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> 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).


> Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership- seminar series

The Foreign Policy Centre is holding a series of four seminars in the Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership project, in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the UK, to be held in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh in February and March 2015. The project will take stock of recent developments in the EU's relationship with the countries in its eastern neighbourhood: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine. The issue of the EU's role in the region and the influence of the Russian-led alternative the Eurasian Economic Union have been at the heart of a major geo-political upheaval. The decision by Ukraine's then President Yanukovych to reject Eastern Partnership under pressure from Russia in the summer of 2013 lit the spark for the dramatic subsequent events in, while Armenia's made a similar switch under Russian pressure ahead of the key November 2013 Vilnius summit. The seminars will look at the key planks of the EU's approach to the region including the offers of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, visa reform, funding for reform projects and political engagement. The seminars will examine both the EU's objectives in the region and how Europe is perceived by the Eastern Partnership countries themselves, along with how the domestic political situation in EU member states (most notably the UK) and the Eastern Partners shapes the relationship.

The seminars are free and open to all. Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk


> 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.


> 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.


> FPC Publication- Iran Human Rights Review: United Nations

This new edition of the Foreign Policy Centre's Iran Human Rights Review (IHRR) focuses on the relationship between Iran and the United Nations. Academic and civil society experts put forward a range of different perspectives with a particular focus on how the country interacts with UN human rights mechanisms and its commitments under international law. The review looks at issues including the lack of access to Iran for UN Special Rapporteurs, the country's approach to the Universal Periodic Review process, the problems facing the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Islamic Republic Government's approach to questions of international law and practice in the context of the wider Iranian human rights tradition.

The Iran Human Rights Review: United Nations was edited by FPC Senior Research Associate Tahirih Danesh with Adam Hug, FPC Policy Director. Contributors include: Taimoor Aliassi (The Association for Human rights in Kurdistan for Iran-Geneva, KMMK-G), Elahe Amani (Women's Intercultural Network), Ali Ansari (University of St Andrews), Tori Egherman (Arseh Sevom), Hassan Nayeb Hashem (Südwind), Hossein Rassam (Rastah Consulting), Raha Shadan, Pardis Shafafi (University of St Andrews) and Dan Wheatley (Syracuse University).