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Jacqueline Hale

Senior Research Fellow

Jacqueline Hale is an analyst focused on the role of norms and values in foreign policy. She has written widely on EU foreign policy, with a focus on human rights. She has spent the majority of her career in the NGO sector, specialising in human rights and civil society support, working for a number of years with the Open Society Foundations, overseeing work on Central Asia and the EU’s Eastern and Southern neighbourhood, and supporting a network of local civil society organisations dedicated to human rights, democratisation and accountability. Previously Save the Children’s Head of EU Advocacy, she led the organisation’s policy and advocacy towards the EU on humanitarian crises, as well as on multilateral processes. She is currently Crisis Action's Brussels Director. Jacqui is involved in promoting networks of human rights organisations, notably the Human Rights and Democracy Network, a platform of 49 NGOs from across Europe working to promote and protect human rights. She is a graduate of Cambridge University, where she studied modern and medieval languages, and holds an MA with distinction in international relations from Sussex University.

Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2922 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2018-09-21 12:50:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-21 12:50:46 [post_content] => As like-minded partners, sharing many policy traditions, norms and standards the EU and UK have every strategic interest in working together on a values-based foreign policy post-Brexit. In the ongoing white noise of the Brexit negotiations, we hear very little spoken about UK-EU relations on foreign policy and development assistance. Yet this is an area where the UK and the EU have every interest in working closely together, in a way which recognises the strong alignment of the UK and EU on norms, values and priorities. The UK can work with the EU post-Brexit to ensure its vision remains at the heart of a future relationship, and that the vision remains based on shared values, grounded in human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The UK should also recognise where in the past it has been able to capitalise on its membership to advance its normative vision and seek ways to recreate the relationships that emulate this.A closer cooperation to pursue interests and valuesThe UK has long been a key shaper of EU foreign policy. British thinking lay behind the EU’s enlargement policy, which aimed to reach out to former Warsaw Pact countries and transform their societies and norms through engagement and regulatory approximation. On tough foreign policy issues, the UK has led innovative work to convene like-minded member states and to win decisions to impose sanctions on Syria and Russia, using the EU’s strength-in-numbers to deliver a more impactful message than it could through applying its own bilateral sanctions. It has also used the EU to deliver tougher messages than it is willing to do bilaterally, as when the EU recently imposed sanctions on Myanmar. (This influence works both ways: the UK has also held back the ambition of EU common positions as a blocking minority, for example regarding Saudi Arabia on the Yemen conflict. This is an example of UK power amplification in the opposite direction, as a blocker).In terms of foreign assistance, the UK – as a top development donor – has shaped and led many initiatives that have been adopted across the EU from prioritising poverty eradication to the focus on global health and education initiatives such as the Global Fund, GAVI (providing cheaper vaccines to poorer countries) and the Global Partnership for Education. The UK played a critical role in supporting and shaping a generous EU response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, and to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The UK also influenced the European Council’s vote in 2015 to re-affirm the EU’s commitment to sustain a development assistance target of 0.7%.[1] DFID’s (UK’s Department for International Development) multilateral aid review in 2016 found European aid to be particularly impressive and closely aligned to UK aid priorities.[2] It is not clear that another multilateral donor is as well aligned to UK priorities as the EU, therefore, the case for continuing funding and programmatic collaboration is high.The UK annually channels about £1.3 billion, equivalent to 8% of its total ODA (Official Development Assistance) budget of £12.1 billion via the EU institutions[3], and also leverages the EU’s funding, networks and delegations. DFID often works in Joint Actions with the EU, notably in West Africa and on the flagship Joint Programming at scale, such as the Bangladesh Suchana programme on Ending Undernutrition. Together with its member states, the EU is the largest development donor and much of EU development and humanitarian policy thinking, as well as in-country operations, has been shaped by DFID’s policy approaches.With regard to the EU’s most substantial development funding pot, the European Development Fund[4] both the EU and the UK benefit from the current situation with the UK currently contributing up to 15% towards the EU’s European Development Fund and in return uses its seat on the relevant technical committees to set the EU’s aid priorities through the fund. The challenge the EU post-Brexit will be to make less funding go further in transforming lives and supporting change, whilst the UK may face a new hurdle of seeking buy-in for its ideas in a more competitive and fractured normative market without direct influence over the spending of the largest development donor in the world.After Brexit, what next? Whilst a UK-EU partnership is no substitute for UK membership of the EU, there are ways which, even without a vote, the UK can still cooperate with the EU to amplify each other’s voice and impact as well as jointly promote their shared values: As likeminded partners, the UK and the EU mostly share a legacy of policy alignment in multilateral fora such as the UN. The majority of EU members are members of NATO, EU member states have collaborated with likeminded non-EU member states at the Human Rights Council (where the EU does not have a formal seat), and the UK could continue to play an active role in those groups as part of a continued burden-sharing arrangement.In the current era of budget cuts and donor fatigue, the pooling of funding via the EU offers possibilities for the UK to continue to work to achieve its development policy objectives, while the EU could also still support UK led initiatives if it chose. This could be via voluntary Trust Funds, which are new pooled funding vehicles with flexibility to provide individual EU members states and third countries the opportunity to ‘buy-in’ to the fund and are worth around 2.3 billion Euros from European Development Fund and EU budgets[5].   