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  • Author: Juliet Lodge
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is no longer sensible to regard biometrics as having neutral socio-economic, legal and political impacts. Newer generation biometrics are fluid and include behavioural and emotional data that can be combined with other data. Therefore, a range of issues needs to be reviewed in light of the increasing privatisation of 'security' that escapes effective, democratic parliamentary and regulatory control and oversight at national, international and EU levels, argues Juliet Lodge, Professor and co-Director of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence at the University of Leeds, UK.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergio Carrera
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: What should be the future institutional configurations of the second generation of the EU's Integrated Border Management strategy for the common external borders? The Stockholm Programme endorsed by the European Council on December 2009 and the European Commission's action plan implementing it published in April 2010 have brought back to the EU policy agenda the feasibility of setting up a European system of border guards as a long-term policy vision. This Working Document examines the origins of this proposal and aims at thinking ahead by asserting that any future discussion and study in this context should be refocused by initially addressing two central questions: First, what kind of 'border guard' and what kinds of 'border controls' does the EU need in light of the current EU acquis on external border crossings and the Schengen Borders Code? Second, what would be the 'added value' of any new institutional arrangement at the current stage of European integration?
  • Topic: International Law, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Antoinette Primatarova
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues against the view that Bulgaria's EU accession was premature and that the mechanism for cooperation and the verification of progress (CVM) is not delivering. The EU's continued leverage and the efficacy of the CVM are explained in a framework that goes beyond the dual-conditionality paradigm of incentives and sanctions, and beyond the unitary players model of EU–Bulgarian relations. In this framework, the CVM is viewed as an instrument for supportive reinforcement rather than for the imposition of sanctions. Furthermore, it is seen as targeting not just the government, but all Bulgarian stakeholders. The CVM is regarded as very effective at the level of public opinion and civil society, and as a mechanism that contributes to 'sandwiching' reform-reluctant Bulgarian governments between pressure from Brussels and domestic pressure for reforms. The CVM is also deemed useful for Bulgaria's further Europeanisation beyond the narrower pre-accession phase of 'EU-isation'. The paper suggests that eventual post-accession benchmarks might be appropriate in the process of further EU enlargement if properly understood as instruments for granting support and if discussed broadly with stakeholders beyond the executive. Concerning the efficiency/legitimacy dilemma, it is asserted that the CVM is an opportunity for increasing the EU's legitimacy.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bulgaria
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Joanna Parkin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: While the EU has no explicit legal competence in the sphere of religion and the management of relations with faith communities, religious concerns have taken on increasing importance within the legal and institutional framework and policy discourses of the European Union in the last years. This paper provides an overview of how religion and issues of religious diversity are being framed and addressed in EU law and policy by undertaking a critical analysis of the ways in which EU law and policy deal with, engage and understand religion at the policy level of the European Commission. Through an examination of EU legislation and both formal and informal policy initiatives in the fields of citizenship and fundamental rights, non-discrimination, immigration and integration, social inclusion and education and culture, this paper demonstrates that there is a complex and highly heterogeneous patchwork of EU normative approaches delineating the relationship between religion and the EU. These competing framings, very much rooted in the institutional structures of the Commission services, have important implications for discretionary power and sovereignty of the EU member states and for the coherence of European Union policies.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses whether the financial crisis has affected citizens' confidence in the free market economy and whether it has triggered citizens' demand for a free market economy with stronger state regulations. Using panel data, the paper confirms that citizens' confidence levels in the free market economy have decreased in most of the largest economies and demand for a free market economy with stronger state regulation has increased on both sides of the Atlantic. After analysing the determinants for citizens' confidence in the free market economy and demand for a free market economy with stronger state regulation before and after the financial crisis, the author concludes that citizens' net confidence loss in the free market economy seems to have been driven by rising unemployment rates, and citizens' demand for stronger state regulation seems to have been driven by the real economic downturn in GDP growth.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Braghiroli
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The last decades have witnessed a dramatic growth of internet-based communication. This phenomenon and its still partially unexplored potential have increasingly attracted the attention of a growing number of political entrepreneurs. This paper analyses to what extent it has characterised vertical communication between politicians and voters looking at a very particular group: the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Felix Roth, Anna-Elisabeth Thum
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Using new international comparable data on intangible capital investment by business within a panel analysis from 1995-2005 in an EU-15 country sample, we detect a positive and significant relationship between intangible capital investment by business and labour productivity growth. This relationship is cross-sectional in nature and proves to be robust to a range of alterations. Our empirical analysis confirms previous findings that the inclusion of business intangible capital investment into the asset boundary of the national accounting framework increases the rate of change of output per worker more rapidly. In addition, intangible capital is able to explain a significant portion of the unexplained international variance in labour productivity growth and when incorporating business intangibles, capital deepening becomes an even more significant source of growth. The relationship is slightly stronger in the time period 1995-2000 and seems to be driven by the coordinated countries within the EU-15.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Elspeth Guild, Anaïs Faure Atger
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The upcoming Swedish presidency of the EU will be in charge of adopting the next multiannual programme on an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), during its tenure in the second half of 2009. As the successor of the 2004 Hague Programme, it has already been informally baptised as the Stockholm Programme and will present the EU's policy roadmap and legislative timetable over these policies for the next five years. It is therefore a critical time to reflect on the achievements and shortcomings affecting the role that the European Commission's Directorate-General of Justice, Freedom and Security (DG JFS) has played during the last five years in light of the degree of policy convergence achieved so far. This Working Document aims at putting forward a set of policy recommendations for the DG JFS to take into consideration as it develops and consolidates its future policy strategies, while duly ensuring the legitimacy and credibility of the EU's AFSJ within and outside Europe.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, Piotr Maciej Kaczyński
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: At the end of the 6th legislature, fears that enlargement would hamper the workings of the European Parliament have largely proved unfounded. Despite the influx of a large number of new members to Parliament, parties have remained cohesive, and legislative output has remained steady. Moreover, after an initial phase of adaptation, MEPs from new member states have been increasingly socialised into the EP structure. Challenges have arisen in a rather different field, however. In order to remain efficient in the face of increasing complexity, the EP has had to streamline its working procedures, moving more decisions to parliamentary committees and cutting down time for debate. This paper argues that measures to increase the efficiency of the EP, most notably the trend towards speeding up agreements with the Council (1st reading agreements) run the risk of undermining the EP's role as a forum of debate. Should bureaucratisation increasingly trump politicisation, the legitimacy of the EP will be undermined, and voters will become ever more alienated from its work. For the 7th legislature of the European Parliament therefore, it is crucial to balance efficiency of output with a more politicised policy style that is able to capture public interest.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mats Braun
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is somewhat ironic that Czech eurosceptics managed to delay the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty at a time when they seem to be in decline as a political force. President Klaus and his allies are becoming increasingly isolated within Czech political circles and lack the support of any established political party other than the Communists. The twin pressures of domestic vote utilisation and socialisation at the EU level are making Czech eurorealists within the Civic Democratic Party less eurosceptic. It is still too early to speak of any complete change within the party, however, and any evidence of a reorientation of the party's EU policy remains ambiguous.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon