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  • Author: Katerina Davidova
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The European Commission unveiled its long-awaited extensive package of energy legislation proposals at the end of 2016. While it is an important step on the way towards an integrated European Energy Union, the project still exists more on paper than in reality. Bridging the gap between vastly differing energy policies of various member states such as Germany and Poland will be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome on its way to success. With the increasing desire to limit the power of the Commission, however, the fate of the Energy Union will be decided more by what is going to happen outside of the EU, than in its centre.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: The aim of the Pharma Integrity Principles for Latin America is to provide a framework for good business practices and risk management strategies for promoting integrity in the pharmaceutical sector. They are intended to assist companies and industry associations across the region in: • eliminating bribery and related conflicts of interest; • demonstrating their commitment to doing business with integrity; and • making a positive contribution to improving business standards of integrity, transparency and accountability. The Pharma Integrity Principles combine anti-bribery principles of general applicability developed by Transparency International with more specific guidelines for preventing conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical sector in relation to prescribing practices by healthcare professionals and interactions with healthcare institutions, patients and patient organisations.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: “Faulty Towers: Understanding the impact of overseas corruption on the London property market” assessed 14 new landmark London developments, worth at least £1.6 billion. It found 4 in 10 of the homes in these developments have been sold to investors from high corruption risk countries or those hiding behind anonymous companies. Less than a quarter had been bought by buyers based in the UK.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Britain
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Healthcare and public procurement both suffer from high levels of corruption and the point at which they converge, procurement within healthcare, is an acute vulnerability that is routinely exploited. But governments and civil society organisations are now taking action to protect the lives of citizens by implementing open contracting. The proposition behind open contracting is that procurement reform requires a broad base of participation from outside government. Businesses must be able to compete for contracts and make sense of the market. The communities directly affected by procurement, and the groups and people that represent those communities, are often better placed than government to independently monitor the procurement process. To facilitate this participation, governments must publish useful, timely and accessible information about the procurement process. Healthcare and anti-corruption efforts share a common principle: prevention is better than cure. In the long term, open contracting offers a route for governments to move from the procurement status quo of corruption, waste and inefficiency, to clean contracting, in which fairness, integrity and efficiency are the norms. This report first outlines some of the major challenges in healthcare procurement before explaining how open contracting works and how it can support reform. Section two introduces different approaches to open contracting that have been used around the world. Finally, section three presents case studies of successful implementation from Honduras, Nigeria and Ukraine.
  • Topic: Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Corruption Cable is Transparency International UK’s quarterly newsletter. This edition includes features on: Rolls Royce & Deferred Prosecution Agreements; Health Corruption in Armenia; Why the UK Needs a World Class Anti-Corruption Strategy; and The 77th Brigade. Also featuring media mentions and upcoming events.
  • Topic: Corruption
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: In this submission, Transparency International UK’s Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Programme provides a response to NHS England’s Managing Conflicts of Interest in the NHS: A Consultation. The UK spends 9.9% of GDP on public and private healthcare, with private expenditure only accounting for 1.5%.1 The NHS England annual budget alone is set to rise to £120 billion with the vast majority being spent on equipment and services.2 The complex nature of the health system, a lack of adequate oversight and this level of resources makes the health sector highly vulnerable to conflicts of interest. Improving the transparency of interactions between NHS staff and other individuals and organisations, and minimising the variation in conflicts of interest rules across the NHS, is vital to fighting corruption.
