers, legislative “checks and balances”, an independent judiciary, and legislators that were represented by electors. Constitutional democracy can manage the chaff of political conflict and these disputes over policy alternatives, but it cannot mange really deep conflict between large party groups.

In US political history, the problems of Federalist led by the Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, against the Jeffersonians, represented by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson in U.S. have helped to spur changes in the electoral and therefore in the governmental process.

Alexander Hamilton took the lead in the funding of the states' debts by the Federal government Portrait_by_John_Trumbull_1806

Alexander Hamilton (in office September 11, 1789 – January 31, 1795) argued that “the sovereign duties of a government implied the right to use means adequate to its ends”.

Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was a founding father of the United States, chief staff aide to General George Washington, one of the most influential interpreters and promoters of the U.S. Constitution, the founder of the nation’s financial system, and the founder of the Federalist Party, the world’s first voter-based political party. His plans for money, banking, taxation, trade, manufactures, and control of the public debt set the course of American prosperity forever.

Alexander Hamilton became the leading cabinet member in the new government under President Washington. Facing well-organized opposition from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Hamilton took the lead in the funding of the states’ debts by the Federal government, the establishment of a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain.

Hamilton was among those dissatisfied with the weak national government. He led the Annapolis Convention, which successfully influenced Congress to issue a call for the Philadelphia Convention, in order to create a new constitution. Founded the Bank of New York and successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution provided the legal authority to fund the national debt, assume states’ debts, and create the first government-owned Bank of the United States.

Hamilton argued that “the propose of the constitution was to put in place a workabal government”. He argued that the sovereign duties of a government implied the right to use means adequate to its ends.”…all menans requisite and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power… not precluded in to the constitution and not contrary to the essential ends of political society”

Washington agreed with Hamilton´s argument and signed the act February 25, 1791. A government-owned Bank for commercial USA

As a penniless and illegitimate immigrant who rose to the highest positions of statesmanship, he is an especially fitting symbol of the American dream, representing the aristocracy of talent and hard work—not of birth. No one was more responsible for the calling of the Constitutional Convention, or for defending its work during the struggle for ratification. James Madison wrote two of the most celebrated of the Federalist Papers, but Hamilton originated the project and wrote most of the essays, including those on the presidency and the judiciary.

He almost single-handedly led the charge for ratification of the Constitution in New York, where anti-Federalist sentiment ran high. “If New York had not ratified, it is hard to see how the Union could have come into being.” writes Michael W. McConnell, a professor at Stanford Law School and director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Alexander Hamilton, whose picture appears on the $10 bill, is the worthiest and most appropriate person to honor in this way. It is not an exaggeration to say that, without Hamilton, there would have been no Constitution.

The Diplomacy of the Early Republic.

Almost all of the debate around the adoption of the U.S. Constitution supposes that representatives are to represent their own communities. Unfortunately, this is again a collective action problem. In a sense, what we ordinarily describe as democratic politics is merely the chaff. It is the surface manifestation, representing separated ideas and partisan political conflicts. And what was George Washington worried about as he left office?

The problem of The Federalists supported the development of a strong international commerce and, with it, the creation of a navy capable of protecting U.S. merchant vessels. The Jeffersonians favored expansion across the vast continent that the new republic occupied. The Federalists and Jeffersonians also disagreed over U.S. policy toward political events in Europe. After the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, the Federalists distrusted France and encouraged closer commercial ties to England, while the Jeffersonians preferred to support the new French Republic.

MILESTONES: 1784–1800

Following the end of the American Revolution, the United States struggled to define its foreign policy, to determine how to implement it, and to maintain necessary commercial ties with Europe without becoming embroiled in European conflicts and politics. A major issue splitting the parties was the Jay Treaty, largely designed by Hamilton in 1794. It established friendly economic relations with Britain to the chagrin of France and the supporters of the French Revolution. Hamilton played a central role in the Federalist party, which dominated national and state politics until it was overthrown by Jefferson in 1800.

Jefferson recast Washington’s warning against passionate attachments by setting out his new administration’s governing foreign policy principle: “ . . . peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none. What’s striking about the latest recitation of the Farewell Address—a tradition followed in the Senate since 1896—is how little has changed in U.S. foreign policy since Washington wrote farewell address.” Lovingly preserved today in The New York Public Library, the first president’s 32-page handwritten “Letter to the American People” printed and reprinted after its first appearance on September 19, 1796 in Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser (a Philadelphia newspaper).

Political parties and coalition

The prevailing view of political parties, and especially the two major parties in the United States, is that they are coalitions. Both parties clearly have ideological cores, but party coalitions need not coincide with ideological clusters at all.
Political parties are coalitions of actors who have interests that differ and who want very different things from politics ( here for some evidence data).

Partisan voters may diverge from the coalitions from time to time and force party leaders to react in some way, but the coalitions themselves are shaped by political elites—the party leaders and activists who sort out and articulate the issues around which the parties coalesce. The eventual nominee will, in some respects, stand in for the terms of the party’s coalition.

It can be useful to think of the members of these coalitions, being shaped during presidential nominations, as different elements of the party back different candidates, but the most traction comes from viewing them as comprising different social groups.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the Republican Party included protariff businessmen, those with free-silver mining interests, and blacks. These interests were often wildly in conflict with one another, necessitating clever maneuvering by party leaders to hold the party together. In the 1940s and 1950s, the New Deal coalition of the Democrats brought together the northern union members, Catholics, Jews, and ethnic whites, but also southern white segregationists. Republicans included those with business interests as well as Protestants, women’s rights groups, and groups on both sides of the emerging conflict over civil rights.

In the twentieth century these coalitions brought together the interests, ideas, and policy preferences that we today associate with liberals and conservatives. Liberals favor government economic intervention to encourage equality and labor interests; policies that advantage ethnic, religious, sexual, and racial minorities and disadvantaged groups; women’s rights; a multilateral and often less militaristic foreign policy; and a collection of many other positions. Conservatives favor free markets, business interests, a color-blind approach to race and ethnic issues, traditional religious and sexual norms, a foreign policy informed by American exceptionalism, and a number of other positions.

It also makes sense to think of these ideological movements as coalitions because they bring together potentially diverse actors, cementing their bonds with appeals to shared principles, values, and even symbols. But, as “American” there has to be common ground in the area of American Constitutional law and Separation of Powers, on which the type of authority granted and to whom it was granted, in order to govern.

As general principle that one branch of government (e.g. the legislature) may not “delegate” or give up its constitutional responsibilities to another branch of government (e.g. the executive branch), an administrative entity, or a private entity; to do so would be a violation of separation-of-powers. An examination of the history of those powers reveals how far separation-of-powers jurisprudence has departed from the original meaning of the Constitution.

What DON’T you know about Alexander Hamilton?

NATO mandate in Afghanistan was carried out at great cost, but with great success.

At the end of this year, NATO complete its combat mission in Afghanistan and open a new chapter with Afghan security forces. The mission is based on a request from the Afghan government and the Status of Forces Agreement between NATO and Afghanistan. The security of Afghanistan will be fully in the hands of the country’s 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police. But NATO Allies, together with many partner nations, will remain to train, advise and assist them. This is what NATO and Afghan leaders agreed together.

This exit strategy has been a work in progress for several years. As U.S. president Barack Obama campaigned to end the war in Afghanistan and as president has repeatedly pledged to finish the job. NATO leaders nevertheless pledged to abide by a conditions-based by improving the security situation on the ground and not a calendar -driven approach and the international community to provide sustained agreement and practical support to Afghan security institutions beyond 2014.

NATO mandate in Afghanistan was carried out at great cost, but with great success.

For over a decade, NATO and our partners have stood with Afghanistan. 51 nations have contributed forces to the NATO´s effort – over a quarter of the countries of NATO mandate in Afghanistan was carried out at great cost, but with great success.the world. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been the largest military coalition in recent history and represents an unprecedented international effort.

“Thanks to the remarkable effort of our forces, we have achieved what we set out to do. We have made our own nations safer, by denying safe haven to international terrorists. We have made Afghanistan stronger, by building up from scratch strong security forces. Together, we have created the conditions for a better future for millions of Afghan men, women and children” said NATO´s new Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, in statement: on a new chapter in Afghanistan.

But, many challenges remain, and there is much work still to do, as the Afghan security forces will continue to need more help as they develop. While the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) will be completed, training, advice and assistance for the Afghan security forces and institutions will continue through a new, follow-on NATO-led mission called Resolute Support.

This mission will not involve combat. Its support will be directed primarily to Afghan ministries and institutions, as well as the higher command level of the Afghan security forces. Planning and force generation are well underway.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously welcomed the agreement between Afghanistan and NATO to establish the mission and stressed the importance of continued international support for the stability of Afghanistan. The mandate of the United Nations Security Council was to help the Afghan authorities provide security across the country and develop new Afghan forces.

“The longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion” – U.S. President Obama on Afghanistan, The White House Statement on 28th December

This has been made possible by the courage and capability of the Afghan National Security Forces, and by the dedication of the international forces who helped train them over the past years.

Research involving human subjects has anything but a glorious legacy.

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There’s been a pretty fierce debate in public health circles over a pressing question, when testing drugs to treat Ebola virus or vaccines that might prevent infection. Ebola treatments carried out in makeshift emergency hospitals by researcher in the middle of a deadly epidemic, will be some of the most unusual drug trials ever done. And they also raise major ethical and practical questions, some of which were intensely debated at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 11 and 12 November.

The ethical tension has several facets, according to which aspect of the RCT is put in the spotlight. The general problem with the ethics of clinical trials stems from the fact that those who stand to gain from the trial results are not the same that bear the risk and burden of trial participation.

In most of the ethical regulations and research guidelines, the use of placebo controls is subjected to a delicate tradeoff between the stringency of the scientific rationale for using it, and the possibility of harm for participating patients. For instance, according to the Declaration of Helsinki in its most recent formulation, the use of placebo is acceptable under the condition that no proven treatment exists, but also ‘where for compelling and scientifically sound methodological reasons, [it] is necessary to determine the efficacy or safety of an intervention’, provided that ‘the patients who receive placebo or no treatment will not be subjected to any risk of serious or irreversible harm.

The term ‘human experimentation’ still evokes, in many, the ghastly impression of the infamous experiments conducted on war prisoners during World War II. Such episodes, taking place in democratic and civilised countries, were the proof that war atrocities were not the only threat to the condition of human research subjects: the conception of research ethics had to be recast as a whole. Indeed, until as recently as the 1970s, the medical investigator was considered the sole authority that could adjudicate the legitimacy of a study protocol.

At the same time, the past history of medical research features several episodes in which the burdens of research participation were placed disproportionally on trial participants, either by deceiving them with the promise of a cure or by deliberately concealing that they were taking part in research. In modern ethical conception, this is no longer considered acceptable, and all research conducted on human subjects must be pre-emptively accepted by the subject themselves through the procedure known as informed consent.

One of the most important ethical constructs of modern biomedical ethics, informed consent is nowadays an essential condition both for therapy and research. The endeavour of medical research actually confronts physicians with an ethical dilemma. On the one hand, the doctor is bound by her professional ethics to do all that is in her power to benefit her current patient. On the other hand, though, the doctor has also an obligation to forward medical science to the benefit of future patients. The necessity of a framework for critically discussing and evaluating human experimentation arises because the tools of medical ethics alone are insufficient to direct a course of action in the face of such a dilemma.

A physician who is personally more inclined towards scientific progress may feel that her duty falls more on the side of pursuing research and thus eventually establishing better therapeutic options, while her colleague may instead feel bound to care for her current patients regardless of medical progress. Furthermore, in such a framework, there is no place for considerations that we do instead value in other contexts in our society, such as the right of patients to decide whether they want to take part in research or not.

In essence, participation in a clinical trial entails an increased level of risk with respect to ordinary clinical care, particularly due to the potential for exposure to unexpected effects of a new treatment. These risks are actually not offset by a prospective clinical benefit, since the primary end of the trial is not that of treating trial participants but rather that of producing generalisable medical knowledge.

Whatever the cause of the interest research involving human subjects has anything but a glorious legacy and it’s effects are clear. There is of course a glaring irony in the fact that, in some extreme cases at least, it was premeditated murder that facilitated a supply of corpses to the medical profession that, in turn, led to the advancement of medical science and ultimately to the saving of lives. It goes to show that the history of medicine needed not just heroes but a few villains along the way to give us the knowledge and intricate understanding of the human body that we have today. It also demonstrates that this knowledge must never be taken for granted, and asks those of us who feel uneasy about donating our bodies or bits of our bodies to medical science to perhaps think again about how valuable our contribution may be to society as a whole.

Knowledge of the internal structure of the human body was already considerable by the eighteenth century – thanks in part to the illegal acquisition of human corpses by the medical profession – as this superbly detailed drawing from 1748 of the head and neck by anatomist Jaques-Fabien Gautier shows – advances in medical science that took place before the time of the Anatomy Act could not have come about without the practice of body snatching. However, how simple or crude the practice of medicine and surgery back then may seem to us, it was still treating people and still saving lives, and the doctors owed their extensive knowledge and skills at least in part to the resurrection men.

Our modern concept of research with human subjects is inspired by three influential documents, conceived in the aftermath of the episodes of research misdemeanour. First is, The Nuremberg Code: a legal and ethical code promulgated by the U.S. judges at the trial of the Nazi doctors at Nuremberg after World War II.

Many consider it as the most authoritative legal reference on the subject of human experimentation.

It is based on universal principles of natural law and human rights, and it establishes the basic principle that the participation in research requires the free, informed consent of the participating subject.

Second, The Declaration of Helsinki: arguably the most widely known and influential guideline in medical research worldwide. It is an official policy of the World Medical Association (WMA), which was adopted for the first time in 1964 and has since undergone a number of revisions. The Declaration can be regarded as the expression of the WMA’s effort in balancing the need to generate sound medical knowledge with the need to protect the health and interests of research participants.

And third, Randomised controlled trials (RCTs)

Over the past decades, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have prevailed over clinical judgement, case reports, and observational studies and became the gold evidential standard in medicine. Furthermore, during the same time frame, RCTs became a crucial part of the regulatory process whereby a new therapeutic can gain access to the drug market. Because of its scientific credentials, the RCT methodology is currently considered the gold standard in treatment evaluation. Over the past several decades, RCTs prevailed over clinical judgement, case report, and observational studies as evidential standards in medicine, largely due the effort of the movement known as evidence-based medicine.

For many clinical indications there will often be several possible interventions. The evidence base consists of a set of pair-wise comparisons of interventions
–Placebo comparisons of limited use to the practitioner or policy-maker who wants to know the ‘best’ treatment to recommend/ prescribe.

Health care decisions should be based on ‘best available’ evidence from systematic reviews & meta-analysis of RCTs.

So far, investigational Ebola drugs have generally been used in the few patients —that received experimental intervention treatment in the United States or Europe. Given the accelerated development of Ebola drugs (which involves, for example, proceeding on the basis of only limited phase 1 data and little or no traditional phase 2 data) and preliminary data suggesting potential for adverse effects, such drugs need to be evaluated in RCTs with an appropriate control group so that any harm can be detected.

Do the treatments of Ebola work?
Researcher will soon begin trials in West Africa to find a solid answer to the question. Perhaps the most important question: a disease as deadly as Ebola: Is it right to do randomized controlled trials in which some people don´t get the novel intervention? From the epistemic point of view, the idea behind the RCT is that of the counterfactual analysis. When a new treatment is administered to a patient and an improvement in her condition is observed. Otherwise, the possibility of drawing a conclusion from the fact is hindered by the absence of a counterfactual: possibly the patient would have recovered anyways if left untreated, or maybe a different treatment would have been more effective. In an RCT, participants are divided into two groups, one that receives the experimental treatment and another that acts like a control, providing the answer to the ‘what if’ counterfactual question.

Properly designed RCTs that give reliable answers are critical to identifying urgently needed treatments for responding to the ongoing Ebola crisis and any future outbreaks. “RCTs is the sole means of obtaining knowledge about efficient treatments” — The Case for RCTs. The argument is made in the New England Journal of Medicine by three FDA officials: Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H., Luciana Borio, M.D., and Robert Temple, M.D. Evaluating Ebola Therapies. Randomized, placebo-controlled trials are necessary, they write, and, in fact, the speediest way of actually getting vaccines that might control the outbreak and treatments that might save patients’ lives into broad use.

A synonym for innovation and quality.

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In recent years, a small but growing number of economists have come to see that it is not so much the accumulation of more savings or capital that is the key to improving standards of living. Rather, it is innovation that drives a country´s long-run economic growth. Thus, Innovation has become the central driver of national economic wellbeing and competitiveness and this is why so many nations are placing innovation in its national economic growth strategy to make linkage between innovation and economic and employment growth. This is especially true for developed nations, which without innovation have a hard time competing with low-income, low-wage nations.

Innovation plays a central role in productivity growth in the new economy. As a result Innovation and productivity are the prerequisites for higher wages and expanded opportunities for workers. All of these nations have come to understand that relying on markets shaped by price signals alone will not usually be as effective as smart public-private partnerships in spurring higher productivity and greater innovation. They understand that government can and must play a constructive role in helping the private sector compete. Therefore, they see that promotion of innovation as a focal pint of their economic growth and competitiveness strategies.

Is innovation policy more than just science policy or just another name for industrial policy? Is growth best left to markets and private enterprise alone or does government play a role? And just what is the appropriate role of government in facilitation innovation, boosting productivity and driving competitiveness? All these questions can be addressed at different scales.

A nation’s human capital endowment—the skills and capacities that reside in people and that are put to productive use—can be a more important determinant of its long term economic success than virtually any other resource.

This resource must be invested in and leveraged efficiently in order for it to generate returns—for the individuals involved as well as an economy as a whole.

In his book The Wealth of Nations, released in 1776, Adam Smithe observed the appropriate role of the state in technology development and in fostering economic growth (see Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations). To illustrate government market engagement even then the attention of government was turned away from guarding against the exportation of gold and silver to watch over the balance of trade. The title of Mun’s book, England’s Treasure in Foreign Trade, became a fundamental maxim in the political œconomy, not of England only, but of all other commercial countries.

This made sense in the era before globalization, when production was largely contained within national borders and firms would export their goods and services to compete abroad.

Such as they were, Innovation policy involves the same set of policy issues that countries deal with all the time, but focuses on how countries can address those issues with a view toward maximizing innovation and productivity. To maximize innovation, nations must also find the right balance between the interests of present and future generation.

The cost of economic interactions has obviously changed dramatically through time, and part of the economic geography story is that these changes have been important in shaping the world economy. To be sure, price mediated markets are useful, but when it comes to innovation they are not enough. Therefore knowledge-based economy require sophisticated financial markets that can make capital available for private-sector investment , a sound banking sector, well-regulated securities exchanges, venture capital, foreign direct investment (FDI) and other financial products.

Some prominent economists are among the ranks of techno-pessimists, arguing that the role of technology is overstated, and that innovation is diminishing in advanced industrial societies. It´s bad enough that conventional economists give short shrift to innovation, they give little consideration to the role of government in spurring innovation. Endlessly repeating the mantra markets are best at allocating resources, most conventional economists, known as neoclassical economists, see government intervention as likely to hurt innovation and growth because, by definition, it distorts market-based allocation efficiency.

Therefore any discussion of innovation and innovation policy would not be complete without a discussion of economics and economists who dominate economic policy thinking in Anglo-Saxon nations are the most powerful intellectual force working against robust innovation policies. And, of course, economic policy is made in context of politics. Fundamentally, the neoclassical economics, for the majority of their claims are not science in the sense of physics or biology. But the economic, social, political, and strategic consequences of the transformation will ripple through governments at every level. Yet, there is dearth of planning or even due diligence by governments to develop an understanding of how emerging technologies such as robotics will change the way we work and will live in the future.

Instead, a large gap tends to exist between the scientific and technological community and the government making and implementing economic, urban, and foreign policies. To the extent that social scientist like Richard Florida admit (here) is that Robotics and fast approaching technology revolution will be an important part of the social and economic landscape of the future and the other components of the Third Industrial Revolution will largely be driven by the private sector. But the economic, social, political, and strategic consequences of the transformation will ripple through governments at every level. Others claim governments to prepare for, take advantage of, and mitigate the downside risk of these developments.

The true choice in innovation is not between government and no government, but about the right type of government involvement in support of innovation.

Innovation policy recognizes that while the private sector should lead innovation, in an era of globalized innovation and intensely competitive markets, governments can and should play an important enabling role. Even if there were not systemic market failures smart countries would still want innovation policies, if for not other reason than because addressing major complex and systemic challenges,such as providing universal and much better, less costly health care to growing and aging populations, combating climate change and environmental degradation, achieving sustainable energy production, and deploying complex digital infrastructures or organize their investment in scientific research in ways that also support technology commercialization and the innovation needs of industry.

Likewise, countries can organize their corporate tax systems simply to raise revenues, or to raise revenues in ways that also drive innovation and traded-sector competitiveness. They can set up their science policies just to support science and research-driven innovation and knowledge-based economy. The development and diffusion of knowledge-based economy is center stage in many fields of economics. Modern theories of growth and international trade, for instance, place little emphasis on the accumulation of tangible factors such as capital and labor, focusing almost entirely on access to knowledge. With the recent advances in communication technology, the access to knowledge is greater than it has ever been.

Which activities should be conducted as public services and which should be left to private firms is a question that is always relevant. A better frame, unregulated market acting alone, as this years awarded, Jean Tirole, for The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2014 shows, fails and is a subject to a vast array of market and network failures and often produce socially undesirable results. The merger of a firm and its supplier may encourage innovation, but may also distort competition. According to him “There are no simple, standard solutions for regulation and competition policy, as the most appropriate ones will vary from one market to another. It is not only monopolies that require regulation, oligopoly markets do too”. Jean Tirole has therefore also studied the conditions of specific markets, and contributed new theoretical perspectives.

Along with his co-authors, Triole paints a helpful picture of the appropriate relationship between government and business in specific markets areas. Tirole’s area of specialism is not new. Back to the Wealth of Nations in 1776, Adam Smith railed against the abuses of monopolies and cartels. But it is a highly relevant area of study for two reasons. The first is that many of the natural monopolies that were once state owned – power and water companies, for example – are now in private hands. The second is that there are some sectors which have grown in size and power in recent years, and where the risks to the public have become greater. Banking is one such sector.

Drawing on these new insights, governments can better encourage powerful firms to become more productive and, at the same time, prevent them from harming competitors and customers. “The best regulation or competition policy should therefore be carefully adapted to every industry’s specific conditions

Several further comments are in order. One is that there are key digital platforms technologies with better market access (more consumers can be accessed at low cost today). Innovation in service has become increasingly important, as service industries now account for more than 80 % of the U.S. economy and 75 % or more of most European ones. Without “government” help to catalyze deployment of these platforms we will not see progress that is possible. In fact, a key reason why some Asian nations are ahead of us in deploying these platforms is that foreign governments have engaged in smart partnerships (external relations) to help the private sector build the platforms, in part by using a combination of tax incentives, smart, but limited, regulations that drive change and having the government act as a lead purchaser.

Thus, the understanding of innovation has broadened from a purely so scientific and technical focus to include the application and use of information. Many countries leverage IT to drive innovation in specific segments of their economies, such as health care. Overall, health and medical care and job creation are seen as the main priorities by most EU countries, with 16 Member States choosing job creation as their first priority and 10 countries selecting health and medical care. The cutting-edge research and innovation today is in fields like social media, big data, cloud computing, or the ‘Internet of things’: this is where European companies should now focus.

Ultimately, whether nations can engender a robust innovation economy or not hinger on whether they can master the innovation Triangle, which means getting the factors right to support a robust business environment, regulatory environment, and innovation policy environment.

Many countries are experimenting with measures to increase their R&D efficiency by using existing funding for scientific research to incent universities to focus more on technology commercialization. For example, in Sweden 10 percent of regular research funds allocated by the national government to universities are now distributed using performance indicators. Public R&D funding shows the commitment of a government to promoting research, development and innovation activities both directly and through the leverage effect on business R&D expenditure and most Member States have adopted their national R&D intensity target for 2020. Another key aim of public R&D funding and indirect support measures is to give the business sector incentives to engage in more R&D activities.

Some nations do well on one or even two of these factors, but not nation yet gets all three right. Funding in strong innovative performance means investing in the future. We owe it to Europe´s citizens who have continued to believe that EU is part of the solution, not the problem, to overcoming the crisis. This argument is also true for other areas in the future employment of promising young European scientist who represent the EU:s future. Following this path will enable the EU to grasp global opportunities, while at the same time offering sustainable employment opportunities with high quality jobs. The expansion of higher education discussed here, with a growing proportion of the population entering HEIs and completing degrees, means the quality and relevance of provision is more important than ever. The OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), carried out in 2012 in seventeen Member States, captures the literacy and numeracy skills of 16 to 65 year-olds and as such reflects the human capital of each country’s adult population, that build the foundation for long-term economic growth of societies and social inclusion of individuals.

The most sophisticated countries recognize this. Their innovation strategies constitute a coherent approach that seeks to coordinate disparate policies toward scientific research, technology commercialization, investments, education and skills development, tax, trade, intellectual property (IP), government procurement, and regulatory policies in an integrated fashion that drives economic growth by fostering innovation.

Beyond policies aimed at enhancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which are two major drivers of competitiveness, many other EU policies- i.e. regional policy, competition, trade, taxation, etc, have also an impact on the business environment and enterprise performance of Europe. More generally, analysis of this paper by Daron Acemoglu Ufuk Akcigit (2011) suggests that a move to a richer menu of IPR policies, in particular, a move towards optimal state-dependent policies, may signi…ficantly increase innovation, economic growth and welfare.

In this way we are looking at ideas and principles strong and pervasive enough to make governments continue with their policies, even though some have felt the most devastating economic failure recorded in modern history, and do make sense in their own terms.

Europe’s experience of recent years has been one of multiple and inter-related crises. A number of highly complex crises of confidence, undermining the trust of markets, citizens and global partners in the future of the euro and the EU itself: A competitiveness crisis illustrated by current account deficits in Europe’s periphery at the outset of the crisis and by a limited ability to adapt individual European economies to the challenges of a more competitive global environment; a growth and investment crisis involving structurally low levels of GDP growth; an institutional crisis characterised by the rising significance of national governments in EU policy-making, while responsibilities have been shifted to the Union without a parallel delegation of actual powers and resources to Brussels.

The fundamentals of the European project, such as the free movement of EU citizens, are also starting to be challenged even by mainstream European parties, while the debate on repatriation of powers and the balance between Member States’ and EU competences is growing. Increased political power of these anti-Europe parties could change the balance of power between EU institutions, lead to negative spill-over effects into national politics and endanger the EU infrastructure of rights and rule of law.

Under these conditions, Europeans have to face the challenges related to increasing global economic competition by individually and collectively preparing themselves for the transition of Europe’s economy. Thus, it is clear that in the next five years this new political leadership will be faced with a multitude of challenges. The list of immediate priorities is long: fostering growth, creating jobs, overcoming internal fragmentation, establishing an Energy Union, focusing on innovations that address the major societal challenges identified in Europe 2020, dealing with problematic neighbours, such as Russia, finding a way forward on the UK issue and completing the missing elements of EMU governance.

Allowing for flexibility while avoiding fragmentation is now a well-established approach within the EU. But it was not always so. Some have long advocated establishing a completely separate institutional framework for the eurozone.
the need to deepen the eurozone while maintaining the integrity of the EU as a whole. This will remain a critical issue in the near future, if only because of the uncertainty surrounding the United Kingdom’s status in our Union.

Speaking for Europe, at the State of Europe: “A new action plan for Europe”, Herman Van Rompuy answered that these sweeping worldwide changes matter much more than how we arrange our banking oversight or coordinate economic policies within the Union. New technologies, the ageing of our populations, the race for resources: for all our countries, these are the real challenges.

When it comes to our competitiveness as a continent, turning ideas into real business is at the heart of the matter

Recent figures make the problem strikingly clear. The EU-US productivity gap, which had started to narrow in the years before the crisis, is widening again. It means that compared to the United States our collective competitiveness is eroding. We need to work better with our international partners. That means opening access to our R&D programmes, while ensuring comparable conditions abroad. That also means adopting a common EU front where needed to protect our interests. This, in essence, is what innovation Union is all about.

Europe has a long history of world-changing inventions, including the printing press, the optical lenses used in microscopes and telescopes and the steam engine. But recently The three of the top 10 companies by market capitalization are technology companies founded in the last half-century: Apple, Microsoft and Google are American.  In Europe, there are none among the top 10. Yet if any region of the world could compete successfully with the United States in technological prowess, it would seem to be Europe.

The European Union has venerable universities, a well-educated work force, affluent and technically skilled consumers and large pools of investment capital. But, there are cultural, institutional and structural barriers to innovation in Europe, like smaller pools of venture capital and rigid employment laws that restrict growth. Perhaps the most significant barrier are cultural. So it’s not a surprise that bankruptcy codes are far more punitive, in contrast to the United States, where bankruptcy is simply a rite of passage for many successful entrepreneurs.

An analysis of the trends since the start of the financial crisis in 2008 shows a recovery of R&D investments in the period 2010- 2012. However R&D investment by EU based companies slowed considerably in 2013 and was accompanied by a fall in sales. Meanwhile US companies appear more resilient. At the same time, over the past five years, the annual sales of typical ICT companies from the US and Asia went up by almost 50%, while those of European companies stagnated, or even went down in some cases. This is striking. In the history of communication technologies, there is a glorious tradition of innovation coming from Europe for the best part of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Herman Van Rompuy argues that in a time of sweeping worldwide changes, Europe risks losing the competition race. He argues that the EU needs to focus on innovation, to turn ideas into real business and to develop digital technologies by addressing the problems regarding intellectual property, copyrights, market fragmentation, consumer protection, investment in infrastructure, venture capital for startups, and digital skills.

Europe also needs to focus not only on reducing production costs, Europe also needs to find ways to overcome its legitimacy deficit and come up with a shared vision for Europe’s future. The EU is already an economic and political reality. This requires solidarity and responsibility – in particular, solidarity from the Union’s more prosperous countries and responsibility on the part of those countries in need of reform. The Commission has been equally firm in demanding both. Europeans may be leaders in scientific excellence (as Nobel Prize winners regularly show), but compared to our competitors in the US, Japan or South Korea we find it more difficult to bring this research to the market. Many Asian nations (such as China), in contrast, faces the opposite challenge. If China is to ultimately thrive in the global innovation economy, it must enable individual freedom and focus more on the needs of the present generation.

Given these factors:

As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said: “A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.” Such individual strokes of genius are indispensable for any nation to grow and prosper.

But nobody builds a cathedral alone; you build them as a society. Here also, it is a matter of improving conditions and opportunities.

A true recovery programme in times of change is necessary and urgent in euro zone Member States which are currently suffering intolerably high unemployment. This should go hand in hand with reforms to get more value for money and tackle fragmentation. Productivity-enhancing structural reforms in these countries must be combined with large investment in education and research, new technologies, networks, health, energy, environmental sustainability and the business environment, all of which would strengthen longer-term competitiveness.

In relation to United States over IP European academics are at a disadvantage side because there is less commercial pressure. As soon as they publish their ideas in Europe they cannot get patent protection, which means capital can’t be attracted – which means Europe has a lower transfer rate of ideas into creative jobs, business, the marketplace. The two factors that stand out are research commercialisation and ICT technologies. Innovations like better technology transfer from universities and placing strategic best to support potentially breakthrough technologies such as the internet, nanotechnology and human genome mapping or advanced batteries. Governments should support economic growth best by engaging factor conditions for innovation picking specific technologies which is tantamount to industrial policy. Google got of the ground, in part, funded Digital Library research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Neoclassical economist will certainly object this as a industrial policy process of picking winners. It is, insofar as it means government identifying industries and technologies broadly where the country needs to be more innovative and productive and then developing and implementing policies to work with the private sector to ensure that result. But this is not “industrial policy” in which the government selects specific firms or impedes beneficial market forces. In contrast, innovation policy is concerned with enhancing the strength of a nation´s innovation ecosystem. Indeed, government funding beyond support for basic research and procurement has played a key role in the technological advances that have sustained U.S. industry´s global predominance since WWII. As a result, government´s role in coordinating collaborations between private industry and publicly funded research in university and government laboratories has spilled far beyond the defense sector to include large parts of the civilian economy.

Europe has no shortage of potential. We have worlds leading researcher, entrepreneurs and companies and unique strengths in our values, traditions, creativity and diversity. We have regions amongst the most innovative in the world. Take Sweden and Denmark, which are particularly strong in life science and excels by the clarity of Nordic design; or Germany, with its cars and high-precision machinery, both in demand in emerging economies; or Italy, with its luxury brands and seducing belle cose. European brand is that of a certain way of life, of taste  quality and style, of open social relations, of environmental protection, of a sense of progress. Individual countries offer fine examples. The countries of Europe are uniquely placed to shape change – both individually and collectively as a Union. Our diversity is an asset, our unity brings strength. In our Union, different degrees of cooperation and integration exist. Our enlargement policy continues to foster democracy and prosperity.

Yet we can and must do much better based on the policy features identified in Europe 2020. All our countries can draw strength from remaining true to themselves. A highly educated workforce, the singular alchemy of our prosperity, freedom and rule of law, the solidarity embodied in our social models: when combined, these are unrivalled assets. But, Europe will not emerge from the crisis by denying its true self. More now than ever before, our continent must be a synonym for innovation and quality. A more strategic approach would focus on boosting growth and jobs in Europe throughout the EU, such as by meeting the Europe 2020 targets for research, development, and innovation, investing in European success and advancing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This is not just about Europe’s economic wealth, but also about its political relevance on the global stage.

A rich old Scotland with terrible prospects.

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It is generally assumed that if Scotland votes YES to become an independent country. It will inherit membership of both NATO and the EU, and will join the United Nations and Commonwealth. While the latter intention has attracted little adverse comment, the assumption about the EU and NATO is contested by London and in much of the think-tank and academic commentary. In its recent white paper on independence the Scottish government states that its foreign, security and defence policies will be rooted in a clear framework which focuses on ‘participation in rules-based international co-operation to secure shared interests …

The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) has stated that it would expect the nuclear bases to be closed in as short a time frame as possible, and certainly by the time of the Scottish elections scheduled for 2021. The SNP has argued that its non-nuclear stance is compatible with NATO membership, pointing out that the majority of NATO members have no nuclear weapons on their territory.

The arguments of recent months about currency union and the British nuclear deterrent, fashioned in the nuclear age, are now over. By a margin of 55% to 45%, people living in Scotland have decided to remain in the United Kingdom. It delivered a convincing result of unquestionable legitimacy, with an astonishing 84.6% of the eligible electorate voting. It did not result in the breakup of the country.

The campaign to devolve power to Scotland has deep roots in the Struggle for “Home Rule for all” in which autonomy for Ireland would be followed by a similar arrangement north of Carlisle. The term ”Home Rule”, first used in the 1860s, meant an Irish legislature with responsibility for domestic affairs. It was variously interpreted, from the 1870s seen to be part of a federal system for the United Kingdom: a domestic Parliament for Ireland while the Imperial Parliament at Westminster would continue to have responsibility for Imperial affairs.

In the 1870s a former Conservative barrister Isaac Butt who was instrumental in fostering links between Constitutional and Revolutionary nationalism through his representation of members of the Fenians Society in court, established a new moderate nationalist movement, the Irish Home Government Association. Under the later chairmanship of William Shaw, it reconstituted itself to become the Home Rule League in November 1873. Under it, Ireland would still remain part of the United Kingdom but would have limited self-government. Yet, the notion of Scottish independence would then have seemed absurd.

Scots were champion empire-builders able to operate at all levels of government in Britain and in the West Indies, a fact that was a function of their ever-increasing number in the house of Commons. Between 1761 and 1767 twenty eight MPs from the forty-five Scottish constituencies held state offices. More generally, the increase in the number of Scots MPs allowed Scottish networks greater access to Parliament and to political patronage. After 1800 the economy took off, and industrialized rapidly, with textile, coal, iron, railroads, and most famously shipbuilding and banking. Glasgow was the centre of the Scottish economy.

In several European countries mid-nineteenth-century nationalism spawned an historiographical revolution. But, this was not the case in Scotland. There were som sensitivities aroused, however, especially when the notion of Scotland as a full and equal partner in union seemed threatened as with the foundation of the National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights of 1833 or the Irish were thought to be obtaining unfair advantages at Scottish expense. For the most part, however, a nationalist challenge to the status quo failed to develop because there was no intrinsic political or economic rational for it to emerge in Scotland.

After 1832 most former Pittites described themselves as ‘Tories’, or more frequently, ‘Conservatives’, but loyalty to the memory of Pitt remained an important source of unity for Conservatives until the party split in 1846 over the repeal of the Corn Laws. And when the Tories split over Corn Law repeal in 1846, a new Liberal Party based on free trade and Nonconformity remained predominant until the 1880s. But when the Liberals broke up over Irish Home Rule in 1886, the Conservatives became potentially the major force in politics. The Liberals’ slow decline was suddenly accelerated after a split during the First World War led first to a coalition with the Tories and, when that broke up, to their replacement as the main anti-Tory party by Labour in the early 1920s. Labour’s rise was then crippled when it too split over supporting a coalition government in 1931. All this led to a long Conservative ascendency from Baldwin to Cameron – some 61 years in office compared to Labour’s 38 – an ascendency perhaps now petering out.

Since the Second World War, the economy has been fully integrated into the overall British economy, with the most distinctive feature being the discovery of oil offshore in the North Sea. The oil brought new wealth and new people to the most isolated areas. In fact, from 1672 Petty’s “political medicine” would embrace not only Ireland but England and the Atlantic colonies as well. In key respects, political arithmetic reformulated Petty’s Hartlibian aspirations as a project for an “improv’d Empire”. The most striking instance of this was Petty’s proposal “To transmute the Irish into English”, the transformation of Ireland’s idle, poor and fractious Catholic population into 800,000 loyal and industrious subjects, and of Ireland itself from a failed kingdom into a successful colony.

Petty targeted the households that instilled these characteristics. Designed like Petty’s other proposals to replace unnatural existing policies, the transmutation of the Irish into English relied in part on the same sort of material improvements Petty recommended for England. But at the center of it all was a crucial piece of demographic engineering. Framing policy thus required a thorough knowledge of the constraints situation imposed: a political anatomy. The Political Anatomy of Ireland tackled this for one island, and Petty proposed that the same be done for the other of all three kingdoms.

Political arithmetic gradually became less a specific project than a general ‘art of government’ by social engineering, suited to a multiple monarchy and a colonial empire. But the point is that the structure of politics and political parties often takes decades, as their leaders attempt to build coalitions of voters across, groups, classes, and regions to secure their election. Just as Scotland enjoyed the fruits of empire it also suffered the misery of deindustrialisation. Between 1979 and 1981 Scotland lost a fifth of its workforce. This police took hold in Scottish minds. The nationalism that marks politics in Scotland more generally in this vote has played a key role in Scottish minds of English.

Again, the old industrial cities of north and central England suffered similarly. The poll tax was introduces in Scotland first. This because Scotland was otherwise due an alternative tax rise, which the Tories wanted to forestall. Yet there was Margaret Thatcher´s most unpopular policy, the poll tax, in some context, changed Scotland in ways she never imagined. It combined with the rise in Scottish identity to form a new nationalist story.

Moreover, Scotland is different from England because it is more left wing. Alex Salmond’s, leader of the Scottish, impassioned plea to launch a new nation a cause he championed for some two decades fell short, with Scots choosing instead the security of remaining in union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The referendum’s result prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to Britain’s economic and political establishment.

As well as being old Scotland, rich and nationalist, it is Scotland with terrible prospects. The Economist provocatively displayed on its front cover a picture of Scotland suggesting that a vote for independence would be tantamount to economic suicide. More recently, 2014 study by the ONS examined life expectancy across 404 local authority areas in Britain, Scotland where on the bottom. In the recent OECD study, Scotland in a club of rich countries, put in the bottom third, based on health outcomes. The people of eastern Slovenia are healthier.

As the population of Scotland gets older and sicker the cost of pensions and generous health-care provision will increase. The trends those study observed suggest that, over the next 50 years, the Scottish workforce will actually shrink and the number of pensioners will rise. The biggest problem would be demography and nationalist party intent on overspending, and Scotland´s economic prospects would be bleak.

This would add pressure to an already profligate public sector. Even if prices rally of oil and production improves, Scottish industry´s best days are behind it. Independent fiscal Office for Budget Responsibility reckons that revenues form oil taxes will dwindle by 2017-18. Allthis means warm glow of independent Scotland with the end of oil in sight. More over Scotland will face huge clean-up costs after the oil has gone.

