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International System Change Compass: The Global Implications of Achieving the European Green Deal

May 12, 2022

The interconnected crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution cannot wait for humans to spend years discussing solutions, policies, and institutions. National and international systems have to change faster, which means redefining the goals that governments set themselves and the ways that everyone works to reach those goals.The International System Change Compass sets out the scope of the change needed. On their own, emissions reductions through incremental efficiency gains will lead to disaster. Minor changes within the current economic system won't solve the resource crisis; they won't solve the biodiversity crisis; and they won't address fundamental injustices across the world and within societies. Only a holistic approach toward system change that addresses the impact of Europe's resource usage and overall consumption footprint can achieve the inclusive transition needed to save our planet and provide a fair future for us all.

Is Italian Agriculture "Pull Factor" for Irregular Migration -- And, If So, Why?

December 1, 2018

In discussions on irregular migration in Europe, undeclared work is generally viewed as a "pull factor"—positive aspects of a destination-country that attract an individual or group to leave their home—for both employers as well as prospective migrants, and especially in sectors such as agriculture. A closer examination of the agricultural model, however, reveals that structural forces are driving demand for work and incentivizing exploitation. This is particularly evident in Southern Italy, a region famous for its produce, where both civil society organizations and the media have documented exploitation of migrant workers. A closer examination of EU and member states efforts to avoid exploitation is needed.In Is Italian Agriculture a 'Pull Factor' for Irregular Migration—and, If So, Why?, a new study, authors from the Open Society Foundations' European Policy Institute and the European University Institute look at how Europe's Common Agricultural Policy, the practices of supermarket chains, organized crime, and gang-master recruitment practices contribute to migrant exploitation. The study further recommends a closer examination of EU member state efforts to counter exploitation and offers an overview of private sector practice's intended to combat exploitation—such as the provision of information on workers' rights, adequate housing and transport, and EU-wide labeling schemes, among others.

Policy Brief: Is Italian Agriculture a "Pull Factor" for Irregular Migration -- And, If So, Why?

December 1, 2018

In discussions on irregular migration in Europe, undeclared work is generally viewed as a "pull factor"—positive aspects of a destination-country that attract an individual or group to leave their home—for both employers as well as prospective migrants, and especially in sectors such as agriculture. A closer examination of the agricultural model, however, reveals that structural forces are driving demand for work and incentivizing exploitation. This is particularly evident in Southern Italy, a region famous for its produce, where both civil society organizations and the media have documented exploitation of migrant workers. A closer examination of EU and member states efforts to avoid exploitation is needed.In Is Italian Agriculture a 'Pull Factor' for Irregular Migration—and, If So, Why?, a new study, authors from the Open Society Foundations' European Policy Institute and the European University Institute look at how Europe's Common Agricultural Policy, the practices of supermarket chains, organized crime, and gang-master recruitment practices contribute to migrant exploitation. The study further recommends a closer examination of EU member state efforts to counter exploitation and offers an overview of private sector practice's intended to combat exploitation—such as the provision of information on workers' rights, adequate housing and transport, and EU-wide labeling schemes, among others.

Towards Elections with Integrity

October 1, 2018

Since the 1990s, election observation has become a vital tool of the international community to support democracy and assess the legitimacy of governments. Observers receive better pre-deployment training and briefings, funding is more readily available, and methodologies have grown more sophisticated. Yet, as the election observation industry has become more professional, democracy is in decline.The European Union needs to be more strategic as both a donor and a provider of election observation. This policy brief, authored by the external policy team of the Open Society European Policy Institute, proposes six areas of reform, which include monitoring of the political processes leading up to polling day; improving collaboration with observers at a local level; strengthening and supporting the role played by civil society; setting stronger guidelines for the digital arena; developing guidelines for technology used; and finally, striking a new balance between the observation missions' technical and political mandates.

When Law Doesn’t Rule: State Capture of the Judiciary, Prosecution, Police in Serbia

October 1, 2018

The study When the Law Doesn't Rule, by the Open Society European Policy Institute, Transparency Serbia, and the Centre of Investigative Journalism of Serbia, identifies seven ways in which political control is being exerted over the judiciary, prosecution, and police in Serbia, and how systemic weaknesses in the exercise of the rule of law are being exploited. These include limited accountability of judges and prosecutors for ineffectiveness; the appointment of public prosecutors and court presidents on political grounds; an inordinate amount of discretion allowed to law enforcement when making investigation and prosecution decisions; inappropriate and partial briefing of the media; the misuse and manipulation of statistics; direct political influence on law enforcement; and deliberately dysfunctional criminal investigations in politically sensitive cases.The report illustrates these seven administrative and systemic weaknesses through 12 case studies.