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Interview with Thanos Dokos: “The deterioration of Moscow–Athens relations as unpleasant surprise”

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 15:53

The interview is available only in Greek here.

Source: Free Sunday

Orphan reforms

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 15:45

Commentary published in the newspaper “Filelevtheros” (available only in Greek here), which refers to the recently published report entitled “Structural Reforms in Greece during the Crisis: 2010-2014. Overview, Evaluation and Policy Proposals” edited by the Crisis Observatory

Strategic Workshop: “Threat perceptions and scenarios for EU security and defense”

Mon, 16/07/2018 - 15:43

The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) under the Mercator European Dialogue (MED) program, successfully organized the strategic  workshop on: “Threat perceptions and scenarios for EU security and defense” on the 10th of July.

European MPs and researchers attended the event, had the opportunity to exchange views on critical issues of the European Union. This exchange has been initiated under the framework of the Mercator European Dialogue, a project organised by the German Marshall Fund of the United States in cooperation with the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy in Athens and is funded by Stiftung Mercator and since 2017 also by the King Baudouin Foundation.



Report: “Structural Reforms in Greece during the Crisis”

Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:14

A new report entitled “Structural Reforms in Greece during the Crisis: 2010-2014. Overview, Evaluation and Policy Proposals”, has just been published by the Crisis Observatory. The report is the outcome of the research programme “The Political Economy of Structural Reforms in Greece”, which was assigned to the Crisis Observatory by the Bank of Greece.

The report was coordinated and edited by Dimitris Katsikas (Head of the Crisis Observatory). The researchers that participated in the research programme and contributed to the report are: Dimitris Katsikas, Marianthi Anastasatou, Elisavet Nitsi, Athanasios Petralias, Kyriakos Filinis, Giannis Vintzileos and AlexandroGeorgakopoulos.

A printed version of the report will be presented in a special event, which will be announced by the website and the social media of the Crisis/ Observatory and ELIAMEP.

Sorry, this entry is only available in Greek.

Working Paper: Ο Δικτυοκεντρικός Πόλεμος (Net Centric Warfare – NCW)

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 10:55

The vigorous development of military technology has changed the way in which military operations are carried out, and at the same time the way and structure of the Administration. Countries with strong armed forces have broadly developed the so-called “Network-centric War”. The result was to gain a military advantage in the battlefield against the enemy. Regular benefits have arisen due to good image, immediate and timely transfer of information and, finally, effective destruction of hostile targets. Apart from the US, China and Turkey are two countries that are implementing Net Centric Warfare.

Working Paper 95/2018: Net Centric Warfare – NCW (in Greek)

Greek Crisis: The End Game and Beyond

Tue, 19/06/2018 - 14:09

The three main protagonists in the Greek economic crisis, the Greek government, the IMF and the Eurozone partners ignored known lessons of how to deal with debt problems and committed policy errors that unnecessarily prolonged the crisis. This short note discusses the options for debt relief and restoration of creditworthiness at the end of the third bailout, which is soon approaching, and makes recommendations for Greek government policy that would promote viable, inclusive economic growth for the long term.

Click here to read the ELIAMEP Thesis “Greek Crisis: The End Game and Beyond

The Future of European Defence – more Union needed?

Tue, 19/06/2018 - 13:23



The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Athens Office, would like to invite you to a debate on:

The Future of European Defence – more Union needed?

This invite-only round table discussion aims to debate the recent trends in European security and defence policy. The panel of distinguished specialists will update us on the state of the EU’s structured cooperation agenda, discuss the degree of strategic autonomy we desire and need, and interpret the concepts of a European Defence Union and a European Army. It will explore the challenges of the current geostrategic context in the region and the stance of Greece within.

Inputs by:

Jo Coelmont, Egmont Institute Brussels, Former Belgian Permanent Representative to the Military Committee of the European Union

Thanos Dokos, Director-General, ELIAMEP, Athens

Hans-Peter Bartels, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Berlin


Followed by a discussion with all participants chaired by

Uwe Optenhögel, Vice-President of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies FEPS and editor of the book ‘Strategic Autonomy and the Defense of Europe’


The event will be followed by a reception.

The event will be held in English, on Wednesday 20 June 2018, at 18:30 hrs, at Aegli – Zappeion  – Privee hall (1st floor).



Ms. Nina Papaioannou Τ: 210 7257111,  F: 210 7257114




Athens office,

India & Europe in a changing world

Tue, 19/06/2018 - 12:58

The Embassy of India and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

organized  a lecture delivered by H.E. the President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind,

on: India & Europe in a changing world

Professor Loukas Tsoukalis, President of ELIAMEP, introduced the speaker.

