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  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is widely accepted that enlargement requires reform of the highest decision-making bodies of the European Central Bank (ECB). In particular, there are concerns that the Governing Council, which is composed of the six-member Executive Board of the ECB plus the governors of the participating national central banks (NCBs), will grow too large to work efficiently. In the absence of reform, it could end up having over 30 members - resembling more a mini-parliament than a decision-making body that has to manage a global currency in fast-moving financial markets. Moreover, the accession of a number of small countries is often perceived as a threat to the "power balance" in the Governing Council.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gráinne De Búrca, Jonathan Zeitlin
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Within the Convention process, the final reports of no less than four separate working groups - those on Simplification, Complementary Competences, Economic Governance and Social Europe - have come out in favour of including the 'Open Method of Coordination' (OMC) within the Constitutional Treaty. The relevant sections of these reports are attached in an annex.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: There is an urgent need to link the excessive deficit procedure with the issue of sustainability and hence the evolution of public debt. This note shows that there exists a simple way to introduce the evolution of public debt in the Stability Pact, which so far has focused exclusively on deficits. The link starts from the Maastricht criterion for participation in EMU concerning public debt and its reference value of 60% of GDP. The Maastricht criterion on public debt stipulates that if public debt exceeds 60% of GDP, it must be 'sufficiently diminishing and approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace''.This note provides a numerical rule for evaluating whether public debt is indeed diminishing 'at a satisfactory pace'. This numerical rule is in accordance with the reference values in the Treaty and could be used as the basis for an 'excessive debt procedure'.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anand Menon
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The following report discusses ways of enhancing the EU's effectiveness and impact as an international actor in the light of debates currently taking place within the Convention. Its central recommendations can be briefly summarised: Clarify and discard the more extreme variants of arguments pressing for a significant EU military capability. . Create a Commissioner for External Affairs to whom other Commissioners responsible for discreet aspects of this portfolio would report. . Recreate the Political Committee, composed of Political Directors. Create a Council of Defence Ministers. Reinforce the role of the High Representative in several ways: increase the financial resources at his/her disposal; allow him/her to chair the COPS. Create an EU Security Council comprising the HR, the Secretary General of t the Council, the Commissioner for External Relations, the Presidency (in order to ensure coherence with EU internal action), the chief of the EU military staff and senior representatives from the troika.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas L. Brewer
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Questions about the interface between the multilateral climate regime embodied in the Kyoto Protocol and the multilateral trade regime embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have become especially timely since the fall of 2001. At that time, ministerial-level meetings in Marrakech and Doha agreed to advance the agendas, respectively, for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and for negotiations on further agreements at the WTO. There have been concerns that each of these multilateral arrangements could constrain the effectiveness of the other, and these concerns will become more salient with the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. There are questions about whether and how the rights and obligations of the members of the WTO and the parties to the Protocol may conflict. Of particular concern is members of the WTO and the parties to the Protocol may conflict. Of particular concern is whether provisions in the Protocol, as well as government policies and business activities undertaken in keeping with those provisions, may conflict with the WTO non-discrimination principles of national treatment and most-favoured nation treatment.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The 'Wider Europe' may, and certainly should, become one of the big next issues on the policy agenda of the European Union following the enlargement decisions to be taken in Copenhagen in December. Indeed the practical concerns raised by the forthcoming enlargement for the EU's periphery to the North, East and South are already crowding in. A new vocabulary is sprouting up in Brussels, call it as you wish: 'Wider Europe', or 'Proximity Policy', or 'Neighbourhood Policy'. What is certain is that the Wider Europe will not go away.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Joanna Apap, Malcolm Anderson
