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MARCH 21-23, 2014
Table of Contents
A World in Transition .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 1 Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Trading in Transition by Karel De Gucht. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 A Future of Stagnation by Daniel Gros . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 A Glass Half Empty by Peter Sparding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 A Crude Understanding by Marcus Vincius de Freitas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 NATO Next by Gen. Philip Breedlove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 An Anchor in a Changing World by Ine Eriksen Søreide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Complacency and Insecurity by Marta Dassù . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 A Multilateral Approach by Pieter De Crem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 The Politics of Noise by Ivan Krastev . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 The Path to Democracy by Rachid Ghannouchi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 States under Siege by Pervez Hoodbhoy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Rebooting Digital Diplomacy by Dhruva Jaishankar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 An Overdue Transition by Vitalii Klychko . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 A European Story by Ivan Vejvoda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The Promise of Partnership by Bruno Lété . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Germany Rethinking Its Role by Daniela Schwarzer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
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The Longue Durée by Hassan Mneimneh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Europe’s Africa Test by Martin Michelot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Scaling New Summits by Andrés Serbín . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Young Writers Award . . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..41
The views expressed are the views of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the stance of The German Marshall Fund of the United States.
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A World in Transition
iscussions at the 2014 Brussels Forum will be built around the theme of “A World in Transition.” This theme is meant to reflect on two historical anniversaries that have shaped international relations in the last century — the 100-year commemoration of the beginning of World War I and the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The last century accounted for some of the most terrible forms of warfare, mass attacks on militaries and civilians alike, the rise — and fall — of new global powers, numerous revolutions and upheavals, and, at the same time, the spread of liberty and prosperity to an unprecedented number of nations and people around the world. The forum’s theme is meant to examine how these experiences of the past can be linked to current and future transitions, so as to better govern, respond, and lead during times of uncertainty. Political, economic, social, and technological transitions are taking place all around us and are fundamentally challenging how governments interact with their citizenry. From these changes come great hope and opportunity for expanded freedom and prosperity, the development of unimaginable new technologies accessible to common citizens, and the rise of new powers who understand how to harness these forces for the benefits of their own people. But at the same time, these changes also represent a challenge — and even a threat — to governments and regimes invested in the status quo, reawakening old resentments in those seeking to cling to the world as they knew it rather than adapting to the world as it will be. From this resistance comes the risk that all that was learned in the last century will be forgotten in an effort to preserve and enforce the status quo. Can we truly manage these transitions and the challenges they pose? Are these changing dynamics and shifts true disruptions to the global order? What opportunities do these transitions present? How can past experiences be applied to today’s world? How do we avoid repeating the past? How do we set and manage citizens’ expectations about what they can and should demand from their governments? What must change, and what must be defended?
From a historical perspective, 2014 not only commemorates World War I and the end of the Cold War, but also many other watershed events that led to major shifts in the global order, particularly as they relate to Europe. These include the 70th anniversary of D-Day; the 35th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution; the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests; the 20th anniversaries of NAFTA, the NATO intervention in Bosnia, and NATO’s Partnership for Peace; the 15th
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anniversary of the Kosovo air campaign and NATO’s enlargement to include Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary; the 10th anniversary of further NATO and EU enlargement; and the 5th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty coming into force and Croatia and Albania’s entry into NATO. As this overview shows, some achievements of the past quarter century were hard fought, while other events came as a complete surprise and required new ways of thinking. How do we reflect on — and draw lessons from — these key moments of transition? Will their effects be permanent, or will historians look back on the past 25 years as a passing moment in history, defined less by what happened than by what preceded and followed? And is strategy possible in today’s world? Arguably, it is. If simultaneity is one of the driving forces of our world today, it deserves a strategic response. Indeed, one of the main purposes of Brussels Forum is to recommit ourselves to thinking strategically about the transatlantic relationship. Throughout Brussels Forum 2014, policymakers and thought leaders who have helped shape national and international responses to some of the events of the recent past will share their insights, including with emerging leaders of the future. The lessons learned from the experiences of history will better prepare all of us for the changes underway today — and those of tomorrow. Daniel P. Fata is a transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and is a vice president at the Cohen Group in Washington, DC.
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Trading in Transition
Karel De Gucht
nternational trade is an agent of change. However, the nature of trade is also changing, with serious implications for Europe’s trade policy. Our economies are becoming increasingly integrated. Pick any product today — from the paperclip on your desk to the car you drive. Almost certainly some of the work that went into it happened outside the country you are in, whether its design, marketing, or financing, or the manufacturing of its different components. This has implications for our economies, our societies, and the way governments regulate them. However, those same deeper ties also broaden the number of ways in which governments in other parts of the world affect our economic activity. Take a company producing medical devices in Germany or cosmetics in France, or a farmer in Greece whose cows produce milk for cheese. In the past, trade policy might have helped them grow and create jobs simply by encouraging partners to lower their customs duties. The depth of integration today, however, means that those businesses are also affected by other governments’ decisions on a whole host of issues. To be effective, therefore, trade policy must broaden its horizons. That makes trade policy more complex, technically and politically. Technically, because any product on the market today has to comply with a very wide range of different regulations, and trade policymakers now need to understand a broad spectrum of laws and standards. Politically, because regulation involves finding the right balance between different goals — for example between protecting the environment on one hand, and boosting competitiveness on the other. Legislation on these issues is the result of a complex political process. It is a significant challenge to find ways to improve market access in trade agreements while not undermining democratic policy choices. It means trade negotiators need to be more technically creative while also taking more care than ever to ensure that trade agreements have democratic legitimacy. This process has been helped in Europe by the increased role now played by the European Parliament on trade policy, which doubled the scrutiny of trade policy already provided by EU governments in the Council. It is not enough, however, which is why the European Commission is also increasing its engagement with the full range of civil society actors — including consumer, labor, and environmental activists — as well as representatives of businesses affected by trade barriers. In the
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context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the United States, the Commission is making a particular effort, releasing an unprecedented range of negotiating documents and guides to the talks. TTIP is an essential part of our efforts to deepen global integration because, for all our differences, the United States’ regulatory system is one of the closest to Europe’s. Moreover, the influence of shared approaches to regulation by the world’s largest economies would be vast, laying the groundwork for the global solutions we ultimately need. We need those global solutions because of a second example of trade in transition: the expansion of prosperity around the world. Here again, trade has been a factor in causing change. The dramatic emergence of economies in Asia, Latin America, and Africa has been underwritten by exports, imports, and investment. At the same time, the rise of these new economic powers has changed the geography of international commerce. Not only are emerging economies more important for Europe’s growth, they also tend to be more closed than their developed counterparts. Redressing that balance is a core element of EU trade policy today. This is very apparent in the World Trade Organization (WTO). In the past, the EU’s focus in multilateral talks was centered on the large developed countries with which we traded the most. Last December’s Bali talks could not have been further from that paradigm, with differences among developing countries proving central to the final, landmark result. The EU’s goals on the wider multilateral agenda — whether on industrial goods, agriculture, services, environmental goods, or information technology — all focus on encouraging the opening of new markets in emerging economies. The shift is also reflected in the pattern of the EU’s trade and investment negotiations. Certainly we are negotiating with the United States and Japan, but we are also in discussions with emerging economies like Brazil, Vietnam, and Thailand. We have full trade agreements with Colombia and Peru, and we are negotiating an investment agreement with China. All change requires an adaptation to new ways of doing things, new ideas, and new competitors. It is the work of politics to make sure that such adaptation happens in the right way for people. That is the defining challenge for trade policy today. Karel De Gucht is the European commissioner for trade.
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A Future of Stagnation
Daniel Gros he rise of China and other emerging market economies will change the way in which the global economy works. The EU’s economy has been near stagnation levels now for several years and most forecasts concur that it will be unlikely to achieve a growth rate of 2 percent. The world economy, however, which is expanding at a rate of 4 percent per annum and more, is not waiting for Europe. This implies that for some time, the EU will remain among the three largest global economic powers (along with the United States and China), but its importance will decline relative to almost everybody else. It is also clear that while the EU economy will remain an important element of the world economy, this will not be the case for all of its individual member countries. By 2030, probably only one European country — Germany — will rank among the seven largest economies in the world. Today’s G7, which is comprised of four EU member states, will either become irrelevant or see its membership radically reconstituted. This shift in the global economic power balance has direct implications for a core objective of the EU’s foreign policy, namely to foster the spread of its values of democracy and the rule of law. This mission is so much a part of the raison d’être of the EU that it has even been inserted into the Union’s external mission statement as a legal obligation: The Union’s action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles that have inspired its own creation, development, and enlargement, and that it seeks to advance in the wider world: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law. In fostering this foreign policy objective, the EU has traditionally relied on a combination of its economic weight — as a large market and a source of capital — and its soft power, that is, the power of attraction of its value-based integration model. But over the next few decades, the economic weight of the EU will decline, and its normative power has been diminished by its own internal problems and stagnation. The euro crisis has of course exacerbated this trend, as it has created the impression among many other countries of a divided European Union unable to solve its own problems. It has begun to be perceived as a continent where liberal democracy is experiencing a certain retreat: for example, the recent constitutional reforms in Hungary and the rising influence of EU executive bodies in dictating terms to democratically elected governments to counter the sovereign debt crisis. The euro
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crisis is now receding, but it has inflicted huge collateral damage in its wake, in terms of lost output, lower growth prospects, and divisions among member states. While the EU stagnates, all indicators point to the need for a strong force to stem the tide of illiberal economies. The country ranked among the worst by Freedom House — China — now accounts for over 40 percent of global growth, and those with a middling record with the organization account for another 20 percent. This implies that the global balance is tilting away from countries classified as free toward countries that allow no freedom at all. This situation will put a strain on the EU’s constitutional aim of spreading democracy, since it is much easier to insist on partial improvements where at least a certain degree of freedom exists as compared to totally unfree societies, where even the slightest concession on human rights is unacceptable because it would expose a chink in the armor of the existing regime. Democracy and human rights require not only formal procedures, but also a culture of the rule of law. Similar trends can be observed as the center of gravity of the global economy shifts away from countries that adhere to the rule of law, at least if one uses the most authoritative indicator from the World Bank. The average rule of law in the global economy, if countries are weighted by their GDP, has been declining for some time. In short, the global economy is becoming a tougher place for democracy and the rule of law. And EU policymakers should begin asking themselves what they can realistically hope to achieve given the rapidly diminishing relative weight of Europe. Daniel Gros is the director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.
