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  • Author: Saila Heinikoski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Free movement within the Schengen Area has been challenged in recent years by national measures: from internal border checks after the ‘migration crisis’ to the closure of borders in the Covid-19 crisis. This is the first time in the history of Schengen that member states have categorically refused entry to other EU citizens who are not registered residents or cross-border workers. Seventeen Schengen countries have submitted a notification on reintroducing internal border control due to Covid-19: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. The use of Schengen provisions was creative: 12 states justified their internal border controls as a case requiring immediate action (Art. 28), France and Denmark expanded their already existing internal border controls (Art. 25), Finland appealed to the ‘foreseeable event’ clause (Art. 25), and Slovakia and Poland introduced ‘healthcare-police measures’ (Art. 23) before launching border controls (Art. 28). The crisis illustrates the need to reform Schengen in order to maintain the legitimacy of commonly agreed rules.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Public Health, Schengen, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Norway, France, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Estonia, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku, Niklas Helwig
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In view of the pervasiveness of the Covid-19 crisis, Germany has rightly announced that its presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2020 will be a ‘Corona presidency’. However, it will also have to address other immediate issues as well as further longer-term priorities of the EU. The initial phase of the pandemic was characterised by largely uncoordinated member state action. The issues and instruments now on the table, particularly concerning economic recovery, are closer to the core of the EU’s authority, underlining the importance of a successful presidency. Somewhat surprisingly, the Covid crisis has moulded European politics in a way that may facilitate the work of the German presidency. The positions of the member states appear less fixed, whereas the German government itself has more domestic leeway than before the crisis. The political situation in the EU and in Germany remains highly volatile and the presidency’s success depends on factors that are partly out of Berlin’s control: the development of the pandemic, the depth of the economic slump and the public perception of the EU’s and Germany’s crisis management measures.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Dimitra Tsigkou
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: The bilateral cooperation between France and Germany has historically played a crucial role in the European integration process. The negotiations between the two most potent European economies have profoundly influenced both the structural arrangements of the European Monetary Union (EMU) as well as the debate on its potential reform, in light of the European sovereign debt crisis. Nonetheless, these two member states have radically different stances when it comes to the strengthening of the euro area, which are related to their divergent economic philosophies. This paper draws on insights from comparative political economy literature in order to explain how the institutional features of different varieties of capitalism have led these member states to adopt divergent growth strategies while participating in the same monetary union. In this respect, it is argued that France and Germany have put forward proposals regarding the Eurozone reform effort, which reflect their endeavor to preserve their comparative institutional advantages and, ultimately, promote their own vision on the deepening of the EMU. The original contribution of this working paper is that it presents and codifies the aforementioned proposals submitted by the European Commission as well as the political views expressed by France and Germany.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Reform, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Sanja Vujacic
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: By virtue of their state structure: central state on one side, federal state on the other, and their different cultural practices in almost all areas, one would be tempted to say that France and Germany are two European countries that are least destined to work closely together.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Julian Lindley-French
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In April 1949, at the signing of the foundation doc- ument of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Treaty of Washington, the Western Allies had twelve active divisions. They believed, erroneously as it turned out, that Stalin’s Red Army had 175 di- visions on the other side of the River Elbe which marked the then inner-German border. At the time the West consoled itself with the monopoly that the United States had on atomic weaponry. Such com- placency ended on 29 August 1949 with a nuclear shock when the Soviet Union tested its first atomic device. The new NATO was also tied inextricably to Europe’s then recent past. Soon after the Treaty of Washington was signed the French newspaper Le Monde suggested that the creation of NATO repre- sent a big step down the road to German rearma- ment: “The rearmament of Germany is present in the Atlantic Pact as the seed in the egg”.1 April 1949 thus encapsulated both the ambition and the tensions that were to mark the three strands of post-World War Two European security and defence: transatlantic relations, the German Question and the road to European Union and how to both engage Russia and defend against it.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Germany, North America
  • Author: Martin Höpner
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Germany is an undervaluation regime, a regime that steers economic behavior towards deterioration of the real exchange rate and thereby towards export surpluses. This regime has brought the eurozone to the brink of collapse. But it is much older than the euro. It was established during the Bretton Woods years and has survived all subsequent European currency orders. The regime operates in two steps: competitive disinflation against trading partners; and resistance against correcting revaluations. The Bretton Woods order provid- ed perfect conditions for the establishment and perpetuation of the regime: it was flexible enough for sufficient macroeconomic policy autonomy to bring about differential inflation rates, and sticky enough to delay and minimize revaluations.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, Capitalism, Inflation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Central Europe
  • Author: Renate Mayntz
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The history of a research field called political economy dates back to the eighteenth century, giving rise to a variety of disciplinary approaches, and experienced a renaissance as a mul- tidisciplinary field after the Second World War, combining economic, political science, and sociological approaches. The divergence between economic globalization and the nation- ally restricted scope of economic policy directs interest to the relationship between politics and the economy. A quantitative analysis of the articles published in two dedicated political economy journals shows major trends of the developing research field. The relationship between politics and economy is interpreted rather widely, and research is largely focused on Western capitalist nations. In conclusion, two avenues for further research in the field are briefly discussed.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, Capitalism, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Central Europe, Western Europe
  • Author: Elie Perot
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 22 January 2019, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel signed a new treaty on “Franco-German cooperation and integration” in Aachen. Complementing the 1963 Elysée Treaty which symbolized the reconciliation between Germany and France in the post-war period, the Aachen Treaty aims to further strengthen the ties between the two countries in the domains of economy, culture, administration, environment, diplomacy and defence. Although the Treaty has been criticised for its lack of ambition, a closer reading of its text reveals some hidden gems, including its mutual defence clause. What does this new clause mean for the Franco-German tandem and for collective defence in Europe?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Alexander Mattelaer
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 18 March 2019 the fifth edition of the Belgo-German Conference took place in Brussels. Framed around the inter-related themes of energy, mobility and digitalization, the conference sought to provide a platform for dialogue between political leaders, diplomatic officials, and representatives from the private sector, academia and civil society. This European Policy Brief aims to illuminate the major topics that were discussed at the conference and put these into a wider context. The umbrella theme of connectivity in infrastructure speaks to the common ambition that Belgium and Germany share: propelling the European project forward – even when facing headwinds – by embracing increased economic interdependence.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Economic Cooperation, Digitization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Belgium
  • Author: Douglas Barrie
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United Kingdom should seek to continue to support defence-technology cooperation with the European Union and partner states across all military domains. Avoiding, or at least minimising, the second-order effects of Brexit on wider defence cooperation with European partners will be easier if the UK is directly involved in the EU’s defence-technology initiatives. Specific opportunities present themselves across the military domains: Pursue cooperation in the air domain with regard to future combat- aircraft technology. While collaboration at the platform level is unlikely in the near term, exploring common R&D in key systems, such as radar, propulsion, avionics, sensors and weapons, is achievable. In the land domain, explore partnership with France and Germany on participating in the development of a next-generation main battle tank. Collaboration on applicable technologies at the component and sub- system levels should also be encouraged. This could include armour and armament R&D, and laser weapons. In the maritime domain, support cooperation in the air-defence arena, including the use of laser weapons for ship self-defence, and the use of naval vessels for ballistic-missile defence. In the space domain, examine potential cooperation on next-generation communication satellite requirements, and wider collaboration on geospatial intelligence.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union, Brexit, Maritime, Space
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, London, Germany, Brussels