The lecture was delivered in English on Tuesday 19 June 2018 at 11:00-12:00 at the Zappeion Megaron

Please click here find the speech of H.E. the President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind

Please click here find the speech of Professor Loukas Tsoukalis

MEETING REPORT: Eastern Partnership: Looking beyond the 2017 Summit

Mon, 11/06/2018 - 14:24
Eastern Partnership: Looking beyond the 2017 Summit

Athens, 8 November 2017


Organized by ELIAMEP and the European Commission Representation in Greece,

in cooperation with the Embassies of Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden


Dr. Panagiota Manoli

Coordinator, Russia and Eurasia Studies Programme, ELIAMEP


The conference “Eastern Partnership: Looking beyond the 2017 Summit” was held with the goal to nurture discussion at a policy and academic level in view of the 5th EaP Summit held in Brussels on 24 November 2017. The Conference gathered representatives of the diplomatic world, policy makers and academics who casted light on various aspects of the EaP.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) marks nearly a decade of existence. Presented for the first time in May 2008 at the EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council it was the result of a initiative of Poland jointly proposed with Sweden. The EaP was expected to govern EU’s relations with its eastern partners that had no immediate membership prospect; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, while integrating them in a common European economic space. Expeditated by the ‘5 days war’ of August 2008 between Georgia and Russia, the EaP has been through a period of crises which hindered its implementation and put under question its overall policy relevance. As a result of crises and the deterioration of relations between the West and Russia, especially since 2014, the EaP acquired a stronger geopolitical significance and turned more political. Rather than blocking EaP, crises triggered its further development.


The Eastern Partnership as a successful EU policy

The EaP constitutes a sui generis policy which is both an external governance policy (non-coercive creation of liberal order based on rules around which actors’ expectations converge) and an integration policy (integrating non-EU areas into a single European space in material and normative terms). As such, it has marked progress especially at the institutional level. Despite security challenges on the ground, the policy has sustained a path of approximation between the EU and its eastern partners. Ten years since the launching of the first round of negotiations on an Association Agreement, three partner countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) have working Association Agreements, visa-free regime and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) with the EU. Especially the DCFTA have proven a tool of political, social and economic reforms rather than a mere technical instrument.  Thus, today the partnership between the EU and its eastern neighbours has taken successful steps ahead:

  • The Association Agreements/DCFTA signed with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are in force and provide a clear agenda for reforms in all three countries.
  • Three years after a visa-free regime was set up with Moldova, the EU has eliminated obligatory Schengen visas for citizens from Georgia and Ukraine who hold biometric passports.
  • The initialling of the Comprehensive Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Armenia, signed in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2017
  • Progress in negotiations for a new agreement with Azerbaijan and enhanced contacts with Belarus are clear signals of the EaP’s ability to adjust to changing circumstances
  • EaP countries contribute to CSDP missions (currently Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), as well as EU Battle Groups (Ukraine).

Twenty (20) key deliverables have been identified in the framework of the priorities agreed in Riga, on the basis of already existing commitments on both EU’s and EaP Partner Countries’ side. Each deliverable is complemented by: milestones and targets to be achieved by 2020; implementation modalities, and main actors involved. This structure allows for the 20 key deliverables to act as a work plan guiding joint actions in the next phase of the EaP until 2020.

The most outstanding challenge for EaP’s success has been the Ukrainian crisis which has created war conditions and continuing instability in eastern neighborhood. Still, despite the crisis in Ukraine and perhaps because of it, EU-Ukraine rapprochement has taken a new upturn with significant advancements in all fields of cooperation bringing about structural changes in the Ukrainian state. These include wide-scale judiciary and administrative reforms towards strengthening the rule of law while in the course of last two years, EU has become the largest market for Ukrainian products, absorbing more than 40% of Ukrainian exports. Market forces along with politics have segmented Ukraine’s European choice.

Georgia, a front runner in EaP, has advanced to 1st place in anti-Corruption and Open Government Index among the 19 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia and it has also become a regional leader in the Rule of Law Index, scoring 34th position worldwide. Georgia was 13th in Economic Freedom ranking (by Heritage foundation), which actually is a place between the UK and Luxembourg and 9th in the World Bank “easy to make business” ranking for 2018. Moldova another frontrunner in EaP, has been making some headway in democratic and economic reform despite troublesome political periods. The EU is Moldova’s first trading partner and biggest investor in the country. Reforms pushed forwarded by the EaP have played a crucial role in making this progress.

