Article in France: About the political parties in Germany

https://cercle-ceci.eu/ is a French-language Internet portal, headed by Emmanuel Morucci, Brest/Bretagne, France, a member of Team Europe France, CECI is a dedicated pro-European publication, just as the people behind it. CECI is a group of interesting People, after all.

In its newest edition EUFAJ chief Hans-Jürgen Zahorka has contributed an article about the German system of political parties and its possible changes. Some basic information for the Francophones. See under „Articles récents“ the contribution about „Partis politiques en Allemagne“.

Salvini’s Italy Sentenced by ECHR to Provide Housing for Evicted Roma

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has decided to apply an urgent measure in the case P.H. and Others v. Italy (application no. 25838/19) concerning three Bosnian citizens of Roma ethnicity who were evicted with their minor children from a settlement in Ponte Riccio in April 2019. The applicants are three Bosnian citizens of Roma ethnicity who were living with their families in a settlement in Ponte Riccio (Giugliano). Two of them are mothers with 10 children altogether, who are minors aged between two and 16.

The Court has ordered the Italian Government to provide suitable accommodation for Romani families who were forcibly evicted from Giugliano last week. The court recognised the right to family unity and the need to provide adequate housing to Romani families. The emergency case was brought before the court by Associazione 21 luglio and the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC).

Background

On 5 April 2019 the Mayor of Giugliano issued Decree no. 29, ordering that all the settlement’s inhabitants (around 450 Romani People) residing in the Via del Vaticale camp in the Municipality of Giugliano be evicted for reasons of public health and safety. The municipality issued a resolution for alternative housing solutions for Roma, but no proposal was ever made to the families.

On the morning of 10 May 2019, law enforcement arrived and forced the families to leave the settlement on Via del Vaticale. According to numerous testimonies gathered, both before and during the eviction, the Roma had been verbally ordered to leave the Giugliano area and threatened that if they refused, their residence would be cancelled and their children taken into state care (!). The 450 Roma ended up occupying an abandoned area in the Giugliano industrial area, where they remain today.

The new location is totally inadequate

The 73 families currently camped in that area have no shelter, and are forced to sleep inside cars or outdoors, despite the difficult weather conditions. They have no access to electricity and are without clean water or toilets. The 105 children who were attending school were forced to interrupt their school attendance.

Associazione 21 luglio called an immediate press conference at the Chamber’s Press Room and an online appeal to denounce the rights violated by the authorities during the forced eviction, including the rights of these children to an education. They called on the Municipality of Giugliano for an urgent intervention offering adequate solutions and dignified housing for all persons, guaranteeing them access to basic services, and the re-establishment of school attendance for school-age children and, alongside the ERRC, promoted recourse to the European Court of Human Rights.

On 17 May, the decision came from the European Court in Strasbourg which forces the Italian Government to guarantee adequate housing for minors and their families who were evicted from Via del Viaticale.

Organisations‘ comments

Carlo Stasolla from Associazione 21 luglio, who had who had been on hunger strike since 12.5.2019, ended his protest on receiving the court’s decision. He said „This is a victory for marginalised communities all across Italy who, especially in the last year, have had their basic human rights repeatedly attacked. In the situation of Giugliano, Associazione 21 luglio was the first to report the systematic violation of rights and support the families who proposed the appeal to the European Court. For the last 30 years, Roma in Giugliano have been trapped in a vicious cycle of forced evictions, black mail, and fear. Today, Europe has lit a lighthouse that illuminates the whole of Italy and which we all have a duty to keep on: the lighthouse of anti-discrimination and of equal rights guaranteed in articles 2 and 3 of the Italian Constitution that no one, in any capacity, can claim the presumption of extinguishing.“

Jonathan Lee of the European Roma Rights Centre said: „This decision breaks a long-standing cycle of forced evictions which have long plagued this community, and Roma as a whole in Italy. When authorities uproot Romani families, they know it means kids will have to drop out of school, that know that parents will lose work, that the family will be forced to start from scratch, but they do it anyway. The Court has shown today that Italy is not above the law, and cannot indiscriminately make Roma homeless. These people have won a great victory against discrimination, and against the politics of hate, which perpetuates the exclusion of Roma in Italy.“

***

Measures under Rule 39 of the ECHR Rules of Court are decided in connection with proceedings before the Court, without prejudging any subsequent decisions on the admissibility or merits of the case. The Court grants such requests only on an exceptional basis, when the applicants would otherwise face a real risk of irreversible harm. For further information, see the factsheet on interim measures.

Save the days: 2.5. + 31.5.2019. Two seminars on European globalisation for SMEs

There will be two workshops by LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH in May 2019 upon which we want to point your possible interest:

The first is on Thursday, 2nd May, 2019 on „EU Law für Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME)“. SMEs include also micro enterprises of a staff between 1 and 10, as well as free professions.  This seminar, as well as the second, will be held in German language – so good passive knowledge is important, while questions can be put forward in English or French. How to make an enterprise resilient agaimst crises, how to make and keep it competitive, how to go into growth, how to secure jobs, turnover and profit  – by not neglecting „the European dimension“. With 25 particular questions for SMEs .  The pace of the sminar is the European Academy of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in Waren/Müritz, between Berlin and Rostock/Baltic Sea. After the 1st May, a public holiday, and the bridging days 3.-5- May 2019 one can either watch birds – e.g. cranes, the big, trumpeting birds, or can visit castles and mansions in M-V, where there is a seminsr plus excursion at the same place for this subject.

Further info about this Workshop on 2..5.2019 (and you do not need to ba a lawyer):  http://www.libertas-institut.com/ewiv-informationszentrum/kmuseminar-eu-recht/, or on  http://www.ewiv.eu. Interesting early-bird- and combination rebates!

The second is on Friday, 31st May, 2019: „The EU potential for Company Consultants and local and regional investment authorities“, also in Waren/Müritz. An ambitious programme deals with how to keep clients competitive, how to profit of the economy of scale and EU innovation, how to make the most of the EU Single Market and therefore profit of more turnover and orofits, as well as jobs. Good for Company Consultants, EEIG managers, tax consultants, lawyers, etc. All this as by non-knowledge about the present business opportunities in the EU lots of money has been thrown out of the chimney, or not earned at all. The programme can be downloaded here: http://www.libertas-institut.com/ewiv-informationszentrum/seminar-berater-wirtschaftsfoerderer/ or under  http://www.ewiv.eu.

Zwei EWIV-Events am 16. und 17.11.2018 – Fachkonferenz und Vertragsgestaltungs-Seminar in Waren/Müritz

Save the day(s): Freitag, den 16.11.2018, für eine Fachkonferenz über aktuelle Fragen in Recht, Steuern und Unternehmensführung einer EWIV*, aber auch über Fehler von EWIV-Lenkern und die Probleme, die das ergibt, an aktuellen Beispielen. Unter den Referenten: die Teilnehmer selbst, Franz Rybaczek (Geschäftsführer der goodworks Innovation Agency EWIV in Niederösterreich, einer Kooperation der Sozialwirtschaft, aber auch privater Unternehmen und öffentlich-rechtlicher Strukturen), Prof. Dr. Petra Sandner vom Fachbereich Wirtschaft der Hochschule Anhalt (einer ausgewiesenen Kennerin der EWIV-Besteuerung) und Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, Leiter des Europäischen EWIV-Informationszentrums. Einladung und Programm auf http://www.ewiv.eu oder direkt über: http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/10-18Einladg-Progr_EWIV-Fachkonf_Waren-Mür.-1.pdf

Samstag, den 17.11.2018, für ein Seminar zur Vertragsgestaltung bei EWIV – wasserdicht, vorteilhaft, strategisch. Mit wertvollen Informationen zum Handelsregister (wo jetzt herauskam, dass eine große in Deutschland ansässige EWIV mehrere Mitglieder eintragen ließ, obwohl diese nie Mitglieder wurden!). Einladung und Programm auch über http://www.ewiv.eu oder direkt über den Link: http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/10-18_Progr-Einladg_EWIV-Vertragsgestaltg_181117_Waren-Müritz-1.pdf

Weiteres auch auf dem EWIV-Blog unter http://ewivinfo.wordpress.com.

  • EWIV heißt Europäische wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung, geregelt in der EWG-Verordnung 2137/85. Eine Rechtsform der grenzüberschreitenden Kooperation, die in jedem EU- und EWR-(also Norwegen, Island, Liechtenstein)-Mitgliedsland im Handelsregister eingetragen wird, also in derzeit 31 Staaten. Die wohl bekannteste EWIV ist der Fernsehsender ARTE.

Neues Blog über EWIV / New Blog on EEIG

DE / Es gibt ab sofort ein neues Blog nur zu Fragen rund um die europarechtliche Kooperationsform der Europäischen wirtschaftlichen Interessenvereinigung (EWIV). Die Website dazu, http://www.ewiv.eu, erfährt dadurch eine wertvolle Aktualisierung. Gleichzeitig wird die bisherige „F.A.Q.“-Rubrik auf der Website viel stärker aktualisiert und gleichzeitig der ständigen Mitwirkung der Leser unterworfen. Das Europäische EWIV-Informationszentrum will damit zum Einen die europäische Leserschaft (im Blog wird auf Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch und evtl. in weiteren Sprachen geschrieben) jeweils gleichzeitig und aktuell informieren, und gleichzeitig kann das Zentrum, das sicherlich über eine geballte Kompetenz verfügt, eben diese Kompetenz weitergeben.

Das Blog ist erreichbar unter: http://ewivinfo.wordpress.com

Wenn Sie sich dort ständig anhängen, bleiben Sie aktuell informiert über Bewegung in EWIV-Recht und -Besteuerung.


EN / There is a new blog from now, on questions around the European legal cooperation form of the European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG). The Website http://www.ewiv.eu, will be enriched significantly. At the same time our „F.A.Q.“ column on this Website will be kept on a more topical basis and also subject to readers‘ feedback and participation. The European EEIG Information Centre wants, at the one hand, to inform its European readership (there are German, English, French and possible other languages in the blog) in an equal and topical way. At the same time the Centre which undoubtedly has a lot of competence can pass on just this competence.

The blog can be viewed under: http://ewivinfo.wordpress.com

If you stay attached you’ll remain informed permanantly about movements in EEIG law and taxation.

Erfolgreiches österreichisches Modell: „EU-GemeinderätInnen“

Seit 2010 gibt es eine Initiative in Österreich, die ich für bemerkens- und nachahmenswert halte im Sinne des Eintretens für die europäische Integration und das Schließen der Lücke zwischen Kommunal- und Europapolitik: Europa-GemeinderätInnen, die unter dem Motto „Europa fängt in der Gemeinde an“ Ansprechpartner für besondere Bildungsmaßnahmen sowie von Fragen der Bürger sind. In Österreich sind es derzeit fast 1.000 derartige Gemeinderäte – von einem bis mehreren pro Kommune. Natürlich gibt es auch Gemeinden, die aus unterschiedlichen Gründen sich nicht beteiligen. In Österreich wurden alle Bürgermeister vom Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres (BMEIA) angeschrieben, die dann einen oder mehrere Gemeinderäte benennen, je nach Willen des Rates. Für diese Gemeinderäte stehen Dienstleistungen zur Verfügung (z. B. Seminare über Europa-Kommunikation ca. 3-4 x pro Jahr, 1-2 pro Jahr Brüssel-Studienreisen, gelegentlich interne Briefings, Workshops zu bestimmten Themen, an denen es ja zur Zeit nicht mangelt, usw.) bzw. die betreffenden Gemeinderäte stehen als Ansprechpartner auch Bürgern zur Verfügung. Österreich hat auch erfolgreich diese informelle Struktur in die italienische Autonome Provinz Bozen-Südtirol „exportiert“.

Das österreichische Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres (BMEIA) steht einer Ausweitung dieses Projekts in andere EU-Mitgliedstaaten überhaut nicht entgegen – im Gegenteil. Man ist auch sehr gerne bereit, konkrete Initiativen zu beraten: Frau Mag. Brigitte Trinkl, BMEIA Wien, e-mail brigitte.trinkl@bmeia.gv.at

Hier die entsprechende Website der EU-Kommission/Vertretung in Österreich: http://ec.europa.eu/austria/news/eu-gemeinder%C3%A4te-br%C3%BCssel-mittlerweile-%C3%BCber-900-teilnehmer-ganz-%C3%B6sterreich_de

Und hier die des österreichischen Bundesministeriums für Europa, Integration ud Äußeres: https://www.bmeia.gv.at/europa-aussenpolitik/europapolitik/oesterreich-in-der-eu/eu-gemeinderaete/

Die Anmeldeformulare für EU-GemeinderätInnen an das BMEIA sind einfache Adressen- und Funktionsbeschreibungen; hierüber wird dann eine Adressdatei gehalten.

Für Deutschland beispielsweise dürfte eine zentralisierte Behandlung dieser Frage durch z. B. das Auswärtige Amt nicht in Frage kommen, sondern eher auf Länderebene bearbeitet durch die jeweiligen Europaministerien der Bundesländer, auf deren Ebene auch die Kommunalaufsicht liegt, oder delegiert an die Städte- und Gemeindeverbände. Auch die Landkreise in Deutschland setzen viel EU-Recht um (z. B. Abfallrecht, Umweltrecht usw.) und sollten hierzulande nicht vergessen werden. Daher ist der Name „EU-GemeinderätInnen“ wahrscheinlich nicht automatisch übertragbar.

Auch dürfte dieses Modell nicht automatisch anwendbar sein, wenn z. B. in größeren Kommunen bzw. Landkreisen Europabeauftragte bzw. -referenten o.ä. vorhanden sind (also professionelle Kräfte der Verwaltung). Andererseits sind diese vielleicht auch daran interessiert, eine Verbreiterung ihrer Tätigkeit im Gemeinderat bzw. Kreistag zu sehen bzw. dort informationsmäßig privilegierte Ansprechpartner zu haben. Wenn die kommunale Ebene stärker europa-durchdrungen ist, ist dies auf jeden Fall kein Nachteil (zumal es eine Fülle von für Kommunen relevanter Projekte und Themen gibt, wo man „good practices“ entnehmen kann). In jedem Fall eignet es sich für kleinere Kommunen und Landkreise ohne eigenen Europareferenten.

Theoretisch wäre es auch möglich, dass die Europe Direct-Informationszentren (EDIC) Koordinationsfunktionen übernehmen, bzw. Seminare für EU-GemeinderätInnen abhalten (wie in Österreich). In Österreich arbeitet die Vertretung der EU-Kommission erfolgreich, z. B. das eine oder andere Seminar fördernd, mit den EU-GemeinderätInnen bzw. dem BMEIA zusammen; auf der Basis eines einfachen MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) aus dem Jahr 2010.  So etwas sollte auch in Deutschland möglich sein, auch in Kooperation mit den relevanten Landesministerien. Dann wären es eben statt einem MoU in Deutschland maximal 16.