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A Glass Half Empty
Peter Sparding or the first time in years, there is modest optimism about one half of the transatlantic economy and cause for less pessimism about the other. Relatively strong growth numbers for the United States toward the end of 2013 have some observers proclaiming that the U.S. economy is back on track. The past year also saw the eurozone finally emerging from recession. Even the unemployment situation no longer seems as gloomy, especially in the United States, where the unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in January 2014, its lowest level since October 2008. At the same time, EU and eurozone average unemployment levels have at least stabilized, if at elevated levels. But this initial impression does not reveal the full picture. In the United States, much of the sinking unemployment rate can be traced back to a corresponding fall in the labor force participation rate. While in December 2007, 66 percent of Americans 16 years and older were either working or looking for a job, this number had fallen to 63 percent in January 2014, a level not seen since the late 1970s. To a degree, the decline reflects long-term trends as more Baby Boomers retire and leave the work force. However, studies have shown that poor labor market prospects played at least as much of a role, as individuals dropped out of or never entered the labor market. If not for these discouraged potential workers, today’s topline unemployment rate in the United States would be significantly higher. Other indicators also point to potentially deeper and longer-lasting shifts in the labor market. Long-term unemployment rates, although declining, remain higher than at any point between 1948 and the onset of the recent crisis. Both the median and average number of weeks of unemployment are roughly double the prerecession numbers. In addition, the quality of recovered jobs lags that of jobs lost in the crisis. For example, more than half of all jobs created in 2013 were in the lowwage sector. In Europe, a continent not unaccustomed to persistent unemployment, the situation remains grim overall. Moreover, the burden of the jobs crisis is shared unevenly both geographically and across generations. While some countries, like Germany, have seen their labor markets improve throughout the crisis, others, especially in the European periphery, have faced contractions of historic proportions. And within the hardest hit countries, younger generations have been particularly affected. In Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, 75 percent of the combined reduction in employment between 2007 and 2012 was confined to younger people (aged 15 to 34). Similarly, dramatic increases in unemployment in France and Italy were almost exclusively concentrated among those below 35. Alarmingly, the share of younger people among the long-term unemployed is also increasing in many countries.
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All of these developments could leave lasting marks on national economies long after the initial crisis has passed. Already, the International Labor Organization estimates that trend unemployment has increased significantly in many European countries, an indication that cyclical labor market weakness may be contributing to growing structural problems. Scarring effects will leave those affected struggling to catch up on earnings for decades to come, as studies have shown. Furthermore, prolonged youth unemployment excludes many well-trained workers from contributing to the economy and thus affects productivity levels. Even more broadly, birth rates in many peripheral countries in Europe have fallen since the beginning of the crisis. In the United States, depressed labor force participation, unusually persistent long-term unemployment, and a shift toward employment in the low-wage sector could be potential harbingers of underlying transitions in the labor market. For sure, piecemeal progress has been made and some of the developments on both sides of the Atlantic reflect underlying societal and demographic shifts rather than ongoing economic weaknesses. But overall economic activity has rebounded much strongly than employment, indicating that job creation is slower than it was following past recessions. This inability of the transatlantic economies to fully close the employment gap left by the economic crisis is increasingly threatening their long-term economic potential. The more time that passes with high rates of unemployment, the more likely it is for initially cyclical problems to turn into structural ones and the more difficult it will be to reverse the situation. The slight improvements in the overall numbers that we have been seeing of late should not lead to complacency. Peter Sparding is a transatlantic fellow in GMF’s Europe Program in Washington, DC.
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A Crude Understanding
Marcus Vincius de Freitas
ince the end of the Cold War, theorists of international relations have sought to identify key aspects of interactions between states and have developed theories about the structure of the international system so as to explain how the world works. But there has long been an over-emphasis on the military dimensions of power without acknowledging the relevant role that energy plays in securing economic growth, which is essential to sustain military power. Access to energy, however, remains essential to securing national power, particularly in a world that is consuming more and more. Nonetheless, energy security has played a secondary role in international relations. Energy security, generally defined as the availability of sufficient supply, is a hard concept to grasp. For oilproducing countries, energy security means ensuring that governments are able to keep increasing their resource-based revenues. Developing countries, on the other hand, seek to avoid the negative impact that oil prices may have on their balance of payments. The same is applicable for developed countries, which also seek to secure steady access to energy sources. Energy security became a more relevant issue after the oil shocks of 1973 and 1979, when for the first time oil was used as an economic weapon. At that time, the oil crises were perceived much more as a North-South confrontation and emphasized the dependence of the industrialized world on strategic raw materials from the socalled Third World. Such crises enhanced concerns about energy security. Theorists were not able to explain the behavior of the less powerful or peripheral states who were able to threaten core states with a commodity like oil. This was particularly true in the case of Saudi Arabia, a peripheral state, defying U.S. policy in a strategic region and leading to one of the worst economic crises in modern history. The interest in energy security, however, declined in the 1980s for three major reasons: a decreased dependence on oil-producing countries, a more globalized economy leading to fewer tensions in North-South relations, and neoliberal ideas that included an optimistic belief that technology could eventually help reduce oil dependence. Environmental concerns over these new technological developments remain their greatest obstacle. Governments have been concerned about the impact of the ascension of an energy-thirsty China. As a result, they should insist on building viable regimes to avoid energy supply problems in the future. Oil is an important instrument of hard power: supply disruptions can be more damaging to economies than wars. Daniel Yergin argues, for instance, that the strikes in the oil industry in Venezuela between 2002 and 2003 had a greater impact on supplies than the war in Iraq. That is why availability and the fear of supply disruptions are the major driving forces that determine the price of a barrel. The World Energy Outlook 2010
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projects oil demand to increase 49 percent by 2035, to approximately 128 million barrels per day, with renewable energies still unable to replace oil’s importance for transportation. As demand grows due to population and economic growth worldwide, energy resources will play a greater role in global politics, with a higher likelihood of international conflict. Globalization, urbanization, and population growth will increase oil’s relevance. But Yergin also affirms that one of the most important lessons of “the history of oil is to expect the unexpected.” Among the unexpected factors are new developments in the industry, a further reduction on oil dependence, and environmental concerns forcing a reduction in the use of fossil fuels. This surprise element creates an environment full of uncertainties. The emergence of new oil-producing countries and regions, such as the south Atlantic, and new advances in technology for shale oil and shale gas are two such unexpected factors. Oil could play a dual role for the new producing countries that want to overcome the malaise of a resource curse: as a provider of economic resources for domestic development, and as a tool of foreign policy, considering the energy security needs in a bipolar world order in which the United States and China are the main players. What role oil has in a world in transition is particularly important. The issue is whether Clemenceau´s affirmation that “oil in modern society is like blood in the human body” still remains valid. Only time will tell. Marcus Vinicius de Freitas teaches international law and international relations at The Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation, where he is the coordinator of their International Relations Programme.
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Gen. Philip Breedlove “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” - Winston Churchill
ATO was founded on the bedrock of democracy and individual liberty. It was created, has expanded, and is honed to be the vigilant guard, the watchful eye, and the shield of our nations. Another consistent feature of NATO is change. We are again on the cusp of a new era for NATO and for our alliance. Threats shift and evolve around us, demanding our continued vigilance to protect the security our nations have earned together. We cannot stand by and take for granted our past success, hard-earned interoperability, and combat-forged partnerships. We must remain prepared to counter the next threat, assist with the next humanitarian disaster, or respond to the next request for support from our allies. Throughout the last 65 years of NATO history, our strategic focus has evolved and adapted to the world environment. The Alliance is keeping pace with new security challenges developing around the globe and engaging emerging threats in kinetic and non-kinetic forms. Keeping in mind the Alliance’s adaptation and evolution, we must also remember how NATO is often touted as the longest surviving and most successful alliance in the history of the world. The correlation is clear: adaptability and cooperation make the Alliance not only a more efficient military force, but also hone our technical and tactical proficiency. Nearly 14 years of intense counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan have refined the interoperability of the Alliance to levels never experienced before. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has required a sharing of joint operational and strategic tactics, techniques, and procedures between our militaries. This has created the foundational building blocks of NATO’s modem Smart Defense and Smart Power capabilities. With the 2010 Strategic Concept, the Alliance has embraced the ability to shift focus and engage threats and crises not only as they emerge but throughout the entire developmental process. What is next for NATO? How will our future operations shape an alliance 65 years in the making? NATO will once again shift focus as our forces prepare to transition from ISAF to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Handing over the full effort of security to the ever more capable ANSF, Alliance forces are preparing to continue to support the Afghanistan Security Forces through a continued train, advise, and assist mission. As we have seen throughout the numerous transitions and shifts of focus throughout our history, NATO will again evolve. The demands for a capable and flexible Alliance will grow as threats continue to develop and emerge in diverse regions across the globe from hostile state and non-state entities. Current levels
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of interoperability, dialogue, and cooperation will be an ongoing and demanding requirement as the Alliance continually evolves to counter aggression and ensure the collective defense of our transatlantic alliance. The key for a capable and ready NATO is to increase our education, training and operational exercises. We have already begun the initial steps necessary to ensure we maintain our hardwon strategic and operational capabilities. In November, we held NATO’s largest live-fire exercise in nearly a decade with Exercise Steadfast Jazz. Incorporating over 6,000 troops, 28 NATO nations, and three partner nations, Steadfast Jazz transformed the strategic and operational lessons learned from Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Libya, and maritime and peace-keeping operations into a single exercise. Once again, we are tying together NATO forces and striving to maintain our exceptional level of interoperability, while testing the command and control elements of the NATO Response Force. We have the wisdom of working together for the past 65 years, the agility of the most modern defense systems, and the strength of interoperability, while continually adhering to the key tenets upon which the Alliance was formed. Our strength and capabilities are inherently based on forming, sustaining, equipping and training an adaptive force where the only constant in the geo-political terrain is change. We have not forgotten the Alliance was formed because the sum of our parts was greater than the whole. Our environment will change. Our bedrock of democracy, dedication to securing our allies, and commitment to defending our liberty will remain. As former U.S. President John F. Kennedy stated, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Philip Breedlove is the commander of the U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander for Europe at NATO.