Constrains are also present and vary from operational capacity problems, to the counter role of competing powers in the region, especially Russia, the local regimes’ willingness to push ahead with painful reforms and the resistance to dominant governance models. It is of course difficult to assess EaP against specific benchmarks and measurable targets due to its long term, comprehensive perspective, while it is early to make firm assessment of EaP’s impact as AAs have just one or two years of actual existence (Moldova’s and Georgia’s agreements were operational by 2016, Ukraine’s by September 2017). EaP is however certainly a flexible and adaptable policy, as witnessed by the various Reviews of the ENP.


The Future of EaP: creating a vision beyond the Summit

On the EU side, the EaP vision has been recently built by two guideline papers which set the overall policy framework in the short term. The first is the “Eastern Partnership – 20 Deliverables for 2020: Focusing on key priorities and tangible results” and the second is the 2016 communication on the ‘Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy’. The EU should however become more proactive about selling the long-term benefit of EaP policy, rather than taking the virtues of the ‘Brussels model’ as a given.

From the partner countries’ perspective, expectations on EaP’s development are high though often diverse on the level of integration with the EU to which they aspire. These expectations have been evident in the common position prepared by the three EaP countries, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, in view of the Declaration of the Brussels Summit Meeting. The EaP is expected to gain more political weight while at the same time acquiring a stronger project – oriented agenda. Energy security, development of trans-border cooperation, migration and business support are areas for practical cooperation that will give tangible outcomes. Accession to Schengen zone, EU Customs Union, Energy Union with the EU and a Joint Digital Market are steps which are specifically put forward. For at least the three front runners in the EaP, this project based approach should not be however an end to itself, but it should prepare the partners for their integration in the EU.

Though the policy was launched as a government centered one, it has acquired a strong civil society element and turned more towards people to people contacts (education, mobility partnerships, and business). This ‘people first’ approach should remain as it strengthens the visibility of the policy. An issue that regularly comes up while discussing EaP is its potential in addressing issues of hard security, namely conflicts in Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.  Though the EaP was neither designed as a security policy, nor is equipped with conflict resolution tools, it could develop as a policy against annexation and occupation tactics in Europe and stipulate defence cooperation between partners and the EU.

The EaP has been successfully balancing two fundamental policy principles – differentiation and inclusiveness. To this end, the EaP should give more motivation for further reforming and modernizing those participant countries which clearly identify the European way of development as the main internal and external policy priority. An efficient and successful EU policy strengthens the flank of pro-European forces and underpins the view that the EU continues to be a successful project of regional and global importance. Building resilience among the engaged partners is the guiding principle in substantiating EaP.


Annex I. Programme

Annex II. Conference presentations

  1. Panos Carvounis, Head of European Commission Representation in Greece_Welcome Remarks
  2. Archil Karaulashvili, First Deputy State Minister of Georgia_Talking Points
  3. Vassilis Maragos,Head of Unit for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus & Eastern Partnership, DG NEAR, European Commission_Presentation

Annex III: EaP factsheets

  1. EU is strengthening businesses in Eastern Partner countries- factsheet
  2. EU Develops Digital Economies and Societies in Eastern Partner Countries
  3. Eastern Partnership a Policy that Delivers (from 2015)


Annex IV: 5th EaP Summit’s Joint Declaration

Working Paper: Early Turkish elections: Erdoğan’s strengths and challenges

Mon, 04/06/2018 - 14:22

Fifteen years since the party’s ascendance in power, AK Parti enters for the first time an electoral race facing several important challenges. Despite the economic crisis and the government’s authoritarian policy, Erdoğan could still win the elections based on his advantages and the weaknesses of the opposition. In the early elections of 24th June, AK Parti could secure the continuation of its power, but in the second round of elections may create interesting balances in the new parliament.

Please find the Working Paper here.

Should richer EU countries take more refugees?

Mon, 04/06/2018 - 13:41

The number of refugees arriving in Europe by sea has dropped dramatically. Between January and the end of May 2018, only 28,000 migrants and refugees arrived via the Mediterranean route. That’s a 53% drop compared to the same period in 2017, and an 85% drop compared to 2016 (when 193,000 people arrived).

Yet the fall in arrivals hasn’t made the politics any less divisive. Europe is still struggling over what to do with the people already here. Redistributing refugees remains a ferociously contentious issue (see, for example, the anti-refugee rhetoric in the recent Hungarian elections) and large numbers of people remain trapped in a legal limbo, many in reception centres in Greece and Italy waiting to be told they can move to other countries. Critics say EU plans to redistribute refugees have totally failed. Even if they had succeeded, many asylum seekers (including those from Afghanistan) were anyway excluded from the scheme.