Damit wären auch für alle, die sich mit der Kommunikation zum Thema Europa befassen, auf einen Schlag wichtige Ansprechpartner in den Kommunen gegeben, auch für die Europa-Union-Landes- bzw. Kreisverbände oder für die vielen Einrichtungen für politische Bildung (Landeszentralen, Stiftungen usw.). Europa hat es verdient, konstruktiv überall vertreten zu werden, auch auf Gemeindeebene, wo es eben zahlreiche Anknüpfungspunkte zu Europa gibt – von Umwelt-  über Abfall-, Veterinär-, Verbraucher- zu Verkehrs-, Digitalisierungs- und Freizügigkeitsnormen, aber auch die Integration unserer neuen ausländischen Mitbürger u.v.a.m. Etwa 70 – 85% allen EU-Rechts (je nach Sichtweise) wird auf kommunaler Ebene (in Deutschland also Gemeinden und Landkreise) umgesetzt. Nur wenige wissen dies, und wir hätten mit Sicherheit eine noch stärker regulierende Wirkung auf nationaler Ebene ohne EU-rechtlichen Beitrag der (supra-)nationalen Ebene.

Für die gesamten Aktivitäten in Österreich gibt es übrigens keine eigene Budgetlinie der dortigen Bundesregierung; etwaige Ausgaben sind dort Teil des Kommunikationsbudgets. Fahrten nach Brüssel bezuschussen das Europäische Parlament, die EU-Kommission bzw. der Ausschuss der Regionen.

Ein gelungenes Experiment, das also auch in andere Länder „importiert“ werden sollte. Ohne schwere Strukturen, leicht zu bedienen durch einen (Ministerial-)Referenten, der gelegentlich Hilfe braucht. Nicht die Lösung aller Probleme dieser Welt, aber ein kleiner Beitrag, Europa zu kommunizieren. Es lohnt sich, wie wir in den letzten Monaten in der Europäischen Union gesehen haben.

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka

 

Ertragssteuern und Europäische wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung (EWIV)

Dieser Blog-Post wurde geschrieben, als wir noch kein paralleles, eigenes EWIV-Blog hatten. Sie finden ihn unter http://ewivinfo.wordpress.com, Dort gibt es eine ständig steigende Anzahl interessanter Beiträge zum Thema Europäische wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung (EWIV) und ihre rechtlichen, steuerlichen und betriebswirtschaftlichen Aspekte, alles unter der Ägide des Europäischen EWIV-Informationszentrums.

29.8.2018

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Unser Blog verzeichnete in den letzten Wochen immer wieder Aufgriffe auf einige ältere Hinweise auf Workshops des Europäischen EWIV-Informationszentrums, einen  losen Zusammenschluss von EWIV-Experten aus Recht, Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Steuerlehre und dies aus mehreren EU-Ländern. Die Europäische wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung (EWIV – auf Deutsch, in den anderen 24 EU-Amtssprachen entsprechend) ist eine EU-weite Kooperations-Rechtsform aufgrund EU-Recht und wird in der EU-Verordnung 2137/85 geregelt (dieser Text und viele andere Informationen können auf http://www.ewiv.eu abgerufen werden). Um unseren Blog-Lesern Anrufe zu ersparen, hier einige grundlegende Informationen:

  1. Wie erwähnt, ist eine EWIV eine Kooperations-Rechtsform zur transnationalen Zusammenarbeit, also mindestens zwischen zwei Mitgliedern aus zwei verschiedenen EU-Staaten (+ die drei EFTA-Staaten des EWR: Liechtenstein, Island und Norwegen). Das heisst: Wer keinerlei leicht, etwa mit Dokumenten nachweisbare europäische Kooperation nachweisen kann, sollte auch keine EWIV gründen bzw  betreiben. Die Gefahr ist sonst groß, dass die Finanzämter (die in der EU ständig besser grenzüberschreitend zusammenarbeiten) feststellen, dass einer der Mitglieder eine „leere Hülse“ darstellt (Zitat aus einer baden-württembergischen Außenprüfung, wo eine deutsche GmbH mit ihrem spanischen Partner, einer Comunidad de bienes auf Mallorca, keinerlei Zusammenarbeit pflegte). Die Folge kann sein, dass bis zur Verjährungsgrenze (also mindestens 10 Jahre retrospektiv) die EWIV rückabgewickelt werden kann. Dies also zum sog. Transnationalitätserfordernis, das allerdings bei den wenigsten Finanzämtern bekannt und bewusst ist – allerdings von den Finanzgerichten aufgegriffen werden könnte. Es kann damit gerechnet werden, dass dies in den nächsten Jahren allgemein bewusst werden könnte und dann entsprechend zurück geprüft wird.
  2. Eine EWIV hat immer Unternehmereigenschaft (vgl. auch das Schreiben des Bundesministeriums der Finanzen von 1988 zur EWIV, ebenfalls auf http://www.ewiv.eu). Das bedeutet, dass eine EIWV, die ja auch in  den Handelsregistern Abt. A in Deutschland eingetragen wird (und somit als Personengesellschaft gilt, die im Übrigen keine Publizitätspflicht kennt), z.B. den Grundsätzen ordnungsgemäßer Buchführung (GoB) des HGB unterliegt. In der Praxis – durchaus sanktioniert von Finanzämtern in Deutschland – genügt eine einfache Einnahme-Überschuss-Rechnung, bei Umsätzen bis 500.000 EUR jährlich, oder bei einfachen Buchungsvorgängen. Erst ab diesem Limit muss man eine (Handels-)Bilanz anfertigen.
  3. Eine EWIV darf keinen Gewinn aufweisen – dies steht in den meisten Gründungsverträgen und ergibt sich auch aus Art. 40 der EU-VO (die eigentlich EWG-Verordnung heisst, da sie im ersten Entwuf 1970 angefangen wurde, aber der Einfachheit halber hier EU-VO genannt wird). Dieser Art. 40 besagt, dass eventuelle Überschüsse der EWIV nicht bei dieser zu versteuern sind, wenn sie an die Mitglieder aufbezahlt werden. Diese Mitglieder müssen dann diese Einnahmen (aus Beteiligung z. B.) versteuern, wo auch immer sie sitzen. Dabei können diese Auszahlungen über das Jahr verteilt oder auf einmal erfolgen, und sie können nach Köpfen oder „asymmetrisch“ erfolgen (also entsprechend Projektanteilen, nach Messgrössen wie z. B. Umsatz, Mitarbeiter o. ä.).
  4. Eine Möglichkeit aber ist auch die Bildung von Rücklagen, die bei der EWIV als „Reservefonds“ bezeichnet werden. Diese sollten in einem Rücklagenbeschluss genauer bezeichnet werden, z. B. …. EUR für ein Seminarzentrum am Lago di Garda etc. Aber auch zukünftige Kosten wie z. B. die Anschaffung von Pkw, die Webseite, allgemeine Bürokosten usw. können Gegenstand von derartigen Rücklagen sein. Derartige Rücklagen sind selbstverständlich von den Finanzämtern zu akzeptieren – dies geschieht auch. Wenn allerdings eine EWIV stets Jahresumsätze von 150.000 EUR generiert und dann plötzlich eine Million auf dem Rücklagenkonto aufweist, ist dies erklärungsbedürftig bzw. muss schlüssig erklärt werden können. ACHTUNG: Die deutschen Steuerbehörden akzeptieren derzeit mehr und mehr Investitionsrücklagen. So ist seit 2016 beim Investitionsabzugsbetrag (IAB) nicht mehr obligatorisch (und dieser endet bei 200.000 EUR), einzelne Wirtschaftsgüter einzeln zu benennen. Voraussetzung ist eine Steuererklärung per Datenübertragung.
  5. So gesehen, bezahlt eine EWIV also – bei korrekter Buchhaltung – weder Körperschafts- noch Gewerbesteuer. Voraussetzung hierfür ist aber, wie erwähnt, dass der Jahresabschluss der EWIV „null auf null“ ausgeht. Wo im Übrigen EWIV Gewinne ausweisen (manchmal geschieht dies, weil unwissende Steuerberater oder Buchhaltungsbüros dies so ausweisen, zum Teil auch aufgrund veralteter IT-Programme), müssen sie diese versteuern. Gleichzeitig machen sie sich auch automatisch zum IHK-Mitglied (mit allen Beiträgen) und bei der Kommune gewerberegisterpflichtg, wovon sie ansonsten befreit bleiben.
  6. Ansonsten bleibt eine EWIV natürlich steuerpflichtig bei allen anderen Steuern, z. B. Lohnsteuer, Kfz-Steuer, Grundsteuer, Grunderwerbssteuer, aber auch Umsatzsteuer. Sie ist in diesem Zusammenhang als ganz normales Unternehmen anzusehen.
  7. Wir machen sicherlich auch in 2017 einen oder mehrere Workshops zu diesem Thema und werden hierauf hinweisen. Wir werden auch in den nächsten Tagen ein Blog nur für EWIV-Fragen eröffnen, wo in qualifizierter Weise auf Fragen eingegangen wird – und nicht, wie seltsame Unternehmensberater implizieren, auf „Null-Steuern mit EWIV“ oder ähnlichen Unsinn.

Zwischenzeitlich stehen wir gerne zur Verfügung, falls es für präzise Fragen nötig sein sollte. Unsere E-Mail: ewiv@libertas-institut.com. Und wir können auf 25 Jahre Erfahrung und mehr als 330 gegründete EWIV zurückschauen.

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, Assessor jur.

Leiter des Europäischen EWIV-Informationszentrum, http://www.ewiv.eu

 

 

 

New Book in November 2016 by EUFAJ Author Sourajit Aiyer: Capital Market Integration in South Asia – Realizing the SAARC Opportunity

Lee Kuan Yew, credited for converting Singapore into an economic success, once described ASEAN as “Unpromising Start, Promising Future”. This phrase can also describe SAARC, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation of countries around India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which has seen few successes as geopolitics slowed progress. Institutional investors use acronyms for groups of developing countries, but all is not rosy with these groups either. At such times, SAARC doesn’t look too bad. SAARC is a combination of sizable Emerging and Frontier markets with low correlation. While India is the largest in size, the other SAARC markets have seen decisive improvement in their metrics relative to India. Return on Equity and Profit Margins of top companies in Pakistan and Bangladesh has improved relative to India; while Sri Lankan companies have seen buoyant topline growth. The combined package should help counter volatility of single-market exposure. Investors may argue why they should look at SAARC asset class, and it is better to look at India or Frontier markets (FM) separately. But India benefits from the returns and low-correlation of SAARC’s FMs, while the FMs benefit from India’s size. A SAARC portfolio can increase the upside from multiple growth enablers, while minimizing the downside due to low-correlation constituents. A SAARC asset class may hasten country-specific funds for South Asian FMs, as current FM funds have only a small allocation to them.

Economic projections show the opportunity of SAARC vs other prominent regional groups like ASEAN, BRICS, Next-11, etc. The incremental economic size SAARC will add from 2014-2020 is next only to BRICS and Next-11. SAARC ranks high in savings growth, savings rate, and aggregate savings as of 2020. Capital market penetration is low, so depth has headroom to expand. Income is more evenly distributed, so investor breadth has headroom to expand. SAARC has the youngest demographics with a near absence of social benefits. Incremental capital formation is amongst the highest in SAARC. Not only is SAARC a large consumer base, it is building production capabilities across sectors.

As this economic story unfolds, it should translate into a financial story. This book discusses possible capital market Products/activities which regional stakeholders could explore to help realize the economic opportunity in this region. Some ideas may be implementable now; while some may be implementable as markets mature further. This book includes extensive data analysis of SAARC’s economic projections, and corporate performance and market indicators.

The purpose is to mobilize investment flows into regional markets, by providing scope for diversification, yield and risk mitigation; building product depth of smaller markets; and reducing information opacity for pricing efficiencies. Ideas are both conventional and unconventional. Unconventional ones convert SAARC’s unique challenges into ideas for capital markets. Specific rationale for institutions and retail investors is written with each idea. Products have to be viable. Hence, a focus is on how to deepen awareness of new products and markets so that asset flows increase.

Any integrated product has to take into consideration ground-realities. Bringing in an anchor partner might help counter implementation challenges in a geopolitically-sensitive SAARC, i.e. from a country that has bilateral interests with SAARC members individually and is looking for returns from overseas investments. Such an anchor may hold sway with SAARC members, which may enable faster agreements. Even if one or member remains disagreeable, the structure of these product ideas has been kept flexible to allow implementation with only few agreeable members.

In a region which is unexplored as an asset class, performance will be the kingmaker. This book includes the author’s CDCF Portfolio basket for the SAARC asset class, which selects the best fundamental-performers on a rolling basis. While this may not give equal representation to all countries, it selects the best performers. Relative comparison of this basket highlights its outperformance on risk-return parameters vs prominent indices of other regions.

It is an opportune time to look at SAARC. Recent years have seen new governments in member countries stressing their commitment towards economic development and regional relations. It makes it a hot iron to strike now. Above all, it is reasonable that SAARC as one of the world’s regional integrations – by the way always supported by the European Union – discusses about itself as a financial market, and this in view also of China. A comparison with Europe shows that it is good to have competing markets.

Sourajit Aiyeis a senior manager in investor relations and corporate planning with Motilal Oswal Financial Services, Mumbai, a leading Indian capital markets company. Previously he worked in equity trading operations with UBS Investment Bank, London; in financial analysis with Reliance Broadcast, Mumbai; and in financial research with Evalueserve, Gurgaon. He has done internships with Tata Motor Finance, Delhi and Grameen Bank, Bangladesh. He has written on over 60 unique topics in over 30 publications across 13 countries, including besides this Blog also European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (EUFAJ). He is also the author of a LIBERTAS Paper „Flying with the Winged Elephant – Niche Opportunities for Global Businesses that May Emerge in India“, see more: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/Flyer_Sourajit.pdf

See the new book: http://store.elsevier.com/Capital-Market-Integration-in-South-Asia/Sourajit-Aiyer/isbn-9780081019061/ 

 

Tbilisi/Georgia, EaP Civil Society Forum: Is Donald Trump enemy no. 1 for Europe’s freedom?