Salmond had argued that Scots could go it alone because of its extensive oil reserves and high levels of ingenuity and education. A vision of its economic future in which oil solves most ills, and innovative policy spurs rapid growth. Oil and gas accounted for €14 billion out of €40 billion in Scottish exports in 2012, according to data compiled by the Scottish government. The projection, however, rests on rosy forecasts of both oil prices and quantity firms will be able to extract.

Second, the future Scottish government will have little capacity in the commitment to the protection of its citizens overseas. Scotland, like the rest of the United Kingdom, has a significant number of citizens working overseas, many of them connected to the oil and gas industry or the Scottish churches.

Excluding oil, Scotland ran a public sector deficit of €14 billion in 2012-2013. At 11% of GDP that is a bigger gap than crisis stricken Greece and Ireland. In truth, with its twin budget and current-account deficits, the new nation would have face much the same challenges as Britain, only more acutely. Similarly, UK is likely to inherit its most favoured defence trading status with the United States, but this will not apply to Scotland, at least initially, and if congressional approval is obtained. This will probably result in a number of defence firms moving their businesses from Scotland simply to retain access to the US market, where they contribute to various programmes. The same effect is also likely to occur in areas such as warship building, where the majority of business would be for UK and the United Kingdom has traditionally insisted on retaining the ability to manufacture at home.

It is generally assumed that UK would inherit all the United Kingdom’s current treaty commitments and obligations. By contrast, an independent Scotland is not viewed as inheriting these commitments, and would have to negotiate any agreements afresh. This will have a number of consequences. For example, membership of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence community (UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) is unlikely to be offered, at least initially, to Scotland, and whether it is granted at all will be entirely dependent on the acquiescence of the existing members.

The issue of Scottish independence has been settled for the foreseeable future. Big promises of more devolved powers were made to Scotland to keep it in the union.

But it is not only in Scotland that the campaign stirred passions. The outcome is that Scotland will have more control of its own affairs and greater tax-raising powers, but less influence over England. Prime Minister David Cameron, under pressure from within the Conservative Party, has announced that a new ‘balanced settlement’ is to be worked out.

Britain had agreed to grant the Scots considerable new powers to run their own affairs. Prime Minister David Cameron— a great opportunity — to change the way the British people are governed,” he said, “and change it for the better.”

He gave no specifics, but said: “Just as Scotland will vote separately in the Scottish Parliament on their issues of tax, spending and welfare, so too England, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland, should be able to vote on these issues. This will mean more power for the English over English affairs, and similarly in Wales and Northern Ireland. The challenge, now that Scots have voted for the union, will be to create a structure that retains a real union both in fact and in spirit.

Positions on the shape of the new settlement will need to be established within each major party. The discussion will be complex. It could also entrench more rightist government in England, since most Scottish MPs (41 of 59, out of a total of 650 Westminster seats) represent Labour.

What lies ahead is a federal Britain. A related argument is that federalism makes it harder to pass new legislation because it has to be ratified in two legislative assemblies. The implication is a status quo bias. But while federalism does appear to have associated with smaller governments, there is in fact a striking amount of variance across federalist states. Swiss and US federalism seems to be linked to low spending, but this is not true of German or Austrian federalism. To the variety of regionalisms that exist correspond different modes of regional government and governance. To account for this variation, Rodden (2003, 2005) has proposed to distinguish between federalist systems with different fiscal institutions.

Federalizing, or federal can be seen as a complex interplay of centrifugal and centripetal pressures. But it would be an oddly unbalanced federalism, given that England represents 85 percent of the population, as the consulting firm Oxford Analytica pointed out. This kind of democracy would be fairer than the existing arrangements, but it may also have consequences beyond the United Kingdom, as noted by Egmont Institute “Cameron’s logic calls for eurozone democracy”. The promises of decentralization “made by London to Scotland will also lead to claims for similar powers from Wales and Northern Ireland. Rules make sense.

A more democratic and bolder alternative (see here) would be to set up a separate English parliament. It would handle domestic policy, leaving foreign affairs and economic co-ordination to a federal parliament. This is a logical solution: everyone, including the English, would then have an assembly. English MPs would be accountable for English policies, British MPs for British ones, and voters would know whom to blame for what.

Prime Minister David Cameron now faces a broader debate over the centralization of power in London, intense budget pressures, and fissures within his own Conservative Party as he heads toward a general election campaign in the spring.

The vote riveted the world. In Washington, President Barack Obama welcomed Scotland’s choice, and congratulated Scots for their “full and energetic exercise of democracy.”

The vote against independence keeps the United Kingdom from losing a substantial part of its territory and oil reserves and prevents it from having to find a new base for its nuclear arsenal, now housed in Scotland. It had also faced a possible loss of influence within international institutions including the 28-nation European Union, NATO and the United Nations. It would have reduced UK’s representation in the European Parliament and other institutions. The Scottish referendum result is a poke in the eye for those around the world who mocked London’s weakness in agreeing to allow it.

The vote in Scotland, however, has great implications for Britain’s membership in the European Union. Scotland is adamantly pro-European, and should Mr. Cameron remain prime minister after the May elections, he would have a better chance of winning a 2017 referendum he promised on British membership in the European Union with old Scotland voting on it.

International Day of Democracy: Putin’s counterrevolutionary posture reflects the way Russian politics has changed

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Thirty-five years ago, there were 40 democracies in the world. By the end of the 20th Century, that number had tripled. We have recently experienced what are arguably the significant political events of the last half-century; the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the global democratization wave of the 1990s. As advanced industrial societies are evolving into a new form of democratic politics, we are witnessing the initial development of democracy in a new set of nations and institutions of democracy.

The prospect of European Union (EU) membership is often considered the most successful instrument for the promotion of democracy in post-communist countries (Reinhard, 2010). We can observe that all post-communist members of the EU are now more or less consolidated democracies

The democratization wave in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa touch at the very core of many of our most basic questions about the nature of citizen politics and the working of the political process.

The EU´s role in promoting democratic political reform in central and Eastern European countries in the 1990s, and Balkans, just as many people in the transition and post-communist societies saw democratization as an aid to recovering national independence, freedom both from authoritarian rule and from political domination by the Soviet Union.

So Western Europeans saw democratic reform in the near abroad as a plus for their own security.

In United States, former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright has been a strong backer of democracy promotion, helping to found the Community of Democracies, an organization of like-minded states, in her final years in office. Similarly, the United States has paid a high price for its efforts to reengineer the politics of others. The United States spent enormous amounts of treasure and considerable blood trying to turn Iraq into a functioning multi-ethnic democracy.

For the purpose of analyzing international politics, an essential characteristic of the state is its set of underlying preference: the rank ordering among potential substantive outcomes or states of the world that might result form international political interaction. States act instrumentally in world politics to achieve particular goals on behalf of individuals, whose private behavior is unable to achieve such ends as efficiently.

Internationally, the liberal state is a purposive actor, but domestically it is a representative institution constantly subject to capture and recapture, construction and reconstruction, by coalitions of social interests. it constitutes the critical transmission belt by which the preferences and social power of individuals and groups are translated into foreign policy. In the liberal conception of domestic politics, state preferences concerning the management of globalization reflect shifting social demands, which in turn reflect the shifting structure of domestic and transnational society. Swedes remained very favorably disposed toward international engagement, and were among the least pessimistic about their economy.

A majority of Swedes polled said their country should not join NATO, but that number has been declining slowly since 2012. According to data from recent Transatlantic Trends 2014 survey, of American and European public opinion: Seventy-three percent of European respondents overall described a strong EU role in international affairs as desirable, up two percentage points since 2013. More than half of EU respondents (56%) said it was desirable that the United States exert strong leadership in world affairs. In same survey NATO was seen as “still essential” by 61% of EU respondents and 58% of Americans.

There is fundamental political support for say, soverignty, national defense, open markets, depending on underlying patterns of state and public opinion, that encourages further movement in a similar direction. Indeed, it is often precisely such feedback that might result state act instrumentally to manage globalization.

It is increasingly recognized that international relations has domestic roots and domestic consequences.

However, democracy has not triumphed everywhere, and emerging democracies face difficult dilemmas and obstacles here and there. The current democratization wave thus provides a virtually unique opportunity to address questions on identity formation, the creation of political cultures and possibly how cultural inheritances are changed, the establishment of an initial calculus of voting, and the dynamic processes linking political norms and behavior.

Indeed, there are large parts of the world where our understanding of the citizenry, their attitudes, and behavior were based solely on the insights of political observers which can be as fallible as the observer. Contemporary comparative research is now more likely to draw on cross-national and cross-temporal comparisons. These questions represent some of the fundamental research issues of our time. The global wave of democratization in the 1990s has dramatically increased the role of the citizenry in many of the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Recently, the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine has attracted extensive news coverage and political commentary in both Europe ant the United States. One often gets the impression that Russia has gone much further than other countries in flouting international norms. The Russian government’s coercive measures against Ukraine in 2014 have contravened many norms of international law. And Russia has broken its international commitments, including basic principles in the NATO-Russia Founding.

Even though Western governments tacitly accepted Russia’s imperiousness vis-à-vis the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) before 2014—the Russian-Georgian war of August 2008 was a notable exception—Moscow’s domineering behavior toward Ukraine and other CIS countries began long before 2014. Scholars have long understood the reciprocal linkages between revolution and war.

Revolutions by their nature are bound to have international political repercussions. A revolution is often followed, at least temporarily, by internal disarray and a “hollowing out” of certain state functions, including the maintenance of public order.

A large external power, especially one with irredentist claims, may seek to take advantage of this period of vulnerability by intervening and carving off a disputed territory. Opportunistic intervention is what happened in 1918 when Imperial Germany sent troops into Soviet Russia just after the Bolsheviks came to power. The Germans used the opportunity to annex territory from Russia—acquisitions that were promptly reversed after Germany was defeated in the First World War.

Saddam Hussein in 1980 tried to exploit the disarray and administrative weakness in Iran in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution. His hopes of seizing oil-producing regions in Iran were eventually thwarted, but not before he sparked a savage war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Other motives for external great powers to respond to revolutions include a deep political hostility to revolutionary change. And in Syrian Assad, because he is a depraved dictator who responded to the Arab Awakening by turning his military against the Syrian population.

As authoritarian regimes use hostile methods to quell social unrest, they almost guarantee its eventual return. Turkey’s current President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, when he was Prime Minister cracked down on his own people on several occasions. His methods ranged from analogue (water cannons in Gezi Park) to digital (the squelching of Twitter during a corruption investigation). In the end, it all looked heavy-handed, much like his reaction to the recent mining disaster. Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi are equally potent examples of rulers who have imposed a messy and sometimes lethal brand of order on their compatriots.

An authoritarian regime may fear that a revolutionary upheaval in a neighboring state will have a “demonstration effect” that could inspire people in the regime’s own society to rise up. The external power thus deems it essential to intervene against a revolution and undo its effects

This is the function that Tsarist Russia performed in Eastern Europe in the nineteenth century, and it is also the function that The Soviet Union performed in Eastern Europe from the 1950s through the 1980s, when Soviet troops acted several times to crush popular revolts against oppressive Communist regimes.

A counterrevolutionary dynamic has been crucial in shaping Russia’s response to the Maidan revolution in Ukraine.

As soon as the Soviet Union broke apart, the Russian government sponsored armed separatist movements in Georgia’s regions of South Ossetia (1992) and Abkhazia (1993), enabling them to break away and establish de facto independence. Afterward, thousands of Russian troops remained deployed in these regions to safeguard them against any potential attempts by the Georgian government to regain control. Even Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, though undertaken heavy-handedly, was not a true departure in Russian policy. The roots of the move dated back more than 20 years. Crimea had a popularly-backed separatist movement in the early 1990s, and its leader, Yuri Meshkov, won a landslide victory in a free election in Crimea’s presidential election in early 1994. Yeltsin’s government actively supported Meshkov, and the only thing that brought an end to Russia’s backing for him was the victory of Leonid Kuchma in Ukraine’s presidential election in July 1994.

Kuchma was a leader Yeltsin liked and wanted to help. Hence, the Russian authorities stopped supporting and inciting the Crimean separatist movement, and Kuchma steadily clamped down on Meshkov, eventually expelling him to Russia in March 1995. That expulsion put an end to the separatist movement in Crimea for nearly 20 years. If Kuchma’s opponent in the July 1994 Ukrainian presidential election, Leonid Kravchuk, had won, the Russian government almost certainly would have continued to back Meshkov, who had indicated he would seek the incorporation of Crimea into Russia.

Yeltsin might well have done in the mid-1990s what Putin did in March 2014. Crimea is a different place, however. It was, after all, a part of Russia for hundreds of years, only joining Ukraine in 1954. More than 50 percent of its inhabitants spoke Russian, and it had a majority of almost 60 percent ethnic Russians. The region had a long-standing, if not necessarily very effective, pro-Russian independence movement long before Ukraine’s current political crisis exploded.

Putin’s counterrevolutionary posture reflects the way Russian politics has changed during his nearly 15 years in power. The Russian political system when he came into office was partly democratic, but during his tenure it has become increasingly ritualistic and authoritarian, and elections have been of very little importance because the results are controlled by the authorities and arranged in advance.

Under Putin, Russia has been a deeply counterrevolutionary power since at least 2004 (after the so-called Orange Revolution in Ukraine) and particularly since December 2011, when mass protests erupted in Moscow and some other Russian cities after fraud marred the parliamentary elections.

Today September 15th 2014 on international Democracy day the “Athens Forum 2014: (the first of its kind marking the International Day of Democracy in 2013), discuss Democracy Under Pressure. Sweden´s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, who was UN Secretary-GeneralSection 1s Special Envoy for the Balkans during 1990s, is one of the speakers at “Athens Forum 2014: The UN is, truly multilateral organization of great note that is prominent in international democracy promotion. And Swedish leaders are playing prominent roles in global diplomacy. On Russian actions in Ukraine, the diplomatic efforts in this matter and the need for a strong alliances.

Sweden has an clear and committed voice in Carl Bildt both in the EU and in the world. February 19th, 2014 the Government foreign affairs declaration in the Parliamentary: Bildt underscored that “Every opportunity must be utilised”. As Foreign Minister Bildt has been a one-man diplomatic force against Russian aggression. Sweden remains one of the strongest promoters of the Eastern Partnership as an anchor point in these countries’ modernisation processes, making clear demands, but also offering preparedness to meet progress with deeper cooperation and increased support – this contributes to peace, stability and development on our continent”.

Athens Forum is “Global Conversation” series of high level debates of the former International Herald Tribune, now the International New York Times.

Sweden has played a bigger part on the world stage and the alliance, has been a great success.

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On Saturday night there will be a final live television debate between Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt who leads the Moderate Party and Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. The Alliance has governed for the past four years – since 2010 (they have been in a minority).

Sweden’s forecast economic growth of 1.9 percent this year masks underlying weaknesses. Unemployment has remained stuck around 8 percent, and much higher among the young. The central bank made a surprise cut to interest rates last month in response to signs of deflation.

Besides the fact that between 2006-2014 340 000 jobs were created, the recent slowdown in the growth rate of labor supply observed is a source of concern. “The current slow-down, because of the continued subdued state of the global economy, is likely to be cyclical rather than a sign of a fundamental weakening of the Swedish economy”. This is the picture presented by Anders Borg, the Ministry of Finance´s new economic forecast.

Possibly we are moving into a period of slower productivity growth, but I for one continue to be amazed at the potential for improving the quality of the lives of most people in the world and competitiveness that the IT explosion has already revealed   .

It is often forgotten how Sweden was affected by the crisis two decades ago, and how well Sweden went throughout the worst economic crisis. Following its own financial crisis in the early 1990 and eru crisis 2008, subsequent Swedish governments have made policy choices that reversed the country´s previous economic decline. At a time of record public debt-to-GDP among advanced economies during the crisis Sweden is noteworthy for its strong public finances.

The first selective experience is the Structural policies that the Swedish Government has pursued since 2006 that rest on several cornerstones. Having overhauled economic institutions after a devastating crisis in the early 1990s, Sweden rebounded more rapidly from the 2008-10 crisis than other OECD economies. As part of the structural reforms Sweden´s labor market underwent a major transformation. The main objective was to increase labor market participation by shifting the policy focus from passive to active labor markets activities to find the right mix of policies to protect the unemployed while at the same time creating incentives for them to search for a job and helping them find a placement. At the onset of the crisis virtually all OECD economies increased the flexibility of their labor markets to varying degrees to curtail high unemployment and recover output losses. In addition, Sweden saw a smaller decline in employment growth during the crisis than many other OECD countries and among the largest recoveries.

The challenge for today´s economies, particularly for small open economies like Sweden, is therefore to find the right balance. The Swedish experience shows that prudent reforms can foster growth while maintaining social cohesion and an extensive welfare state. With Anders Borg, the centre-right finance minister since 2006,GDP growth of 12.6%, a rise in gross disposable incomes of almost 20%, a budget moving into surplus and a public debt barely above 40% of GDP. Although the tax burden remains high by international standards, top rates have been cut, as have corporate taxes. Taxes on gifts, inheritance, wealth and most property have been scrapped. Few Swedes need now to flee into tax exile. These figures not only outshine Britain and the euro zone; they also eclipse America.

Idag har vi haft nöjet att ha Borg och Reinfeldt på besök i Västerås.

Successful tax-cutting – finance minister. Thinking Beyond the Crisis: Sweden’s secret recipe – The challenge for today´s economies, particularly for small open economies like Sweden, is therefore to find the right balance.

What marks Anders Borg out is how he responded to the financial crash. While most countries in Europe borrowed massively, Borg did not. Since becoming Sweden’s finance minister, his mission has been to pare back government.

His ‘stimulus’ was a permanent tax cut. To critics, this was fiscal lunacy — the so-called ‘punk tax cutting’ agenda. Borg, on the other hand, thought lunacy meant repeating the economics of the 1970s and expecting a different result. Three years on 2011, it was pretty clear who was right.

What even Borg, the successful tax-cutting – finance minister, did not expect was that his tax cut for the low-paid would increase economic growth so much that it has almost entirely paid for itself. The recovery started just in time for the 2010 Swedish election, in which the Conservatives were re-elected for the first time in history. In power, the current government has lowered taxes more than any other country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But the total tax take is still high, around 44 percent of economic output. Tax cuts have increased the average Swede’s annual disposable income by almost a month’s wages since 2006.

Tax cuts are not spoken of as an ideological aim, but as a tool to cut unemployment and advance social justice, he says. There was some criticism at the time when borrowing to finance tax cuts. But Sweden could do it, because it was expecting to return to surplus soon. The second advantage of those experience is the solid microeconomic conditions, including a high openness to FDI, and a base of highly competitive multinational firms that positioned Sweden as one of the key beneficiaries of globalization. Free trade has hence long been prioritized by politicians. One could say that Sweden got a head start on globalization.

Part of the center-right’s success has been its acceptance of Sweden’s model for the welfare state. The economy definition of competitiveness focus on understanding the broad range of drivers of prosperity, amenable to policy actions, including both the productivity of the economic system to mobilize the available workforce and the productivity of individual employees in their jobs. Including global economic activity that give a sense of how underlying competitiveness translates into outcomes in the global marketplace, given the ultimately the source of prosperity and the quality of a country as a place to do business or running a company.

Sweden´s continued reforms combined with its high levels of human capital and innovation capacity and its stable macroeconomic conditions place the country among the most innovation-driven economies of the world. Sweden ranks 10th among 144 economies in the World Economic Forum´s 2014 Global Competitiveness Report. It placed 14the among 189 economies in the World Bank Group´s 2013 Ease of Doing Business ranking, suggesting that its business environment is among the most conducive to private business activity. And its productivity level in manufacturing is among the highest, strengthening its global competitiveness (OECD, 2012). There has been some growth in the importance of countries like China, but USA, Germany and Norway remain by far more important. Most exporters are large companies, much in line with other countries, but smaller companies have seen their role in trade increase. The country invests heavily in research, encourages critical thinking from an early age and is open to international influences. This is, for example, the case for patenting intensity, R&D spending relative to GDP, the number of researchers in the labor force, the quality of scientific publications, and the income from licenses and patents.

Sweden has also long tradition of of creative and tenacious scientists, business leaders and entrepreneours, such as Alfred Nobel, and powerful international companies who are keen to change the world have been crucial both to Sweden´s economic development and the Swedes´ self-belief. The country´s strong roots in engineering and industrial technology, combined with a broad environmental awareness among the general public, are no doubt part of the explanation.

Meanwhile, small businesses are constantly emerging, often in clusters around the country´s many universities, bringing new ideas and the Swedish Government is investing extra resources. Creating conditions that enable new businesses domestic or international to develop and grow is an important part of this strategy, linking together research, innovation and commercialization is another. It is also about simplifying rules and policy in order to build effective partnerships at all levels. The level and the profile of these, including entrepreneurship, provide valuable insights for identifying areas of Sweden´s competitiveness profile that are higher prosperity.

Swedish leaders are playing prominent roles in global diplomacy. Sweden’s banks are strong. Real estate is booming. Consumers around the world hang their H&M clothes in Ikea cabinets, download pop music from Spotify, read Swedish thrillers and watch Swedish television dramas. Yet for all that, the center-right government of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, 49, is in serious political trouble. And he centre-right government’s achievements go deeper still and there is an even more fundamental points that should be appreciated.

Returning to the economy reforms, the Swedish government has aggressively introduced private market forces into healthcare to improve access, quality, and choices. Although once entirely public, over a quarter of Swedish primary care clinics are now run by the private sector. Sweden’s municipality governments have increased spending on private care contracts by 50% in the past decade.

It is also fact that an average Swedish family already pays nearly $20,000 annually in taxes toward healthcare according to Swedish economist Per Bylund, about 12% of working adults bought private insurance in 2013, a number that has increased by 67% over the last five years. Half a million Swedes now use private insurance, up from 100,000 a decade ago, even though they are already “guaranteed” public healthcare.

Thirty years ago Margaret Thatcher turned Britain into the world’s leading centre of “thinking the unthinkable”. Today that distinction has passed to Sweden. Anders Borg wants in the coming years to regulate private providers more. But, Borg warns loudly against tax rises by the centre-left and some Swedish businessmen are warning about the dangers from the Social Democrats. A bigger risk is that a Social Democrat-led government may stop or reverse public-sector reform.

Given Sweden’s sunny prosperity, one cloud is the weakness of the euro zone, by far Sweden’s biggest market. And Sweden could also lose its reputation in free-market circles in Britain and America for innovative public-sector reform. “Business has much to fear from a red-green administration,” said Anna Kinberg Batra, parliamentary leader of Mr. Reinfeldt’s party, the Moderates, in arguing that a left-leaning coalition could unravel the country’s economic progress.

Jacob Wallenberg, scion of the family whose foundations own huge stakes in Swedish industry — close to 40 percent of the total value of the Swedish stock exchange — has warned that a “massive shift to the left” could prompt entrepreneurs to flee the country. And there is the shadow cast by a belligerent Russia. The centre-right wants to push up defence spending, which many Social Democrats dislike. Within Europe Swedish foreign minister Mr Bildt has been a one-man diplomatic force against Russian aggression.

Thanks to its centre-right government, Sweden has played a bigger part in Europe and on the world stage than its 10m-odd population would seem to justify. Its withdrawal to the wings would be regretted far beyond Stockholm. The four alliance parties have a joint manifesto; the Social Democrats merely say they want to team up with the Greens, but that is unlikely to yield a majority.

The greatest danger lies in Mr Lofven’s ability to form a coalition. The Social Democrats’ voting share is in secular decline, from 45% or so two decades ago to barely 30% now. Their chances of luring any of the alliance parties are small, and they do not want to join the ex-communist left. Nobody will work with the far-right anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, who may take 10% of the vote, so any coalition is likely once again to be a minority government. Carl Bildt, who was prime minister in 1991-94, suggests that a Social Democrat-led coalition will be fragile and may well not last a full four-year term.

The Alliance government would remain focused on boosting jobs (of 350,000 more private-sector 2014-2020) and new business (Sverigebygget reforms) in Sweden and allowing private companies to play a role in schools and hospitals. Fredrik Reinfeldt might make a fresh start by reshuffling his cabinet or creating new government departments.

Sweden has eight main political parties, so it is very rare for one party to win an election and form a majority government. Fredrik Reinfeldt could stay Prime Minister if the Alliance got enough votes to remain the largest political bloc. Majority building is the whole point of Swedish politics. ‘A Harmonious Democracy’: this term was used by Herbert Tingsten in 1966 to describe Sweden’s ability to resolve conflict and maintain a high standard of living.

What dragged India down, compared to China.

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This year, as we celebrate the Great War 1914, including the 25th anniversary to the fall of the Berlin Wall and supposed end of history, capitalism and liberal democracy having won out, it is easy to forget that the big ideological debate of the first half of the twentieth century was about capitalism versus socialism, often used ideology by Communism. People from all walks of life, not just the communists in the Soviet Union believed that capitalism is inherently unstable and requires central planning to make it work.

Hayek said that government planning would make society less liveable, more brutal, more despotic. Socialism in all its forms is contrary to freedom.

Hayek said that government planning would make society less liveable, more brutal, more despotic. Socialism in all its forms is contrary to freedom.

At the end of the Second World War, F. A. Hayek´s ideas, as expressed in “The road to Serfdom” proposed that central planning was unworkable because central planners, as opposed to markets, cannot hope to pick up all of the distributed information they need to make good decisions, that government intervention, especially the surgical type, as opposed to the type that stands for the rule of the Law, tends to make things worse, and that National Socialism is a form of “socialism.”

Hayek´s idea launched an important debate on the relationship between political and economic freedom. And though it appeared in 1944, it continues to have a remarkable impact. No one can consider himself well-schooled in modern political ideas without having absorbed its lessons.

It would take close to half a century before the Berlin Wall fell, and Hayek´s ideas triumphed over John Maynard Keynes. Pointing to the success of this, in the second half of the twentieth century, western Europe was, blissfully, at peace. The process of European integration included repeated pushes for monetary integration. The introduction of the euro was one of the most important steps in the European integration process.

If it sounds like an impossible, the answer is that, most European voters in many countries, especially Germany, were negatively disposed towards a common currency and central bank. But policy-makers like Helmut Kohl pushed ahead against both expert and voter opinion. Many people remember him as the “Chancellor of Unity” because it was during his term in office that West and East Germany were reunified.

By any reasonable measure, Kohl´s actions were non-opportunistic and non-partisan. But, were motivated by the idea:as he would say, that the people of Europe, who over the centuries have gone to war with each other to the tune of million lost lives will find peace if they are tied together by a common set of institutions, including a common currency and central bank. But, in reality, there is also another international organization, a collective security solution, the forces of democracy NATO, that has kept the peace in Europe since 1945. To be sure, given Europe´s violent past, the European Union´s greatest contribution to international security has been to ensure stability in its own region. Today, nearly a century after the outbreak of World War I, peace and stability are firmly entrenched in Europe. Eastern Ukraine is the only danger zone.

Kohl may well be right, and the issue here is not just war. The issue is that any extreme event that will require a coordinated response on the part of the European countries will now meet upon an elaborate set of institutions that can deliver such a response.

This is not to say that the institutions of the European Community and European Monetary Union are a pretty sight, they are cumbersome and costly, and impossibly bureaucratic. And a fundamental flaw in the present system is that when voters vote in Europe elections they are voting for the candidates of their familiar national parties but they do not realise who they are voting in the system of European parliament. Some voters rarely know their candidate for the European Commission presidency. It is simply to say that they will probably help avert large scale disaster in Europe.

  • True democracy, real prosperity, lasting security – these are nether simply given.

Realizing a long-term vision for Europe is much more difficult than ever when so many short-term imperatives reviving growth and employment, winning elections, and re-engaging a distrustful public amid growing populist sentiment, materialize simultaneously.

To experience the full “model of integration” today, the center of the world is the United States. And we all both in Europe and U.S can look back at a century´s worth of immense technological progress and an increase in material standards of living for which there is no precedent in history. At the same time, the ideas of economics can not be understood without the political context of power relationships that surround commercial activity.

In much of the post-war period, however, these arguments were dominated by powerful counter-arguments. In Western countries, the rise of Keynesianism, the increasing legitimacy of social welfare institutions and labour unions, and the acceptance of the need to regulate financial institutions provided justifications for interventionist policies and weakened the ideological support of the Western example for free trade policies in the Third World. The importance of the Western experience was further undermined by the example of socialist countries which appeared to be succeeding in bringing about a dramatic structural transformation of their economies through central planning and pervasive government intervention.

The remarkable success of German and Japan after WW II was, after all, in large part the result of the complete destruction intricate systems of special relationships allowing a fresh start along clean free market lines, but of course, at the great social cost of war.

Of course, Germany owes its post-war recovery and wealth to its people and their hard work, innovation, and devotion to a united, democratic Europe. But Germans could not have staged their magnificent post-war renaissance without the support signified by the “Speech of Hope.” Hope was a force for good in post-war Europe, and it can be a force for positive transformation now in the case of Ukraine, as well as Greece. Byrnes’ address marked America’s post-war change of heart vis-à-vis Germany and gave a fallen nation a chance to imagine recovery, growth, and a return to normalcy.

Why did Russia fail? Collectivist institutions under socialism failed because central planning could be successful only during the first investment “generation.” As Russia did between Peter the Great and Pyotr Stolypin’s early twentieth century reforms. To be ahead of the curve in the 1930s, you had to build dams, which central planning did pretty well; to be ahead of the curve in the 1970s, you had to build cars to please consumers, which planning could not do.

And why did China succeed? Because it waited (obviously not consciously) to start modernization until the early twentieth century, and because it kept planning for thirty years only. Thus, China, largely accidentally, on both counts did exactly what was best: it did not start modernization too early and it jettisoned central planning just as it was becoming inefficient. But perhaps the best rebuttal of the “do nothing until the time is right” hypothesis comes from the success of Japan.

Japan modernized well, preserved most of its own institutions, generated investible surpluses, and basically played according to the Western textbook. (Vladimir Popov, 2014). The Western “big push” In Popov’s view, the Malthusian trap is broken through “elimination of collectivist institutions and replaced them with individualistic profit-maximizing agents, markets, intellectual property and human rights in the free trade era. But it was also a costly approach because it increased poverty and mortality, but it eventually worked.

Planning economy failed, not because of its intrinsically different efficiency in the 1930 versus the 1970s, but because the nature of technological progress changed and growth. Lawyers and economist have recently paid a great deal of attention the globalizations of intellectual property rights. The 1994 Agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, the TRIP agreement, established minimum standards for intellectual property protection in all member states of the World Trade Organization.

  • The Rise of China and Japans dreams of more powerful Japan.

In the 1830s the British tried to prise open the China market with opium—something people could be made to want, and keep wanting, whatever their previous inclinations. The Chinese tried to stop the trade; the British forced a war upon them and won it. In the subsequent Treaty of Nanjing, concluded in 1842, Britain grabbed Hong Kong and forced China to open its doors. At the time China was unaware that an economic, technological and cultural revolution was taking place in Europe and being felt throughout the rest of the world. Today, the country has become what Macartney was looking for: a relatively open market that very much wants to trade. Macartney’s embassy would learn what the Chinese wanted. Macartney’s request that more ports in China be opened to trade.

A better approach may be is to focus on our time and the risk of catastrophe and security in the Southeast Asia region and then update the models as more information emerges. The dangers should not be exaggerated. But, with strategic competition between the US and China as delicately poised as it is, and with the economic interests of Australia, Japan, and many others in the region bound up just as intensely with China as their security interests are with the US, rocking the boat carries serious risks.

This time is different, for several reasons, especially when China has achieved what policymakers call “capture” a condition in which economic or security dependence of one country on another allows the more powerful to drive the other´s policy making. Based on the size of their commercial relationships with China as a share of their overall economies, the governments next closest to China capture are Pakistan and Myanmar. But even in China´s backyard, emerging powers like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam with Beijing ties hope an expanded U.S presence in Asia will help them hedge against too great a reliance on China´s good will.

In 1980, Chinas economy was less than one tenth that of the United States. Beijing adopted a low profile as it emerged as a world power. In 30 years, 2011 China rose to become NO. 2 in the world, without disrupting the world order. Thus, the disruptions of the world economy during the last decade have had relatively little impact on the pace of Chinese economic expansion. Essentially, the Chinese economy has not been constrained by its balance of payments during this period. The central long-term factor responsible for this happy situation is that the Chinese over the last thirty years have built up their own industrial capacities and capabilities, which enable them to have sustained high rates of economic growth without being affected by the state of the world economy. There are, however, other points about China’s recent international relationships which deserve attention. Suddenly, with little warning, three decades of careful management of its external challenges have been replaced by three years of assertive and occasionally reckless actions.

Chana’s explosive transformation from a planned economy to a more market-oriented one over the past three decades owes much to the chaismatic reform by Zhu Rongji. China began liberalizing much earlier and has been able to attract a much higher level of foreign investment.

In the last 35 years, after the Chinas Communist leadership embarked on a course of economic liberalization, China´s real GDP increased close to eightfold, its real GDP pre capital close to sixfold. This increase, with its speed and size, along with the huge number of people involved, has got to count as the single largest explosion in standards of living in human history. Several hundred million people were lifted out of the poverty of living on the purchasing-power-parity equivalent of one dollar a day, and some got very rich. The biggest of these made their fortunes from the rapid expansion of the banking sector. Economic globalization in the country has also led to serious environmental problems because rapid economic growth takes place with little or no attention to the environment.

Today China stands out as the country with the population, ahead of India, and the second-largest economy, after the United States. Recent IMF WEO, July update, Growth in China is forecast to average 7,4 percent in 2014 as recent measures show, growth will moderate to 7.1 percent in 2015. For India it is expected to pick up gradually in the rest of the year. Only a few years ago, India was rivaling China for the title of worlds fastest-growing major economy. But that potential has been squandered. Growth in fiscal 2013-14 tumbled to 4,7%, a rate far too slow ti lift the 400 million Indians still trapped in desperate poverty.

The nagging question is why China has outperformed India, which in contrast to China is a democracy. But if India is politically liberal, economically it is not, or rather, it was not until recently when it, too, caught the economic liberalization bug, not doubt in response to China´s glowing success. For decades, India suffered from what some called the “Hindu rate of economic growth”: a little more than 1% per year. It might more properly have been called a 1930s British socialist rate of growth.

After independence in 1947, India pursued an inward-looking planning system policies that reflected a philosophy of government planning and economic self-sufficiency. Its policy makers, influenced by the Soviet Union and the anti colonial struggle, implemented a state-heavy economic model. This tied up private enterprise in a web of controls that came to be nicknamed the License Raj. Its economy was relatively stagnant until piecemeal economic reforms in the 1980s and some measure of economic liberalization in the 1990s when India finally, with Manmohan Singh, woke from its slumber improved economic growth rates.

What dragged India down, compared to China, were special interest of the kind that have been described by public choice theorists, including Mancur Olson. Beacause of its skepticism about the supposedly benign nature of government, public choice is sometimes viewed as “conservative or libertarian” branch of economics, as opposed to more “liberal” (that is, interventionist) wings such as Keynesian economics.

But not all public choice economists are conservatives or libertarians. More recently, Olson wrote The Rise and Decline of Nations, which concludes that Germany and Japan thrived after World War II because the war destroyed the power of special interests to stifle entrepreneurship and economic exchange. But Olson still favors a strong government. Advanced democracies with complex economies have been reluctant to implement the institutional proposals coming out of public choice theory. The years since World War II world have seen rapid shifts in the relative positions of different countries and regions.

The point that is here to make for now is that public choice dominates political economy when it comes to explaining the comparative performance of China and India. Economic liberalization combined with some degree of political stability, in which people know that they can keep the fruits of their entrepreneurial efforts, outperforms political liberalization combined with central planning. This is Hayekian thinking rather than Keynesian, and this is roughly the public choice credo: free the markets, limit the government, put in place a couple of simple and transparent rules, and let the people do their thing.

In contrast, political economy comes across as fussing over market failures and deriving optimal institutions that will surgically correct the problem. This is partly correct. The emergence of public choice economics reflects dissatisfaction with the implicit assumption, held by Keynesians, among others, that government effectively corrects market failures. Those political disagreements between government intervention (Keynes) and free markets (Hayek) are important, but they arose from crucial differences in economic theory, as British journalist Nicholas Wapshott writes in his Keynes vs Hayek clash book.

According to IMFs governments review, Transition to New Growth Model: which is more inclusive, environment friendly, and sustainable growth path. The aim is to use resources more efficiently and unleash new sources of productivity growth, in a way that better protects the environment and ensures that growing prosperity is widely shared.

Key principles include giving the market a more decisive role, taxing broader range of economic activity, reforms that will promote more inclusive growth.

India, a land of the million mutinies, is too diverse and fractious to speak with one voice. But it´s safe to say all Indians want what anyone anywhere would: the freedom to choose, so long as it does not impinge on the rights of others, the chance to pursue a better life and the space to live that life in dignity.

In recent decades, economists and political scientists have theoretically mapped out a range of issues such as the political vulnerability over time and across countries. Of all thousand roles of general rule of government success is a effective and accountable government.

Modi will need to take on entrenched interests that have successfully thwarted change in the past, from the recalcitrant bureaucracy to militant unions. Ministries and regulatory agencies that distrust and seek to control private enterprise would be better if transformed into facilitators that support investment and development. The most important factor is the acceleration in India’s economic growth, which the International Monetary Fund projects will exceed 7.5% through 2020. Much of the excitement that the new Modi government has generated in India, around the world, and most notably in the business community, has been around this idea of accountable and effective government that can unleash India´s economic potential. If India is to achieve its potential, it will need to address its economic and governance challenges, but also its security interests in the region to a greater extent than has been the norm for decades.

India and China are fellow members of the BRICS (along with Brazil, Russia, and South Africa). But cooperation within that caucus is limited. While Indian officials are often discreet in public about relations with China, and wisely want bilateral trade and investment to grow, their security concerns remain acute. As part of the group of Asian countries that will tend to balance China, India has already begun to strengthen its diplomatic relations with Japan on issues that has become an issues in the international arena and for India, a peaceful and prosperous neighborhood is vital if India is to achieve sustained economic growth and true national security. This thinking was evident in PM Modi´s invitations to the heads of governments of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to attend his swearing in ceremony.

On top of this, China along with Pakistan, Bangladesh and a number of other countries have set up a regional partnership organization called the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization, with projects that include sharing data, establishing a space communication network, and tracking space objects. The unavoidable strategic reality is that any nation or alliance which can control the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean can hold much of Asia hostage, including China. Control of western Indian Ocean closes the chokepoints in the Indonesian archipelago. China has invested heavily in special relationships with both Pakistan and Burma and has actively cultivated Iran despite the political risks involved. That is frequently described as the String of Pearls strategy, whereby a chain of bases is built along China´s most critical strategic SLOCs.

China is helping set up a space academy/satelite ground station alongside the lunch of telecommunications satellite in 2015 for Sri Lankan firm Suprema SAT Pvt. Ltd., and signed an agreement with the Board of investment of Sri Lanka for the purpose. Bangaladesh and Maldives were also expected to pursue a similar path. Meanwhile, Pakistan is expected to receive military grade positioning and navigation signals form China´s BeiDou system.

These developments have shocked the Indian establishment, but still New Delhi has yet to sign a memorandum of understanding or agreement with any of the other SAARC members. Under those circumstances, on June 30, India celebrated another successful launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the workhorse of the Indian Space Research Organization ISRO. This time, India´s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in attendance. His SHAR speech emphasized the role of technology. Among the may points he made, two were geopolitically significant.

First, he observed that the satellite being launched, SPOT 7, belonged to a developed nation: France. Second, he challenged the ISRO to develop a satellite that would serve the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation nations. Those thoughts coincide with of three major foreign policy issues that confront India, as noted by Shivsankar Menon: its relation with major power and its need for a peaceful and prosperous neighborhood. With the support of the new Modi government. ISRO is expected to reverse the trend and be proactive space diplomacy.

If we scratch, the remarks of Narendra Modi do not merely represent a developmental initiative for creating a digital India, they are a signal to to enhance national security through neighborhood development and create an incentive to establish a robust foreign policy after the many misadventures seen during the tenure of the previous government.

An agreement on cooperation in Science and Technology which included space technology is one of the foremost partnerships the US established immediately after its historic diplomatic recognition of the People´s Republic of China.

IDL TIFF file

Western Australia and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, then British and now an Australian offshore territory, played an important role during the Second World War, as a staging area and basing area for air and naval operations across South East Asia. While Australia has traditionally defined its place in the world, as the Asia Pacific, this Government now looks west to encompass India as a crucial part of our region.

There are no guarantees that the future will resemble the recent past. But a significant drop in the potential treat posed by China is also possible if the Chinese economy falters and Beijing redirects its attention and resources toward maintaining internal stability.