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An Anchor in a Changing World
Ine Eriksen Søreide any claim that as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan is coming to an end, NATO is at a crossroads. After almost 20 years of being involved in numerous out-of-area operations, we are facing a new period in the Alliance. Adding to the schism is the United States’ rebalancing toward the Pacific, and the economic crisis in NATO member nations. But NATO has been at crossroads before. The basic instinct among policymakers has often been to argue for the reinvention of NATO, the thesis being that unless NATO takes on new roles and missions, the Alliance will become irrelevant. I do not agree — NATO does not need to reinvent itself. The development of the Alliance has always revolved around the core tasks in Articles 4 and 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949. The Alliance has never departed from its original obligation of “one for all and all for one.” The end of the Cold War serves as an example. It was this obligation that provided NATO with the competence and capabilities to address challenges to security outside the euroatlantic area, and it was this obligation that led to a doubling of member nations. NATO is clearly a political alliance just as much as it is a military alliance. Instead of reinvention, we should recognize that we stand on firm ground when it comes to our future ambitions. The Strategic Concept adopted at the Lisbon Summit in 2010 provides good guidance on what the priorities of the Alliance in the coming years should be. The three core tasks of NATO remain: collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security. We should approach the tasks in a balanced way, by ensuring NATO’s ability to perform all its core tasks. Nevertheless, we need to emphasize NATO’s role in collective defense, as this role received less attention during the ISAF efforts. Collective defense is the mission that provides the Alliance with the fundamental qualities that enables us to perform the other tasks as well, and the aspect that most explicitly aims at deterring and dissuading potential aggressors. Our deterrence posture is closely linked with the credibility of collective defense and continued strong leadership by the United States. A better sharing of burdens within the Alliance in the future will also add to its credibility. We should engage more in those areas where Europe can actually support the United States. The credibility of collective defense is also crucial to public support, as well as to the willingness to invest in the Alliance. Military and political cohesion has made it possible for NATO to operate collectively in Kosovo and Afghanistan. This cohesion is coming under increasing strain, demonstrated most recently in Libya. There are many reasons why it is being challenged. I am convinced, though, that it
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will be even more difficult to maintain cohesion if we do not sufficiently emphasize collective defense. Building our armed forces, we are frequently asked who the enemy is and why we need military forces. Although many will point out that NATO currently does not have explicit enemies with the intention of directing military aggression toward the Alliance, these questions have an easy answer. Defense is needed to protect our values —our territories, our democratic freedoms, our way of living, our way of trading, our economic structure, and so forth. The strength of the transatlantic link is nurtured by common values. NATO is globally the single most important institution that offers, to both Europeans and Americans, political and military tools to defend these values. No one can guarantee that the future will not provide us with enemies. We must be prepared for a wide array of threats — traditional and new — in order to protect our democracy, rule of law and freedom. To prepare NATO for the future we should consider specific developments:
• First, the Alliance would profit from the resumption of operational planning
in a generic manner for future contingencies, taking into account the full spectrum of NATO missions.
• Second, to ensure interoperability, NATO needs to strengthen training and
exercise. These activities will provide a venue for developing the competence within the NATO Command Structure, and exercising allied operational plans. Norway will continue to offer to host allied training and exercises. high-end deployable capabilities that are made available for NATO operations. We should meet critical shortfalls, and establish mechanisms for ensuring the implementation of relevant capabilities.
• Third, we need to establish mechanisms whereby we can develop and maintain
At the NATO Summit 2014, we need to recognize the successes of the Alliance and its role as an anchor in a changing world. The summit is an opportunity to further strengthen both the political and military dimension of our Alliance, both of which are essential to preserve a relevant and capable NATO. Ine Eriksen Søreide is the minister of defense of Norway.
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Complacency and Insecurity
Marta Dassù big question mark looms over the future of Europe. One hundred years after World War I and 25 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, we find ourselves wondering whether we will experience war ever again. In recent times, it has become somewhat of a truism to argue that globalization has drastically changed the nature of war, to the point of making large-scale conflicts unthinkable. Increasing world market integration and growing transnational financial flows, rising labor mobility and migration, the evolution of democratic regimes and international humanitarianism have all contributed to make war both more difficult and more costly. Yet, prophesying the end of war is a far too simplistic an analysis. Worse, it is a dangerous misjudgment that has occurred in the past, especially in the years leading up to 1914. Indeed, the parallels between the multipolar order that has emerged out of the Cold War and the international system of the Belle Epoque are many. These parallels are obviously disquieting, but it is also true that on several occasions, modern institutions have proved far more solid than in the past. The United Nations, despite evident limits, is more coherent and effective than either the Concert of Europe or the League of Nations, while world economic governance has been able to cope with financial shocks more effectively than in any previous case. This, however, must not become an excuse for Europeans to become complacent when it comes to security issues. As much as Western European countries almost naively believed in the “peace dividend” that was expected to accompany the end of the Soviet Union, they failed to grasp its benefits. Governments across the EU have engaged in indiscriminate defense spending cuts, while maintaining old-fashioned military structures that are ill-equipped to fight modern asymmetrical and counterinsurgency wars. The recent economic crisis and the wave of austerity measures that followed have choked military budgets even more, highlighting the lack of “deep” defense integration among the EU countries, which reduce their aggregate capacity to cope with unforeseen dangers. Despite its undeniable benefits, in fact, world integration has greatly enhanced the systemic risk of geopolitical turmoil, both on a global and regional level. On the Eastern outskirts of Europe, several frozen conflicts remain — such as the often-forgotten Nagorno-Karabakh — and the recent Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership momentarily jeopardized the EU’s attempts at stabilizing its Eastern periphery, especially as regards the anchoring of Ukraine to the continent’s integrated core. To the south, the Mediterranean is rapidly reaching a boiling point: the Arab revolutions have triggered a spiral of instability that has yet to come to an end, aggravating the troubles of many Middle Eastern and North African countries already faced with difficult demographic and social transformations. The Syrian Civil War, with its huge humanitarian consequences, has escalated into a regional
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conflict that threatens the security of the area at large, while migrations from North Africa and the Sahel continue unabated. Looking to far more distant regions, the scenario of conventional conflicts cannot be discarded in East Asia. External threats to European security are inextricably linked with internal problems. As the eurozone struggles to pull out of the quagmire of economic stagnation, a new wave of nationalist sentiment has spread throughout its member states. The European institutional framework has always been based on an imperfect match between common governance and national interests. In recent times, the denial of the idea that a monetary union must always be underpinned by genuine political integration has made the situation worse. War might just be a specter of the distant past for most Europeans today, but economic tensions are evident and their political spillover must not be underestimated. The more the EU drags its feet on further integration, the more vulnerable it is to the criticism of Eurosceptics and populists, who depict Brussels as an authoritarian and remote bureaucracy intent on oppressing European nations. These attacks are dangerous not only for their own sakes, but because they seem to entirely dismiss the historical origins of the EU. Back in its formative days, the founding fathers of Europe set out to promote integration in order to prevent the continent from plunging again into the abyss of extreme ultra-nationalism and war. Today, after more than two decades of relative peace, we have been cajoled into complacency, forgetting that Europe is still about common security, not just selfish economic interest. The World War I centenary is the perfect moment to remind ourselves that if we want to salvage peace and consolidate its foundations, we have to strengthen the European project, both from the inside and working outward: pursuing greater military coordination and defense integration among EU members to face immediate and potential external threats, while resolving our imbalances in fiscal and trade matters so as to dampen internal tensions. In the end, the impulse and the practical goals that justified the creation of an integrated European home are still valid. The instruments just need to be adjusted, for the sake of the wider project. Marta Dassù is the chief editor of Aspenia and a former Italian vice minister.
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A Multilateral Approach
Pieter De Crem he transatlantic bond between Europe and North America is a natural and indispensable partnership, based on shared values and a common history. As the world becomes an even smaller and faster-evolving place, we rely on this partnership to safeguard the position of the West on the global geostrategic chessboard and to answer the numerous challenges of the future. Among the most visible changes are the growing disparity in prosperity between countries, the scramble for natural resources, population growth in developing countries and resulting migration, the rise of certain fanatical religious creeds, and the reemerging threat of nationalism. North America and Europe will only be able to reinforce their global strategic position if they intertwine their destinies further. And we already have the best possible instrument to do this: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. From 1949 until today, NATO has never ceased to prove that it is the anchor we can rely on. Throughout the years and the geostrategic changes time brought with it, the Alliance has demonstrated a formidable capacity for adjustment, always guaranteeing safety for its member states. During the Cold War, it was NATO’s deterrence that enabled us to contain the communist threat. From the early 1990s, a period of interventions followed in the Balkans and Afghanistan, during which NATO offered a crucial contribution to stabilization and laid the foundations to foster more democratic regimes. The Alliance’s main goals have always been in line with its core values. For decades, Allies have indeed always been, as stipulated in the Washington Treaty, “determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage, and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.” In this context, the leadership and commitment of the United States have always played a crucial role in tackling security threats and promoting democracy and human values worldwide. However, this commitment has prompted many sacrifices, resulting in questions recently on how to proceed. Despite the important political choices that the United States faces, it should be clear to everyone that we need its further positive commitment. The United States is indispensable in providing the lead role in the transatlantic bond. Yet, in order to valorize this leadership, the United States requires Europe — and more specifically the European Union — to assume a firmer grasp on security in its own region. Washington expects the EU to become NATO’s first partner of choice. This also implies further efforts to achieve more equitable burden-sharing within NATO. Europeans need to realize that mere discussion about this is not sufficient; it is a necessity, rather than a virtue. Therefore, a top priority for Europe is to take its destiny more firmly in its own hands. The Union must be able to cope independently with a wide range of security threats, and its capacities should be
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complementary to those of NATO. After all, what use is there in cooperating if one partner is shouldering the bulk of responsibilities? We, as a transatlantic alliance, need a greater awareness of the global context in which this bond exists, with the emergence or sometimes revival of a number of world powers: the BRICS countries, but also Japan, Turkey, and others. We can no longer speak of a bipolar world characterized by a struggle between the United States and Russia, or a unipolar world with U.S. hegemony. Today, we witness a multipolar, sometimes referred to as a “zero-polar” world, in which the five permanent members of the UN Security Council no longer hold a monopoly on global geopolitical power and influence. The P5 now have to share this prerogative with a larger, and growing, group of countries, be it the G8 or G20. Indeed, the decision-makers of today are not easy to pinpoint. At the same time, we also witness a greater awareness within the numerous smaller countries, many of which have experienced 50 years or more of independence and demand greater involvement. This multilateral world requires a multilateral approach, with an increasingly important role for the United Nations and regional institutions. The main challenge for the United States and Europe consists of strengthening the transatlantic bond and continuing to use it to ensure a significant role for the West on the global geostrategic chessboard and the strengthening of the United Nations. The final and common objective should be to achieve a more balanced development of the world. Indeed, the global challenges the world faces today ask for global solutions. Pieter De Crem is the Belgian minister of defense and deputy prime minister.