Donald Trump is Europe’s enemy no. 1 – because he wants to violate art. 5 NATO Treaty on the mutual defense clause and wants the US‘ intervention to be dependent „if the bill has been paid“. A real problem for European NATO states, and no miracle that Putin praised Trump to be a „wise man“. This was no. 1 out of 10 policy theses set up by Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, Chief Editor of European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (www.eufaj.eu), during an Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Tblisi/Georgia end of July 2016, when speaking on „Security Challenges of the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood“. This event was organised jointly by the EaP Civil Society Forum, Brussels (www.eap-csf.eu), represented by its Co-Chair Krzysztof Bobinski, and the Liberal Academy Tbilisi, whose director Lasha Tughashi is also National Coordinator of the EaP CSF National Platform in Georgia. It was opened furthermore by Kakha Gogolashvili, Director of EU Studies at Rondeli Foundation (GFSIS), and Ambassador Janos Herman, head of the EU Delegation in Georgia. Here is what Hans-Jürgen Zahorka expressed:

Challenge no. 2: Erdogan. While it was legitimate to do everything necessary against a military putsch against a democratically elected government, the behaviour of the Turkish president after the putsch attempt shakes the whole region: not only in most of the EaP Caucasus countries there is now uncertainty, incalculability what Turkey wants really. He breaks democracy and human rights in a big NATO state, and his attempts to flirt with Putin are neither credible nor acceptable for NATO. There is a lack of consistency in Turkish NATO membership attitude, and the alliance has somehow to react, as there is a rule that NATO means also democracy, human rights and openness. This is also the fundament of the EU-NATO joint declaration from 8.7.2016.

Challenge no. 3 is nationalism, populism, lack of solidarity between European states- as there are populist and nationalist parties now in every country, and solidarity e.g. in the refugee question is often just not existing. Had the EU Member States found a solution for a proportional (including economic strength) distribution of asylum seekers, there would have been no need for a shaky Turkish refugee agreement. This new egoism is also expressed by the rising number of protectionist acts in the WTO member states, at present 22 per month, and of course by the Brexit of the UK from the EU, which brings a high economic damage – and this mainly to the UK. So the danger comes from within – also in the form of xenophobe, racist, glorifying the own country populist parties (partly financed by Russian institutions!), which are anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-European integration oriented. In short: who want to turn back the wheel, which requires a vivid, attentive civil society in all the EU and EaP member states.

Challenge no. 4: CSDP (EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy) will gain momentum within the EU – in particular if Trump ever would win and the Brexit approaches. Then the Europeans really have to do something. The German Federal Armed Forces White Book from July 2016 is a signal for the right way, in stressing a European integrated defense, but of course also the EU Strategy Paper from a week before.

Challenge no 5: We will get an EU army – but (unfortunately) not today or tomorrow, but after tomorrow. The development will go step by step, taking also in account possible external threats which may accelerate it. Maybe this army will be much more „electronic“ than a traditional army, but there will be EU structures. It can be taken for sure that unlike in former conflicts a „levée en masse“ won’t be neither necessary nor possible, but due to the modern ways of tomorrow’s warfare, electronic warfare, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) etc. will play a more pivotal role then anytime before – also in preventing such conflicts. We have already pooled monetary policy, when national competences don’t do it anymore. We can also pool our armed forces.

Challenge no. 6: hybrid threats. This is now a clear part of the reaction potential under the CSDP, and the EU reaction (and the EU is more able than NATO to respond to hybrid threats!) was started with a Joint Declaration from 6.4.2016. It should be directed against all ‚divide et impera‘ and attempts to destabilize a country. In the EaP, this can be done with a better know-how about the potential of small enterprises. So social unrest can be prevented – and the economy can be brought to thriving mode. In this context, I see an urgent need for informing SMEs about the chapters of the free trade agreements, where signed, to be de facto implemented – and they should be much better known to the economy. Hybrid threats shall also – see proposal no. 18 of the Joint Declaration – be treated together between EaP countries and the EU. There will be common risk assessments, and analyses and action plans of common activities. The EU, however, is asymmetrically concerned by hybrid threats, which imposes the chance for EaP countries to tell their own experiences in some countries of the EU. To meet civil society there should be a new task for the EaP civil society.

Callenge no. 7: Terrorism.. EaP countries are affected differently, but this can change very fast. In this context, a full role of the INTCEN EU Intelligence Centre must be advocated, with compulsory exchange of information. EaP countries can and should take part in this exchange – to the benefit of all.

Challenge no. 8: The EU was not able to prevent frozen conflicts and conflicts in its Neighbourhood. No miracle, as no instruments were available. But for the future, the EU must have a close look on its geographic environment. It is advocated, n this context, to explore the possible deplacement of EU peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh, together with simultaneous EU-monitored negotiations which might last for many years. Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as the directly concerned Karabakhis should and could agree to this – and they would, in view of the alternatives which are not possible for various reasons (Russia, USA, OSCE, NATO).

Challenge no. 9: The EU and the EaP countries should endorse the strengthening of the OSCE – with a binding mediation mechanism, with armed peacekeepers etc. Countries or regional insurgents etc. who do not recognise the legitimacy of the OSCE must be isolated as far as possible, and modern communication can also contribute to keep a distance between these de-facto governments and the populations.

Challenge no. 10: The whole EU and the EaP countries, if possible, should endorse a value-oriented legislation and state-building. Security is more than the absence of war. In this context, the principle of being firm on principles and values of the EU while dialoguing with Russia is right. Borders cannot be changed by force. And the rules as in art. 2 Treaty of the EU can be accepted also by every EaP state, as they represent the common denominator of European civilisation: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights, minority protection, and this in a society of pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, ustice, solidarity and gender equality.

***

See also the three illustrated posts on EUFAJ’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/eufaj

 

Berlin, 19.9.2016: Seminar on Eurasian Economic Union

What is the „Eurasian Economic Union“ (EEU)? Five states around Russia (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan) belong to this body which tries to be an economic integration east of the EU. An intensive seminar will be held on Monday, 19th September, 2016, the whole afternoon, in Berlin/Germany.

Subjects in this seminar will be the present economic situation in the EEU member states, their not very easy Relations with Russia, the institutions, the structure of the Agreement, the policies, but also the external relations including those to the EU. The seminar covers also the so-called „eurasianism“, an Imperialist theory being highly estimated in the political class, too.

The seminar turns to company representatives with interests in the East, business associations, chambers, company advisors for strategic, export or inverstment subjects, but also university teachers and researchers, lawyers and  advisors for frade and Investment. Objective is to make the EEU more known, on an objective amd critical basis.

It will be organised by LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH, itsaurasian Economic Union Observatory and European Union Foreign Affairs Journal. See the Programme under unter http://www.libertas-institut.com/eufaj/programm-eurasianunion/.

 

Eurasische Wirtschaftsunion – Seminar in Berlin am 19.9.2016

Was bedeutet „Eurasische Wirtschaftsunion“, wer gehört ihr warum an, ist sie wirksam, wird sie den Weg von GUAM gehen – einer Kooperation von GUS-Staaten, die zwischenzeitlich verstorben ist, welches sind ihre Institutionen, wie soll und wird die EU damit umgehen? Alle diese Fragen werden behandelt in einem hochkarätigem Seminar am Montag, dem 19. September 2016, in Berlin (ab 13.30 h) im Hotel Ramada Plaza Berlin City Centre. Mitgliedsländer der Eurasischen Wirtschaftsunion sind Russland, Belarus, Kasachstan, Armenien und Kirgistan.

Das Seminar behandelt die EAWU-Mitgliedsländer und ihre gegenwärtige wirtschaftliche Situation, den Druck der Zentralmacht Russland, die Institutionen und Vertragsstruktur, aber auch die auswärtigen Beziehungen, mit einem Akzent auf der EU.

Dabei wird auch das Phänomen des „Eurasianismus“ behandelt, einer Art Imperialismus-Lehre, vor der die russische politische Klasse leider nicht ganz gefeit ist. Das Seminar wendet sich an Unternehmensvertreter, Wirtschaftsverbände, Kammern, Unternehmensberater, Rechtsanwälte und Steuerberater, deren Klienten in den EAWU-Ländern aktiv sind oder werden wollen – sei es als Exporteure, Importeure, Investoren oder mit einer Niederlassung. Die EAWU ist in der EU unbekannt – hier ist die Möglichkeit, ein solides Grundlagen-Know-how zu bekommen.

Veranstaltet wird dieses Seminar von LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH, dem Eurasian Economic Union Observatory (EAWU-Beobachtungsstelle) und European Union Foreign Affairs Journal. Das gesamte Programm mit allen weiteren Bedingungen kann heruntergeladen werden unter http://www.libertas-institut.com/eufaj/programm-eurasianunion/.

Das Seminar wendet sich an Diplomaten, hohe Beamte, Unternehmen mit Interessen im Osten, Bildungsanbieter (auch NGOs), Vereine mit Interesse an Osteuropa, an Universitäten oder sonstigen Einrichtungen Lehrende und Forschende, internationale und Handels- sowie Strategieberater, Kammermitarbeiter, Wirtschaftsverbände, Rechtsanwälte, Steuer- und Investitionsberater, Studenten.

 

Economic Security Policy of Russia

At LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut we may have our own opinions about Russian foreign and domestic policy, but we follow consequently a course of exchanges of views in scientific research. In this context we appreciate the constructive relations with Russian Economic University of Omsk/Siberia. Due to this scientific exchange, the book „Economic Security Policy of the Russian Federation“ was just published – in English. Based on the cooperation of three professors, Sergei Metelev, Rector of the Russian Economic University after Plekhanov in Omsk, Economist, Miroslav Murat, author of many articles and monographs in social sciences, and Vladimir V. Lizanov, who is a professor and researcher in economics and natural sciences, also from Omsk.

This book is dedicated to the theoretical and methodological fundamentals and to practical issues of economic security in Russia and its regions. The authors review threats to economic security, but also measure to ensure it, as well as criteria to detect corruption in regulation and administrative decisions. Indicators for the economic security of the state are named, but also a conception for this kind of security in the regions. The book also deals with external and internal threats to economic security of the regions; it describes the matter as comprehensive evaluation of socio-economic development of the region. Particular attention is paid to identification of the ways ensuring economic security, not only on federal but also on regional level. This book is helpful for all those who want to undertake comparative studies,  in the fields of national, regional, economic and other types of security. For state-owned enterprises, management of corporations, local, regional and state government, economists. And partly this is also the „reverse side“ of what is called in the West „hybrid threats“.

The book has 76 pages and appeared in May 2016. It appeared as print version (university paper) for 15 EUR under ISBN 978-3-946119-82-1 (via Amazon or directly verlag@libertas-institut.com), and with Amazon and most other eBook shops (worldwide) for 4,99 EUR as eBook (in Kindle Format, ePub, MobiPocket or PDF). More Details with the exact ISBNs on the Flyer under http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Flyer-Economic-Security.pdf.

 

 

 

Eurasian Economic Union Observer – a new e-quarterly by LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH

Since some months, there exists a new publication as electronic quarterly with LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH. Besides the successful format of European Union Foreign Affairs Journal there is now also „Eurasian Economic Union Observer“. With this, the competences on the CIS area should obtain a wider echo, as this paper covers the EEU – which has been launched by Russian president Putin himself, which for the outside follows (the question is how much) demands of the imperial ideology of eurasianism, approved by wide parts of the population. This paper represents the media and press echo of the EEU in Russia and elsewhere, and it is entirely held in English, partly with translations from Russian articles.In the European Union and e.g. America or South East Asia there is not much knowledge about the EEU which is a bit thrifty with its public affairs efforts. However, at some day the EU will have to decide if and how to cooperate somehow with the EEU.

The EEU has been founded by Putin, with the central seat in Moscow, to be a counterppart to the European Union. However, there is no comparison, as the EEU member states (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan) are all either aurtoritarian or semi-autoritarian regimes and do not all form a necessary open society or economy. So an attempt to introduce a common currency (see in this blog from March 2015 under https://libertasblogs.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/the-eurasian-economic-unions-plans-for-a-common-currency-altyn-or-euraz/) has been already buried. Another problem are the economic discrepancies between the EEU member states, and this in view of the lack of regional balancing mechanisms, like the EU Regional Policy and cohersian funds. So, at present, while in the EU without doubt other regional integrations are welcome, any attempt to compae both is misplaced. But the EEU should be observed, and also ist positive outcomes should be welcomed. If there are no outcomes or bad outcomes, also due to national economic policies in the EEU, this should also be expressed.

Already in April 2015, LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH has launched its EEU Observatory; see the blog from 7.4.2015 (in English) https://libertasblogs.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/new-observatory-on-the-eurasian-economic-union-eeu/, or in German from https://libertasblogs.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/neues-observatorium-fur-eurasische-wirtschaftsunion/.

The editor of this paper is Ofelya Sargsyan M.A., M.A., a fluently Russian speaking editor of the European Union Foreign Affairs Journal, who together with colleagues compiles and eits on a quarterly bsis the EEU Observer. Have a look on EEU Observer no. 1/2016 under http://www.libertas-institut.com/eufaj/eurasianobserver1_2016, and on EEU Observer 1/2015 (4th quarter) under http://www.libertas-institut.com/eufaj/eurasian-economic-union-observer-1-2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

„… mit Europa Steuern sparen“ – Seminar am 20.5.2016 in Köln zur günstigen Rechtsform der EWIV

EWIV heißt Europäische wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung, geregelt in der EU-Verordnung 2137/85 und innerhalb der EU in Kraft seit 1.7.1989. Trotz des über 25jährigen Bestehens dieser Rechtsform scheint die EWIV immer noch recht unbekannt zu sein. Das ist ungerecht, sagt das Europäische EWIV-Informationszentrum bei LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH. Aber obwohl es sich um EU-Recht handelt, obwohl man mindestens einen Partner im EU-Ausland benötigt, obwohl es vielleicht manchmal Sprachprobleme geben mag: Es gibt trotz allem bald 3.000 EWIV in der EU, mit etwa 16.000 Mitgliedern. Diese können, auch in einer EWIV, Freiberufler, Selbständige, Handwerker, Kapitalgesellschaften, ja sogar Städte, Universitäten oder Industrie- und Handelskammern sein. Man kann sogar als deutscher Gewerbetreibender eine EWIV mit einer selbst gehaltenen ausländischen GmbH haben. Der Zweck ist immer Kooperation, wobei die EU dies sehr weit sieht.

Für eine EWIV ist ein schriftlicher Vertrag nötig. Wer seine Ecken und Kanten kennt, kann von einer Kooperation nur profitieren – Einkaufsvorteile im Verbund, die Erweiterung der Verkaufspalette, das gemeinsame Outsourcing, Austausch von Personal usw. winken. Dazu kommt: eine EWIV zahlt weder Gewerbe- noch Körperschaftssteuer. Dafür darf sie keine Gewinne machen; diese müssen an die Mitglieder abgeführt werden, die das dann wieder bei sich versteuern . allerdings kann sie Rücklagen bilden.

