Despite attempts to present itself as a neutral force, Russia de facto supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime by both political and military means. Moscow’s main goal was to defend the regime against the pressure to relinquish power to the opposition, and also to deter any attempt at a Western/Arab military intervention in Syria. Moscow seems to be ready to accept any scenario which will effectively prevent a regime change in Syria, through prolonging the conflict and the “Lebanization” of Syria, or via an interim agreement which would freeze the status quo. This offers little room for cooperation between the West and Russia, Visiting Researcher Marek Menkiszak argues in the latest FIIA Briefing Paper.
European Parliament Report
A recent European Parliament study argues that the global maritime security environment is in the midst of an important transformation which requires an upgrading of the maritime dimension of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). FIIA researchers Timo Behr, Jyrki Kallio, Mika Aaltola, Charly Salonius-Pasternak and Coordinator Maija Salonen contributed to the study.
Mika Aaltola, Joonas Sipilä, Valtteri Vuorisalo
FIIA Report 36
In the latest FIIA Report, published jointly with the European Policy Centre, Rosa Balfour and Kristi Raik argue that the European External Action Service needs to be at the centre of an emerging EU system of diplomacy.
EPC Issue Paper
Rosa Balfour & Kristi Raik (eds.)
Kristi Raik & Teemu Rantanen
The Russian policies on critical infrastructure protection, which were outlined in the early 2000s, are evolving against a background of the degeneration of infrastructures critical for the country’s economic and social development, and the de-legitimization of political institutions. The recent major catastrophes in Russia, the forest fires in 2010 in particular, have become examples of political events that offer a point of reference for the current regime’s failure to uphold its promises of ‘order and stability’.
Event / Video
While observers warn that the conflict in Syria could escalate and expand, the UN Security Council has failed to agree on how to deal with the situation. A high-level seminar organised by CMI in cooperation with FIIA addressed the issue of peace mediation in a situation where the economic crisis seems to direct media attention away from the human suffering in conflicts. The key note speakers included Nobel Peace laureate President Ahtisaari, George Soros, BBC World Special Correspondent Lyse Doucet and Major General Robert Mood.
Brussels, 16 Nov
Event / Audio
Professor Iwan Morgan argued that the solution to the debt problem lies partly in restoring economic growth but primarily in finding bipartisan political solutions to structural fiscal problems that will oblige the Republicans to accept higher taxes and the Democrats to accept entitlement reform.
Event / Audio
Stephen J. Farnsworth
PISM-FIIA joint publication
As the Arab world moves from the dismantling of autocratic regimes to the building of democratic institutions, various models of transition have emerged that are shaped by the different political bargains struck during the transition. This suggests that electoral politics will remain messy and that unresolved conflicts will be frozen in the emerging political regimes. However, with some of these transitional bargains now being contested, there is potential for a further deepening of democratic change; but also a real risk that the region will see a re-emergence of political conflict, a report co-edited by FIIA Researcher Timo Behr argues.
If Dmitry Medvedev was conciliatory in his final months as president, then Vladimir Putin seems intent on a more combative approach. But the Putin administration's confident moves to re-establish order hide a deeper fear of more protests and a possible colour revolution scenario ahead of the autumn regional elections, FIIA Researcher Sean Roberts argues.
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) marks a historic opportunity to address unsustainable trends in economic, social and environmental development multilaterally. Still, on the eve of Rio+20, the international community lacks consensus and leadership. The EU has taken a very proactive and constructive role in the preparations for Rio+20 but its commitment to the sustainable development agenda is not shared equally across its policies or member states. It is of utmost importance for a successful outcome that the EU works in unison throughout the process.
Antto Vihma & Harro van Asselt
Mon 1.7.2013 at 13:00-14:30
By invitation only
Once a month
Breakfast Briefings deal with topical EU affairs which have implications for Finns and Finland. These Finnish language seminars take place at the Annex Building of the Parliament.
FIIA Newsletter, 19.6.2013
FIIA cooperated with the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland to organise Kultaranta Talks in Naantali 16—17 June. In July, FIIA will take part in SuomiAreena in Pori. Moreover, Programme Directors have been appointed for 2014—2016.
In the media, 17.6.2013
Institute Director Teija Tiilikainen discussed the free trade negotiations beginning in July between the EU and the United States (Turun Sanomat 15.6.). She said the free trade agreement talks have important implications both for the economy and politically. (in Finnish)
Sean P. Roberts
Briefing Paper 132
Mikael Wigell & Mauricio Romero
The European Union research programme focuses on the EU's global and regional role, including the internal dynamics of the Union. The main research themes are the EU's external action, economic policies and institutional development.
The EU's Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme studies the EU's eastern environment with a special focus on Russia's domestic and foreign policy. In particular, the programme concentrates on political developments in the region, energy and climate policies. It also studies international relations in the EU's eastern neighbourhood and the relationship between the region and the EU.
The Global Security research programme approaches global security challenges within the framework of broad security. The programme seeks to understand the global trajectories of security that have significance for the European and Finnish security environments. The issues approached include the prospects for global governance systems, changes in the major power structure, significant factors in functional and regional security and insecurity, the role of the transatlantic relationship in world politics, and the different dimensions of the European security policy.