Alternatively, a modality could be developed which allows the UK to ‘pay to play’ so that the UK can contribute to shaping the bloc’s spending priorities in its former colonies (along with the lines of the existing off-budget European Development Fund). The UK has already indicated in a non-paper earlier this year that this is something of interest. [6] Even outside the EU funding structures there would continue to be complementarity – i.e. the EU could rely on the UK as a quicker mover in crisis situations. For its part, the UK could also make use of the structures of the EU to complement its own activities – notably accessing the 120 EU Delegations and diplomatic offices in third countries where the UK may not be present, or likewise the dedicated European humanitarian aid field offices in over 40 countries.The EU and UK can also build on existing strategic alignment on foreign policy priorities. The EU’s 2016 Global Strategy focuses predominantly on security threats and societal challenges in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, particularly the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East. This aligns with the priorities the UK government is pursuing through its Stabilisation Unit. The UK has a strong interest in continuing to work to shape funding mechanisms, such as EU Trust Funds, to ensure that they are complementary to its own efforts. In Eastern Europe, the fact that the EU continues to exercise a power of attraction through its promise of higher standards: clean water, safe transport, travel opportunities through easier access to Europe and potential to sell goods to a market of, currently, 500 million is also of interest to Britain. On the one hand, it’s no small irony that countries from the Western Balkans to Ukraine are queuing to join the bloc and enjoy the benefits which the UK is on the cusp of foregoing. Yet the reality is that the UK and the EU will have a shared interest in a stable neighbourhood to which the EU will have complementary reach and a viable offer.[7]Further afield, the UK and the EU will need to find agreements to operate in a complementary manner – from coordinating as donors to ensure adequate coverage of different countries and issues to sharing strategies and hosting UK embassies in EU delegations and vice versa. It will be important that the UK is able to cooperate and contribute to EU geographical and thematic development programming in the new long-term EU budget (Multi-Annual Financial Framework) to ensure funding continues to reach priorities the UK has pursued: such as poverty eradication, education and tackling infant mortality. Involving civil society groups in implementing and monitoring funding would achieve twin objectives of ensuring accountability for UK and EU taxpayers’ funding whilst making recipient governments more responsive to their own citizens.Common values – human rights, support for civil societyIf the tone and tactics of the Brexit negotiations are anything to go by, the UK-EU relationship will stand or fall by the extent to which values shared by the UK and EU are at the heart of joint working on external relations. Here there is notable pedigree: the UK and the EU have pursued highly aligned positions together and separately on upholding norms and standards, the importance of human rights and the role of civil society. This has been the case not only as part of EU common positions but also at the UN, the G7 and G20 and the WTO. The UK is a key contributor to EU coordination meetings in Geneva and New York and as part of burden sharing frequently acts as spokesperson for the Union on human rights issues. As one of the EU’s two leading diplomatic powers, the UK has been able to carry EU28 positions on political and security questions at the UN Security Council, together with France (and with the support of EU non-permanent UNSC members).The EU’s 2016 Global Strategy spells out the EU’s commitment to a rules-based international order. This is a position that British strategists – whichever side of the Brexit debate they fall on – should want to hold dear as we enter an increasingly uncertain world where rules are more frequently broken, and norms and standards of conduct set during the Bretton Woods era are increasingly challenged by rising powers, notably China.The EU also has a well-developed global human rights policy[8], and in many cases is the key actor in this area, on behalf of its member states. The UK has used this to its advantage, most recently in the case of recent sanctions on Myanmar, where it preferred the EU to take a stronger position than it was prepared to take bilaterally. For many civil society actors as well as third countries, the EU has been traditionally seen as a more ‘honest broker’ than its member states either because of colonial heritage or perceived national interest[9]: Whereas Russia cut off USAID funding in summer 2012, EU funding for civil society has continued under EIDHR and other programmes. With networks mattering more than ever in foreign policy, the EU27’s combined network reach through EU delegations, together with member states embassies, create multiple nodes in third countries for connecting with civil society groups and transmitting European values. British involvement and engagement with EU counterparts in shaping the principles and norms transmitted by EU diplomatic networks would continue to ensure that shared values, interests and priorities prevail.The UK has also had one of the strongest civil society sectors among EU member states, particularly in the fields of international development and conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding. Many of those same players have been active in Brussels in shaping the EU’s external policies and building networks with counterparts from other EU member states. The UK is the largest recipient of EU grants to its CSOs. UK CSOs received 356.9 million Euros in new development and humanitarian funding from the EU in 2016[10]. These CSOs are delivering EU policies and programmes at scale and the UK and EU should reach an agreement to allow them to continue to do so. Correspondingly the UK has driven previous EU efforts to offer a ‘partnership with societies’ (such as during the 2012 revised European Neighbourhood Policy following the Arab Spring). Civic participation and civil liberties remain key to British political life and its self-image – one of the reasons the UK, with notable leadership from Winston Churchill, played such a key role in establishing the separate (non-EU) European institutions that have formed the unofficial ‘aquis’ of rights and values underpinning the Union, notably the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights. For its part, the EU is among the few actors to have elaborated policies for civil society support through several initiatives ranging from the European Endowment for Democracy, to the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. These pursue compatible goals to well-established UK bodies, such as the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and could reach agreements to burden share in future in parts of the world ranging from Eastern Europe to the Southern Mediterranean.Finally, and by extension, the UK should also think more seriously about how to use the capacity its diaspora provides to spread its vision beyond its borders. Whereas other countries frequently cultivate and connect with their diaspora the UK – arguably the best- networked diplomacy in the world in terms of government level contacts – has consistently underused its diaspora in the post-colonial era. This group of UK-educated, internationally connected citizens has much to offer ‘Global Britain’ if efforts are made to reconnect them, and providing the idea behind Global Britain is