European Integration Online Papers

Published by ECSA Austria
Online ISSN: 1027-5193
Publications
Article
This paper attempts to explain the rates of European protest in three core countries of the EEC/EU – the Belgium, France, and Germany – over a sixteen-year period from 1980 to 1995 based on their institutional differences as suggested by the literature on political opportunity structures. First, the findings support the notion of a Europeanization of protest that is spurred by the changing constellation of national vs. supranational powers in the wake of European integration. The Europeanization of protest occurs, displaying systematic cross-national differences. These differences are, as the results suggest, related to the differential between the constraints of the actors' domestic environments and the common-to-all evolving opportunities on the level of European politics. Secondly, the findings suggest that the rates of protest in cross-national perspective are not simply random. The macro-political structure plays a (statistically) significant, logically consistent, and visible role in the explanatory bundle leading to occurrence or absence of protest actions.
 
Article
Using an empirically driven case study of the effects of the European Security Strategy of December 2003 this article assesses the trends and nature of European security regime building. In assessing EU security regime building it explores, first of all, a securitisation of the European agenda as a top-down approach – initialled by the European Council that extends the security zone on Europe’s periphery through the emergence of a multilateral order and the development of the foreign and security tool box. Secondly, this research suggests that the EU security regime building as a bottom-up process remains under construction within all three EU pillars by everyday policy-making. More important is the fact that the EU pursues a rigid strategy seeking to create the most total vision of a multidimensional security understanding in order to privilege the fight against terrorism at the regional and global level.
 
Article
The theme of the article is the ECJ's approach to the standing of private applicants in actions of annulment. The analysis places the emphasis on the Opinions by AG Jacobs and the rulings of the CFI and the ECJ in UPA and Jégo-Quérè and on the limited changes proposed under the Draft Constitution. The argument of the paper is that the critique presenting the preceding line of decisions as a missed opportunity is partly unfounded and partly misplaced for two main reasons. Firstly, the nature of the debate has now changed with the introduction of the right to effective judicial protection and secondly, the existing critique is not reflective of the multidimensional and complex nature of interacting factors that influence the strategic positioning of the ECJ in areas of specific constitutional significance. Therefore, the analysis concentrates on the factors that could provide the exegetical and not necessarily the justifying rationale for the persistently restrictive approach of the ECJ in the area of standing. It is submitted that the recent case law is an integral part of the calculated strategic positioning of the ECJ that was inevitable. The inevitability is founded on three reasons. Firstly, on the nature and significance of effective judicial protection and the central role that it was given by AG Jacobs and the CFI in UPA and Jégo-Quérè respectively. Secondly, the departure from the jurisprudence was driven from below rather than from the ECJ and finally, the chronology was such that coincided with the workings of the Convention on the Future of Europe. These new elements represent an attempted Velvet Revolution rather than a missed opportunity.
 
Article
The European Council occupies a central role in European politics. Yet it is not officially accountable to any public or parliamentary body for the decisions it makes on behalf of European citizens. National parliaments are only entitled to exert control over their own Heads of Government or State. The European Parliament, as a supranational institution, is the only parliamentary body that regularly discusses European politics with the European Council as a collective, namely via the European Council Presidency. As such, it alone has the possibility to hold the Council accountable for the agreements made at European Summits. However, the European Parliament has limited rights to impose pressure on the European Council Presidency. Nonetheless, despite the lack of a formal accountability arrangement, the European Council Presidency is more forthcoming than could have been expected.
 
Article
The desire to reform the European Commission is a recurrent theme on the agenda. Has the political failure to reach an appropriate restructuring of this institution a parallel in academic neglect of that institution? To answer this question the article looks into current research efforts on the reform of the European Commission. It calls for (more) systematic investigation into the Commission's managerial strengths and weaknesses and does plead for a reassessment of the Commission's potential in the context of the ongoing governance changes.
 