Alles über die EWIV lassen die wohl am besten informierten Kenner dieser Rechtsform in der EU, Deutschland und Italien (auf Deutsch) am Freitag, dem 10. Mai 2016, auf einem intensiven Seminar des Europäischen EWIV-Informationszentrums wissen. Das Seminar findet in Köln statt. Die Einladung und das Programm finden Sie unter http://www.libertas-institut.com/ewiv-informationszentrum/ewivseminar20_5_16/. Die gesamte Website des EWIV-Infozentrums findet man unter http://www.ewiv.eu.

 

 

Tourism Development in Siberia

A new book,as print version and eBook, has been published: Compiled and edited by the Rector of Russian Economic University, Osmk Branch, prof. Sergey Metelev, and assoc. prof. Svetlana Efimova, its chapters, all written by university scientists, focus on tourism development in Siberia and, in particular, the Omsk Region.

Scientifically exact and well-founded, the authors paint a “real vision” of tourism development of Siberia and Omsk region. This book contains a vision – but a realistic one – which could be reached by some steps. Based on an internal brainstorming at this university and on a conference in April 2013, the tasks are described. The objective is the development of tourism – a job machine, and this in a region which offers more than one thinks.

The contributors of the book offer to surf in the nature which is beautiful in its own way. The variety of landscapes and climatic conditions provides the possibility to develop different types of tourisms, depending on the purpose of the travel. As such, the book covers such fields as rural, business, event, cultural, educational, religious, recreational, active, medical-health and ecological tourisms.

The book hs been published in a difficult Russian-European time, but authors and the publisher think, there will be a time „after the sanctions“, there will also be guaranteed investment, and Russia can regain a place among the tourism destinations – in particular the relevant part of Siberia with a good infrastructure and a very interesting nature. The book pleads, altogether, for a sustainable tourism. After all, this might be one of the very first books in favor of a regional tourism development in Russia.

Bibliographical data: Sergej Metelev / Svetlana Efimova (Eds.), The Development of Tourism: The Case of Siberia and the Omsk Region

LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH, Rangendingen (Germany), March 2016, 96 p.; ISBN 978-3-946119-77-7 (Print), 15,00 EUR; ISBN 978-3-946119-78-4 (pdf), 4,99 EUR; ISBN 978-3-946119-79-1 (epub), 4,99 EUR; ISBN 978-3-946119-80-7 (MobiPocket), 4,99 EUR.

Orders via all bookshops or verlag@libertas-institut.com. Internet: www.libertas-institut.eu (Shop). eBook also available in all ebook shops.

Have a look at the exact table of contents on the book flyer: http://www.libertas-institut.com/shop/bookshop/flyer_metelev_sibiria/

„Disinformation Review“ – An EU Tool against Myths of and for the Russian Government

The EU Commission has the pleasure to present as from 4.11.2015 a new EU information product called „Disinformation Review“. pdf - 389 KB [389 KB]. This is a weekly publication, which collects as many examples of the Russian disinformation attacks as possible, and in real time.

Its objective is to show the European public the high amount of such disinformation attacks that target European audience every single day, to expose the number of countries targeted, and, thus, to explain to the European audience the breadth of this problem. The data and information collected would help to conduct a better analysis and, thus, be ready to counter and pre-empt possible misinformation attacks in the future. Some EU-based right wing populist groups often took up the argumentation of this disinformation. Finally, the EU reacts – in a very cool style.

The review is being prepared by the recently established special EU Task Force (StratCom East) countering the Russian disinformation campaign which was and is prevailing. Who is interested in receiving this review pdf - 389 KB [389 KB] , should send a request to STRATCOM-EAST@eeas.europa.eu.

New EUFAJ 4 / 2015 – and our editorial programme in 2016

The new EUFAJ issue no. 4 / 2015 is available under this link: http://www.libertas-institut.com/eufaj/eufaj-4-2015/ .

This time with the following articles, among others:

  • Presidential Elections in Belarus of  11.10.2015: What an Election Observer Mission Could Find Out
  • The Systematic Roots of Russia’s Recession
  • Debate on Presidential Versus Parliamentary Systems: Should Armenia Opt for the Parliamentary System?
  • Europe’s True Immigration Capacity: What We Can Learn from the US Green Card System
  • Trafficking in Human Beings in Conflict and Post-conflict Situation
  • Foreign Labour Force in the Economy of Modern Russia: Tendencies and Prospects
  • The Democratic Peace Theory
  • From Rapporteur to Coordinator: The Different Roles Taken on by MEPs
  • Gazprom: Seeking a Rapprochement with the EU?
  • Council of Europe’s Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize 2015 for Ludmilla Alexeeva

It is very easy: EUFAJ is available free of charge, It has been launched some years ago as a non-Profit project by LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH. Just send an informal e-maail (if possible also with your postal address and your activities) to eufaj@libertas-institut.com. If at a later date you want to unsubscribe, you just send an e-mail to the same address with „unsubscribe“. If you want to see any older issues, please, see also under www.eufaj.eu.

And this is an extract from our editorial programme 2016 (the headlines may be different, and we reserve all rights in withdrawing any Intention to publish, or to publish in other form than in EUFAJ, or to add any other subject):

  • the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and ist Impact on EU third countries,
  • Azerbaijan and Human Rights,
  • Turkey after the elections in November 2015,
  • Local government in developing countries,
  • the New EU Foreign Trade Policy,
  • the Faroe Islands and Greenland, Denmark and the EU – in context with plurinationality,
  • a comparison between the Eurasian Economic Union and the EU,
  • what means „Eurasianism“,
  • and many other subjects more …

It’s Time to Update the Lisbon Treaty

The Lisbon Treaty is in power since November 2009. Since the dynamisationof EU poltics in the mid-1980s, there were only few years without Scratching at existing treaty structures. We had in power

  • 1986/1987 in power – the European Single Act,
  • 1992/1993 in power – the Maastricht Treaty,
  • 1997/1999 in power –  the Amsterdam Treaty,
  • 2001/2003 in power – the Nice Treaty,
  • 2007/2009 in power – the Lisbon Treaty

Between the two latter we had the attempt to adopt a European „Constitution“ which for petit-bourgeois reasons was rejected by the people – but only in two countries, Netherlands and France, both voting not under too rational considerations.

Before 1986, there were not really treaty adaptations of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, besides „cosmetic“ ones. One can say that the real dynamisation of the EU started with the Single Market inf the mid-80s.

Now it is time to prepare the successor treaty for the Treaty of Lisbon. This treaty we have at present needs urgently to be revised:

  1. The „Greek Drama“ has shown clearly that we need a common fiscal policy and a common budget policy. This means of course that every EU Member State should have ist own budget policy, but the Framework, i.e. the Maximum aberaation figures should be set by the EU. If These should be a common currency – and it should, of course – then Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Cyprus etc. have shown clearly that not only an EMS remedy should exist but also an effective prevention mechanism.
  2. In this context we also have to say „yes“ to a horizontal financial support mechanism in the EU. If we have federalism in Germany, which has a strong and effective likewise mechanism (which is attacked by the one or other region = Land, all couple of years – but this is legitimate and a permanent task of politicians to discuss about percentages) , then it must be legitimate for the EU, too, as this grows into more and more federalism (or call it different, if one it ins countries where federalism is occupied negatively, by tradition. But tradition as such can not be valid for serious political reforms.).
  3. The next version of the EU Treaty must radically delete the legal necessity of unanimous votes in the Council, thus ending a preponderance of this instrument of national egoism. This may have been useful in the first time of the EU, when we had six founding members, but with 28 and possibly more in the future it is harmful. One state should not blackmail all the others just with a veto.
  4. In particular, we need a clear enabling of the EU for a common foreign policy. This may end in common embassies and consulates in third countries, which will bring many billions € of savings, but also a qualitative improvement of the EU representation and of ist Member States.
  5. We also need urgently to establish European Army structures, at first for outward interventions. This has been a taboo for a long time, which is ridiculous in view of the necessities.
  6. What came into everybody’s mind during the last weeks and months: Europe needs a real refugee policy, as well as an immigration policy. What we have now as a result is urgently to be changed and Europeanized.
  7. We also need an effective sanctions mechanism against EU Member States who evidently follow a corrupt policy or follow policies diametral to European values. While Hungary, still officially under communist regime!, cut a hole into the Iron Curtain, literally, the successor government under Viktor Orban sets up a fence against Syrian and Eritrean refugees – this is not only hard to swallow, this is frankly unacceptable and cries for sanctions.

All this is for a future Lisbon Treaty. Maybe it is called then the Rangendingen-Höfendorf Treaty, or Horndon-on-the-Hill Treaty, or St.Moulinex-les-bains Treaty – it is the content which counts. And the time should be over that European federalists discuss only from the defensive side.

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka

Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal

 

New Issue 3 / 2015 of EUFAJ is out: From West Balkan to Vietnam

The new issue 3/2015 of „European Union Foreign Affairs JournTal“ (EUFAJ) is out; the link is http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/EUFAJ-3-2015.pdf.

Among the articles:

  • Western Balkan Countries and their Potential towards the EU
  • Landlockedness as a Challenge for Development: The Case of Armenia
  • Armenia’s Economic and Security Relations with Russia
  • Georgia’s Trajectory on South Ossetia and Russia’s Creeping Occupation
  • Union for the Mediterranean: €5 Billion Urban Investment in 27 Projects
  • EU agri-food trade in 2014: EU-US Interaction strengthened
  • New Free Trade Agreement between EU and Vietnam
  • Information Technology Agreement (ITA): WTO agreed to trillion-euro global high-tech trade deal
  • For Species Protection in the Balkan: Unknown Flies from Macedonian Mavrovo National Park Threatened by Hydropower Extension

Georgia’s Trajectory on South Ossetia and Russia’s Creeping Occupation

By Ofelya Sargsyan, Editor of European Union Foreign Affairs Journal

 

As the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs state on July 10 the Russian troops moved the demarcation line between South Ossetia and the rest of the Georgian territory, placing the so-called “border” on the territory close to the village of Tsitelubani of Gori municipality and the village of Orchosani in occupied Akhalgori district adjacent to the Tbilisi-Gori central highway.

The incident occurred soon after Georgia concluded and air defense treaty with France and NATO launched its “Fragile Spirit” multi-national trainings in the country. The movement of the “state border” markers for 450 meters further into Georgia from the South Ossetia demarcation line by the Russian troops, assumes that the local Georgian farmers will lose 10 hectares of wheat fields and cattle pastures[2]. Furthermore, it means that a 1.6 km-long segment of the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline will fall under the control of Russia. Owned by the British Petroleum (BP), the pipeline is also known as the Western Route Export Pipeline (WREP). Running from Azerbaijan to the Georgian Black Sea terminal of Supsa, it has 833 km in length and a capacity of 145,000 barrels a day. However, BP Chief Spokesman in Georgia Gia Gvaladze stated that the change would mean nothing, with them needing no physical access to preserve the pipe. Another spokesperson of BP Georgia; Tamila Chantladze, stated on July 13 that WREP was operating was operating as normal and along the international standards. In his turn, Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze assured that Georgia will reroute the Baku-Supsa pipeline around the de-facto border in case there is any problem to its functioning

While both Georgia and the international community keep accusing Russia on breaking international law and violating the territorial integrity of another state, Russia rejects its role, stating that its troops had been patrolling the same administrative border since the 2008 Russian Georgian war over South Ossetia.

As such during the phone conversation between Head of Georgian Delegation in the Geneva International Discussions David Dondua and Head of Russia’s delegation in Geneva Discussions, Grigori Karasin on 13 July 2015, Mr Karasin stated that the banners marking the “state border” were exactly on the same place where they stood until April 18, 2015, when they were shown during a TV show of the Georgian TV Channel “Imedi”. Furthermore, the diplomat highlighted that the Georgian side was well aware that there was no border movement.

On the other hand, Georgia condemns Russia on illegal replacement of banners. Furthermore, the MFA of Georgia considers the Russian action as a continuation of the so-called “borderization” process within Georgia which breaches the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and the fundamental principles of the international law. Hence, Georgia calls the international community for support and measures against Russia for violating the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

As mentioned above, solidarity with Georgia has also expressed the international community.

To the point the EU reaffirmed its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity. Describing Russian step as “provocative” the Union and its monitoring mission (EUMM) called for deploying such tools as the Geneva International Discussions and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) to neutralize tensions. This is also in line with the UN statement, made on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who highlighted the negative impact on the daily lives of the locals because of the developments on the demarcation line.

The President of the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Jean-Claude Frécon, also apart from condemning Russia, expressed the concern that “The moving of the demarcation line beyond the villages of Tsitelubani and Orchosani placing the Baku-Supsa pipeline under the control of the Russian forces creates a further risk of destabilising the whole Region”.

Furthermore, in her statement Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), acknowledged the alarming aspect of the actions and reiterated the Assembly’s support for the territorial integrity of Georgia.

Russian actions were officially criticized also by a number of individual states, such as Latvia, Lithuanian, Ukraine, Romania, Japan.

Reaction to the issue came also from the USA. To the point, while the US ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, described the land-grab as a step to “humiliate and provoke” Georgia’s pro-Western government[11], John Kirby, spokesperson of the US department of State, urged Russia to implement the provisions of the 2008 ceasefire agreement and withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as Georgian regions as well as enable free entry for humanitarian aid to these regions.

Meanwhile, on July 19, 2015, the Georgian Minister of Defence Nina Khidasheli declared that Russia us testing Georgia’s patience, attempting to enroll it into a conflict which is unacceptable for the Georgian government.

Yet, the situation has generated a number of protest by activists and journalists. To the point, on July 14 more than 50 Georgian journalists held a protest “NO to Occupation” in the village of Khurvaleti and crashed the newly-established border sign saying “Republic of South Ossetia” and set there a Georgian flag which was however replaced by the Russian and South Ossetian armed forces two days later. Another demonstration with thousand protesters took place outside the State Chancellery building in central Tbilisi on July 18. Apart from the slogans like “Stop Russia”, the protestors also criticized Irakli Garibashvili’s government for being week and incompetent to withstand the Russian creeping occupation. Moreover, several of the protest organizing groups – among them the television station Rustavi-2, magazine Tabula and NGOs Georgian Democracy Initiative and Georgia’s Reforms Associates – seem to be in favor of the United National Movement (UNM), the party of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Notable is also the fact that also a number of well-known public figures participated and were even among the organizers of the rally. As such, Salome Samadashvili, once Georgia’s ambassador to the EU, talked against the Russian politics, highlighting that it is time for Georgia to become a modern European state. Also, Giga Bedinishvili, editor-in-Chief of Tabula magazine, mocked the current set-up of the Georgian-Russian bilateral relations which presupposes face-to-face meetings between Georgia’s special envoy for Russia Zurab Abashidze and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, whose last meeting was in on 15 July in Prague. He stated that the framework was suggested by UNM parliamentarians, coining the Garibashvili government as “defeatism”

Yet, some locals expressed concerns regarding the protests, stating that they further exacerbate the living conditions in the immediate vicinity of the administrative border. Moreover, on July 17 the police limited the entry of non-locals to the territory.As a resonse, the Prime Minister of the country, Irakli Garibashvili, accused the UNM of leaving the country with 25,000 internally displaced people and 150 villages out of central government control. He also called to come and urged the opposition not to intervene in the government’s efforts in settling the Problem.o solve the situation a meeting was held on July 20 in Ergneti under the auspices of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), co-facilitated by Kęstutis Jankauskas, the Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), and Ambassador Angelo Gnaedinger, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-office for the South Caucasus. The Georgian Interior Ministry officials and representatives of the de-facto authorities of South Ossetia agreed that the local Georgian population can have access to their farmlands which are now within the within the territory of South Ossetia. Additionally, the return of Vazha Totladze, a Georgian citizen of the village of Knolevi in Kareli district who was kidnapped from his garden by armed men and taken into South Ossetia on 18 July, was agreed upon. Yet, the South Ossetian side refused to remove the border signs, installed by the Russian troops as well as declined to return the Georgian flag that the Russian forces had taken down.