sufficiently cosmopolitan in its outlook[11].The risk of ‘transactionalism’ By most accounts, the UK is likely to suffer the fall-out from Brexit – at least in the short term – much more than the EU. Yet, the negotiations, currently stuck in zero-sum posturing, would be better served by the UK building bridges in those policy areas like foreign policy and development where there are incentives to cooperate. Instead, the negotiations are dogged by transactionalism – focused on what the UK stands to lose to the EU through any of the scenarios on the table. Yet like transactionalism is at the root of the malaise which has increasingly dominated UK’s approach to relations with other countries since the 1980s be it towards the EU, or in the UK’s relations with bilateral partners (arguably linked to Thatcher’s “rebate” on UK contributions to the EU budget) and lies behind the Brexit decision itself. Whilst the UK foreign policy establishment espoused the European Neighbourhood and Enlargement policies as a means to transform the East normatively, and in effect transform the EU itself along the UK vision of a wider and less deep union, the outlook of Westminster’s political class towards Brussels was and remains very much led by  a transactional, quid pro quo approach.This ‘UK Plc’ approach has the effect of restricting the UK’s foreign policy ambition and its presence, by equating a country with a big history and legacy of ideas, to a corporation. There is a question mark over whether the UK can exercise a transformative or agenda-setting role on the global stage if it does not have a mission and a vision beyond security and markets? The insular foundations of the Brexit idea, and the current circularity of the negotiations, already risks diminishing Britain’s ability to shape the thinking of governmental and non-governmental allies on its doorstep. In a multi-polar world, this bodes ill for Global Britain’s ability to project ‘soft power’ of its ideas in cases where its policymakers feel the UK’s norms and values are under attack down the line.With its 65 million people, speaking the world’s (and the EU’s) lingua franca, with thriving cultural industries, leading universities and strong tradition in civil liberties, the UK’s leaders would do well to ensure that Global Britain is truly global, offering global opportunities to its citizens to shape the future beyond the coastline of this relatively small island. This means politicians who are prepared to cultivate and exercise the soft power of aspirational ideas to shape outcomes and policies that are sufficiently ambitious to set standards, rather than merely cutting deals and selling its goods and services at knock-down prices or to the highest bidder.   Since values and therefore rules are set to be increasingly contested in a multi-polar world, British people therefore have a strategic interest in ensuring that others think and behave like us, but also that our own standards of living and behaving are not lowered through conceding that norms and standards are being set (and undercut) by the likes of China. The EU is a natural ally, having developed a normative posture on the global stage, one which is most closely aligned to the British thinking, after 40 years of close association. But with its own tendency to focus more narrowly on its interests in its backyard, witnessed by its 2016 Global Strategy, and facing a populist backlash elsewhere within its ranks the EU will also need strong allies to remind it to have an active strategy behind the norms and values it is promoting. With the abdication of global leadership by the US, the UK will have more success via cooperating closely with like-minded EU partners on foreign policy than going it alone.ConclusionHistory shows that Britain is at its best as a transformative foreign policy actor and EU partner when it asks more than “What will you give me in return for...?” It should not ignore the power of attraction that the EU continues to exercise. The fact that people risk their lives to enter the EU, and that people in the EU’s neighbourhood would like to be on an Erasmus or attend Bologna-accredited institutions exchange in their own country; find labour in Europe; buy products easily from European countries or go on holiday there cheaply testifies to the EU’s enduring role as a global standards-setter whose citizens enjoy an enviable social contract and a set of rights and freedoms. Continuing to align with these standards – and promoting them globally – should be of interest to British citizens, now that Britain too is set to become a neighbour of the EU. Ensuring that British ‘values’, norms and by extension our way of life can measure up to this gold standard – embodying a better quality of life upheld by democracy, human rights and the rule of law – is essential not only for UK soft power projection, but also for fostering our citizen’s development, which is greatly enhanced through exchange with others.With the world set to become more multi-polar, and ideas more contested among a range of powers, there is a lot at stake in ensuring that a UK-EU foreign policy partnership remains  anchored in shared values and that a potential ‘’Special Relationship’’ on these issues does not become a victim of bad blood in the Brexit negotiations. Let’s hope that the negotiators do not downplay the importance of UK-EU cooperation on a normative foreign policy and pay more attention to this less contentious policy area. To that end, there would be five practical headline recommendations for them to consider:Recommendations to UK and EU Diplomatic burden-sharing and collaboration at UN levels. The EU and the UK could work together by instituting ‘European friends’ or ‘like-minded’ coordination groups in New York and Geneva in which the UK is systematically included along the lines of existing practices, and as part of a burden-sharing agreement which allows the EU to continue to benefit from UK technical expertise and networks with non-Western States, and enables otherwise stretched UK diplomats to prioritise key dossiers.Joint strategies, deployments and shared resources at the field level. The UK and the EU could work together in selective contexts on both programming and outreach at field level drawing on Memorandums of Understanding. Spelling out the commitment to share and pool resources from an official MoU for joint working in development policy to the deployments of UK staff into EU services, would provide a basis for joint cooperation. Efforts should also be made to ensure that UK and EU aid remains complementary and playing to their relative strengths, through an overarching MoU, or joint strategies and through sharing resources such as field offices where it is complementary to do so.UK observer status in Brussels decision-making. Recognising that the UK’s role in efforts at multilateral level and ad hoc formats – such as Security Council, the E3 (France, Germany, UK) on political and security issues as well as the G7 and HRC and development and human rights and UK peacekeeping – will continue to have a bearing on EU foreign policy formation, the EU and UK should agree a modality to provide for UK ‘observer status’ at EU Foreign Ministerial and working level Council discussions on key areas of collaboration – including on human rights and democratisation. A joint strategic planning committee would be a great