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Abstract: The political transitions in Egypt and Tunisia have rekindled
the interest in how states and societies have moved from authoritarian
regimes to democracy after overthrowing old regimes.
This report responds to that interest by providing a factual
overview of transitions to democracy of nine European states
between 1974 and 1991.
The states covered fall into two geographical regions:
Southern Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. The context
of transition in each of these regions was different. The transitions
in Southern Europe took place as mainly discrete events
with little influence of one country over another. In contrast,
there was a strong regional dynamic in Central and Eastern
Europe, where all transitions were influenced by Gorbachev’s
policies of perestroika and glasnost and the loosening of the
Soviet Union’s grip on its satellite states.
Abstract: This Synthesis Report extracts the main findings from seven EU Member State case studies surveyed under
the Capacity-Building and Training Cluster of the Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP). Case studies were conducted
in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain in order to assess these countries’
capacities to meet EU spending targets for official development assistance (ODA) and to analyse the position of
peacebuilding within national ODA policies. Each case study analysed country-specific ODA policies by focusing
on institutional mechanisms and key actors in managing and implementing ODA; the role and capacity of civil
society organisations in influencing planning, implementation, and evaluation of ODA; and public awareness of
and support for ODA.
This report finds that international development cooperation has received growing attention during the last
decade in all surveyed case-study countries. New EU Member States in particular are striving to adhere to
their international commitments by further refining their ODA policies; enhancing the institutional structures
for managing and implementing ODA; and increasing cooperation with and consultation of civil society
Abstract: Contrairement à une idée reçue, la France et le Royaume-Uni ne sont pas les seules puissances nucléaires en Europe. En effet, depuis 1954, dans le cadre de l’OTAN, les États-Unis stationnent des forces nucléaires dans plusieurs pays du continent. Reliques de la Guerre froide, ces forces devaient originellement faire face à la supériorité des troupes conventionnelles du pacte de Varsovie. De plus de 7 000 armes nucléaires tactiques, réparties dans une dizaine d’États européens au milieu des années 1970, l’arsenal n’a cessé de diminuer, à la suite de l’éclatement de l’URSS, pour parvenir au chiffre de 350 armes en 2007. Depuis le début de la décennie, la question de l’utilité de ces armements, et donc indirectement d’un possible retrait, est de plus en plus souvent évoquée.
En toute discrétion entre 2005 et 2008, les États-Unis ont dénucléarisé deux de leurs plus grandes bases européennes, Ramstein (Allemagne) et Lakenheath (Royaume-Uni). Elles abritaient au total 180 bombes nucléaires. Indéniablement, ce désarmement apporte un nouvel éclairage sur cette posture nucléaire de l’OTAN. À ce titre, les 240 bombes restantes ont sans doute définitivement perdu leur rôle militaire au profit d’un rôle politique. Les raisons de ce retrait ne se limitent pas seulement à des problèmes de sécurité dans ces bases. Non, d’autres problématiques comme l’évolution de l’Alliance atlantique, la politique de chacun des pays hôtes, le renouvellement des flottes à capacité duale, l’utilité stratégique, sans compter la pression de l’opinion publique soutenue par des organisations pacifistes, contribuent et vont contribuer à limiter ce stationnement d’armes. Désormais seuls l’Allemagne, la Belgique, les Pays-Bas, l’Italie et la Turquie ont sur leur territoire des armes nucléaires américaines, mais pour combien de temps encore ? Demain, l’Europe va-t-elle être une zone libre d’armes nucléaires américaines ?
Abstract: A Survey and Analysis of Border Management and Border Apprehension Data from 20 States.
With a Special Survey on the Use of Counterfeit Documents.
Based on the contributions of the border services of 20 Central and Eastern European states, the 2006 Yearbook again provides its valuable overview and analysis of irregular migration trends in the region. Over the past ten years the annual Yearbook on Illegal Migration, Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Central and Eastern Europe has come to be regarded as an authoritative source of information on recent border trends and in particular on the phenomena of illegal migration, human smuggling and trafficking. The annual Yearbook covers the most recent trends in illegal migration and human smuggling in the region, including long-term trends in border apprehensions, shifts in source, transit and destination countries, demographic characteristics of irregular migrants, the relationship between legal and illegal border crossings, new developments in the methods of border crossings and document abuse and on removals of irregular migrants. In addition, this year’s edition for the first time features a Special Survey on the use of counterfeit documents for illegal migration purposes. This Survey is based on the contributions received from document specialists or Special Units dealing with document security in the countries under review and provides the first comprehensive overview and analysis of patterns and trends in the use of counterfeit documents for illegal migration purposes in Central and Eastern Europe.