Some analysts say that China´s economic role will limit the sort of strategic partnership India might form with the United States, including policies aimed at curbing Beijing´s growing military power in the region.

Another challenge consists of the high likelihood that and extreme unforeseeable event will occur. However, there are no “silver bullets,” Noregional or alliance response can single-handedly deliver a stable security, or political balance at minimal cost to all parties involved.

To this end, the Carnegie Endowment has offered up an extraordinary contribution: China´s Military and the U.S-Japan Alliance in 2030: A Strategic Assessment. Increased Chinese military spending and the build-up of its naval capacity suggest to many American strategists that China intends to challenge the U.S. as a Pacific power, and we are now seeing an arms race between China and Japan, two countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

China’s then foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, vocally pointed out at a meeting of regional powers in Hanoi in 2010, “China is a big country and other countries are small countries and that is a fact.” The China’s armed forces are, if not technologically first-rate, certainly large and impressive, not least because they include a nuclear-missile force. But some of Mr Yang’s small countries have a big friend. With troops and bases in Japan and South Korea, America has been the dominant power of the western Pacific for 70 years. Its regional presence has not declined much since it won the cold war a quarter of a century ago. On a trip to Asia in 2011 Barack Obama announced a “pivot” of his country’s policy away from the Middle East and towards Asia.

China’s leaders are convinced that America is determined to prevent their country from increasing its strategic and military influence in Asia—that it is trying to contain China as it once sought to contain and eventually crush the Soviet Union. The irony is that China is the only country that really believes the pivot is happening. South-East Asian nations express a fair amount of scepticism at the idea that America’s attention has been newly fixed on their region, and his opponents in America claim Mr Obama has done far too little to follow through on what he said in 2011.

  • China´s rise is increasingly seen by the U.S as a challenge to its dominant position in the region.

Japan´s unease has been accentuated by poor relations with China that are partly the result of historical animosities emanating from its predation of China and its invasion of that country in 1937 and partly due to the increasing strategic competition between the two countries.

To this day, the emergence of the People´s Republic of China as an increasingly significant military power in the Western pacific presents major implications for Japan, the U.S.-Japan alliance, and regional security. Japan´s new self-defense initiative is the right move at the right time. The future security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region may very well be defined by the content of this assessment.

Now let us look what lies ahead.

On July 31, 2014 Secretary of State John Kerry is to visit India to strengthen U.S-India economic ties. This visit marks the first U.S cabinet-level visit to New Delhi since the new Indian Government was elected, and it underscores the strategic importance of the U.S.-India relationship.

  • India has a vital role to play in Asia´s growing importance to America´s security and prosperity.

From security in the Asia-Pacific there is no better time for India than now to re-examine the U.S.-India relationship. As delivered before the house Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Washington, DC july 24 2014 India. India increasingly sees its future in a secure, connected, and prosperous Asia Pacific. Testimony Nisha Desai Biswal.

The true potential of this relationship was best characterized by India´s Prime Minister Modi himself when he said two weeks ago that “it is not just benefits to the Indian people and the American people, but that the true value of the U.S.-India relationship is that when the world´s oldest democracy and the worlds largest democracy come together, it is the world that stands to benefit”.

Given India´s own growth problem and its problematic relations with China and its warming toward the United States, there appears to be momentum a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue involving India as well.

Such development should not come as a surprise.

Since 9-11, the United States and its regional allies, Japan and Australia, have coordinated their regional approaches through the Trilateral Security Dialogue process. The strategic concern over a rising China, the emergence of terrorism, and maritime security challenges and the initial reluctance of littoral states in the region to coordinate their counterterrorism strategies (The Japan, Australia, and U.S – The Trilateral Security Dialogue 2001) provided impetur for a more coordinated approach among the United States and its allies in the region. Although the main concerns were over maritime security and the challenges posed by terrorism, there was unstated unease in the three countries over China´s emergence.

The U.S and India entered a watershed when they agreed to establish a strategic relationship under the New Framework for the U.S-India Defence Relationship in 2006. This was followed by the expansion of the U.S-India Malabar naval exercises in the Indian Ocean in September 2007 to include Japan and Australia, Singapore, a junior ally of the three powers, also participated. A papers issued by the members of the QSD have specifically suggested that China is a potential threat. But, we have not yet seen any renewed attempt to re-establish the QSD comprising Japan, Australia, the US, and India, which conducted joint military exercises in 2007 and was seen by China as a hostile containment enterprise. But it is not hard to imagine that this is still very much on Abe of Japan´s wish list.

Japan is right to be concerned about China´s new regional assertiveness, and Abe´s recent diplomatic push to strengthen Japan´s relations in Southeast Asia, and with Australia and India, is understandable in that context. Of course, if China becomes aggressive, Asian countries like India and Australia, which are already disturbed by China´s assertiveness in the South China Sea will join Japan in the effort to offset China´s power. But, as Joseph S. Nye´s recent article suggested “a more effective approach, spearheaded by the US and Japan, would focus on integration, with a hedge against uncertainty.” And he sugges that “..American and Japanese leaders must shape the regional environment in such a way that China has incentives to act responsibly, including by maintaining strong defense capabilities”.

Accordingly, there is a tension in Chinese foreign policy. The country wants to have as little involvement abroad as it can get away with, except for engagements that enhance its image as a great power. It will act abroad when its own interests are at stake, but not for the greater or general good. Its navy has started to take part in anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa and in UN peacekeeping in Africa. In 2011 it sent a ship to co-ordinate the evacuation of 36,000 Chinese workers from Libya. More such actions may follow as its companies get more deeply involved in the world, but only if they are seen as either low-cost or absolutely necessary. Acute awareness of its domestic weaknesses acts as a restraint, as does Chinas view of America’s foreign policy. In a wide range of fields, what China is against is a lot clearer than what it is for. It vetoed the interventions Western powers sought in Syria and Darfur and has taken no position on the Russian annexation of Crimea. The former argument suggest that the world needs more Chinese engagement and initiative, not less.

Much has changed in Israel´s surroundings.

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At Wednesday´s funeral for Steinberg, huge crowds gathered at the military cemetery at Mounty Herzi in Jerusalem, to pay their last respects. Steinbery, who grew up in Southern California´s San Fernando Valley, was one of thousands of so-called lone soldiers who have left behind their lives in other nations to fight for the Israel defense Force.

Twenty-nine Israeli soldiers have been reported killed in fighting with Hamas and other Palestinian militant faction. The United States and Israel consider Hamas a terrorist group, and U. S. officials are barred from direct meetings or negotiations with the militants. In the last two weeks alone 2000 rockets has been fired by Hamas in Israeli cities and town. Hamas terroirsts commit a double war crime to civilians.

Israel will not allow the hamas to terrorize and threaten millions of civilians, no other country in the world would allow it ether. We should support Israel publically in fighting repeated terrorism.

Despite a diplomatic push by Kerry and other world leaders, including United Nations there was no trace of progress Tuesday toward reviving and Egyptian truce proposal rejected by Hamas and Israel agreed the case-fire. Its not clear that Israel is ready to halt the offensive.

In the run-up to the failed Camp David summit in 2000, both Palestinians and Israelis were preparing for potential clashes in case the tolks failed. The situation today is considerably different. In particular, the Palestinian leadership and Hamas and smaller organizations alike inflame the crisis rather than seeking to calm it, each for its own reasons. In Gaza, Hamas finds itself in dire straits, particularly since the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in neighboring Egypt.

Moreover, much has changed in Israel´s surroundings. Netanjahu has stressed often in the past that he does not want Israel to become a binational state implying that he favors some kind of accommodation with and separation form the Palestinians. But on last friday (here) he made it explicit that this could not extend to full Palestinian sovereignty. Way?

Because, given the march of Islamic extremism across the Middle East, he said, Israel simply cannot afford to give up control over the territory immediately to its east, including the eastern border-that is, the border between Israel and Jordan, and the West Bank and Jordan: To the north, the Lebanese Hezbollah is now heavily engaged in the civil war in Syria, particularly among Sunni radicals in Syria or Palestinian groups in Lebanon, may seek to draw Israel into a confrontation. US security advisors have already seen first signs of such attempts in December 2013. Moreover, juhadists may also attempt to operate form the West Bank, where networks of juhadists have recently been uncovered.

Netanyahu also addressed the rise of Islamic extremism across the Middle East –

 He said Israel finds itself in a region that is being seized by Islamic extremism. It is bringing down countries, many countries. It is knocking on our door, in the north and south.

But while other states were collapsing, said Netanyahu, Israel was not – because of the strength of its leadership, its arm and its people. We will defend ourselves on every front, defensively and offensively

Today both,U.S secretary of state Kerry and the new UK Foreign Secretary Phlip Hammond, are meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority.

In Tel Aviv, Sec JohnKerry meets with Israel's PM Netanyahu to discuss Gaza. Photos

We all welcome the short humanitarian ceasefire that has been negotiated and I congratulate our American, Egyptian, Qatari, and Turkish colleagues on the work that they’ve been doing and to persuade Hamas to agree to that ceasefire. We all agreed that there must be an extension of that ceasefire. The humanitarian situation demands it, everybody wants to see an end to the loss of lives.

The current visit in pursuing of Gaza cease-fire between the parties offer a glimmer of hope.

Failure of the talks carries a real risk with high impact of full blown violence between the Israelis and Palestinians, which could spiral into a wider campaign against Israel form unstable regions, “given the march of Islamic extremism across the Middle East”.

A breakout of reginal violence of this kind would have profound and lasting consequences for future resolution of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict, which is determined last year to be a U.S President Barack Obama´s priority in the Middle East. And Secretary Kerry focus his energy on the goal of a final possibility settlement then into regional violence.

Secretary Kerry has been working tirelessly during the last nine months to resolve these issues. During last two weeks Secretary Kerry, UN and many world leaders have been working tirelessly to bring this unacceptable, intolerable, sitution to an end as soon as possible. Its worth giving the cease fire a chance to encourage peace in the region, and support Israel publically in fighting repeated terrorism.

Interestingly, as tensions in the Middle East have grown sharply China´s official comments are more low-profile and cautious. However, Chinese netizens have showed unusual passion about and interest in this distant, ongoing conflict.

To understand netizen attitudes, we first have to understan China´s position on Isreal-Palestine relations. Under Mao Zedong, China sided with Palestine and former Chinese leaders such as Deng Xiaopin had almost unconditional support for the revolutionary cause led by Yasser Arafat, who was called and old friend of the Chinese people.

The Palestinian case was a rare example of China directly interfering with the affairs of the Middle East. Aside from being an example of China´s idealist foreign policy during this period, support for Palestine also represented Beijing´s political calculation. As Palestine had widespread support from other Arab countries, China´s stance helped it win influence in the third world. Under these circumstances, China was unwilling to accept positive overtures from Israel.

Even though Israel was the firs country in the Middle East to acknowledge the founding of PRC, the two countries would not establish official diplomatic relations until 1992. During the 1980s, China began to abandon ideologically driven diplomacy as part of its reform and opening process. Chin gradually began to draw closer to Israel.

The reason is quite simple. Israel´s defense technology was attractive to china. Today, China-Israel military exchanges and economic cooperation have become two major pillars for bilateral relations. At the same time, China´s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has changed from unilateral condemnation of Israel to a neutral stance.

Though the Chinese government has tried to keep a low-profile and keep its diplomacy balanced between Israel and Palestine, China also faces threats from terrorism and extremism. Thus it cannot stay out of the conflict completely. The security of western China is closely connected with the security of the Middle East.

While its true that the U.S. and China have different methodologies through which they interact with the larger world – the U.S prefers multinational partnerships backed by american security guarantees while China favors a system of bilateral relations and the pursuit of regional hegemony in east Asia, both recognize that terrorism is a trans-border threat.

Moreover, as both countries are potential targets of terrorist organizations and both are economically tried to regions regularly destabilized by terror, it follows that the U.S and China also would have a shared interest in combatting global terrorism. However, they have yet to cooperate.

The reason for this is political (as argued in an recent article on the topic by the Diplomat 20/7/2014 “Can the US and China Cooperate on Counterterrorism?”), not strategic. On either side there are strong arguments to suggest they should, if only the political hang-ups could be overcome. “The domino effect that terrorism creates is of particular importance in two regions: the Middle East and South Asia”.

The Middle East, a region beset by economic stagnation and sectarian tension, has begat a variety of radical groups with a penchant for violence and unforgiving ideologies. These groups, using the cleavages wrought by political and economic failings, emerge alongside other criminal forces, further waken regional states, and disrupt international commerce.

Particular cases include Yeman, where al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penisula (AQAP) has used a weak state to further destabilize the country; Syria, where the civil war features Assad-allied Hezbollah fighting against, among others, the al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra front and Iraq, where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIS, operates withn the context of the Syrian civil war to lead successful attacks against the Iraqi state. This was, in part, the lesson learned by the U.S. after 9/11 and one currently resonating in China in the wake of a series of attacks by radical groups.

Like the Middle East, South Asia is a region where most states underperform economically and where sectarian differences often define both domestic and regional politics. Terrorist organizations have used this environment to their benefit in Sri Lanka, Bangaladesh, Nepal, and even the regions powerhouse, India. Yet, it is the Afghanistan Pakistan region where the most powerful and violent terrorist organizations operate.

Since September 11, 2011, combatting terrorism has been a core objective of U.S foreign policy. That objective led to the invasion of afghanistan, the removal of Taliban from power, and a global campaign against al -Qaeda. And it remains a priority today, with the Obama administration reaffirming the danger of terror, seeking to combat the growing influence of ISIS, and working to mitigate the influence of violent extremism throughout the Middle east and South Asia.

Austrian Gemuetlichkeit and Russian Druzba.

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Austrian relations with European union and Russia is undergoing a dramatic  transformation, over the crises in Ukraine and after last week´s downing of flight MH17. While Austria is a member of the European union and should, therefor, endorse the bloc´s sanctions against Russia particularly after Russian aggression, Austria´s President Heinz Fisher has rejected the U.S and EU´s criticism and signed a deal for Austrian of the controversial South Stream gas pipeline that bypases Ukraine.

Defying all Western critique, such as from Sweden´foreign minister Carl Bildt, who said “Austria views itself as an intermediator between East and West. ..It may regard actions or sanctions against Russian aggression as understandable, but would rather let others be publicly confrontational, Vienna prefers remaining in the shadows, doing business and offering permanent “open dialogue”

What´s more, the Trans – Atlantic unity had been essential in discouraging further Russian aggression and that the Austrians should consider carefully its relationship with Russia, said the US embassy in Vienna on the Austrian move. It came just hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Vienna for a one-day visit.

Putin and Fischer also emphasized Russia’s and Austria’s close business ties, with Putin calling Austria an “important and reliable” partner. Traditionally, Austria has been an importer of both Russian crude oil and natural gas, although the relative share of russia in these two product groups is vastly different. Its is rather modest when it comes to oil

Austria and Russian friendship is built on history.

Before the First World War, most of Europe was ruled by monarchs related to George V, King of the United Kingdom, but during after the war, the monarchies of Austria, Germany, Greece,a Spain like Russia, fell to revolution and war. George himself inherited the throne at a politically turbulent time.

The origins of modern day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nations, which had included more than 500 independent states. The house also produced kings of England, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Ireland , Portugal and Spain as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian countries. Although today closely associated with the Habsburg dynasty, until 1246, Austira was a feudal possession of the younger House of Babenberg. Margrave Leopold the Generous (1136-1141) was loyal liensman of the Imperial House of Hohenstaufen in the struggle against the Bavarian Welf dynasty.

The office of Holy roman Emperor was traditionally elective, (German prince-electors usually elected one of their peers as King of the Romans) although frequently controlled by dynasties.

The precise term Holy Roman Empire was not used until the 13th century but the concept of transiatio imperial (transfer of rule) was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor, the notion that he held supreme power inherited from the emperors of Rome.

The history of diplomatic relation between Russia and Austria goes back to the 15th century, when the Austrian kaiser, Maximilian and the Russian tsar, Ivan III exchanged legations. An Sustrian noblemen, Sigismund bon Herber-stein, twice led embassies from the Hasbrug Holy Roman emperor to Basil III (1505-1533) in Moscow.

The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) one of the most destructive conflicts in european history, and one of the longest continuous wars in modern history, influenced the Kingdom of Sweden and Kingdom of France, the rise of the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Napoleonic invasions and all weakened the power of the Emperor in the North of Germany. (It also made the Russian Empire a permanent force in the European balance of power).

In 1719 John Carteret, a British Lord, became ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the Queen of Sweden. In that post he ensured continuing freedom of trade in the Baltic, mediated between Sweden and Denmark to achieve a treaty, and brought about peace between Sweden, Prussia, andPrime Minister David Cameron is the youngest of the Queen’s Prime Ministers. the proposed change in the law regarding primogeniture, one of the most significant in a thousand years of monarchy and his most important dealing with the Queen so far in his Premiership Hanover in March 1720 . He also played a similar role in France before being appointed secretary of state for the Southern Department (equivalent to the post of home secretary) by Sir Robert Walpole, the First Lord of the Treasury and the prime minister.

Carteret was the only minister who could converse with George I, who spoke only German. In other words, although the Peace of Augsburg created a temporary end to hostilities it did not resolve the underlying religious conflict, which was made yet more complex by the spread of Calvinism throughout Germany in the years that followed.

Austria and Prussia had also a long standing conflict and rivalry for supremacy in Central Europe during the 18th centuries, termed German dualism. The rivalry is held to have begun when upon the death of the Habsburg. Emperor Charles VI in 1740, King Frederick the Great of Prussia launched an invasion of Austrian controlled Silesia, starting the Silesian Wars against Maria Theresa.

Uncertainty of wars outcome and settlement of deadly conflict of borders

Uncertainty of wars outcome and settlement of deadly conflict of borders – The Austrian diplomat Klemens von Metternich, who worked on territorial disputes in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, was one of the most important diplomats of his era, serving as the Foreign Minister of the Austrian Empire form 1809 until the liberal revolutions of 1848 that forced his resignation.

Austria maintained an alliance with Russia for most of the eighteenth century, because its rival, France, was seeking aid from Russia´s neighbors Poland and Turkey. Austria and Russia prevented Stanislaw Leszczynski, a French supported candidate to the Polish throne, form unseating the Saxon dysnasty in the War of the Polish Succession (1733 -1735). Russia also supported Maria Theresa´s claim to the inheritance of her father, Emperor Charles VI, in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Year´s War (1756-1763).

During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, Russia and Austria were allies in the War of the Second Coalition. French victories forced Austria to make an alliance with Napoleon. Wen the invasion failed, however, Austria joined Russia, Prussia, and Great Britain in the final coalition that defeated Napoleon in 1814 and occupied Paris.

The Duke of Wellington´s victory over Napoleaon´s army in 1815 put an end to Napoleon´s ambitions to rule all of Europe.

Wellington at Waterloo is interesting, becouse its won by the forces of reaction and Blucher and Wellington are supreme reactionaries. The French ruler had ambitions to invade and rule Britain. A decade earlier from 1803 to 1805 Napoleon has gathered at Boulogne but it never made across the English Channel because of the supremacy of the Royal Naval.

In PHOTO Kleamens von Metternich, one of the most important diplomats of his era, serving at the time as the Foreign Minister of the Austrian Empire form 1809 until the liberal revolutions of 1848 that forced his resignation. One of his first tasks was to engineer a détente with France that included the marriage of Napoleon to the Austrian Arch-Duchess Marie  Louise. Soon after, however, he engineered Austria´s entry into the War of the Sixth Coalition on the Allied side, signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau that sen Napoleon into exile and led the Austrian delegation at the Congress of Vienna.

His supporter point out that he presided over the Age of Metternich when international diplomacy helped prevent major wars in Europe. His qualities as a diplomat have also been commended some add that his achievements were all the better given the weakness of his negotiating position. His decision to oppose Russian imperialism is also seen as a good one.

1st Chancellor of Germany office.: Upon his 1862 appointment by King Wilhelm as minister President of Prussia, Otto von Bismarck provoked three short, decisive wars against Denmark, Austria and France, aligning the smaller German states behind Prussia in defeating his archenemy France. In 1871 he formed the German Empire with himself as Chancellor, while retaining control of Prussia. His diplomacy politics (based primarily on power and on practical and material factors and considerations, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral or ethical premises) “realpolitik” and powerful rule at home gained him the nickname the iron Chancellor”.

Otto von Bismack used his unrivaled diplomatic skills to maintain Germany´s position and used the balance of power to keep Europe at peace in the 1870s and 1880s. German unification and its rapid economic growth was the foundation to his foreign policy.

In his speech “Blood and Iron” when an increase in military was refused to approve ..Bismarck as Minister President concluded his speech following statement; before the Budget Committee ,

The position of Prussia in Germany will not be determined by its liberalism but by its power …Prussia must concentrate its strength and hold it for the favorable moment, which has already come and gone several times. Since the treaties of Vienna, our frontiers have been III-designed for a healthy body politic. Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849 but by Iron and blood

Germany, prior to the 1860s consisted of a multitude of principalities loosely bound as members of the German Confederation, Bismarck used both diplomacy and the Prussian military to achieve unification, excluding Austria from a unified Germany. Not only did this make Prussia the most powerful and dominant component of the new Germany, but also ensured that it remained authoritarian, rather than a liberal parliamentary regime.

Historians debated.. and they concluded that factors in addition the strength of Bismarcks Realpolitik led a collection of early modern polities to reorganize political, economic, military, and diplomatic relationships in the 19th century. Reaction to Danish and French nationalism provided foci for expressions of German unity. Military successes especially those of Prussia in three regional wars generated enthusiasm and pride that politicians could harness to promote unification.

Prussia´s victory over Austria increased tensions with France. Its emperor, Napoleon II, feared that a powerful Germany would change the balance of power in Europe; opposition politician Adolphe Thiers had observed, it was France, not Austria, who was really defeated at Königgrätz.

The Austro-Prussian war provided a great opportunity for Prussian statesman, by clearing a path toward German unification, in particular with Little Germany (Germany without Austria) solution, with the subsequent foundation of the North German Confederation.

The outcome also ensured that Prussia would have a free hand when the inevitable war with France came to pass in 1871. With the rise of Prussia the Austrian-Prussian dualism began in Germany. Austria participated, together with Prussia and Russia. This German dualism presented two solutions to the problem of unification the small German solution (Germany without Austria) or greater Germany solution (Germany with Austria).

Historian Paul Schroeder argues that the old formulas for balance of power were in fact highly destabilizing and predatory. He says the Congress of vienna avoided them and instead set up rules and system that produced a stable and benign equilibrium.

The congress of Vienna was the first of a series of international meetings that came to be known as the Concert of Europe, which was an attempt to forge a peaceful balance of power in europe.

The model of diplomatic spheres of influence resulting from the Congress of Vienna 1814-15 after the Napoleonic Wars endorsed Austrian dominance in Central Europe. After Congress of Vienna. At Congress of Vienna 1814 settlement, Astria and Russia made major territorial gainsu. During 17th and 18th centuries Austria was able to retain its position as one of the great powers of Europe. However, the negotiators at Vienna took no account of Prussia´s growing strength within and among the German states and so failed to foresee that Prussia would rise up to challenge Austria for leadership within the German states.

More sustained relations between Austria and Russia began , after the Thirty Years war meeting 1698, when the russian tsar Peter the Great I visited Vienna and met Kaiser Leopold I, that regular diplomatic contacts between the two countries actually started.

After the collapse of both the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian Empires (1918) following World War I, when Austria-Hungary was defeated by the Allied Powers, one of which was the United States of America, it used the name the Republic of German-Austria in an attempt for union with German, but was forbidden due to the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919).

For nearly a century since, historians have debated the causes of the war. Some have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, other have, as war is, concluded it was unavoidable. To explain the causes of World War I. West German historian Andreas Hillgruber argued that in 1914, a calculated risk on the part of Berlin had gone awry. Hillgruber argued that what the imperial German government had attempted to do in 1914 was to break the informal Triple Entente of Russia, France and Britain by encouraging Austria-Hungary to invade Serbia and thus provoke a crisis in an area that would concern only St. Petersburg.

Hillgrube argued that the Germans hope that both Paris and London would decide the crisis in the Balkans did not concern then and that lack of Anglo-French support would lead the Russians to reach an understanding with Germany.

Other authors, such as Taylor´s opinion, is that none of the great powers wanted a war but all of the great powers wished to increase their power relative to the others.

Hillgruber argued that when the Austrian attack on Serbia caused Russia to mobilize instead of backing down. In Hillgrubers´s opinion the German government had pursued a high-risk diplomatic strategy of provoking a war in the Balkans that had inadvertently caused a world war. Recently, American historian David Fromkin has blamed elements in the military leadership of Germany and Austria-Hungary (a first formulated by Austria-Hungarian and the second by German) to start a war with Serbia to reinvigorate a fading Austro-Hungarian Empire. the second secret plan was that of the German Military leadership to provoke a wider war with France and Russia.

He thought that the German military leadership, in the midst of a European arms race, believed that they would be unable to further expand the German army without extending the officer corps beyond the traditional Prussian aristocracy. Rather than allowing that to happen, they manipulated Austria-Hungary into starting a war with Serbia in the expectation that Russia would intervene, giving Germany a pretext to launch what was in essence a preventive war. Part of his thesis is that German military leadership were convinced that by 1916-18, Germany would be too weak to win a war with France, England and Russia.

Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the Republic of Austria resumed in 1924.

following World War II, Austria and Vienna similarly to Germany and Berlin were divided into four sectors falling under the responsibility of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union, respectively. However, unlike Germany, Austria was not divided into two separate counties and continued to exist as a single state.

In economic terms, it remained a market economy and was trading extensively with the countries of the European Communities. The Soviet Union was also one of the four signatories to the State Treaty of Austria in May 1955.

Austria was the first western European country to sign, in 1968, long-term gas supply deals with Moscow. Russia is Austria’s third-biggest non-EU trading partner after the United States and Switzerland. There are important mutual business interests and somewhat tangled Austrian foreign policy, oscillating between its commitments to European and Western allies and a longing for a long bygone intermediary position between East and West.

Russia gas for Austria imports

The relatively high dependence of Austria on Russian gas is explained by the relative geographical proximity and the existing infrastructure, given that some of the major gas pipelines from Russia to Europe run via the Austrian territory. More importantly, Austria is a crucial gas supply hub for a number of European countries through Ukraine and Slovakia and transits to Italy, France, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia and Croatia.

Austria has a domestic transmission and distribution pipeline network. There are three Transmission System Operators (OMV Gas, BOG, Trans Austria Gasleiturng) From Baumgarte, one of the most important natural gas hubs in Europe, to Germany, France and from West to Wast to Central Europe.

Traditionally, Austria has been an importer of both Russian crude oil and natural gas, although the relative share of russia in these two product groups is vastly different. Its is rather modest when it comes to oil: according to the Austrian Statistical Agency Russia accounted for just 6.6 per cent of Austria´s oil imports.

Thus, statistically, Russia is Austria´s fifth biggest oil supplier, although its real role is probably higher given that some top spots are occupied by the transit rather than the oil producing countries, for Germany alone accounted for 38.4 per cent of Austria´s oil imports in 2006.

In terms of natural gas, the importance of Russia for Austria is much greater, standing at 62.7 per cent of Austria´s natural gas imports. Another important supplier is Norway with share of 15.3 per cent in 2007.

Over the past few years, bilateral investments between Austria and Russia have been developing relatively dynamically, partly due to the investment-related provisions of the Russia-EU partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Austria has investment worth €8, 5 billion in Russia, while Russian investment in Austria run to about €10,15 billion. Meanwhile Austrian banks have more than €36 billion outstanding loans to Russian borrowers which makes Austria´s financial sector a strong opponent of harsher Western financial sanctions.

There is sense of Austrian (Gemuetlichkeit) cosiness and Russian (Druzba) friendship which survives unperturbed by any geopolitical storm, domestic upheaval or historic change. Because for Austrians and Russians alike, no matter what currently sets the world on fire, there is always some time for a good ski-run whether in the Alps or Caucasus.

While this may have been a well-functioning, if sometimes dubious, foreign policy during the Cold War, when Austria really was a neutral country between two blocs (albeit quite closely integrated with the West) today this policy looks increasingly outdated, particularly in view of the country´s EU membership.

Russia needs to commit to defusing tension. This means securing borders, withdrawing all military forces and preventing further violence in eastern Ukraine, and cooperate with the government of Ukraine to meet its Geneva commitments. The Trans – Atlantic unity had been essential in discouraging further Russian aggression and that the Austrians should consider carefully its relationship with Russia. There may be a small chance that Austria offers Russia a smooth way back into the global community if the Russian president de-escalates the crisis –

New European Commission by a strong EP majority of 422 votes.

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This morning European Parliament approves Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission: “Junker” has been elected, as President of the European Commission, by a strong majority of 422 votes for, 250 against, 47 abstained, 10 invalid.

Speaking ahead of the vote, he presented his political guidelines for the next European Commission as set out in a document entitled “A new start for Europe”: on ten policy areas. Jean-Claude Juncker’s Political Guidelines is to restore European citizens’ confidence.

Two weeks ago EU agreed on this political agenda, which sets out five overarching priorities and will guide the work of the European Union over the next five years. Tomorrow will be a good moment to discuss the follow-up of these priorities with Jean-Claude Juncker.

After being proposed as candidate for Commission President by the European Council on 27 June 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker needed a majority of 376 votes in the European Parliament.eu

For the first time, a direct link has thereby been established between the outcome of the European Parliament elections and the proposal of the President of the European Commission.

This follows long-standing calls from the European Parliament echoed and repeated over several decades. It has the potential to insert a very necessary additional dose of democratic legitimacy into the European decision-making process,including a general ‘tidying-up’ exercise by providing for clearer legal bases where the Union already acts with the Member States. It also is a unique opportunity for a fresh start.

During the course of 2014 there will not only be anew College of Commissioners, but also a new President of the European Council, and new High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Following the electoral campaign for the European Parliament, the European Council’s proposition needs a very careful analysis of each solution’s strengths and weaknesses –

The recent European Parliamentary election has been followed by much uproar concerning the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ or ‘leading candidate system’ chosen for the Commission presidency. This is understandable, considering both the position’s importance, and that this is the first time the Lisbon Treaty has been applied in this matter.

The European Parliament is the only directly elected body in the EU Ït is doubtful, that European Constitution project would gain more support within the European population if it does not strengthen the democratic accountability of European Parliament.

The report on the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon with respect to the European Parliament is intended to strengthen the Commission’s democratic legitimacy,and the way in which decisions are taken.

However, we should not increase the present confusion among the public. For example, on one side, the candidates, headed by Mr Juncker, explain that the party with the highest votes must get the job. On the other side, some national leaders, led by Mr Cameron, affirm that the European Council can do whatever it wants. Paradoxically, both sides are wrong.

First, the Treaty. According to Article 17(7) of the EU Treaty introduced at Lisbon, ‘taking into account the elections to the European Parliament and after having held the appropriate consultations, the European Council, acting by a qualified majority, shall propose to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the Commission.’

This implies consequences.

  1. The Council proposes, the Parliament disposes. So those who speak about an ‘appointment’ by the Council are wrong.
  2. The Council must take into consideration the results of the election, but it has a margin of appreciation, otherwise the text has no meaning.

So those who speak about a ‘right’ to be chosen are also wrong. There is no obligation to nominate anybody precisely. Nonetheless, the need to ultimately obtain a majority in the Parliament is quite relevant.

Secondly, the electoral promises. All the main political parties have chosen a spitzenkandidat for the European Commission’s presidency. They have made these declarations loudly in most (not all) Member States. The heads of government know that very well. They are strongly connected to the political parties, since they meet quite regularly and publicly in this context.

From the point of view of European Member States MEPs, which voluntarily choose to promote their own policy goals, and then act collectively to secure these goals, it is impossible to escape European Councils control over the agenda. Nevertheless, cohesion is relatively strong.

Thirdly, the context must be seen. Many people in many circles deplore the lack of connection between the actions of the EU and its citizens. With the directly elected at the European levels, to operate as the voice of the people in the EU governance system. The actions of EU citizens and election’s results were a strong sign for the heads of government of member states and the trust of European Commission and the Council.

The Treaty text did not make this mandatory, but it was decided nonetheless – and rightly. An election must matter, and the stakes were much clearer for the voters this way. Given this background, those who say the Council has no constraints acting on it are especially wrong.

This constraint remains far from absolute, however. For example, if the entire Parliamentary election had produced the same result as in France, there would not be many people pleading today for the nomination of Mme Le Pen to the presidency. If the centre left had the majority in the European Council (quod non), the heads of government could be tempted to nominate a centre-left candidate to be considered by a centre-right Parliament. They should resist such a temptation.

Additionally, the weight of the euro is underestimated in this debate. The next five years will be crucial for the euro’s future, which remains rocky. Will the (euro) majority of the Member States entrust this delicate situation to a president from a non-eurozone state? It is unclear. With the eurozone candidates, the problem changes. We must thus weigh the consequences of the various options against them.

It shows also a second dimension, which relates to the speed and nature of European integration and battles between the European Parliament and the Council and Commission. There lies another Juncker advantage. He has pleaded both for serious restructuring programmes in the peripheral States, and for solidarity in the core States.

 At the end of the day, the decision belongs to the Parliament, not the Council. The system’s new logic is parliamentary, not diplomatic and Council can´t do whatever it wants under the consultation procedure..

The European Parliament is the only directly elected body in the EU. While being often criticised or vilified by some national politicians and national media, one should not forget that it is also the European institution that is most trusted by European citizens.

This is the keystone, and it must be taken into consideration. This change is not accepted by those who want the system used in 1995, 1999 or 2004 to be rolled out again. Considering these promises, the European Council’s margin of appreciation must be used extremely carefully.

Iran, Europe and the United States share interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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After a decade-long engagement the transatlantic partners are currently on track to transfer full security responsibilities to Afghan forces. This exit strategy has been a work in progress for several years. As U.S. president Barack Obama campaigned to end the war in Afghanistan and as president has repeatedly pledged to finish the job. The re-election of President Obama helped even ensure that the timetable will remain in place and that the transition will accur without interruption.

European governments used the US announcement of a drawdown timeline as an opportunity to gradually remove their forces without facing heavy US criticism for doing so. Although it was already becoming clear that the surge had not achieved its full intended effect, NATO leaders nevertheless pledged to abide by a conditions-based by improving the security situation on the ground and not a calendar -driven approach and the international community to provide sustained agreement and practical support to Afghan security institutions beyond 2014.

Rasmussen played a valuable role in helping convince NATO members to contribute additional forces to President Barack Obama’s surge strategy,” say Jorge Benitez, senior fellow for trans-Atlantic security at the Washington, D.C.-based Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

Simply, “ruling out” NATO operations in both Syria and Iraq is not in the best interest of the alliance. This region of the world is spinning rapidly out of control, with dangerous implications for both Europe and the United States. Many terrorism experts and government officials now consider ISIS as an offshoot of al-Qaeda that broke with its parent organization over strategic differences to be the world´s most dangerous terrorist organization.

At this point, ISIS is more terrorist army than terrorist group. A U.S intelligence official says ISIS has about 7,000 in Syria and 3,000 in Iraq. With some 3.000 Europeans, North Americans and Australians are in Syria and Iraq, according to security analysts, a once distant war in which the West had no immediate involvement could be coming much closer.

As many as 3,000 foreign fighters from Europe and North America have gone to Syria and Iraq to become soldiers, most often fighting for jihadist groups such as ISIS and Al-Nusra. Western foreign fighters have traveled to conflicts in the Islamic world in the past—in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Somalia, for example—but never in such numbers.

France estimates that 700 of its citizens have gone to Syria, and Germany believes there are roughly 320 German citizens alongside Islamist rebels there. And Turkey have at leas 1,000 Turkish fighters in this Islamic state and of course you have the spillover on Lebanon.

Now, more trouble is brewing on Turkey´s souther border, more than 80 Turks taken hostage by ISIL. Turkey is very much aware of the risks posed by ISIS. One way to rebuild consistency and trust is to control the jihadists at the Turkish-Syrian border, instead of calling tourists the thousand of European and Arab fighters who have gone to or come back from Syria,

Turkey would be better off implementing tight controls at its borders, regional airports and Istanbul airports. Lists have been given by European intelligence services: Turkey to ensure that their control of the border, cooperation has been offered and controls have been tightened at the European end of the circuit. So, there is and there are steps taken with some results with the numbers of foreign nationals who will not be able to cross Turkish borders now, having increased to more than 5,000. the time has come to show solid counter-terrorism results.

Most European citizens agree with the security priorities identified by the EU. Indeed , according to a Eurobarometer, Europeans identify terrorism and organized crime as two of their top concerns. Cyber security, nuclear disasters and environmental degradation are also perceived as security challenges to a lesser extent – cyber-crime is seen as an emerging challenge, likely to increase in the medium term. This is not a challenge unique to the European Union. But it also speaks to a deeper question that has to do immigration policy at the EU level on security or mobility (as well as the strategic debate inside and outside Europe. And If future policy is about security and safety).

Illustrating that point, the advance in Iraq and Syria of the Islamic State poses a threat to both Europeans and the United States security, while clarifying choices for policymakers on Global Approach to Migration and Mobility. A policy looking into the distance and addressing the serious demographic challenges that await over the next decade. The question has to do with if we need new strategy for global and regional conflict to enhance credibility and to meet requirements of extended conventional deterrence.

Western security officials have seen this movie before. Afghanistan´s decadelong battle with the Soviet Union in the 1980s attracted any where from 10,000 to 20,000, some of whom went on to form al-Qaeda including Osama bin Laden. For Iran, the breakup of Iraq and the creation of a radical Islamist Sunni state next door would be catastrophic.

Simply put, in order to give the next Afghan president an opportunity to stabilize the country, the United States and its NATO allies should reconsider extending the mission in Afghanistan past 2016 during the alliance’s September “force generation” summit in Wales, although their mission should remain limited to training and enabler assistance.

The choices ahead are difficult and questions confronting the United States and Iran is no longer whether to work together but how to do so. And in light of decades of distrust and animosity, communications between the two countries can be greatly facilitated by reaching a comprehensive nuclear agreement in talks at Vienna.

Whether Iran is racing toward nuclear weapon capabilities is one of the most contentious foreign-policy issues challenging the West.

The whole negotiation is about adding substantially to the time it would take Iran to produce a nuclear device if it reneged on the agreement.

This is all the more important in the light of recent nuclear negotiations with Iran and security challenges we face today.

Thanks largely to the crippling sanctions that US and EU worked hard to put in place, our partners were able to achieve the six-month “interim” deal that halted further progress in Iran’s nuclear program at a minimal price in terms of measures to ease sanctions.

E3 EU+3 remains united in its determination and commitment to seek a comprehensive agreement

E3 EU+3 remains united in its determination and commitment to seek a comprehensive agreement.

The Joint Plan of Action adopted by Iran and the P5+1 partners in Geneva on November 24 was an important first step in the effort to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons.

Iran and the P5+1 nations appear to be fulfilling their commitments under the six-month interim agreement – but reaching a final deal seem to be challenging, as the sides remain far apart on key issues.

After three days of intensive talks with his Iranian counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry said that “tangible progress” had been made in negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, and that he would return to Washington to consult with President Obama over whether to extend a Sunday deadline for a final agreement.

At a short news conference

Kerry Cites ‘Progress’ in Iran Talks and Says ‘there is work still to do, and we believe there is a path forward, …I am confident that the United States and our partners in the P5+1 remain as squarely focused as ever on testing whether or not we can find a negotiated solution to this most pressing international security imperative. American team as well as our colleagues from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran, and particularly Cathy Ashton of the European Union and her team, whose stewardship of these negotiations has been indefatigable and superb.

..Our team will continue working very hard to try to reach a comprehensive agreement that resolves the international community’s concerns. In that effort, we have built a broad coalition of countries, including our P5+1 colleagues, to ensure that the international community is speaking with one voice.

Iranians have returned to earth but are not yet in the ballpark of reasonable offers. When the talks began six months ago, it was generally assumed that if an accord to roll back Iran’s nuclear program was to be reached. But as the July 20 deadline approaches, an accord is not yet in hand.

The temporary agreement allows for an extension of the talks for up to six months. Iran would have to accept sharp limits on its number of working centrifuges — for a decade or more and a robust inspection. That is at the core of the problem of any deal.

President Obama has made it a top priority to pursue a diplomatic effort to see an agreement that assures that the Iranian nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.

Iran has a right to have a peaceful nuclear program under Article IV of the NPT condition that their nuclear activities must comply with Articles I and II of the Treaty.– there’s no question about that – a peaceful program. And what our partners are now working on is: How do you guarantee that what they do have is in fact purely peaceful and that it adheres to the stated intentions of the Supreme Leader and other leaders of Iran never to have a nuclear weapon?