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The Politics of Noise
hat is going on?” asked radical French philosopher Alan Badiou two years ago. “Of what are we the half-fascinated, half-devastated witnesses? The continuation, at all costs, of a weary world? A salutary crisis of that world, racked by its victorious expansion? The end of that world? The advent of a different world?” In the last five years, political protests have erupted in more than 70 countries, according to The Economist. Some of these, such as Egypt and Tunisia, were autocracies; others were democracies, like Great Britain and India. Some were prosperous, like Israel; others, like Albania and Moldova, poor and depressed. In most of them, social inequality is growing, but in others, like Brazil, it is on the decline. Protests engulfed countries savaged by the global economic crisis — Greece and Portugal being the most notable examples — but they were also found in highgrowth emerging economies unscathed by the crisis, like Turkey and Russia. Protests succeeded in capturing the public imagination without engendering either a new ideology or charismatic leaders. What these protests will be remembered for are videos not manifestos, happenings not speeches, conspiracy theories not political tracts. British journalist Paul Mason, whose Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere is one of the most widely read and inspiring books about the new age of protest, writes that we are in the middle of a revolution caused by the collapse of free market capitalism, an upswing in technical innovation, a surge in individual freedom, and a change in what freedom means. In his view, the “graduate without a future” — one who has a degree but not a proper job, who has inherited nothing but debts from the older generation — is the lead protagonist of the new anti-capitalist revolution. U.S. political scientist Francis Fukuyama agrees that we are in the middle of the revolution but it is the revolution of the global middle class. In other words, it is not the revolution of those who have lost, but the uprising of those who have won. The new revolution is one of expectations not of frustrations. So, how can we make sense of the protests that shattered the world? Do they signal a radical change in the way politics will be practiced or are they simply a spectacular but ultimately insignificant eruption of public anger? “Is it the technology, the economics, the mass psychology or just the zeitgeist that’s caused this global explosion of revolt?” Mason asks. Do the protests make clear the new power of the citizen or, alternatively, do they mark the decline of the political influence of the middle class and its growing discontent with democracy? Suzanne Collins’ best-selling The Hunger Games trilogy, the story of a rebellious girl, Katniss Everdeen, captures the new spirit of rebellion better than faddish sociological theories. The global protests, like Katniss’s revolution, boil down to an insurgency that is anti-political at its base. It is borne out of a profound sense of
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injustice, is governed by a broad array of images, and is rooted in an innate sense of empathy and human solidarity. The conscience-stricken celebrity may be its only legitimate leader. In this sense, the protests of today are in some sense a 3D remake of the protests of 1968, but in another sense, they are strikingly different. In 1968, revolutionary students were committed to understanding how the “system” worked. The system was their obsession. It was a revolution of sociology students arriving straight from the second-hand bookstores. Today, hardly anybody is interested in the system. It is a revolution of psychology students. Today the system is reduced to the idea of the perverse one percent — the party of excess — and then all the rest. The government is simply a conspiracy in power. Modern society is essentially a high-tech version of the Middle Ages. Anti-institutionalism is the defining characteristic of the new protest movements of both the left and right. On the whole, they have ignored political parties, distrusted the mainstream media, failed to recognize any specific leadership, and rejected all formal organization, relying instead on the Internet and local assemblies for collective debate and decision-making. Protesters are angry individuals. They enjoy being together, they enjoy fighting together but they do not necessarily have a collective project. Mistrusting institutions as a rule, they are plainly uninterested in assuming power. For the first time since 1848 — the last of the pre-Marxist revolutions — the revolt is not against the government but against being governed. The Silent Man in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, who stood without moving or speaking for eight hours, is a symbol of the new age of protests. His message to those in power is that he will never go home. The central paradox of the new protest movements is that they are borne out of a legitimate disgust of the politics of “there is no alternative” practiced by both democratic and authoritarian governments. But by turning their backs on elections and institutions, they may end up reinforcing the politics of “there is no alternative.” Ivan Krastev is chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.
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The Path to Democracy
Rachid Ghannouchi he year 2013 was a difficult year for both Tunisia and for Arabs and their hopes of liberation. Tunisians placed high hopes on the revolution they sparked in 2010. They placed high hopes on their ability to create a new model of peaceful change, one that could achieve a revolution that takes neither a step back into repression nor strays into violence. These hopes are nearing realization. In January, Tunisia adopted the greatest constitution in its history and with the handover of power from the elected government to an independent government to oversee the elections that will take place before the end of 2014 for a full-term democratically elected government. The principal question is whether the Tunisian model for democratic transition has succeeded in placing Tunisia on the path of democracy. And what are the principal features of this model that make it successful? The process of democratic change is a learning process requiring patience, longterm vision, and a willingness to put aside immediate partisan interests in order to build a shared system respectful of, and respected by, all. Part of it is to get into power, to get out of it, and to give the people the right to give you power or to choose other political parties and actors. At the beginning of the 1980s, I was asked: what if the people of Tunisia choose a secular party? Would we, as an Islamic party, accept the results of the elections? I replied that yes, we would. We would simply work harder to convince the people of our vision and program as a political party. This is the basis for alternation of power. We have never doubted and have always declared that we do not tolerate violence or taking power by force nor do we accept maintaining power by force. The intense transitional process Tunisia has undergone has required building a consensus around a common architecture for managing public life: drafting a constitution in which every Tunisian is invested and establishing key institutions such as the Election Commission, Media Commission, and Human Rights Commission, which establish new rules for building a fair model of governance to safeguard the principles of peaceful alternation of power, participatory democracy, and respect for rights and freedoms. This process of constructing a new body politic through consensus has been complicated by the struggle between the old system that the revolution sought to bring down and a new system that is being built. We sought to strengthen the dynamic for change by building an alliance between those parties committed to democracy and the struggle against dictatorship regardless of ideological background. We believe that the ship of Tunisia can carry all Tunisians with their diversity of opinions and ideologies. However, we must stand up against those who believe that they are the sole keepers of the truth and think that they have the right
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to coerce and use violence against others. Such an attitude undermines democracy and can only lead to the sinking of the ship. Building consensus and sharing power require compromise. After the tragic assassination of Mohamed Brahmi, founder and former leader of the People’s Movement, in July 2013, opposition voices called for cancelling the entire democratic process and withdrew from the Assembly. The Assembly could have continued its work without them. However, Ennahdha Party and its partners in government did not want to push through a constitution that would not represent all Tunisians and would divide society. Drafting a constitution is a process by which society establishes a common understanding of its core values and the aims, ends, and means of government. Although we came to power through the first democratic elections in the history of Tunisia, we chose to strengthen the transition by building it on a higher level of legitimacy, one based on consensus not majoritarianism, and by concessions not coercion. We chose to hand over power to an interim technocratic government for the sake of something far dearer: placing Tunisia firmly on the path to democracy, adopting a constitution for all Tunisians, building common institutions, and establishing a stable system of peaceful alternation of power. The secret behind our success resides in the fact that secularists and Islamists cooperated on the basis of shared values. Tunisia’s success resides in this historical accord between moderate Islamists and moderate secularists. This accord is not new, but dates back to 2005 when Ennahdha and secular and leftist opposition parties came together to establish a common platform endorsing a civil, democratic government that protects universal human rights, including the rights of women as defined by the Personal Status Code in Tunisia. The platform also defines a clear relationship between government and religion where there is freedom of religion but the role of government is not to impose or to forbid any religion. For us, this alliance is not a political choice but a conviction based on a belief in the need to build a society based on fairness, justice, and respect for human dignity. We embrace all the universal values that work for the benefit of humanity. We believe in one God, whose key attributes are justice and mercy, and that all of His creatures are equal. By recognizing universal values as one of the main references of the constitution, Ennahdha Party is one of the major forces that helped to safeguard the rights of women and minorities. We Tunisians can be proud of what we have achieved: a peaceful revolution followed by a transition built on consensus that took the country to the shores of safety. Tunisia is a country small in its geography, population, and natural resources but great in its cultural and intellectual heritage, and its ability to resort to dialogue to overcome differences. Through these, we have given the Arab region and the world a new, unique model in democracy-building. Rached Ghannouchi is the leader of the Ennahdha Party in Tunisia.
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States under Siege
iolent religious extremists are challenging the authority and legitimacy of several Muslim states. In some countries, the state‘s writ has weakened. In others — such as Somalia, Afghanistan, and Yemen — it barely exists. A vast swathe of humanity stands at the edge of perilous chaos. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is under daily attack by Islamic groups armed with bombs and suicide jackets. About 14 percent of its territory is controlled by the Pakistani Taliban and other groups, and over 50,000 Pakistanis have been killed in this conflict over the last decade. This nuclear-armed country, with the world’s seventh largest army, endlessly debates whether to negotiate with terrorists or retaliate. But it ends up doing nothing. The fundamental dispute is whether Pakistan was created in 1947 to be a Muslim majority state or, instead, an Islamic state to be run by Islamic law — the sharia. Lost in thick ideological fog, the state lacks strong arguments that could rouse its soldiers and citizens to fight Taliban terrorism. The core question — one that may never be asked publically — is who are truer Muslims? Bearded militants who seek to destroy the state and its citizens, or equally bearded soldiers who die while seeking to protect their state? Only a razor’s edge separates the thinking of Pakistani soldiers from the men they must fight. Radical Islamists, marginalized in earlier decades, have also recently come into the political mainstream in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and other Muslim countries. An interesting question is whether democracy can moderate their Islamist zeal. In Pakistan’s case, it has not. The Jamaat-e-Islami, which participated in the 2013 national elections, may now appear less extreme. But this is only because rival organizations are so much more extreme. In fact, the Jamaat’s ideological stance has not softened. It still stridently calls for jihad in Kashmir and against India, refuses to condemn Taliban attacks upon civilians and soldiers, protects al-Qaeda members, insists that Pakistan must be governed by sharia law, and remains resolutely opposed to birth control. Nevertheless, as the case of Egypt shows, one must be cautious in drawing general conclusions from a specific case. Shortly after the Arab Spring took off, many predicted that the Muslim Brotherhood, now populist vote seekers, would move away from their violent past. Indeed, drawing severe criticism from al-Qaeda, the pragmatic Brothers dropped the call of their revered philosopher, Sayyid Qutb, for armed jihad and the revival of the caliphate. But the Brotherhood could not compromise beyond a point and were bloodily removed by an Egyptian military coup in 2013. Religious and personal freedom, women’s rights, and religious pluralism remain anathema to its core beliefs. A restored Mohamed Morsi would probably trample on these no less than before. Nevertheless, the excessive use of
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force by the Egyptian military was, in my opinion, unwarranted. Glancing at Algeria 20 years ago — where 200,000 lives were lost in a brutal civil war — one can see truly terrifying possibilities for Egypt as Islamists retaliate. The weakening of the Muslim nation-state across the world, and multiple civil wars, owes to the sudden rise of political Islam. In much of the 20th century, Muslims had understood their religion largely as a normative system whose role was to govern an individual’s personal life and act as a moral compass. In contrast, “political Islam” insists that Muslims can live out their faiths only in an Islamic state. This could take the form of a national state, sultanate, kingdom, or caliphate. Political Islam’s ultimate goal is to weld all Muslims together under the rubric of a supra-national Islamic theocratic state, the caliphate. In principle, the caliphate is a Sunni Islamic state without national borders, ruled by a male caliph who would command the allegiance of the entire ummah. As head of state, the caliph would govern as prescribed by the sharia, and would command allegiance from all living Muslims as their supreme religious and political authority. Unity of the ummah has been an elusive ideal from the very beginnings of Islam. The death of the Prophet Mohammed created an enduring schism on the question of who would be the next leader of the faithful. Although Muslim empires in the Middle East and Southwest Asia had been called caliphates, they were never accepted by all Muslims, and at times rival caliphs have existed contemporaneously. After Turkey’s Kemal Ataturk abolished the caliphate in the 1920s, few Muslim countries wanted it restored. In modern times, the caliphate is a non-starter. How 1.6 billion Muslims could agree on a leader — or even to electoral rules — boggles the mind. What mechanism could judge a candidate’s piety? Even the election of a pious shura or council would run against multiple definitions of faith. The illusion of an Islamic political utopia must be shed. But until that happens, it seems likely that Muslim societies will continue their destructive, fratricidal conflict. Pervez Hoodbhoy, is a Pakistani nuclear physicist, essayist and defence analyst.
