Search results

How the weak vanquished the strong

According to this book, Romania's predatory rulers, the heirs of the sinister communist dictator Ceauşescu, have inflicted a humiliating defeat on the European Union. The book argues that Brussels was tricked into offering full membership to this Balkan country in return for substantial reforms which its rulers now refuse to carry out. It unmasks the failure of the EU to match its visionary promises of transforming Romania with the shabby reality. Benefiting from access to internal reports and leading figures involved in a decade of negotiations, the book shows how Eurocrats were outwitted by unscrupulous local politicians who turned the EU's multi-level decision-making processes into a laughing-stock. The EU's famous ‘soft power’ turned out to be a mirage, as it was unable to summon up the willpower to insist that this key Balkan state embraced its standards of behaviour in the political and economic realms. The book unravels policy failures in the areas of justice, administrative and agricultural reform, showing how Romania moved backwards politically during the years of negotiations.

Between economic regulation and European cultural policy

This book explains how and why the European Union has started to intervene in the cultural policy sector—understood here as the public policies aimed at supporting and regulating the arts and cultural industries. It is a comprehensive account of the Communitarisation process of the cultural policy sector. Before 1992, no legal basis for EU intervention in the field of culture appeared in the Treaties. Member states were, in any case, reluctant to share their competences in a policy sector considered to be an area of national sovereignty. In such circumstances, how was the Communitarisation of the policy sector ever possible? Who were the policy actors that played a role in this process? What were their motives? And why were certain actors more influential than others?

This book reviews a variety of approaches to the study of the European Union's foreign policy. Much analysis of EU foreign policy contains theoretical assumptions about the nature of the EU and its member states, their inter-relationships, the international system in which they operate and the nature of European integration. The book outlines the possibilities for the use of discourse analysis in the study of European foreign policy. It sets out to explore the research problem using a political-cultural approach and seeks to illuminate the cognitive mind-maps with which policy-makers interpret their political 'realities'. The book provides an overview and analysis of some of the non-realist approaches to international relations and foreign policy, and proposes an analytical framework with which to explore the complex interplay of factors affecting European foreign policy. The book suggests one way of seeking theoretical parsimony without sacrificing the most defining empirical knowledge which has been generated about Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) over the years. It argues that while the sui generis nature of CFSP presents an acute problem for international relations theory, it is less pronounced with regard to traditional integration theory. The book discusses the dimensions of European foreign policy-making with reference to the case of arms export controls. Situated at the interface between European studies and international relations, it outlines how the EU relates to the rest of the world, explaining its effort towards creating a credible, effective and principled foreign, security and defence policy.

Incoherent policies, asymmetrical partnership, declining relevance?

This book explains how the relationship between the European Union (EU) and Africa has evolved in the first decade of the twenty-first century. For this, it treats the EU as a 'bilateral donor', focusing in particular on the new partnership agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries. It also treats the EU as a 'collective actor', paying special attention to the Joint Africa–EU Strategy (JAES) and a number of EU policies that affect African development beyond aid. The book first sketches the evolution of EU–Africa relations, between the adoption of the Cotonou Agreement in June 2000 and the third Africa–EU Summit held in Tripoli in November 2010. The evolution of EU-Africa relations should be set against two tracks. The first track concerns the programme managed by the European Commission. In this case, the most important change is certainly the adoption of the Cotonou Agreement, which marked a fundamental departure from the principles of the long-standing Lomé Convention. The second track concerns the attempt to create a continent-wide policy towards Africa, under the slogan 'one Europe, one Africa', which started with the first Africa–EU Summit held in Cairo in April 2000. The book also presents some contending explanations, drawing on studies of EU external relations as well as offering a perspective of Africa. It examines a number of policy areas, ranging from more established areas of cooperation to new areas of concern, such as migration, energy, climate change and social policies.

The dynamics of a changing relationship

This unique book breaks new ground in engaging the study of Northern Ireland politics directly with broader debates about European integration and European governance. The text offers the most comprehensive coverage to date of the institutional development of Northern Ireland following the UK government’s devolution programme and Northern Ireland’s development as an autonomous policy actor in Europe. This study marshals evidence from Northern Ireland’s relationship with the European Union (EU) during the contemporary era of devolved power. Uniquely, it does not treat Northern Ireland as a sui generis case-study, but as a region facing the same challenges as many other parts of Europe. This distinctive approach is a key strength of the book. It is a fresh and novel means of studying the EU and produces new and compelling conclusions with broad appeal and application. The text argues that in Northern Ireland, a series of national and regional constraints, complexities and divisions limit the application of the multi-level governance (MLG) model. The distinction between state and civil society in Northern Ireland has become less, rather than more blurred, and has shifted in the direction of the former. The author questions the synergy between devolution and the EU and queries the existence of new forms of ‘governance’. This is a contribution of both immense substance and considerable importance and will appeal to scholars from a diverse range of social science disciplines. It is essential reading for students and scholars of contemporary Northern Ireland politics, EU governance, European regions and conflict studies.