confidence building measure to support this.Flexible arrangements to pool funding. It will be important that the UK is able to cooperate and contribute to EU geographical and thematic development programming in the new long-term EU budget (Multi-Annual Financial Framework) to ensure funding continues to reach priorities the UK has pursued as a top donor: such as poverty eradication, education and tackling infant mortality. The EU should ensure its future funding rules allow sufficiently flexibility for the UK to contribute to and shape pooled funding vehicles, such as EU trust funds, or the European Development Fund. The UK and the EU could continue an existing practice of matching UK and EU funds at the programming level on context-specific Joint Actions where appropriate.A continued role for UK civil society as experts and deliver on the EU values agenda. The UK and EU should reach an agreement to allow the UK’s often highly expert, professionalised and effective CSOs to continue to deliver EU policies and programmes at scale in sectors ranging from development assistance and humanitarian aid to conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding. For its part, the UK should develop a more proactive strategy to engage its diaspora, including in Brussels, as a part of efforts to ensure ‘Global Britain’ remains connected and networked with partners in Europe. [1] European Commission, Press Release: European Commission calls for renewed commitments to reach targets on official development assistance, April 2015,[2] UK Government 2016 Multilateral Aid Review:[3] DFID, Statistics at DFID, See also Impact of Brexit on UK and EU development and humanitarian policy, BOND, July 2017,[4] A post-colonial fund which pre-dates the EU’s development policy and dedicated development instrument in the EU’s central budget and is run by bigger EU member states, targeting many of their former colonies[5] Impact of Brexit on EU Funding for UK CSOs, British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND), 2018[6] The EU beyond 2020 - Future Development Instruments: A UK Perspective[7] In the past the UK has used the EU to fill strategic gaps in foreign and security engagement in regions such as the Baltics, the Caucasus and Central Asia. An enhanced cooperation on foreign and security policy could enable this burden-sharing arrangement to continue.[8] EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy (2012) and successive Action Plans[9] Though the EU’s stance on trade negotiations with African countries, and more recently its hawkish approach to migration prevention, particularly in the African context, has led many in those countries to view the EU increasingly negatively.[10] The impact of Brexit on EU funding for CSOs, British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND), 2018[11] For a further examination, see IPPR, Global Brit: Making the Most of the British Diaspora, 2010 [post_title] => Post-Brexit: What could a transformative, values-based EU and UK partnership in Foreign Policy look like? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => post-brexit-what-could-a-transformative-values-based-eu-and-uk-partnership-in-foreign-policy-look-like [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-10-17 11:52:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-10-17 11:52:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw )[1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2343 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2017-12-14 17:56:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-14 17:56:22 [post_content] => Since the financial crisis of 2008 and the outbreak of the Syrian war many of the received wisdoms and institutions that have underpinned international action 70 years are being shaken. The US shows weakness in global leadership at a time when the tectonic plates of power are shifting. The UN is increasingly enfeebled, and the Bretton Woods institutions are sidelined as economic centre of gravity moves eastwards. Closer to home the European Union, which together with NATO has played a role in in guaranteeing the longest stretch of European peace in history, lurches from crisis to crisis.  Brexit looms on the horizon as populists seek to renationalise policy, and question the post-war liberal consensus which underpinned the European social contract. As power shifts away from the liberal west, illiberalism, and fringe politics are on the rise in Western democracies. Whilst democratic elections and referenda across the West deliver victories to populists, elsewhere it seems that – unfettered by elections – long-standing authoritarians are consolidating power. Both the populists and authoritarians are aligned in pursuing national security at the expense of individual liberties. It is tempting to see the ‘’values’’ battle as a sideshow to the bigger geopolitical, systemic power shift that we may now be witnessing. Charles Kupchan  has written in realist terms about how we are entering a period of global hegemonic power transfer from the US to China (starting with a putative conflict in the South China sea) but that for now we have to be content with an uncertain multi-polar ‘’No-one’s world’’.[1] The hobbling of the Security Council, with its divisions and inaction over Syria would seem to attest to this power vacuum. Academics on the left have also long-predicted America’s imperial overreach, some with more prescience than others, such as Johan Galtung, who described back in 2004 that by 2020 the US would have lost global hegemony and would be grappling with fascism.[2] But if it is true that there is a loss of a global superpower (and norm maker), it will not mean there is an ideational vacuum. In fact the global contestation of ideas is very much wound up with the practice of politics amid this power shift and it is of strategic importance both internationally and domestically to stand by the norms and standards which have built the ways of life we wish to continue. Norms Competition China and Russia are spoken of as realist powers, but they are working to promulgate norms too. Some are aligned with the status quo of international law and the UN Charter: For example, “non-interference” in the affairs of sovereign states, long promoted by China, has seemingly surpassed liberal interventionism, latterly embodied by Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Western misadventures in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan have boosted the norm of non-interference in Western circles, so the UK House of Commons decision in August 2013 not to militarily intervene in Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons by the regime, and similar US inaction, marked a clear difference in approach from the interventionism of the 1990s.[3] The symbiotic relationship between power and norm setting is clear in the US increasing unwillingness to play the policeman to existing rules (for example in response to the case of Russia’s flouting of the UN Charter through its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea), or set new ones (exemplified by Trump’s threats to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement). Whilst R2P could be seen in retrospect as a liberal norm-setting failure, existing decades-long liberal universalist norms enshrined in international human rights law are under renewed attack. An emboldened group of states at the Human Rights Council are frequently uniting behind Russia’s concept of “traditional values”, a byword for denying rights and freedoms to women, sexual and other minority groups.