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Rebooting Digital Diplomacy
Dhruva Jaishankar oday, over 2.7 billion people around the world have access to the Internet, that global network of networks that influences almost every facet of daily life for many people. But the Internet risks becoming a victim of its own success. Whereas the organic, even anarchic, nature of the Web’s initial development enabled unprecedented new opportunities, it also confronted policymakers with new challenges — both real and perceived. Many national governments — both liberal and illiberal — now struggle to deal with security threats, social turmoil, and illicit activities that are ostensibly enabled or facilitated by online activity. And so they regularly resort to placing selective or indiscriminate restrictions on the public’s ability to access and use the Internet without fear of repercussion. While restrictions on Internet freedom are often thought of in the context of authoritarian regimes, they affect the vast majority of new and potential Internet users in developing or emerging democracies. Between them, Europe, the United States, and China account for less than half of global Internet users, a figure that is steadily decreasing as more people in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and democratic Asia come online. It is in these regions that questions surrounding the future of the Internet will be most fiercely contested, and possibly decided. Recent experience, however, suggests that current approaches to advancing Internet freedom in these regions are often deficient, and perhaps even counterproductive. While its objectives are undoubtedly worthy, the Internet freedom agenda as it is now being propagated is often divorced from local policy constraints and considerations. Discourse on Internet freedom frequently presents a false choice between freedom and security, or unnecessarily demonizes governments, when in fact the reality is rather more complex. By assuming U.S.- or European-style civil liberties in many other emerging democratic countries, supporters of Internet freedom also risk misleading publics about their rights and responsibilities as Internet users. As digital diplomacy is formulated, a few realities must be taken into consideration. First, the online world is an outgrowth of the offline world: Internet policy cannot be considered in a vacuum or removed from other aspects of public policy, whether security, social policy, or political freedoms. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, there must be greater tolerance for variations in laws, norms, and cultural attitudes, particularly among open societies. At the same time, current legislation pertaining to the Internet in many countries is deeply flawed. National laws related to Internet use frequently infringe upon constitutional rights pertaining to freedom of expression, and are often vague, resulting in arbitrary implementation and the undermining of public trust in state institutions.
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To address some of these challenges, further steps should be taken to integrate Internet freedom into discourse on other aspects of policy, such as security, intelligence, trade, economics, public health, immigration, and environmental issues. Policymakers should also focus on improving the transparency of processes related to Internet regulation, including by empowering independent regulators to oversee restrictive government programs and by ensuring recourse to justice for those accused of violating local Internet laws. Such steps could potentially enhance national security while upholding individual rights and privacy. And greater efforts can also be made to educate publics about the ethics of Internet use, starting in schools. If students are being exposed to civic, health, sex, and drug education in order to prepare them to be responsible members of society, there is no reason why basic Internet education should not be included in school curricula. For their part, U.S. and European governments, institutions, and NGOs would be better off adopting a more modest and less eye-catching approach to Internet freedom, a strategy that could prove more effective in the long run. This might involve educating legislators, jurists, and journalists from around the world on comparative Internet laws and practices. Advocates could also highlight case studies of successful Internet companies from various regions, in order to “deAmericanize” perceptions of the Internet and give other countries a greater sense of ownership. And they can also support better research on the relationships between online communications, political and social freedoms, and economic development, including through surveys of public attitudes to privacy, Internet freedom, and the Internet’s economic value. The future of the Internet as we have come to know it is very much in doubt. Defending it, however, will require a much more nimble strategy than that currently being pursued. A real danger is that, as the issue increases in importance as a matter of national and international policy, concern will not dissipate but simply become relegated to a small echo chamber of like-minded advocates. After all, other important global challenges, such as nuclear proliferation and climate change, have experienced similar marginalization over the years, becoming the exclusive preserves of activists and technical experts. For those who truly wish to preserve an Internet free and whole, steps must be taken today to ensure that Internet policy is no longer just the preserve of the few. Dhruva Jaishankar is a transatlantic fellow with the Asia Program of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
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An Overdue Transition
014 provides us with a perfect occasion to contemplate the current state and future of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. Ukraine belongs to the group of countries whose destiny has changed dramatically following the fall of the Berlin Wall and ensuing demise of the Soviet Empire. It seemed in 1991 that democratic values and economic prosperity would soon become part and parcel of the Ukrainian experience. Since then, our immediate neighbors to the West have succeeded in joining the European and euroatlantic communities of democratic nations, while Ukraine is still at a crossroads. Now after months of peaceful confrontation with an oppressive government that has not hesitated to use the most brutal and deadly force against protesters, we firmly understand where Ukraine wants to be, and what is necessary for it to achieve its goal. In spite of oppression, intimidation, and cold-blooded killings, millions of Ukrainians stood up for their rights and dignity, for European values and standards. People are fed up with corruption, the inefficiency of the government, and economic and social stagnation. Ukrainians may have been the first to fight and even shed blood for their European choice. Against all odds the EuroMaidan in the center of Kyiv stood and fought over the past several months. For the first time in many years, the protests did not have a clear regional dimension. People in the eastern and southern cities of Kharkiv, Zaporizzhya, Dnipropetrovsk, and even Simferopol were also protesting. With such an emerging unity of purpose, momentum was created for the necessary reforms based on a strategic vision of Ukraine’s future and its place in the modern world. Konrad Adenauer, a great German and European, once said that things only seem complex, but the truth is always simple. We have founded our strategy for Ukraine on a few simple truths.
• First, we want to make the civil service effective and accountable. Without
that, we cannot combat corruption. We plan to attain this objective through the lustration of the civil service — so that those who were engaged in corrupt practices or the abuse of power will have to leave — real reform of the judiciary and the creation of special anti-corruption agencies, and a total reset of the whole law enforcement system. out a radical reform of the economic and administrative laws and practices. The contacts between a bureaucrat and a citizen or a businessman should be minimal. The number of separate taxes should be radically cut to seven.
• Second, we must attract investments, including foreign investments, by carrying • Third, we are determined to change the relationship between business and the
state. I believe that businessmen should be partners with the authorities in the
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development of the country. This should mean guaranteeing property rights and contracts, ensuring equal treatment, and taxing on a non-discriminatory basis.
• Fourth, we should overcome the infrastructure disaster that is engulfing roads,
communications, and utilities. The system of public procurement legislation and practices should be radically changed. What is very important here is energy efficiency, for only this can allow Ukraine to be free from excessive energy consumption.
• Fifth, we desire sustainable human development. The critical situation in this
area can be changed by introducing modern schemes and best practices, as well as increasing funding. We cannot evolve into a knowledge economy when we spend more on law enforcement than we spend on healthcare, education, or science.
Our program of reforms corresponds to reforms envisaged by the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. The reforms undermine the very basis of Viktor Yanukovych and his regime: corruption, the selective use of legislation, and the abuse of power. That is why we could not start reforms in Ukraine without changes to the longstanding power structure. That is why the people of Ukraine called for early presidential and parliamentary elections. Ukrainians have by now demonstrated a high level of self-organization and civic culture. They have organized local people’s councils to decide on the immediate needs of the communities. They have founded neighborhood watch initiatives – “People’s Self-defense” - to protect the lives, health, and property of activists from harassment by criminals, who were often hired by the authorities. The West was unable to help Ukrainian democratic forces prevent bloodshed. More than 100 people were murdered by government forces. It can still help Ukraine an avert economic debacle by providing a package of urgent financial assistance. Together we can clear the way for changes in Ukraine in the interest of both our country and Europe as a whole. We are ready to take action. We have the political will to make the difference and terminate a transition period in Ukraine that has taken too long. The victory of democracy in Ukraine will have a lasting positive impact on the entire region. Vitalii Klychko is the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform and a member of the Ukrainian Parliament.
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A European Story
ome historical lessons are never learned, some are learned belatedly. One hundred years after the beginning of World War I, the Balkans are engaged in a painstaking yet enduring process of consolidating peace and stability by pursuing EU integration. It was thought after 1945 that Europe — after two world wars, millions of victims, and near total destruction — would in the future avoid full-scale violence. But this did not reckon with the nefarious effects of the legacy of authoritarian rule and the lack of democratic institutions. Forty-six years after the end of World War II, war again erupted in Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula. Yet it was not a Balkan war; it was a war in one Balkan country: Yugoslavia. In 1989, the rallying cry of the soon to be post-communist countries was a “return to Europe.” The goal was the reunification of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. There was a sense that the wrongful division of Europe at Yalta and Potsdam were being righted. There was no time to lose. The moment of the bringing down of the Iron Curtain, of the Berlin Wall in 1989, was a long-awaited vindication of the right of people to freely choose their side. History opened a door, but the process did not end. Three communist federations disappeared in short succession: the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. The first disintegrated more or less peacefully, the second through a so-called Velvet Divorce, while the third descended into all-out war. The European Community and the world were caught off guard, believing like most of Yugoslavia’s 22 million citizens that war was not possible in Europe again. Generations had been brought up on the lessons of World War I and II, on the lessons of the Holocaust, the death camps visited by school children, but that proved no bulwark to renewed deadly conflict in Europe. It was not enough to read and learn the history of 20th century Europe.