As seen, while the current Georgian Dream coalition government came to power promising to improve the relationship with Moscow, the latest developments demonstrate, that Russia even furthered its positions in South Ossetia with the new border signs having been set and so far seem to remain there. To note, this is not the first incident of line-drawing in South Ossetia – it has been separating itself from Georgia, installing wired fences since 2008. However, notwithstanding its claims for independence, as a matter of fact it lacks autonomous infrastructures, with its budget, economy, and almost all political processes being controlled by the Russian Federation. Furthermore, the Russian border guards control and detain trespassers along the demarcation lines. Russia finances its border signs, fences as well as tracking cameras. South Ossetia also concluded a military agreement with Russia, entitling the latter to protect the disputed territory. With these aspects at stake, Georgia has limited options to act.

It cannot set border forces since it does not recognize the South Ossetian independence, thus, that border being nonexistent to it. The country does not want another military upheavel, either. Hence, it remains for the country to talk against the situation, present its concerns and describe the actions as illegal and provocative and call for international reactions and actions. Yet, there seems to be little opportunity, if ever, that Georgia will be able to regain the 20% of its territory. It looks like everyone will eventually accept the new borders as in the Crimean case. But Germany was also reunited after 45 years.

This article will be updated and published in EUFAJ 3/15, appearing in the first half of August 2015. See then http://www.eufaj.eu

 

New LIBERTAS Paper 80 by Ofelya Sargsyan: Selected EU Foreign Policy Areas …

Since mid-July 2015 a new Ofelya Sargsyan book is available, which is a sampler based on her previously written papers on EU foreign policy. It contains an article about „European Foreign Policy: its nature, issues, Sccpe and potential“ – ranging from defense interventions of the EU (which are not too well known, in general) until the possible savings by a common foreign and defense policy. It explains also what „OCTs“ are – overseas countries and territories, all over the world, belonging to France, UK, Netherlands and Denmark – from Wallis & Futuna in the South Pacific until Greenland. And it covers the regional integraton in the Arctic Region and the relations with  the EU, as well, in a methodological approach to external „soft power“ of the EU, the concept of plurinational states, of participatory democracy and of the role of non-state actors for human security.

The paper – see its cover below – contains 148 pages and is available as print paper (15,00 EUR) via verlag@libertas-institut.com, or in all bookshops (from 20.7.2015), or as e-book (4,99 EUR) via the same e-mail, and from 1.8.2015 in all e-book portals.

The full bibliographical data:
Ofelya Sargsyan: Selected EU Foreign Policy Areas and Instruments, LIBERTAS Paper 80, LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH, Rangendingen – July 2015. 148 p., ISBN (e-book/PDF) 978-3-937642-63-5; ISBN (print version) 978-3-937642-64-2.

LIB_Pap_80_Ofelya

Neues Observatorium für Eurasische Wirtschaftsunion

Die Eurasische Wirtschaftsunion (Eurasian Economic Union; EEU) ist ein neues, zum 1. Januar 2015 gestartetes Gebilde, das unter der Führung von Russland zu stehen scheint und aus Belarus, Kasachstan und Russland besteht, ebenso aus Armenien, das zunächst einen Assoziationsvertrag mit der EU unterschreiben wollte, und auch dem zentralasiatischen Kirgistan, das im Verlauf des Sommers 2015 dazu stoßen soll. Was dahinter steht, wer die dortige „Kommission“ ausmacht (die der EU-Kommission nachempfunden wurde), was die offiziellen Politikbereiche und die faktischen Einschränkungen betrifft, das wird seit einigen Wochen in einem neuen Observatorium, einer Beobachtungsstelle, festgehalten. Dieses Observatorium ist untergebracht bei m „European Union Foreign Affairs Journal“ (EUFAJ), einer derzeit nicht-kommerziellen, von LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH gesponserter Vierteljahresschrift, die nur auf Englisch erscheint und von einem multinationalen Herausgeberbeirat unter Leitung von Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, ehemaliger Europaabgeordneter und langjähriger Regierungsberater für die EU, UNDP usw., ediert wird. Das EEU-Observatorium steht unter der Leitung der in Deutschland lebenden Armenierin Ofelya Sargsyan M.A., die diesen Teil ihrer Tätigkeit in fließendem Russisch absolviert, in Yerevan/Armenien und Flensburg politikwissenschaftliche Master-Abschlüsse erlangt hat und als Redakteurin bei EUFAJ sowie als Analystin bei LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH tätig ist.

In dem neuen Observatorium werden nicht nur Stimmen aus den Mitgliedstaaten der EEU, die sich oft mit der Europäischen Union vergleicht, was aber sehr mit Vorsicht zu genießen ist, gesammelt, sondern auch Quellen zum sog. „Eurasianismus“. Dieser ist eine imperiale Ideologie, wenn auch nicht am Zarismus orientiert, und drückt eine streng antiwestliche Haltung aus. Einer ihrer Hauptvertreter ist heute der Philosoph Alexander Dugin, ein Mann von schillernder Vergangenheit, der dafür plädiert, dass die gesamte Ukraine wieder Russland einverleibt werden soll. Auch der „Eurasianismus“ lehnt sich an der Eurasischen Wirtschaftsunion an, die z. B. in Kasachstan eine ganz andere Zielrichtung kennt.

Das EEU-Observatorium hat jetzt den ersten Teil des EEU-Vertrages auf Englisch übersetzt (siehe http://www.eufaj.eu, Ausgabe 2/2015); Schritt für Schritt werden die anderen Teile des Vertragswerks übersetzt und kurz kommentiert und – aus Sicht der EU – bewertet werden. Dabei kommen auch Unternehmen zu Wort, die gebeten werden, ihre eigenen Erfahrungen dem Observatorium mitzuteilen – es gibt noch sehr wenig Erfahrungen mit der EEU. Das Observatorium will auch Publikationen zum Thema herausgeben – insoweit ist jede Kooperation oder Erfahrung willkommen (eufaj@libertas-institut.com).

New EUFAJ 2/2015 – with articles from South Pacific via Ukraine to the Caribbean

The new issue of „European Union Foreign Affairs Journal“ (EUFAJ) is out; the link is http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/EUFAJ-2-2015.pdf.

Among the articles:

– plurinational states in the EU and third countries (Ofelya Sargsyan),

– interview with Niels Jorgen Thogersen, president of 80 million Europeans („Europeans throughout the world“),

– Turkey – with several articles after the Armenian Genocide, and on the stalling EU process,

– Lilit Mkhitaryan on Armenian local elections (shortcomings and perspectives),

– Marek Dabrowski on the reality of Ukraine’s fiscal arithmetic,

– a short interview with Henri Malosse, EESC President, on his visa ban to Russia – one of the 89, by Carmen Aguilera García,

– short contributions on Russia’s new language minorities, Bosnia’s new SAA, EP targeting tax evasion in developing countries,

– EU – South Pacific: When comes CEPA?, EU – Dominican Republic relations could be intensified (Matthias Major),

– as documentation: the English text of part 1 of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU),

– social inclusion strategy of labour migrants in Russia (Tatyana Bezborodova),

– human development indicators for innovation management in Russia (Sergey Elkin), and many others ,,,

 

The Boris Nemtsov Report on Russia/Ukraine – Now in English

Some days ago only, the Russian-Troops-in-Ukraine Report by Boris Nemtsov – or better, after his death on 27th February, 2015, this report finished by his friends and colleagues – has been released. Its subject is is the Russian direct participation in the Ukraine conflict, both on Crimea and in East Ukraine (this was, by the way confirmed by OSCE investigators only yesterday).

European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (EUFAJ) is happy to present only some days after its release in Russian language this report now in an unofficial English translation. This is the very first Special Issue of European Union Foreign Affairs Journal.  It can be downloaded under http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/EUFAJ-Special-NemtsovReport-150521.pdf:

The special issue also contains the original Russian text.

The Report covers the Crimea annektation, the „vacationing“ Russian troops in Ukraine and their status, interviews with soldiers, the „Load-200“ issue, i.e. the coffins with dead Russian soldiers, the Malaysian Airlines Boeing MH17 shot down over Ukraine, and the economic crisis to which Russia is „striving for“.

Boris Nemtsov should have presented this report a day after he was shot. The person(s) who did this have not yet been found.

EWIV und Steuern

Dies ist das Thema eines Workshops des Europäischen EWIV-Informationszentrums bei LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH am Freitag, dem 26.6.2015, ab 13 h, an der Hochschule Merseburg. Merseburg in Sachsen-Anhalt, nahe Leipzig und Halle, ist Hochschulort für einen attraktiven Masterstudiengang für Steuer- und Rechnungswesen, und der Workshop findet eingebettet in eine Studiengangtagung statt. Die Referenten: neben dem Leiter des Europäischen EWIV-Informationszentrums, Assessor jur. Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, auch die langjährige EWIV-Steuerexpertin und Hochschullehrerin in Merseburg, Dr. Petra Sandner, die auch den erwähnten Master-Studiengang koordiniert.

EWIV steht für Europäische wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung, eine EU-Kooperationsrechtsform, die überall in den nationalen Handelsregistern eingetragen wird. Die wohl bekannteste EWIV ist der deutsch-französische Fernsehsender ARTE. Es gibt ca. 2.600 EWIV mit ungefähr 16.000 Mitgliedern in der EU (und Norwegen, Island und Liechtenstein, mithin also 31 Ländern!). Eines der Hauptprobleme ist, dass oftmals auch steuerberatende Berufe falsch beraten – dann sind alle Vorteile einer EWIV (sie muss keine Unternehmenssteuer zahlen, wie KSchSt und GewSt) dahin. Aber auch Finanzämter wissen manchmal nicht, wie sie eine EWIV behandeln müssen. Dies alles behandelt der Workshop – für Wirtschafts- und Rechtsstudenten, Hochschulangehörige, Geschäftsführer von EWIV und Mitgliedsfirmen, Kammer- und Verbandsmanager, Steuerberater, Wirtschaftsprüfer, Rechtsanwälte und Unternehmensberater. Von 17-20 h findet dann eine allgemeine Studiengangtagung statt, bei der man sich auch die staatliche Förderung von einem Masterstudium Steuer- und Rechnungswesen, aber auch die Förderung von Praxispartnern erklären lassen kann. Denn dieses Studium ist eine duale Angelegenheit, d.h. die Studenten, die alle einen Bachelorgrad oder Ähnliches haben müssen, können in einer parallelen Tätigkeit (z. B. einer Steuerkanzlei) Fragen des Studiums behandeln, und im Studium Fragen der Praxis. Der erste Teil zu „EWIV und Steuern“ ist gebührenpflichtig, der zweite frei.

Das Programm ist herunterladbar unter http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/EWIV-Merseburg-6-15.pdf. Näheres über das Masterstudium auch bei www.hs.merseburg.de, und über die EWIV unter www.ewiv.eu.

Permanent Index of EUFAJ is now up to date

The Permanent Index of European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (EUFAJ) is now up to date – from the first issue 1/2009 (November 2009) until 1/2015 (1st quarter 2015).Proud 116 pages, 1,1 MB, several sections:

– key words

– names

– articles with authors

– articles without authors

– documentation

– book reviews

As everything in life, it will be improved every time, after every evaluated issue. But if one looks for anything, it is practical if you can look in one central, permanent index instead of in one per year.

The index can be downloaded under http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Index-eufaj.pdf

 

New Observatory on the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)

Within LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH, there is from beginning of April 2015 an observatory on Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) affairs – ranging from the history of Eurasianism until the most topical developments like e.g. the possible preparations for a common Eurasian currency. It is mainly intended for access out of the European Union and for scientific purposes, but it is open for requests and cooperation throughout the world. The EEU is at present composed of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia (since 1.1.2015); Kyrgyzstan will join on 1.5.2015. The Russian president V. Putin has said he wants the whole former Soviet republics, except the Baltic Republics, to form the Eurasian Economic Union.

This EEU Observatory will start working on an informal basis, and is headed by Ofelya Sargsyan M.A. The Armenia-born political scientist is also Junior Editor of European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (EUFAJ); see http://www.libertas-institut.eu/de/EUFAJ/Ofelya_Sargsyan.pdf. The output will be an archive and database, articles, discourses and lectures, advice and papers for government level, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), conferences, company purposes etc. Any later news will be published on Facebook, on the blog http://libertasblogs.wordpress.com, or on www.eufaj.eu as well as in EUFAJ.

The EEU cannot be compared directly to the European Union, neither with its background, nor with the political system of its member states and the degree of voluntary participation. There is a strong knowledge deficit about it in the EU and other countries. While it is totally legitimate to integrate also economies of CIS countries, there is, however, also sometimes the call for a new ‚empire‘ behind the attempts to set up a Eurasian Economic Union.

The Content of the New EUFAJ 1 / 2015: From Minsk II to South Pacific

EUFAJ 1/2015 has appeared now. This is the link: http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/EUFAJ_1_2015.pdf,  with articles on:

  • Basics of European Foreign Policy (incl. the money which could be saved!),
  • the South Stream pipeline after Russia cancelled it, and the perspectives for Russian oil & gas,
  • property in post-Soviet space (example: Georgia),
  • the Minsk II agreements verbatim – just to check them,
  • disinformation and Ukraine politics,
  • the EU Fundamental Rights Charter in Russian (just to pass it on),
  • currency crises in the CIS area,
  • Altyn or Euraz – a currency for the Eurasian Economic Union?,
  • Russian crisis indicators,
  • South Caucasus between Russia and the EU,
  • European Kurds fighting IS,
  • Central America and journalists,
  • Pacific regional integration,
  • Russian expenditure control of legal entities, etc.