Citizens in frontline countries, including Greece, feel they’ve been abandoned. Whilst Greece, for example, has received significant financial assistance to help cope with the refugee crisis, the country has been completely overwhelmed in terms of hosting and processing arrivals. Plus, the refugee and migrant crisis took place while Greece has been undergoing painful austerity measures, including mass redundancies and public sector cuts.

In order to take a closer look at the local impact of the refugee crisis, we have launched our ‘Cities & Refugees‘ project – aimed at fostering a Europe-wide dialogue between citizens, refugees and asylum seekers, NGOs, politicians, and European leaders. The emphasis is on connecting local, everyday life at the city level to decisions made in Brussels and national capitals.

Today, we are looking at Athens. Greece is one of the frontline countries in the European refugee and migrant crisis. The number of arrivals by sea has fallen since an EU-Turkey deal allowing Greece to return new “irregular migrants” to Turkey in exchange for pre-processed Syrian refugees. Still, in 2017 there were roughly 60,000 asylum seekers and migrants stranded in the country.

Greece has a population of roughly 11 million (though it has been declining in recent years), with around 3-4 million living in the “Athens Urban Area” (i.e. the city of Athens itself, plus the greater metropolitan area surrounding it). It’s estimated that more than 2,500 refugees and migrants are living in squats in Athens occupied by anarchists and so-called “solidarity” groups. Conditions for asylum seekers and migrants in Greece have been heavily criticised by NGOs.

Yet, according to Eurostat, more than one in three Greeks in 2016 were experiencing conditions of poverty or social exclusion, including 37.8% of children under the age of 17 (the highest percentage in the EU since 2010). In recent months, there have been protests from both asylum seekers and Greek residents who feel like they’ve been abandoned.

Read the interview with Dr. Angeliki Dimitriadi here.


INVITATION: a dialogue on “Dilemmas of Democracy”

Wed, 30/05/2018 - 15:40

Speakers from academia, politics, civil society in Greece, as well as researchers from the most prominent centers of political analysis in Europe, will come to discuss with active and participating citizens about the problems faced by contemporary democracies in Europe and on the possibilities of activating citizens and revitalizing direct democracy.

Please find the Invitation and the Programme here

Working Paper: The Turkish Military Procurement Programme

Tue, 22/05/2018 - 13:05

The increase of the turkish challenges in the Aegean sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, coupled with the completion of the grand armed turkish armament program, puts Greece ahead of unprecedented threats to its sovereign rights. At the same time, the changes that have been observed in the way that Turkey’s  foreign policy is exercised may bring the two countries in the next few years near a war incident, as forecasted analysts believe. The Hellenic armed forces have been weakened by the ongoing finacial crisis, alongside the policy of avoiding the purchase of new weapons, because of the scandals that have dominated in armament programms in the past. Τhe correlation of power in the Aegean has begun to be overturned, and the present text has to answer, what are the appropriate measures to take in order to organize an effective national defense, taking into account all existing constraints on resources.

The Working Paper is available here (in Greek only)

ELIAMEP becomes Coalition Partner to Debating Security Plus 2018

Wed, 16/05/2018 - 15:24

Debating Security Plus (DS+) is a unique global online brainstorm that aims to yield concrete recommendations in the area of peace, security and defence. Gathering several thousand participants from around the world, it is the only platform that permits a truly global whole-of-society consultation providing innovative recommendations for some of the world’s most pressing security challenges.

For the sixth time, the 2018 brainstorm will bring together senior international participants from the military, national governments, international organisations and agencies, along with voices from NGOs and civil society, business and industry, the media, think-tanks and academia. Their involvement in our security policy brainstorm will help bridge the gaps between experts and citizens, and their recommendations will aim to inform the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, as well as the policies of national governments and other international institutions as they shape their approaches to peace, security and defence.

From 19 June, 09:00 CEST to 20 June 20:00 CEST, the international security community will debate challenges and policy solutions relating to six different themes. The discussions will be moderated by leading international think-tanks and organisations that will steer discussions towards concrete recommendations.

Follow DS+ in Twitter and Facebook.

Interested to participate in the dialogue?

Follow the link to register.

Working Paper: Employment protection legislation (EPL) in Greece (2010-2017)

Fri, 11/05/2018 - 10:54

This article aims at offering a critical overview of the major institutional initiatives in the field of employment protection legislation (EPL) during the recent economic adjustment programs in Greece (2010-2017).

Furthermore, in the context of the European debate about the role and impact of employment protection legislation, the article investigates if these reforms constitute a well defined change of labour protection model in Greece as well as its direction.

The Working Paper is available here (in Greek only)