President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and counterpart Karimov of Uzbekistan have established and maintained a firm grip on their countries, but have not indicated who might succeed them in the future. Both processes will depend to a large degree on the redistribution of economic resources among political and business elites.
Russia’s takeover of Crimea has reminded its neighbours in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia that – in Moscow’s eyes – they are post-Soviet states first and newly independent states second. This means that the Kremlin is prepared to use military force to safeguard essential interests and that it is willing to pay an international price for doing so.
As of 1 March 2014, the EU will no longer have a EUSR to Central Asia. Ambassador Patricia Flor who has fulfilled the role since June 2012 has been recalled to Berlin and she will not be replaced. Instead, the EEAS is likely to appoint a special envoy to the region. As an EEAS staff member, an envoy will have less political clout with Central Asian leaders and in broader political processes than an EUSR who is appointed by the Council of the EU on behalf of member states.
Like many other international actors, the European Union needs to re-assess its activities in Afghanistan. The on-going drawdown of the international presence in Afghanistan during 2014 marks a major turning point for the future of that country. Since 2001, the EU has committed considerable resources to Afghanistan, and this FRIDE working paper analyses the legacy of those efforts. The paper also makes a number of recommendations for the future role of the EU in Afghanistan.
The Euromaidan protests in Kyiv, which began in November 2013, reflect deep frustration with the way Ukraine is governed, the lack of democracy and rule of law, violations of human rights, rampant corruption, police violence and arbitrary justice. The current large-scale protests have brought together citizens with many different grievances, over 90 per cent of whom are not members of any political party. The protesters have not yet achieved their principle demands, such as the dismissal of the president and bringing to justice those responsible for violence against protesters. But the Euromaidan has changed Ukraine, by revealing the birth of an impressive pro-democratic citizens’ movement.
After two months of peaceful protests against the ruling regime in Ukraine, violence has broken out. For two days, angry protesters have clashed with the police denying them access to the government quarter in central Kyiv. Why has the peaceful protest turned violent? The growing repression by the regime along with the lack of an effective non-violent strategy and leadership by the opposition have radicalised the protests.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
FRIDE ceased its think tank activities on 31st December 2015 for economic reasons. The Board of Trustees had to take this difficult decision since, despite many efforts to diversify its funding sources, FRIDE cannot sustain its think tank operations with a view to 2016 and beyond.
Established in 1999, FRIDE has made a major contribution to shape debate on Europe’s external activities in an increasingly challenging international environment. It has covered issues ranging from democracy and human rights to sustainable development, new approaches to multilateral cooperation and security affairs. FRIDE’s long-standing focus on the extended neighbourhood of the European Union proves today all the more relevant given widespread turbulence in the region. FRIDE’s emphasis on the importance of the values framing Europe’s external activities is central to current political debates in Europe and beyond. This shows the need for continued engagement in the pursuit of a common European foreign policy that is both effective and informed by the core values of European integration.
The Board wishes to thank Diego Hidalgo, FRIDE’s founder, for his tireless commitment and very generous support for many years. The Board also wishes to thank FRIDE’s dedicated staff, the members of the Board and the Advisory Committee for their contribution in making FRIDE one of the top foreign policy think tanks in Europe. We are very grateful to all those who have supported FRIDE’s work and projects over the years and we thank the many partners from all parts of the world who have worked with FRIDE on joint initiatives. We hope that FRIDE’s extensive input to the debate on Europe in the world will continue to inform thinking and action at a very critical time for Europe’s future.
The President of the Board
FRIDE cesó sus actividades como think tank el 31 de diciembre de 2015 por razones económicas. El Patronato tuvo que adoptar esta difícil decisión dado que, a pesar de los intensos esfuerzos realizados para diversificar sus fuentes de financiación, FRIDE no puede sostener sus operaciones como think tank a partir de 2016.
Establecido en 1999, FRIDE ha realizado una gran contribución al debate sobre las actividades exteriores de Europa en un ambiente internacional cada vez más complejo. Ha trabajado en temas que van desde la democracia y los derechos humanos al desarrollo sostenible, los nuevos enfoques en la cooperación multilateral y las cuestiones de seguridad. La atención prestada por FRIDE a la vecindad extendida de la Unión Europea durante mucho tiempo prueba ser hoy aún más relevante debido a la turbulencia que azota a la región. El énfasis de FRIDE en la importancia de los valores que enmarcan las actividades exteriores europeas es central en los debates en Europa y más allá. Esto muestra la necesidad de un compromiso continuo con la búsqueda de una política exterior europea común que sea eficaz y esté basada en los principios fundamentales de la integración europea.
El Patronato desea agradecer a Diego Hidalgo, fundador de FRIDE, por su incansable compromiso y muy generoso apoyo a lo largo de tantos años. También quiere expresar su gratitud a la dedicada plantilla, a los propios miembros del Patronato y del Comité Asesor por sus contribuciones para hacer de FRIDE uno de los principales think tanks de Europa en cuestiones de política exterior. Estamos muy agradecidos con todos aquellos que han apoyado el trabajo y los proyectos de FRIDE a través de los años y también damos las gracias a los numerosos socios de todas partes del mundo que han colaborado con FRIDE en iniciativas conjuntas. Esperamos que las extensas aportaciones de FRIDE al debate sobre Europa en el mundo continuará informando el pensamiento y la acción en un momento muy crítico para el futuro de Europa.
El Presidente del Patronato