EUFAJ appears quarterly, online and in English. It is an open, pluralist paper, with different contributions – but its tendency is very clear: a strong, consistent and human rights-based foreign policy of Europe in the world. Please see the website – for all older issues, for information about the editorial board, for the permanent index etc.: http://www.eufaj.eu

Nouvelle coopération avec l’Université européenne de Tbilisi/Géorgie

Il y a une nouvelle coopération entre LIBERTAS – Institut europeen GmbH et la European University (Université européenne) de Tbilisi/Géorgie. Ces jours, Hans-Jürgen Zahorka a signé pour LIBERTAS – Institut européen un „Memorandum of Understanding“, un accord de cadre sur la coopération, avec le Recteur de l’Université européenne, M. Lasha Kandelakishvili. La personne clé dans cette université sera le Doyen de la faculté de droit, des sciences économiques et sociales, M. Sosso Kelenjeridze, qui a fait une partie de ses études en France, avant d’obtenir une reputation de juriste avec une portée internationale. Dans le passé, il avait des postes diverses dans des ministères géorgiens. Chez LIBERTAS – Institut européen GmbH la personne compétente sera Mme. Ofelya Sargsyan M.A., qui est une des éditrices de „European Union Foreign Affairs Journal“  et avait atteint un mastère de l’AUA à Yerevan/Arménie et un (études européennes) à l’Université de Flensbourg/Allemagne.

 

150112_Drapeau_europ_EuropUniv_Tbilisi

Dans une des réunions sur la coopération, un drapeau européen pour l’Université européenne est décerné aux Recteur, M. Lasha Kandelakishvili (à droite).

 

Cette coopération s’étendra du dévéloppement de curriculum (par example pour un Mastère aux études européennes) aux conférences scientifiques, universités d’été et aux cours divers, par exemple par des enseignants européens. Dans cette coopération universitaire le tandem franco-allemand va jouer un rôle prominent.

New Cooperation with the European University in Tbilisi/Georgia

There is new European cooperation focussing on the European University in Tbilisi: For LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH, Hans-Jürgen Zahorka signed these days a Memorandum of Understanding with Lasha  Kandelakishvili, Rector of the European University. The relevant person there is the Dean of the Legal, Economic and Humanities Faculty, Sosso Kelenjeridze, who himself had studied also in France, is a reputated lawyer and has in the past worked in different government ministries; at LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH the coordinator for this cooperation is Ofelya Sargsyan M.A., who is Junior Editor at European Union Foreign Affairs Journal and had been awarded two Master degrees, one in Yerevan/Armenia (AUA) and one at Flensburg University/Germany.

The cooperation will range from curriculum development (e.g. a Master in European Studies) to scientific conferences, summer schools and a cooperation for single courses (with e.g. compact courses by EU university teachers).

150112_Round_Table_EuropUniv_Tbilisi

The picture shows the initial round table discussion at the European University in Tbilisi about the possibilities of the cooperation.

New EUFAJ 4/2014: From Moldova to Model European Union

EUFAJ (European Union Foreign Affairs Journal) 4 / 2014 is out, with articles on

  • Moldova, its economic situation, Russia and the EU,
  • what does Russia want with Abkhazia; the new Abkhazia-Russia treaty,
  • migration and Armenia: Genocide, inflow, brain-drain,
  • Turkey and the recognition of Armenian Genocide,
  • Nagorno-Karabakh and the situation after the helicopter downing in November 2014,
  • first Nagorno-Karabakh group in the European Parliament,
  • the Trade Roadmap for the EU Commission, by the EU Business umbrella organisation,
  • Chinese capital and European real estate
  • new political framework for the European bio-based economy,
  • ethical and ethno-religious background of cyclical crises,
  • participatory democracy,
  • uniting Europe’s youth: Model European Union.

Please go to  http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/EUFAJ/EUFAJ_4_2014.pdf  (on the website temporarily available only under the German flag while the language of all the four flags is English. All the previous EUFAJ numbers can be downloaded from www.eufaj.eu)

India: Flying with the Winged Elephant

The winged elephant symbolizes the India of the future – a creative, market-oriented but also social India which is open for foreign business. Time for a book which describes this situation!

elephant

Mr.Sourajit Aiyer who has published already several blogs here and articles in „European Union Foreign Affairs Journal“ (EUFAJ) has now published this book, as LIBERTAS Paper 79. In this book the young banker who works for a leading capital company of India in Mumbai/India pleads for a knowledge society in his country, for an India „that can…“ and delivers many – also unconventional – ideas for an economic engagement of European (and American) business people who want to diversify their foreign presence. In addition, the business language in India is English, and the legal system is similar to the British common law. Be it SME investment or common activities in Indian infrastructure (highways, inland waterways etc.) or in taking care of retirees from other countries and many others – his hints are valuable and merit to be read.

sourajit

See more of the booklet under http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/Flyer_Sourajit.pdf. The book is available as e-Book as well as in print edition as LIBERTAS Paper 79. In some days it will also be present for Kindle at Amazon.

La Cour pénale internationale (CPI) annonce l’ouverture d’une enquête en République centrafricaine

Kadidiatou HAMA

Kadidiatou Hama est Docteure en droit international public, travaillant à la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Reims/France.

La Procureure de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), Fatou Bensouda, a annoncé le 24 septembre 2014 qu’elle avait pris la décision d’ouvrir une deuxième enquête en République centrafricaine concernant des crimes présumés commis depuis 2012.

« J’ai indiqué très clairement dès le départ et avec la plus grande fermeté, dans des communiqués réguliers et sans équivoque, que les attaques visant la population civile ne seraient pas tolérées et que les auteurs de tels crimes pourraient être amenés à rendre des comptes devant la Cour pénale internationale. Le droit est clair à cet égard et la décision de passer à ce jour au stade de l’enquête découle de mes obligations juridiques au regard du traité fondateur de la Cour, le Statut de Rome », a dit Mme Bensouda dans un communiqué de presse.

En février 2014, face à la recrudescence de la violence en République centrafricaine, la Procureur de la CPI avait amorcé un examen préliminaire pour déterminer si elle pouvait procéder à une enquête à propos de la situation désastreuse qui prévalait en République centrafricaine. Le Gouvernement de transition de ce pays a décidé de renvoyer cette situation devant son Bureau le 30 mai 2014 et lui a demandé d’enquêter sur les crimes relevant de la compétence de la Cour, présumés commis sur son territoire à compter du 1er août 2012.

« Mon Bureau a rassemblé et analysé scrupuleusement les informations pertinentes émanant de diverses sources fiables. Au terme de cette analyse indépendante et approfondie, je suis parvenue à la conclusion qu’il était justifié de procéder à une enquête. Les informations en ma Possession fournissent une base raisonnable permettant de croire que la Séléka et les groupes anti-balaka ont commis des crimes contre l’humanité et des crimes de guerre, notamment le meurtre, le viol, le déplacement forcé, la persécution, le pillage, les attaques contre des missions d’aide humanitaire et le fait de faire participer des enfants âgés de moins de quinze ans à des hostilités. La liste des atrocités commises est interminable. Je ne peux pas ignorer ces crimes présumés », a déclaré Mme Bensouda.

Selon elle, le renvoi de la situation du 30 mai 2014 par les autorités centrafricaines démontre une volonté de lutter contre l’impunité pour les crimes commis à grande échelle et de rendre justice aux victimes. « Nous escomptons leur coopération totale lors de notre enquête sur ces crimes », a-t-elle dit.

Le Bureau de la Procureur va désormais s’atteler à recueillir directement des éléments de preuve afin d’identifier les auteurs des crimes les plus graves et d’engager des poursuites à leur encontre.

« Je tiens à dire ceci aux criminels en puissance en République centrafricaine et ailleurs : de tels crimes ne sauraient être tolérés et la loi sera pleinement appliquée contre leurs auteurs », a conclu Mme Bensouda.

* * *

Contexte

La République centrafricaine (RCA) a déposé son instrument de ratification du Statut de Rome le 3 octobre 2001. La Cour pénale internationale est par conséquent compétente pour juger les crimes visés par le Statut commis sur le territoire centrafricain ou par des ressortissants de ce pays à compter du 1er juillet 2002. Le 7 février 2014, le Procureur de la CPI, Fatou Bensouda, avait annoncé l’ouverture d’un examen préliminaire sur des crimes présumés commis depuis septembre 2012 en République centrafricaine, dans le cadre d’une situation distincte de celle déférée par les autorités centrafricaines en décembre 2004. Le 30 mai 2014, les autorités centrafricaines ont renvoyé au Procureur la situation sur leur territoire depuis le 1er août 2012. Il s’agit du deuxième renvoi émanant de ce pays après celui qui avait été adressé en décembre 2004 au sujet des événements survenus en 2002 et 2003 et du sixième émanant d’un État partie depuis l’entrée en vigueur du Statut de Rome, le 1er juillet 2002. Auparavant, l’Ouganda en décembre 2003, la République démocratique du Congo en avril 2004, le Mali en juillet 2012 et l’Union des Comores ont également déféré des situations à la Cour. En décembre 2010 et mai 2011, la présidence de la République de Côte d’Ivoire a confirmé accepter la compétence de la Cour et invité le Procureur à ouvrir une enquête sur des crimes présumés commis dans ce pays.

* * *

Ce texte est apparu dans MULTIPOL, le blog spécialisé en droit international public et son environnement politique. Nous vous recommandons de regarder sa site http://reseau-multipol.blogspot.de/

Complete your collection of EUFAJ issues: Now another number online!

Please find here a new EUFAJ (European Union Foreign Affairs Journal) link to a 232 page double number we have not given to the Internet before. But as you have seen, we have worked hard to fill the gaps during the last months.

In this issue which can be downloaded under this link: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/EUFAJ/eufaj_2_3_2011.pdf you can find, among others, the following contributions:

– Democracy and Human Rights (Sosso Kelenjeridze, Georgia),

– a famous speech by EU Commission President Barroso – State of the Union Address,

– What about Human Rights in Azerbaijan? After the European Song Contest in Baku,

– EU Integration: Armenia and its strategic orientation (Christine Maydossian, Canada),

– Features of Modern Terrorism as a form of conflict expression (Giorgi Bakholdin, Georgia),

– Causes and Development of Terrorism and How It Should Be Fought (Sergei Metelev, Russia),

– Metropolisation in the Former Soviet Union: Temptative Measurement through Hyperlinks Notoriety (Uljama Agibetova, Ivan Samson),

– Tibet – Time is Running Out (Wangpo Bashi),

– Call for an EU Special Coordinatpr for Tibetan Affairs (Kelsang Gyaltsen),

– EU Highlights Trade-Led Growth as Central to Modern Development Agenda

– Most Egyptians Oppose US Economic Aid, Favor Aid from Arab Nations (Ahmed Younis, Mohamed Younis),

– The Systematics of Global Failure and Success (Alec Schaerer, Switzerland),

– Corporate Social Responsibilty Concept and its Implementation in Serbia (Nebojsa Vujkovic),

– Financial and Material Support Obligations in Kyrgyz Family Networks (Altyn Kapalova)

– Europe – a Model for World Wide Democracy? (Olivier Védrine)

+ conference reports, + book reviews.

 

The General Website is: http://www.eufaj.eu

 

New topical issue: EUFAJ 2 / 2014 is out

Please find here the link of the latest, topical issue of „European Union Foreign Affairs Journal“ (EUFAJ), 2 / 2014, which is now online: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/EUFAJ/eufaj_2_2014.pdf

With
• an article on the reasons and political forces who are against a Moldovan accession to the EU,
• an alternative to the Association Agreement Armenia / EU, written by a former government advisor of Armenia from the EU,
• a historical overview about the process of Georgia’s statehood building,
• a fact sheet about the topical relations EU / Ukraine,
• and another fact sheet about EU sanctions – whoever may be concerned,
• as well as an article – especially on agriculture and fisheries – on Iceland and the EU,
and contributions on
• a Berlin conference between Armenians and Azerbaijanis on the economic future of Nagorno Karabakh and the region,
and some other shorter articles and reviews …

The whole context and other issues since 2009 can be downloaded under http://www.eufaj.eu.

 

 

EUFAJ 1 – 2 / 2013 is online: Here is the content

Please find here the link of  another issue  of the European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (EUFAJ),  1/2-2013, which is now online:

http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/EUFAJ/no1_2_2013.pdf

With

– an article on the Macedonian party system (compared to Slovakia),

– a breathtaking article about child marriages among the Roma,

– an article about the Elders of the Indian tribes in Canada (First Nations),

and contributions on

– migration and security issues,

– the LLDC character, and conflict prevention in South Sudan,

– the 24 official languages of the EU

– an EU study on protectionism

The Homepage of the Journal is http://www.eufaj.eu.

New issue of EUFAJ (1-2014): Here are the Headlines

A new number of European Union Foreign Affairs Journal is out: 1-2014. With the following content:

– The EU Internal Market in 10 Years Perspective from Accession of Ten Central and Eastern European Countries in 2004 – Lessons Learned for Eastern Partnership Partner States
– Russia under Putin and the Eurasian Union: An Impossible Possibility?
– Belarusian Identity: The Impact of Lukashenka’s Rule
– The Commonwealth of Independent States in Sequence of the Former USSR: A Tool for the Formation of the Eurasian Union?
– Forming a New Energy Security Alliance in North-Eastern Europe
– Transitioning from a Fossil-Fuel to a Green Economy: Government Policy for Private Sector Participation in Trinidad and Tobago
– The Right to Development and Rights-Based Approach to Development: Two Mutually Reinforcing Concepts?
– Stabilizing the Dynamics in the Global Socio-Economic System: Categorial Clarification for Exhaustive Transparency and Sustainability
– With book reviews on Nagorno Karabakh, Cuba and Africa

With authors from Belarus, Ukraine, Trinidad and Tobago, Switzerland, Armenia, Germany, and the USA (book reviews).

Go to the link: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/EUFAJ/no1_2014.pdf.

Neuer EWIV-Workshop am 16.5.14 in Berlin

In welcher Rechtsform sollten Unternehmen, Freiberufler, Vereine usw. in Europa zusammenarbeiten? Eine der möglichen Antworten ist: in der einer EWIV, einer Europäischen wirtschaftlichen Interessenvereinigung. Von manchen als skurrilste europäische Rechtsform bezeichnet, ist die EWIV zwischenzeitlich zwar ohne Seltenheitswert (mit ca. 2.500 EWIV in der EU, mit insgesamt ca. 16.000 Mitgliedern), aber immer noch meistens Gegenstand von Unkenntnis. Mindestens zwei Mitglieder (egal, welche Rechtsform) braucht man dazu, aus mindestens zwei verschiedenen EU-Ländern (dazu kommen noch die EFTA-Länder minus Schweiz, also Norwegen, Liechtenstein und Island). EWIV bezahlen auch keine Unternehmenseinkommensteuer (in Deutschland also keine Gewerbe- oder Körperschaftssteuer). Ein Instrument, das Unternehmen und dem Dritten Sektor (Vereine, Verbände usw.) viel Geld sparen kann – wenn der Vertrag dies erlaubt sowie das Verhalten der Mitglieder.