So Iran can have a peaceful nuclear program and they know how to get there. It’s by living up to the demands of the international community, the United Nations Security Council; the IAEA questions need to be answered, the additional protocol needs to be adhered to; and a specific set of verification and transparency measures need to be put in place among other things that make the promises real.

That’s the nature. It’s not specific to Iran. Any country would be in the same place and need to do the same thing, as they do with respect to any kind of agreement.

A new strategic relationship between the United States and Iran may seem impossible and risky, yet it is also necessary and in the interests of both.Iran, EU and the United States share interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finally, strengthened or new partnerships between countries in different levels of development will prove indispensible to maintain security and mobility between borders. Iran’s intelligence network, religious identity, political influence, history and geography give it a pre eminent role in both countries.

At the same time, U.S. air power, special forces, military advisers, recent history and a commitment not to waste the lives and money the United States invested in both places likewise assure that it has a major part to play. The nuclear negotiations with Iran must be resolved before the United States, its partners and Iran can agree to have regular talks on the issue.

22 September 2014

Resolution, proposed by the United States, would for the first time establish international standards for nations to prevent and suppress the recruiting of their citizens by terrorist organizations, and bar the entry and transit across their territory of suspected foreign terrorists.

On January 12,  Brookings institution, (that help policymakers and the public engage the great challenges facing the U.S. and the international community in the 21st century) will host the Center on the United States and Europe and the Center on Middle East Policy to launch a new policy paper that examines the threat that Western foreign fighters pose to their homelands.

The U.S. and European officials have expressed fears that this unprecedented flow of foreign fighters creates a serious threat that some of them will someday return and commit terrorist acts in their country of origin.

Update May 2015

During talks in Brussels May 2015, NATO Secretary General, Jen Stoltenberg, told the EU to be on alert for terrorists hidden amongst the thousands of migrants currently being rescued. The Daily Telegraph reports.

It is worth giving the cease-fire a chance to encourage peace in the region.

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On 7 July 2014, the Israeli army launched a large military operation in the Gaza Strip, codenamed “Protective Edge”, with the stated objective of stopping Palestinian rocket firing at southern Israel and destroying the military infrastructure of Hamas and other armed groups.

Indiscriminate rocket firing by armed groups from Gaza continues to target main Israeli population centres, resulting in at least seven injuries. No country should be expected to stand by while rocket attacks from a terrorist organization are launching into their country. The EU condemns rockets and recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself against missiles’ attacks and calls for proportionate reaction.

The latest escalation round started on early June, characterized by an intensification of Israeli airstrikes and Palestinian shooting rockets at southern Israel. Tensions further increased following the abduction of three Israeli youths in the southern West Bank, on 12 June, which the Israeli government attributed to Hamas.

The escalating conflict has posed a major challenge for the Obama administration two months after its efforts to pursue Middle East peace talks sputtered to a halt and Mr. Kerry said that the peace process would be paused. In a telephone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from China on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry’s message was that the United States would try to help Israel fulfill its goal of stopping Hamas’s rocket fire without a ground assault.

This development marked the collapse of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire understanding reached between Israel and Hamas in November 2012, which has been gradually undermined since December 2013. The cease-fire deal was reached only through a final American diplomatic push. The deal called for a 24-hour cooling-off period to be followed by talks aimed at resolving at least some of the longstanding grievances between the two sides.

As the Gaza emergency enters its fifth day, it is worth giving the cease-fire a chance to encourage peace. The civilian population in the Gaza Strip continues to bear the brunt of casualties: at least 70 per cent of the Palestinian fatalities (89 of 126) are believed to be civilians, of whom 30 per cent (27 of 89) are children, while nearly two thirds of all injuries (500 of 910) have been children and women.

 These figures, along worrisome reports about the circumstances of some incidents, have raised concerns about the respect to the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack under International Humanitarian Law.

Nearly 7,000 children whose homes were destroyed or damaged are believed to be at immediate need of psychosocial (PSS) support. PSS first-aid and training to caregivers/parents are a priority.

Four lines supplying electricity to Gaza, including one from Egypt and three from Israel have been damaged in the past 48 hours, leaving 75 per cent of Gaza City without power. While most repairs are expected to be completed today, these incidents exacerbate the impact of the longstanding electricity deficit affecting Gaza in recent years, which have disrupted the delivery of basic services and undermined livelihoods and living conditions.

Unexploded ordinance and explosive remnants of war present a major hazard to the population, particularly children, especially when they leave their places of shelter to search for their belongings among the rubble of their destroyed houses.

Egypt has historically resisted a broader opening of the crossing, and Israel enforces its embargo on the other sides of Gaza, fearing that it would face an influx of refugees or end up with responsibility for the impoverished enclave.

According to NY Times JULY 14, 2014 Egypt Presents Proposal to Israel and Hamas for a Cease-Fire in Air Attacks.

In a statement, Pierre Krähenbühl, the commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza called on the Israeli Army to “put an end.” On Tuesday, the State Department issued a statement supporting the cease-fire efffort.

Egypt is widely considered the natural regional mediator in such conflicts. The Egyptians deserve the time and the space to be able to try to make this initiative work ones more, and international community hope it will. The international community will give its full backing to such an initiative.

Tony Blair, the special envoy of the quartet of Middle East peacemakers, which included the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, welcomed the proposal in a statement.

Secretary Kerry has been deeply engaged in conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Egyptian government officials and President Abbas throughout this difficult period,and the United States remains committed to working with regional partners to find a resolution to this dangerous and volatile situation.

We urge all parties to support this ceasefire, and we support and we ask all the members of the Arab community, as they did today at the Arab League meeting in Cairo, to continue to press to try to get Hamas to do the right thing, which is cease the violence, engage in a legitimate negotiation, and protect the lives of people that they seem all too willing to put to risk.

Raoul Wallenberg a diplomat who chose not to be indifferent and to rise to a higher moral calling.

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Raoul Wallenberg 100th anniversary in London

Around the world there are monuments, statues, and other works of art that honour Wallenberg. Raoul Wallenberg 100th anniversary in London 2012

Two years ago marked the centennial of the birth of a truly remarkable man, the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. In 2012, the year “Raoul Wallenberg Year 2012″ was spent celebrating his life and achievements — and not just in Sweden and the United States, but in Hungary, in Israel, and in countless other locations around the globe.

In Jerusalem there is a memorial, Yad Vashem, dedicated to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II. A street named ‘Avenue of the Righteous’ runs through the area, bordered by 600 trees planted to honour the memory of non-Jewish individuals who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazi executioners.

His courageous and brilliant actions in Budapest during World War II that saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust deserve our respect, admiration and emulation.

In 1944, the United States established the War Refugee Board (WRB), an organisation whose task was to save Jews from Nazi persecution. Once the WRB understood that Sweden was making serious attempts to save Jews in Hungary, it set out to find someone who could launch a major rescue operation in Budapest. Wallenberg was offered the job and accepted.

A diplomat and businessman, Wallenberg was appointed legation secretary of the Swedish diplomatic mission in Budapest in June 1944. His job was to launch a rescue operation for Jews, and he became head of a special department. By issuing protective Swedish passports and renting Buildings – ‘Swedish houses’ where Jews could seek shelter.

Wallenberg demonstrated a sense of self-sacrifice to the greater good of his fellow human beings that is a lesson to us all.

Few Swedes have received as much international acclaim and attention as Raoul Wallenberg. In 1981, he became the second of a total of just seven people to be named honorary citizens of the United States. The others include Winston Churchill and Mother Teresa. In 1985, he was made an honorary citizen of Canada, and in 1986 an honorary citizen of Israel.

Today on July 9, the American Congress will speak for all Americans and convey a powerful message through the bestowal of the Congressional Gold Medal to remember the courageous acts of Raoul Wallenberg.

Raoul Wallenberg was a diplomat who chose not to be indifferent and to rise to a higher moral calling.

We remember and revere this courageous man whose efforts saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust. Wallenberg risked his life, and ultimately gave his life, for his commitment to basic values. We all have the obligation to ponder the full measure of Wallenberg’s personal sacrifice and tragedy.

A number of diplomats chose to risk their careers and even their lives, and defied official protocols, rules and immigration “policies” to rescue Jews. Many of these diplomats were censured or punished for their acts of courage. Some were fired. Some were stripped of their ranks and pensions. Others were ostracized in their home countries. Their rescue efforts took many forms. Among other selfless acts, they issued visas, citizenship papers and other forms of documentation that allowed Jews to escape the Nazis. These diplomats chose not to be indifferent and to rise to a higher moral calling.

Even today, Raoul Wallenberg is a strong role model and a symbol the common European values. Because of his efforts in Hungary, because of the lives he saved, but also because of his courage to stand up for democracy, freedom and HUMAN RIGHTS.

On 22 January 2013 the European parliament inaugurated one of its MEETING ROOMS (ASP 5 G-2, the The Raoul Wallenberg room in the middle european parliamenttemporary PRESS ROOM) in memory of Raoul Wallenberg.

“The importance of not being indifferent” is a timely and relevant operating principle in our relationship with the world today. Advancing human dignity and promoting universal rights is at the core of American values. It is also relevant to the challenges of our times, be they in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere”.writes Mark Brzezinski, U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.

During his historic visit to Sweden last September, President Barack Obama captured the essence of Wallenberg’s legacy:

Wallenberg’s life is a challenge to us all — to live those virtues of empathy and compassion, even when it’s hard, even when it involves great risk. He came from a prominent family, but he chose to help the most vulnerable. He was a Lutheran, and yet he risked his life to save Jews. “I will never be able to go back to Stockholm,” he said, “without knowing inside myself I’d done all a man could do to save as many Jews as possible.”

So when Jews in Budapest were marked with that yellow star, Wallenberg shielded them behind the blue and yellow of the Swedish flag. When they were forced into death marches, he showed up with the food and water that gave them life. When they were loaded on trains for the camps, he climbed on board too and pulled them off. He lived out one of the most important mitzvot, most important commandments in the Jewish tradition — to redeem a captive; to save a life; the belief that when a neighbor is suffering, we cannot stand idly by.

Read ..Honoring Congressional Gold Medal Recipient Raoul Wallenberg: One Man Who Made a Difference; by Mark Brzezinski, U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.

How was it possible for one person to save so many lives? Raoul Wallenberg was the right man in the right place at the right time.

Wallenberg’s fate remains an intriguing mystery. There is still no clear picture of what happened to him after his arrest on 17 January. In April 1945, it became clear that Wallenberg really had disappeared. Information from the Russians indicated that Wallenberg was not in the Soviet Union.

On 20 November 1944, Adolf Eichmann instigated a series of death marches, in which thousands of Jews were forced to leave Hungary on foot under extremely harsh conditions. Wallenberg helped them by distributing passports, food and medicine. In January 1945, the Russians arrived in Budapest. , Wallenberg was arrested by Soviet forces.

In the early 1950s, returning prisoners of war testified that they had met Wallenberg in prison in Moscow. This led to renewed Swedish efforts. In 1957, the Soviet government gave a new answer. They had found a handwritten document dated 17 July 1947, stating that ‘the prisoner Wallenberg [sic]… died last night in his cell.’

Sweden was skeptical but Russia stuck to this story for more than 30 years. In October 1989, demands from the Swedish government and Wallenberg’s family led to a breakthrough. Representatives of the family were invited to Moscow for a discussion. On that occasion, Wallenberg’s passport, pocket calendar and other possessions were handed over to the family. They had apparently been found during repairs at the KGB archives.

Two years later, the Swedish and Soviet governments agreed to appoint a joint working group to clear up the facts about Wallenberg’s fate. Their reports were published in January 2001. The group’s work did not produce any definitive answers; they concluded that many important questions were still unanswered, and that Wallenberg’s dossier could therecould therefore not be closed. In October 2001, the Swedish government appointed an official commission of inquiry, the Eliasson Commission, to investigate the actions of Sweden’s foreign policy establishment in the Raoul Wallenberg case. In 2003, a report was issued in which Swedish political moves were summarised under the heading ‘A diplomatic failure’.

Raoul Wallenberg was not the heroic type in the conventional sense, but he was fearless and a skilled negotiator and organiser. That was how the Swedish diplomat Per Anger (1913-2002) described him. Anger was stationed in Budapest during the war as a secretary at the Swedish Legation. Furthermore, Wallenberg’s background and upbringing furnished him with unique skills.

Partnership an important vector of engagement in a polycentric world.

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Today 4th july we wish our American friends a happy Independence Day and take this opportunity to reflect upon the common values shared by the EU and the United States-including democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights-values We wish our American friends a happy Independence Day 4Th july fireworks-american-flagthat underpin the deep and longstanding relationship between Europe and the U.S.

In terms of values and interests, economic interactions and human bonds, the EU and the US are closer to one another than either is to any other major international actor.

Partnerships are an important vector of engagement in a polycentric world. Across the globe, many governments have devised a number of ‘special relationships’ in the framing of their foreign policy, with neighbouring and distant countries, as well as with some multilateral organisations.

The proliferation of partnerships over the last two decades exposes both the relevance of this trend and the great heterogeneity, and uneven value, of these relationships. This European Strategic Partnerships Observatory (ESPO) June 2014 paper examines the purpose and content of US ‘strategic partnerships’ with other countries worldwide.

Relations that the US has designated as ‘strategic partnerships’ must be understood within the broader context of the post-Cold War ‘American system’, which consists of a pantheon of relationships that include treaty-based multilateral and bilateral alliances, ‘major non-NATO allies’, ‘comprehensive partnerships’, bi-national ‘commissions’, ‘strategic dialogues’ and ‘regional architectures’. These categories are not mutually exclusive and often overlap.

The political, economic and military bonds between Europe and North America remain as important as ever in the defence of our common values shared by the United States and Europe, As NATO’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said …we agree that we have collective responsibility to defend what we have worked so hard to build over the last 70 years.

What does this mean in concrete terms?

A number of things. For example, a deep respect for everything that in today’s multipolar and multicultural world constitutes “otherness”, a respect resulting from a profound understanding of the positive values inherent in other worlds. At the same time the courage to step out of the world of pragmatic power considerations and to defend – non-violently – truth and justice wherever they are violated, regardless of whether this could put the most profitable commercial contracts at risk. Taking into account the initiative taken by our Foreign Ministers and to be always on the side of the good, To promote all manifestations of tolerance and understanding among nations and religious worlds.

In connection with security, NATO offered an umbrella of reassurance in which Western Europeans could build what has become the European Union. NATO and the EU cooperate on issues of common interest and work side by side in crisis-management, capability development and political consultations.

NATO has sustained a high operational tempo since the end of the Cold War, evolving from a static and traditional alliance into the world’s leading international organization for collective defense, cooperative security, and crisis management.

This era of high-intensity operations will come to a close with the end of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014-16, but that does not mean NATO can rest on its laurels. Proliferating conflicts in the Middle East, aggressive Russian activities in Europe’s East, an increasing need to address 21st century security challenges.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen as NATO’s twelfth secretary general has played a critical leadership role in spearheading NATO’s modernization efforts, sustaining strong transatlantic support for the mission in Afghanistan, and, most recently, ably leading NATO’s response to the crisis in Ukraine.

The Secretary General highlighted defence reform and military cooperation as key priorities, offering NATO’s continued support to Ukraine as it strengthens democratic control over the defence sector.

Many, at that time, perceived NATO as a kind of Warsaw Pact twin, established so that democratic states could jointly protect themselves against the spread of Communist power, a twin that would lose its raison d’etre once the adversary had gone. They considered the establishment of some completely new pan-European security alliance, unless they were so naive as to believe that the new era, in which we were all democrats, no longer needed any security alliances.”

“The Washington Treaty, which established NATO, does not state that its purpose is defence against the Soviet threat, but rather the defence of democracy.”

In Havel’s view, in a speech delivered at Warsaw University on March 10, 1998 he says: the transformation of NATO does not consist in transforming a defensive alliance into something that is called a “security system”, but that makes no differentiation between the quality of the regimes in individual states, that perhaps is also prepared to safeguard the right of all kinds of dictatorial regimes to impose limitations on their own citizens.

On the contrary: it consists in strengthening an awareness of Euro-Atlantic democratic values, whose permanence and inalienable nature are the basic guarantee of a world free of war.

US security reassurances to its European allies helped these countries overcome insecurity – and potential strategic rivalry – among themselves, reduced their need to build their security against their neighbours and provided them with an opportunity to pool their resources and draw their militaries together in new ways.

“Yes, Europe is chiefly a ‘soft power’. But even the strongest soft powers cannot make do in the long run without at least some integrated defence capacities. The Treaty of Lisbon provides for the possibility that those Member States who wish to can pool their defence capabilities in the form of a permanent structured cooperation.”

Beginning in the 1970s, Washington started to employ the term ‘strategic dialogue’ with both Moscow and Beijing as a mechanism to balance competition with cautious engagement across the Cold War divide.

As the Cold War ended, US officials began to use both ‘partnership’ and ‘strategic dialogue’ as part of a new diplomatic vocabulary. Together with allies, the George H.W. Bush Administration initiated a ‘strategic dialogue’ between NATO and the Warsaw Pact and created the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in December 1991, a consultation forum initially between NATO and nine central and east European countries.

The Clinton Administration took this concept further, proposing the creation of the Partnership for Peace in 1993.

Since the end of the Cold War US officials across different administrations have progressively, although not particularly systematically, sought to extend the American system, while adjusting its modalities to the new and different challenges of the evolving international order.

While the Clinton Administration did not purposefully employ the term ‘strategic partnerships’, President Clinton did on occasion use the phrase ‘new partnerships’ to explain America’s turn from Cold War structures. His administration announced that it was ‘embarking on a period of construction to build new frameworks, partnerships and institutions – and adapt existing ones – that strengthen America’s security and prosperity’.

The ‘new partnerships’ framework was premised on the assumption of continued US global leadership; a post-Cold War definition of threats that ranged beyond narrow military/security issues to encompass economic, environmental and societal challenges; and a strong sense that democracy, human rights and the rule of law were ascendant values that should be promoted and, wherever possible, anchored by cooperative and supportive structures and initiatives.

New partnerships were viewed as a means not only to sustain and enhance US global leadership, but also to harness the combined assets of a wider community of nations to tackle a range of issues that no country, not even a superpower, could tackle effectively alone.

While the George W. Bush Administration was far more inclined to the unilateral use of American power, after 11 September it realised that it would need partners in what it called the Global War on Terror.

As we know, the Taliban government of Afghanistan refused, which essentially transformed the terrorist act by a nonstate organization into an act of war by one state on another. Under international law, this more than satisfied any preconditions for U.S. forces to invade Afghanistan in search of al-Qaeda and to confront the Afghan government.

This was the beginning of the formal war on terror, where the full weight of the U.S. security establishment was engaged. An attack by one state on another state would be considered an act of war under international law, but the 9/11 attack was carried out by a nonstate actor upon a state—a murkier area in international law that led to debates over whether this was an act of war or an act of criminal violence.

As the state of Afghanistan harbored the training camps and base of operations for al-Qaeda, U.S. policy makers held Afghanistan responsible for the heinous acts precipitated by this particular NGO.

This is consistent with a principle in international law called sovereignty. The principle of sovereignty asserts that a government has the primary responsibility for its territory and that others cannot impinge on that sovereignty, which also means that a government has primary responsibility for any act that originates on its soil—whether by the government or by a nonstate actor.

The demands of large-scale, multi-year operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq necessitated the creation of a whole set of partnerships. The Bush Administration used ‘strategic partnerships’ and ‘strategic dialogues’ as important elements of US statecraft, particularly

After 9/11, President George W. Bush based his foreign policy on the belief that Middle Eastern terrorists constituted a uniquely dangerous opponent, and he launched what he said would be a long war against them. In some respects, it appeared that the world was back in the realm of history. But the Bush administration’s belief that democracy could be implanted quickly in the Arab Middle East, starting with Iraq, testified to a deep conviction that the overall tide of events was running in America’s favor.

Successive US administrations have recognised that alliances rooted in military defence are insufficient to cope with a range of broad challenges facing the US and many other countries. ‘Armed forces will remain a central pillar of U.S. national security portfolio’, notes Jones, ‘but they must be part of a more sophisticated tool kit’.

‘There is no one-size-fits-all approach to partnership’. The United States takes an eclectic approach to partnerships. ‘Partnership takes many different forms, all of which bring their own benefits’, notes US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (ESPO June 2014).

A strategic partnership is ‘more than just a grandiose phrase, and it is not merely an abstraction’, former US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott noted in Bucharest in 1998 when signing the US-Romanian Strategic Partnership. ‘Rather, the strategic partnership refers to a systematic pattern of joint effort on behalf of shared goals’

Other trends have prompted Washington to expand its array of partnership mechanisms. One trend, noted among others by Joseph Nye, is the transition of power underway among states. Other countries are growing in influence and power relative to the United States.

While the US remains predominant and able to employ a broad spectrum of power resources as no other, there is no question that a host of emerging states is asserting new influence.

In response, the US has sought to sustain and enhance existing alliances and strategic partnerships with Europe and Japan; forge new ones with the rising democracies of Brazil and India; complement progress in strategic arms control with efforts to establish a broader-based relationship with Russia; and upgrade and broaden its strategic dialogue with China.

A second trend, as Nye notes, is the diffusion of power away from all states towards non-state actors. The Obama Administration has been energetic in its efforts to deal with this phenomenon in part by turning to ‘strategic partnership’ mechanisms that go beyond traditional government to- government engagement to reach foreign citizens directly.

Secretary Clinton made good on that approach in her travels by spending as much time meeting with students, civil society activists and regular citizens as she did meeting with government ministers.‘Strategic dialogues’ involving US and foreign civil society actors are increasingly an element in Washington’s formal strategic partnerships.

The Obama Administration has been even more explicit and more active in using the vocabulary of ‘strategic partnerships’ to advance its vision of what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called a ‘multi-partner world’. While the administration has maintained the counter-terrorism-driven rationale for partnership offered by its predecessor, it has embedded this element in a far wider approach to partnership in which the need for collective action in the service of common interests is taken as a given.

In fact, the worldview expressed in the administration’s core documents – the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG); the 2014 and 2010 Quadrennial Defense Reviews (QDR); the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR); and the 2010 National Security Strategy – is premised on the belief that shared norms help shape outcomes in the international system, and if the United States can foster shared norms through more effective partnerships, those norms in turn can shape choices by other international actors in ways conducive to American values and interests.

The 2010 QDR points to an “international system” ‘in which the United States will remain the most powerful actor but must increasingly cooperate with key allies and partners if it is to sustain stability and peace […] The ability of the United States to build the security and governance capacity of key partners and allies will be central to meeting 21st century challenges […] and […] can help reduce the need for large and enduring deployments of US forces in conflict zones’.

President Barack Obama built his foreign policy on the conviction that the “war on terror” was overblown, that history really was over, and that, as in the Clinton years, the United States’ most important priorities involved promoting the liberal world order, not playing classical geopolitics.

The administration articulated an extremely ambitious agenda in support of that order: blocking Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons, solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, negotiating a global climate change treaty, striking Pacific and Atlantic trade deals, signing arms control treaties with Russia, repairing U.S. relations with the Muslim world, promoting gay rights, restoring trust with European allies, and ending the war in Afghanistan.

The United States will work with our European allies to uphold the global order. Russia’s actions threaten peace and security we built after fall of Berlin Wall. Nobody wants a return to Cold War Europe.

Since the Cold War, NATO has provided a framework in which new democracies emerging from the Soviet fold could find the security they required to develop their own societies and integrate more fully into the European mainstream. It has also dealt with a range of unanticipated crises and threats, including in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, and in Libya.

The European Union´s role in promoting democratic political reform in central and Eastern European countries in the 1990s, and Balkans, just as many people in the transition and post-communist societies saw democratization as an aid to recovering national independence, freedom both from authoritarian rule and from political domination by the Soviet Union. Countries that have joined the EU have developed positively, economically and politically.

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, whether one focuses on the rivalry between the EU and Russia over Ukraine, which led Moscow to seize Crimea; or Sunni radicalism in the Middle East it appeared that the world is ones more back in the realm of history. The United States and the EU, at least, find such trends disturbing. But, such that as in ukraine doesn’t just divert time and energy away from those important questions; it also changes the character of international politics.

Both United States and the European Union would rather move past geopolitical questions of territory and military power and focus instead on ones of world order and global governance: trade liberalization, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, the rule of law, climate change, and so on. Indeed, since the end of the Cold War, the most important objective of U.S. and EU foreign policy has been to shift international relations away from zero-sum issues toward win-win ones.

Joint democracy inhibits some dyads from acting on the aggression endemic to international interaction.

US President Barack Obama in Polan june 2014, said he expects Russia to undertake several actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine. Russia has a responsibility to engage constructively with the Ukrainian government in Kiev to prevent the flow of militants and weapons into eastern Ukraine,” President Obama said.

Since the Ukraine crisis began, the United States, in the context of the alliance, has sent more F-16 fighters to Poland and F-15 fighters to the Baltics. US president Obama in Poland, renews commitment to the defense and security of Europe and proposed as much as $1 billion in additional spending, US security reassurances to its European allies.

Russian officials say that NATO should have been disbanded at the end of the Cold War, and that the accession of new Allies from Central and Eastern Europe undermines Russia’s security. NATO was not disbanded after the Cold War because its members wanted to retain the insurance policy that had guaranteed security and stability in the transatlantic area and beyond. As the London Declaration of 1990 (available here) makes clear: a new, promising era.

The United States and European Union must send strong signals to Moscow that punishing Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine for pursuing their European ambitions has consequences for our relations.

On 27 June Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova took a big step toward closer ties with the EU as they signed Association Agreements at the European Council meeting in Brussels. This is a symbolic moment for all three countries. Both the US and The EU will be at Ukraine’s side for democracy, prosperity and stability.

The Association Agreements will significantly deepen political and economic ties with the EU in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. As the EU has expanded, these countries have become closer neighbours, and their security, stability and prosperity increasingly affect the EU’s. Closer cooperation between the EU and its eastern European partners is very important for the EU’s external relations.

Europe has entered a new, promising era. Central and Eastern Europe is liberating itself. The Soviet Union has embarked on the long journey toward a free society. The walls that once confined people and ideas are collapsing. Europeans are determining their own destiny. They are choosing freedom. They are choosing economic liberty. They are choosing peace. They are choosing a Europe whole and free. As a consequence, this Alliance must and will adapt

  • toward win-win ones

In this regard perhaps the most unique US strategic partnership is not with another country but with the European Union. The US-EU partnership is among the most complex and multi-layered economic, diplomatic, societal and security relationship that either partner has, especially if it is seen to encompass the relationships the US maintains with the EU’s 28 member states as well as its Brussels-based institutions.

In terms of values and interests, economic interactions and human bonds, the EU and the US are closer to one another than either is to any other major international actor.

A vast range of operational dialogues, institutionalised exchanges and stakeholder networks reach deeply into each other’s societies. Yet while US officials increasingly work directly with EU institutions, their experience has been that the Treaty of Lisbon and other EU innovations have done little to reduce the EU’s institutional complexity or render the EU a united or coherent actor on many issues within or beyond Europe.

In theory, these forces do not recognize the political boundaries of nation-states, yet national borders define political arenas and are the dominant form of political geography in theory and in practice. Political relations are defined by the modern nation-state system. Thus national boundaries organizepolitical life, but economic life spans those boundaries.

The expansion of globalization means that economic production and consumption choices in one nation are increasingly influenced by similar choices in other nations. Theory comes from reflection on what happens in the world and there has been much to reflect upon recently as a spur to thinking about emerging and persisting structures.

They are acutely aware that despite continual institutional rejiggering in Brussels, at the end of the day all policy-making in the EU still depends on the consent of member states, which remain sovereign, and that the US continues to need strong bilateral relationships with individual EU member states.

The US and the EU have sought to address these deficits in part by launching negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is intended to include free trade in goods across the North Atlantic but to go beyond traditional agreements to encompass services, investment, alignment of regulatory differences, and to create a ‘living agreement’ by which the two partners can work more effectively in the future.

To strengthen Europe politically and economically, VP Biden, during his Europe visit, called on US and European leaders to work toward a continent-wide energy market, notably for natural gas, that can be less dependent on Russia’s gas and oil supplies. And he urged completion of the agreement now under negotiation among North American and European governments to deepen economic, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

To this point, Europe must find a way of dealing with this new, revisionist Russia, even as it faces the growth of political forces with ties to Moscow and seeks to lessen its own energy dependence. Europe will inevitably continue to have strong economic interests in Russia, as well as a need to cooperate on key strategic issues, such as Iran. The United States, too, must figure out how to deal with Russia while remaining engaged on strategic matters.

Sweden´s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has long been at the center of European efforts to develop a coherent EU foreign policy, including towards Russia.

On july 8th 2014 Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, will discuss , At the Atlantic Council, his views on European Union and transatlantic relations with Russia, as well as recent developments within the EU and the impact on EU foreign policy.

According to the U.S. Department of State, “Friendship and cooperation between the United States and Sweden is even mach strong and close.” As a partner in NATO’s ISAF, Sweden has long been a supporter in the promotion of global peace and freedom. Through their past efforts in Kosovo and Libya, and presently in Afghanistan, where over 500 Swedes currently serve, Sweden has been an ally and a friend.

There is also substantial investment in the United States by Swedish companies, so it is important that we work to strengthen our relationship in order to ensure future cooperation. In Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today announced the formation of the 112th Congressional Friends of Sweden Caucus whose mission is to preserve and promote the economic and cultural ties between the United States and the Kingdom of Sweden.

It is my hope that the Friends of Sweden Caucus will continue to grow as we work to promote the ties between the United States and Sweden.” said Mr Hultgren.

Iran must show a genuine willingness on the nuclear issue of the final round of negotiations.

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In June 2013, two key factors created conditions more favorable for resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis—the devastating impact on Iran’s economy of international sanctions, especially oil and banking sanctions, and the election as president of pragmatic regime insider Hassan Rouhani, who views an agreement on the nuclear issue as a crucial means of ending the sanctions, rebuilding Iran’s economy, and overcoming its international isolation.

P5+1/EU negotiations with Rouhani’s new team— supplemented and accelerated by secret U.S.-Iranian engagement—led to agreement in November 2013 on a Joint Plan of Action (JPA), a six-month interim agreement designed to provide the time and space needed to work out a final, comprehensive solution.Opening plenary session of E3 EU+3 negotiations with Iran begins at UN building, Vienna

Today the E3+3 (UK, US, Russia, China, France and Germany), led by Baroness Ashton, are meeting Iran in Vienna for the start of the final round of negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear programme.

This is a crucial moment in international efforts to resolve one of the most challenging foreign policy issues of to day.

The interim agreement reached in November last year is due to expire on 20 July.

What will Iran choose? Despite many months of discussion, we don’t know yet. We do know that substantial gaps still exist between what Iran’s negotiators say they are willing to do and what they must do to achieve a comprehensive agreement.

As 20 July deadline approaches, Foreign Secretary William Hague says a deal is far from certain but final round of talks must test the possibility to the full. Achieving an agreement is far from certain.

Significant differences remain between the E3+3 and Iran which are yet to be bridged. But I am convinced that the current negotiations are the best opportunity we have had in years to resolve this issue.

These gaps aren’t caused by excessive demands on our part. On the contrary, the E.U. and P5+1 negotiators have listened closely to Iran’s questions and concerns and showed flexibility to the extent possible consistent with our fundamental goals for this negotiation.

Over the next three weeks, an intensive effort will be required by all sides.

There remains a discrepancy, however, between Iran’s professed intent with respect to its nuclear program and the actual content of that program to date. The divide between what Iran says and what it has done underscores why these negotiations are necessary and why the international community united to impose sanctions in the first place.

An Iranian nuclear crisis has been building for a long time. Iran’s claim that the world should simply trust its words ignores the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported since 2002 on dozens of violations by Iran of its international nonproliferation obligations, starting in the early 1980s.

Since the early 2000s, we have witnessed failed negotiations between Iran and the EU3 (U.K., France, Germany); the exposure of several covert Iranian nuclear facilities; the discovery by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of numerous Iranian safeguards violations; a formal finding of Iranian non-compliance by the IAEA’s Board;

the U.N. Security Council’s adoption of sanctions and the demand that Iran suspend uranium enrichment; Iran’s defiance of the Council and failure to address IAEA concerns about past nuclear weapons-related activities; years of unproductive talks between Iran and the EU/P5+1; and the imposition by the United States and a broad international coalition of crippling sanctions against Iran.

All the while, Iran steadily ramped up its nuclear program—to the point where it now has the enrichment capacity, should it decide to build nuclear weapons, to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a first nuclear bomb in about two months.

The U.N. Security Council responded by adopting four resolutions under Chapter VII, requiring Iran to take steps to address these violations.

These issues cannot be dismissed; they must be addressed by the Iranians if a comprehensive solution is to be reached. These are not just the expectations of any one country, but of the community of nations.

Along with our international partners, we helped chart a path that would allow Iran to have a domestic program for exclusively peaceful purposes. We proved that we were flexible in offering financial relief.

It was in that spirit that President Obama committed the United States to exploring the possibility of a negotiated solution to Iran’s nuclear standoff. Throughout these talks, Iran’s negotiators have been serious. Iran has also defied the expectations of some by meeting its obligations under the Joint Plan of Action, which has allowed time and space for the comprehensive negotiations to proceed. Specifically, Iran has been eliminating its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium, limited its enrichment capability by not installing or starting up additional centrifuges, refrained from making further advances at its enrichment facilities and heavy-water reactor, and allowed new and more frequent inspections.

In exchange, the European Union and the P5+1 have provided limited financial relief to Iran, even as the architecture of international sanctions and the vast majority of sanctions themselves remained firmly in place.

To gain relief from sanctions, the world is simply asking Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear activities are what it claims them to be.

If Iran is able to make these choices, there will be positive outcomes for the Iranian people and for their economy. Ultimately, this would lead to the lifting of all nuclear related sanctions and Iran being treated like any other non-nuclear weapons state.

Iran will be able to use its significant scientific know-how for international civil nuclear cooperation. Businesses could return to Iran, bringing much needed investment, jobs and many additional goods and services. Iran could have greater access to the international financial system.

The result would be an Iranian economy that begins to grow at a significant and sustainable pace, boosting the standard of living among the Iranian population. The benefits of a comprehensive deal for Iran are clear. If Iran is not ready to do so, international sanctions will tighten and Iran’s isolation will deepen.

“Our negotiators will be working constantly in Vienna between now and July 20. There may be pressure to put more time on the clock. But no extension is possible unless all sides agree, and the United States and our partners will not consent to an extension merely to drag out negotiations”, writs Secretary of State John Kerry. Iranian nuclear deal still is possible, but time is running out

Iran must show a genuine willingness to respond to the international community’s legitimate concerns in the time that remains.

Source:

  • Foreign Secretary William Hague This is a crucial moment in international efforts.
  • Robert J. Einhorn. Series Paper 10: March 2014: Preventing a nuclear-armed iran: Requirements for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement.
  • http://www.washingtonpost – iranian-nuclear-deal-still-is-possible-

Five priorities that will shape the European agenda for the next five years.

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June 1th Italy starts its six-month term as member state in charge of the Presidency of the EU Council

The European Council agreed (26-27 june 2014)  on five overarching priorities which will guide the work of the European Union over the next five years: (1) stronger economies with more jobs; (2) societies enabled to empower and protect all citizens; (3) a secure energy and climate future; (4) a trusted area of fundamental freedoms; (5) effective joint action in the world. A strong EU both in our neighbourhood and global.

This was the gist of the Leaders discussion in Ypres after a moving ceremony with the leaders of our 28 countries commemorating the centennial of the First World War – that the historic responsibility is still very much present among European leaders – as it is, no doubt, among European people.

Action in these five fields is vital, given the important challenges awaiting our societies. “Stronger economies” remains of course the number one priority. In a way it is the basis for everything else. In the media there was some attention to the leaders agreeing to put the built-in flexibility of the existing Stability and Growth Pact’s rules to good use. “Energy” is the other priority to ensure our energy future is under full control, to build an Energy Union aiming at affordable, secure and sustainable energy.

This is indeed an important signal. On all these five points, we indicated concrete actions that should be taken. However, the European Council’s main purpose was not to go into details, but to set the direction for the legislative work in the next five years; to achieve what people expect Europe to do. That is what the Treaty requires the European Council to do.

This morning at the launch of “New Pact for Europe” As the European Union prepares to open a new institutional cycle with a new leadership, Herman Van Rompuy President of the European Council, said: These five priorities must guide the action and planning of the EU institutions in the years ahead, and it is important that all institutions organise their work accordingly

Each six months, according to a pre-established order, a new Member State takes the helm of the Council of the EU. The Presidency’s role encompasses chairing Council meetings, taking charge of the agenda, promoting legislative and political decisions, and brokering compromises among Member States.

Starting today, Italy, with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi – holds this position through December 31. Its eleventh since 1959. Tomorrow Renzi presents those priorities to the new EU Parliament’s first plenary session. They include growth and employment, changing the European discourse and European external action.

Japans third arrow of Abenomics – —Temporary Stimulus or a Break with the Past?

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So far, Abe´s first two phases of Abenomics fiscal stimulus and monetary easing have coincided with an uptick in growth and stock-market sentiment. But the third arrow of Abenomics will be the trickiest to fire. Structural reform aimed at dismantling business inefficiencies hamper Japan´s global competitiveness..

Japan has suffered from long-lasting but mild deflation since the latter half of the 1990s, indicating the emergence of deflation. The rate of deflation measured by the headline consumer price index has been around 1% per year, which is much smaller than the rates observed in the USA during the Great Depression. However, the Japanese deflation has lasted for more than 15 years, clearly indicating that it is much more persistent than US deflation.

These factors, in turn, reflect various underlying structural features of the economy. This paper examines a long list of these structural features that may explain Japan’s chronic deflation, including central bank communication, weaker growth expectations coupled with declining potential growth or the lower natural rate of interest. Particular importance is placed on the question whether or not expected inflation has fallen into the negative territory.

The reason is that, as argued by Benhabib et al. (2001) and Bullard (2010), if expected inflation was indeed negative, then Japan may have found itself in a liquidity trap equilibrium, in which the central bank was prevented from escaping from such a trap by cutting its policy interest rate due to the zero lower bound on the nominal interest rate.

In responding to the emergence of deflation the Bank of Japan cut its policy interest rate several times until the rate finally reached the zero lowr bound (ZLB) in 1999, and this was followed by the introduction of quantitative easing (QE).

The liquidity trap is a very rare phenomenon, and the Japanese situation is only comparable with the US experience during the Great Depression. However, similar phenomena took place in the USA and European countries during the recent global financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis.

The rates of inflation in those countries were low even before the crisis happened, but declined substantially due to diminishing aggregate demand, and sometimes fell below the target level of inflation, which was somewhere around 2%. Here too, in responding, the Federal Reserve cut its policy rate several times until the policy rate reached the zero bound, and then moved on to the adoption of quantitative easing in November 2008.

Similarly, quantitative easing has been adopted by the European Central Bank since May 2009 and by the Bank of England since March 2009. Unprecedentedly, large-scale purchases of assets by the central banks in those countries contributed to the recovery from the crisis, but also produced harmful side effects, including massive, hard-to-control money inflows into emerging market economies.

More recently, the BoJ set a 2% inflation target in January 2013, and announced in April 2013 that it would seek to achieve this inflation target within two years, by doubling the base money by March 2015.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has embarked on a plan to kick start Japan´s long sluggish economy. He also wanted to his nation to be strong and respected. As Japans new prime minister he he want to change the pacifist constitution to allow Japan to be able to use force if necessary. And he has been as belligerent as China´s leaders over islands that both sides claim.

Abe had been deeply influeced by his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi who was prime minister in the late 1950s. After World War II Kishi was arrested as a suspected war criminal but never charged. He saw the “peace constitution” as a humiliation imposed on Japan after its devastating defeat by the US. When Abe became politician two decades ago, he had been questioning the wisdom of upholding the Art. 9 of the constitution.  It’s quite unlikely that we would see the return of a revisionist Japan, as the “rules have been carefully crafted to prohibit such adventures”.

What Abe has achieved today would make his grandfather very proud, as he has realised his dream. But in truth, the real danger he still poses is not military but monetary. When Mr Abe first announced his economic policy package that came to be known as Abenomics, observers felt it held the potential to lift Japan out of the economic slump it had been stuck in for the past two decades. He has demanded that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) generate more cash to end corrosive deflation, and he has vowed to spark growth with massive government spending on public works.

About 18 months have elapsed since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his economic revival plan to lift Japan out of decades-long deflation and low growth.

