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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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> Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing: Rethinking the role of private sector development in Africa

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

In a series of Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) roundtable discussions - supported by Nestlé - the FPC seeks to explore how business can play a more constructive role in building resilience to improve women's economic and social wellbeing across Africa. The proposed series of roundtable discussions come at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined in the wake of a post-2015 UN Millennium Development Goals' agenda. In addition, 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This resolution promotes the importance of women in building peace and security in states affected by conflict. All this is coupled with the fact that the global economic recovery remains fragile. Existing inequality and insecurity disproportionately affects women, and has been compounded by the unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important.

> New FPC Publication: Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership

Trouble in the Neighbourhood

The Foreign Policy Centre's Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership publication takes an in-depth look at how the EU deals with the countries in its eastern neighbourhood (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine) and what those Eastern Partners want from Brussels as both prepare for a major summit at Riga in May 2015.

Russia's decision in late 2013 to pressure Ukraine and Armenia out of signing agreements with the EU set a series of events in motion, from the Euromaidan protests in Kiev, to the February 2014 Ukraine Revolution, the new pro-European Ukrainian Government, to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the current war in Eastern Ukraine. EU Eastern Partnership policy has suddenly been catapulted from a somewhat niche topic to being at the centre of a major geo-political dispute.

The new publication looks at the key planks of the EU's approach to the region including the offers of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTA), visa liberalisation, funding for reform projects and political engagement. It looks at whether these tools will be enough to deliver the long-term stability, prosperity and democracy the EU is hoping for in the region and how the schemes are perceived by experts in those countries. It looks at the partner countries themselves both at the challenges they face and pose, as well as how their citizens and elites view the EU's project. With different partners moving in different directions (Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova moving towards the EU, Azerbaijan moving somewhat away and Armenia and Belarus moving towards Russia),the publication suggests the time has come for a differentiated '3-1-2' approach to Eastern Partnership that recognises the countries have different priorities but that the EU retains similar goals.

Trouble in the Neighbourhood? contains contributions from: Tural Abbasov (Center for Economic and Social Development-CESD - Azerbaijan), Denis Cenusa (ExpertGrup - Moldova), Ana Dvali and Giorgi Kanashvili (Caucasian House - Georgia), Professor Rick Fawn (University of St Andrews ), Adam Hug (ed. Foreign Policy Centre) , Hrant Kostanyan (CEPS), Dr Kevork Oskanian, Dr Kataryna Wolczuk and Dr Rilka Dragneva-Lewers (University of Birmingham) and Dmytro Shulga (International Renaissance Foundation - Ukraine).

> FPC Briefing: Daesh, Geopolitics and the Resurgence of Pan Arabism?

FPC Research Associate Dr Simon Mabon and his colleague Lucia Ardovini analyse the response of key regional actors in the Middle East to the rising threat of daesh (ISIS/ISIL), looking at differing Iranian, Saudi and Egyptian approaches.

> Should the United States attempt to reform Islam?

Dr. Gregorio Bettiza from the University of Exeter examines the United State's approach to Islam as a religion and its strategy to tackling violent extremism, questioning whether the current policy is effective or appropriate.

> The EU's approach to Azerbaijan: short-term gain, long-term pain

As part of the FPC's wider Trouble in the Neighbourhood series, Rebecca Vincent examines the EU's recent approach to Azerbaijan, looking at how it has responded to the growing human rights challenges in the country.