[4] So doing, they are asserting a world view not only at odds with universalism, but with perceived Western moral decay. This phenomenon of “counter-norms’’ can also be seen where these norms influence behaviour in other states, as with the copy-cat LGBT laws in Central Asia, or through regional organisations founded on norms of “respect for civilizational diversity’’ and non-interference such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional bloc comprised of Russia, China and four Central Asian states. It has been argued that the support for non-interference has undermined liberal democratic principles of the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe and standardised behaviours involving the extra-territorial investigations and collusion in seizing of wanted suspects who are then bundled across borders – a practice we have seen as far west recently as Georgia.[5] In the sphere of international development assistance, new donors emerge who require much fewer conditionalities as a basis for assistance, and give more money witnessed in China’s activities in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America.[6] But norms of liberty and universal human rights championed by the West have also been threatened from within. The state security and counterterrorist paradigm which was exacerbated post 9/11 has prevailed over existing ideas of liberty and democracy since UN Security Council Resolution 1267, which made it acceptable to blacklist ‘terrorists’ with no rules or transparent criteria for listing or delisting, a practice upheld by reciprocal nods from other states in return for support for listing their persona non-grata. Hand in hand with this undermining of the international human rights legal framework, the activities of civil society are increasingly being restricted – not only through Interpol Red Notices issued by authoritarian governments to prevent dissidents from travelling,[7] but also including within Western societies. Since the mid-2000s we have seen restrictive NGO laws developed across all continents, including within the EU, as countries have copycatted the Russian ‘’foreign agents’’ law, or sought other ways to restrict foreign funded NGOs, through legal constraints on funding, registration and other forms of intimidation. The most recent case of Hungary’s NGO law, follows this model.[8] In fact, the ramifications of Budapest’s turn to illiberalism illustrate the interplay between domestic and foreign policy in the undermining of norms and values: its position on foreign policy issues has seen it promote the use of development assistance aimed at preventing migration from Africa, and block a firm EU common position on atrocity crimes in Myanmar.[9] This context of normative competition requires an active strategy to support the norms and values that Britain and its allies wish to see carried forward and accepted. In the first instance, this involves identifying counter-norms, but also practices of accommodation or even emulation. In the tradition of authoritarian countries seeking to claim their ‘’Democratic’’ credentials (witness Democratic Republic of Congo, GDR, and Peoples Democratic Republic of North Korea) we now have competitor schemes, such as the Russia-centred Eurasian Economic Union, which seeks to emulate, but falls short of, the European model of integration. Likewise, the emergence of Chinese-led Banks such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB Bank) which resemble in some ways the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.[10] Standing up for universal norms and ‘’values’’ The rise of powers which contest and emulate existing liberal international norms points to the political significance of these norms and the need to defend and promote them. The relationship of liberal norms to soft power, the kind of power defined by Joseph Nye as exerting a power of attraction over actors without the need for coercion – remains as relevant as ever. Authoritarian actors continue to emulate (even if while subvert) Western Institutions in part to tap into soft power. But soft power of Western political and economic ideas and ways of life is also why persecuted and impoverished populations vote with their feet to come to Europe. The answer is not to stop the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Stymying their hopes would undermine the very soft power, arising from the European social contract that drives their ambition. It is also a cognitive mistake to think that actively undermining Europe’s social contract to the detriment of lives of its own citizens is necessary to “compete” in a level playing field with China and Russia. The policy of levelling down and competing on purely geopolitical terms with rising powers whereby the highest bidder wins, risks abandoning our standards at home. It also effectively concedes that the norm is being set elsewhere. A more practical policy response may be to examine inherent weaknesses in the system that allow illiberal leaders to benefit from rights and privileges beyond their borders which they deny their citizens at home. It should involve fostering rules to prevent the exploitation of loopholes to entrench their positions, such as the ability of authoritarians to invest in the liberal economic and political systems – settling legal and commercial disputes in British courts, acquiring status symbols such as buying property in London, purchasing expensive private education, launching fashion lines or starting private foundations.[11] As we have seen with the Azerbaijani laundromat, this is not a problem of curtailing the ambitions of a few elite individuals, but has far broader political ramifications: it has the added corrosive effect of undermining Western institutions – be it the Council of Europe, Westminster or the European Parliament through buying politicians and influencing domestic and foreign policy.[12] Addressing this means being prepared to identify areas where economic tenets of liberalism can undermine the liberal political project of the rule of law, human rights and democracy. It may also mean introducing safeguards to foster equality of outcomes – through tougher regulations to close loopholes on areas of economic policy ranging from property ownership to taxation.[13]This also calls for a ‘robust liberalism’ in the practice of diplomacy. The EU’s Global Strategy for foreign policy refers to a rules-based international order as one of its priorities. But political leaders and diplomats should go further, and continue to insist on the types of rules, which means bringing issues of human rights and governance to the table in political dialogues with third countries, being willing to point out violations, but also be prepared to congratulate and reward good governance, transparency, and openness to civil society. This is not primarily about positive conditionality and increasingly insignificant financial rewards, but rather about incentives linked to the prestige of belonging to a “club’’. This means examining new treaties and agreements for their compatibility with human rights standards and commitments, and being prepared to fight for – and implement – a human rights clause in trade and investment agreements. With the rise of state mercantilism by some of the West’s norms competitors in places like Africa and Latin America, it may not only be a matter of principle, but also in the interest of Western governments – including the EU – to revisit a binding international treaty on business and human rights. It means developing standards and best practices in areas where counter-norms challenge existing practices, such as electoral observation, news coverage, data sharing and privacy standards, in order to prevent what Alex Cooley terms the “anything goes’’ of multi-polarity.