Arrows one and two – monetary and fiscal stimulus – are in their efforts to pull Japan out of its economic funk. underlying momentum is strengthening, but greater structural and fiscal reforms are still needed for growth to be sustained.

In anticipation of the Abe administration’s imminent announcement of a revised growth strategy (the third arrow of Abenomics), there has been renewed interest in how Abenomics will address Japan’s future economic problems as well as those in the present, and how that will affect neighboring economies in Asia.

Brookings Institution, Center for East Asia Policy Studies hosted Dr. Naoyuki Yoshino, dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute and contributor to the revised growth strategy, for a presentation on the three arrows of Abenomics, the revised growth strategy and the current state of the Japanese economy.

So far, “Abenomics”—as his plan has been dubbed—has delivered a significant pickup in growth and raised inflation. However, private investment has yet to recover decisively and wage growth, a key yardstick to gauge success in re-inflating the economy, has remained modest.

Aggressive monetary easing: Efforts by the Bank of Japan’s Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQME) have included adopting a 2 percent inflation target and aiming to double the monetary base in about two years to 50 percent of GDP through large-scale asset purchases. The goal of these policies has been to eliminate defl ation and move the economy onto a path of sustained positive infl ation.

Judged against this objective, the policy efforts have been largely successful in raising inflation and inflation expectations. The strategy has involved shortterm stimulus combined with a path to medium-term fiscal consolidation.

  • GDP growth accelerated sharply in the immediate aftermath of Abenomics, rising to just over 4 percent in the first half of 2013—underpinned by stronger sentiment and wealth effects from soaring equity prices, and stronger exports benefiting from a weaker yen. However, recent data hint that this economic momentum may be losing steam as fiscal stimulus winds down, and the effects of higher stock prices and a weaker currency start to fade.

Japan saw a record trade deficit in January, while exports by volume fell compared with January of the previous year. While an ever-weakening currency might stimulate short-term growth, it risks promoting a self-fulfilling cycle of yen weakness, greater trade deficits, and further depreciation. In a country with an aging and shrinking population, real long-term growth can only be realized through improved productivity.

QE reduces companies’ cost of debt and supports their share prices without requiring CEOs to make productive investments. We have seen a similar dynamic at work the U.S. – the stock market has reached a record high, but capex and hiring has lagged woefully behind. To stimulate productive investment, Japan must revamp the second arrow of Abenomics and focus on tax incentives rather than government spending.

What´s needed is not more spending but more reform. Higher health care spending has the potential to further weaken the fiscal position and debt dynamics. Without additional reforms Japan risks falling back into lower growth and deflation, a further deterioration in the fiscal situation, and an overreliance on monetary stimulus with negative consequences for the region.

In light of this, IMF analysis suggested , the second consumption tax hike should proceed as planned without resorting to multiple rates. A further priority should now be to outline a detailed mediumterm consolidation plan, based on both revenue and spending measures. Policy measures could include further increases to the consumption tax as well as pension and health care reforms.

A successful launch of a broad range of structural reforms would reignite investment and help sustain growth. Investment could be supported by tax reforms, market deregulation, and corporate governance reforms.

Supply-side reforms to raise private investment and potential growth will ensure that the economic recovery is sustained, even as fiscal and monetary support is scaled back

The new framework legislation on special zones also needs to be fleshed out. Measures should also be taken to reduce labor market duality and make non-regular workers more productive, encourage female employment, and relax immigration requirements to address labor shortages. Unconventional labor policies— including wage growth incentives or a hike in minimum wages—could also be useful in catalyzing a faster pace of nominal wage growth.

These kinds of measures should prove more effective, and safer, than fiscal stimulus. Japan’s government debts are already more than twice its GDP, and continually tapping the bond market and spending the proceeds unproductively will ultimately prove problematic.

Without more sustainable growth-generating measures, Japan risks an “Abegeddon” scenario – entrenched stagflation that prompts outflows of capital and a run on the government bond market.

The third arrow of Abenomics, reform, also requires redirection. First, Japan needs to ensure its businesses use its people properly. To do this it will need to address a rigidity that has led to the development of a ‘dual’ labor market. Around 40 percent of workers are now deemed ‘temporary,’ in jobs which provide low pay, a lack of social insurance, and little opportunity to develop skills.

If Japan executes on these kinds of reforms, it may still need to lean on the Bank of Japan to boost growth. But it would be doing so from a much stronger position.

Countries operating in competitive markets need to make their products as well, and as efficiently, as possible before slashing prices. Disciplined approach to economic policy and sustained commitment. True key growth strategy to success.

 

How close did the world come to peace in 1914?

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When students of world politics seek to make genralizations based on state behavior during the last two centuries, they implicitly assume that the actors and processes of the early nineteenth century are essentially the same as those operating now. “Human nature and how politics been affected has not changed during history of civilization”. However, when we seek to put forward explanatory propositions, we are in danger of selecting our cases on the dependent variable, which will bias our inferences.

Much of what stands form modern “realpolitik” today deviates form the original meaning of the term. Realpolitik emerged in mid-19th Century Europe form the collision of the enlightenment with state formation and power politics. The study of the powers that shape, maintain and alter the state is the basis of all political insight and leads to the understanding that the “law of power” governs the world of states just as the “law of gravity” governs the physical world. The advantage of justice as foundational idea connects politics and low with ethics and other ideas that theorists have used to bring coherence to the subject, the ideas of interest, agreements, rights, and morality (natural law).

There are many responses to the threat of war. We are being encouraged to accept that the First World War was inevitable. But to say that the outbreak of the First World War was inevitable “is to ignore the importance of the key decision-makers who had the power to say Yes or No to policies and actions”.

Wars and crises are rare events. Quite naturally, scholars seeking to understand them focus much more on these events than on the situations of peace, especially situations lacking crises at all.

There had in fact been a peace settlement a half-century before the fighting broke out – an effort to organize peace. Emperor Charles V engineered the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, which was based on an agreement that sovereign states could choose for themselves which version of Christianity to adopt. When that treaty fell apart, the killing started; Chris Patten Can an understanding of the mistakes made in 1914 help the world to avoid another major catastrophe? To be sure, the global order has changed dramatically over the last hundred years. But the growing sense that we have lost control over history, together with serious doubts about the capabilities and principles of our leaders, lends a certain relevance to the events in Sarajevo in 1914; Dominique Moisi Margaret Macmillan, fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and professor of international history at Oxford University, Questions about events in Sarajevo June 28 a century ago and how close did the world come to peace in 1914?

She looks at the accidents of history in summer 1914. On 28 June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a young Bosnian Serb nationalist in the city of Sarajevo. One of seven Bosnian nationalists supported by Serbian terrorist organisation, ‘the Black Hand’. Franz Ferdinand wanted to visit an officer wounded in the earlier attack. So, General Potiorek, Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, decided they should travel along the now empty and safer Appel Quay. At 10:45 am they left the city hall. But it seems that perhaps the new route had not been given to the driver. What happened next changed history forever. One of the Serbian terrorists, Gavrilo Princip, was on the corner of Appel Quay and Franz Josef Street. For nationalists, the 28 June was a day of great significance, the anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 – a symbol of Serbian national resistance. The worst possible day for a visit by an Austrian overlord. Leader of the Black Hand, Dragutin Dimitrijević, ordered Gavrilo Princip to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Dimitrijević was also a prominent member of the Serbian General Staff. But for an extraordinary sequence of events that day, the assassination might have been avoided. At first, British diplomats dismissed the assassination as a minor incident in a troubled part of Europe. But as the weeks passed, the crisis began to grow at a frightening pace. In the final days of July and first few days of August, the five Great Powers of Europe – Austria-Hungary and Germany on one side; Britain, France and Russia on the other – declared war on one another. The First World War had begun.

Even at the time, the full horror of what was to come was clear to many. The British Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey, argued forcefully for war in Parliament on 3 August. That evening he is reported to have said that ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.’

After the war, Grey was one of many politicians and diplomats in the so-called July crisis, who felt the events of summer 1914 made war unavoidable. The July Crisis was a diplomatic crisis among the major powers of Europe in the summer of 1914. But looking back at what unfolded in those 37 days, it seems there were moments when events could have taken a different course. If they had, could war have been avoided?

The UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, launches a series of 8 podcasts of diplomatic communication and policy-making at time, in which he, and senior British Ambassadors from key European countries involved in the First World War Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Russia, and Serbia.

The Serbo-Bulgarian war in 1885 ended in defeat for Serbia as it had failed outright to capture the Slivnitsa region which it had set out to achieve. The Bosnian Crisis of 1908–1909 (also referred to as the Annexation crisis) permanently damaged relations between Austria-Hungary on the one hand and Russia and Serbia on the other. The annexation and reactions to the annexation were contributing causes of World War I.

The political objective of the assassination was to break the Austro-Hungarian south-Slav provinces off from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand triggered a chain of international events that embroiled Russia and the major European powers. War broke out in Europe over the next thirty-seven days.

Russia’s support for Serbia against Austria-Hungary was critical in turning the July crisis into a full-blown war. If Austria-Hungary had struck quickly against Serbia, Russia might not have responded. Farming needs in Austria-Hungary may have delayed a response against Serbia – and in doing so allowed Russia to harden in its determination to support Serbia. The Austro-Hungarian leadership blamed Serbia for Franz Ferdinand’s death. Encouraged by their ally, Germany, they wanted to move quickly and attack, before Serbia and more importantly Russia had a chance to mobilise their own forces. Conrad von Hötzendorf, the Austro-Hungarian Chief of Staff and Commander in Chief, initially insisted an ultimatum to Serbia be given within two days. This ultimatum was part of a coercive program meant to weaken the Kingdom of Serbia as a threat to Austria-Hungary’s control of the northern Balkans which had a significant southern Slavic population, including a Serbian community in Bosnia.

This was intended to be achieved either through diplomacy or by a localized war if the ultimatum were rejected.

Austria-Hungary preferred war, though István Tisza, the prime minister of the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, hoped that the ultimatum would be reasonable enough that it would not be rejected outright. According to the British ambassador in Russia, the reaction to Franz Ferdinand’s assassination was initially one of horror. Ferdinand was, after all, a future king. The head of the Russian royal family, Tsar Nicholas II, had been a boy when his grandfather had been assassinated, and had already survived an assassination attempt on his life. And he was the only person who could order Russia’s army to be mobilised.

Before his murder, Archduke Franz Ferdinand had planned to save the Austro-Hungarian Empire by centralising power and creating a federated state to include Hungarians, Germans, Czechs, Poles and South Slavs. He also wanted to improve relations with Russia, as another conservative monarchy.

After the First Balkan War of 1912, Kosovo was internationally recognised as a part of Serbia and northern Metohija as a part of Montenegro at the Peace Treaty of London in May 30th 1913, during the London Conference. It dealt with the territorial adjustments arising out of the conclusion of the First Balkan War. In 1918, Serbia became a part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later named Yugoslavia.

In the previous Balkan conflicts of 1912 and 1913, he had argued that although a war with Serbia would be over quickly, if Austria-Hungary were to enter a war with Russia ‘it would be a catastrophe’. ‘God help us,’ he said, ‘if we annex Serbia’

What might have happened if Austria had declared war and invaded Serbia quickly? Would Russia have accepted another brief war in the Balkans, like those that had come before it in 1912 and 1913, and stood aside? Socialist movements in the early 1900s strongly argued against war in Europe. Could the workers of the world have united in 1914 and refused to fight? But as the weeks passed, the Russian view began to change. Sympathy for a royal murdered by terrorists, was replaced by political calculations about the balance of power in Europe, and support for Russia’s traditional ally, Serbia. By the time Austria-Hungary finally came to declare war on Serbia, at the end of July, Russia had decided that this meant war against Austria-Hungary. As Europe’s leaders took the decisions that pushed them towards war, the circles of power in Russia, France and Austria-Hungary were missing some influential figures. If they had been there, it’s possible that these men could have steered the course of history away from war.

Ever since it was fought, the question of why the world went to war in 1914 has been vigorously debated, but did it have to happen? After the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, was war inevitable?

Dr Heather Jones, London School of Economics, says War was far from inevitable after Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. In the years before 1914, the assassination of leading political and royal figures was not unusual. The days following Franz Ferdinand’s assassination saw a debate between the hawks and the doves in the Austro-Hungarian leadership with some figures such as the Hungarian Prime Minister Istvan Tisza not initially supportive of war. It was only once the Viennese hawks, such as Conrad von Hötzendorf, chief of staff of the Austro-Hungarian army, won the debate that war was necessary to crush Serbia, using the assassination as an excuse, that war became inevitable – and then only a local Austro-Hungarian-Serbian war. It only became a European conflict because Germany, Austria-Hungary’s ally, offered it unconditional support in its decision to attack Serbia. Russia, Serbia’s supporter, then mobilised to support Serbia. As Russia was allied to France, Germany now feared a Franco-Russian war against it and Austria-Hungary so invaded France pre-emptively, partly via neutral Belgium.

This greatly escalated the conflict, as it brought in Britain in defence of France and Belgium. Prof. Gary Sheffield, University of Wolverhampton War, in the shape of a local conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, was inevitable because Vienna decided to use the pretext of the assassination to crush Serbia. This decision was taken, and given explicit backing by Germany, in the full knowledge this was likely to bring about a general European war. Many in the German elite welcomed an expansionist war of aggression. While a general war was not inevitable, the Austrian and German decisions made it highly likely.

These two states bear the burden of war guilt. Prof. Margaret MacMillan, St Antony’s College To say that the outbreak of the First World War was inevitable is to ignore the importance of the key decision-makers who had the power to say Yes or No to policies and actions. It is true that there were considerable tensions in Europe in 1914, between Britain and Germany for example who were vying for naval and economic power, or between Austria-Hungary and Russia both of whom had ambitions and interests in the Balkans. It is also true that nationalism was on the rise and that it helped to drive nations apart and, in the case of Austria-Hungary, threatened its very existence. And there were, unfortunately, many in Europe, often in positions of influence, who thought that a general war was inevitable and perhaps even desirable.

We should remember though that there was also a very large peace movement in Europe. I think war could have been avoided after the assassination of the Archduke but that became less and less likely as the days went on.

Symbolic moment: EU:s closer ties with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

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Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova took a big step toward closer ties with the EU as they signed Association Agreements at the European Council meeting in Brussels on 27 June. This is a symbolic moment for all three countries.

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And now FM Carl Bildt is in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine journey, after signing EU agreements.

All countries also signed deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTAs) which are expected to bring many economic benefits for Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine by offering businesses access to the EU’s single market– the largest in the world.

These ambitious agreements “will enable our partner countries to drive reforms, to consolidate the rule of law and good governance, and to give an impetus to economic growth in the region by granting access to the world’s largest internal market and by encouraging cooperation across a wide range of sectors,” stressed European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

The Association Agreements will significantly deepen political and economic ties with the EU in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. As the EU has expanded, these countries have become closer neighbours, and their security, stability and prosperity increasingly affect the EU’s.

Closer cooperation between the EU and its eastern European partners is very important for the EU’s external relations.

The European Union is currently focusing its efforts on de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine. The EU calls on all sides to agree and honour a ceasefire immediately in order to stabilise the security situation, achieve a genuine de-escalation and create the necessary conditions for President Poroshenko’s peace plan to be implemented.

The EU foreig affairs council recalls its strong condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and will not recognize it and EU calls on all sides to continue engaging in a meaningful and inclusive dialogue leading to a lasting solution; to protect the unity and territorial integrity of the country and to strive to ensure a stable, prosperous and democratic future for all Ukraine’s citizens.

At the European Council meeting in Brussels on 27 June. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy pointed out that these “are not just any other agreements – but milestones in the history of our relations and for Europe as a whole.

In Kiev and elsewhere, people gave their lives for this closer link to the European Union. We will not forget them, said Mr Herman Van Rompuy”

Emerging security challenges and global nuclear security effort.

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As NATO looks ahead to the seminal 2014 Summit in Wales this September, today on June 25 2014, Atlantic Council and the Norwegian Institute of Defence Studies will convene leaders and experts from across Europe and North America to discuss the role of NATO and the broader transatlantic community in an era of emerging security challenges and key report findings, including defining a new strategy for NATO, the impacts of the Ukraine crisis on NATO’s strategic calculus, and NATO’s future role in international security.

In each case, working with recognized experts and former senior officials from Europe and the United States, the Atlantic Council and IBM have produced a set of policy-oriented briefs focused on NATO reform and cyber security, with the aim to provide thought leadership and innovative policy-relevant solutions for NATO’s continued organizational reform and role in cyber security.

Strategic latency may be of greatest concern in the proliferation of WMD, weapons that raise the specter of what Sir Martin Rees called “our final hour.”

For country of concern, achieving some level of latent capability might be a strategy to keep options open. Confining a particular nation to a latent capability short of acquiring actual nuclear weapons may be a goal. It is common today for experts to say that with its extensive, advanced nuclear and related technologies, Japan could build nuclear weapons in less than a year if it ever made such a decision.

The rapid, worldwide adoption of advances in computing, robotics, bioengineering, and more by state and nonstate actors is reshaping what future national security threats and opportunities will look like. There have been many examples of ways in which NATO engaged in identifying and acting upon those security issues.

It is important to recognise that the danger and challenge of instability during the Cold War was rooted in military technology and the political realities of the US-Soviet security relationship. Analysis of the sophistication of that technology, the size of facilities, and its relationship to other capabilities sometimes leads to attempts at more precise guestimates as to how long it would take to realize that capability if and when a decision were made.

Active nuclear diplomacy has grown out of Cold War efforts to regulate testing and reduce nuclear arsenals and roll back and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Wallander outlines (here) US and Russian concepts of strategic stability in the twentieth and twenty first century under the paradigm of Mutually Assured Destruction, including the political context of geopolitical political competition that defined that age. The advent of nuclear weapons changed the course of the world as well as the war.

It was President Clinton who first proposed to Boris Yeltsin that Russia should join NATO. In 2002 this led, under the NATO enlargement process, to the creation of the NATO-Russia Council. To reduce the nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet Union, has led to greater investment by the United States and other governments in better security for nuclear weapons and material globally, including billions of dollars through the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

President Obama’s administration has invested more than $5 billion in it. That figure includes funds given to Russia and other countries to help secure their nuclear weapons arsenals, to convert research reactors so they burn fuel that cannot be used in weapons, and to improve the physical protection and accounting of nuclear explosive materials such as plutonium and highly-enriched uranium. The Obama administration’s goals for arms control and security cooperation with Russia are the right ones, but they cannot be achieved as long as US-Russian strategic stability is in question.

Unfortunately, we now see a high risk that Moscow will make good on its threats to Ukrainian, Georgia and Moldova. Minister of State for Europe David Lidington, visiting Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia in the past months in support of the European Neighborhood Policy, speak frequently on the importance of respect for Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty in the face of external aggression, repeatedly calling on the Russian Federation to de-escalate tensions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

In the absence of meaningful EU-Russia relations, a joint U.S.-EU stance has the greatest prospect of countering Russian actions. Russia has destroyed a massive amount of trust. At the same time, there are many crises that cannot be solved without Russia in a globally networked world. The case of Ukraine demonstrates the need for a more sustainable and more compre- hensive security architecture in Europe – not against Russia, but with Russia. That’s why we need to do everything we can to help Russia find its way back to a policy of dialogue.

The 2012 Seoul summit, of 47 world leaders, expanded the scope of the NSS process to include radioactive source security. The world leaders gathered at the Hague Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) on 24 and 25 March 2014 committed to continue the work to make the world a safer place by Reducing the amount of dangerous nuclear material in the world.

In an independent research, (here) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Center of Global Security Research investigates factors on How Technology (and smart defense) is Changing Our Concepts of Security and whether the advance and spread of technology in the electronic and digital age has had greater strategic significance in our times than the advance and spread of technology had during the industrial revolution. Certainly, the defeat of the Russian fleet in the Tsushima Straits in 1905 by a Japanese Navy demonstrated a century ago that newcomers could use technology to quickly catch up and surpass and thus alter history for decades to come.

The security challenges we face today can be relate to a specific location. For example, in considering risks associated with latent technologies, Iran continued to pursue an indigenous nuclear fuel cycle ostensibly for civilian purposes but with clear weapons potential. We remain concerned that Tehran may have a clandestine nuclear weapons program, in contradiction to its obligations as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

There is growing risk, or miscalculations, and of regional wars or nuclear terrorism. States new to the nuclear enterprise may not have effective safeguards to secure nuclear weapons and materials or to secure the capability to safely manage and regulate civil reactors.There is growing apprehension about terrorists acquiring weapons or nuclear material.

Hundreds of pounds of weapons-usable uranium are being stored at civilian sites, including in South Africa and Belarus, the document said. Scores of research reactors, where security is generally lower than at military sites, still operate with fuel composed of weapons-grade explosives, including more than 60 in Russia alone.

Meanwhile, global plutonium stocks are rising, the report said, with more than 100 metric tons produced since 1998, enough to build at least 20 thousand nuclear weapons. The loss of even a small amount of this material from any of the hundreds of sites where they are stored could have catastrophic consequences, the report said. “In today’s global environment, a nuclear … device would not just impact one city or one country; it would gravely damage us all.

Successful leadership in nuclear policy will require continuous, diligent, and multinational assessment of emerging risks and consequences. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in good standing such as Japan or suspected of being in violation such as Iran, often finds itself on lists of those with a nuclear weapons potential. As Iran builds up the number of its gas centrifuges and improves their quality, the estimate of the number of years until Iran could have a nuclear weapon has declined from many to few.

Intensive negotiations are now proceeding on the comprehensive agreement, with all parties seemingly committed to trying to reach agreement by the time the JPA expires on July 30, 2015. Before the Desert Storm campaign to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, public statements suggested that it would take about 10 years for Saddam Hussein to acquire nuclear weapons. After the war, discoveries by the United Nations Special Commission inspectors caused speculation that Iraq may have been closer. Nuclear secruity behind the creation of global standards for nuclear materials could have a more lasting and significant impact. Active nuclear Diplomacy to sett regulations and international agreements designed to protect nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands.

With the 2011 Arab Spring, many in the West grew hopeful that the spirit of democracy was finally taking root. Instead, as in Iraq, more recently, Jihadists in Iraq and Syria, led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) are capturing cities, energy facilities, and military hardware daily. They now, even, control a territory the size of Jordan and are building a state from which they aspire and are increasingly able to attack US regional interests, allies, and the United States itself. ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has proved itself a far more serious foe than al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or other adversaries of the post-9/11 years. It’s more Maoist in its operational and strategic outlook. The current Islamist phase of terrorism might end, but terrorism is unlikely to die completely.

In ISIL we have one of the biggest threats our world has faced. We need to be clear about the nature of that threat. The scale is formidable and growing. Terrorism poses a real and serious threat to the security and safety of the Alliance and its members. It is a global threat that knows no border, nationality or religion – a challenge that the international community must tackle together. NATO’s work on counter-terrorism focuses on improved threat awareness and preparedness, developing adequate capabilities and enhancing engagement with partner countries and other international actors.

While direct military intervention in either Syria or Iraq is politically fraught and will certainly present a pair of extremely difficult scenarios upon which to achieve consensus, there are prudent military options well worth exploring now, writs James Stavridis. This region of the world is spinning rapidly out of control, with dangerous implications for both Europe and the United States. Regional dynamics in several different theaters during the next couple decades will have the potential to spill over and create global insecurity.

The Middle East and South Asia are the two regions most likely to trigger broader instability. The destructive power and precision of conventional weapons is apparent in the use of these weapons in Iraq, and those technologies are already ten years old. If developed, the use of cyber weapons have the potential to achieve a disarming first strike which effectively defeats a country even before it even knows that it faces war.

North Korea remains East Asia’s conspicuous “strategic outlier.” Its provocative behavior and adversarial policies (first and foremost directed against South Korea and Japan) have long stymied the building of a post-Cold War order in the region. These issues have been made far more worrisome by the “dual crises” involving North Korea. If China’s strategy again fails, North Korea will become an even larger danger to regional stability. In the case of the NPT, North Korea has withdrawn and Iran may.

Nuclear threat reduction should be orgnasized around a clear goals; a global effort to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their spread into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately to put an end to them as threat to world. Unlike the theories and models of difficult scenarios, one of the most well known examples of early warning is the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line set up by the United States and Canada during the early days of the Cold War. Nations and national militaries also maintain significant early warning capabilities as do private sector companies.

The dream cyber warning network would detect most attacks before they occur and quickly detect and stop the rest, preferably automatically. As a result of previous summits, Alliance members agreed to sign memoranda of understanding with NATO to share warning and other information.

Smart defense initiatives in which states share and pool resources and cooperate in developing smart military systems based on mutual need. But there are limits to how much capability these measures can squeeze out of swindling budgets. Despite the gentleman´s agreement reached by NATO members in 2002 to maintain a floor for national defense budgets of at leas 2 percent of gross domestic product, of the major powers only Britain tops that mark.

Currently only four states fulfil the nonbinding reguirement the USA, Estonia, Greece and Great Britain. And national studies report that, unless budget trends are altered, Britain, too, may fall below that 2 percent threshold in 2017. Britain, however, has never stood by when Europe’s security is in peril. They are part of a long tradition in defence of liberty and may not fall the 2 % threshold. But, other Europeans and Germans especially need to increase defence spending.

NATO has to deal with a new and more challenging security environment. Indeed, NATO has to respond when we see new challenges, and we have seen new challenges emanating both in the south, with violence, turmoil, in Iraq, Syria, North Africa, ISIL. But we also see challenges coming from the east and new crises, including the Ukraine conflict, threats from terrorism and cyber attacks. We must do more to increase investment in our defence as the challenges to our security have increased. The 2 percent goal endorsed at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales should be taken seriously.

Carter Doctrine.

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Political action, including that taken in implementing foreign policy, occurs in a thoroughly conditioned world. Politicians, confronted as they are by conflicting goals and tangible daily domestic pressures inside or outside their own countries, are perpetually tempted to make decisions  of using force abroad. This response is especially common in the confusing dimensions of foreign policy.

There is much in the literature on foreign policy decision making to suggest that domestic political factors affect decisions to use force. A powerful reminder and example of the importance of the influence of domestic politics comes from President Kennedy and his advisers during the Cuban Missile crisis. As Mintz (1993:605) states, ‘‘War and peace decisions are rooted not only in international politics, but also in considerations of domestic politics’’. Typically, decisions to use force consist of a combination of factors:

(1) decision makers must calculate the domestic political consequences of using force abroad, and (2) leaders must factor in military/strategic considerations such as relative military capabilities, projected casualties,geography, etc. (Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman, 1990, 1992). A crucial intervening variable here, though, is the fact that most of the information received by the decision maker, the presidents problem-solving in this case, with respect to these issues comes from advisers. A problem-solving perspective implies consideration of goals, policy alternatives, and a feedback or monitoring system to estimate progress toward achievement of goals.

Foreign policy decision making is one of the most popular subfields of international relations in many reasons. The fact is that the foreign policy decision-makers themselves are in many cases fascinating individuals certainly contributes to the attraction. A recurring question in the study of decision-making has to do with the locus of decision in foreign policy.

Research focusing on the individual decisionmaker is quite compatible with analysis of the organizational environment in which individual decision-makers function. Paul Anderson advises us that “understanding the actions of political institutions requires an understanding of social and institutional dynamics as well as the cognitive processes of individual decision makers” (1987, p. 344).

He distinguishes between a “substantiver egime” and a “procedurarl egime.” The former encompasses the basic beliefs and core values of those in a position to determine foreign policy and corresponds to the “definition of the situation,” or the sort of cognitive resources and biases decision-makers bring to the process. These levels of analysis are not contending but, in fact, complementary elements of the research in Foreign Policy Decision-Making (FPDM).

The institutional or organizational context of a decision is an important filter in decision-making. Decision-makers deal with an interesting paradox in foreign policy:

they are hampered by too little information and too much information.

Information is never Perfect with regard to the motives or intentions of other actors, and therefore decision-makers are forced to draw inferences from available information.

Decision-makers do not operate in isolation. They rely on organizations and institutionalized procedures in the task of formulating, choosing, and implementing policy options. Even powerful individuals such as the U.S. president rely on an extensive network of organizations and, in fact, may be constrained in what he or she can accomplish if organizations choose to thwart the decision.

Reflecting on his presidential legacy in a long interview with the New Yorker’s David Remnick, Obama said, “at the end of the day we’re part of a long-running story. We just try to get our paragraph right.”  The American political system is designed to make presidents seem very important. They pick their teams, their goals, their fights—and if they do these things skillfully enough, we say they’ve made history.

This is what  U.S president Barack Obama seems to mean by getting his “paragraph right.”

The problems presidents face on taking office are not merely a set of constraints on what they do. Big problems create big opportunities; they shape the way presidents use their power, the way they understand themselves and their ultimate aspirations.

Yet most of the choices that presidents make are defined by circumstance. Some things they might like to do are impossible; many successes fall into their laps; some setbacks are not their fault. Our leaders can pick many things, but not their moment in history.

The Carter Doctrine was a policy proclaimed by President of the United States Jimmy Carter in his State of the Union Address on January 23, 1980, which stated that the United States would use military force if necessary to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf. Three Cold War United States presidential doctrines—the Truman, Eisenhower, and Nixon doctrines—played roles in the Carter Doctrine’s formulation.

During his campaign, Jimmy Carter’s aides claimed he would govern in a different way, specifically, that he would not appoint Washington insiders to top foreign policy positions.

Carter had campaigned on a promise to eliminate the trappings of the “Imperial Presidency,”

Imperial Presidency is a term used to describe the modern presidency of the United States. It became popular in the 1960s and served as the title of a 1973 volume by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who wrote “The Imperial Presidency out of two concerns; first that the US Presidency was out of control and second that the Presidency had exceeded the constitutional limits”.

It was based on a number of observations. As a result of Pearl Harbor, but also in reaction to President Roosevelt’s highly personalized management of policy during World War II, Congress established a formal national security structure that was codified in the National Security Act of 1947.

When looking at the disparate pieces of information available to different elements of the United States government prior to December 7, 1941, President Truman was reported to have concluded,

“If we’d all had that information in one agency, by God, I believe we could have foreseen what was going to happen in Pearl Harbor.”

To put this in a current context, Truman’s reaction and goals were not unlike those raised by The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission).

Congress believed that if formal interagency consultative structures were established, intelligence and policy would be better coordinated, and experienced voices would be present to advise the President on important decisions. President Harry S Truman supported supported Congress’s desire to establish a permanent, centrally managed intelligence community and a unified Department of Defense.

But Congress also wanted an apparatus in the Executive Branch to ensure integration and coordination of policies across departments and agencies, and to advise the president on national security interests.

President Truman agreed with the intelligence and defense aspects of the legislation, and agreed to the need for an established advisory group, but was resistant to the idea of creating any other organization with decision-making authority or operational responsibilities within the Executive Branch.

With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, President Truman suddenly found the NSC’s function of bringing together senior policymakers to be useful for his own decision-making process. He began convening regular meetings to develop, discuss, and coordinate policy related to the war.

The NSC and its staff grew in importance, size, and responsibilities with the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower’s experience with a military staff system led him to establish an elaborate interagency structure centered on a Planning Board to coordinate policy development, and an Operations Coordinating Board for monitoring the implementation of policies. Eisenhower also created, in 1953, the post of Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, now commonly called the National Security Advisor.

Centralized control of the interagency national security process, and domination of the development and execution of foreign policy by the White House staff reached its zenith under Presidents Nixon and Ford.

President Nixon wanted to be certain that the White House fully controlled foreign policy. Henry Kissinger’s expanded NSC staff (80 professionals) concentrated on acquiring analytical information from the departments and then refining it for the National Security Advisor. Under Reagan administration the NSC staff also emerged as an independent actor, not only in formulating policy, but also in implementation.

Once elected, however, Carter recognized that he needed experts around him to conduct his foreign policy. He named Columbia University professor Zbigniew Brzezinski as his national security adviser and former Defense Department official and Johnson administration diplomatic troubleshooter Cyrus Vance as secretary of state.

President Carter came into office wanting more diversity in the policy options coming to the president and greater balance in the contributions of department principals to ensure that he was presented with the best policy options available from across his national security system.

  • The Carter Doctrine was a response to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and was intended to deter the Soviet Union—the United States’ Cold War adversary—from seeking hegemony in the Gulf.The U.S. Department of State works to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through

The following key sentence, which was written by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser, concludes the section:

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

Brzezinski modeled the wording on the Truman Doctrine, and insisted that the sentence be included in the speech “to make it very clear that the Soviets should stay away from the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf region was first proclaimed to be of national interest to the United States during World War II.

Petroleum is of central importance to modern armies, and the United States—as the world’s leading oil producer at that time—supplied most of the oil for the Allied armies. Many American strategists were concerned that the war would dangerously reduce the U.S. oil supply, and so they sought to establish good relations with Saudi Arabia, a kingdom with large oil reserves.

On February 16, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States.”

On February 14, 1945, while returning from the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt met with Saudi Arabia’s King Ibn Saud on the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal, the first time a U.S. president had visited the Persian Gulf region. (During Operation Desert Shield in 1990, U.S. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney cited this landmark meeting between Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud as one of the justifications for sending troops to protect Saudi Arabia’s border.

The Truman Doctrine, which stated that the United States would send military aid to countries which were threatened by Soviet communism, was used to strengthen the security of Iran and Saudi Arabia. In October 1950, President Harry Truman wrote to King Ibn Saud that

“the United States is interested in the preservation of the independence and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia. No threat to your Kingdom could occur which would not be a matter of immediate concern to the United States”

The Eisenhower Doctrine in turn called for U.S. troops to be sent to the Middle East to defend U.S. allies against their Soviet-backed adversaries. Finally, the Nixon Doctrine’s application provided military aid to Iran and Saudi Arabia so that these U.S. allies could ensure peace and stability in the region. In 1979, the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan prompted the restatement of U.S. interests in the region in the form of the Carter Doctrine.

Because the United States did not have significant military capabilities in the Persian Gulf region at the time the Carter Doctrine was proclaimed, the doctrine was criticized for not being backed by sufficient force.

The Carter administration began to build up the Rapid Deployment Force (which would eventually become CENTCOM). In the interim, the administration expanded the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, extended the policy in October 1981 with what is sometimes called the “Reagan Corollary to the Carter Doctrine”, which proclaimed that the United States would intervene to protect Saudi Arabia, whose security was threatened after the Iran–Iraq War’s outbreak. Thus, while the Carter Doctrine warned away outside forces from the region, the Reagan Corollary pledged to secure internal stability.

According to diplomat Howard Teicher, “with the enunciation of the Reagan Corollary, the policy ground work was laid for Operation Desert Storm”operations leading to the build up of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia.

The Persian Gulf region continued to be regarded as an area of vital importance to the United States during the Cold War.

The greatest foreign policy success

While Jimmy Carter’s presidency may have only been one term, his legacy is apparent. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Carter’s legacy is the Camp David Accords. Carter worked together with then-president of Egypt Anwar Sadat to create the accords which led to a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the only treaty of its kind between Israel and any Islamic nation of the Middle East.

After the Yom Kippur War of 1973 between Israel and its Arab enemies, Egypt and Syria, the Israelis had gradually disengaged their forces and moved a distance back in the Sinai Peninsula. They were still occupying Egyptian territory, however, and there was no peace between these adversaries.

In the fall of 1978, Carter invited Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat to sit down with Carter at Camp David, a rural presidential retreat outside Washington.

Between September 5 and September 17, 1978, Carter shuttled between Israeli and Egyptian delegations, hammering out the terms of peace. Consequently, Begin and Sadat reached a historic agreement: Israel would withdraw from the entire Sinai Peninsula; the U.S. would establish monitoring posts to ensure that neither side attacked the other; Israel and Egypt would recognize each other’s governments and sign a peace treaty; and Israel pledged to negotiate with the Palestinians for peace.

The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal and recognition of the Gulf of Aqaba and the Straits of Tiran as international waterways.

Not since Theodore Roosevelt’s efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 had a president so effectively mediated a dispute between two other nations.

The Treaty of Portsmouth formally ended the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05.

Carter believed in the rule of law in international affairs and in the principle of self-determination for all people. After his timer he wanted the United States to take the lead in promoting universal human rights. Carter believed that American power should be exercised sparingly and that the United States should avoid military interventions as much as possible. Carter strongly emphasized human rights throughout his career. The release of his new book this year demonstrates Carter’s continued interest in serving the country and his devotion to furthering the causes of human rights around the world.

President Jimmy Carter is in Sweden today 19th june 2014 to meet with Swedish government officials to thank Sweden for its cooperation with the Carter Center on projects spanning the globe and to discuss further opportunities for cooperation.

The Carter Center, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering. It seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.

Finally, he hoped that American relations with the Soviet Union would continue to improve and that the two nations could come to economic and arms control agreements that would relax Cold War tensions.

The period following the September 11 terrorist attacks brought both temporary operational changes to policy processes, and several organizational changes to the structure of the NSC staff. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks and subsequent interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, much of the policy development and decision-making for national security affairs was conducted at the NSC and PC level.

Organizational changes in the NSC staff structure included the establishment of the Office for Combating Terrorism headed by a new Deputy Assistant to the President/Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism and Deputy Assistants to the President/Deputy National Security Advisors (DAP/DNSA) for Strategic Communication and Global Outreach, and Global Democracy Strategy.

Bush administration found that it needed to adapt new structures to respond to immediate operational issues requiring high level guidance; political, economic and SSTR concerns; longer term policy planning and consideration of strategic interests; as well as facilitate interagency coordination.

For every national government, foreign policy can be viewed as a series of problem-solvingt asks.We must assume foreign policy decision-makers embark on a purposive course of action they believe represents the most desirable match between available resources and the problem as defined. Bush administration found that it needed to adapt new structures to respond to immediate operational issues requiring high level guidance; political, economic and SSTR concerns; longer term policy planning and consideration of strategic interests; as well as facilitate interagency coordination.

Although there has been relative stability in the statutory membership of the NSC since its inception, and in the supporting staff structures since the administration of President George H.W. Bush, one fundamental principle underlies the actual operation of the national security structures of all Presidents: the operation of the national security policy process is the result of what the President decides.

President Obama has directed that the “membership” of the NSC will include: the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff (Chief of Staff to the President), and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor).

Again this year, the Foreign Policy scholars at Brookings are offering President Obama and his Cabinet a set of policy analyses and recommendations from an outside perspective.

The United States faces a number of critical challenges—the ongoing war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan’s ability, the Iran nuclear negotiations, an enigmatic North Korea and other significant crises in world affairs. US invaded Iraq partly on grounds of Saddam’s alleged support for al-Qaeda. Here we are 11 yrs later and al-Q is trying to set up state there ones again.

President Obamas advisors are busy devising policy recommendations aimed at grappling with these thorny issues.

President Obama then must decide which priorities to pursue and how best to exercise U.S. power and influence to manage and shape the global order.

The National Security Advisor is the President’s personal advisor responsible for the daily management of national security affairs, and advises the President on the entirety of national security matters and coordinates the development of interagency policies.

Jake Sullivan, now the Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s national security adviser, is the youngest advisor in the department’s history. In July 2012 Mrs. Clinton sent him to Oman to meet Iranian officials to explore whether there was scope for a nuclear deal.

It was unusual because he didn’t have the high profile and years of experience that others had who could have been sent. Those first talks went nowhere, but in later meetings, Mr. Sullivan, joined by a more senior but similarly soft-spoken diplomat, William J. Burns, laid the groundwork for the interim nuclear deal that Iran signed with the West in Geneva last November.

Iran and the P5+1 nations appear to be fulfilling their commitments under the six-month interim agreement. Some progress is being made in Iran talks. But huge challenges remain and Iranian political will is the key requirement– reaching a final deal will be challenging. Achieving an agreement that meets the requirements for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement, will not be easy.

Mr. Sullivan’s plans to stay on with the administration until July 20, the deadline for reaching a final nuclear deal with Iran. If that deadline slips, as many officials expect, he might have to delay his plans to conduct a last round of diplomacy.

Friends of Mr. Sullivan predict he will resist the pull of another campaign. He got a taste of the furies to come when his name surfaced on emails about the administration’s talking points after the Benghazi attack. A bigger disincentive is his girlfriend, Maggie Goodlander, who is a second-year law student at Yale and the main reason for his move to New Haven. The couple met at a security conference in Munich.

King Christian X and peace treaty.

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Today is Icelandic National Day which commemorates the foundation of The Republic of Iceland on 17 June 1944 and its independence from Danish rule. The date was chosen to coincide with the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, a major figure of Icelandic culture and the leader of the 20th century Icelandic independence movement and and Sveinn Björnsson, who became the first president of Iceland.

The formation of the republic was based on a clause in the 1918 Act of Union with Denmark, which allowed for a revision in 1943, as well as the results of the 1944 plebiscite.

