EA March 2014

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Perspectives: U.S. Plans to Divest Control Over Internet’s ICANN; Dilemma for Some European Registries

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davidjohnsonThe U.S. Commerce Department recently announced that it is prepared to relinquish its contracting role with ICANN for the provision of the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) services. IANA provides a crucial function for the internet by processing and approving changes in the root zone file.   This will likely reduce the power of U.S. government unilaterally to oversee or regulate ICANN’s processes for making policies that bind internet registries, registrars and registrants by means of mandatory flow down contracts.

 

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Perspectives: Armenia’s Choice — A Different Path from Ukraine

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armensahakyanphotoAs the Ukrainian crisis threatens to bring simmering tensions to a boil, another former Soviet state, Armenia, recently faced with similar choices, is quiet.   The core issue in both countries was having to choose between Europe and Russia.  Both countries have strong ties to both the West and to Russia. Like Ukraine, Armenia was engaged in the EU’s “Eastern Partnership” initiative, and also like Ukraine, it had initialed, after long negotiations, an Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union.   However, several months before last year’s Vilnius Summit, during which signatures were expected on these agreements, Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia, traveled to Moscow and issued a joint statement with Russia announcing Armenia’s desire to join the Russian-led Eurasian Customs Union.

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Letter from Europe: On Eve of Elections, Calls for Further EU Institutional Reforms Continue

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jacquelinegrapin2013.smCitizens of the 28 countries members of the European Union are getting ready to elect representatives to the European Parliament-- at the end of May 2014. For the first time since European parliamentary elections began in 1979, the results will have a direct influence on the choice of the president of the European Commission as he will be “elected” by the new parliament following nomination by the European Council which, in turn, is supposed to reflect the result of the election. Each of the two main political parties have designated their candidates: former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and President of the Eurogroup Jean Claude Juncker for the European Peoples’ Party, and current President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz for the Party of European Socialists.

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Perspectives: Options for NATO in the Ukraine Crisis

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bod.hunter2Institutions matter. That trite phrase has come back into its own in the continuing crisis over Crimea. The roles that the European Union played, wittingly or not, in the run-up to the actions taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin are now being raked over. Did the EU respond too late to the financial crisis in Ukraine? Did it interfere too boldly in Ukrainian internal politics? Was EU leadership too weak? Too strong? The answers to these questions cannot all be “Yes,” and people in the various EU institutions will be debating them for a long time to come.

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