[14] Being prepared to stand up for liberal norms and standards is of existential importance: practices we perceive as neutral are not a given, but could actually be contested, and ceded, if we do not fight for them. The field of ICT is illustrative: While the digital revolution offers much mileage in the liberal marketplace of ideas, it needs to be understood how the free flow of ideas and freedom of expression via social media, online and broadcast media has been understood and subverted by authoritarian actors, with political consequences. Rising state corporations such as the aptly named CCTV (China Central Television) and Russia’s Sputnik seek international influence, alongside use by Russia of social media platforms as open channels for manipulating mass audiences. The latter has allegedly influenced recent domestic Western policy debates, notably the Brexit vote, and the US Presidential election.  For promoters of freedom of speech and liberal standards the challenge will be to counteract state-sponsored influence which violates and undermines democratic principles and processes, whilst avoiding entering equivalent laws to prevent ‘foreign agents’. Rules for the concentration of media ownership and distribution will need to be tightened. Meanwhile, in the white noise of fake news, democratically elected governments will need to call out cases where standards have been flouted and norms and rules violated.  If you don’t speak up others will speak up, and define the truth, instead. In this context foreign policy should keep a healthy distance from a discourse of values which can be relativized.  The use of the “traditional values” debate to undermine the rights of LGBT communities and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women testifies that appealing to “values’’ in foreign policy opens the pathway to contestation and undermining of principles enshrined in international law, or conventions, and even customs that have been formally, or informally agreed at the international level. Values are seen as culturally or ideologically determined and they can also slippery and manipulated over time. They can also be divisive and exclusionary: Assertions of British “values’’ surfaced in the aftermath of the Brexit vote which were repudiated by people who felt the values did not speak for them. Likewise, appeals to “European values’’ have been seen as paternalistic and exclusionary and have not been well received by counterparts. By contrast, the discourse based on human rights, grounded in international law, provides the firmest ground we have for a normative foreign policy. It empowers the individual affected by grounding sovereignty in their experience as opposed to that of a particular nation-state, and gives minority groups (who would lose out in a majority vote) a voice. Whilst human rights are also subject to criticisms of cultural imperialism, although as I have made the case elsewhere, they and equality under the “rule of law’’ remain a language that is more universal than the exclusive notion of “values’’. New intergovernmental agreements, such as Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which have been backed by 193 countries point to a way forward. Their new language of equity, “leaving no-one behind’’,  tackling exclusion and providing for access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions[15] attests to the ongoing relevance of human rights principles of “universality’’ and indivisibility of rights, and tackling discrimination. Conclusion – on the strategic importance of coherence If the objective is a world in 30 to 50 years’ time governed with predictability, and a level playing field among and between nations, in which citizens enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms, it would be via the rule of law, and rules-based international order, rather than the arbitrary interpretation of values by power holders – be they American, Chinese or other. In reality, there has always been hegemonic privilege in breaking as well as setting rules, ranging from free trade to the International Criminal Court, to non-proliferation and use of nuclear weapons. Yet the role of rule setting and rule taking in the last 70 years of the post-War liberal order makes it of crucial interest to ensure that norms enshrined in key UN treaties are transferred and that a new hegemon is invested in these concepts as part of maintaining international order which suit them and others. This means it becomes strategic to speak out in favour of the rules-based international order, call out human rights violations in political dialogues, and increasingly relate normative questions of fundamental rights and freedoms to a broader set of environmental, public health and safety norms standards in fields as disparate as aviation and international trade. Policy areas where multilateral agreement has been found, such as the Paris Climate Agreement, and Agenda 2030 with its focus on universality and equity, could be instructive in navigating the choppy waters of multipolarity. Finally, it means not allowing the practising of different standards at home from abroad. The problem of internal-external policy coherence will be an increasingly central one to defending the concepts of norms and standards, not only in the West, but also among those authoritarian actors who seek out human rights protections for themselves and their cronies, whilst suppressing those same rights at home. As the populist tide continues to set policy in the West, the biggest challenge for normative approaches in foreign policy and human rights may not be to implement robust liberalism in its diplomacy, but in the undermining of universalist and rights-based approaches in domestic policy discussions. It becomes imperative for the foreign policy community to reach across the increasingly false divide between the domestic and foreign policy arena and to reframe normative standard setting and support for human rights as part of a project grounded in everyday realities rather than abstract propositions which could be labelled “elite’’ and alien to the interests of the majority opinion.[1] Kupchan, C., No-One’s World, The West, The Rising Rest, And the Coming Global Truth, 2012[2] Galtung, J., On the Decline and Fall of the US Empire, 2004[3] Realists would argue that geography and spheres of influence still matter most: Unlike the response in Europe’s backyard to protect the Kosovar Albanians, there will be no responsibility to protect the Rohingya in Myanmar, China’s neighbour.