German occupation of Denmark meant that the revision could not take place, and thus some Icelandic politicians demanded that Icelanders should wait until after the war. The British and U.S governments, which occupied Iceland at the time, also delayed the declaration by asking the Icelandic parliament to wait until after 1943. Although saddened by the results of the plebiscite, King Christian X sent a letter on 17 June 1944 congratulating Icelanders on forming a Republic. Today, Icelanders celebrate this holiday on a national scale.

King Christian X character as a ruler has been described as authoritarian, and he strongly stressed the importance of royal dignity and power, in spite of the growing importance of democracy. His reluctance to embrace democracy resulted in the Easter Crisis of 1920, in which he dismissed the democratically elected cabinet with which he disagreed, and instated one of his own choosing.

The immediate cause was a conflict between the king and the cabinet over the reunification with Denmark of Schleswig, a former Danish fiefdom which had been lost to Prussia during the Second War of Schleswig. Danish claims to the region persisted to the end of World War I, at which time the defeat of the Germans made it possible to resolve the dispute.

Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I were dealt with in separate treaties. Although the armistice, signed on 11 November 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty.

The treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 October 1919, and was printed in The League of Nations Treaty Series. An intergovernmental organisation founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. The first international organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.

The U.S. under President Woodrow Wilson intended to stay out of the War, which, in the eyes of many Americans, had nothing to do with them. But in 1917, German submarine attacks on U.S. shipping and attempts by the German government to encourage Mexico to invade the U.S. enraged public opinion, and Wilson sorrowfully asked Congress to declare war. American resources and manpower tipped the balance against the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and on Nov. 11, 1918, what everyone then called the Great War finally came to an end. It is tempting to think about what would have happened had US President Woodrow Wilson adhered to his original resolution to keep the United States out of the war.

On 8 January 1918, United States President Woodrow Wilson issued a statement which became known as the Fourteen Points. This speech outlined a policy of free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination.

It also called for a diplomatic end to the war, international disarmament, the withdrawal of the Central Powers from occupied territories, the creation of a Polish state, the redrawing of Europe’s borders along ethnic lines and the formation of a League of Nations to afford “mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike”.

Wilson’s speech also responded to Vladimir Lenin’s Decree on Peace of November 1917, immediately after the October Revolution, which proposed an immediate withdrawal of Russia from the war, calling for a just and democratic peace that was not compromised by territorial annexations, and led to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918.

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, between the new Bolshevik government of Russia (the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey), that ended Russia’s participation in World War I.

  • At the start of the negotiations, the two sides were far apart.

German plans for Eastern Europe included annexing most of Russian Poland, with Austria to receive a smaller piece. A rump Polish state would be established to act as a buffer between Germany and Russia. In addition, Ukraine would be detached as an independent state under German protection, while the Baltic states were to be annexed directly into Germany and ruled by German princes. The Bolsheviks however declared that they sought a peace without any indemnities or territorial concessions.

  • after two months of negotiations the treaty was signed at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus)

Of the many provisions in Treaty of Versailles , one of the most important and controversial required “Germany [to] accept the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage” during the war (the other members of the Central Powers signed treaties containing similar articles). This article, Article 231, later became known as the War Guilt clause. The treaty forced Germany to disarm, make substantial territorial concessions, and pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers. In 1921 the total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion Marks (then $31.4 billion or £6.6 billion.

According to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the disposition of Schleswig was to be determined by two Schleswig Plebiscites: one in Northern Schleswig (Denmark’s South Jutland County), the other in Central Schleswig (part of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein). No plebiscite was planned for Southern Schleswig, as it was dominated by an ethnic German majority and, in accordance with prevailing sentiment of the times, remained part of the post-war German state.

Many Danish nationalists felt that Central Schleswig should be returned to Denmark regardless of the plebiscite’s results, generally motivated by a desire to see Germany permanently weakened in the future. Christian agreed with these sentiments, and ordered Prime Minister Zahle to include Central Schleswig in the re-unification process. As Denmark had been operating as a parliamentary democracy since the Cabinet of Deuntzer in 1901, Zahle felt he was under no obligation to comply. He refused the order and resigned several days later after a heated exchange with the king.

Subsequently, Christian dismissed the rest of the government and replaced it with a de facto conservative care-taker cabinet under Otto Liebe.

The Easter Crisis of 1920 was a constitutional crisis and a significant event in the development of constitutional monarchy in Denmark. It began with the dismissal of the elected government by the reigning monarch, King Christian X, a reserve power which was granted to him by the Danish constitution. As a result of the crisis a revision of the Danish constitution specified that when new elections are called the sitting cabinet remains until after the elections, but the monarch still has the right to dismiss the government today

This was nominally his right in accordance with the constitution, but facing the risk of the monarchy being overthrown he was forced to accept democratic control of the state and the role as a nominal constitutional monarch.

The dismissal caused demonstrations and an almost revolutionary atmosphere in Denmark, and for several days the future of the monarchy seemed very much in doubt. In light of this, negotiations were opened between the king and members of the Social Democrats. Faced with the potential overthrow of the Danish crown, Christian stood down and dismissed his own government, installing as a compromise cabinet under Michael Pedersen Friis until elections could be held later that year.

This was the most recent time that a sitting Danish monarch took political action without the full support of parliament; following the crisis, Christian accepted his drastically reduced role as symbolic head of state.

In spite of becoming unpopular due to his resistance to democracy, during the German Occupation of Denmark he did become a popular symbol of resistance to German occupation, particularly because of the symbolic value of the fact that he rode every day through the streets of Copenhagen unaccompanied by guards.

He also became the subject of a persistent urban legend according to which, during Nazi occupation, he donned the Star of David in solidarity with the Danish Jews. This is not true, as Danish Jews were not forced to wear the Star of David. However, the legend likely stems from a 1942 British report that claimed he threatened to don the star if this was forced upon Danish Jews. This is also supported by the king’s personal diary, where the following entry can be found:

When you look at the inhumane treatment of Jews, not only in Germany but occupied countries as well, you start worrying that such a demand might also be put on us, but we must clearly refuse such this due to their protection under the Danish constitution. I stated that I could not meet such a demand towards Danish citizens.

If such a demand is made, we would best meet it by all wearing the Star of David. In addition, he helped finance the transport of Danish Jews to unoccupied Sweden, where they would be safe from Nazi persecution. With a reign spanning two world wars, and his role as a rallying symbol for Danish national sentiment during the German Occupation, he has become one of the most popular Danish monarchs of modern times.

  •  World War I began 100 years ago this month, and in many ways, writes historian Margaret MacMillan, it remains the defining conflict of the modern era.

Many of the now-familiar political boundaries in Europe and the Middle East still reflect the peace settlements that followed the war I.

These resulted in a smaller Russia and Germany and wound up the great multinational empires of Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans. New countries appeared on our maps, with names such as Yugoslavia and Iraq.

What is harder to pin down and assess are the war’s long-term consequences—political, social and moral. The conflict changed all the countries that took part in it and old regimes collapsed, to be replaced by new political orders. In Russia, czarist autocracy was succeeded by a communist one, with huge consequences for the rest of the century. The scale and destructiveness of the war also raised issues—many of which we still grapple with today—and spread new political ideas.

President Wilson talked about national self-determination and making the world safe for democracy. He wanted a League of Nations as the basis for international cooperation.

The armistice of 1918 ended one gigantic conflict, but it left the door open for a whole host of smaller ones—the “wars of the pygmies,” as Winston Churchill once described them. Competing national groups tried to establish their own independence and to push their borders out at the expense of their neighbors. Poles fought Russians, Lithuanians and Czechs, while Romania invaded Hungary. And within their borders, Europeans fought each other. Thirty-seven thousand Finns (out of some 3 million) died in a civil war in the first months of 1918, while in Russia, as many as a million soldiers and many more civilians may have died by the time the Bolsheviks finally defeated their many opponents.

The end of hostilities in 1918 also brought the challenge, one we still face, of how to end wars in ways that don’t produce fresh conflict. The first World War didn’t directly cause the second, but it created the conditions in which it became possible. President Wilson was for a peace without retribution and a world in which nations came together for the common good; his opponents, such as Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, thought that only a decisive victory over Germany and its allies would lay the groundwork for a lasting peace.

As Wilson once said, “America is an idea, America is an ideal, America is a vision.” In his great speech to Congress in April 1917, when he asked for the declaration of war on Germany, he made it clear that the U.S. wanted nothing for itself from the war, that its goal was to defeat militarism and build a better world.

From Russia, Lenin and his Bolsheviks offered a stark alternative: a world without borders or classes. The competing visions helped fuel the Cold War, which ended just 25 years ago.

  • Russia has unilaterally redrawn a European border for the first time since the end of World War II.

Before 1914, Russia was a backward autocracy but was changing fast. Its growth rate was as high as any of the Asian tigers in the 1960s and 1970s; it was Europe’s major exporter of food grains and, as it industrialized, was importing machinery on a massive scale. Russia also was developing the institutions of civil society, including the rule of law and representative government.

Without the war, it might have evolved into a modern democratic state; instead, it got the sudden collapse of the old order and a coup d’état by the Bolsheviks. Soviet communism exacted a dreadful toll on the Russian people and indeed the world—and its remnants are still painfully visible in the corrupt, authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin.

ECFR Council meeting – We need to discuss our regional responsibilities.

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We are living in a remarkable time – a time that tests our ability to deal with a wide range of new threats to humanity, threats bearing not only fight against terrorism on our security, but also on our environment, and generally on our civilization. This is a major challenge, imposing great demands not only on the new EU Member States and on the NATO Alliance as a whole, but on the entire human race. The global protection of human rights , the rule of law, climate change, and the maintenance of world peace are the most important tasks.

“The world will never be the same again”, said European Council President Herman van Rompuy after Crimea, conjuring up a geopolitical awakening at the heart of the EU. The EU strongly supported the holding of free and fair Presidential elections on 25 May and called on all parties to join in this support, to help overcome the crisis and allow the Ukrainian people to choose their own future.

Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden acm_panel_europe_crises

Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden, Emma Bonino, Former Foreign Minister of Italy, President Toomas Ilves, President of Estonia, Jo Johnson, Head of Policy Unit, Office of the Prime Minister of the UK, Norbert Röttgen, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Bundestag Moderator Sylvie Kauffmann, Editorial Director, Le Monde

Every year, the ECFR Council – an unrivalled European strategic community of over 200 members – meets as a full body in a key European capital at the ECFR Annual Council Meeting.

This year’s meeting in Rome look at the results of the European Parliamentary elections and what they mean for Europe; what lies ahead for the EU-Russia relationship after the events in Ukraine; the possibility of world peace, agreement with Iran and risks of a war in Asia etc.

The EU is dealing with three simultaneous major crises: a geopolitical crisis in its neighbourhood (eastern and southern); an economic crisis in the eurozone; and a political crisis following the European elections.

These crises are also leading to divisions between member states – between East and West, North and South, eurozone and euro-outs as well as between mainstream political parties and the new forces that have risen to cope with them.

Major steps have been taken towards more and better integration, towards a real economic and monetary union, despite the crisis or rather because of it. But Europe has to go beyond the Treaties, because, at present there is a deep problem of trust of the European citizen in the EU.

Current discussion on the future of the EU is predominantly focused on the federalism-subsidiarity dilemma. Meanwhile, values like freedom, tolerance and solidarity, known to all of us as European, are more and more subject to threats and have become a matter of dispute, not only in member states, but in elected EU institutions as well. Therefore, when discussing the future of Europe, the question we must first address is what are the values the EU is based on today and how they reflect on member states, potential member states and all EU policies, including the Enlargement Policy.

One of the reasons why the term federalism (discussed at this year ECFR council meeting) is the suspicion that countries would be overshadowed by a unified, centralised federal state. For countries which have fought long and hard to become united and independent, the thought of being a mere sub-federal entity is unbearable. The problem is howeve, in this position and in our view, not political integration in the first place, but to have an integrated single national unity system at the European level.

A standard definition of federalism is that it is “a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units; an encompassing political or societal entity formed by uniting smaller or more localized entities”

Monnet’s Federalism was a European concept going back centuries. It usually operated within individual states, where power and responsibility were distributed among local, provincial, and national levels of government. Monnet, however, wanted to elevate it to being the basis for a federated Europe. It was a radical, distant goal, which he helped make possible through the practical, iterative steps he prescribed during his lifetime.

The European Union already has a number of undeniably federative elements: a supranational European Commission:  Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union lists the following institutions: a European Parliament; a European Commission: a European Court of Auditors; a European Central Bank and the European Court of Justice based on a system of the rule of law, the primacy of which is recognised over national law. Federalism is a dynamic concept, a process towards and ever closer union continues. Europe is a community based on law and common principles, not, as in the past, on balance of power.

What we obviously see now is also that Europe reaching the limit of courrent policies and needs leverage to provide sustainable growth based on increased competitiveness. The biggest lesson from the crisis is that growth based on debt is not sustainable. Europe needs systemic growth, based on increased competitiveness. It is not enough to have the right policy, this policy also has to merit political and social acceptance in all 28 Member States. This is where Europe did not do everything right.

In terms of changes of international politics Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden, are convinced that the EU needs a broad strategic approach for its external relations. Some Member States have even announced that they will increase their defence budgets. At the very least the crisis ought to produce a stabilization of European defence spending – any further defence budget cuts will raise some eyebrows among the general public. The most cost-effective way to use European defence budgets remains cooperation.

In the last few days, there have been numerous bilateral talks with Iran on the nuclear issue. Iran and the P5+1/EU nations appear to be fulfilling their commitments under the six-month interim agreement. The interim nuclear agreement raises the possibility that Terhran will drop the Assads in pursuit of entente with the US and EU – but reaching a final deal will be challenging, as the sides remain far apart on key issues.

Russia, which provides the Syrian regime with arms and a diplomatic shield in the UN Security Council, would also need to be on board. In Carl Bildts opinion, there is still potential for a settlement with Iran, but it requires, of course, good will from both sides. Temporary accord was intended to give negotiators more time. If there is to be a deal with Iran, it needs to be speeded up.

Another important development are: Thailand´s military coup, which has launched its 12th coup of the modern era, plunging southeast Asia´s second-largest economy into a fresh phase of its crisis and raising the prospect of international sanctions. Armed self defence units are forming across Ukraine´s east to fight rebels.

Over the last few days, Sunni militants have swept through northern and western Iraq. Anti-government forces, mainly under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or also known as ISIS), a group that has fought Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military in Syria, have taken over the cities of Mosul and Tikrit. This should not come as a surprise.

The current event in Iraq remind us how important it is to focus on what comes after the military intervention. The problems aren´t gone when the troops leave. We need to think about this with Afghanistan. KEYNOTE ADDRESS Federica Mogherini, Foreign Minister of Italy

“The world will never be the same again”, said European Council President Herman van Rompuy after Crimea, conjuring up a geopolitical awakening at the heart of the EU. EU-Russia relations have recently been going through a challenging period and in this context the EU will seek to engage Russia in a firm yet forward-looking dialogue about the future of economic and political relations on our continent.

By annexing Crimea and intervening in Ukraine, Russia has raised fundamental questions about the principles of EU-Russia relations. Every agreement made with them since the Second World War, from article 2 of the UN Charter to the Helsinki Accords and the Paris Charter, has been violated by Russia.

When the Cold War ended, many Americans and Europeans seemed to think that the most vexing geopolitical questions had largely been settled. Both would rather move past geopolitical questions of territory and military power and focus instead on ones of world order and global governance: trade liberalization, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, the rule of law, climate change, and so on. Indeed, since the end of the Cold War, the most important objective of U.S. and EU foreign policy has been to shift international relations away from zero-sum issues toward win-win ones.

A crucial question for the EU now is how to envisage EU-Russian and EU-NATO-Russian relations in the future, said Federica Mogherini, Foreign Minister of Italy. Despite the urgency of the situation, we must not rush to hasty conclusions.

The truth is that, both before Vilnius and now, the EU has offered the Ukrainians less than they want. We need to discuss our regional responsibilities, says Carl Bildt.

The southern Crimean Peninsula is till heavily ethnic Russian, and it is the home of Russia´s Black Sea fleet, providing Russia´s only outlet to the Mediterranean. Luhansk is the biggest city in one of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine where separatists have declared People’s Republics and want to join the Russian Federation.  Next, Putin ordered military maneuvers in the part of Russia adjoining eastern Ukraine, in order to demonstrate Russia´s geographical supremacy over the half of Ukraine that is pro-Russian as well as the part of Ukraine blessed with large shale-gas reserves.

Moscow knows as does the West that a flat topography along the long border between Russia and Ukraine grants Moscow and overwhelming advantage not only militarily but also in terms of disrupting trade and energy flows to Kiev. Mariupol is considered strategically important because it is situated on major roads and steel is exported through its port.

To live in a world where geography is respected and not ignored is to understand the constraints under which political leaders labor. Leaders beyond America and Europe tend to be highly territorial in their thinking. For them, international relations are a struggle for survival. As a result, Western leaders often think in universal terms, combined with the role of law, while Russia, the Middle East and East Asia think in narrower terms; those that provide advantage to their nations or their ethnic groups only. We can see this disconnect in the Middle East. The interminable violence and repression in eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sunnistan, covering both western Iraq and Syria.

On June 12, unmarked tanks and another armored vehicle — bearing no unit markings or other identification, beyond a Russian flag — drove from Russia into southeastern Ukraine, according AtlanticCouncil source. Ukraine’s new President Petro Poroshenko recently stated that Ukraine would never cede its claim to the Crimean peninsula to Russia, despite the fact it has lost de facto control over the peninsula and has almost no chance of regaining it through force or negotiations, as it has been annexed by Russia.

This attitude is relatively new. It also changes the character of international politics. As the atmosphere turns dark, the task of promoting and maintaining world order grows more daunting. One main weakness of the Russia-Ukraine approach reviewed in thediplomat is – Instead of a territorial dispute being decisively resolved in favor of one side or the other, it festers, sometimes over decades, leading to the long term chilling of relations between countries. By turning a strategic and political issue — which territorial disputes ought to be — into a moral cause, it inflames passions, making normal relations between countries even more difficult.

The Russian leadership should be clear that the international community stands ready to impose further sanctions if Moscow continues to provoke instability and does nothing to stop further violence. NATO SG continue to urge Russia to complete the withdrawal of its military forces on the border with Ukraine and call on the Russian Federation to meet its Geneva commitments and cooperate with the government of Ukraine as it implements its plans for promoting peace, unity and reform. No doubt crisis will continue- we need more not less cooperation and deeper understanding, not least in Member States.

Attitudes similar to Ukraine’s are found all over the world where there are territorial disputes, such as in the South China Sea, over the Senkaku islands, in Israel and Palestine, and in India and Pakistan. Today tensions in Asia are at an all-time high because of the significant risk of skirmishes and misunderstandings over disputed territory in the South and East China Seas. Ukraine doesn’t just divert time and energy away from those important questions. Thus, Ukraine can become a prosperous civil society, but because of its location it will always require a strong and stable relationship with Russia.

The Arab world can eventually stabilize, but Western militaries cannot set complex and highly populous Islamic societies to rights except at great cost to themselves.

President Barack Obama said on Friday that the U.S. will not be sending troops to Iraq as militant Sunni extremists march toward Baghdad. “The United States is not simply going to involve itself in a military action in the absence of a political plan by the Iraqis that gives us some assurance that they’re prepared to work together”.

If there is good news here, it is that most of the borders that are being redrawn or just reunderlined exist within states rather than between them. Perhaps states ought to change their views on the norm of territorial sovereignty, writs the diplomat, and become more committed to reconciling with facts on the ground. This would make negotiations more productive and treaties settling territorial disputes more likely, reducing the chances of conflict.

The Austrian diplomat Klemens von Metternich, who worked on territorial disputes in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, provided another solution. While he emphasized the necessity of treaties in ensuring the legal resolution of disputes as opposed to arbitrary, unilateral conquest, he advocated the limited use of force to induce favorable negotiations or sometimes change the facts on the ground when old ones no longer worked.

Metternich also observed the siege and fall of Valenciennes, an experience he would later look back on as teaching him a great deal about warfare. His decision to oppose Russian imperialism is also seen as a good one.

Russia needs to commit to defusing tension. This means securing borders, withdrawing all military forces, and preventing further violence in eastern Ukraine, and cooperate with the government of Ukraine to meet its Geneva commitments.

Europe stands ready to facilitate and engage in meaningful dialogue involving Ukraine and Russia. The EU has actively supported multilateral initiatives towards that aim and it continues to do so.

  • Frequently asked questions about Ukraine, the EU’s Eastern Partnership and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Fact sheet

What will the longer-term global consequences of the Ukraine crisis be? Read – Ten global consequences of the Ukraine crisis by ECFR  discussed at this years ECFR meeting in Rume 12-13 June 2014

Regime crisis increase change to democratization.

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Developmental research on attributional processes has highlighted some of the basic principles of causation. The first fundamental principle of cause-effect relations is that causes precede effects. To the list of basic principles of causation elaborated by Kassin and Pryor (1986) one might add the following:

(1) Causes resemble effects: for example, people generally assume that big effects are produced by big causes, and that little effects are produced by little causes. (2) Representative causes are attributed to effects: in trying to find an explanation for a situation, people may look at similar outcomes and infer that the cause of the current outcome is similar to the causes for the previous related outcomes.

Thus, for example, a patient unfamiliar with the causes of cancer may attribute a malignant lump to a blow, since other kinds of lumps are caused by blows. In that sense, they were response or outcome-oriented, rather than process oriented.

Humans depend upon causation all the time to explain what has happened to them to make realistic predictions about what will happen, and to affect what happens in the future. Not surprisingly, we are inveterate searchers after causes. Almost no one goes through a day without uttering sentences of the form X caused Y or Y occurred because of X.

Knowing more about causality can be useful. Causal statements explain events, allow predictions about the future, and make it possible to take actions to effect the future.

The cause for democratization is often a regime crisis. Such crises can be external in origin for example wars and occupations, or radical changes in trade patterns or arise from domestic sources (e,g. the inability of governments to deliver goods and services to the populace, the death of an authoritarian ruler, the rise of local opposition the the government).

Models of the interactions between ruling elites and citizens that may lead to democratization can be divided into two categories depending on their basic assumptions. Most of the scholarship, in political science, views either structural preconditions or elite agency as the critical factor behind the success of democratization. They define political culture, in turn, as a set of beliefs and dispositions toward certain political objects and the role that these beliefs and attitudes play in sustaining democratic practices.

It is well to recall that the huge variation we see in the world today in both economic and political outcomes is the result of long-run historical processes. Though some countries do change their development path, for example Japan after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Turkey after the First World War, Russia after the 1917 Revolution and again after 1989, the preponderance of evidence suggest that once a society gets onto a particular path it stays on it. Within these different institutional and political paths lie some of the most important questions in political science and economics.

When Europe entered the Age of Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, grip of religion loosened. The Arab states that emerged after World War I have always struggled with their heterogeneous populations, uncertain national identities, and deep internal fissures. They have existed for almost a century, and vested interests have developed around the preservation of their national borders and institutions. Ethnic, sectarian, and tribal divisions still linger, as conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen so clearly demonstrate.

The region that the twenty-first century has come to the fore in the thinking of democracy promotion´s supporters is the Middle East. This is both because liberal democracy has made least progress there and because political reform in countries like Egypt, Syria, and Iran is now seen to be vital to Western security interest And its strategy for promoting democracy there.

Egypt is often cited as an example in societies that lack well organized political parties for channelling political mobilization in a manner compatible with orderly democratic rule, authoritatrian breakdown may not proceed smoothly to the installation of democracy. Instead, there is turmoil, creating opportunities for illiberal groups (uncivil society) to take charge, as happened in Iraq.

  • Structural preconditions or elite agency.

Structural explanations highlight the broader context in which regime transition takes place, a processes that requires an explanation of how one gets from S to R and these particular preconditions that increase the demands for participation and for accuntability that lead authoritarian regimes to democratize. They arise slowly, over decades and generations, specifically the institutional constraints on the process of democratization.

The formal political institutions that follow crises reflect both the preferences and the power bases of these bargaining elites and citizens. Where structuralist accounts broad societal preconditions such as economic development and specific institutions that shape governance and the relationship between state and society, agency-based accounts see unpredictable and contingent events that cascade into regime collapses.

It may truly be the case that policy is its own cause both directly as well as indirectly. A policy might successfully change the social world in precisely the way intended, and then those changes might themselves either prevent or enable certain further policy developments, along similar lines. Every attempt to fix one problem creates several more.

Structuralist approaches are good at accounting for the general causes of regime breakdown and consolidation of new democracies.

Both structure and agency-based accounts tend to assume that structure constrains elites. For agency-based accounts, therefore, the catalyst for democratization is often a regime crisis. It is only in moments of crisis that elites can act more freely.

The most recent wave of democratization, which followed the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and its east European satellites, shows that these two perspectives have much to contribute to each other. First, several structural preconditions inherited from the authoritarian regimes act to foster democratization, rather than constrain it. Moreover, elite agency matters long after the initial bargaining and well into the subsequent consolidation period.

Activities and processes linking causes and effects require mechanism approach. Robert E. Goodin (2008) The Oxfrord Handbook of Political Science, take theoretically based classification that might help explain differences in democratization processes and policy decisions that have different aspects of democratic consolidation. Regimes in which power has been personalized under military or one individual, however are more likely to be replaced by a new dictatorship than by a democracy.

Transition from personalized dictatorship are less likely to result in democracy, but sometimes they do. For these reasons, the process of transition from personalized dictatorship should not be modeled as an elite-led bargain (see Hadnius and Teorell 2005).

Post-Second World War democratizations have occurred in several quite different ways, but nearly all have involved a transition to immediate universal suffrage democracy. Various international influences on democratization have arguably had greater effects since the Second World War and perhaps greater still since the 1980s.

Since 1990, Levitsky and Way (2006) show that those authoritarian regimes with the closest linkages to the USA and Western Europe are the most likely to have democratic looking institutions such as multiparty elections in which some real competition is allowed. Such regimes may be easier to dislodge since opposition is usually less risky and costly in them.

Stronger democratic institutions are crucial, in one area after another, there are literature devoted to assessing the impact, or effectiveness, of international institutions and how modernization caused democracy. Support that can take the form of technical material, and financial assistance to pro-democracy initiatives.

Assistance includes what Carothers, T (2004) calls “institutional modelling” attempts to transfer blueprints of democratic practice, procedure, and organizations that resemble working models already familiar in the established democracies. More broadly, the focus on formal democratic institutions tends to conflate formal institutions, in particular elections and electoral institutions, with a transition to democracy.

Elections are viewed as both the initiation of the democratization process and the hallmark of successful democratization. Both structure and agency-based accounts of democratization have tended to focus on the formal institutions of representation and accountability. Given that without elections and contestation, we cannot speak of democratization, this is not an unreasonable emphasis.

However, it overlooks the other institutional aspects of successful democratization. Specifically, the role of the state and informal institutions. With few exceptions, market reforms and institutions of the state, such as centralized bureaucracies and the networks of security, redistribution, and market regulation has long been ignored in the study of democratization. The emphasis has been on the pluralization of politics, economics, and civil society rather than on the institutions of the state.

Yet, the post-Communist experience demonstrates that the type and extent of state structures found in the countries undergoing transition profoundly influence democratization. A clear division between state and society generates powerful incentives both for elites to appeal to outside constituencies, and for these constituencies to hold elite despoliation in check.

I should add the list what U.S. President Obama said recently – “For democracy is more than just elections. True democracy, real prosperity, lasting security — these are neither simply given, nor imposed from the outside. They must be earned and built from within. And in that age-old contest of ideas — between freedom and authoritarianism, between liberty and oppression, between solidarity and intolerance” – President Obama, with an eye on Putin and crisis in Ukraine, wanted to demonstrate that NATO’s Article 5 is for real. There are some significant changes in Europe’s own neighbourhood.

Poroshenko’s assumption of the presidency represents a crossroads moment for this country of 45 million.

The end of the Cod War has also changed the process of democratization. Poroshenko’s assumption of the presidency represents a crossroads moment for this country of 45 million.

The end of the Cod War has also changed the process of democratization. In his first interview as President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko tells TIME that he has no choice but to keep Russia at the negotiating table, as no country is prepared to guarantee his nation’s security from further attack.

So we can’t talk about a firm sense of security without a dialogue and an understanding with Russia.” That is why Poroshenko spent the first full day of his tenure on Sunday in marathon talks with the Russian ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov.

Their positions remain miles apart, at best leaving Poroshenko room for “cautious optimism” for restoring civil relations with Russia. Poroshenko wants Russia to offer a new “model of behavior, a model of guarantees” that would restore a sense of stability. So far, he doesn’t have anything close.

In contrast, small European states that have thrown off their former Communist regimes and built firm and lasting foundations for the new democracy should, in the interest of a stable and secure Europe and if they so wish, be admitted to the defensive alliance of democratic principles that is the North Atlantic Alliance and, unlike Russia, thus become an integral and equally responsible part of the organization.

These are countries that have based their existence as states on the principle of civic freedoms, from which in turn are derived the other freedoms, including the right and capacity to sustain and develop their own national cultural identity.

For his part Poroshenko in the interests of the country which he heads as President, he says “We’re talking about assistance that will be able to stop this aggression” from Russia, he said in his discussions last week and this weekend with U.S. and European leaders. Military action against Ukraine by forces of the Russian Federation is a breach of international law and contravenes the principles of the NATO-Russia Council and the Partnership for Peace.

NATO Secretary General is very concerned about reports of escalation of the crisis in Eastern Ukraine.Reports that pro-Russian armed gangs are acquiring heavy weapons from Russia, including Russian tanks. NATO has a long-standing partnership with Ukraine. NATO stands ready to support democratic development, defence reforms, military cooperation and democratic control over the security sector,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) on 27 February 2014.

  • NATO SG continue to urge Russia to complete the withdrawal of its military forces on the border with Ukraine and call on the Russian Federation to meet its Geneva commitments and cooperate with the government of Ukraine as it implements its plans for promoting peace, unity and reform.
  • The European Union continues to support Ukraine in the process of reform to deliver a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens. The European Union will be at Ukraine’s side and remains ready to work with those that share these objectives of democracy, prosperity and stability.
  • Inclusive and comprehensive dialogue will no doubt be an important part in leading forward this process of transformation. A united and decentralised country where all will find their place and different identities and minorities will be acknowledged and respected.

Poroshenko’s assumption of the presidency represents is a crossroads moment for this country of 45 million. Six months of upheaval have ratcheted up tensions between Russia and the West to Cold War heights, and Poroshenko’s inauguration offers a glimmer of hope to those seeking to avoid a full-blown civil war.

Strategic latency.

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Within a variety of historical contexts, The Shaping of Grand Strategy addresses the most important tasks states have confronted: namely, how to protect their citizens against the short-range as well as long-range dangers their policies confront in the present and may confront in the future.

The rapid, worldwide adoption of advances in computing, robotics, bioengineering, and more by state and nonstate actors is now reshaping what future national security threats and opportunities will look like. Strategic latency may be of greatest concern in the proliferation of WMD, weapons that raise the specter of what Sir Martin Rees called “our final hour.”

To be successful, grand strategy demands that governments and leaders chart a course that involves more than simply reacting to immediate events. Above all, it demands they adapt to sudden and major changes in the international environment, which more often than not involves the outbreak of great conflicts but at times demands recognition of major economic, political, or diplomatic changes.

The combination of science and technology brings change. People who participate in long-range strategic competition planning and analysis—whether with respect to competitors who are threats, friends, or allies—might profitably organize their thinking around certain key questions.

Many of us would like to predict the future. Knowledge of the future would enable us to prepare or even avoid some problems. At a national level, such problems might consist of military conflict, a pandemic, or economic disruption. Strategic latency refers to the inherent potential for technologies to bring about significant shifts in the military or economic balance of power.

According to Christopher Kojm, Chairman National Intelligence Council: Of more immediate interest are breakthrough technologies such as lasers that continue to advance toward an ever more emphatic dual-use status.

This principle refers most directly to the forging of an integrated civil–military dual-use system, especially the establishment of a civilian apparatus that has the technological and industrial capabilities to meet the needs of the military and defense economy.

More than half a century ago, two distinguished students of strategy among nations examined the evolution of the weapons and tactics of warfare, concerned not with “the great generals of history, but with the application strictly of intelligence to the problem of war—of intelligence not as it sometimes expresses itself on the battlefield, but in quiet studies or laboratories far removed.”

The authors traced the advent of gunpowder and its effect on artillery and naval power; the crucial role of the British scientific community in the development of radar, that was central to their triumph against the Germans in the Battle of Britain; and, of course, the impact of nuclear weapons that made “the importance of protecting adequately the main retaliatory striking force of the nation. . .second to no other security question.”

What this study and some others have in common are a focus on nation-states, in particular the “great powers,” and how political and military leaders were (and are) sometimes very slow to appreciate how technological innovation could provide enormous advantages on the battlefield.

Much general knowledge is spread by scientific advancement reported in the open scientific literature, a process intensified by increased exploitation of “open-source” science. Still, secrecy or patents protect much knowledge and know-how. Certain national security-related information is classified. Yet, leaks, theft, and the online publication of “cookbooks” not only make sensitive information available, but also highlight how to use it.

Latent technologies emerged because someone thought they would have a use. The intended use may not be the ultimate use. In fact, some technologies may find no economically viable market, now or ever, and yet may be of security concern. Latency thus suggests some embedded level of potential or an inherent possibility not yet realized. A capability may be dormant, but many latent technologies are not particularly dormant. Much activity is taking place around them, but they are not being applied in an area of significance, much less in an area of strategic significance.

The new book, Strategic Latency and World Power: Published by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Center of Global Security Research, notes that the nuclear age, which Bernard Brodie characterized as being ushered in by the “absolute weapon” in 1946, has now been joined by the information technology revolution, the synthetic biology revolution, and other technological advances that are bewildering in their complexity, uncertain in their path to deployment, and difficult to assess in terms of individual and collective impact.

Second, these advances are not solely in the hands of the great powers, but are accessible to medium powers, failed states, nongovernmental organizations that may or may not be in the service of governments, terrorist groups seeking to overthrow established governments, criminal cartels motivated to utilize these technologies for financial gain, and individuals and small groups who are developing advanced technologies in part to further their definition of preferred societal goals.

One can debate whether the advance and spread of technology in the electronic and digital age has had greater strategic significance in our times than the advance and spread of technology had during the industrial revolution.

Certainly, the defeat of the Russian fleet in the Tsushima Straits in 1905 by a Japanese Navy demonstrated a century ago that newcomers could use technology to quickly catch up and surpass and thus alter history for decades to come. Neither the Russian Revolution nor the Pearl Harbor attack was made inevitable by the surprisingly stark outcome of the Russo-Japanese War, but the
contribution is clear.

Does an actor—state, nonstate, or hybrid—want to achieve a certain capability and does that actor have the technology, industry, and resources to advance toward it? Imagine that we have a graph in which intent is measured on the “x axis,” perhaps as a percentage of maximum commitment to the goal. The “y axis” then might be capability, perhaps measured as a percentage of the capability needed to achieve the goal.

The goal could be something concise such as a nuclear weapon or more complex such as a high confidence antiaircraft carrier capability. We might observe that the two “variables” in practice may not be independent. For example, as a capability grows, interest and commitment may grow because a path to success becomes clearer. Alternatively, recognition that a capability is near may result in a backlash, reducing net motivation. Likewise, capability may expand or contract under the influence of changes in intent.

If an actor had increased both its interest in nuclear weapons and its capabilities, the net vector might be a long arrow moving toward the upper right corner, closer to achieving a capability.

These demands are met increasingly from multinational S&T markets manned by a global S&T talent base. Rather than being “silver bullets,” much dual-use equipment and even some facilities are approaching commodity status. Agile manufacturing and miniaturization of equipment and facilities make more technology affordable as the increased productivity lowers infrastructure and manpower requirements.

This phenomenon is often accompanied by what in the digital age is referred to as “disintermediation” or “a more flat pyramid.” There are strong forces bringing SNSs and mobility together, including the industrywide trend toward presence and personalization.

For 20 years, Pyramid Research has helped companies in the converging communications, media, and technology industries stay ahead of market trends, understand competitive threats, and capitalize on opportunities. Mid-level management is reduced as leaders come to control more employees directly, and empowered employees have greater access to more resources. Those insights can foster innovation, help mitigate vulnerabilities, or catalyze a new application of existing technology.

The variety of technology available today and in the actionable future is tremendous. Interdisciplinary synergism seems far greater than in the past. Synthetic chemistry and biology, genetics, nanotechnology, new materials, cyber and information technology, microelectronics, robotics, photonics, quantum mechanics—all these and many more— provide huge inventories of ideas and innovation.

Nation such as Japan may be toward the upper left reflecting great capability to acquire nuclear weapons but weak intent to do so. A terrorist group such as Al-Qaeda might have a very high measure of intent but minimal capability. Other actors, be they governments, government-related entities, companies, groups, or individuals, could also be plotted.

Strategic latency may be of greatest concern in the proliferation of WMD, weapons that raise the specter of what Sir Martin Rees called “our final hour.” Nevertheless, when in 1940 Winston Churchill said to the people of his island nation that “their finest hour” was to prevent the world from sinking “into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science,” he was speaking of the beginning of a second world war. Nuclear weapons had not yet been created.

Although biological and chemical weapons were used in previous wars, the onslaught Churchill expected was from what we now call “conventional munitions,” indeed crude weapons by today’s standard. Although bullets, artillery, and “dumb bombs” that would be familiar to any veteran of World War II are still manufactured and deployed in large numbers, “conventional” today often means self-propelled, selfguided, precision, or target-sensing weapons with shaped-charges or other advanced kinetic devices or explosives.

Why is the concept of strategic latency important?

Computers and telemetry were once leading edge technologies that might have been considered “space technology” because of their criticality to boosters and spacecraft. They existed prior to the Space Race of the Cold War. In contrast, there are many different types of “information spaces technology” today.

We are increasingly surrounded and increasingly carrying or wearing computing and communication devices, bringing people inside into the “space” changes our views on spaces science or engineering landscape architecture. It all depends  ability of members to access a social networking site from anywhere will enhance the utility of the SNS.

Any attempt to evaluate strategic latency will have to examine how specific technologies interact with each other and with the world around them.

Robotics will be an important part of the social and economic landscape of the future. The imperative for governments around the world, working with their respective private sectors, is to begin to think through consequences of the imminent robotics explosion and fast approaching technology revolution and to prepare for, take advantage of, and mitigate the downside risk of these developments.

Understanding the implications of the technology is fundamental. Most technological improvements might be called “better mousetrap technologies,” a little better or cheaper or faster, but the world will probably not “beat a path to your door.” These “accretion technologies,” however, can have strategic significance when small changes have magnified, cumulative effects, either positive or negative.

How an actor acquires a technology is also of interest understanding of strategic latency. A potential application of technology is actualized when an actor makes decisions and acts to exploit technology to which the actor has access. This may be good or bad for the actor and good or bad for others. Of particular interest here are dual-use technologies with strategic implications such as nuclear weapons.

For example, when a country acquires the ability to enrich uranium or separate plutonium, that country, whether it is a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in good standing such as Japan or suspected of being in violation such as Iran, often finds itself on lists of those with a nuclear weapons potential. Analysis of the sophistication of that technology, the size of facilities, and its relationship to other capabilities sometimes leads to attempts at more precise guestimates as to how long it would take to realize that capability if and when a decision were made. However, Iran could use the same technology at other, covert, locations for military applications.

Iran continued to pursue an indigenous nuclear fuel cycle ostensibly for civilian purposes but with clear weapons potential. We remain concerned that Tehran may have a clandestine nuclear weapons program, in contradiction to its obligations as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). International scrutiny and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections and safeguards will most likely prevent Tehran from using its weapons program as long as Iran remains a party to the NPT.

We are witnessing today how some technologies—notably armed drones and offensive cyber operations— have become central to President Obama’s national and international security strategy with respect to counterterrorism in the first instance and degrading the Iranian nuclear weapons development program in the second.

Obama famously proposed an ambitious nuclear risk-reduction program in a speech in Prague at the beginning of his first term, and followed it up with a number of early achievements. He reiterated the importance of his agenda in a June 2013 speech in Berlin.

What factors in technology might drive such a trend?
Certainly, globalization and intense competition in technology markets feed off the synergy of multi-disciplinary science that is frequently also multi-mission. This phenomenon is called “technology push.” “Technology pull” is generated by the need for diverse, modern warfare systems using advanced technologies such as electronics, sensors, and computations. Because more types of technology have become critical, more technology becomes significantly dual-use.

Such “technology push” may remain unexploited or even unrecognized, and thus latent, until a combination of factors coalesce to produce a powerful capability. The list of contributing factors can be extensive but generally three rise to the top: national security, economics, and human welfare.