Some have called the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia the “unfinished business of Versailles,” where in 1918, under the guidance of Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau, and Vittorio Orlando, two completely new European countries emerged from the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires: Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Different times, different historical circumstances, but an arc of history links the creation and the implosion of Yugoslavia. The European Union, in turn, arose from the ashes of Europe’s destruction. To avoid repeated bloodshed in Europe, statesmanship, leadership, and vision led to the creation of institutional structures and conditions that have fostered one of the most successful political peace projects the world has witnessed. Today, in spite of all of the travails of the EU and eurozone, the force of attraction of that peace project still exerts its soft power in the Balkans. And although Euroskepticism is on
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the rise, underpinned by grave levels of unemployment and rising inequality, and the forthcoming elections for the European parliament are expected to benefit more populist, nationalist, and inward-looking forces, those countries in the Balkans that have a euroatlantic membership perspective are determined to pursue their path forward. Last year, Croatia became the 28th member state of the EU at a time of rising enlargement fatigue. In fact, it is a testimony to the EU’s peace project that a historical agreement was reached in April last year between the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo with the mediation of the EU’s Catherine Ashton. To reach a compromise on a challenge that had long seemed intractable is a sign that some lessons of history are being learned for the common good of those concerned. The loss of memories of conflict, so present among the immediate post-war generations, compounded with the experience of protracted economic hardship and the loss of perspective for ever more unemployed youth, breeds wariness and a loss of trust in politics, institutions, and elites. War in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s was a reminder of what could go wrong. As the EU confronts its governance challenges, and there appear renewed temptations to fall back on retrenchment and nationalism, the memories of destruction must inform the search for prudent solutions that avoid the extremes of suffering and destruction. Ivan Vejvoda is senior vice president for programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
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The Promise of Partnership
Bruno Lété his year marks the tenth anniversary of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), Europe’s soft diplomacy tool to create a ring of well-governed nations along its borders based on the values of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights. 2014 also marks the fifth anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, a regional off-spin of the ENP to bring prosperity and security to the countries of Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. Certainly the Eastern Partnership has helped stabilize a turbulent region by funding socio-economic development programs, promoting democracy and good governance, strengthening regional energy security, and encouraging mobility between the EU and partner countries. But five years on, the objectives of the Eastern Partnership are still far removed from reality. Europe’s East is more fractured than ever before. Democracy, rule of law, and respect for civil rights are dwindling while inefficient state institutions, high levels of corruption, and low productivity make the majority of these countries uncompetitive. Meanwhile the problems of breakaway provinces and frozen conflicts remain unresolved, which imposes an air of permanent instability on the borders of the European Union. An immediate priority for European leaders should be taking a fresh look at how they deal with their eastern neighborhood. A first step would be to reassess the European enlargement process as a model for shaping Europe’s neighborhood policy. The current policy builds too much on “one-approach-for-all” and ignores partner countries’ individual needs. Moreover, the promise of involving Eastern Partnership countries in the European integration project without offering accession no longer works as a narrative. Some conditional demands remain unaccounted for in countries like Azerbaijan or Armenia, for whom the EU is just one among other partners. Or in the case of countries like Moldova or Georgia, who wish to sail a course closer to Brussels, Europe’s engagement is too limited to credibly support their endeavor. The EU needs to be more pragmatic. A new policy for the east should adopt incremental but manageable objectives, and formulate tailor-made approaches that simultaneously leverage a mix of EU capabilities in trade, energy, environmental issues, justice, immigration, and defense policy. However, such a holistic policy can only succeed if the work of the EU institutions — the European Commission, the European External Action Service, and the European Council — becomes better synchronized. Secondly, the Eastern Partnership is good at articulating long-term strategies, but is inadequate in terms of thinking about short-term action plans. Complex bureaucratic procedures, overregulation, and preset project scenarios prevent the
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EU from having a rapid impact or shaping unforeseen developments. The EU must introduce more flexibility in programming and create the diplomatic and financial tools that would allow it to act more rapidly. Next to negotiating Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, the EU could also bring immediate relief to partner countries by liberalizing trade on their top export products. The responsibility to make Eastern Partnership policies more flexible also lies with the member states who have found it difficult to stick together, and provide Brussels with the political backing to act like a serious geopolitical actor. Thirdly, the Eastern Partnership fails to recognize Russia as an agent of influence in the region, and is not prepared to tackle Moscow’s ruthless and assertive mix of energy diplomacy, punitive trade measures, moneylending, and military might. As a result, Russia’s power politics has successfully countered European efforts aimed at offering its neighborhood greater economic integration in return for good governance. Moreover, with Russian plans to create an alternative to the European Union by establishing the Eurasian Economic Union, the Eastern Partnership countries are now increasingly being forced to choose between alignment with Brussels or loyalty to Moscow. But the current guarantees offered by Brussels to partner countries dedicated to EU integration would hardly help them face any trade, energy, or military repercussions imposed by Russia. To ensure the prosperity and stability of its eastern neighborhood, Europe needs to invest far more resources than the limited financial and political capital it puts on the table today. It should also find the resolve to place economic and hard security issues on the bilateral agenda with Moscow, and link the Eastern Partnership policy to wider EU-Russia relations. As Moldova and Georgia prepare to sign an EU Association Agreement with Brussels before the end of the year, Europe already faces its next new challenge in the region. The same issues that prevented Ukraine from moving forward with its EU integration will undoubtedly weigh heavily on Chisinau and Tbilisi as well. A redesigned Eastern Partnership would help the EU to address this challenge. In the end, more is at stake than just fixing Europe’s neighborhood. If the EU gets it right, it is also about sending a signal to the world that Europe is still a credible international actor. Bruno Lété is a senior program officer in the Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
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Germany Rethinking Its Role
o member state’s role in the European Union has ever been as intensely debated as that of Germany since the sovereign debt crisis hit the EU in 2010. Its position as the largest creditor in the euro area’s rescue mechanisms and its assertive domestic veto players — above all, the German Constitutional Court and the German Parliament — have moved it to center stage. The design of the rescue packages bears a distinctive German signature. Berlin was also able to strongly influence the evolving architecture of the euro area. The criticism of Germany not assuming leadership is in fact wrong, at least on this count. The government did lead, but in ways and toward objectives that are not shared by all the other member states. Nonetheless, Germany’s EU policy was mostly crisis-driven and reactive. If Germany overstepped its own red lines on several occasions to settle for policy options that months before would have been inconceivable, this was under the intense pressure of the sovereign debt crisis. Now that the crisis appears to be temporarily under control, it is time to rethink Germany’s role in a transitioning European Union. Exercising true leadership, which helps European decision-makers to address collective challenges strategically and jointly, requires recognition that some established assumptions no longer work in the new transition paradigm. Firstly, Germany will no longer be able to determine the European policy agenda the way it did at the peak of the crisis. Dissenting views on the future of euro area will have to be taken into account more strongly, not least in order to ensure broad support from the other member states. The task now is to help enable a collective understanding among policymakers and publics throughout the EU about what is at stake and what tasks still need to be tackled. The German government must now demonstrate its strength by inviting a genuinely open debate between competing legitimate views about the next steps in the EU reform process. Secondly, Germany needs to acknowledge that the objective of an “ever closer Union,” enshrined in EU primary law since the Maastricht Treaty, is no longer the bedrock of consensus in Europe. There are member states such as the United Kingdom that do not wish to be part of a deeper union, and may even decide to leave altogether. The EU may undergo a process of differentiation, with a deeper core and a looser periphery. Germany could become one of the navigators that steers the EU through this process of partial divorce and holds the willing core together. Moreover, if Germany threw its weight behind a new, modular approach to integration, it could open up options for closer relationships with those countries that are unlikely to become full EU members in the near future, such as Turkey or the EU’s eastern neighbors.
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Helping to steer the EU through these complex debates would require that Germany give up some of its recently adopted appetite for intergovernmentalism. While cooperation between Berlin and Paris remains crucial, both must now reach out to those governments that have become somewhat detached from this debate. They also need to strengthen precisely those institutions and mechanisms that can rebalance the influence of the largest member states by giving small and medium-sized member states access to policy formulation. German leadership should work to reinforce the European Commission, the European Parliament and the community method. And Germany should also take a long, hard look at the increasing divide between north and south in Europe, and its consequences for the union. Thirdly, we are witnessing the erosion of the so-called permissive consensus, which ensured that elites could drive the deepening of the European Union while assuming that public silence meant consent. That era is over. The European elections will witness an unparalleled degree of Euro-skepticism. Anti-EU populists will have a strong impact mostly at the national level. To address this trend, political leaders will need to clearly articulate the choices the EU and national governments will have to make if they want to shape a viable future for the EU. Germany has a substantial responsibility here. It has to take a stand — at home and abroad — on the benefits of being a fully integrated, active EU member state. Fourthly, economic and social divergences within the EU have become so marked that the assumption of a rapid convergence driven almost by structural reform and market processes is challenged. This is a key cause of the erosion of the permissive consensus. At least in the medium-term, welfare levels will greatly diverge and this may endanger social and political stability in a number of member states. Germany will have to help rethink the adjustment process, possibly by agreeing to a stronger investment in Europe than is currently thought necessary. German leadership remains crucial even after the peak of the sovereign debt crisis. A new window of opportunity will open after the European Parliament elections, regardless of its outcome. In the context of the crisis’s repercussions, this task is challenging. German policymakers will not provide solutions or successful leadership on their own. However, they can achieve a great deal of recognition by starting to ask the right questions. Daniela Schwarzer is the director of the Europe Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
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The Longue Durée
t was billed as the “war to end all wars.” With the conclusion of the Great War, Wilsonian principles and the maturing world order were supposed to usher in an era of lasting peace. For the Middle East and North Africa, the establishment of a nation-state system was a paradigm shift that began a long transition, one that has yet to be completed. Realizing the historical depth of this process may encourage more patience, and invite more wisdom, in addressing its most recent phase, which began with the uprisings of the so-called Arab Spring.
