Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.

 

Europe

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Strategy and the Importance of Defence Cooperation among EU Member States

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Date added: 10/06/2010
Date modified: 10/06/2010
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By Jolyon Howorth | EGMONT Security Brief - N° 13 - Sept. 2010

In the Royal Military Academy in Brussels on 13 July 2010 Jolyon Howorth gave the opening speech at a seminar on Permanent Structured Cooperation organized by the Belgian Presidency. This Security Policy Brief is based on that speech, making a compelling case for military cooperation if the EU wants to remain strategically relevant.

Shifting Turkey: Ankara’s new dynamics under the AKP government

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Date added: 10/06/2010
Date modified: 10/06/2010
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By Dario D’Urso | Portuguese Journal of International Affairs - N°3 -  Spring/Summer 2010

One of the most striking geopolitical events the world has witnessed in the last decade is the repositioning of Turkey in the global arena. Rarely in contemporary history have a government and a political party managed to influence the internal and the external long-term paradigms of a country so heavily. The changes Turkey has undergone since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) took power in 2002 are today commonly depicted as a ‘shift of axis’: from the eastern outpost of the Euro-Atlantic world during and immediately after the Cold War to the centre of a series of interests increasingly aimed towards the Islamic Middle East and other former territories of the Ottoman Empire. The reassessment of the Turkish role in the world and the erosion of the internal pillars on which the Kemalist republic was founded nearly one century ago, have been a cause for concern for scholars and governments: the end of the strategic alliance between Turkey and Israel and the increasing closeness with the Iranian and Syrian regimes made many commentators state that ‘Turkey was lost’, or that Ankara may follow the path taken by Iran in 1979. What may actually be useful to understand is how permanent the sweeping and increasingly radical changes brought on by the AKP in its eight years at the helm of Turkey might be: are we really witnessing the rise of a new geopolitical actor, increasingly turning its back on the West while trying to assert its role in the Middle East and beyond through an Islamist agenda? Is a ‘neo-Ottoman’ Turkey here to stay? How much of that might survive a change in government? In order to find appropriate answers, this article will go through the latest developments in the political life of Turkey by 1) taking into account the new, proactive foreign policy pursued by the AKP government and 2) considering how the Turkish internal scene has been effected by the struggle between the ruling party and the pillars of secularism, namely the army, the media and the judiciary. Furthermore, the article will also take into account how energy plays an essential role in defining Turkey’s new foreign aspirations, specially vis-à-vis Russia. The results of this overview will provide the basis for elaborating a possible scenario on the future role of Ankara, both internally and externally, and its relationship with the Western world.

The Future of the Eurozone and Gold

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Date added: 09/23/2010
Date modified: 09/23/2010
Filesize: 1.05 MB
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By Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros and Paul De Grauwe and Yonghyup Oh
This report considers four short-term, alternative scenarios for the eurozone and analyses their possible implications for global economic trends and the gold market. Overall, the main findings suggest that in the near future, motives other than inflation hedging will be the main drivers of gold market dynamics. Growth in emerging economies, which are among the largest sources of gold demand, and financial market uncertainty, will be the most important ones. In particular, even if the worst scenario were to materialise and adverse global conditions could slow Asian growth, demand for gold from this region should not fall significantly. Moreover, even in the most optimistic scenario for the eurozone, global uncertainty will not evaporate easily. As a consequence, the gold price may continue to trend upwards for a period driven by investment demand from both the private sector and official investors.

Ukraine, the European Union and the International Community

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Date added: 09/23/2010
Date modified: 09/23/2010
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Ukraine, the European Union and the International Community: Current Challenges and the Agenda for Overcoming the Stalemate
Authors: Vasily Astrov, Igor Burakovsky, Grzegorz Gromadzki, Peter Havlik, Vasyl Yurchyshyn

Abstract:
Ukraine was confronted with an unprecedented economic and financial crisis during 2008-2009. That crisis has until recently been compounded by a highly unstable political situation. The European Union, Ukraine's neighbours and the international community have been concerned about possible repercussions of these developments on the stability of the whole region. The February 2010 presidential elections brought more political stability and Ukraine's economic situation markedly improved as well. In this context, the Austrian Ministry of Finance and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) organized an international expert seminar dealing with these issues in June 2010.

The report starts with a summary of deliberations at the Vienna seminar. Next, the background study on the Ukraine's current economic and political situation, prepared for the seminar by wiiw (Vasily Astrov) is presented. The background study is followed by two contributions on future challenges from leading Ukrainian scholars (Igor Burakovsky and Vasily Yurchyshyn). Last but not least, reflections on Ukraine's-EU political and economic relations by Grzegorz Gromadzki, independent expert from Warsaw, are included as well. An extensive annex with recent statistical data on Ukraine is enclosed.

A stronger European market: the basis for renewed growth

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Date added: 09/23/2010
Date modified: 09/23/2010
Filesize: 297.58 kB
Downloads: 379

Philippe Herzog

The renewal of the single European market is firmly on the agenda. Mario Monti has just submitted an excellent report to Jose-Manuel Barroso in which he puts forward the idea of a “Single Market Act”. Michel Barnier will issue a communication in the autumn which will serve as a prelude to a political action plan aimed at involving the whole of the EU based on a mandate. Confrontations Europe is delighted to have been given the opportunity to participate fully in this project. We had been calling for this “new Single Act” since 2007. This document contains a summary of the work carried out by our association, and represents an innovative contribution to the success of the joint endeavour.
Renovating the internal market presents an extremely complex challenge which  requires an abundance of humility and sense of responsibility. Citizens and socio-economic groups alike need to be motivated and public authorities at both local and national level need to be brought together. Furthermore, the  commitment shown by the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament must be genuine and uncompromising. Let us be ambitious because the need for the great changes required is demonstrable. We must be consistent in overcoming the various obstacles as well as clear and selective in setting our priorities.