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: From the initiation of the debate about Europol in the late 1980s, some law enforcement agencies and political thinkers developed a concept of security that links together broad categories of activities: terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime, transborder crime, illegal immigration, asylum seekers, and minority ethnic groups. This conception represents a variety of very different problems as elements of one general security threat. In addition, there has been a blurring of the distinction between internal and external security, as the threat of a conventional military attack on Western Europe has declined. This idea has been sharply criticised, by those such as Didier Bigo, (who has labelled this concept a security continuum,)1 for linking very different activities, profiling of groups and criminalising illegal immigrants. It is also objectionable on grounds that it categorises difficult problems as security threats too quickly and too emphatically. A crucial element in the merging of internal and external security has been the re-classification of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers as problems of security. But the linkage between security fields lies at the core of the redefinition of the West European security following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Integration of the tasks and functions of police services, immigration services, customs and intelligence services, is sustained by the gradual re-shaping of the security continuum under the pressure of events, such as, most dramatically, the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Bruno Coppieters
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: At a meeting in Kiev on 1-3 July 2002, the mediators for the Moldovan- Transdniestria conflict proposed, at the initiative of the OSCE, a draft agreement on the constitutional system that would regulate the distribution of competencies between Chisinau and Tiraspol. This draft agreement defines the Republic of Moldova as a “federal state”. The implementation of the agreement would be monitored and ultimately guaranteed by the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the OSCE.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sylvia Ostry
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Over the decade of the 1990s, the deepening integration of the global economy accelerated as trade, financial flows, and foreign direct investment were liberalised. This deepening integration is, in part, a "natural" phenomenon, fed and now led by technological changes in information, communication and transport and is driving in the direction of a single global market. But, of course, governments have played an important role and international economic policy has facilitated - or perhaps even catalysed - the momentum. And the "natural" and "policy" forces are interrelated in a complex fashion that reflects the nature of the policy process . This process differs in different policy domains - for example trade versus financial or development policy. Yet it's important to underline that trade policy has indeed played a major catalytic role in fostering global integration.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jaba Devdariani, Blanka Hancilova
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Georgian government fails to exercise effective control over parts of its territory. In the last decade, Georgian statehood has been threatened by a civil war and secessionist conflicts. Its government has failed to reform its armed forces and has lost control over the Pankisi Gorge, a sparsely populated patch of the Caucasus Mountains on the border to Chechnya. Some hundreds Chechen fighters including several dozen Islamic extremists connected to the al-Qaeda network are believed to be hiding in that area. After the attacks on the United States on 11 September, the risks posed by failing states in the propagation of international terrorist networks are being taken more seriously into consideration. 2 The US decision to send up to 200 special operation forces to Georgia in March 2002, in order to train Georgian forces to regain control over the Pankisi Gorge, proceeds from this logic.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Johan F.M. Swinnen
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) accounts for 45% of the total EU budget. Will its extension to Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) break the EU budget? The 10 CEECs currently negotiating for membership would increase the number of farmers by 120% and would increase the area under cultivation by 42%. It is thus widely expected that enlargement will dramatically increase the cost of the CAP.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The EU's financial sector has been undergoing an almost continuous wave of de- or reregulation since the late 1980s. The Single Market programme with minimal harmonisation and home country control was implemented in successive periods for banking, insurance and the securities markets. By the end of the 1990s, however, under the impact of EMU, it was clear that this was not sufficient, and a Financial Services Action Programme set a schedule for the adoption of 42 directives to create a truly integrated financial market by 2005. Moreover, a Committee of Wise Men under the chairmanship of Alexandre Lamfalussy made proposals to ease the adaptation of EU financial regulations to market developments.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The three years since the start of EMU have been characterised by an extraordinary degree of volatility in global financial and other markets (oil, etc.). Most official comments have so far focused on the fact that Europe has remained an 'island of stability'. But this self congratulatory tone cannot mask the fact that EU institutions have generally not been in the forefront of the efforts to stabilise the global economy. This is partly understandable as most of the volatility originated outside the EU. But just 'putting one's own house in order' does not seem to be sufficient when global economic (or political) stability is at stake, as recent events amply demonstrate.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gabriela Martin Thornton