  • Topic: Health, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Britain
  • Author: Chris Kozak
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Russia, Iran, and Turkey agreed at a new set of Astana Talks on May 3 - 4 to establish four large “de-escalation” zones over opposition-held regions of Western Syria. The deal allows for the three countries to deploy forces along the borders of the “de-escalation zones” to monitor a faltering nationwide ceasefire that excludes all opposition forces “associated” with Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria. Activists reported a general decrease in violence except along key frontlines such as Damascus and Northern Hama Province after the deal went into effect on May 6. Russia likely intends to leverage to “de-escalation zones” to subordinate the political process to its objectives, reset its military deployments, and block future unilateral action to implement so-called “zones of stabilization” by the U.S. in Syria. Pro-regime forces will likely also use the relative lull in Western Syria to refocus their military campaign towards Eastern Syria to preempt the U.S. from establishing a long-term foothold in regions formerly held by ISIS in Syria. Conditions on the ground remain unfit for a durable ceasefire or political settlement to end the Syrian Civil War. The U.S. signaled its intent to move forward with an imminent offensive to seize Ar-Raqqa City from ISIS that includes the Syrian Kurdish YPG despite clear objections from Turkey. U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order on May 8 authorizing the U.S. Department of Defense to directly provide weapons, ammunition, and other equipment to the YPG “as necessary” in support of upcoming operations against ISIS in Ar-Raqqa City. Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White stated that the weapons deliveries will be “limited, mission specific, and metered out incrementally” in order to prevent the transfer of weapons to the PKK in Turkey. The U.S. also floated plans to expand an intelligence fusion center based in Ankara targeting the PKK in Turkey. These efforts remain insufficient to address the security concerns of Turkey. The decision will likely fuel a further breakdown in relations between Turkey and the U.S. that could include new cross-border operations by Turkey against the YPG in Northern Syria. This strategic break will form a core area of disagreement during a face-to-face meeting between Trump and Turkish President Recep Erdogan in Washington D.C. on May 16.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Benjamin Knudsen, Alexandra Lariiciuc, Franklin Holcomb
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Russia has continued its destabilization campaign in Ukraine using its proxy forces and other means of subversion. The Trump Administration has indicated it is willing to support Ukraine as the Eastern European country faces Russian aggression. President Trump must act to strengthen the U.S.-Ukraine partnership and increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a broader campaign to deter Russian aggression globally. U.S. officials emphasized their support for Ukraine in a series of diplomatic meetings in May. U.S. President Donald Trump held separate meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin in Washington on May 10 during which he reportedly stressed “Russia’s responsibility to fully implement the Minsk agreements.” This rhetoric echoes previous statements by Trump administration officials. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. will maintain sanctions against Russia “until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered them.”
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Patrick Martin
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) surged in northwest Mosul in a bid to clear the city prior to Ramadan, anticipated to begin on May 26. Emergency Response Division (ERD) and Federal Police (FP) units joined 9th and 15th Iraqi Army Division units in northwest Mosul on April 28. The combined forces recaptured the neighborhoods of Mushairfa and 30 Tamouz, and are fighting to seize the denser neighborhoods of Harmat, 17 Tamouz, and Hawi Kanisa as of publication. Meanwhile, Counter-Terrorism Services (CTS) recaptured three neighborhoods in western Mosul. ISF are unlikely to clear the city prior to Ramadan. ISIS claimed to launch attacks to retake two Old City gates, Bab al-Jadid and Bab al-Toub. ISIS will also continue to defend the Old City by conducting suicide attacks and attempting to draw fire on civilian gatherings. ISIS will concentrate its defenses around al-Nuri Great Mosque, where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared publicly in 2014.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Alexandra Gutowski, Jesse Rose Dury-Agri
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: U.S.-backed forces continue to advance on the major ISIS-held urban centers of Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have encircled ISIS in Mosul’s Old City. The U.S.-backed, Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured Tabqa, a city adjacent to Raqqa that contains Syria’s largest dam. ISIS also lost terrain in southern Syria, as various factions of the Syrian opposition, including some with U.S. backing, cleared ISIS from positions in Suweida and the Qalamoun mountains. ISIS will attempt to offset these losses during its annual Ramadan offensive campaign, anticipated to begin around May 27. ISIS’s campaign in 2017 increasingly resembles its 2013 insurgent campaign; ISIS’s Ramadan plan will likely focus on synchronizing spectacular attacks across different locations for combined effect. Potential targets include religious sites, security forces, and oil infrastructure. ISIS may also conduct ground attacks in Salah ad Din, Anbar, and central Syria where ISIS retains latent combat capability.
  • Topic: War, ISIS
  • Political Geography: Middle East