[4] This group includes Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia frequently introduces resolutions around concepts such as the ‘’family’’. It frequently clashes with a group involving the EU and other Western democracies seeking to reassert universalism[5] Cooley, A., Authoritarianism goes global: Countering Democratic Norms, in Journal of Democracy, 2015,[6] ibid[7] Hug, A., et. Al No shelter: the harassment of activists abroad by intelligence services from the former Soviet Union, Foreign Policy Centre, November 2016,[8] Hungary’s NGO law introduced in June 2017, has prompted the European Commission to open an infringement proceeding[9] Hungary led calls for EU development aid to be tied to countries’ willingness to take back migrants; and it was the only EU member state not to sponsor an OIC resolution condemning atrocities in Myanmar against Rohingya in November 2017[10] There is an open question as to whether these new Banks will be able to adopt different norms and standards in their practices to those existing methods, and this question should be considered explicitly by Western members of the board in negotiating guidance for how they operate.[11] The cases of fugitive Kazakh businessman Mukhtar Ablyazov, and Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the former President of Uzbekistan are two prominent among many cases.[12] Azerbaijan Laundramat reporting, The Guardian, and see also Caviar Diplomacy, European Stability Initiative[13] Recent Paradise Papers focus on tax avoidance prominent Western individuals yet the foreign policy ramifications of abuse by authoritarians of these systems should be part of the policy response. See[14] Cooley, A., Authoritarianism goes global: Countering Democratic Norms, in Journal of Democracy, 2015,[15]Sustainable Development Goal 16 (the governance goal) is the closest to a civil and political rights vision. However, the ambition of goals across the agenda to achieve for everyone (without exception) access to food, health, education, and a clean environment is a rights-based approach when compared to the Millennium Development Goals; [post_title] => FPC Briefing: Competing norms- Why defence of human rights is strategically important in a multipolar era [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => competing-norms [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-13 15:59:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-13 15:59:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )[2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1504 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2017-11-24 17:50:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-24 17:50:58 [post_content] => Catalonia’s recent independence referendum and outcome is a reminder of nationalism’s flawed promise: The myth of a swift divorce that is also apparent in Britain’s Brexit debâcle. Both cases give us several reasons to remain wary of the siren call of nationalism. First there’s its ugly side: the fact that the act of self-defining against the ‘other’ can start in the just-about-respectable area of national identity, only to slip down the scale into wholly unacceptable xenophobia and ethnocentrism. Two destructive wars started by the quest for ethnic nationhood in Europe hold lessons for how downright dangerous the slippery slope can be. In peacetime, it can be a sliding scale between supporting your country’s football team and engaging in the inter-group violence of hooliganism against your opponent. In Catalonia today, the nationalism of the Catalan leadership is pitted against the nationalism of the Madrid authorities, and there can be no clear winner. One reason for the impasse is inherent to the very concept of ‘nation’ which takes a one-dimensional approach to identity, so that one cannot be Catalan and Spanish at the same time. This nationalism über alles dangerously subsumes the manifold other identities that make up an individual – your gender, your profession, your political leanings – into one defining and simplifying trait. Yet when individuals are asked to define ourselves, it’s our relationships to family members, being a parent or a sister that will come to the fore. Or we turn inward, to describe our ideals and values, the aspirational motivations we wish to live by, or be seen as living by. It’s rare that our nationality is the dearest thing to us about ourselves. But, the problem of nationalism goes even deeper. There is also a structural issue which we have seen time and again in secessionist struggles, and which bodes ill for citizens in Catalonia. Look at a map and it doesn’t take long to understand how the patchwork of 193 nation-states which cover the globe and make up the United Nations are part of a system which is structurally stacked in favour of the status quo. The UN Charter, with its clauses providing for the competitive claims of ‘right to self-determination’ and ‘territorial integrity’ is in reality a parti pris for the latter. A Charter signed by and for nation-states, hardly a carte blanche for declarations of independence by would-be leaders of breakaway entities. This reality is all too clear to Western Saharans who for 42 years have been struggling for a state against Moroccan occupation and international vested interests, or to the Abkhaz in Eastern Europe, who celebrate this year 25 years of nationhood in limbo, despite successive referenda and de facto control over the territory by its authorities (with Russian backing) as they seek to break away from Georgia. Even where the land is not desirable to states – as in the case of the Liberland, a patch of border land unclaimed by Serbia and Croatia the declaration of independence succeeds only in exile. Its self-declared ‘’government’’ of transnational Libertarians has no access to the small patch of 7 km2 of marshy forest that they have claimed because neither the Serbs nor Croats will allow access to the territory. Catalan leaders, some of whom fled to Brussels, are not the first, nor the last to take this exile route. Why has it come to this? When I lived in Catalonia 15 years ago I saw the seeds of nationalism rooted in the legitimate grievances of the historical past, and flourishing in the then prosperous present. With greater autonomy and policies to support language and culture, the trajectory seemed clear. And it is hard not to be sympathetic, there and elsewhere, to a culture and a ‘people’ who have risen from the ashes of repression, in this case that meted out to Catalans as a minority within Franco’s Spain. It is also easy to sympathise with the underdog when the strong arm of the metropolitan state reaches to slap-down the rising as we saw in the heavy-handed response from the Madrid government in response to the referendum. Yet for all its lofty talk of liberation, the rhetoric of nationalism – whether it’s in Madrid or Barcelona or in London, as we have seen in the debate about the exit from Europe, is necessarily reductive. Whilst citing ‘the people’ in support of its arguments, whether it be the 52% of voters in the June 2016 UK referendum on membership of the EU or the 90% of the voters who voted for independence in Catalunya’s referendum, it ignores questions as to who and where ‘the people are. It also overlooks a low turnout (42% in Catalonia), and the uncomfortable reality that minorities exist, and the homogeneity the nationalists are striving for does not bear likeness to the messy reality and mixed-ness of the modern ’nation’. What to do about Catalans of Castillian or South American origin, or those of Indian origin (the sin papeles who have