Abstract: This bulletin contains information about Amnesty International’s main concerns in Europe and
Central Asia between July and December 2007. Not every country in the region is reported on; only
those where there were significant developments in the period covered by the bulletin, or where
Amnesty International (AI) took specific action.
A number of individual country reports have been issued on the concerns featured in this bulletin.
References to these are made under the relevant country entry. In addition, more detailed
information about particular incidents or concerns may be found in Urgent Actions and News
Service Items issued by AI.
This bulletin is published by AI every six months.
Abstract: U.S. policymakers have made securing and maintaining foreign contributions
to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq a major priority since the preparation
period for the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. This report
highlights and discusses important changes in financial and personnel contributions
from foreign governments to Iraq since 2003.
To date, foreign donors have pledged an estimated $16.4 billion in grants and
loans for Iraq reconstruction, with most major pledges originating at a major donors'
conference in Madrid, Spain, in October 2003. However, only a small part of the
pledges have been committed or disbursed to the World Bank and United Nations
Development Group Trust Funds for Iraq. The largest non-U.S. pledges of grants
have come from Japan, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Canada,
South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have pledged the most loans and export
Currently, 33 countries including the United States have some level of troops
on the ground in Iraq or supporting Iraq operations from nearby locations. Those
forces are working under the rubric of one of several organizations — the
Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I); or
the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Currently, the largest
troop contributors, in addition to the United States, are the United Kingdom, Georgia,
Australia, South Korea, and Poland. Some of these key contributors have announced
their intention to reduce or withdraw their forces from Iraq during 2008. The total
number of non-U.S. coalition troop contributions has declined since the early
stabilization efforts, as other countries have withdrawn their contingents or
substantially reduced their size.
Abstract: La présente évaluation de la politique des vingt-sept pays membres de l’Union
européenne en faveur des droits de l’Homme répond au développement récent des
« investissements éthiques », constitués pour une grand part d’actions d’entreprises privées, mais également d’obligations d’Etat. C’est cette partie « obligataire » dont il s’agit ici d’éclairer les fondements dans une perspective « éthique », dans l’optique de favoriser les investissements dans les Etats menant une politique plus active de promotion des droits de l’homme. Cette étude s’inscrit dans la continuité des études élaborées en 2001, 2003 et 2005.
Abstract: In March 2003, a U.S.-led multinational force began operations in Iraq. At that time, 48 nations, identified as a "coalition of the willing," offered political, military, and financial support for U.S. efforts in Iraq, with 38 nations other than the United States providing troops. In addition, international donors met in Madrid in October 2003 to pledge funding for the reconstru#ction of Iraq's infrastructure, which had deteriorated after multiple wars and decades of neglect under the previous regime.
This testimony discusses (1) the troop commitments other countries have made to operations in Iraq, (2) the funding the United States has provided to support other countries' participation in the multinational force, and (3) the financial support international donors have provided to Iraq reconstruction efforts.
Abstract: The mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan
is seen as a test of the alliance's political will and military capabilities. The allies are
seeking to create a "new" NATO, able to go beyond the European theater and combat
new threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Afghanistan is NATO's first "out-of-area" mission beyond Europe. The purpose of
the mission is the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan. The mission is a
difficult one because it must take place while combat operations against Taliban
U.N. Security Council resolutions govern NATO's responsibilities. The NATOled
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) faces formidable obstacles:
shoring up a weak government in Kabul; using military capabilities in a distant
country with rugged terrain; and rebuilding a country devastated by war and troubled
by a resilient narcotics trade. NATO's mission statement lays out the essential
elements of the task of stabilizing and rebuilding the country: train the Afghan army,
police, and judiciary; support the government in counter-narcotics efforts; develop
a market infrastructure; and suppress the Taliban.
Abstract: The human rights situation deteriorated in numerous former Soviet republics. Independent
human rights monitoring groups, including several affiliates of the IHF, came under
attack. The Russian Federation, Belarus, and the Central Asian regimes promulgated
new legislation or changed their practices to allow these states arbitrarily to restrict the activities
of nongovernmental organizations. The leaders of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee
faced fabricated criminal charges, and in January 2006, state-controlled Russian media
falsely implicated the Moscow Helsinki Group in espionage.
Abstract: The United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers - spun with the collaboration or tolerance of Council of Europe member states, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) said today. In a draft resolution adopted at a meeting in Paris, based on a report by Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE), the committee said hundreds of persons had become entrapped in this web - in some cases when they were merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation. The parliamentarians said this knowing collusion of member states took several different forms, including secretly detaining a person on European territory, capturing a person and handing them over to the US or permitting unlawful "renditions" through their airspace or across their territory. "It# has now been demonstrated incontestably, by numerous well-documented and convergent facts, that secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers involving European countries have taken place, such as to require in-depth inquiries and urgent responses by the executive and legislative branches of all the countries concerned," the committee said. The committee called on Council of Europe member states to review bilateral agreements signed with the United States, particularly those on the status of US forces stationed in Europe, to ensure they conformed fully to international human rights norms. The report is due for debate by the plenary Assembly - which brings together 630 parliamentarians from the 46 Council of Europe member states - in Strasbourg on 27 June 2006.