The challenge of strategic latency is that actions of concern may not be highly visible. They may come from many directions. Also, lead times may be so short that reaction times are inadequate, increasing the chance of surprise. Strategic latency may be of greatest concern in the proliferation of WMD, weapons that raise the specter of what Sir Martin Rees called “our final hour.”

StrategicLatency and World Power. How Technology is Changing Our Concepts of Security

The idea for this book came from a meeting of the minds between Ron Lehman and Larry Gershwin, who are the godfathers of strategic latency.

Risk is often characterized as the product of consequences and probabilities. In the 20th century, which saw the use in war of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, WMD use was generally considered a highconsequence, low-probability event.

The worst that could have happened in that century did not happen. Nevertheless, well over 150 million people died in the wars and civil wars between 1900 and the beginning of the new millennium. Nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons killed few of those people. Simple bullets or even machetes killed millions.

In considering risks associated with latent technologies, where should we draw the line between what is “strategic” and what is not. Should we confine ourselves to WMD? Should we include other weapons? Should we include means of delivery? Should we include weapons of “mass disruption” such as cyber warfare? Should we include C3RSI? Should we include technologies that alter economic power or political influence?

Perhaps priority should be given to those latent technologies that present the greatest risk to our national interests, in particular those that may present us with sufficient surprise that our response might not be adequate.

Whether or not we consider the highly leveraged potential impact of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, electronic, cyber, advanced conventional, or other technologies on societies as within the realm of strategic latency, all of these fields have similar dynamics.

Nuclear weapons are not as easy to acquire as nerve gas, which may not be as easy to acquire as some biological agents, which are not as easy to acquire as some explosives, or Web-connected computers, or box cutters, but all are becoming easier, quicker,cheaper, more widely disseminated, and more dangerous. If governments and other national security players want to remain ahead of the curve, they will have to reassess their national security strategy starting now.

The imperative for governments around the world, working with their respective private sectors, is to begin to think through consequences of the imminent robotics explosion and fast approaching technology revolution and to prepare for, take advantage of, and mitigate the downside risk of these developments.

To address these issues, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Center of Global Security Research drew on the expertise of top thinkers in national security and more for the new book, Strategic Latency and World Power: How Technology is Changing Our Concepts of Security.

The book is the result of a collaboration between Livermore and Los Alamos National Labs with the US National Intelligence Council to assess the implications that rapidly developing emerging and disruptive technologies are having for national and international security. The chapter authors provide insights into the policies, individual country approaches, and specific technologies that are revolutionizing the global security environment.

Strategic latency volume presents the core definitional and conceptual elements as well as some of the key policy issues associated with strategic latency. Dr. Ronald Lehman, in many ways the founding father of the concept, presents a rich and detailed analysis of what he terms “a package of diverse technologies that can be deployed quickly, often in new ways, with limited visibility that could have decisive military and geopolitical implications.”

Event:Future of Global Security June 10, 2014

Emerging Technologies and the Future of Global Security June 10, 2014 – Atlantic Council event on International Security in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s to discusses the potential for technology development to contribute to solving global problems on the one hand and enabling dangerous and potentially harmful applications on the other.

Event: the most complex and dynamic global security environment facing NATO Alliance since the end of the Cold War.

Gradually Afghan National Security Forces (ISAF) will take the lead for security across the whole of the country. Implementation is well underway with Afghan forces taking the lead for security for around 87 per cent of the Afghan population. The aim is for Afghan forces to have full responsibility for security across the country by the end of 2014. This target was set at the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon and confirmed by Allied leaders at the Chicago Summit in May 2012.

Karzai has the United States, leading a coalition of some 50 nations, willing to stay on and help his country succeed. And that after a war that has lasted a dozen years and cost the United States more than $600 billion and 2,000 fatalities. Yet the Afghan president keeps throwing up roadblocks. His latest obstacle was his decision to hold off on signing the BSA.

Karzai has also thrown in new demands—just when we thought the security agreement was a done deal. For one, he wants to compel the United States to release all Afghan detainees in the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay. Part of Karzai’s attitude can be explained by the umbrage he has taken at various Americans, especially in recent years. Some U.S. officials made mistakes in their handling of the complex Afghan leader, such as lecturing him in public about matters such as government corruption. There can be little doubt, though, that Karzai’s own peevishness and ingratitude have played a large role.

On 18 June 2013, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen mark the fifth and final tranche of transition. With this decision,said NATO Secretary marks an important milestone, when Afghan soldiers and police will take the lead for security across the country.

As global power shifts, and new disruptive technologies the NATO Alliance is facing the most complex and dynamic global security environment since the end of the Cold War, with significant threats emanating from a newly assertive Russia, an increasingly turbulent Middle East, and global competition.

On June 25, 2014 Atlantic Council and the Norwegian Institute of Defence Studies will convene leaders and experts from across Europe and North America to discuss the role of NATO and the broader transatlantic community in an era of emerging security challenges.

Poroshenko took the oath today as Ukraine’s president.

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Ukraine’s new President Petro Poroshenko, who has received a strong mandate to advance Ukraine in the path of reforms and turn Ukraine into the modern and democratic country its citizens call for, was inaugurated as Ukraine’s new president in Kiev today on June 7, 2014. The clear majority awarded to him in the elections, highlighted the resolve of the Ukrainian people to bring stability back to their country and overcome the challenges it has been facing.

Clear majority for President Poroshenko shows people's resolve to restore stability and overcome challenges Ukraine

– Clear majority for President Poroshenko shows people’s resolve to restore stability and overcome challenges Ukraine; President of the European Council @euHvR – We Warmly congratulate Petro Peroshenko on now being installed as President of Ukraine; FM @CarlBildt

As Mr Petro Poroshenko took the oath as Ukraine’s new president. “The return of Ukraine to its natural, European state has been long-awaited by many generations. Dictatorship that ruled Ukraine in recent years sought to deprive us of this prospect – people rebelled. Victorious Revolution of dignity has not only changed the government. The country has changed. People have changed”, said Mr Poroshenko.

Poroshenko said a peaceful resolution to the war is a necessary foundation for political and economic progress, and he called for early elections in parliament and the eastern provinces. He said he would seek full membership in the European Union and sign an agreement that would allow Ukrainians to travel visa-free throughout the union.

The European Union continues to support Ukraine in the process of reform to deliver a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens. “Today we have new chances for hope”, said . European Council Herman Van Rompuy on the inauguration of Mr Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s President,. Adding “The European Union will be at Ukraine’s side and remains ready to work with those that share these objectives of democracy, prosperity and stability. A united and decentralised country where all will find their place and different identities and minorities will be acknowledged and respected.” Deep and comprehensive economic reforms linked with deep and comprehensive free trade with EU gives Ukraine historic chance for a new start.

Inclusive and comprehensive dialogue will no doubt be an important part in leading forward this process of transformation. “All neighbours stand to benefit from a return to stability in Ukraine and the promotion of growth and development. All neighbours also need to respect its sovereign choices, including stronger ties with the European Union, and its territorial integrity.

Poroshenko took office shortly after 10 a.m., arriving in the back of an ordinary black sedan with no police escort. He walked up the blue-carpeted stairs to the chambers of Parliament and took his oath of office with his hand on a 16th-century illuminated Bible that is considered a national cultural treasure. Mr Poroshenko’s assumption of the presidency represents a crossroads moment for this country of 45 million people, and Poroshenko’s inauguration offers a glimmer of hope to those seeking to avoid a full-blown civil war.

True democracy, real prosperity, lasting security — these are neither simply given.

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The European Union´s role in promoting democratic political reform in central and Eastern European countries in the 1990s, and Balkans, just as many people in the transition and post-communist societies saw democratization as an aid to recovering national independence, freedom both from authoritarian rule and from political domination by the Soviet Union.

EU has been a critical security provider, ensuring, for example, Central Europe’s integration into the “West” after the end of the Cold War. The new European democracies that have emerged from the ruins of the Communist world are, one by one, seeking membership in the European Union. Some have joined, others have a chance of joining it sooner or may become ready later on, but the process is bound to be long and arduous for all of them.

Democracy is once again proving to be the best, most stable way of dealing with political challenges. And yet, at the same time democracy, more than any other system, demands statesmanship and courageous leadership. The EU has also had a strong dynamic of its own, with increase in membership potentially helping the institution to become a more powerful actor in world affairs in its own rights. Democracy promotion in nearby states has served this objective.

Overall, the European continent has become more prosperous and secure – even if imperfections subsist here and there. The EU’s enlargement policy has not ended, and it continues to leverage a positive conditionality on candidate countries.

Joint democracy inhibits some dyads from acting on the aggression endemic to international interaction.

When the totalitarian systems collapsed in Central and Eastern Europe and democracy prevailed in that territory, and when, as a result of this, the Iron Curtain, which used to cut Europe in half, collapsed as well, everything seemed quite clearcut and Soviet Union, would dismantle itself in a peaceful fashion.

With Russian aggression, it is difficult not to notice that something has changed to the east of the borders of NATO Allies and Partners.

A few years ago, it was Georgia; now, it is Ukraine, with a special focus on Crimea, that again, they’re having to do with the aggression with the use of armed forces against one’s neighbor. We all know to what ends such practices usually lead. Today, this is primarily a question of Ukraine. In addition to its impact on the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea could have grave implications for the legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all states. Ultimately, in the longer term, it could of course also be other countries.

The European Union continues to support Ukraine in the process of reform to deliver a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens .Deep and comprehensive economic reforms linked with deep and comprehensive free trade with EU gives Ukraine historic chance for a new start.

The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.

“We live in a different world than we did less than a month ago,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a Brookings Institution forum back in March. “Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine is in blatant breach of its international commitments and it is a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is a wake up call for the Euro-Atlantic community, for NATO, and for all those committed to a Europe whole, free and at peace.”

NATO offered an umbrella of reassurance in which Western Europeans could build what has become the European Union. Since the Cold War, NATO has provided a framework in which new democracies emerging from the Soviet fold could find the security they required to develop their own societies and integrate more fully into the European mainstream. It has also dealt with a range of unanticipated crises and threats, including in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, and in Libya.

The United States will work with our European allies to uphold the global order. Since the Ukraine crisis began, the United States, in the context of the alliance, has sent more F-16 fighters to Poland and F-15 fighters to the Baltics. US president Obama in Poland, renews commitment to the defense and security of Europe and proposed as much as $1 billion in additional spending.

US President Barack Obama in Polan today, said he expects Russia to undertake several actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine. Russia has a responsibility to engage constructively with the Ukrainian government in Kiev to prevent the flow of militants and weapons into eastern Ukraine,” President Obama said.

Countries that have joined the EU have developed positively, economically and politically. Economic performance can also determine democratization outcomes. Sustained economic growth has long been viewed as a democratic stimulus, while low levels of economic development and the absence of a middle class, for example, have long been viewed as impediments to democratization.

The countries represented here have all undertaken hard reforms, have built democratic institutions, have delivered greater Obama on NATO speech in Poland Warsaw 4th june 2014prosperity for their citizens, and underlying this progress is the security guarantee that comes from NATO membership.

We’re here today because as NATO allies we have to stand absolutely united in our Article 5 commitments to collective defense. We stand together always. Remarks by President Obama.

For democracy is more than just elections. True democracy, real prosperity, lasting security — these are neither simply given, nor imposed from the outside. They must be earned and built from within. And in that age-old contest of ideas — between freedom and authoritarianism, between liberty and oppression, between solidarity and intolerance —

Poland’s progress shows the enduring strength of the ideals that we cherish as a free people. Here we see the strength of democracy: Citizens raising their voices, free from fear. Here we see political parties competing in open and honest elections. Here we see an independent judiciary working to uphold the rule of law. Remarks by President Obama at at 25th Anniversary of Freedom Day — Warsaw, Poland

Poland is showing good resilience to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. GDP continuous to increase by 2.7% 2014 and 3.4 % 2015. Russia and China may be united by distrust of the United States, but they still remain wary of each other. The two will always lack the legitimacy and the international institutions that global order was built around – The UN, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, WTO, OSCE and Nato, established after World War II, dedicated to international cooperation.

ECFR essay collection Pyotr Stegny points out that Russia is unhappy that the values that won the Cold War – democracy, human rights, and the market economy – began to be seen by the West “not only as a prerequisite for sustainable development […], but also as a regulator and criterion for progress.” Russia had failed to impose its own terms on the West but was unwilling to join either European or Euro-Atlantic integration on Western terms.

NATO is before all else an instrument for the protection of freedom and of the values of Western civilization. An instrument for the defence of the Euro-American political and cultural realm, principal guarantor of security, peace and democratic development in Europe and its values against any possible threat, no matter where it might come from.

We are living in a remarkable time – a time that tests our ability to deal with a wide range of new threats to humanity, threats bearing not only on our security, but also on our environment, and generally on our civilization. This is a major challenge, imposing great demands not only on the new NATO members and on the Alliance as a whole, but on the entire human race. The global protection of human rights and the maintenance of world peace are the most important tasks.

The international political context can also greatly influence democratization, as democratic norms are exported abroad, and one country´s citizens learn that it is possible to democratize similarly repressive regimes. Europeans and Americans are cooperating to tackle key foreign policy challenges. This applies—to name just a few examples— to the situation – around Ukraine, in Syria and the changes sweeping the Arab world, the Middle East peace process, Afghanistan, the geopolitical tensions between China and Japan, Iran’s nuclear program, the promotion of democracy and stability in Mali, as well as to the fight against terrorism and piracy.” In the Pacific, China’s rising assertiveness, unresolved territorial issues, and a host of unsettled relationships and regional challenges have drawn many treaty allies closer to the US in recent years.

Russia’s dominance in the European market for natural gas also creates clear trade ties with EU countries. Dependence on Russian gas is an important channel through which the Russia-Ukraine conflict risks having an impact on Europe. The United States will be exporting more natural gas to the global market in the years to come and there are steps that United States and Europe can take together to reduce energy risks, upgrade energy infrastructure and improve efficiency. “I expect that we’ll also have an opportunity to discuss how Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe, can continue to diversify its energy sources”, said Obama.

In the years ahead discussions will also focus on improving the European security system. Overlapping with Obama’s trip, NATO also held its final defense ministerial meeting before the Wales Summit in September. This ministerial was a last chance for NATO’s defense ministers to discuss themes for the upcoming summit. A number of member states have already announced they will increase defense expenditure – Sweden, particularly the Baltic States, Romania, and Poland. Sweden will increase defence spending in coming years with more than 10 percent.

The larger, richer countries further away from Moscow are being a lot more coy: last year, Germany, France, Italy, and Turkey failed to reach the NATO-agreed two percent of GDP on defense. Even debt-ridden Greece decided to invest 2.3 percent in defense. Germany owes its economic prosperity to international trade and should thus make a greater contribution to world peace and global security. In spite of all the cuts, the 28 EU member states together still spend €160 billion on defence per year. Europe should indeed not let that total amount drop any further. The Ukraine crisis has the potential to stabilise European defence spending. The safety of the world, requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast.

Ajoint U.S.-EU stance has the greatest prospect of countering Russian actions. U.S. commitment, to the defense of the new democracies in Eastern Europe on increased military exercises in Eastern Europe, is also welcome decision. President Obama wants to demonstrate that NATO’s Article 5 is for real. A billion dollars to temporarily deploy additional American troops to Eastern Europe, organise military exercises, and train with allies and partners.

President Obama announced this ‘European Reassurance Initiative’ in Warsaw, just before travelling to Brussels for the G7 meeting that replaced the planned G8 meeting in Russia (4-5 June 2014) and D-Day commemoration of Normandy landings as the central act of the 20the century and what Churchill called “the most difficult and complicated operation that has ever taken place.

The story of D-Day is as much about years of diplomatic skirmishing among Churchill, Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin as it is about the landings on the beaches where on june 6 2014 President Obama and other world leaders journey, to France, to commemorate the occasion on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when the U.S.-led Allied armada crossed the English Channel to launch an offensive that would help lead to the defeat of the Third Reich.

Full Transcript: President Obama’s remarks at the 70th anniversary of D-Day

  • By the end of that longest day, this beach had been fought, lost, re-fought, and won, a piece of Europe once again liberated and free. We worked to turn old adversaries into new allies. We built new prosperity. We stood once more with the people of this continent through a long twilight struggle until finally, a wall tumbled down, and an Iron Curtain, too. From Western Europe to East, from South America to Southeast Asia, 70 years of democratic movements spread. And nations that once knew only the blinders of fear began to taste the blessings of freedom.”

“None of that would have happened without the men who were willing to lay down their lives for people they’d never met and ideals they couldn’t live without.

“None of it would have happened without the troops President Roosevelt called “the life-blood of America, the hope of the world.”

These men waged war so that we might know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.

“We say it now as if it couldn’t be any other way, but in the annals of history, the world had never seen anything like it. And when the war was won, we claimed no spoils of victory. We helped Europe rebuild. We claimed no land other than the earth where we bury those who gave their lives under our flag and where we station those who still serve under it”.

Warsaw 25 years since recovery of democracy – Forward-looking course of history.

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Mr Carl Bildt, the foreign minster of Sweden, Engaging discussion with young Polish diplomats together with Martin Lindegaard, foreign minister of Danmark

Mr Carl Bildt, the foreign minster of Sweden, Engaging discussion with young Polish diplomats together with Martin Lindegaard, foreign minister of Danmark.

In Warsaw today Poland is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the rebirth of Polish democracy after historic 1989 election. And this year also marks the 15th anniversary of Poland’s membership in NATO.

History was made here. The victory of 1989 was not inevitable. It was the culmination of centuries of Polish struggle, at times in this very square. The generations of Poles who rose up and finally won independence.

It was the beginning of the end of Communism across Europe. A Europe that is more integrated, more prosperous and more secure. On this historic day, the first global award dedicated to an individual fighting for freedom and democracy will be awarded for the first time.

In his remarks Carl Bildt, the foreign minster of Sweden, at the Award Ceremony for the inaugural Solidarity Prize, Royal Castle, Warsaw, June 3, 2014, said “What happened here a quarter of a century ago created a new Poland, paved the way for a new Europe and changed the course of the world.

What was overcome was, of course, a rotten and evil system ready for the dustbin of history. our own age has once again demonstrated the key role played by individuals. We saw it here in Poland. We saw it all over Central Europe. We saw it in the Baltic States. We saw it – and this should not be forgotten – in Russia as well. Their names are part of the history of our Europe.

A truly dedicated individual has been chosen. (leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, in Warsaw) And it is indeed appropriate that this is happening here in Poland, and that it is happening on this very day. It will be important Award for the future, said Mr Carl Bildt in Speech.

The danger that once emanated from the Communist part is not there any more, the bipolar world has ceased to exist and Europe is no longer unnaturally cut in two by the Iron Curtain. But it is a fact that the fall of the Iron Curtain was not the end of history. It was neither the end of human suffering or conflicts nor the beginning of a paradise on Earth. It was just the end of one historical era, and our generation has been called upon to build on its ruins the foundations of a new era with perseverance and patience, using the best of our knowledge and conscience, and with the boldness which this historic moment requires.

Post-Communist cases demonstrate the key to political elite action in the post-Communist both structure and agency based democratization. Transition to democracy take place when the elite controlling the existing regime change political institutions and extend voting rights. Since, like economic institutions, political institutions are collective choices. As a result, it is not only democrats who can establish democracy.

The actors most likely to support the transition to democracy, no matter what their political pedigree, are those with portable resources, skills, reputation, and networks that allow these elites to function easily in both authoritarian and democratic regime. Such elites can be found both among the functionaries of the old and established democracy and and new regimes with skilled elites and resources that are highly portable to the new democratic regime.

For example, those communist elites in east-central Europe who were recruited into the party (strengthening as essential to democracy-building) on the basis of their managerial skills and put in charge of implementing liberalizing reforms have proven to be the most successful democratic competitors of post-Communist political contests. In Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, and Lithuania, highly experienced and worldly technocrats took over the party leaderships, centralized power within the parties, streamlined extensive memberships and organizations, and committed themselves to democracy.

The result was that these parties re-entered power within a few years of the Communist collapse, this time by winning democratic elections with appeals to secularism, moderation, and technocratic competence. Moreover, the more the state had grown independent of the party during Communist role, and the more it developed the capacity to administer economic reforms, co-opting potential opposition, etc, the more successfully it could navigate the simultaneous transition to market and democracy, And a more apolitical state whose representatives have experience in administering liberalizations has been a key contributor to the success of democratization.

There are several cases, Lech Walesa in Poland is perhaps the most illustrious example. A popular leader of opposition to Communist rule and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

In August 1980 he was instrumental in political negotiations that led to the ground-breaking Gdańsk Agreement between striking workers and the government. He became a co-founder of the Solidarity trade-union movement and was prominent in the establishment of the 1989 Round Table Agreement that led to semi-free parliamentary elections in June 1989 and to a Solidarity-led government.

The most essential elements of democracy are the critical component of having an opposition; as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and chair of the National Democratic Institute, said recently when Brookings hosted the 10th annual Sakıp Sabancı lecture.

Representative competition is one key to the successful introduction of both market reform and democracy. But this is not simply a question of elite turnover (Weingast and Wittman , 2008). As both Latin American and African cases show, political fragmentation per se can pose major obstacles to liberal economic reforms. In contrast, an active and well-organized opposition limits the excesses of the governing elites, by creating a credible threat of replacement to the government.

Similarly, committed democrats may sometimes not be the best ones to establish and consolidate democracy. If the legacies of the pats undermine democratization, and that the survival of actors form the previous regime makes the transition to democracy more difficult. Critically, Lech Walesa was unable to adapt successfully the transition to liberal democratic politicians and to his new role as Poland´s democratically elected president, fomenting a destructive war at the top, fragmenting elites, negating foreign policy commitments, and questioning the legitimacy of other elected officials.

Democracy is once again proving to be the best, most stable way of dealing with political challenges. And yet, at the same time democracy, more than any other system, demands statesmanship and courageous leadership.

Our Baltic world was always a world between the East and the West. There was a past: And our task together is to build a better future. For our own countries. For Ukraine and definitely for Russia. A world where the values of Europe should stand even stronger than today. But it is only by truly seeing the lessons of the past, and by working together, that we as Europe can grasp all of these possibilities.

Looking forward is Europe coming together and be a true partner to the rest of the world for both peace and prosperity. From Speech by Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bildt’s personal contribution to the restoration of the Baltic countries’ freedom.

A key theme that emerged during the day was the link between Poland’s recent past and Ukraine’s current challenge. Specialists on defense, economic reform, and democratic development noted that Poland’s growth and democratization in the post-Soviet era serves as a model for a Ukraine that continues to struggle with changing its Soviet-built institutions.

At  the Wroclaw Global Forum, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves opened the Forum’s deliberations noting the contrast between this week’s celebrations in Poland of the 1989 elections that set the country firmly on a path to democratization, and the reality in 2014 that Russia is waging war to prevent that same process from advancing in Poland’s neighbor, Ukraine. Europe’s “liberal order is being challenged by authoritarian, illiberal, yet often successful market economies in ways we did not foresee when the first free elections were held in Poland twenty-five years ago, said Ilves.

Institutions do matter—The Secret Weapon for Fiscal Strength.

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There are good reasons for feeling better about the world econom´s prospects. But they need to be put into context. Most economists would agree that institutions in general are incredibly important in helping to shape countries’ overall economic and fiscal outcomes. But which institutions really matter, and to what extent, is less clear.

Press release from 62nd Bilderberg conference stated: Is the economic recovery sustainable? as one of the key topics for discussion at this years Bilderberg Meetings taking place from 29 May until 1 June 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Bilderberg meetings or Bilderberg Club is an annual private conference of approximately 120-150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media. Founded in 1954, Bilderberg is an annual conference designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America.

The global economy is turning the corner of the Great Recession, Global activity strengthened during the second half of 2013 and is expected to improve further in 2014–15. The impulse has come mainly from advanced economies, although their recoveries remain uneven. With supportive monetary conditions and a smaller drag from fiscal consolidation, annual growth is projected to rise above trend in the United States and to be close to trend in the core euro area economies. In Japan, fiscal consolidation in 2014–15 is projected to result in some growth moderation. Growth in emerging market economies is projected to pick up only modestly.

 In 2013, global growth was about 3 percent; IMF project modest improvements in 2014 and 2015, although still remaining below past trends.

Economic activity in the advanced economies is improving, albeit at varying speeds. This is good news, because for the past 5 years the emerging market and developing economies have been shouldering the burden of recovery—accounting for 75 percent of the increase in global growth since 2009.

The recovery is finally becoming a bit more balanced, in an overall economic landscape that has changed significantly. As discussed at press conference of the IMF World Economic Outlook April 2014 report , the U.S. economy is gaining strength, setting the stage for the normalization of monetary policy.

In Europe, eurozone, better policies have led to substantial improvements in market confidence in both sovereigns and banks. In the Euro Area, a modest recovery is taking hold—stronger in the core but weaker in the South. The trade deficits of the south mirrored the profits of the north.

The single currency served Germany well by cooling down its economy. The improvement has been clearest in the central region, which has benefited mainly from faster growth in Germany and the stabilisation of the euro zone economy and banking system.

Encouraging steps have been taken recently to establish a banking union. The reforms needed to make the euro and banks work are more or less complete. In the course of the past week, the results of the elections have been announced, an informal European Council has been held, negotiations about the presidency of the European Commission have begun, and the political parties have started re-ordering the composition of groups in the next Parliament.

Our PM Reinfeldt and European Council colleagues give the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission – Herman VAN ROMPUY green light to start consultations on next COM President given him a mandate to conduct these consultations.

Over the years, financial regulation has become largely determined at the EU level, even though national differences persist. The financial sector itself has increasingly transcended national borders. Supervision of the sector had not followed this trend, as it remained a national prerogative.

The same holds true for the management of problems and crises in the financial sector. No country can go it alone. National prosperity and global prosperity are linked; they depend, more than ever before, on working together. This means that, as economic recovery in Europe is underway efforts to prevent future crises must continue, not leas through the further deepening of the euro area and through exploiting all levers for growth. Internationally, the crisis in Ukraine is showing how important a united European position is.

Recent years have brought considerable improvement in the east European investment climate. However, many east European countries in the region (Ukraine government , part of it) still face fundamental reform challenges. The crisis of 2009 had a longer-lasting negative impact in some areas, with policy deficiencies in some countries exacerbating this vulnerability.

The Ukrainian economy has been in recession since the second half of 2012, with only one quarter of positive growth at the end of 2013, which was quickly reversed in the first two months of this year as a result of the deterioration of the political and security situation. The Ukrainian government lost access to international financial markets during 2013. EU presented support package proposed by the Commission with a number of concrete economic and financial measures to assist Ukraine. Pressures from Russia continue to bear upon Ukraine.

That is why, on 14 April 2014, at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in the European Union agreed to expand sanctions and to complete preparations for far-reaching economic, trade and financial sanctions whenever necessary in the future. The Foreign Affairs Council also adopted a decision in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine to support its economic stabilisation and its structural reform agenda.

The loans are intended to help Ukraine economically and financially in view of the critical challenges the country is facing, notably a very weak and rapidly worsening balance of Energy payments and fiscal situation, which has been worsened by the crisis. In addition to this mechanism EU stand ready to host trilateral consultations with the Russian Federation and, subject to the agreement of the Ukrainian government, with Ukraine on energy security as EU have proposed already in the past.

The EU is going from one test to the next. But, every new challenge has taken the Union forward, not backward. There is also a particular need for euro area countries to work closer together to make policy decisions that take into account the wider interest of their fellow members. With EPP we stand for fiscal consolidation implemented in a growth-friendly manner and we need to strike the right balance between fiscal consolidation in the Member States and growth-enhancing policies, which support the real European Economy Recovery and help to create new, stable jobs, in order to tackle high unemployment rates and protect social cohesion.

Much closer to the real agenda for Greece’s recovery has been the EU Commission’s Taskforce for Greece. Greek economy is now back on its feet and should be supported by reforms that aim to achieve a more equitable distribution of wealth. Liberalisation of labour markets has enabled Greece to close the cost-competitiveness gap with other southern eurozone countries by about 50 per cent over the past two years.

A different line of argument, consider how the process of macroeconomic demand management is influenced by the broader institutional and political environment in which it takes place. The 2012 annual report of the NGO Transparency International named Greece as Europe´s most corrupt country. Putting the debt crisis behind Greece means breaking with the past that caused it.

Greece need to be working for social justice, equal rights, political and fiscal transparency in other words, democracy. By democracy we usually mean a government comprising popular rule, individual human rights and freedom, and a free-market economy.

Such a project can only be carried out by a party that is independent form financial oligarchy that is responsible for the crisis. If policy credibility is a problem, strengthening the transparency and consistency of policy frameworks may be necessary for tightening to be effective.

How do we achieve higher quality, more sustainable growth that is more broadly shared?

According to IMF:s Christine Lagarde Managing Director, “We first need to fix problems that have been with us for some time How do we achieve higher quality,during the crisis”- It means more and better-targeted investment, more labor market reforms, and more product market and services reforms.

While stronger growth prospects and market sentiment are welcome, there is still much to do to solidify and pick up the pace of the recovery, not least because unemployment remains unacceptably high in too many places, especially young people.

Over the past decade the distribution of wealth has increasingly favoured capital over labour, in which the corresponding accumulation of capital has led to a corporate saving glut, rather than an investment.

  • The economic policy priority is to achieve a soft landing on the transition to more inclusive and sustainable, private-consumption-led growth.

The economy suffers from both sides, weak income growth and weak investment. Labour´s share of output is now at historic lows, and may be at levels that are suboptimal to foster economic growth.

Governments are now getting wise to this. All EU Member States have presented national Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans, and their implementation is now starting, but boards and shareholders have also a role to play here. They are able to resist this trend, and executives can be pressed to ether invest or distribute the excess cash flow.

High levels of debt—meeting the challenge of fiscal consolidation while safeguarding growth; and Financial uncertainty—completing the reforms necessary to place the global financial system on a sounder footing. While some progress has been made on each of these, none has yet been overcome. The economic, fiscal, and monetary policies are a big part of the solution.

High and rising debt is a source of justifiable concern. We have seen this recently, as first private and now public debt have been at the centre of the Eurozone crisis, which began in Greece in 2009. Data bear out these concerns – suggest a need to look comprehensively at all forms of non-financial debt: household and corporate, as well as government.

Result for government debt has the immediate implication that highly indebted governments should aim not only at stabilising their debt but also at reducing it to sufficiently low levels that do not retard growth.

Early steps are required if public debt is already elevated and the associated refinancing needs are a source of vulnerability. On the fiscal front, policymakers must lower budget deficits, although the urgency for action varies across economies.

Economic impacts of fiscal policies depend on the mobility of the resources to which these policies are applied. Bold policy steps are needed to avert a low growth trap. Fiscal competitions has significant implications for the public sector. Often the public sector lags behind the private sector with accounting reforms. In particular, jurisdictions with limited geographic scope, like the governments of small municipalities are, in general, likely to face greater competitive pressures than larger ones like large countries.

Political economy also differed from public choice by taking a balanced view of market and government economic forecasts biased. The challenge for policymakers is to see how traditional economics, public choice and political economy relate to each other to manage the transition.

Fiscal competition seek to ascertain how fiscal policy-making is affected by competitive pressures faced by governments. Such analyses may be useful for evaluation, but, at base, the theory of fiscal competition requires a theory of policy choice and institutional change.

  • Evidence points to effectiveness of institutions— and Strong Budget Institutions.

Countries with stronger institutions overall seem to recognize the need for fiscal adjustment, in line with the IMF’s assessment of the required consolidation effort , while countries with strong implementation institutions carry out much more of their announced adjustment plans than countries with weak institutions.

It is also remarkable that countries with strong budgetary planning institutions tend to develop and announce their adjustment strategies more rapidly and protect capital expenditure—important for long-term growth—more successfully during consolidation.

To be clear, the term “institution” is used in a broad sense—it encompasses processes, procedures, systems, legal frameworks, and organizational entities which contribute to the budget process.

Fiscal discipline and stability play an essential role in safeguarding economic and monetary Union. The accurate, reliable and comparable reporting of fiscal data is essential for monitoring and communicating this stability.

A team of staff at the IMF recently completed a study, along with detailed country evaluations, that explores the G-20 countries’ efforts to strengthen their budget institutions in the wake of the global financial crisis, and evaluates their impact on fiscal policy.

For example, the fiscal reporting system can be seen as one of the important institutions for identifying the fiscal difficulties a country may face.

Institutions separated into three groups

The institutions are separated into three groups:

If fiscal reports do not cover large parts of the public sector, are not timely, or there are few assurances of the integrity of the data, the fiscal reporting institution is assessed as weak.

In this fashion IMF-group identified for all 12 institutions criteria that helped us to assess the relative strength of the institutions.

  • Reform effort uneven:

Finally, the model focuses on reforms combined impact of all fiscal policies: Looking at the type of reforms that have been popular it is clear that independent fiscal agencies, fiscal objectives and rules, and medium-term budgetary framework have been the flavor du jour of budget reforms since the crisis.

These reforms have been important in making economic forecasts less biased, fiscal frameworks more credible, and fiscal policy more sustainable. They were also an essential part of making fiscal policy coordination possible in the eurozone. Reforms requiring relatively more administrative or political effort have seen less progress, both in advanced and emerging economies.

  • Advanced G-20 economies, especially those in Europe, and those with specific consolidation plans seemed to have been the strongest reformers.
  • Emerging market economies did relatively well on improvements in fiscal risk management and performance orientation, but, overall, there has been a widening of the gap in institutional strength between advanced and emerging G-20 countries.

So bottom line—institutions matter—and G-20 countries would do well to continue to reinforce their institutional architecture for fiscal policymaking.

More recently, the emerging risk of what IMF call “lowflation”, i.e., of a large and persistent undershoot relative to the ECB’s medium-term inflation target of 2 percent. Persistently low inflation puts pressure on debtors, real lending rates, relative price adjustment and jobs. Continuously low inflation is a worry for the region’s southern flank, where debt burdens are high.

At 0.7 per cent, inflation is now a little over a third of the ECB’s target of below, but close to, 2 per cent and has consistently undershot both the central bank’s and economists’ expectations over the past six months. Some believe this will force the ECB to take further measures at its next monetary policy meeting in June, though a bout of quantitative easing, where central banks buy assets outright, remains unlikely for now.

  • Policymakers in advanced economies need to avoid a premature withdrawal of monetary accommodation. In an environment of continued fiscal consolidation, still-large output gaps, and very low inflation, monetary policy should remain accommodative.

In the euro area, more monetary easing, including unconventional measures, is necessary to sustain activity and help achieve the European Central Bank’s price stability objective, thus lowering risks of even lower inflation or outright deflation. Sustained low inflation would not likely be conducive to a suitable recovery of economic growth. (IMF World Economic Outlook April 2014).

More monetary easing, including through unconventional measures, is needed in the Euro Area to raise the prospects of achieving the ECB’s price stability objective. The IMF welcome the attention the ECB is paying to this risk, and its recent statement stresses that it is considering further action, including unconventional policies within its mandate.

The EU welcomes presidential election in Ukraine “a genuine efforts were made to conduct voting throughout Ukraine”

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Before Sunday, everyone agreed that the presidential election in Ukraine was going to be an important, if difficult election, but few believed it would be successful.Russia must “accept the reality” of Ukraine’s election, Swedish For. Min interviewed by Christiane Amanpour ‏@camanpour

The 48-year-old Petro Poroshenko, who has promised to sell off most of his vast business empire and focus on governing, was elected. He is expected to juggle a number of urgent issues that have plunged Ukraine into crisis — ending the fighting that has uprooted thousands of frightened civilians, bringing transparency and honesty to government and getting the faltering economy moving.

Despite the challenging environment 25 May early presidential election in Ukraine was characterized by high turnout and a clear resolve by the authorities to hold what was “a genuine election” largely in line with international commitments and that respected fundamental freedoms, despite the hostile security environment in two eastern regions of the country, international observers concluded in a preliminary statement released today.

ODIHR deployed more than 1,000 observers, from 49 countries, to monitor the process on election day. Based on their reports, those voters who had the opportunity to cast ballots took part in a process that was largely in line with international commitments and respectful of fundamental freedoms. Sweden had 36 observers in the OSCE-ODIHR election observation mission in Ukraine.

While the election administration ran the process impartially and transparently on the whole, some decisions taken may have been beyond its authority. While voting was largely conducted in line with procedures, there were long queues to vote in some parts of the country, and there were some technical problems in the early stages of the tabulation process. The election did not take place in the Crimean Peninsula, which is not under the control of the Ukrainian authorities, and Ukrainian citizens living there faced serious difficulties in participating in the election.

“This election proved the democratic spirit of the people of Ukraine, who had the opportunity to genuinely express their will at the ballot box, and seized it in high numbers,” said João Soares, the Special Co-ordinator who led the short-term OSCE observer mission. “The electoral and security authorities of Ukraine should be commended for their efforts – under extraordinary circumstances – to facilitate an election that largely upheld democratic commitments.”

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt´s own words are another way to maesure “a very clear verdict” But,.Mr Bildt don´t think the Russians were particularly happy about this particular election, but it has taken place, and it has created ..a very clear verdict, says Swedish Foreign Minister interviewed by CNN Christiane Amanpour.

After a credible election that will strengthen Ukraine’s government with a broadly supported president, Russia is likely to continue its subversion by proxy in southeast Ukraine.

In an Joint statement by President Van Rompuy and President Barroso on the Presidential elections in Ukraine: The EU welcomes the holding yesterday of Presidential elections in Ukraine and look forward to working closely together with the next President. The EU also confirmed its readiness to continue to assist Ukraine in view of ensuring the political and economic stability of Ukraine.

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The EU welcomes the holding yesterday of Presidential elections in Ukraine and look forward to working closely together with the next President in view of ensuring the political and economic stability of Ukraine.

The successful holding of these elections constitutes a major step towards the objective of de-escalating tensions and restoring security for all Ukrainians.

We count on the continued commitment of all parties to the Geneva Joint Statement to the electoral process and to its outcome, and welcome statements by the Russian Federation indicating that it will respect the will of the Ukrainian people and engage in a dialogue with the new Ukrainian President.

We look forward to further concrete steps on this constructive path, including the use of leverage on armed groups to de-escalate the situation on the ground.

Ukraine and its people now need peace and stability in order to engage in the implementation of much needed and far-reaching reforms. Over the past few months the Ukrainian authorities have made important efforts to put in place the necessary legislative, policy and institutional framework and fulfil the first-phase requirements of EU visa liberalisation dialogue. EU data available show that Ukraine’s path towards visa liberalisation is moving ahead.

The enhanced mobility of citizens in a secure and well-managed environment is one of the core objectives of the Eastern Partnership. To this end, the EU carries out Visa Liberalisation Dialogues with interested partner countries.

The main tool of The EU-Ukraine Visa Liberalisation Dialogue is the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan which is tailor-made for each partner country and structured around four blocks concerning

i) document security, including biometrics;
ii) integrated border management, migration management, asylum;
iii) public order and security; and
iv) external relations and fundamental rights.

The Action plan contains two tiers of benchmarks: first phase benchmarks concerning the overall policy framework (legislation and institutions), which are to pave the way for the second phase benchmarks relating to effective and sustainable implementation of the relevant measures.

On 23 May 2014 Commissioner Malmström welcomes progress in the visa liberalisation process with Ukraine. Over the past few months the Ukrainian authorities have made important efforts to put in place the necessary legislative, policy and institutional framework and fulfil the first-phase requirements of EU-Ukraine Visa Liberalisation Dialogue.

“I can already say that on the basis of our analysis, the legislation passed and other measures adopted are sufficient to consider that Ukraine has been able to meet the first stage benchmarks of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and I suggest to my colleagues in the Commission that we move to the 2nd phase, where we will be checking the implementation of all these rules. This assessment will be reflected in the Commission’s next report, which is to be adopted shortly; said Commissioner Malmström

This is a significant achievement, an important step in the process that will bring the country closer to its goal of visa free regime with the EU. But the hard work is not over. Ukraine will need to demonstrate that all these four blocks and rules are thoroughly implemented.

The Commission will continue to provide assistance with a view to ensure a concrete and comprehensive track record of the implementation”, said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs in STATEMENT Brussels, 23 May 2014.

First election since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.

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This week we look forward to the sunday elections to the European Parliament. Most of the European political parties represented in the Parliament have nominated frontrunners that are also their nominees for the top job in the Commission. With one of the new powers provided under the Lisbon Treaty. On 27 October 2004 the European Parliament refused to elect the new Commission, the European Union executive.

The new procedure under which the European Commission President is elected by the EP will strengthen the Commission’s legitimacy and political role and will make the European elections more important by linking the voters’ choice in the elections to the European Parliament more directly to the election of the Commission President.

