Earmarked Revenues: How the European Union Can Learn from US Budgeting Experience

Earmarked Revenues: How the European Union Can Learn from US Budgeting Experience. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief, 18-2. Jacob Funk Kirkegaard. January 2018

 New challenges facing the European Union—immigration pressures, the need to decrease security dependence on an increasingly erratic United States, and the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit)—are compelling EU leaders to consider overhauling the revenue side of the European Union’s existing budget. To deal with these challenges in the future, the European Union will need resources—at a time when Europeans are increasingly skeptical about the effectiveness of budget-making in Brussels. Longstanding US budgetary procedures of trust fund accounting and earmarking government revenue towards specific priorities can provide a template for European policymakers. Shifting the EU budget towards more earmarked resources would reduce distrust among taxpayers by limiting Brussels’ spending discretion while focusing expenditures on specific challenges facing the European project. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 15 pages].


EU Migration Partnerships: A Work in Progress

EU Migration Partnerships: A Work in Progress. Migration Policy Institute.  Elizabeth Collett and Aliyyah Ahad. December 2017.

 While EU ambitions to cooperate with migrants’ countries of origin and transit stretch back more than two decades, they took on fresh urgency following the 2015–16 European migrant and refugee crisis, when migration management rocketed to the top of the policy agenda. In 2016, the European Union introduced the Migration Partnership Framework to guide EU and Member State engagement with third countries and embed migration objectives within broader foreign and development policy domains. In addition to sharpening existing tools for collaboratively tackling migration objectives, the framework draws on the strength of bilateral relationships between Member States and third countries and reorganizes the bloc’s financial commitments.

 This report critically examines whether this approach has put the European Union on track to reach the framework’s stated aims—strengthening borders, stepping up the return of migrants without authorization to stay in Europe, and addressing the root causes of migration—and, if not, what adjustments are needed.

 By taking a close look at the migration landscapes in four partner countries (Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mali, and Niger) and how key socioeconomic and political factors in each affect EU engagement, the report illustrates some of the challenges inherent to this new generation of partnerships. Chief among them are identifying the right partners, reconciling divergent EU and partner-country priorities, setting clear benchmarks and conducting robust evaluation, and modulating how progress is communicated to European publics. While EU policymakers acted quickly to launch the framework following the crisis, the authors find a number of areas in need of review if these migration partnerships are to have the desired lasting impact. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 55 pages, 1.61 MB].

After Brexit: Alternate Forms of Brexit and Their Implications for the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States

After Brexit: Alternate forms of Brexit and their implications for the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States. RAND Corporation. Charles P. Ries et al. December 11, 2017.

Whether Brexit is judged to be success or not will depend to some degree on its economic impact. Much of the debate in the UK around Brexit has been focused on a ‘hard’ or ‘soft Brexit’, which relates to whether the UK should leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. However, there are a range of different trade opportunities and arrangements that could happen between the UK and European Union (EU), and other countries, such as the U.S., post-Brexit.

RAND explored eight plausible post-Brexit trade scenarios involving the UK, EU and U.S. after Brexit. Game theory insights were also used to create a better understanding of how a variety of factors might affect the outcome of Brexit negotiations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 159 pages, 1.31 MB].

Measuring the Health of the Liberal International Order

Measuring the Health of the Liberal International Order. RAND Corporation. Michael J. Mazarr et al. September 5, 2017.

As part of a larger study on the future of the post-World War II liberal international order, RAND researchers analyze the health of the existing order and offer implications for future U.S. policy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 229 pages, 1.41 MB].

Value for Money: EU Programme Funding in the Field of Democracy and Rule of Law

Value for Money: EU Programme Funding in the Field of Democracy and Rule of Law. RAND Corporation. Ben Baruch et al. June 14, 2017.

This study explores the extent to which processes are in place to enable the delivery of value for money through EU program funding in the field of democracy and rule of law. It includes a review of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and the Instrument for Stability and Peace. It considers current ways of working and the potential for improvement. Analysis is based on interviews with EU program officials and EU delegations, and related documentary evidence. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 194 pages, 4.51 MB].

European Relations with Russia: Threat Perceptions, Responses, and Strategies in the Wake of the Ukrainian Crisis

European Relations with Russia: Threat Perceptions, Responses, and Strategies in the Wake of the Ukrainian Crisis. RAND Corporation. Stephanie Pezard et al. April 13, 2017.

Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea in March 2014 has challenged the integrity of Europe’s territorial borders and confirmed after the Georgia war in 2008 that Russia could react violently to perceived challenges to what it regards as its sphere of influence. This report first examines how European states perceive Russia’s behavior in eastern and northern Europe, and whether they regard Russian policy and behavior in these regions as an important security priority. The authors identify a number of fault lines within Europe with regard to threat perceptions and further analyze whether these divides extend to perceptions of NATO and the United States. NATO members closer geographically to Russia appear to be most concerned by Russia’s aggressive behavior, and are concerned that the Alliance is ill equipped to respond to the current crisis. Second, the report analyzes how European states have responded to Russian behavior. While European states generally agree that a firm response is required, they are also eager to maintain open channels of communication with Russia. Finally, the report examines how European states intend to shape their relationship with Russia in the future; what existing measures they intend to keep in place; what new measures they might implement; and prospects for NATO and EU expansion. This future relationship is based on a general understanding that relations with Russia have changed irremediably; tensions are unlikely to recede anytime soon; and future actions toward Russia will depend on Russian behavior. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 121 pages, 2.98 MB].

A Dangerous ‘Game’: The Pushback of Migrants, Including Refugees, at Europe’s Borders

A Dangerous ‘Game’: The Pushback of Migrants, Including Refugees, at Europe’s Borders. Oxfam America. April 7, 2017.

People who are trying to access the EU in search of safety and dignity are being routinely abused by abuseofficials in countries in the Western Balkans. State agents responsible for upholding fundamental rights are instead subjecting people to violence and intimidation and denying access to asylum procedures to those seeking international protection. Governments in the region must immediately end these violations and initiate processes to ensure safety and dignity for people on the move in their territories. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 18 pages, 334.54 KB].