Article
This paper examines the long-term financial integration of second-round acceding and candidate countries’ with the European Union and the US stock markets during the Accession Process. The lowpair wise correlations between these markets imply portfolio diversification opportunities, yet correlation is a short-term measure. The long-term stock market interdependence is analyzed with Johansen (1991) cointegration approach, which indicates no long-term relationship between the second-round countries and the EU and US stock markets. Yet Engle-Granger (1987) causality test presents evidence of a casual flow from European and US equity markets to Croatian stock market and from Turkish Stock market to Bulgarian stock market suggesting a short-term lead-lag relationship amongst. The results indicate that the completion of accession negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania and ongoing negotiations with Croatia and Turkey have not yet resulted in the complete financial integration of these markets with the European Union. They still offer significant long-term diversification opportunities for the European as well as the US investors.
 
Article
There is a marked difference between the culture of open government in some Member States, particularly Sweden, and the culture of secrecy in Britain. Recent calls for a uniform interpretation of the law regarding public access to documents held by the Community Institutions seem to suggest that a Swedish-style right of access should be adopted at EU level, on the grounds that public access to government-held information is a fundamental human right. To date, however, it seems that insufficient arguments have been advanced in order to justify this particular claim. Notable constitutional lawyers remain sceptical, as do some Member State governments. Furthermore, in the absence of a convincing philosophical justification for the claim, a situation may be created in which certain people are said to enjoy a fundamental human right, not because they are human beings, but by virtue of their status as citizens or residents of an EU Member State. This appears to be counter-intuitive, if it is accepted that fundamental human rights should be enjoyed by all and should therefore be justified on the basis of universally-shared fundamental values. It therefore seems that further explanation of the importance of public access to documents is required, and further justification of the claim that this is, or should be regarded as, a fundamental human right.
 
Bar chart of the mean number of formal notice letters received by the NMS between 2004 and 2007  
Article
In this paper we examine the transposition of European Union (EU) legislation in the twelve 'new' member states during the post-accession stage. To this end, we scrutinize the number of formal notice letters received by the new member states in the period from 2004 to 2007. Our analysis shows that there is considerable variation in the transposition behaviour. While Lithuania, Hungary as well as Slovenia are the best performers, the transposition of EU legislation is less effective in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and particularly Romania. The comparatively high number of transposition shortcomings by this latter country group clearly indicates that even the process of incorporating European provisions into domestic law is far from unproblematic, which suggests the existence of even more substantive problems with the practical side of implementation. The results of our descriptive analysis show that transposition failure is predominantly related to the degree of trade with the EU, bureaucratic capacity and pre-accession policy alignment. We conclude that in the intermediate-term increasing bureaucratic capacities and stronger economic ties with the EU may help to reduce transposition failures.
 
Article
This paper explores the relationship between administrative co-ordination of EU affairs at the national level and compliance with EU law. First, we develop two hypotheses about the impact of co-ordination. We expect that the strength of the co-ordination structure (level of centralisation and political support) will improve levels of transposition of EU law. Administrative co-ordination becomes irrelevant, however, for the transposition of EU laws that attain political salience and trigger political opposition. We test these conjectures by an aggregate country-level analysis of transposition rates and a qualitative comparative analysis of eight cases covering two directives. Both analyses support our expectations that strong administrative co-ordination of EU affairs leads to smaller transposition deficits in the aggregate. However, for highly salient directives that touch upon constitutional issues and trigger opposition from political actors outside the executive, administrative co-ordination cannot help.
 
Article
Comitology committees are often accused of not being accountable. This paper aims to provide building blocks to analyze the validity of this claim. After briefly discussing the meaning and aims of accountability, it is discussed where the actual accountability problems can be expected. Institutionally, one may expect them between the committees and the Commission on one side, and the Council and European Parliament on the other. Even the currently introduced new procedures cannot fully remedy accountability problems emerging there. Individually, one may expect accountability problems in the delegation of tasks to more or less autonomously operating experts. This twofold analysis may help further empirical research in this area.
 
Article
The European Commission plays a major role as regulator in the process of implementation of European legislation. Just looking at the figures of implementing measures one will find that the Commission adopts more than 2.500 such legal acts per year. As is well known the Commission is not alone in this process of regulating the implementation process but is assisted and controlled by ‘comitology’ committees composed of civil servants from the administrations of the Member States.The system has been under pressure for reform almost from its inception, where especially the European Parliament (EP) has been highly critical of the complex system. It is noteworthy that the system has partly been reformed in 2006. From the side of the EP this most recent reform of comitology is characterised as a great breakthrough in parliamentary control over EU legislation and seen as improving accountability of the whole Community system.This paper wants to come in here and probe into the question whether the latest Decision on Comitology actually does alleviate the current accountability deficits of comitology.
 
