CCL Alex Berger - Flickr


Olivia Rumble and Andrew Gilder, Climate Legal, South Africa

COVID-19 has important consequences for the full operationalisation of the Paris Agreement including the fundamentally important mechanism for increased domestic climate change ambition, namely the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by country Parties to the Agreement. Every effort should be made to maintain the progress that has been achieved in framing national mitigation and adaptation efforts as NDCs, since the Paris Agreement was concluded. Review and updating of African NDCs is at risk including from lack of finances and pandemic restrictions and connectivity challenges which hamper the required specialist input and stakeholder engagement processes. These issues are particularly acute in African Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Despite these factors, the African continent has considerable global strategic value and influence and increases in African climate change ambition, as expressed in NDCs, will likely have cross pollinating effects on other developing countries. The following illustrative approaches might be applied to overcoming the above-mentioned hurdles to African NDC development: - use of developed country Party delegation country-offices and their internet connectivity to facilitate meetings on host country NDCs between local players, including the public and private sectors, civil society and specialist advisors; - development of awareness campaigns of the NDC review process; - support for public gatherings that conform to local pandemic requirements and outdoor venues, and similar actions tailored to local requirements. Whilst seemingly inconsequential in scale, these types of actions of support can have far reaching implications for LDC governments and the wider public. Unquestionably, climate finance also continues to play a dominant role in the region’s NDC review process and in this context, developed countries should be particularly attuned to ensuring that outgoing financial support for their review and implementation remains forthcoming.

CCL Intermountain Forest Service

The EU’s Carbon Border Tax and the Fate of the Green Deal Diplomacy

Which pathway for an inclusive Border Carbon Adjustment Mechanism?

Often referred to as a technical tool to prevent carbon leakage, the EU’s planned Carbon Border Tax is right at the heart of a broader geopolitical question. It reflects the EU Commission’s willingness to play hardball in its Green Deal Diplomacy. No wonder the initiative has created a considerable global backlash. But there is a simple principle that can guide the way for an inclusive Carbon Border Tax: “Doing the least harm” – to the multilateral system, to developing economies, and to the EU’s legitimacy as a climate leader.

CCL United Nations Photo - UNMISS

China’s growing security role in Africa Suggestions for a European response

Tom Bayes, International Consultant

As it emerges as a global security actor, Beijing is actively pursuing a greater role in African peace and security – which it established as a priority area for Sino-African ties in 2018. In recent years, China has stepped up military diplomacy, training and arms sales on the continent (becoming the second-largest supplier); mediated conflicts; and expanded its role in UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKOs) both quantitatively and qualitatively. Beijing has also located its first overseas military base on the continent, in Djibouti. Coupled with its considerable economic and diplomatic influence on the continent, China’s growing engagement with African security raises new challenges and opportunities for Africa and its existing security partners, including European actors in the EU and NATO. This #MDPD paper on democracy and development draws on fieldwork in eight African countries, including interviews of senior military officers, government officials, politicians, researchers and civil society actors, as well as foreign diplomats and officials of international organisations.

Michele Pasquale

Political Party Cooperation in Third Countries - Key Elements of Effective EU Democracy Promotion

Peter Köppinger, International Consultant

The MDPD paper sets the frame of how the EU can organize its cooperation with political parties and shall initiate further discussion on the topic.

Gleb Garanich, Reuters

The Second Generation of Climate Minilateralism

Building a New Mitigation Alliance

With multilateral progress on climate change lagging behind, a range of “minilateral” climate alliances have emerged over the past years. However, most of these climate clubs only had a limited impact in practice. In order to accelerate global climate action, there is a need for a second generation of climate minilateralism – a new Mitigation Alliance that provides exclusive benefits, comprises enthusiastic actors, and is closely aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Promoting water security in the MENA region

Water technology solutions in development cooperation and the role of SMEs

On the 09th of July 2019 the MPDP together with SME Europe organized in Brussels an expert exchange on “Promoting water security In the MENA region”. European and regional experts from the civil society, business sector and administrative level came together, to discuss the MENA region’s most pressing challenges concerning water security. This paper summarises the event’s output and discusses economic framework conditions to promote and improve inter and intraregional water technology transfer through SMEs. It further addresses the question of how to enhance investment protection and capacity building in the region. It focuses on ways to make sure that water technology knowledge is sustainable and to the benefit of the people in need.

Freihandelsabkommen EU-MERCOSUR - „Südbrücke“ im Atlantik

Lange nichts, und auf einmal schienen es alle eilig zu haben: Zwanzig Jahre nach Verhandlungsstart, pünktlich zum diesjährigen G20-Treffen und wenige Wochen vor dem Ende der „Juncker-Kommission“, erzielten die Verhandlungsführer, drei EU-Kommissare und vier südamerikanische Minister, am 28. Juni den Durchbruch in Brüssel: die Einigung auf ein Freihandelsabkommen zwischen der EU und dem Handelsbündnis MERCOSUR (Zusammenschluss von Argentinien, Brasilien, Paraguay und Uruguay).

Returnees in the Mahgreb

Comparing Policies on Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia

More than 5,000 North African volunteers traveled to Syria and Iraq in the aftermath of the ‘Arab Spring’, and about 2,000 joined jihadi groups in Libya. This report looks at the unprecedented scope and dynamics of this mobilisation, focusing on three countries: Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. It focuses more specifically on the challenge of returning foreign fighters, exploring the risk they pose and the policies that have been developed (or not) to handle them upon return. The report concludes with some recommendations, for the region and for Europe.

HansMusa/ Shutterstock

Jamal Khashoggi in the European Parliament: Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Arabia: Reforms, Alliances, Regional Role

Three months before his murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Jamal Khashoggi joined EU policymakers in a public debate in the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the reform process initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and how it would affect Saudi Arabia’s position as a key player in Middle Eastern geopolitics. In the light of the events that have unfolded in late 2018, and in view of the lasting impact of Khashoggi’s legacy on the global standing of Saudi Arabia, we decided to release this transcript of the June debate.

Access to clean and efficient energy in developing countries

The need for EU action to implement SDG7

Universal access to energy is yet to become a reality. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 1.2 billion people currently live without access to electricity.

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