Mr Bildt in Copenhagen for discussion on lessons of 1914 and European crisis today at Copenhagen University

Mr Bildt at the Copenhagen University 19 may 2014. Half of Denmark seemed to be there. Much was said about everything: Annual great dinner at Copenhagen University.

Between 22 and 25 May 2014, EU citizens will have the opportunity to cast their votes in these important elections for the European Parliament, together electing the 751 MEPs to represent them for the next five years.

Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, campaigning for Europeans to vote on election-day, discuss European challenges in 100-year start from the First World War a century after 1914. What today’s politicians learn out of the war?

What are the prospects for the EU in the shadow of the economic crisis, increased international competition and unstable border regions to the south and east? And what can we in 25 year after the fall of the Berlin Wall read out of the ongoing conflict on the Ukraine?

Carl Bildt is a former Prime Minister of Sweden and its current Foreign Minister. He’s perhaps better known to an international audience as a key mediator in the Balkan conflict, who co-chaired the Dayton peace conference and went on to become the United Nations’ special envoy in the Balkans.

In the midst of the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010, EPP parties in governments reacted quickly and decisively in order to pull Europe back from the brink of disaster. In 2011 and 2012, we kept the Euro area together. We have set the agenda for economic reform and growth-friendly fiscal consolidation in the Member States.

It is time to re-affirm the values of the Social Market Economy. It requires balancing the principles of freedom and solidarity, along with the need for free markets and the common good. EPP are determined to lead Europe out of the crisis.

Over the years, the number of EU institutions has increased. Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union lists the following institutions: the European Council; the European Parliament; the Council; the European Commission: the European Court of Auditors; the European Central Bank and the European Court of Justice based on a system of the rule of law,, the primacy of of which is recognised over national law.

Alongside these institutions, there is more than 30 European agencies and decentralised EU bodies, which can be divided into various different categories. European committees, such as the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions, also exist, and play an advisory role. As special position is occupied by the European External Action Service, which was established in 2012. It is stipulated in the Treaty of Lisbon that its employees are to be drawn form the staff of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and from the diplomatic services of Member States.

In 2009 the Treaty of Lisbon gives Parliament increased power, transforming the co-decision procedure into the ordinary legislative procedure and extending its scope. It also links the appointment of the Commission President to the result of the European elections, and fixes the number of MEPs at 750, plus the President. In terms of legislative power, the Treaty of Lisbon further extended the use of co-decision procedure, most notably to agriculture, fisheries, international trade, and justice and home affairs, renaming it the ordinary legislative procedure. Some 95€ of EU legislation is now adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure giving Parliament equal weight with Council in shaping EU laws affecting our lives and the EU´s future.

For about half of all EU legislation, which is adopted under the consultation procedure, the Council is the dominant actor.

Recent history shows that when the Parliament managed to force the resignation of the EU Jacques Santer Commission, the legislative body claimed an early victory, but the real winner was the Council. Its overwhelming control has not only been maintained, but it has grown with the changes culminating with the Treaty of Lisbon. While the Parliament can justly claim that its powers have increased with the reinforcement of the traditional co-decision procedure, a new entity has been elevated to the category of full institutions–the European Council. And this is headed by the semi-permanent president who can stay at the helmfor five years.

The degree of agenda control by the European party leaders is more limited than in most national parliaments. Indeed, the European Commission has the exclusive right of initiative of nearly all legislation. Hence, legislation that comes on the floor of the European Parliament emanates from outside the parliament and not from a majority coalition inside the parliament.

One evidence is that the European parties do not have many instruments to discipline their members. A second reason, they do not control the selection of candidates in European Parliament elections, as this is controlled by the national parties who make up the European parties.  The European parties in the EP also have no control over the future career of MEPs, as it is again the national parties who control the allocation of ministerial portfolios and other jobs in the domestic arena and the selection of European Commissioners.

The particular relationship between the European Parliament and the EU executive (the Commission) makes the EU a mixed political system. On the one hand, like a parliamentary system, the Commission has monopoly on legislative initiative, and is initially elected by a majority in the European Parliament, and so it can be selective when making proposals to the parliament and can expect that a majority in the parliament will share its basic a policy preferences.

On the other hand, like a separation of powers system, the Commission has few powers to force the parties in the parliament to support its proposals or to prevent the parties in the parliament from amending its proposals significantly. For this legislation, the Commission will be less concerned with making proposals that satisfy a particular coalition in the European Parliament than making proposals that will pass through the Council.

Under the co-decision procedure, which must pass through and oversized majority (a qualified-majority) in the Council as well as a simple majority in the european Parliament, the Commission will try to balance the interests of the governments in the Council and the parties in the Parliament. Many say that it is the Commission or the Troika, but they can only propose, at the end , the decisions are taken by the Member States.

In addition to its legislative, budgetary and nominatory power, Parliament also has powers of scrutiny of oversight over the other EU institutions, monitoring how they work and spend EU funds. And as the voice for citizens concerns, Parliament can continue to use its legislative initiative resolutions to put new and important issues onto the European political agenda. So we should all vote and make our voice heard.

Youth unemployment – a result of the economic crisis – has put the future of an entire generation at risk. The Eurostat study showed that 79.8 percent of Swedes between the ages of 20 and 64 were employed in 2013. The lowest employment rates were in Greece (53.2 percent) and Croatia (53.9 percent). There are levels where more can be done at the European level and others where more can be done at the national or even regional level. It has to be tailor-made solutions for different countries in EU, keeping in mind that the EP solutions have to be implemented by the Member States in line with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality set out in the treaties.

What is needed is a real consensus, most important political forces and optimally the most important way forward: To build bridges between countries and between citizens to make Europe stronger.

The EPP does not believe that a further exacerbation of debt and deficit levels is the right way to exit from the crisis and create growth in Europe. We stand for fiscal consolidation implemented in a growth-friendly manner. We need to strike the right balance between fiscal consolidation and growth-enhancing policies, which support the real economy and help to create new, stable jobs, in order to tackle high unemployment rates and protect social cohesion.

Economic integration between independent states is not new. The Scandinavian monetary union of Sweden, Denmark and Norway lasted from 1873 until 1924.

The EU has been strengthened by the euro and the Treaty of Lisbon. For the first time, the Lisbon Treaty gives Parliaments of EU Member States the possibility to directly influence the decision-making processes on an EU level. Under the consultation procedure, the European Parliament has an incentive to propose amendments that are acceptable to the Commission, as these are then likely to be supported by the Commission and backed by the Council.

Consequently the European Union is a to large extent a policy based on rules and legal integration to form and maintain powerful in world politics, a trend towards legal rules and institutions, including an emphasis of human rights. The EU is more than an economic project. It is a political one. It is a community of culture and of shared values and interests essential to forge a common destiny.

The fact is that one of the EU’s main successes has been its gradual enlargement, its willingness to project and root democracy, security and shared prosperity across most of the continent, across “Europe as a whole”, as Churchill said. In any event, the most important element of the federation by exception would possibly be its strong democratic anchor. With ”more integration”.

European democracy must be built by Europeans showing up to vote on election-day; We should also remind Europeans that voting for extremist and populist parties is voting for an empty chair in the European Parliament. Main messages of Jean-Claude Juncker during his campaign visit to Athens, Greece.

These voting for extremist are elections that are, I believe, a risk to the future of Europe.

  • democracy, security and shared prosperity values and principles across “Europe as a whole”

Today that idea is under assault in Ukraine. Our countries again share values and a strong interest in the fate of 200,000 Crimean Tatars who suddenly find themselves, involuntarily, in Russia. Russian military intervention in Ukraine is clearly against international law and principles of European security. President Obama made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community. Faced with such grave crisis in Europe, the EU will continue to work in close cooperation with the international community.

The Council of Europe and the European Union are based on the same underlying values, as we are all committed to certain values and principles, making them easy to confuse. However, the Council of Europe is not an EU organization. It is an international organization with its headquarter in Strasbourg, and with a membership of 47 European countries.

The Council of Europe´s objectives are to promote democracy and to protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

Russia was among those who committed in 1994 to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.Russia has called into question its credibility and reliability as an international actor. And its steps to annex Crimea are a clear violation of the UN charter. All 47 member states of the Council of Europe are signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights, which also sits in Strasbourg, deals with complaints that this Convention has been violated.

As member states, Strengthening democracy, in the Council of Europe´s Committee of Ministers meeting in Vienna on 6th May, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt´s speech underlined gravity of Russia’s violation of core commitment by occupation and annexation of Crimea. Which must never be accepted. Strengthening democracy. Reinforcing the rule of law. And protecting the human rights of everyone throughout our continent.

Mr Bildt reminded the audience that he is a firm believer that the task of our generation is to safeguard a Europe whole and free, where democratic principles and human rights are fully respected. “This can never be achieved if we go back to the policies of past centuries – policies of sending armies towards and across each other, of aggression against neighbours, and of changing borders, said Mr Bildt referring to the crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s military intervention in Crimea.

We therefore have no choice – today, here, as this Committee of Ministers – but to stand up to defend the values upon which the Council of Europe was founded 65 years ago”, said Foreign Minister Carl Bildt in his speech by reminding the current challenges:

Russia’s aggression against neighbours, as one of the reasons they are meeting today and the Council of Europe values and stability in Europe to Strengthening democracy. Reinforcing the rule of law. And protecting the human rights of everyone throughout our continent. He also called for all 47 states to support the holding of the presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25th 2014.

Ukraine’s May 25 election, an event critical to strengthening the legitimacy of Ukraine’s government as it confronts attacks by Russia, may in some ways be the freest vote for a Ukrainian president since the country became independent 22 years ago. We welcome the inclusive process, notably the round tables held in the recent days, which led to the adoption of the Memorandum of Peace and Concord by the Parliament of Ukraine.

The round tables of national unity have underlined the preparedness of Ukrainians from different political backgrounds and regions to take up this challenge. The EU stands ready to assist Ukraine in this endeavour, and it counts on other international partners to do the same.

This year also marks multiple anniversaries of crucial importance to the transatlantic community, including the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. 2014 will also mark the centenary of World War I and the tenth anniversary of the transformative EU accession that for the first time included former communist countries from Central and Eastern Europe. First NATO was expanded to 28 Member States, then the EU grew to 27 (now 28) and more candidates are waiting in the wings. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, it is not under the nuclear umbrella, and there are no obligations to protect it.

“Security benefits in a mutual defence alliance include chiefly a reduced probability of being attacked (deterrence), greater strength in case of attack (defense) and prevention of the ally’s alliance with one’s adversary (preclusion). But the Allies stand together in the spirit of strong solidarity” and promising to “support all constructive efforts for a peaceful solution to the current crisis.

One of the very fundamental principles that everyone decided upon at the end of the Cold War, at the end of the Soviet Union, at the end of Yugoslavia, was: don’t change the borders,”Swedish Foreign minister Carl Bildt told CNBC. Mr Bildt was a mediator during the Balkans conflict 1995

Crimean crisis and Russia are the greatest problems in international politics .

2014 will also be a critical year for both the EU and its energy policy, especially in light of the current developments in Russia and Ukraine. For years EU was speaking of a strategic partnership with Russia. Europe-wide free trade zone in the fields of security, economics, freedom and research that would also include Ukraine. Latest proposal was a new Europe-wide security treaty. This would not replace NATO, and neither was it directed against the EU, but to some extent it would complement both.

However, nothing in the current situation bears the promise of any of that. Meanwhile the US was turning towards Asia and focusing more on its relations in the Asia Pacific and Russia was seeking to set up a Eurasian Union, which Putin wished to take the same form as the EU. Europe needs to develop the full range of its instruments, including its security and defence posture, in the light of its interests and these geostrategic developments.

It is said that the European Union is progressively emerging as a security player, in Europe and beyond. For the EU leaders, one theme to consider now is the concern about high energy prices, the vulnerability to price shocks, and the increasing natural gas and Russia oil import dependency. There is also need to strengthen the European Union’s external action, by using all instruments available at European and national levels.

The continent of Europe is the northwestern peninsula of the Eurasia landmass and stretches from the mid Atlantic ridge in the west to the Ural Mountains in the east. It splits the Russian Federation and Turkey, and the geographical heart is claimed to be in Lithuania. Crimea, a peninsula jutting into the northern tip of the Black Sea. This strategically-located region has been fought over many times over the course of its complicated history.

Charge of the Light Brigade - Photo by WikiCommons

A three-year war that started in 1853 and ended up with Russia keeping Crimea even though it lost the war.

Russia fought 1853 an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia over disputes involving the Middle East and religion.

A three-year war that started in 1853 and ended up with Russia keeping Crimea even though it lost the war. Long a part of Russia, it was given to Ukraine in 1954 and, despite an ethnic Russian majority, a post-Soviet independence movement and a good dose of autonomy, it is still technically Ukrainian.

In an ECFR essay collection Pyotr Stegny points out that Russia is unhappy that the values that won the Cold War – democracy, human rights, and the market economy – began to be seen by the West “not only as a prerequisite for sustainable development […], but also as a regulator and criterion for progress.” Russia had failed to impose its own terms on the West but was unwilling to join either European or Euro-Atlantic integration on Western terms.

Therefore, it began to try to assemble its own integrationist project that could compete with the EU and China. It hoped that, from that position, it would be able to negotiate with others as an equal. The Eurasian Union is a practical project that also reflects the thinking of Russia’s foreign policymaking class as a whole rooting in Russia’s eternal need to define its place between Asia and Europe.

Russian military intervention in Ukraine is clearly illegal and against international law and principles of European security. Russia is complicated problem. Vladimir Butin´s expansionism is deeply troubling, and arming the Ukrainians with weapons more substantial makes a major conflict more likely, not less.

“Things like comprehension, and understanding the plausibility of motives behind the action [whether they are there or not] do not change the essential fact: the occupation of the territory of a sovereign state is illegal under international law. The whole history of the world, and especially the history of Europe, consists almost entirely of wars. This constant has one and only one reason and motive: territorial conquest.

The post-World War Two European order, enshrined in the Helsinki agreement, is based on a simple taboo: the strict prohibition on war as a means of territorial expansion.”Says Mr Bildt: Independent.co.uk/news.

The Western position will only consolidate; it will not diverge. When international law is broken, sanctions will follow.” And to cut energy and raw material imports from Russia will be even more painful. “But to preserve the crucial principles of international law, democracies must be prepared for big sacrifices”, Sweden’s Foreign Minister calculates Russia has lost $150bn in recent months, he tells Alexander Lebedev (Saturday 24 May 2014 Independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features).

Mr Bildt is right that there is plent to worry about. He also rattles off a list: “We need to restart the Geneva process. They simply need to say some right words, make some symbolic gestures. For instance, the Russian senate can withdraw its authorisation to use military force; they can pull the troops away from borders; they should start a dialogue with Europe and Kiev; make a declaration against separatism; and make a statement that changing current borders by force is not permissible.”

A notable development in this regard is Turkey’s prime real estate at the crossroads of East and West, And is perfectly positioned to be the link between suppliers and customers, as it has been so many times before. This promising petro-partnership could help bring Turkey closer to the EU, where member countries are eager to diversify their energy sources.

From the broader strategic point of view, Ukraine is the main transit country for Russian gas supplies to the European Union. Russia pumps natural gas under the Black Sea via the “Blue Stream” pipeline. To the West, very promising gas fields are spread under the eastern Mediterranean. All of these resources may find that the best and quickest route to voracious European markets is through Turkey.

As Turkey itself recognises, reform remains a work in progress. Forign minsters Carl Bildt carefully consider Turkey’s ability to inspire reform in its neighborhood, linked to its EU accession process and notice that Turkey of today is radically transformed from the country that applied to join the EU a quarter of a century ago. Significant results have been achieved just as the EU helped consolidate democracy across Central Europe and continues to promote democracy in Eastern Europe, accession process that has played a powerful role in supporting Turkey’s reforms in areas such as civilian control of the military and the independence of the judiciary.

One of many notable message in this challenge is basically the need of new momentum into EU and Turkey process that will benefit both the EU and Turkey to achieve more and send a stronger message to encourage transformation. Challenges highlight how much diplomatic work will need to be done for Turkey to meet its energy potential. It would be in all our interests to see Turkey move forward, for example, in implementing the EU’s energy framework as set forth in the acqui communitare.

The EU’s historical contribution to peace and security in Europe and continues to promote democracy, security and stability in the world around us is well-known – for which it has even been granted a Nobel peace prize. The enlargement of the Union towards former Soviet republics remains in line with this major heritage. This policy is perhaps the EU’s most absolute contribution to regional and global security. It has allowed the EU to expand in a peaceful and voluntary manner, making obsolete the concepts of colonialism and conquest.

In the Western Balkans, and in spite of remarkable progress over the last decades including the recent breakthrough in the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, unfinished business remains. Increasingly also the “neighbours of the neighbours” are being affected, e.g. in the Sahel or in the Horn of Africa, two regions where the Union is conducting five crisis management missions.

We’ve seen successful EU anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia, training missions for the Somalian military, and missions in Mali and the Central African Republic. Progress was made on the three dimensions of the peace and security partnership between the EU and the African Union: strengthening the political dialogue, making the African peace and security architecture (APSA) fully operational and providing predictable funding for the AU’s peacekeeping operations have earned it more praise.

A strong EU is also key to creating a successful security policy, protecting our citizens at home and our interests around the world. Above all, a strong EU is the best answer to the challenges of the 21st century. New forces have begun shaping the twenty-first century, neither the United States nor Europe can afford to look inward, that instead we must engage in the world around us. We are in an era in which it is no longer possible for any one nation to secure its own peace only by itself. This is a view shared throughout the world. Therefore, the EU must become a genuine Political Union.

Over the last two decades, the EU institutions have been granted more powers in the security area, as well as an extended mandate to defend European interests and shape the EU’s global profile.

 The first is political, and it concerns fulfilling Europe’s ambitions on the world stage. The second is operational: ensuring that Europe has the right military capabilities to be able to act. And the third is economic: here it’s about jobs, innovation and growth”.

It had become quite necessary for the Heads of State and Government of the EU to address defence. When building capabilities for European defence, the sole possible architect is the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the most cost-effective way to use European defence budgets remains cooperation. It also means that Europe must assume greater responsibility for its own security and that of its neighbourhood. European citizens and the international community will judge Europe first on how it performs in the neighbourhood.

Since no EU Member State can single-handedly shape global events and make a significant impact on their development, it is in the interest of all EU Member States to ensure that their actions are cohesive.

European integration and NATO membership are part of Germany´s raison détat. NATO’s constitutive values and norms, NATO decision-making was mainly driven by U.S. initiatives, leadership, and ultimately U.S. bargaining power within NATO. Germany owes its economic prosperity to international trade and should thus make a contribution to world peace and global security.

Europe is facing a threat to peace, stability and security the likes of which we have not seen since fall of Iron Curtain. Today’s threats are as real and, at times, as daunting as those we faced during the Cold War. As Europe’s broader neighbourhood has become increasingly volatile, and as the US strategic focus shifts toward Asia, this strategic including Energy security debate is more urgent than ever in Europe. And it requires continued work to continuing the important work of building a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

The strategic chapter of the High Representative’s preparatory report for the December 2013 European Council annual conference, Brussels 21 March 2014 offers the clearest ever indication of what the level of ambition could be: Europe needs strategic autonomy; in its broad neighbourhood; in order to protect interests; by projecting power; with partners but alone if necessary. Furthermore, the Maritime Security Strategy highlights the fact that Europeans have a vital stake in global maritime security.

The next High Representative would do well to take this as a starting point when taking up the European Council’s tasking to assess the implications of the changing geopolitical environment in layman’s terms: to produce a strategy.

The sole possible architect is the European Defence Agency (EDA). Those who have to reach consensus and invest are the EU Member States; Jo Coelmont and Sven Biscop Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations

The EU, with all the soft power that the Union can obtain but also with military when they are necessary, we need both in our immediate neighborhood and on the international scene to lay the foundations for peace, democracy and freedom.

Changing Conditions in Arctic.

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The Arctic, where ice has so far been a barrier, could become an open bridge in the future between widely separated and different nations. Ice melting at sea and on land will open up new trans-Arctic transport routes and give access to new mineral and fishery resources, even while it disrupts traditional habitats. The Arctic is rapidly changing. Arctic sea ice shrank to its lowest-ever recorded level by September 2012, fallen below 4 million square kilometers for the first time ever.

On May 15th 2013. In the far northern Swedish town of Kiruna, foreign ministers of the Arctic Council member countries met, putting an end to the Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2011-2013). Sweden was represented by Carl Bildt, minister for foreign affairs, and Lena Ek, minister for the environment. The host, Carl Bildt, welcomed his counterparts, among whom were US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Canadian Minister for the Arctic Council Leona Aglukkaq and representatives from other Scandinavian countries, and outlined the main achievements of the Swedish Chairmanship, before handing over the gavel to Ms Leona Aglukkaq, thus marking the start of the Canadian Chairmanship over the Council for the next two years.

Carl Bildt strongly underlined the growing importance of the Council, which presented its vision for future cooperation in the Arctic. “In its two years as Chair of the Arctic Council, Sweden has contributed to strengthening cooperation within the Arctic Council.

In his welcoming speech, Carl Bildt pointed out that global warming is happening twice as fast up north in the Arctic region than in the rest of the world. Therefore, he were pleased to witness that Arctic issues and the region had come more and more into global focus.

The Arctic Council served as a negotiating forum for the establishment of the Arctic Oil Pollution Agreement.

The countries that make up the Arctic Council Russia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, the U.S. and Canada – meeting in the city of Kiruna  sign a treaty on oil-spill preparedness and response, discuss their agenda for the next two years and possibly vote on adding to the roster of permanent observers, which includes Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K. and Poland. They were also joined by nations with observer status, including China and the European Union.

Talks are accelerating on binding pollution and safety rules for shipping through Arctic waters, a long-delayed objective that could assuage Canadian concerns as climate change makes the Northwest Passage increasingly attractive to foreign vessels. Canada is currently the chair of the Arctic Council 2013-2015. On March 26, the Energy Security Initiative (ESI) at Brookings hosted a discussion to launch the release of Offshore Oil and Gas Governance in the Arctic: A Leadership Role for the U.S., its Policy Brief on how the U.S. can meet the challenges posed by this activity, especially as it assumes Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.

Even, at the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Nuuk in May 2011 the U.S. delegation displayed a somewhat renewed commitment to participation in Arctic matters, symbolized with the same high level presence of Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton and Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. The U.S. delegation also took an active stance in the meeting and promoted increased work in the different Arctic Council working groups. The end result was the historical signing of the Search and Rescue agreement by the eight Arctic Council member states, and further commitments to increase cooperation in the region.

In January 2014, the White House issued an Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region providing more detail on how to achieve the strategy’s major objectives. The Implementation Plan identifies two related areas to advance U.S. policy in the region regarding hydrocarbon development: promote Arctic oil pollution preparedness, prevention, and response internationally, and work through the Arctic Council to advance U.S. interests in the Arctic Region. With regard to the latter, the plan specifically calls for developing “a robust agenda for the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.”

A variety of scientific research was presented during the Kiruna meeting with a strong focus on the preservation of biodiversity in the Arctic marine environment. Two main documents have been adopted in Kiruna: a statement on the ‘Vision for the Arctic’ outlining the Arctic states’ and indigenous Permanent Participants’ joint vision for the development of the region, and the Kiruna Declaration, which sets out the work of the Council during the Canadian Chairmanship (2013-2015). The Arctic programme during the Canadian Chairmanship will include the establishment of a Circumpolar Business Forum to provide new opportunities for business to engage with the Council.

Climate change is often said to be one of the greatest and most complex problems facing humankind. The European continent is not immune to the impacts of a changing climate. EU climate policy has rather developed alongside the challenges that require an international response and international agendas on climate negotiations since the 1980s. The Parliament was the first of the EU institutions to call explicitly for common policy measures to combat climate change.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS is the most critical legal mechanism, serving as a binding international convention governing the use of the world’s seas. It is not specific to hydrocarbons or other natural resources, but provides a broad framework and principles for governing oil and gas activities. In particular, it emphasizes pollution prevention, control, and response, the harmonization of standards, and cooperation on issues related to regulation and liability.

There are a number of bilateral projects and legal instruments throughout the Arctic region that address offshore oil and gas governance, especially pertaining to oil spill response. The Arctic Council was instrumental in establishing the Arctic Oil Pollution Agreement. It should be noted, however, that this is a legally binding agreement independent of the Arctic Council; all member states used the Council as a negotiating forum in drafting and negotiating it, but it is not issued or enforced by the Council. The Agreement’s objective is “to strengthen cooperation, coordination and mutual assistance among the Parties on oil pollution preparedness and response in the Arctic in order to protect the marine environment from pollution by oil.”

Political commitment and leadership are generally considered very important for the establishment and development of policy integration. The European Union, on account of its geography and policy linkages with the Arctic, possesses an overriding interest in participating in the international debate on the region. The European Union (EU) has a significant impact on the socio-economic, security of supply and environmental protection aspects of the Arctic region.

Because while Arctic Council governments and state-owned companies will be involved in Arctic development, it’s going to be private companies that are going to be developing and thinking about oil and gas in the Arctic, and there is significant commercial interest and growing activity in the region. In this context possible oil pollution might cause severe damage to our environment.

The main effects of climate change on the Arctic include the widespread melting of glaciers and sea ice and rising permafrost temperatures. This poses increasing challenges to Arctic wildlife and communities, which are potentially faced with increased flooding, compromised infrastructure, ecosystem changes and invasive species.

There may also be economic benefits from reduced sea ice and higher air and water temperatures, including increased opportunities for fisheries, tourism, shipping, and hydrocarbon exploitation. Many of these benefits are highly dependent on infrastructure development. Scientific understanding of environmental concerns in sensitive environments in deep Gulf waters, along the region’s coastal habitats, and in areas proposed for more drilling, such as the Arctic, is inadequate. The same is true of the human and natural impacts of oil spills.”

Three Member States – Denmark (/Greenland), Finland and Sweden – have territories in the Arctic. Two other Arctic states – Iceland and Norway– are members of the European Economic Area. At the same time, the Arctic ocean. The countries that make up the Arctic CouncilEU is a relative newcomer to Arctic policy – and it may appear to have limited options for influencing non-EU Arctic policy.

Although Greenland left the EU by a popular vote in 1985, it is also still connected to the EU through the Danish membership and thus classified as one of the EU’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT). Iceland and Norway are also part of the European Economic Area (EEA), granting access to European markets and modes of cooperation.

In the context of rapidly growing interest in the Arctic, a wide range of actors, from non-Arctic states to NGOs, have been forced to re-think their own relations to this remote region.

The European Union has also started a process of legitimising itself as an Arctic actor and laying the groundwork for its own Arctic policy.

Internal cohesion concerning the Arctic is a critical challenge for the EU, which also faces external pressures in its relations with the Arctic littoral states. Revealingly, the EU counts three Arctic Council states amongst its members, but has gone through a difficult process of obtaining the status as an observer to the Arctic Council. After rejection in 2009 and deferral in 2011, it was finally accepted in May 2013, albeit with final approval pending on its ability to resolve conflicts with Canada, particularly concerning its import ban on seal products.

After the Lisbon Treaty was implemented in 2009, the EU aimed to gain international prominence through the newly established European External Action Service (EEAS), led by a High Representative for Foreign Affairs (Duke, 2008). For Sweden, Denmark and Finland, the Arctic represents an area of both domestic and foreign policy, but the EU tends to emphasise more strongly on the foreign policy aspects in its Arctic communications, whilst also using domestic policies to legitimise its Arctic engagement.

Understanding the EU as a foreign policy actor is therefore crucial when discussing the reasons for its policy development. The EU depends on open, safe and secure seas and oceans. We have strategic maritime interests around the globe and we need to be able to safeguard adequately and efficiently these interests. By strengthening our capabilities, sufficiently responding to maritime risks and threats as well as enhancing cooperation with our international partners.

EU foreign policy is made when member state preferences align and they find a shared interest for common action. In addition to geography, multiple policy linkages exist where the EU or some of its member states have a vested interest in Arctic development.

These help drive the EU’s aspirations of an Arctic policy and provide additional legitimacy for its Arctic engagement. Second, fish stocks and access to Arctic fishing for the EU fisheries fleet are of similar importance, with the union conducting bilateral fishery quota negotiations annually for access to Arctic coastal territories belonging to Norway, Iceland and Greenland. Decisions made in Brussels concerning the EU’s common fisheries policy, market regulations and its bilateral fishing agreements with Arctic countries therefore act as a strong link to the Arctic region.

EU participation in Arctic decision-making can occur through many policy pathways, including stronger EU environmental laws, EU Foreign affairs Council increasing its cooperation through multilateral agreements and international leadership. Most recently, as underscored by Foreign affairs Council meeting Brussels, 12 May 2014―The Council adopted conclusions on developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region. The Council welcomes the Joint Communication of the Commission and the High Representative of June 2012 on Developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region, which sets out the path for the EU’s increased engagement in the Arctic.

The Council also takes note of the important considerations of the European Parliament in its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the EU strategy for the Arctic.

The Arctic is a region of growing strategic importance and the Council agrees that the EU should now further enhance its contribution to Arctic cooperation. Rapid climate change, a major concern and cause of fundamental changes in the Arctic, combined with increased prospects for economic development in the Arctic region call for the EU to engage actively with Arctic partners to assist in addressing the challenge of sustainable development in a prudent and responsible manner. The Council confirms its support for the further development of the work in the European Arctic, in particular as regards environmental activities as well as the development of the transport connections in the region, including new maritime routes. The Council values the practical work of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council in this regard.

The Foreign Affairs Council notes the resource policy developments in the Arctic states including in the Barents Region. The EU should pursue long-term partnerships and policy dialogues contributing to securing access to, and promoting safe and sustainable management of raw materials and renewable natural resources.

Recalling the Conclusions of 8 December 2009, the EU Foreign Affairs Council welcomes the significant range of activities the EU is already undertaking in the region across the EU policy spectrum, in particular a valuable contribution to Arctic cooperation through research and cooperation with partners in the fields of environment, transport, energy, and maritime safety.

The Council also stresses the important role played by EU Member States in the Arctic Council as members and observers in promoting cooperation in the Arctic in accordance with their respective status. The Council recognises the efforts of the Arctic states to develop joint approaches and best practice to address the potential environmental impact and safety concerns related to increasing activities in the region. In this context, the collaboration of the EU and its agencies with Arctic Council bodies in addressing common Arctic challenges should be strengthened.

The Council supports the view that the EU action should now be strengthened by: supporting research and channelling knowledge to address the challenges of environmental and climate changes in the Arctic; acting with responsibility to contribute to ensuring economic development in the Arctic based on sustainable use of resources and environmental expertise; intensifying the EU’s constructive engagement with Arctic States, and other partners to find common solutions to challenges that require an international response.

Understanding why the EU has commenced the establishment of an EU Arctic policy must therefore take into account the internal institutional aspirations of the European Commission and the established European External Action Service (EEAS). The Council recognises the Arctic Council as the primary body for circumpolar regional cooperation.

The Council re-affirms its agreement to and its strong support for the observer status of the EU in the Arctic Council, and notes that the EU is committed to work actively as an observer of the Arctic Council and contribute to its activities.

The Council urges Canada to use the current positive momentum in EU-Canada relations to help resolve the remaining issue so as to allow for the full implementation of the Kiruna decision regarding the EU’s observer status as soon as possible before the next EU/Canada summit. The Council agrees that this would facilitate an even more effective EU contribution to Arctic cooperation.

Scientific Cooperation goal is “to work towards an arrangement on improved scientific research cooperation among the eight Arctic States.” Cochaired by Russia, Sweden, and the U.S., recommendations will be presented to the Ministerial Meeting in 2015. While the Arctic region has experienced warming and cooling cycles over millennia, the current warming trend is unlike anything previously recorded. The Arctic may become an important source of oil and gas in the future, containing an estimated 6.7% of the world‘s proven oil reserves and 26% of proven natural gas reserves.

Under international law, no country owns the North Pole, and the five nations with Arctic coastlines — Russia, the U.S., Canada, Norway and Denmark are limited to their 200-nautical-mile economic zones. According to Arctic yearbook 2011-2012, Iceland is the only country located entirely within the Arctic region, and its prosperity relies heavily on the sustainable utilization of the regions´natural resources. Early 21st century Iceland is a small island nation and Nordic country with a unigue geopolitical location in the North Atlantic.

Iceland has since then redefined its geopolitical position in the High North and become very active in Northern issues supporting both Arctic cooperation in many fields and global cooperation on Arctic issues. China and Iceland have signed a free trade agreement, boosting Beijing’s presence in an Arctic region that world powers are looking at for new shipping routes, minerals and oil. New passages linking Asia to America and Europe will be as revolutionary as was the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal, which boosted European trade with Asia by connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and shortening the journey for cargo vessels, according to President Olafur R. Grimsson of Iceland in the Bloomberg sources.

New infrastructure developments such as pipelines, roads, harbour facilities and other transport infrastructure for the exploration of the Arctic‘s large reserves of oil, gas and other minerals, are causing land fragmentation, threatening biodiversity, and heightening the risk of polluting land and water ecosystems. Oil contamination and large oil spills create clean-up challenges and can threaten Arctic livelihoods. The EU‘s increasing reliance on fossil fuel imports to meet energy needs, particularly from Russia and Norway, as well as its expanding renewable energy and energy efficiency policies are major drivers of its Arctic impacts.

The Arctic could also become an arena for more traditional power politics. Geopolitical thinkers such as Halford Mackinder, Alfred Thayer Mahan, and Nicholas Spykman long debated the relative merits of land and sea power. Thus, EU should remain partial solution to the problem and be presented as the complete answer or even a suitable one of Arctic Council. The Council supports the view that the EU action should now be strengthened to have important role on the Arctic issue of sustainability Arctic policy with a far lesser impact on the environment.

New EIP – with a global scope. Important start with Sweden in the lead.

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Group of 7 signed statutes for new European Inst for Peace. Important start with Sweden in the lead. EIP - with a global scope

Group of 7 signed statutes for new European Inst for Peace. Important start with Sweden in the lead. EIP – with a global scope

The Swedish initiative for a European peace institute, EIP, is on the way to becoming a reality.

Based on the desire to strengthen the EU as a foreign policy actor, on 18 February 2014, Group of 7 founding country signed statutes for new European Inst for Peace and EIP was created and in May the EIP is expected to begin its work.

The Institute will pursue multi-track diplomacy and promote best practice in conflict resolution, mainly through mediation and informal dialogue. It will be an important instrument in the EU’s toolbox for managing crises and conflicts.

Europe has endured centuries of war and has transformed conflict through economic and social integration. EU¨s historic achievement, to ensure stability and consensus between countries which for centuries has been in constant conflict with each other, shows that the Union can play an important role in the service of peace also outside Europe.

When it comes to dispute resolution, we now have many choices. The European Institute of Peace (EIP) is a new initiative at the heart of Europe – with a global scope.

European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday (12 May) will make final preparations for the launch of a new European Institute of Peace.

The EIP will be a permanent independent organisation, the purpose of which will be to contribute to the global peace agenda of the European Union through a close partnership with EU institutions in order to prevent, mitigate and resolve conflict.

The European Institute of Peace will pursue multi-track diplomacy and promote best practise in conflict management. It represents an opportunity to redefine how EU conduct international diplomacy

The Institute seeks to engage the most creative minds at every step of each project we deliver. As expert on the news channels, EIP can generate public awareness about mediation approaches and create broader support also for other peace efforts. This initiative should overcome inertia created by fear and instead foster a courageous constituency in support of peaceful solutions.

A core group of seven European countries (Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Luxemburg, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland), supported by the European Parliament, registered the Institute under Belgian law and there is growing interest from other European governments.

The group of 7 signed statutes for new European Inst for Peace. Also Italy with Foreign Minister @federicamog has now decided to join @Eurpeace in setting up European Institute of Peace. During 2014 the Institute will recruit its truly first-class team. Important start with Sweden in the lead.

The Institute will be governed by a Board of Governors and managed by an Executive Director, a Deputy Executive Director, and a number of mediation experts and support staff. The EEAS and the European Commission will have a standing invitation to attend meetings of the EIP Board of Governors as observers.

The European Institute of Peace (EIP) will be launched on 12 May 2014 to strengthen Europe’s ability to respond to global challenges to peace. Following the foreign affairs council meeting in Brussels, the initiative will be presented in a press conference accompanied by Catherine Ashton, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs.

“Generations of hostility and wars can be overcome by peace initiatives”, write nine European foreign ministers, ahead of the press conference in an europeanvoice.com/ article April 11th 2014.

According to its statutes:

the objective of the EIP is to: Contribute to and complement the global peace agenda of the European Union, primarily through mediation and informal dialogue and stay engaged and deliver security and financial guarantees to secure agreements, not to design policies.
The EIP pursues multi-track diplomacy and promotes best practice in conflict resolution. As an operational hub, the EIP connects existing expertise and shares knowledge on European mediation.

John F. Kennedy Library 2014 Courage Award in recognition of the political courage.

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Former President George H. W. Bush was named this year’s recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award™ in recognition of the political courage he demonstrated as President when he agreed to a 1990 budget compromise which reversed his 1988 campaign pledge not to raise taxes and put his re-election prospects at risk. Paul W. Bridges, former mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, was also named a Profile in Courage Award recipient for risking his mayoral career with his decision to publicly oppose a controversial immigration law in Georgia.

The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award is presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences. The award is named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers, incurring the wrath of constituents or powerful interest groups, by taking principled stands for unpopular positions.

There is a subtle tension between an idealized commitment to goals of “doing good” and an idealized goal of “being responsible.” Max Weber creatively transformed this into an important insight about policy and practice, when he articulated a very useful distinction between the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility. The crucial point is that one must do the right thing regardless of its consequences.

Throughout his political career, President Kennedy inspired people to work for the benefit of their communities, their country, and their World. He believed that each person can make a difference, and that everyone should tray. In particular, he wanted to restore a belief in politics as a nobel profession and a calling to public service.

A portrait of JFK hanging in US Embassy in London, JFK worked here when his father was Ambassador  would have been 97 today 29-05-2014.

A portrait of JFK hanging in US Embassy in London, he worked here when his father was Ambassador would have been 97 today 29-05-2014.

“This year’s Profile in Courage Award recipients exemplify what President JF Kennedy most admired in public servants: extraordinary courage in serving the greater good,” said Schlossberg, who is a member of the Profile in Courage Award committee.

 

“In his first term in office, President George H. W. Bush risked his reputation and ultimately his political career by forging an important compromise on the budget in 1990 that moved our country forward, and should not be forgotten”. Mayor Paul Bridges took a stand on an issue affecting the rights of people in his community and never wavered in the face of fierce criticism.

As my grandfather wrote in Profiles in Courage, ‘we cannot permit the pressures of party responsibility to submerge on every issue the call of personal responsibility.’ President Bush and Paul Bridges both put the public interest ahead of their own political fortunes. We’re thrilled to honor them this year.”

The prestigious award for political courage, announced today by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, will be presented by Jack Schlossberg, President Kennedy’s grandson, at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on May 4, 2014.

  • George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States. In 1990, with the federal deficit at $200 billion and the Congressional Budget Office suggesting it could double, President Bush negotiated with congressional Democrats to enact a budget deal which included spending cuts and tax increases aimed at reducing the deficit by approximately $500 billion over the following five years. The 1990 bipartisan budget agreement set annual limits on discretionary spending by Congress on defense, domestic programs and international affairs. It also, for the first time, created “pay as you go” rules for entitlements and taxes.

In order to reach the deal, Bush agreed to a tax increase as part of the compromise, and he was pilloried by conservatives for doing so. Although he recognized the 1990 budget deal might doom his prospects for reelection, he did what he thought was best for the country and has since been credited with helping to lay the foundation of the economic growth of the 1990s that followed.

  • Paul W. Bridges, Former Mayor, Uvalda, Georgia. In 2011, Bridges, then the mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, joined a federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU to stop the implementation of H.B. 87, a law aimed at driving illegal immigrants out of Georgia. As written, H.B. 87 authorized police to demand “papers” demonstrating immigration status during traffic stops, and criminalized Georgians who knowingly interact with undocumented individuals, among other measures. Bridges, a Republican who was elected mayor in 2009, was the only politician to join the suit.

He argued that the law would inhumanely separate families and was likely to have dire economic consequences for farming. Bridges himself would have been engaged in criminal behavior under the law, he said, because he often gave rides to undocumented immigrants who were his friends. As a result of his decision to publicly oppose the law, Bridges withstood scathing criticism from anti-immigration partisans around the country, and lost popular support at home. The crucial point is that one must do the right thing regardless of its consequences.