their own grievances and quests for recognition)? What is the offer for those who want to be Catalans within Spain? These thorny issues will come to a head now. Crucial to either side winning Catalonia’s hearts and minds struggle, and as a matter of both principle and pragmatism, power holders in Catalonia must tend to this. But here lies the crux of the issue, and the problem for secessionist entities in a system of nation-states: Who are the powerholders, who can confer rights and obligations on citizens? So long as there is no recognition, the problem cannot be solved. No state so far has recognised Catalonia. The EU will not do so for fear of opening a pandora’s box of splittism within existing members. The question of how to accommodate Catalonia within the EU is of an existential nature not only to Spain, but to other states, not least the United Kingdom, with a strong constituency for remain in Scotland, pitted against a majority leave vote in England. Even Kosovo, whose independence struggle was a rare case with much Western political support and interest, does not have recognition across the European Union – Spain notable among those who have withheld recognition. After 25 years in the waiting room to become a state intensive diplomatic campaigning by Abkhazia, with support from Moscow, has yielded recognitions by 4 states. The ultimate tragedy of these states, and one which we can only hope will not befall Catalonia, is the diminishing rights of their citizens. As the heady euphoria of the declaration of independence subsides and the citizenry heads back into day-to-day realities, upholding other existing rights to work, to travel, to associate, to access to decent education, health care and public services, and to enjoy transparent and accountable governance will become crucial. This is the question that nationalists vying for power – whether in Madrid or Barcelona or elsewhere – never ask enough: What’s the offer in the status quo or in the changed status for the ordinary person from the street? Beyond the symbolic power of self-determination what are the benefits and what are the losses to people’s rights and freedoms, ranging from freedom of movement to freedom of expression? It is ironic that a city like Barcelona, much lauded in recent times for innovative decentralised local governance within the existing system, must now submit to order from Madrid, and yet it remains unclear what kind of space the Catalan nationalist project itself would leave to local government. As Catalonia risks becoming the latest in a list of territories with unsettled status, the question of how its self-declared authorities will deal with inevitable disappointments and dissent, when fighting a bigger enemy, is crucial. Here Catalonia and Spain need to learn lessons from the latter’s failure to accommodate dissenting voices. For the people of Catalonia, those who voted yes, no, or who simply didn’t go to the polls, the system and authority which guarantees their rights – beyond the right to self-determination – becomes critical now. In Catalonia as in Brexitland the quest to live well – self-actualisation – may be bound up with the right of national self-determination and recognition, but at an individual and community level it requires much more: a social contract, and a working system of rules and guarantees, institutions providing for democratic accountability, and ongoing connectedness to the outside world. As they go about their daily lives and to live out their multiple identities amongst their families and communities people in Catalonia risk losing these rights as the region submits to Madrid, whilst the rest of the EU stays lukewarm. Those who purport to represent them – whether in the Catalan Generalitat or in Madrid’s governing parties must not retreat to elite squabbles and desert people in Catalonia now. [post_title] => Catalonia’s Nationalist Tragedy – and lessons for Brexit? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => catalonias-nationalist-tragedy-lessons-brexit [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-13 16:11:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-13 16:11:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )[3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 972 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2015-11-12 12:09:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-11-12 12:09:33 [post_content] => In this new FPC Briefing by Senior Research Associate Jacqueline Hale examines the EU’s record on promoting human rights, democracy, the rule of law and international justice through its external actions following the launch of its global human rights policy in 2012. Following the failures of the Arab Spring, a troubled neighbourhood policy, deepening tensions with Russia, a ‘migration crisis’, rising xenophobia and efforts to undermine human rights by member states’ governments ranging from Hungary to the UK Hale explores the more challenging context into which the EU’s human rights policy has been revised in 2015. She argues that despite its roots as a peace project and community of rules and norms, in practice the EU has consistently underperformed on human rights, and its own values project is frequently undermined amid growing internal and external challenges. The briefing examines whether the EU will be able to learn the lessons of past failures, and address the growing gap between rousing words on paper and lack of political will to act on the rhetoric. It examines the 2015-19 human rights action plan in light of the EU’s mixed record so far and argues that this time round, the EU has every interest in producing a human rights policy with teeth. [post_title] => FPC Briefing: The EU on human rights- Turning words into action [post_excerpt] => In this new FPC Briefing by Senior Research Associate Jacqueline Hale examines the EU’s record on promoting human rights, democracy, the rule of law and international justice through its external actions following the launch of its global human rights policy in 2012. Following the failures of the Arab Spring, a troubled neighbourhood policy, deepening tensions with Russia, a ‘migration crisis’, rising xenophobia and efforts to undermine human rights by member states’ governments ranging from Hungary to the UK Hale explores the more challenging context into which the EU’s human rights policy has been revised in 2015. She argues that despite its roots as a peace project and community of rules and norms, in practice the EU has consistently underperformed on human rights, and its own values project is frequently undermined amid growing internal and external challenges. The briefing examines whether the EU will be able to learn the lessons of past failures, and address the growing gap between rousing words on paper and lack of political will to act on the rhetoric. It examines the 2015-19 human rights action plan in light of the EU’s mixed record so far and argues that this time round, the EU has every interest in producing a human rights policy with teeth. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fpc-briefing-the-eu-on-human-rights-turning-words-into-action [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 16:27:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-14 16:27:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ))

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