Das Europäische EWIV-Informationszentrum bei LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH führt am Freitag, dem 16.5.2014, von 10 – 16.30 h, einen Workshop zum Thema „Die Europäische Wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung (EWIV): „Gründungs-, Rechts- und Steuerfragen der EU-Kooperations-Rechtsform“ in Berlin (Köpenick, pentahotel) durch. Die Referenten: Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, Assessor jur., Leiter des EWIV-Informationszentrum (seit Beginn der 1990er-Jahre), und Dr. Petra Sandner, Vertretungsprofessorin an der Hochschule Merseburg und ebenfalls Expertin für EWIV-Steuerrecht. Hier ist das Programm und die Anmeldeunterlagen: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/EWIV/16_EWIV_Workshop_Programm_Einladung.pdf.

Näheres zur EWIV (die in jeder EU-Sprache anders heißt!) auch bei http://www.ewiv.eu.

New Series of Fiction Literature (Which Helps to Understand the World)

LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH (LIBERTAS Press + Publishing) starts in mid-February 2014 a new project:
• Until Spring 2014 we have only published economic, legal and social science non-fiction publications, as eBooks and print books. Now we intend to publish eBooks / books with short stories (or longer ones) in fiction – this is the new deal of our publication division.
• The publications shall have a title of e.g. „Short stories from … (here the author’s country/region’s, or group of people, name)“ or „Short stories from young authors in …“ (but young authors can also be elder people who are not yet on the European or German book market; we also can think of publications in French language). But every other title may be possible as well, and we are not restricted to short stories only.
• If short stories, we would also try to collect several into one book, but if one author wants to publish several himself, then he would be, of course, published alone.
• We prefer unpublished texts, but – as you never should say never – we do not exclude that we publish also published texts, provided the author has kept the copyright for other languages, or are open to a percentage-oriented license fee participation.
• We intend to publish books on the German speaking market, but also on the English speaking or French speaking market (maybe together with another publishing company).
• We do not exclude that this will be a series of publications (short stories from different countries).
• There should be envisaged first an eBook, and possibly later a print book.
• The texts will be accepted in the relevant mother language of the authors, but also (with) translations in English, German or French.
• The translations would otherwise be tried to be taken in charge by relevant government external culture policy funds, or by EU literature translation funds, or by special arrangements which can be discussed individually between us and the authors, or by ourselves or a sponsor.
• If there are no special arrangements, there is no planning for a one-shot honorary fee or advances, but for a permanent participation from the very beginning, however until a threshold lower than after this threshold. This can be much more honorary fee altogether than any one-shot payment.
• We can publish also texts under a pseudonym (alias name), if this is useful. As we are based in the European Union, we have full freedom of expression and can quasi publish all we want.

Please contact by e-mail (if possible with [some of] your texts, otherwise with a short description): zahorka@libertas-institut.com (send an open security copy to zahorka@gmx.de).
LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH / Press + Publications, attn. Mr. Hans-Juergen Zahorka, Lindenweg 37, 72414 Rangendingen, Germany.
Website: http://www.libertas-institut.eu, phone +49-7471-984996-13, or Skype „zahorka“.

Armenia as EU Member State? Not Impossible, Says Ofelya Sargsyan In Her New Book

An enlarged version of a Master thesis for a M. A. degree in European Studies (University of Flensburg / Germany, International Institute of Management and European Studies), this book based on a lot of sources, interviews and other empirical research shows a thorough scientific depth. Besides it is the first book in the literature landscape by any – in this case Armenian – author pleading openly for an Armenian membership in the European Union. When writing this study, the author wanted originally to describe a more or less slow changeover of Armenia towards the EU, when not only she was surprised by the announcement of the Armenian Government to join the Russia-led Eurasian Customs Union on 3rd September, 2013. This has already induced furies within Armenian politics and above all civil society, and the result at present – before the Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership at the end of November 2013 – is open.

But one thing is for sure: If Armenia would go indeed into the Customs Union and later into the Eurasian Union, the results, the economic benefits, the neglecting of necessary reforms, the treatment of matters and of personnel will create a backlash in Armenia (and the EU) which will be the basis of more solidarity than ever with the legitimate security interests of Armenia, possibly with the support of the EU. This backlash will endorse a future, new approach towards the EU.

Ofelya Sargsyan writes why: Armenia is well-anchored in Europe, since almost 2000 years, and it had more to do with European capitals like Paris, London, Brussels etc. in the 2nd half of the 19th century than people think. Of course, it would be a European border region, but together with Georgia – which also strives into the EU – it could be just this. The book deals with geographic, political, economic and cultural reasons, why Armenia should follow a clear foreign policy towards Europe – which has not at all to collide with special and privileged relations to Russia.

The impressive history of the country’s relations to the Council of Europe and the EU is well described, as well as the EU’s perception of its hypothetic move. But also the positions of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh and Iran as well as of Russia and of course Georgia are described as those of neighbours interested in the regional integration orientation of Armenia.

The author, belonging otherwise to an „impatient“ young generation, knows perfectly, that the EU membership takes a lot of time, but she pleads – in an outspoken, but never „pushy“ way, for a sustainable change in Armenia’s foreign policy – a change which since more than 20 years of Armenian independence would not have to be a real change, after all.

Further informations on the book flyer, to be downloaded on the LIBERTAS – European Institute homepage:

Klicke, um auf Flyer_Sargsyan.pdf zuzugreifen

OS_2_130817_at_Serb_Museum_BUD

The Author, coming originally from Yerevan, studied English philology for her B.A. degree and made her first Master (M.A.) in Political Science and International Relations at American University of Armenia, with a thesis on a financial subject. Since the end of 2011 she lives in Germany where she studied for her 2nd Master (M.A. in European Studies) at the University of Flensburg. Besides working for the press service of the Central Council of Armenians in Germany (Zentralrat der Armenier) whom she represented various times, also on conferences and TV discussions in Armenia, she is also Junior Editor of „European Union Foreign Affairs Journal“ (EUFAJ) where she covers among others Eastern Partnership, and Russian-speaking countries, minority issues, and book reviews.

Ofelya Sargsyan: Pleading For Armenia’s Accession To The European Union
130 pages, October 2013.
ISBN 978-3-937642-50-5 – e-book/PDF 5,99 EUR;
e-book/Amazon Kindle version 5,99 EUR;
ISBN 978-3-937642-49-9 – Paper Edition 15,00 EUR (from 15.12.2013)

Orders for paper edition in any bookshop or by e-mail, for eBooks (PDF Version – immediately available after 20.10.2013) by e-mail: LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH (LIBERTAS Verlag), Lindenweg 37, 72414 Rangendingen, Germany, Tel. +49 7471 984996-0, Fax +49 7471 984996-19,
e-Mail: verlag@libertas-institut.com, Internet (Book Shop): http://www.libertas-institut.com.
(eBooks will be sent in PDF by e-mail after having received the invoiced amount, without any data transfer costs; invoice will be sent immediately upon order)

Orders for Amazon Kindle reader eBooks via http://www.amazon.com (or your country’s Amazon website), after 22.10.2013. You should have an Amazon Kindle Reader.

New Book by Gohar Yeranyan: Acemoglu’s Model and the Reality. Dynamics of Economic and Political Power in the Former Soviet Union Countries

This study came – not planned – at the right time: when Russia tried by its policies to exercise pressure on its former parts which are now before their respective Association Agreements with the EU, as member state of the Eastern Partnership. It serves to find criteria for a dynamic development in politics and economy, based on a Master thesis at the American University of Armenia, dealing with a model of the Turkish-American economist Acemoglu, and tries answers on questions like „Under which circumstances democracy can prevail?“ in the former Soviet Union countries (FSU). Six of them have been selected for this „detective story“ among the descriptions of transition: Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine. But the models of public institutions and private groups‘ behaviour are different from country to country, and the effects of transition sometimes contraproductive – be it under the „big bang“ or under „gradualism“.

Gohar Yeranyan investigates systematically the functions of the elite, the oligarchs, the interest groups, the system-immanent changes, inequality, the revolutionary potential (end the evolutionary possibilities). the wealth distribution – and the persistence of political institutions. In this context, she discusses different paths of political developments in the FSU reality, possible reasons of democratization, as well as the dynamic model by D. Acemoglu – one of the most promising economists today, as well as the role of incentives for the political and economic change in former Soviet Union countries, before giving an overview of economic development paths of the FSU countries (shock therapy versus gradualism).

She is clearly pleading for a EU-approached democracy which is more likely than any other system to keep the different interest groups balanced, and can create more GDP and popular wealth which is not only restricted to an oligarchy. This includes also that the different states should also follow an outspoken social policy. A very refreshing book (from the EU or a US perspective, for example) – and a very necessary one (from the FSU states‘ view), and a very adequate one in view of the latest discussions in the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries.

004_Pic_Gohar_YeranyanThe author, Gohar Yeranyan, lives in Yerevan/Armenia and belongs to a new generation of future Armenian leaders. She studied first for her B.A. and M.A. in philosophy and psychology at Yerevan State University, with a Master thesis on Bergson’s intuitivism, and then for another M.A. in Political Science and International Affairs at American University of Armenia (AUA). She stands for a cross-skilled approach to all scientific questions and is far away from any monolithic look about one discipline. A member of the Non-Governmental-Organization “Democracy for Development”, she has gained experience in work-life as a loan officer for a loan organisation, as a trainer for the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), giving training in leadership and intercultural communication, and in a lectorship or scientific books.

Gohar Yeranyan: Acemoglu’s Model and the Reality –
Dynamics of Economic and Political Power in the Former Soviet Union Countries
Libertas Paper 78, 48 pages, October 2013.
ISBN 978-3-937642-45-1 – e-book/PDF 4,99 EUR; e-book/Amazon Kindle version 4,99 EUR;
ISBN 978-3-937642-46-8 – Paper Edition 15,00 EUR

Orders for paper edition in any bookshop or by e-mail, for eBooks (PDF version) by e-mail: LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH (LIBERTAS Verlag), Lindenweg 37, 72414 Rangendingen, Germany,
e-Mail: verlag@libertas-institut.com, Internet (Book Shop): http://www.libertas-institut.eu.

Orders for Amazon Kindle reader eBooks via http://www.amazon.com (or one’s country’s Amazon website). You should have an Amazon Kindle Reader.

Details are on the book flyer, which can be downloaded from LIBERTAS – European Institute under http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/Flyer_Gohar_Libpap78.pdf

New LIBERTAS Paper 77: Gulnaz Baiturova, Local Traditions in Kyrgyzstan and the Rule of Law

Every European or US consultant for the Kyrgyz government or civil society should read this book – and also those for other Central Asian states, as many social and government fabrics are very close. This book opens the eyes about the Rule of Law, as it was and is still understood by Kyrgyz society, and it opens also ways far from the „teacher’s“ role of the consultant of the past. The concept of the Ruke of Law is explained in detail, as it was before, during and after communist time, the election of local government past and today, the role of gifts in elections, the role of clans and families during parliamentary elections, and that it will take a certain time until the Central Asian countries can be called a beacon of democracy in the Western sense. However, there is hope, as good consultants will also let the people keep their traditions which are not too ineffective – here the author spreads an optimistic impression about the future of her country. This can be confirmed objectively, some years after March 2006, the third president later, after another revolution and in view of other Central Asian countries. Kyrgyzstan is the only country in Central Asia which tries to have a really pluralistic parliament from which emerges a certain discussion culture, and it disposes today of a relatively free press compared to most other countries of the region. However, there is still a long way to go. As the knowledge about the country in Europe and North America is very restricted, this text may serve to counter this. The author also describes the more and more authoritarian changes in the presidential elections; the manuscript stops in the first time of the Bakiev government, but it is topical until now. A Glossary crowns the book which, short and concise, is a brilliant piece of legal description for Central Asia.

The author, Gulnaz Baiturova,is among the „hidden treasures“ of Kyrgyzstan, her country: After a LL. B. degree in International Law at International University of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, on the „Development of Foreign Trade Activities of Kyrgyzstan in connection with its membership to the WTO“ (2001/with distinction). she studied for a LL. M. degree in International Law and the Law of International Organisations, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2003/with distinction), with a thesis on “The Concept of Sustainable Development in International Law”. She took part in the John Smith Fellowship Programme, London/Edinburgh, with an Academic Programme by the Center for Studies in Security and Diplomacy at University of Birmingham (including practical attachments with universities, the BBC, Human Rights Watch etc.), and in a Second Degree in Psychology at the University of Practical Psychology, Moscow, Russia (2012). She has professional experiences in legal clinics, teaching on human rights at American University in Bishkek, an Internship with the International Court of Justice in The Hague/Netherlands, working for UNDP and UNHCR in Kyrgyzstan, and various NGO and public foundation posts, like e.g. judge at a moot court for the American Bar Association, or for the GTZ („Support to Judiciary Reform“), or for humanitarian aid coordination after an earthquake in Osh. Since 2002 she holds a licence of the Ministry of Justice on the right to conduct Advocate activity, and since February 2011 she is Event Coordinator at Creative Team Events Agency in Bishkek. This paper has been submitted to the OSCE Academy in Bishkek / Kyrgyzstan at the end of March 2006. This is some years ago now, but it remains unchanged what concerns the basic principles of the Rule of Law.
Gulnaz Baiturova: Local Traditions in Kyrgyzstan and the Rule of Law.
 
Libertas Paper 77, 81 pages, July 2013.
ISBN 978-3-937642-42-0 (e-book / PDF), 6,99 EUR; ISBN 978-3-937642-44-4 (e-book / Amazon Kindle version), 6,99 EUR;  ISBN 978-3-937642-43-7 (Paper Edition), 15 EUR
Orders for paper edition in any bookshop or by e-mail, for eBooks (PDF version) by e-mail: LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH (LIBERTAS Verlag), Lindenweg 37, 72414 Rangendingen, Germany, Tel. +49 7471 984996-0, Fax +49 7471 984996-19, e-Mail:  verlag@libertas-institut.com, Internet (Book Shop): www.libertas-institut.com.
(eBooks will be sent as PDF by e-mail after having received the invoiced amount, without postage or any data transfer costs; invoice will be sent by e-mail immediately upon order)
Orders for Amazon Kindle reader eBooks via www.amazon.com (or your country’s Amazon website). You should have an Amazon Kindle Reader.
——————— 

A Remark pro domo: EUFAJ Is Now on Facebook

These days EUFAJ has entered Facebook. With this step, we want first to accelerate the communication with our readers and second to enlarge our outreach. At the same time, the recent events in many countries have confirmed that being on Facebook is no mistake for a paper.