Abstract: The United States of America finds that neither the classic instruments of criminal law and procedure, nor the framework of the laws of war (including respect for the Geneva Conventions) has been apt to address the terrorist threat. As a result it has introduced new legal concepts, such as "enemy combatant" and "rendition", which were previously unheard of in international law and stand contrary to the basic legal principles that prevail on our continent. Thus, across the world, the United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers, often encompassing countries notorious for their use of torture. Hundreds of persons have become entrapped in this web, in some cases merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation.
Abstract: Ten years ago, the idea of writing a substantial paper about NATO's role in the Greater Middle Eastxe2x88x97 would have been implausible. Indeed, at that time NATO was only tentatively involved in southeast Europe - let alone southwest Asia - and the organization's own future remained highly uncertain. In August 1995, after four years of hesitation and debate over the issue of extending the zone of operation of what had once been a strictly defensive alliance, NATO intervened militarily for the first time in Bosnia. However, this only occurred after organizations like the United Nations (UN) and the Western European Union (WEU) were seen to have failed, and the mission was not regarded as a precedent for Alliance action in the Middle East or Asia. At the time, few could have envisaged that a decade later NATO would be deploying over 10,000 troops to Afghanistan, training Iraqi military forces in Baghdad and increasing its political and military cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). That, however, is precisely the situation today.
Abstract: The Roma comprise Europe's largest ethnic minority and endure widespread discrimination that sullies the democratic credentials of the European Union, some of its member states, and a number of countries aspiring to become member states. Eliminating the deep and varied forms of discrimination that the Roma face will require long-term commitments across Europe, from the EU's administrative bodies in Brussels to national governments to local councils and school boards to NGOs and their offices in the field. The Open Society Institute has worked for 12 years to help Romani communities in Europe build a better future for themselves. This report summarizes the experience OSI and its partners have garnered in working with the Roma, describes a number of lessons learned, and makes recommendations to help improve the effectiveness of efforts to promote the inclusion of Roma in society.
Abstract: After the 1946 election, the communists began to lose some of their popularity, and, as the 1948 election approached, their public support began to decline. Not leaving anything to chance, the communists staged a coup d'etat in February 1948 rather than wait for the scheduled May election. To ensure passivity among military units that might object to such unconstitutional methods, Svoboda confined all noncommunist commanders to quarters. Various units under communist command were placed on alert during the coup, but they were not needed and were not used as the legitimate government was ousted and a Moscow-oriented, communist regime was installed.
Abstract: On August 20, 1968, Warsaw Pact forces--including troops from Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union--invaded Czechoslovakia. Approximately 500,000 troops, mostly from the Soviet Union, poured across the borders in a blitzkrieg-like advance.
Abstract: This article aims to give an account of how refugees' family relations are constructed in exile. It is based on fieldwork conducted among Chechen asylum seekers living in a refugee camp in the Czech Republic in April 2004. It argues that although traditional norms defining women's and men's position in Chechen families have often been transgressed in the actual experiences of men and women in situations of emergency such as war, flight and life in the camp, they remain relatively unchanged at the level of refugees' ideal notions of femininity and masculinity. It also shows that the environment of the refugee camp provides, on the one hand, some opportunities for the increase of women's power in the family and men's involvement in childcare and household duties. But on the other hand, the assistance in the camp is based on an undiversified and gender-blind perception and construction of refugees as passive objects of aid, and latently sustains gendered violence.
Abstract: Standing Tall Australia, Mines Action Canada and the ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance
partnered to produce the Portfolio of 101 Great Ideas for the Socio-Economic Reintegration of Mine Survivors with the realistic hope that it would give wider exposure to the issue of socio-economic reintegration and to existing programs, and raise awareness on the many unique and different ideas currently available which would in turn encourage the implementation of new programs to empower mine survivors and other
persons with disabilities. The Portfolio includes a one or two page presentation of each "great idea" including the history, successes, capacities and challenges in meeting the economic reintegration needs of mine survivors and other persons with disabilities in particular mine-affected communities. The majority of programs included in the Portfolio currently assist mine survivors but a few programs assisting other vulnerable groups have also been included as the ideas could easily be adapted to benefit persons with disabilities.
Abstract: Large quantities of weapons and ammunition from the Balkans and eastern Europe are flowing into Africa's conflict-ridden Great Lakes region, despite evidence of their use in gross human rights violations, according to this report.
