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].

Is Europe An Optimal Political Area?

Is Europe An Optimal Political Area? Brookings Institution. Alberto Alesina, Guido Tabellini, and Francesco Trebbi. March 23, 2017

In “Is Europe an optimal political area?” Harvard University’s Alberto Alesina, Bocconi University’s Guido Tabellini and University of British Columbia’s Francesco Trebbi examine 15 EU countries and Norway from 1980-2009 to determine if the so-called European political project was “too ambitious.”
The authors examine cultural differences among European citizens along fundamental dimensions such as trust, obedience, and religiosity, finding that European cultural differences are widening in spite of an increasingly more economically integrated Europe from the 1980-2009. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 58 pages, 1.49 MB].

Improving the Labour Market Integration of Migrants and Refugees: Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments

Improving the Labour Market Integration of Migrants and Refugees: Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments. Migration Policy Institute. Kate Hooper, Maria Vincenza Desiderio, and Brian Salant. March 2017.

Cities have played a significant role in addressing Europe’s migration crisis, including by helping migrants and refugees integrate successfully into the local labor market. Cities provide a wide array of critical services to newcomers, including language training, skills assessments and orientation, mentoring and placement services, alternative pathways to employment (such as entrepreneurship), credential recognition, and vocational education and training. Yet funding constraints, differing priorities at different levels of governance, and limited capacity to evaluate and prioritize what works hamper cities’ ability to effectively deliver services.

This MPI Europe report identifies concrete actions that could be taken to better leverage European Union soft law, funding, and knowledge exchange mechanisms to support cities’ activities in this area. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 46 pages, 1.11 MB].

Making the Best of Brexit for the EU-27 Financial System

Making the Best of Brexit for the EU-27 Financial System. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief 17-8. André Sapir, Dirk Schoenmaker and Nicolas Véron. February 2017

As a consequence of Britain’s exit from the European Union, UK-based financial firms are expected to lose their regulatory passport to do direct business with their clients in the EU-27. Brexit will lead to a partial migration of financial services activities from London to locations in the EU-27 to continue serving their customers there. Other London-based activities might also be relocated to non-European jurisdictions, primarily the United States. This Policy Brief focuses on the implications of Brexit for the EU-27 financial system. The authors estimate that about €1.8 trillion (or 17 percent) of all UK banking assets might be on the move as a direct consequence of Brexit. Market fragmentation—if the EU-27 receives the UK business as 27 separate jurisdictions as opposed to one single financial space—would increase borrowing costs for corporations and households, compared with an integrated market for the EU-27. Different countries and cities will naturally compete for business moving out of London. EU-27 leaders need to set clear objectives for reshaping the post-Brexit financial system. The authors recommend enhancing the role of the European Securities and Markets Authority, strengthening the banking union, and improving oversight of the EU-27’s financial system infrastructure. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 160.31 KB].

Strategic Insights: Is the European Union Really That Important to U.S. Security Interests?

Strategic Insights: Is the European Union Really That Important to U.S. Security Interests? Strategic Studies Institute. Dr. John R. Deni. March 9, 2017

Questioning long-held assumptions and challenging existing paradigms in U.S. security policy can be a useful way to ensure that American leaders are not pursuing strategies that do not actually support and promote U.S. interests. However, on the question of whether the European Union’s (EU) existence is in U.S. interests, the evidence is consistently clear. It most definitely is, and undermining it—for example, by promoting Brexit or suggesting other countries would or should follow the United Kingdom’s (UK) exit from the EU—risks the further unraveling of the international order that is central to American prosperity and security. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Troubled Waters: A Snapshot of Security Challenges in the Mediterranean Region

Troubled Waters: A Snapshot of Security Challenges in the Mediterranean Region. RAND Corporation. James Black et al. January 25, 2017.

The US, EU and NATO continue to maintain a significant military presence in and around the Mediterranean, but military capabilities must be nested within a whole-of-government, international approach. The challenges in this region demand unprecedented levels of civil-military and intergovernmental cooperation. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 35 pages, 1.04 MB].