The 2010 PASOS Think Tank Award
News Source: PASOS Secretariat, Prague, Czech Republic
Ukrainian Think-Tank Wins PASOS Award;
Macedonian and Kosovar Policy Studies Also Honored
Berlin, November 5, 2010 – Non-governmental organizations in at least four former Soviet states are excluded at key points in the European Union’s planning and execution of economic aid programs, according to the Kyiv policy center study that was honored with the 2010 PASOS Think-Tank Award in Berlin today.
The study was conducted by the International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS), one of 44 Central and Eastern European and Central Asian think-tanks that belong to the Policy Association for an Open Society (PASOS). The association announced the award at its annual international policymakers’ conference in Berlin November 5.
“Missing Out: Civil Society and ENPI” has caught the attention of EU officials who administer the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) program. They have promised to act on the report’s findings and recommendations as they plan future rounds of economic aid to the EU’s Eastern neighbors.
The report also drew praise from a panel of five award jurors consisting of international experts in policymaking with think-tank and governmental experience, including jury chair Thomas Carothers, Vice-President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C.
“It is an innovative topic, deftly handled,” Carothers said. “The report helps the NGO community bridge the gap with relevant European institutions by highlighting the issue in a clear way and providing an accessible analytic breakdown of the input process.”
ICPS researchers Sacha Tessier-Stall and Victoria Gumeniuk are strongly critical of how the ENPI works with NGOs in Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. They charge that the European Commission, which oversees the €12 billion ENPI, squanders money in relying too much on national authorities when planning aid packages, a practice which unwittingly pushes non-state actors (NSAs) out of the process.
“The political cultures of many former Soviet states are not conducive to NSA participation in policymaking, and in any case their unreformed institutions are generally unable to translate civil society involvement into effective policy inputs,” the report states. “The EC has not recognized that its ENPI partners are not completely ready for the type of aid it wishes to offer. To offer policy-driven assistance to countries with closed and unreformed policymaking institutions is to build on quicksand.”
Two other think-tanks studies were honored at the PASOS conference. “Linking Higher Education and the Labor Market,” by the Center for Research and Policy Making in Macedonia, was credited with inspiring educational reforms. Forum 2015 in Kosovo produced “Living in a Ghetto,” which examined how EU visa rules have turned Kosovo into one of the most isolated countries in the world.
The studies are exactly the sort of groundbreaking reports PASOS was looking to honor as it made plans to make the inaugural presentation of the awards, according to Jeff Lovitt, executive director of the association’s secretariat in Prague. “Particular attention was given to innovation in research and methodologies, and how the results were communicated to policy-makers,” he said.
The PASOS Think-Tank Award jury comprises:
• Ronald D. Asmus, Executive Director, Transatlantic Center and Strategic Planning, Brussels, Belgium, German Marshall Fund of the United States
• Thomas Carothers, Vice-President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington D.C., USA
• Heather Grabbe, Director, Open Society Institute-Brussels, and Director of EU Affairs, Soros foundations network
• Barbara Lippert, Director of Studies, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)), Berlin, Germany
• Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Professor of Democracy Studies, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany, and founder, Romanian Academic Society
The jurors serve on the jury in an individual capacity.
The PASOS Think-Tank Award 2010, which was presented to the winning think-tank, ICPS, in Berlin November 5, was designed in glass by Bořek Šípek, an award-winning Czech designer who emigrated to Germany and then the Netherlands in 1968. After the fall of communism, in 1990 he was appointed Court Architect in Prague by President Václav Havel, for whom he designed the interior of the President’s Office and the Picture Gallery at Prague Castle. He also designed the interior of the Karl Lagerfeld boutique in Paris. In 1998, he was appointed Professor of Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
A video presentation about the report and the other studies can be viewed online at:
“Missing Out: Civil Society and ENPI” can be downloaded here:
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