Responsive not strategic

This monograph seeks to examine the motivations for the European Union’s (EU) policy towards the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), the EU’s most important relationship with another regional economic integration organisation. This monograph argues that the dominant explanations in the literature -- balancing the US, global aspirations, being an external federator, long-standing economic and cultural ties, economic interdependence, and the Europeanization of Spanish and Portuguese national foreign policies – fail to adequately explain the EU’s policy. In particular, these accounts tend to infer the EU’s motives from its activity. Drawing extensive primary documents, this monograph argues that the major developments in the relationship -- the 1992 Inter-institutional Agreement and the 1995 Europe Mercosur Inter-regional Framework Cooperation Agreement – were initiated by Mercosur and supported mainly by Spain. This means that rather than the EU pursuing a strategy, as implied by most of the existing literature, the EU was largely responsive.

Rethinking Europe’s strategies and policies

Since the mid-1990s, the European Union has defined the Asia-Pacific as one of its key strategic targets on its ambitious road towards global power. The EU has ever since made consistent efforts to implement strategies, policies and activities in the Asia-Pacific. Over the past decades, big changes have taken place on both sides and the wider world. It is high time to evaluate the EU’s performance in its Asian policy. In fact, the EU is at crossroads with its Asia Pacific policy. On several aspects, the EU is compelled to redefine its interests and roles, and rethink its strategies and policies towards the dynamic and ever-important Asia-Pacific region of the contemporary world. This volume addresses this theme, by elaborating the general context, major issues and countries in the EU’s Asia-Pacific policy. It covers issues and areas of traditional security, economy and trade, public diplomacy, and human security and focuses on the EU’s relations with China, Japan, the ASEAN countries and Australasia.

Discourse, policies, identity

This book is about the language of the European Union’s response to the threat of terrorism: the ‘fight against terrorism’. Since its re-emergence in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the ‘fight against terrorism’ has come to represent a priority area of action for the European Union (EU). Drawing on interpretive approaches to International Relations, the author outlines a discourse theory of identity and counter-terrorism policy in order to explore the ways in which the EU’s counter-terrorism discourse has been constructed and the ways in which it functions. Importantly, the author shows how the ‘fight against terrorism’ structures the EU response to terrorism through the prism of identity, drawing our attention to the various ‘others’ that have come to form the target of EU counter-terrorism policy. Through an extensive analysis of the wider societal impact of the EU’s ‘fight against terrorism’ discourse, the author reveals the various ways in which EU counter-terrorism policy is contributing to the ‘securitisation’ of social and political life within Europe.

This book addresses the question of political legitimacy in the European Union from the much-neglected angle of political responsibility. It develops an original communitarian approach to legitimacy based on Alasdair MacIntyre's ethics of virtues and practices, that can be contrasted with prevalent liberal-egalitarian and neo-republican approaches. The book argues that a ‘responsibility deficit’, quite distinct from the often discussed ‘democratic deficit’, can be diagnosed in the EU. This is documented in chapters that provide in-depth analysis of accountability, transparency and the difficulties associated with identifying responsibility in European governance. Closing this gap requires going beyond institutional engineering. It calls for gradual convergence towards certain core social and political practices and for the flourishing of the virtues of political responsibility in Europe's nascent political community. Throughout the book, normative political theory is brought to bear on concrete dilemmas of institutional choice faced by the EU during the recent constitutional debates.

Europeanisation and its twenty-first-century contradictions

The European Union (EU) is faced by the Eurozone crisis, the rise of anti-EU populism and 'Brexit'. In its immediate neighbourhood it is confronted by a range of challenges and threats. This book explores the origins of the term 'Europeanisation' and the way in which its contemporary iteration-EU-isation-has become associated with the normative power of the EU. The concept of European identity is discussed, with an indication that there are different levels of identity of which a European consciousness can be just one. An overview of different mechanisms the EU uses to promote EU-isation in the neighbourhood and a discussion on the limits of conditionality when membership is not on offer is also included. The book discusses these themes in more detail. It powerfully states the salience of Russia in establishing an alternative geopolitical pole to the EU. The presence of Russia as the Eurasian Economic Union appears to play the role of being a way of preserving traditional conservative values in contrast to the uncomfortable challenges of EU-isation. The Balkans' and Turkey's reception of EU-isation is not affected by the experience of being in-betweeners. The book examines the issue of EU-isation and the relationship between values (norms), interests and identity based on various sectors/themes which cut across different neighbours and are core elements in their relations with the EU.