June 2010

Tbilisi Mayoral and Local Elections – Significant Improvements but Media Transparency Still Lacking

On 30 May local elections took place throughout the country. Georgian voters elected the members of 63 councils (sakrebulos) of local government units (municipalities and self-governing cities), Tbilisi City Council, the Mayor of Tbilisi, who was directly elected for the first time, and three vacant Parliamentary seats.

Turkey Prioritizes Independent Regional Policies in the Middle East and the South Caucasus

By Saban Kardas

Turkey continued its regional diplomacy, following the historic visit by Russian President Medvedev to Ankara. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan paid back-to-back trips to Greece, Iran and Azerbaijan, which underscored Turkey’s rising activism in its neighborhood, as well as highlighting divergence with the United States.

Baltic Sea region's future - faster and deeper integration

"The European Union supports and promotes the region through the Baltic Sea Strategy, specially designed to encourage regional cooperation. Today, the governments of all the countries in the region, especially EU member states, bear the great responsibility for its implementation, engaging as widely as possible other members of the Baltic Club, and their permanent partner - the European Commission," President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė said at the Summit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) held in Vilnius to discuss promotion of competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and energy cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.

Global Insights: Proposed NATO Reforms Worry Moscow

By Richard Weitz

Last week, the group of experts assisting with the drafting of NATO's new Strategic Concept released their final report, entitled "NATO 2020: Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement." In anticipation of the planned Strategic Concept, which is scheduled for approval at this November's NATO heads-of-state summit in Lisbon, the experts' report recommends how the alliance should define its purpose, nature, and fundamental security tasks in the contemporary and future security environment. Since last fall, the 12-member group, led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, has convened a series of public and private meetings in various countries to discuss international security challenges, including several last week in Washington.