EA May 2013

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Can the Serbia-Kosovo Deal Prove a Game-Changer for the Balkans?

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garretmartinThe agreement signed between Kosovo and Serbia on 19th April was a stunning and major breakthrough; a significant compromise that opens the possibility of a normalization of relations for the two former belligerents and could unlock their accession path to the European Union. It was yet another vindication of the constructive and leading role played by the EU in the Balkans for over a decade, in stark contrast with the traumatic failures of the 1990s. Thus, even during the Eurozone turmoil, the EU can still remain a major diplomatic player. It was also a very sweet moment for the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, who played an instrumental role in mediating the negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade. That accord will not be easy to implement, and will face some resistance. But it could prove a game changer in the Balkans, providing new momentum to the stalling process of reform in the various countries in the region and to their road to EU accession.

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EU-U.S. Free Trade Pact—Now for the Hard Part

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brianbeary-august2011With the official nomination of President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, Michael Froman, as the next U.S. Trade Representative, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership  (TTIP)has taken a vital and important step closer to the negotiating starting gate.  Froman, a close friend and advisor of the President, has been central to the Obama Administration’s trade agenda since 2009.

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ICT in the TTIP – an Opportunity to Enhance Services Trade and Cybersecurity

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Editors Note—the following article is another in the ongoing series published by European Affairs on the important trade negotiations between the EU and U.S.

patriciaThe Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is expected to be “a high-standard agreement that will benefit U.S. workers, manufacturers, service suppliers, farmers, ranchers, innovators, creators, small- and medium- sized businesses and consumers.”[1] In part, this “high-standard” will be achieved by a “deep dive” into regulation. . With the globe’s two largest markets already having substantially open markets, particularly in information, communications and technology (ICT), regulatory convergence will be at the center of discussions, which means that the rules and authority of regulatory bodies will be front and center. For ICT, the key challenge will be facilitating the free flow of data over the cloud while protecting privacy rights and data security. A subsidiary challenge will be covering – while not fettering – services that enable social media and other “apps” that did not exist the last time services trade was included in a multilateral agreement.

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