It is interesting, how our community of „Likers“ is and will be composed. Just go on your Facebook page, if you have one, and then in the search box („Search for people, places and things“) write „European Union Foreign Affairs Journal„. Then you will be on the page, where in the next time all couple of days an issue of EUFAJ will be mentioned with its content and the links. We also publish our new blog entries, which in the last days had an increase in views of almost 600%

So if you have Facebook, you can be immediately and automatically alerted about our activities – including this blog (however, for this blog one can order easily alerts if a new entry has been made)

This Facebook Innovation for a journal, which for an organisation is totally different compared to an individual, is under the wings of our Junior Editor, Ofelya Sargsyan, who is now also the Social Media Coordinator with EUFAJ.

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka
Chief Editor, EUFAJ

„Russia and the Balkans After the Cold War“

This is the title of a new book just having appeared now in May 2013 (eBook and print version) in LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH, coming from a seasoned expert on the Balkan and on Russia, Ms. Didem Ekinci who works as assistant professor at Çankaya University (Ankara) in the Political Science and International Relations Department. The multilingual and conference-proof author has an outspoken track record of publications, and she writes very clear and understandable, in a „feet-on-the-ground“ way. The expert on Russian relations to the Balkan region covers Moscow’s position on the Balkan conflicts after Tito and comes to interesting conclusions, among them that Russia now has to follow a more defensive, passive position despite the traditonally intense Serbian-Russian relations. But they can always break up again and influence the neighbouring states. She also indicated that Russia’s policies to the West Balkan did not change in substantial matters since the Tsar and Communist times.

This book is of interest to anyone who writes, thinks and talks about international relations for each Balkan state – she analysed them all, from Albania, via Bulgaria and Romania, to Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia. Also Croatia and Slovenia, as succession states of Yugoslavia, have merited chapters. Whoever deals with the approximation of the Balkan states to the European Union should consider also Russian foreign policy manoevres. For scientists or students, the book becomes valuable by the many sources and footnotes and their interactive Internet links.

Bibliographical data:

Didem Ekinci: Russia and the Balkans After the Cold War
Libertas Paper 76, 110 pages, May 2013,
ISBN 978-3-937642-39-0 (e-book / PDF), 8,99 EUR;
ISBN 978-3-937642-41-3 (e-book / Kindle version); 8,99 EUR – available in some days; 
ISBN 978-3-937642-40-6 (Paper Edition), 15 EUR.

A flyer – including how it can be ordered –  with infos about the book, its detailed table of contents as well as bio notes about the author can be downloaded at http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/Flyer_Ekinci.pdf

European Micro States – Call for Research Cooperation

Within the Editorial Board of „European Union Foreign Affairs Journal“ there shall be an open research project, with not yet defined life span, on the subject (preliminary wording): „European Micro States – What has to be changed if they want to access the European Union“.

Outside of the EU there are in Europe countries like Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, Liechtenstein and the Vatican (who however plays a different role than the others), as well as the Faroe Islands (which have the biggest population of all of those, with approx. 45.000 people). While all of these countries are at present not likely to join the EU, in each of them (except the Vatican, which should be excluded from doing so) there were voices in favour of an EU accession. If this case became true, what has to be changed in the EU Treaties, in secondary law and in certain policies of the EU, and perhaps also in these countries, if one or several of these Micro States would want to join the European Union?

EUFAJ wants also to test an open procedure of research and connected research, in the sense that everyone can take part in this project, and it is not bound to any further project leadership. Universities, students. professors, their assistants, think tanks, NGOs, public administrations etc. We will look also later for an external financing, if possible respectively necessary.

Anyone interested in such a kind of project of which the concrete results are not yet defined as well should contact: European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (EUFAJ), LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH, attn: Hans-Juergen Zahorka, Lindenweg 37, D – 72414 Rangendingen (near Tübingen / Hechingen), Tel. +49 – 7471 – 984996-13 (direct), Fax +49 – 7471 – 984996-19, zahorka@libertas-institut.com, http://www.eufaj.eu.

We will inform the readers of our Blog http://libertasblogs.wordpress.com, like those of EUFAJ, regularly about this project.

Massnahme pro Durchblick: Workshop zur Kooperationsrechtsform EWIV am 15.3.2013

Nur wenige Unternehmer, Freiberufler, Verbände, Selbständige, Manager, Rechtsanwälte, Steuerberater, Unternehmensberater, Notare wissen, was EWIV heisst. Die Europäische wirtschaftliche Interessenvereinigung ist seit 1.7.1989 geltendes Recht in der Europäischen Union, und bis jetzt gibt es ca. 2.400 solcher steuergünstiger, einfach zu handhabenden Strukturen in der EU, mit ca. 16.000 angeschlossenen Mitglliedern. Darunter ist z. B. der Fernsehsender ARTE, das Mont Blanc-Betreibertunnel zwischen Frankreich und Italien, das Wettersatellitensystem Eumetsat usw., zusammen mit vielen kleinen, gut funktionierenden EWIV. Um diese beneiden sogar Unternehmen Nicht-EU-Ländern die EU – aber sie können auch (als assoziiertes Mitglied) mitmachen. Nur wenige wissen, dass eine EWIV keine Gewerbe- und Körperschaftssteuer zahlen muss, also von der Unternehmenseinkommensteuer befreit ist. Dennoch wird sie nur recht selten gegründet; man braucht hierzu nur ein einziges Partnerunternehmen in einem anderen EU-Land. Mit diesem Nicht-Durchblick räumt das Europäische EWIV-Informationszentrum jetzt auf: am 15. März von 13.00 – 17.30 h in Berlin-Köpenick (8 km vom Flughafen Schönefeld), und das zu einem Teilnehmerbeitrag wie zu Zeiten von Ludwig Erhard.

Alle weiteren Informationen: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/EWIV/EWIV_Workshop_2013_Berlin.pdf

„Landlocked States“ – A New Book from an Armenian Author

Being landlocked puts repercussions on the socio-economic development of a country. About 15% of the states of the world are developing landlocked states. Thus, a new essay by the Armenian author Anna S. Gevorgyan sets out to examine the desperate plight of landlocked states caused by a geographic handicap. Landlocked states have limited and more costly access to the world market. Furthermore, the plight of a landlocked state is very much dependent on the location and it is hardly surprising that there is no single high-income landlocked country outside of Europe.

Additionally, the Republic of Armenia, being a landlocked state, not only cannot avoid the susceptibility and obstacles brought by the absence of access to sea, but also suffers more than other landlocked countries due to the lack of natural resources and border blockages. So, in this regard and as an example for other states, this issue is a significant one for Armenia that demands special study.

This booklet is written refreshingly short and concise. It can be understood by a large public , and it is valuable for its consideration of new literature – and of thoughts by the author. Anna Gevorgyan has written this text as a Master thesis at the American University of Armenia, Yerevan. Further information: http://www.libertas-institut.eu („New books“, or „Shop“) or directly under http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/Flyer_Gevorgyan.pdf.

And here are the bibliographical data: Anna S. Gevorgyan: Landlocked States – Economic and Transit Problems, International Law and the Case of Armenia Libertas Paper 75, 62 pages, January 2013, ISBN 978-3-937642-33-8 (e-book pdf); 978-3-937642-34-5 (e-book Amazon Kindle – from 1.1.2013), both 5,99 EUR; ISBN 978-3-937642-32-1 (Paper Edition), 15 EUR

Neues Buch – leicht verständlich: Rating-Agenturen und die Fehler der „Großen Drei“

Morsal Rahiq, eine junge Dame aus der Schweiz, die – vor über 21 Jahren ist sie aus Afghanistan in die Schweiz gekommen – sechs Jahre bei der UBS verbracht hatte und dann studierte, hat ihre Abschlußarbeit an der Zürcher Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft in Winterthur zum Thema Rating-Agenturen geschrieben. „Zur Funktion von Rating-Agenturen. Die Marktmacht der „Großen Drei“ – Ihre Fehler in der Vergangenheit und eine europäische Lösung“. – dieses Buch ist kurz, argumentationsstark und bündig. Es ist keine Abschlußarbeit, die vor sich hinstaubt, sondern ausgezeichnet geeignet, auch einem Nicht-Wirtschaftsexperten zu erklären, wie eine Ratingagentur funktioniert – und welche Kerben die drei Großen aus den USA, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s und Fitch, auf ihren Wegen hinterlassen haben. Es wird erklärt, wie sie schon im 19. Jahrhundert entstanden sind, welche Verantwortung sie haben (sollten), wie ihr Einfluss ist, wie sie funktionieren – und auch kurz, dass es schon sinnvoll wäre, eine europäische Rating-Agentur als Gegenstück dabei zu haben.

Darüber wird bald ein weiteres LIBERTAS-Buch, auch unter Mitwirkung von Morsal Rahiq, detailliert Stellung nehmen: Die in Kabul/Afghanistan geborene Verfasserin, deren Muttersprachen Persisch und Deutsch sind, wirkte mit einem Kapitel über die Probleme, die man mit den Ratings der „Großen Drei“ mitunter hat, in dem Buch des LIBERTAS Verlags mit, das nach der Konferenz im Februar 2012 entstand. Es kommt in einigen Wochen heraus, zusammen mit den neuesten Änderungen der EU zu diesem Thema (Zahorka / Menguy / Diekow (Hrsg.), Eine Europäische Ratingagentur – aber wie?, LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut 2013, ISBN (eBook) 978-3-937642-16-1).

„Zur Funktion von Rating-Agenturen“ ist erschienen als Libertas Paper 73, 65 Seiten, Januar 2013, ISBN 978-3-937642-27-7 (e-book), ISBN 978-3-937642-28-5 (e-book kindle version); beide 6,99 EUR; ISBN 978-3-937642-29-3 (Paper Edition), 15 EUR. Die Kindle-Version über Amazon ist ab ca. 1.1.2013 erhältlich, die beiden anderen sofort. Nähere Informationen über das Buch sind erhältlich über http://www.libertas-institut.eu („Shop“, bzw. „Verlag und Publikationen“) bzw. direkt mit dem Link http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/Flyer_Rating.pdf.

A Short Visit of Solidarity with Haqq & Adalet Association from Azerbaijan

Et audiatur altera pars” – or: Never listen only to one side!

Due to its socio-political tensions, the situation in the southern Caucasus still requires a lot of attention. For cultivating a competent focus with particular emphasis on Azerbaijan, Hans-Jürgen Zahorka from Baden-Wuerttemberg state in Germany met core representatives of the Haqq & Adalet Association (Right and Justice) on October 23, 2012 in Basel / Switzerland. The former Member of European Parliament and Government Advisor since many years who is now also Chief Editor of European Union Foreign Affairs Journal said that the objective of this meeting was mutual information, as it would be also necessary to hear other voices than only the official government side.

interesting talks were held mainly by Gabil Rzayev, President of Haqq & Adalet (Right & Justice), Dr. Alec Schaerer, Basel, Hans-Jürgen Zahorka and Surkhan Latifov, former President of the European Movement of Azerbaijan. The broad competence on both sides gave rise to a fruitful dialogue, as much in the immediate pragmatic dimensions (‘tactical realm’) as on the level of secure long-term thinking (‘strategic level’). The discussion evolved of course on how the two domains can reasonably be brought together.

In the post-socialist countries of the southern ex-Soviet union, a socially explosive situation is being bred by a struggle between a helpless populace on the one hand, and on the other hand a selfish and often corrupt government. The most material apple of discord is the benefits resulting from exploiting the natural resources – essentially crude oil and petroleum gas. Another bone of contention is the violent cultural and intellectual paternalism, prohibiting autonomous thinking and democratic procedures. The crude strife has produced an emotional and intellectual turmoil and massive emigration, mostly to the West, aggravating tensions in the homeland and burdening statehood abroad.

Under the flags of Switzerland, Azerbaijan and the European Union the very open talk included also issues like European asylum laws, Azerbaijan and European Integration, Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as Nagorno-Karabakh etc. There were no unbridgeable gaps between the participants of the talks – just the contrary. “We would be much further, if Azerbaijan would be an open society which discusses the place of Azerbaijan in the world in a pluralistic way”, said Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, and “the country has now to catch up to prepare for the necessary diversification for the post-oil & gas period, for which no major preparations have been done but for which all the oil & gas revenues also those diverted by some tycoons should be used”.

Haqq & Adalet is committed to producing change by empowering the hitherto helpless populace. This association goes for a stimulating mediation between the government, the destitute political opposition, and the people. It fosters thoroughly transparent procedures, thereby creating also favorable conditions for democratization. The first objective is civic participation, social self-organization, and finally a non-violent but clearly insistent transition to the relaxed order of a functional, open society that allows also the material repatriation of exiled citizens. Violence is generally to be countered by transparency and intelligence.

This activity coincides very well with the basic attitude of Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, as documented in the editorial style of the European Union Foreign Affairs Journal and the activities of Libertas – European Institute, a think-tank on European and international governance and economy he leads.

Basel, October 23, 2012

Dr. Alec Schaerer

(A similar article with photos is published on the website of EUFAJ, www.eufaj.eu, as well as on the homepage of Haqq & Adalet, www.haqq-adalet.com).

European Rating Agency

Open Expert Workshop on a European Rating Agency – Friday, 24.2.2012, Frankfurt/Main

LIBERTAS, plus its cooperation partners in this activity SDM Siegfried Diekow Management Consulting GmbH and HBC Hartmut Bressel Consulting seized the initiative for holding an expert workshop (which is open also for non-experts!) on the creation of a European Rating Agency. This will take place on the 24.2.2012 in Frankfurt/Main.

Under competition aspects, a European Rating Agency will be necessary, if Europe does not want to leave the whole space of  rating of states to the „Big Three“ US agencies. What means independent, how transparency and finances of the European Rating Agency can be assured, and in which legal form? This workshop might lead to follow-up action, as announced by some of the members of the sector. So your input may be useful.

Please download the programme & invitation under www.libertas-institut.eu or as attached.

Among the speakers are the Rapporteur of the European Parliament to a European Rating Agency, Dr. Wolf Klinz MEP, representatives of Roland Berger Strategy Consulting and Standard & Poor’s (et audiatur altera pars!), from the University of Le Havre/France, as well as members of the EU Commission expert group TEAM EUROPE, and from the new expert group on Economic Governance from the EU Commission, Representation for Germany.

We would like to welcome everyone interested in this subject. Please take note that the workshop will be held in German language, although the participation in the discussion is possible in English; however, good passive German language knowledge is necessary. Registrations are possible until Thursday morning, 23.2.2012, 10.00 h morning.

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