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, quickly followed by German reunification, scholars of the European Union have emphasised that one of the most salient consequences of these events would be the enlargement of the European Union. Many have claimed that enlargement would mean galvanising the German power within the European Union, by placing Germany at the geographical heart of Europe. Enlargement was perceived either as undermining the Franco-German relationship, or even more, as replacing it by increased German connections with Eastern European countries (Braun, 1996, p. 158). The IGC in Nice struggled to reform the EU institutions in order to accommodate future members. The Treaty of Nice has generated fear within certain Western circles. Some political analysts already announced the end of Jean Monnet's “Europe”, the triumph of Germany, and with the future inclusion of Central and East European countries (CEECs), the birth of a “Europe” less “European”. Since Nice, a sea of metaphors has sparkled over the Western European newspapers with regard to “the return to Europe” of the CEECs. Nonetheless, many scholars seem to agree with Stanley Hoffman who points out that the expansion toward the east is seen as necessary in order “to provide stability in the more troublesome part of the continent and in order to protect fledgling democracy there.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Judit Tóth
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: When one considers the substance of European Union (EU) official documents in a simplified way, national and ethnical minorities may appear in three contexts. The first belongs to external relations (common foreign and security policy), which cover minorities as a matter of human rights in third countries. These documents call upon the (third) countries concerned to respect human rights and international and European standards on minorities' rights that are also endorsed by the EU. In this regard, the legislation being developed in view of a common European migration policy contains provisions about the respect of minority rights in order to prevent further migration waves.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary
  • Author: Péter Kovács
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The subject of this paper is undoubtedly of paramount importance for a number of Central and East European countries. The image of a “Schengen Fortress” in statu nascendi is disappointing even for those who are enthusiastic about the accession of their countries to a unified Europe. There is a widespread fear – rational or not – that cross-border human contacts and travel possibilities from East to West will become more difficult than they were in the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The same feeling can be detected even in the Balkans, where certain countries also show symptoms of the “Schengen Fortress”.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Olga Potemkina
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Does Russia need international cooperation? This question may seem rhetorical, to which one would give a positive response, but the findings of a public opinion survey conducted by the independent Russian research organisation ROMIR clearly suggest otherwise. In April 2001, a total of 1,500 Russians were polled in 160 locations in 94 villages, towns and cities, in 40 regions, territories and republics of the Russian Federation. The questions asked concerned several key aspects of EU-Russian relations and the need for increased cooperation with international organisations.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Yuri Borko
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Strictly speaking, there are two groups of problems related to this topic. Firstly, there are some particular issues arising from the enlargement process; namely the movement of goods and people between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia, including visa regime, energy supply of the region, trans-border cooperation and fisheries. To solve these problems or not to solve them is like Hamlet's dilemma “to be or not to be”. These problems have to be solved by the Union and Russia, with the participation, at least jointly, of Poland and Lithuania.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Poland, Lithuania
  • Author: Ferruccio Pastore
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In order to understand the Italian perspective – or rather the Italian perspectives – on the shift eastward of EU external borders, it is useful, if not necessary, to anticipate briefly a few schematic concepts about the meaning of borders in Italian history. This will enable us to achieve a better understanding of current Italian attitudes in the European debate on border management issues in the framework of the enlargement process. But a rapid overview on the recent transformation of the nature and function of borders in the Italian case will also allow us to draw some tentative lessons for the ongoing enlargement process in the field of Justice and Home Affairs.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Moritz Meier-Ewert
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In January 2001, the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) presented its latest proposals for a revised Capital Adequacy Accord. The aim of this revision is to address some of the perceived shortcomings of the 1988 Accord, which is currently being applied. These new proposals include a number of important improvements, but unfortunately there is a serious risk that in some areas they are overshooting their target. As a result they could have adverse consequences not only for the structure of the banking industry, but also for developing countries and for systemic stability. Indeed, if implemented in its current form, the Accord could lead to a serious round of consolidation in the banking sector resulting in the domination of the market by a handful of internationally active banks, widen the amplitudes of business cycles as well as increase the frequency of financial crisis through enhanced procyclicality, and effectively cut off a number of developing country borrowers from bank-finance.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe