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  • Author: Lukas Obholzer
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The code of conduct that was agreed by a cross-party working group of the European Parliament (EP), the EP Bureau and Conference of Presidents, is a watered-down compromise that lacks provision for the introduction of the 'legislative footprint' that the plenary requested the Bureau to set up. The legislative footprint is a document that would detail the time, person and subject of a legislator's contact with a stakeholder. Published as an annex to legislative reports, it would provide insight into who gave input into draft legislation. Unfortunately, the Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) Committee with Carlo Casini (EPP) as Chair and Rapporteur has so far failed to improve the draft in this respect. Against a backdrop of past scandals and recent criticism of early agreements negotiated in trilogues behind closed doors, the EP is about to miss an opportunity to show that it has learnt its lesson, and that it takes seriously its role as guarantor of legitimacy in EU decision-making. Transparency means proactive action: by adding a provision for a legislative footprint that identifies the interest representatives with whom key actors met and from whom they received advice, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have a chance to turn the EP into a role model for parliamentary transparency in a pluralistic democracy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Organization, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Bohdana Dimitrovova
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This Working Document explores the implications of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as an ambitious EU foreign policy for the development of a European political community. It suggests that the ENP can be viewed as an attempt to reconcile two potentially contradictory processes. The first – 'border confirming' – is about confirming border areas of demarcation and division, in which borders are conceived as boundary lines, frontier zones or barriers that protect the European Union and its citizens. The second – 'border transcending' – consists of a challenge to open EU borders and involves the transformation of the EU's external boundaries into zones of interactions, opportunities and exchanges, with the emphasis on the transcendence of boundaries. To unravel some of the contradictions surrounding the highly contested phenomena of mobility in the neighbourhood, this paper analyses three bordering strategies: state borders, the imperial analogy and borders as networks. Each corresponds to different forms of territoriality and implies a different mode of control over the population.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Organization, International Affairs
  • 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: Daniel S. Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: To what degree may the US be considered a normative power? The US foreign policy mainstream tends to reflect a varying blend of normative and hegemonic approaches. The US has been and continues to be simultaneously a guardian of international norms; a norm entrepreneur challenging prevailing norms as insufficient; a norm externaliser when it tries to advance norms for others that it is reluctant to apply to itself; and a norm blocker when it comes to issues that may threaten its position, or that exacerbate divisions among conflicting currents of American domestic thought. On balance (and despite exceptions), the US has sought to manage this normative-hegemonic interplay by accepting some limits on its power in exchange for greater legitimacy and acceptance of its leadership by others. The unresolved question today is whether the US and other key players are prepared to stick with this bargain. Closer examination of the US case also raises a considerable number of questions about the notion of the EU as a 'normative power'.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Law, International Organization, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Arno Behrens
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the variety of different external aid initiatives and financing mechanisms of the European Commission addressing climate change and development objectives, such as those stemming from the 2004 EU Action Plan on Climate Change and Development, from the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) and those under the Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (ENRTP). The paper also outlines related Commission commitments with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank and the United Nations. While the European Commission has advanced a number of new initiatives, it seems that the complexity of responsibilities in the management of the current financing instruments requires organisational restructuring, a more transparent reporting mechanism and the development of better indicators to evaluate the impacts of those initiatives. Overall it appears that the Commission is just at the beginning of taking full account of climate change in development cooperation. Its contribution is rather limited in view of the financing needs related to climate change in developing countries, and innovative financing mechanisms should be sought together with member states and the private sector.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The idea of an official organisation of democratic states wishing to promote democracy worldwide has surfaced periodically in recent years. In 2000 the Community of Democracies was inaugurated and survives as a body committed to supporting democratic change (and we comment on this little-noticed initiative further below). Now the notion is gaining further currency. US Presidential candidate John McCain has advocated a League of Democracies. And analyst Robert Kagan, an advisor to McCain, has recently made a contribution on the subject in the Financial Times. It is quite possible that the European Union will need to adopt a position on this proposal.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Sebastian Kurpas
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Irish no-vote on the Treaty of Lisbon, numerous scenarios are currently being debated. This paper critically assesses the legality and political feasibility of the principal proposals and then puts forward an alternative 'Plan B', which we believe would amply satisfy both criteria.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: John Temple Lang, Eamonn Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon in June 2008, Irish voters who voted against the Treaty gave several specific reasons as well as a variety of vague or general reasons that were unrelated to anything that was in the Treaty. These vague or general reasons are important because they probably were also significant influences in the “no” votes in France and the Netherlands. Moreover, they may be shared by a substantial but unknown number of people in other EU member states who did not get an opportunity to vote in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty or the Treaty for a Constitution. There were positive referendum results in Luxembourg and Spain. Other countries promised referenda, but did not hold them.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Netherlands, Ireland
  • Author: Amitai Etzioni
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The main challenge currently facing the EU is a community deficit: the low valuation the majority of its citizens accord the evolving collectivity. The EU is challenged by the mismatch between its increasing supranational decision making and the strong loyalties of its citizens to their respective nation states. To deal with this community deficit, the EU must either introduce strong measures of community building or else significantly scale back its plans for action in unison.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John O'Brennan
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the electorate on 12 June 2008 has presented the Irish government with the most serious crisis in external relations since the Second World War. This was the third such referendum on Europe held in Ireland since the millennium and the second plebiscite in three to result in a rejection of an EU Treaty following the failed Nice poll in 2001. There is no obvious solution to the dilemma the government faces and no obvious pathway to achieve ratification. There is however a clear consensus amongst the political parties that ratification constitutes both a clear political priority and a fundamental national interest. At the October European Council summit in Brussels, Taoiseach Brian Cowen promised to come back to the December meeting “with a view to our defining together the elements of a solution and a common path to follow”. But the external context is now clear – EU leaders indicated an unwillingness to re-negotiate any part of the Treaty: it will be up to Ireland to find an Irish solution to this European problem. Thus the opportunity cost of the No vote has become somewhat clearer: Ireland faces marginalisation and isolation in Europe if a solution to the Lisbon dilemma is not found. The domestic context is also somewhat clearer now that we have access to extensive data that sheds light on the reasons for the No vote in the 12 June poll. In assessing the options for ratification this paper draws upon that data, presented in among other sources, the post-referendum Eurobarometer survey and the government-commissioned Millward Brown IMS research findings.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon, Ireland