January 11, 2006 Anthropology of East Europe Review
Gypsies, who call themselves Roma  have historically been Europe's most disadvantaged and discriminated against ethnic group. With an estimated five million people in southeastern and Eastern Europe and another two million in the West, Gypsies are Europe's largest minority (Bourne, 1993) and an obvious target of persecution. In several Eastern European countries, Roma, with their distinctive appearance, way of life, and sometimes also religion, provide a convenient scapegoat and focus for old prejudices and new frustrations. In the past couple of years, a continent-wide ascension of racism swept the newly democratized East. In Western Europe the targets are Jews, Muslims, and immigrants generally. In Eastern Europe, the racist attacks are directed primarily at the Roma....
November 2, 2005 Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
Recent years have witnessed a spate of interventions - including actions
taken in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haiti, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, East Timor,
Afghanistan, Iraq and Congo. Although the mandate of the mission in
each case has differed, they all sought to rectify a situation that
threatened the security not only of the population within a war-torn
country, but also regional security. Because a durable reestablishment of
security tends to be measurable in at least a decade rather than years,
finding a definitive answer to the question whether the international
community has succeeded in SSR should be left to the future. This
particular study will be limited largely to the challenges of security
sector reform in Iraq as viewed on the basis of the experiences of the
Polish stabilisation forces. Because the stabilisation and reconstruction
of Iraq is an on-going challenge, an attempt to draw conclusions as to
what are the ingredients and means of handling a comprehensive
security sector reform# would be too ambitious. Instead, this study will
seek to extrapolate some Iraqi lessons for future security sector reforms
in post-conflict states....
April 12, 2005 Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies // Nanyang Technological University
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....
March 1, 2005 European Union Institute for Security Studies
Following the events of 11 September 2001, Poland emerged as one of the United States's key allies, arguably its protégé, in Central and Eastern Europe. The close affinity of interests on security matters between the United States and Poland became particularly apparent in Iraq, where Warsaw proved to be a strong and highly vocal supporter of Washington. However, at the same time, Poland has been progressively drawn into the internal workings of the EU, and as a consequence its perspectives on European security have evolved towards a more xe2x80x98EU-positive' attitude. This, coupled with disappointment over the war in Iraq, has meant that Poland's Atlanticism is increasingly questioned, with calls for a more pro-European attitude growing. This paper will reflect upon these debates and argue that Poland's Atlanticism is indeed changing. Focusing on the Iraq conflict and perspectives tow#ards the EU's security ambitions, this paper will show that Warsaw has strived to reconcile its Atlanticism with a concomitant engagement in the European Union's CSFP and ESDP. The paper concludes that Poland's Atlanticism is likely to be toned down in the future as Poland becomes more focused on developing its policies in an EU context and in cooperation with individual member states.
The size and scope of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has dwindled since the height of the invasion in 2003. Britain, the largest member of the coalition after the United States, recently announced plans to withdraw 1,600 troops from Iraq in the months ahead and to shift their combat role to support and training. U.S. and British officials say this partial withdrawal is a positive sign because security is improving in parts of the south, where coalition forces are primarily stationed, and where Iraqi forces are increasingly "stepping up." The shrinking of the coalition coincides with a surge of U.S. forces deployed to Anbar and Baghdad provinces but may complicate efforts to eventually redeploy from Iraq....
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....
December 7, 2004 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
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.
May 29, 2007 Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington D.C.
On May 23 Polish Defense Minister Aleksander Szczyglo visited Kandahar to meet with the 1,300 highly-trained Polish troops that are set to join NATO forces in Afghanistan. The troops are completing drills to reach peak combat readiness and will formally begin their patrol mission in the southern and eastern regions of the country in early June. Polish General Mieczyslaw Bieniek, an adviser to the Afghan defense ministry in Kabul, expressed his absolute confidence in the soldiers.
On May 24, Poland annou#nced that it will provide helicopters and heavy and light arms to enhance the capability of the Afghan armed forces after an agreement was signed by Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Defense Minister Szczyglo.Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Zahir Azimi explained that the arms and helicopters would be given to Afghanistan as a grant and Afghanistan, but did not confirm the number and type of helicopters and equipment....
April 27, 2011 International Peace Research Institute
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....
• The protection of asylum-seekers in Europe is dealt with under three principal bodies of law: the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951, the law of the European Union and the soft law developed by the Council of Europe.
• Member states of the Council of Europe are also bound by the judgments of the European Convention on Human Rights; although the convention makes no reference to refugee protection, its provisions and the judgments of its court in Strasbourg impose important obligations on states in respect of asylum.
• The entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999 initiated the first phase of the creation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which aimed to harmonize refugee protection among member states while enabling them to meet their international obligations in that respect.
• The harmonizing measures adopted by the EU have been subject to severe criticism and the practices of member states reveal a systemic failure to comply with international refugee protection obligations.
• While there have been improvements in European refugee policy, significant challenges must be addressed before Europe can regain its reputation as a champion of the rights of the refugee. This is given particular urgency by recent events in North Africa, which may lead to large numbers of persons fleeing violence and disorder....
This report compiles the latest evidence of European countries' complicity in the CIA's programmes in the context of the fight against terrorism in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the USA.
"The EU has utterly failed to hold member states accountable for the abuses they've committed," said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International's European Institutions Office.
"These abuses occurred on European soil. We simply can't allow Europe to join the US in becoming an 'accountability-free' zone. The tide is slowly turning with some countries starting investigations but much more needs to be done." Intergovernmental organizations such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the UN have been at the forefront of investigating human rights violations associated with the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes.
Following disclosures in their reports, inquiries into state complicity or legal processes aimed at individual responsibility took place or are currently in progress in countries such as Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom....
April 13, 2010 Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict
Afghan civilians deserve amends from warring parties for deaths, injuries, and property
losses—that is, some form of recognition and monetary compensation. Under international
law and agreements signed with the Afghan government, the troop contributing nations
(TCNs) of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are not liable for damage to
civilian property or civilian injury or death as a result of lawful operations. However, most
ISAF members now offer payments when such losses occur. This is a marked improvement
from the early days of the conflict when the US and its NATO allies declined to address civilian
harm. CIVIC’s research into the experiences of ISAF troops and Afghan civilians demonstrates that
when international military forces provide payment (henceforth called “compensation” to
indicate both monetary and in-kind help), especially combined with an apology for harm,
civilian hostility toward international forces decreases. However, the effectiveness of these
payments has been limited by the lack of uniform policies across ISAF nations, limited information
gathering about civilian harm generally and, in many cases, insensitive requirements
that civilians suffering losses take the initiative to file claims.
This report describes the policies and practices of major ISAF TCNs. It finds that soldiers as
well as civilians view amends for harm favorably. The process of investigation, negotiation
of payment, and offers of formal compensation are opportunities to strengthen relationships
with local leaders and communities, to explain what happened, and acknowledge loss....
June 3, 2009 Initiative for Peacebuilding // Partners for Democratic Change International
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