Article
Democratic accountability is an aspect that seems to have been almost entirely overlooked in the discussions on the evolving role of the European External Action Service (EEAS). In modern democratic societies, it is increasingly difficult to sustain the claim that foreign policy and diplomacy are incompatible with democratic decision-making and accountability. What is more, for the external service representing the EU as an entity aspiring to play the role of a mentor in state- and democracy-building processes in various countries around the world, ensuring democratic accountability necessarily becomes a key concern. While this is the case, the literature on the EEAS has at best only partially addressed this issue so far. This article seeks to bridge that gap and discuss ways of how democratic accountability could be ensured in the EEAS in its various possible organizational configurations. It hence addresses some of the key issues addressed by this special issue – institutionalization of administrative arrangements in support of the ESDP, the role of non-elected officials in the EU’s external relations and, indeed, evolving mechanisms for ensuring political control of the EU’s external action. In the first section, the paper discusses the notion of democratic accountability and reviews the state of the debate regarding democratic accountability in the EEAS. Three models of a democratic order in the EU are then suggested (cf Eriksen and Fossum) and based on those, three scenarios of developing democratic accountability in the EEAS are elaborated upon - the EEAS as a support agency for member state diplomacy; the EEAS as a federal foreign service of the EU; and the EEAS as a cosmopolitan normative entrepreneur.
 
Analytical model
Assessment of the action programmes  
Acquis ALMPs arranged in four time-periods  
Article
This paper engages in the discussion about the meaning of the open method of coordination (OMC) for the development of the European Social Model (ESM). It argues that, from a legal perspective, the OMC is a positive development rather than a threat for the ESM. To support this argument, the paper introduces an analytical model, based on suggestions of Dehousse and Weiler (1990), to assess the potential integration capacity of the acquis of the European Social Model (ESM) based on the legal dynamics of integration. From such the acquis of equal opportunity in employment and active labour market policies are assessed for their potential integration capacity. The analysis finds that over the course of time, the potential integration capacity of the respective acquis have become stronger since the introduction of the OMC. Therefore, the conclusion is that the utilisation of the OMC to govern these social policies is a positive process which has strengthened Europe’s capacity to further develop the ESM.
 
Article
As the European Union (EU) has strengthened, scholars have emphasized the development of multilevel governance structures and the salience of subnational actors. With the launch of the Open Method of Coordination and the increasing development of non-binding regulations, we must re-consider the potential of this type of governance instrument to serve as an intergovernmental and intra-governmental coordinative mechanism; thus contributing to the development of multilevel governance structures. This paper addresses this issue by focusing on the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and its potential to serve as an intra-governmental coordinative instrument. I argue that this non-binding instrument does informally (de facto) influence intra-governmental relations in member states. In addition, subnational actors have transferred many of these soft principles to lower levels of government. These propositions are explored using data gathered in the EU, Spain, Belgium, and Sweden at both the national and the sub national levels.
 
Article
This article describes and critically analyses the proposed new typology of acts in the “draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe” and its implications for the EU legal system. It comments on the categories of act on the three levels of constitutional law, legislation and implementation. It highlights the importance of the correlation between the catalogue of fundamental rights on one hand and the definition of legislation on the other, which will reform the relation between legislative and executive powers in the Union. The article also uncovers several shortcomings in the proposed typology of acts including the problematic relation between delegated regulations and implementing regulations as well as the lack of adjustment of the proposed system of legal acts to the special nature of the EU.
 
Article
This article analyses the impact of the EU's new Constitutional Treaty on the parliaments of its member states, with specific focus on access to information and on monitoring compliance with the subsidiarity principle. The main argument of the article is that while the Constitutional Treaty will strengthen the position of the national legislatures in the EU policy process, this empowerment does not constitute a major departure from the present situation. National parliaments will have better access to EU documents, and these information rights improve the capacity of national parliaments to control their governments. National parliaments will also gain a collective role in overseeing the implementation of the subsidiarity principle, but the effects of this mechanism will probably remain modest. While national MPs have thus stronger constitutional rights to control their governments, the increased use of the open method of coordination and other forms of intergovernmental policy coordination at least partially undermine these positive developments. The article concludes by proposing a set of reforms that would enable national legislatures to make a stronger impact on EU politics.
 
