Durres, Albania (September 16, 2016) – To address the challenge of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) and countering violent extremism, 85 practitioners and researchers from over 30 countries gathered in Durres, Albania for the "Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Irregular Migration Routes: Prevention and Resilience" tabletop exercise (TTX) from 13-15 September. The TTX incorporated scenarios from emerging security challenges to engage participants and develop actionable recommendations regarding FTF recruitment, travel, and return.

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Varna, Bulgaria (July 6, 2016) - From 28 June to 1 July, a 58 person strong team of defense education and defense institution building leaders from 19 countries and 41 institutions convened at the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy of Bulgaria for the fifth annual NATO Functional Clearing House, and concurrent meeting of the Education Development Working Group (EDWG).

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Oddly enough, much of what is happening in the South Caucasus today resembles the turmoil of the pre-Soviet era and the inter-war period of the early twentieth century. As was the case then, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are again facing the daunting task of safeguarding their state sovereignty and protecting national security. The region’s unique geostrategic position is now of crucial significance for the evolution of the twenty-first century world order. While competition for energy resources is a highly
geopolitical issue, the rivalry over control and influence in the South Caucasus has become an ideological factor and acquired greater strategic importance for Russia and the EU.
 
The South Caucasus nations face the momentous choice between repeating the events of the early 1920s, when the Soviet Union was created, or those of the late 1940s, when the Marshall Plan was proposed. The return to past geopolitical models has raised interesting, yet sensitive questions. Will the current and future circumstances of competition be like those of 1917–1920 or 1947–1949, merely with new content? Are
Russia, the EU and the South Caucasus going to cooperate internationally in ventures that unite them in the reconstruction of a larger Europe, or will they fail that test?
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 00:00

Russia vs. EU/US through Georgia and Ukraine

This paper aims to analyze the construction and transformation of the post-Soviet security perspectives of Georgia and Ukraine in the context of the post-Soviet Russian foreign policy in the “near abroad,” quite often termed the “legitimate sphere” of Russian influence by high-ranking Russian officials. This inquiry covers the panorama of the foreign policy in post-Soviet Russia across the FSU, from the early 1990s through to the present, where Georgia and Ukraine’s independent and pro-Western orientation are the
main issues securitized for the Russian Federation. Accordingly, the maintenance of territorial integrity has become a security priority for Georgia since the early 1990s and will most likely be Ukraine’s top concern after the Crimean occupation by the Russian Federation in March 2014 and the subsequent developments in Eastern Ukraine. Therefore, it could be claimed that post-Soviet Russian and Georgian/Ukrainian security strategy (following peaceful revolutions) represent a zero-sum game.
On 1 July 2013, Croatia officially became a full-fledged member of the European Union, thus fulfilling both foreign policy goals (EU and NATO membership) and making a huge step ahead in the process of its long-term consolidation. On the other hand, the other countries of the region are currently in different stages of their reforms/accession processes and it is very difficult to predict the pace of the developments in the period to come. The issue of long term consolidation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is far from being resolved. Moreover, the name issue is still a heavy burden of Macedonia’s EU and NATO accession processes. Finally, the Belgrade-Prishtina dialogue and related developments such as the beginning of accession talks with Serbia and negotiation on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo represent a significant step ahead. However, the full implementation of the agreements that derive from the dialogue has yet to take place and it’s still difficult to anticipate the final resolution of the problem.
Currently braving its most serious financial crisis to date, the EU’s integration projects face grave challenges. Under the current difficult economic conditions, the question needs to be asked whether the EU will be able to maintain its active role in the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) or become victim of a possible European trend towards renationalisation. In this regard, the EU’s stabilizing factor in regional peace processes – in particular in the Western Balkans – could be seriously affected by the financial, economic and social troubles inside the EU.
This is a compilation of the presentations and discussions of the seventh workshop of the Regional Stability in the South Caucasus (RSSC) Study Group, that convened from 14 to 16 March 2013 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Under the overarching title of “Building Confidence in the South Caucasus: Strengthening the EU's and NATO's Soft Security Initiatives” it explored initiatives that aimed to build confidence in the South Caucasus, via the activities of the civil society, the EU and NATO.
These study notes were produced by the Regional Security in the South Caucasus Study Group, which held its 6th workshop at Reichenau, Austria, from November 8-11 2012. The format of the workshop was based on the successful Regional Stability in South East Europe Study Group, and its thematic concept aims at gradually bringing parties from the region to discuss and form policy recommendations on security issues and conflict resolution ideas starting from a high-level strategic outlook towards resolving particular issues of tension.
This policy paper examines the status of Macedonia's EU and NATO aspirations. Considered by many as the only success story of peaceful transformation in the Western Balkans in the early 2000s, Macedonia managed to emerge from the shades of the 2001 armed conflict and acquire EU candidate status in just four years. The first among the countries from the Western Balkans to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement in 2001, Macedonia today, however, is considerably lagging behind on its EU/NATO accession path.
Published in Policy Papers
This policy paper explores the effect of Croatia's EU membership on Southeast Europe, and view's the role of Croatia as a bridge between the EU and countries of the region aspiring towards EU membership.
Published in Policy Papers
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