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Regional Integration Observer No. 2015/01

The first edition of the Regional Integration Observer (RIO) is dedicated to the political challenges in 2015. In 2015, West Africa faces six presidential or parliamentary elections. One article in the RIO analyzes how the protests in Burkina Faso at the end of 2014 might influence these elections in countries with contested leaders. A second article looks at the role of the regional parliament in the ECOWAS regional integration system. The parliament is to be endowed with new powers as approved by the heads of state and government in 2014. How will this affect its position in the regional political system? Furthermore, contributions deal with the current situation in Mali and the implementation of the ECOWAS customs union beginning in 2015 and its effect on the EU-ECOWAS EPA. From a European perspective, the new Juncker Commission has presented an ambitious working program for 2015. In a short interview, the coordinators of ZEI´s „Future of Europe“ project answer the most pressing questions and inform about the major challenges in 2015.

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