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.

 

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Iraq in 2010: The dangers of European complacency

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Date added: 05/28/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 131.56 kB
Downloads: 467

Edward Burke

The received wisdom in much of Europe and the United States is that Iraq is on an upward trajectory. In his State of the Union address, Barack Obama announced that he had delivered upon his campaign promise to end the war in Iraq and bring US soldiers home. Such pronouncements of ‘mission accomplished’ may yet come back to haunt Obama in the same way they did his predecessor. Henry Kissinger has recently chastised Obama for failing to give due attention to the crucial US and European interest in securing a ‘political and strategic equilibrium between Iran and Iraq’, ensuring that Tehran does not dominate its neighbour and fundamentally alter the balance of power in the region. However, if Obama has been caught napping on Iraq, then the EU can only be described as suffering from narcolepsy.

The EU-Africa partnership: At a strategic crossroads

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Date added: 05/28/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 148.59 kB
Downloads: 487

Oladiran Bello

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) launched by European and African leaders at the Lisbon summit of 2007 has so far failed to deliver on its key promise to fundamentally transform development and political cooperation between the continents. Three years of uncertain implementation reveals just how wide a gap separates the rhetoric and reality of the new strategic partnership. Regional and global transformations compelling a revamp of relations include the expanding  roles of emerging powers on the African continent; a sharp global economic downturn and pressures on Western development budgets; and an incipient  pan-African integration process that commenced with the creation of the African Union (AU) in 2000. Despite this backdrop, it seems the devil is in the detail of precisely how to implement the agreement to achieve value-added cooperation across eight separate thematic partnerships.

Change or continuity? US policy towards the Middle East and its implications for EU policy

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Date added: 05/28/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 206.55 kB
Downloads: 526
March 2010
Ana Echagüe,
Researcher, FRIDE
Despite initial indications to the contrary, US policy towards the Middle East under the Obama administration has not changed significantly. Hopes were high as the new administration significantly changed the tone of US policy towards the Middle East, indicating its intention to re-start relations on a more even footing in an effort to repair the perceived damage to relations inflicted under President Bush. This change was evident in President Obama’s ‘new beginning’ speech in Cairo, in which he spoke of relations based on ‘mutual respect’ and ‘mutual
interest’. It called for a comprehensive relationship rather than a narrow focus on security issues; a relationship based on partnership between people as well as governments.

Development, Security and Energy: Improving Coherence

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Date added: 05/28/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 192.59 kB
Downloads: 501

Amelia Hadfield, University of Kent and Richard Youngs, FRIDE

The ethos of EU development policy is changing.  Incorporating both political and security goals, EU development co-operation has taken on a more holistic identity. It is increasingly linked to more ambitious outcomes in which good governance, human rights, conflict resolution and the challenges of sustainability all play a part. This widened scope provides a platform to engage with EU policy on energy security. This policy brief provides a snapshot of the policy connections linking development, broad security goals and specific energy objectives. Can the EU effectively manage a policy nexus between securitised development and energy security? It certainly has the potential to do so. But fundamental policy changes are required before it can claim to be on the road towards this goal.