The shipments have continued to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite a peace process initiated in 2002 and a United Nations arms embargo.
In a detailed study, Amnesty International reveals the role played by arms dealers, brokers and transporters from many countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Israel, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, the UK a#nd USA. The study traces the supply of weapons and ammunition to the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda and their subsequent distribution to armed groups and militia in the eastern DRC that have been involved in atrocities amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Abstract: The report reveals that Chechens seeking refuge abroad are facing many obstacles. For example, their very basic right to seek asylum is not always respected: In Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Chechens are denied access to the national asylum procedure. Many stay there without any legal rights and almost no humanitarian assistance; Chechens are sometimes denied access to the territory of other states. This happens routinely at the border with Ukraine; EU member states have a widely differing approach to Chechen asylum seekers. Refugee recognition rates vary dramatically within the EU, and the outcome of "the asylum lottery" depends on the country in which the claim has been processed. During the first six months of 2004, the Slovak Republic did not grant asylum to a single person from Russia, while Austria's refugee recognition rate for this group was 96 %. The report raises concern that the system of asylum and integration in new EU states receiving many Chechen asylum seekers, are not up to European standards. It appeals# to "old" EU states to support "new" EU states in providing protection to Chechen asylum seekers. In a recommendation to European states, the Norwegian Refugee Council states that "old" EU states should use the powers they have under the Dublin regulation to examine claims from Chechen asylum seekers lodged on their territory, even if they believe a new member state to be responsible under the Regulations's criteria.
Abstract: In an effort to make European troops more employable in out-of-area operations, the United States has urged NATO to set goals of having each member nation able to deploy 40 percent of its forces abroad with at least 8 percent of each nation's military actually deployed at any given time. The motivation behind this idea would be to help sustain the ongoing shift from reliance on territorial defenses during the Cold War to expeditionary forces in the post-September 11 era. Even so, this objective may be exceedingly difficult for new NATO members to achieve, given the competing budgetary and political pressures to which they are subjected.
Abstract: In the EU, enlargement has aroused concern as to whether the
new member states will put a brake on the development of
common foreign, security and defence policy. The Report
indicates that such concern is unwarranted: the primary objective
of the new member states is to become closely integrated into the
EU's foreign and security policy, which should be as uniform and
effective as possible. Although these countries are not among the
most enthusiastic supporters of closer integration, they do not
wish to take on the role of brakeman. The newcomers' desire to
become full and equal member states creates pressure for active
participation in all areas of integration, including the Common
Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Hence they participate, for
example, in the EU's crisis management operations in Macedonia
and Bosnia-Herzegovina initiated in 2003, and they also intend
to take part in the Union's planned new battlegroups. #Because of
their limited resources and relative unfamiliarity with the EU's
ways of functioning, the new member states are likely to have
only a minor influence on the CFSP over the next few years.
Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed shortly after the end of the Second World War to counter the threat of Soviet invasion of Western Europe. The treaty setting up the alliance was signed in 1949 by 10 Western European nations as well as Canada and the United States. NATO's mandate is to provide a common defence for the European and Atlantic areas, and to address common issues faced by the member countries.
Abstract: The Roma has been historically a frequent target of various forms of official and unofficial discrimination and prejudice. The predecessors of today's Roma are believed to have left their Indian homeland during the 9th and 10th centuries, traveled in the middle of the 11th century through Persia, Armenia and small Asia, and in the 14th and 15th crossed the Danube basin to proceed to the Central and Western Europe.
As Communist repression was lifted after the 1989 "velvet revolution", economic and living conditions deteriorated, and popular prejudice against the Roma became more overt, leading to a dramatic increase in racially motivated threats and violence against Roma and other non-ethnic Czechs. Despite some government actions, the number of racially motivated attacks against Roma continues to rise. In addition, a large number of formerly Czechoslovak Roma found themselves stateless after the 1993 split of Czechoslovakia, as the Czech government enacted a new discriminatory citizenship law which classified them as aliens, and denied them voting rights and social benefits
Due to their lack of political cohesion, widespread poverty and low levels of education, Czech Roma have virtually no risk of rebellion and only a very low risk of protest. Their situation, however, remains poor at best. Roma are still among the poorest in the Czech Republic and are subject to several forms of discrimination and popular prejudice. A disjoined Roma political movement has not been able to provide much help. Despite government efforts to improve the status of Roma, the group's situation in the Czech Republic is deteriorating.
Nonetheless, there are several signs of hope. Chief among them are the continuous pressures by the European Union, the Council of Europe, other regional as #well as non-governmental organizations on the Czech government to remove restrictions and adopt new policies to improve the situation of the Czech Roma.