Ideological analyses, in the region and in the West, look at the transformations over the past century primarily through the prisms of colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. Those colonized still bear the burden of takeovers by Britain, France, Italy, and Spain — an accusation that feeds into the collective guilt permeating many aspects of contemporary European culture. While the role of European powers ought not be discounted, such characterizations often overlook the agency of the region’s societies in affecting their historical evolution. In fact, even before the advent of European colonialism in the 19th century, Middle Eastern and North African societies witnessed a vocal drive for deep structural reform, informed by the European experience, toward progress, justice, and prosperity. “I saw there Islam without Muslims, while I see here Muslims without Islam,” opined one Arab cleric upon his return from a trip to Paris. Islam, in his mind, equated with the values embodied — as he saw them — in European modernity. Such cultural osmosis was not limited to the musings of the scholastic elite. From politicians and military commanders all the way to subaltern populations empowered by the example of Europe’s communes, many in the region saw Europe as practicing the universally shared values of progress, freedom, dignity, justice, and equality. World War I was thus an opportunity for the old order to crumble and for a new one, largely modeled on European precedents, to emerge. Few seemed to miss the old. Certainly, proto-Islamist ideologues lamented the loss of empire, and their lamentations, viewed today against the backdrop of an assertive Islamism, seem premonitory. In fact, far from a straight ascent to the current moment of prominence, the Islamist idea had to contend with three powerful grand narratives — progressive liberalism, populist nationalism, and internationalist socialism — each of which was believed in its heyday to be the essence of the region. Each of these propositions failed to live up to its promise, but each in its distinct way contributed to the consolidation of the new Arab state, one that was autocratic, paternalistic, and European — or now Western — in the configuration of its institutions. The supposedly Western model of politics is about shared ideals, state institutions, and societal counterbalance. If the 19th century in the Arab Middle East witnessed an identification with European ideals, the 20th century experienced the emergence
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of European-like state institutions. An absence of societal counterbalance, however, set the Arab state on an untenable path of expansion. This expansion was due to the inherent self-interest of unchecked bureaucracies, insatiable corruption, nepotism, and cronyism, and also the need to satisfy the implicit social contract that enabled the state to develop and confirm its autocracy: the promise of education, health, food subsidies, employment, and retirement benefits in exchange for political acquiescence. If fulfilling such a promise was unlikely a few decades ago, it became positively impossible by the turn of this century. Immense population pressures compounded the strain on natural resources, threatening the simultaneous collapse of energy, water, and food, as well hard security systems. The catalytic effect of the Tunisian uprising against the country’s corrupt autocracy invited other Arab societies to similarly challenge paternalism and introduce checks and balances to state power. It seemed another moment of correction, one that would help create a genuinely representative system. However, old institutions die hard. The structures of autocracy, expressed diversely in the many countries of the Arab Spring — Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and also Iraq — have shown increasing resilience, innovation, and ruthlessness in reacting to the pressure from below. In the case of Egypt, external actors — namely Gulf monarchies — have assisted in extending the longevity of the paternalistic state. But their actions will merely postpone the inevitable. The Arab Spring is part of a longue durée transition that manifested itself dramatically almost a century ago with the end of Ottoman rule and the emergence of the modern Middle East. The Arab Spring itself has proven to be even more dramatic in multiple respects, the most important being how it has compelled rulers and ruled alike to face the thorny issues of governance, development, and sustainability of state and nation. As emotional as the questions of identity, religion, and politics are, they conceal the more fundamental questions that the region will struggle to answer over the remainder of its long transition. Hassan Mneimneh is a senior transatlantic fellow for MENA and the Islamic World at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
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Europe’s Africa Test
Martin Michelot he year 2013 has put a strong and long-awaited focus on the military power of the European Union and has shone a renewed light on divisions within Europe on the ways and means to conduct foreign policy. The Frenchled operations in Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR), the European operations that have ensued, and the numerous discussions around European defense, culminating in the topic being discussed at the European Council in December 2013, have provided observers with hints about the future of European unity and leadership. In many aspects, 2013 was a transitional year for European defense. But a transition towards what exactly? Skeptics certainly have a point. The multiplicity of actors and voices in the European realm gives the impression of strategic cacophony, which the operations in Mali and CAR have not dispelled. Only the most optimistic commentators see real and actionable progress in the European Council discussions, while most others are satisfied with the topic simply being on the agenda. Meanwhile, the budget dedicated to missions operated within the framework of Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) was cut by €80 million, from €396 to €314 million, with the civilian component of missions bearing the brunt of the cuts. Such a measure, while not surprising in the EU’s current budgetary context, will limit the range of actions to which the EU can respond. It is also fair to say that — despite the EU’s ambitious deployment in Mali and CAR — the intensity of its focus is not shared equally by all the European partners. Discussions about deployment to Mali dragged on unnecessarily because of the different timeframes required for authorizing troops. This delayed the arrival of soldiers and further pushed back the date of the security handoff to Malian forces. However, countries were quicker to announce their support for the CAR mission, which keeps hope alive for a first deployment in March, a mere four months after the French Opération Sangaris was launched. Despite some progress on the political process leading to the deployment of these missions, France still seems to be desperately alone in its military endeavors. Notwithstanding the passionate plea by President François Hollande at December’s European Council meeting for Europe to support military missions, France was never able to create a strong coalition of the willing to support its action in Africa. It has instead had to deal with sometimes very reluctant partners. All in all, France has never been able to foster enough willingness to create a model CSDP mission that would serve as a framework for future missions. This speaks both to the limited capabilities of its potential partners — some countries who have contributed to Sangaris were unwilling to contribute to the EUFOR mission in CAR, for example — but also to the difficulty of creating political goodwill for missions that do not
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necessarily speak to all the partners, especially at a moment when the Eastern Neighborhood agenda has made a burning return to European headlines. This process therefore seems to be leading to the creation of a two-speed Europe on defense matters, with a group of countries determined to position Europe as a geopolitical leader on one side, and on the other a group of apathetic countries. Whether that is only a short-term difference in visions or a more long-term trend is yet to be determined. But these circumstances are not sustainable for the future of European defense policy. 2014 could therefore mark a turning point for European defense. Brussels needs to prove the effectiveness of the military missions it has sent to Mali and CAR. If these missions fulfill their objectives, they will go a long way toward legitimizing a stronger European foreign policy agenda in the eyes of transatlantic leaders, especially in a year where both the EU and NATO experiences leadership transitions, and at a time when dialogue and close coordination between the two institutions has never been more necessary. A success in Africa will shine a positive light on the endurance race that the EU has started in drawing up a new defense policy, and will send a strong message to the United States about its role as a serious security actor. Martin Michelot is the program and research officer at the Paris office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States.
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Scaling New Summits
ong before the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in 2010, the region had been struggling to develop an integration process of its own. Different sub-regional integration processes, mostly following the European model, have been attempted since the 1990s. These have led to a proliferation of summits — both regional and interregional — as well as the creation of the Bolivarian Alliance of the People of the Americas (ALBA), started by Venezuela and Cuba in 2004 as an alternative to the U.S.-led Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), established in 2008 and led by Brazil and Venezuela. The emergence of a new regionalism in Latin America and the Caribbean is a response to several factors: the United States’ decreasing strategic interest in the region after the end of the Cold War and September 11, 2001, the election of several nationalistic and left-wing oriented governments, and a desire for greater autonomy from the northern hemispheric hegemon in an economically multipolar world. These new trends emphasized the importance of political coordination, the role of the state as a key actor, and inclusive and equitable development policies as the main drivers of regionalism instead of the previous focus on free trade promoted under the influence of the Washington Consensus and the quest for an FTAA. But this trend also kept some traditional traits of Latin American multilateralism: the proclivity to use strong rhetoric, the emphasis on national sovereignty, weak institutionalization, and a lack of consistent follow-up on established agreements. However, while ALBA developed a more ideological anti-United States stance focused on South-South cooperation and fueled by Venezuelan oil assistance, UNASUR took several important steps to coordinate regional infrastructure and defense programs as well as environmental and social policies. At the request of member states, UNASUR was also instrumental in successfully resolving domestic and inter-state conflicts. The region’s previous experience coordinating political action through the Rio Group proved crucial for UNASUR’s successes. It showed the willingness of the Latin American and Caribbean countries to deal with regional security issues on their own, without interference by the United States. Nevertheless, it also showed the lack of political will to anchor these initiatives in stronger institutional structures and to create — and accept — supranational norms. The accumulated experience of previous summits and the trend of new regionalism led to the creation of CELAC in 2010, which includes 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries and excludes the United States and Canada. Under the leadership of Brazil and Venezuela, and now Mexico, CELAC underscored the political will of LAC countries to establish a regional forum different from the traditional hemispheric one — the Organization of American States (OAS). CELAC’s aim was to create regional unity and promote common initiatives in
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order to develop converging positions vis-à-vis the international system and global challenges. It is a loosely structured organization, where decisions are based on consensus, but which remain elusive on crucial issues. Following its official motto, “unity in diversity,” CELAC has to deal with the coexistence of different regional groupings — ALBA and UNASUR, SICA and CARICOM, the emerging Pacific Alliance — and the national interest of larger regional players in order to build consensus. Expectations of significant advancements in regional integration surrounded the second CELAC Summit in Havana in January 2014, still under the presidency of Cuba. The summit validated the full reincorporation of Cuba into the Latin American and Caribbean community, in an open criticism of the U.S. embargo. The attendance of the secretary general of the OAS — the first visit of this kind since Cuba was expelled from the organization in 1962 and then officially reinstated in 2012 — sent a clear message in this direction. With the exception of this political message and despite the formal declaration by CELAC member states that the region is a zone of peace, in accordance with a tradition of similar declarations by UNASUR and other sub-regional organizations, there were few substantial results in terms of regional integration and a consistent regional and international agenda. There is no doubt that the second CELAC Summit is an important step in this direction: it was attended by 30 heads of state out of 33 member countries. Moreover, the European Union has embraced CELAC as an important interlocutor, with the second CELAC-EU Summit scheduled for 2015 in Brussels. But CELAC’s consolidation depends upon more substantial accomplishments. The 83 points of the final declaration in Havana covered a wide range of issues, many of them politically sensitive, and it remains to be seen how this new organization will build the necessary consensus to effectively address all of them, while staying true to its motto. Will a new summit be necessary to answer these questions? Andrés Serbin is the executive president of the Regional Coordination of Economic and Social Research (CRIES).
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Young Writers Award
Connecting Security and Development: Towards a Transatlantic Strategy in Fragile States
Alexander Gaus and Wade Hoxtell xtreme poverty is one of the most pressing global challenges of our time. While newly minted middle-income countries such as Brazil, China, and India show that substantially reducing extreme poverty is feasible, other countries — known under the fuzzy label of fragile states — continue to grapple with entrenched poverty.1 These countries are marred by violent conflict or precarious recovery; they face ongoing humanitarian crises or unstable governments; some deal with all these troubles at the same time. Many have made zero progress towards achieving even one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Think Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Mali, Somalia, or Yemen — these countries require strong and smart support from the international community to break the vicious cycle of poverty, fragility, and conflict. The need to support fragile states, however, is not limited to addressing entrenched poverty and human suffering alone. Those often charged with the securitization of aid — or the linking of aid provision with national security goals — also make a valid case for addressing fragility abroad: eliminating arms smuggling, drug trafficking, money laundering, piracy and terrorism, among other illicit activities, which find fertile ground in fragile and conflict-affected states. In addition to the development and international stability gains of addressing fragility, there is also a moral imperative that calls for supporting fragile states by all available means. Many of the illicit activities that destabilize the least-developed countries in the first place do not occur in a national or even regional vacuum. The drug trade caters to Western consumers, illicit financial flows go to Western offshore tax havens, and weapons are produced and sold predominantly by Western countries. In this sense, the perpetuation of fragility can be indirectly linked to specific EU and U.S. policies.
1 Between 1990 and 2010, the share of the population of the developing world living in extreme poverty was cut in half, largely due to massive poverty alleviation in East Asia, in particular in China and India. As a result of the transformation of global poverty, the poor are increasingly found in middle-income countries and in fragile states. See, for example, Laurence Chandy (2011). Two Trends in Global Poverty. The Brookings Institution.
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Nevertheless, for many fragile states and those on the brink of war or collapse, Europe and the United States are beacons of hope. The EU and the United States provide substantive foreign assistance each year and seek to address the consequences of fragility and entrenched poverty. In 2010 alone, the United States and the institutions and countries of the European Union represented a total combined aid budget of $104 billion.2 Yet, despite having similar goals, the EU and the United States distribute the vast majority of their foreign assistance, including and particularly in fragile states, in an uncoordinated manner. This dramatically reduces both the potential benefits for the poor in these states and opportunities for greater regional and international stability. It also substantially reduces the value of every dollar and euro spent. If the European Union and United States — the world’s biggest donors — want their aid money to achieve greater impact while ensuring greater human development, improving the stability of vulnerable countries and regions and, in doing so, protecting their own security, they need to change the way they provide foreign assistance.
Transatlantic Development Cooperation in Fragile States: A Blueprint for the Future
Achieving greater cooperation between the EU and United States seems unrealistic in a time of U.S. President Barack Obama’s pivot from Europe to Asia, a cooling transatlantic relationship due to the U.S. National Security Agency surveillance scandal, and lingering domestic economic woes. Despite these ongoing challenges, the fact remains that the EU and the United States share many interests, in particular with respect to international development assistance. A continued commitment to the transatlantic partnership is not only sensible, it is necessary for making progress in fragile and conflict-affected states while, at the same time, promoting international stability. Transatlantic cooperation on fragile states requires four conditions. First, there is an overarching need for political will on both sides of the Atlantic to promote collaboration. Second, there must be a shared understanding of the problems facing fragile states and a mutual interest in solving them. Third, a strong platform must exist for exchange between senior level administrators and working-level policy and technical staff in order to set priorities, discuss means of collaboration, and provide momentum for moving forward. Fourth, coordination must go beyond strategic policy alignment to collaboration on the ground. This means finding complementarities, eliminating overlap, and, where feasible and desirable, acting as one when providing foreign assistance.
2 This represents a little over 71 percent of the world’s total official development assistance (ODA). Authors’ own calculation based on OECD Data (2010), available at http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/.
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Political will for coordinating foreign assistance is essential. On this, the EU and the United States have already made considerable advances. In November 2009, leaders at the EU-U.S. Summit in Washington, DC, relaunched the EU-U.S. HighLevel Consultative Group on Development (EU-U.S. Development Dialogue), a ministerial- and working-level forum for advancing EU-U.S. strategic cooperation at the policy level and for exploring opportunities for coordination in the field. Since its relaunch, the EU-U.S. Development Dialogue has become an important channel for exchange and trust-building among EU and U.S. officials. Moreover, participants are increasingly using the dialogue not only for strategic alignment on development issues, but also as a trusted forum for exchange on real-time global issues such as Mali and Syria.3 In short, the political will to address the tough issues of security and development is gradually building up. The EU and the United States must share an understanding of fragility. Progress here has also been made, as policymakers in the EU and the United States increasingly recognize that the priorities of security, stability, and development must be linked. The EU has pushed for a comprehensive approach in crisis management to ensure that political, diplomatic, economic, development, humanitarian, and military instruments are used in a coherent way to address crises and conflict in foreign countries.4 Specifically, the Council Conclusions on Security and Development (2007) and the Council Conclusions on a European Union response to situations of fragility (2007) have brought together the realms of security and development across the different EU institutions.5 In the United States, sparked by the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) published in 2010, the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have called for strengthening civilian capability to prevent and respond to crisis and conflict, alongside military means.6 As the strategies of both the EU and the United States toward fragile states increasingly align, new opportunities to deepen collaboration should present themselves.
Condition 3: Favorable Institutional Environments Condition 2: Shared Understanding of Fragility
Condition 1: Political Will
To translate political will and a shared understanding of fragile states into concrete opportunities for collaboration, an institutional environment open and conducive to cooperation must exist. Here there are also reasons for optimism, since the EU and the United States have reformed or created new administrative structures to support
3 Interviews with EU and U.S. officials participating in the Dialogue. 4 Catherine Woolard (no date). The EU and the Comprehensive Approach. European Peacebuilding Liaison Office. 5 Council of the European Union (2007). Conclusions of the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council on Security and Development, 15097/07; Council of the European Union (2007). Council Conclusions on a EU response to situations of fragility. 6 United States Department of State (2010). Leading Through Civilian Power: The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.
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their foreign assistance strategies. In the EU, the new European External Action Service (EEAS) recently finalized the division of labor between the different EU institutions engaged in foreign assistance, in particular with the Directorate-General Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid (DEVCO). Similar developments have occurred in the United States, where in early 2012 the State Department inaugurated its new Office of Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. This office formally leads activities on civilian security and non-military means for addressing fragility, which were previously scattered among different units and departments. Moreover, in 2010, USAID underwent large-scale reforms initiated by President Obama and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, including the development of stronger ties with the State Department. Taken together with the EU-U.S. Development Dialogue, which has served as a successful means for linking counterparts working on the same issues, the institutional environment in both the EU and the United States has become far more supportive in addressing issues of fragility.
Condition 4: Willingness and Ability to Translate Policy into Practice
Any future transatlantic partnership on development cooperation will be measured by its success on the ground. The EU and United States must work together at the country-level, coordinate disparate projects, share analyses, and negotiate together vis-à-vis countries they operate in. Only then will the transatlantic partners make progress in alleviating extreme poverty, stabilizing fragile states, and mitigating the potential domestic threat posed by instability. Programmatic cooperation at the country-level is thus the litmus test for determining the overall value of transatlantic collaboration in fragile states. Thus far, however, in-country coordination between the EU and the United States has seen limited success. While this issue has come to the forefront of the EU-U.S. Development Dialogue, pilot projects for improving food security in Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Ethiopia have stalled. Evaluations are not available to shed light on why this was the case, but interviews with officials from both sides point to potential causes. One is that country delegations were not fully involved in the process of determining the pilot countries, undermining ownership of those tasked to implement cooperation. A second is that incentives to coordinate were missing, with further engagement restricted as a result of overwhelming workloads and other commitments. Third, there was uncertainty regarding the value of cooperation due to lack of visible results attributable to EU-U.S. cooperation. While hitches in collaboration are expected, such implementation flaws and negative perceptions must change if progress is to be made.
The Way Forward
The EU and the United States have laid the foundation for better transatlantic development cooperation in fragile states, but much remains to be done. How can the EU and the United States further improve on the first three critical conditions
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outlined above? More urgently, how can they move past political statements to strengthening country-level coordination and results on the ground? On these issues, the EU-U.S. Development Dialogue offers the most promising platform. It allows for aligning strategies and coordinating EU and U.S. foreign assistance on a country-by-country basis. For this to succeed, the EU and the United States must urgently address a number of issues. First, there is a need to tackle differences in definition and approach as well as the lack of clarity on leadership roles in the dialogue — in particular on the issue of foreign assistance in fragile states. Foreign policy and development institutions typically approach the issue of security and development from different angles, with their own priorities, methods, and even fundamentally different languages. The EEAS and the State Department, as part of the “securitizers,” tend to focus on the implications of fragility abroad in terms of regional and international relations as well as national security at home. USAID and DEVCO, by contrast, see stability and security primarily as a means for more effective pro-poor policies abroad. To make progress, there should be a shared understanding of the problem and an ability to develop country specific solutions from either the foreign policy or development toolboxes. Second, the transatlantic partners must find a better balance between short-term crisis response and longer-term approaches of supporting fragile states. At present, those involved in the EU-U.S. Development Dialogue tend to focus on acute crises such as Syria and Mali, indicating that the dialogue is increasingly driven by imminent foreign policy concerns. This more flexible approach for discussing up-to-the-minute issues is appreciated by the participants of the dialogue, but it is ill-suited for ad hoc diplomacy on current issues due to its design, frequency, and initial mandate.7 A critical challenge for the dialogue is balancing its original purpose with these new demands. Relatedly, there is a tendency to pile on new topics without making any substantial progress on previous issues. These issues dilute the value of the dialogue and obstruct tangible successes that could demonstrate that cooperation can lead to positive outcomes. A third obstacle is a lack of transparency around collaborative activities and formal discussions between the EU and the United States on fragile states. Europe and the United States each have a vibrant civil society, but the EU-U.S. Development Dialogue remains largely unknown among the development community. Few civil society organizations, researchers, or aid experts are consulted on the agenda, the priorities, or the planned activities. Such external input is critical, however, in three respects. First, it allows EU and U.S. officials to incorporate the latest findings of the discussed topics into the development of evidence-based policies and programs. Second, as NGOs are usually those who implement EU and U.S. development policy — especially in fragile and conflicted-affected countries — NGO participation in the dialogue would provide an important reality check on proposed EU and
7 Interviews with EU and U.S. officials participating in the Dialogue.
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U.S. activities. Finally, openness toward civil society organizations and aid experts generates a level of accountability that helps to sustain activities; it also provides incentives for leadership and more effective engagement among the transatlantic partners. Further, openness serves as a good example of how to foster healthy relations between civil society and government. The fourth and most critical issue to address is enabling bottom-up participation of EU and U.S. country offices and delegations in the design and leadership of joint programs. Results are achieved on the ground, and little has been accomplished in this respect thus far. Now is the time to fix this. A few examples point in the right direction. On the EU side, the European Commission funding cycle for 2014-2020 gives EU delegations working in fragile states more responsibility and leeway in managing their programs.8 They should take advantage of this through experimentation, actively seeking to collaborate with their USAID counterparts on small issues where there is clear value in cooperation. Another positive example that can change the way aid is managed on a country-level comes from the U.S. side, where USAID is currently reviewing financial guidelines that would allow the United States and EU to transfer certain funds back and forth to implement programs on each other’s behalf.9 While not yet in place, these are important steps that can lay the foundation for greater cooperation on security and development issues at the country-level. To conclude, it is more critical than ever for the EU and the United States to make collaborative investments in fragile and conflict-affected states. And with all of these recent advances, a transatlantic strategy on fragile states is possible. The benefits are clear: better cooperation can both achieve significant security and stability returns as well as act as a driver for more effective international efforts around security and development. More importantly, though, Europe and the United States can make a real difference in eliminating extreme poverty. Alexander Gaus is a research associate and Wade Hoxtell is the head of operations at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin.
8 Ibid. 9 Ibid.
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Government of Montenegro