Article
As part of its food security policy, South Korea has been pursuing food self-sufficiency using high tariffs and high administrative prices in key agricultural and food markets. Using a dual approach to trade and trade restrictiveness indices, we analyze the impact of these market distortions on welfare and trade volume. Then, we compute optimum distortions, which minimize the welfare cost of observed self-sufficiency and production objectives. We rationalize these optimum distortions to what could be claimed as legitimate protection under a “food security” (FS) box in World Trade Organization negotiations. FS-box protection is sensitive to changes in the definition and the extent of the FS objectives. We show that FS via production targets and reliance on imports would be more palatable to consumers and trade partners, while preserving rents to the farm sector.
 
Article
A priori voting power analysis can provide an effective tool for assessment of decision-making rules, which is particularly needed in procedures using weighted voting. The Council of the EU is such a case and the decision-making rule for this main decision-making body is a long-lasting problem of the European Union. This article aims at designing an equitable and politically acceptable solution to this problem while at the same time provides a comparison of the qualities of the proposed rule with the rule as given by the Treaty of Nice, by the Draft Treaty on Constitution and by another proposal, which was presented as an optimal solution.
 
Article
This study explores the multiple representational roles evoked by an under-researched segment of the European Commission: temporary Commission officials. The article has a dual ambition: The first is to outline an institutional perspective on representation that seizes a middle-ground between intergovernmental and neo-functional notions of representation. The second ambition is to empirically illuminate this perspective inside the Commission. It is argued that temporary Commission officials offer a crucial test-bed of institutional dynamics of representation inside the Commission writ large. Based on survey and interview data on temporary hired officials in the Commission, this study supports an institutional perspective on representation in two ways. First, temporary Commission officials tend to evoke multiple representational roles. Secondly, the composite mix of representational roles evoked by these officials reflects the organisational boundaries and hierarchies embedding them. Representation within the Commission is indeed a balancing act that is considerably biased by the formal organisation of the Commission, the multiple organisational embeddedness of the staff, their degrees of organisational affiliation towards the Commission, their modes of interaction within the Commission, as well as their educational backgrounds.
 
Summary of hypothesised pressures and outcomes across cases
Article
This article seeks to explain the varying, and sometimes intriguing, outcomes of the past three revisions of the Treaty concerning the Community’s Common Commercial Policy (CCP). The analysis particularly focuses on the development of competence and decision rules, i.e. the process of (further) supranationalisation, of the CCP. Subjecting the external trade policy outcomes of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon to causal analysis, the paper argues that stagnancy and change across cases can be explained by four factors: (i) functional pressures; (ii) the role of supranational institutions; (iii) socialisation, deliberation and learning processes; and (iv) countervailing forces.
 
Article
A striking feature of the discourses surrounding the negotiations of Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and developing states is the starkly contrasting pictures given of the role and nature of the EU. The Union is either portrayed as an angel, an actor with altruistic objectives, concerned primarily with the economic and social development of the ACP countries, or as a demon, an actor driven by self-interest with an hidden agenda and using confrontational tactics. The first image is mainly held by Commission officials, the second by NGO representatives. In this article, I establish the existence of the two contrasting images, try to explain theoretically the nature of the debate by reference to cognitive theory, and discuss the potential consequences of constructing and utilizing black-and-white images. I argue that the EU risked being caught in rhetorical traps by describing itself in overly altruistic terms, thereby giving its counterparts argumentative advantages. NGOs, on the other hand, lost some of their possibilities of influencing EU policy by taking a totally confrontational stance.
 
Article
Immediately after the formal introduction of the ESDP by the Nice European Council in 2000, the new policy was equipped with a starting set of governance structures and procedures for crisis management operations. In 2003, these new arrangements were tested for the first time in the context of military operations, which opened the door for relevant adjustments and adaptations. This article compares and contrasts the relevant institutional developments in the context of the first two EU-led military operations - EUFOR Concordia and EUFOR Artemis - and aims at shedding light on the early processes of the institutionalisation of crisis management governance arrangements. In particular it looks at the role of experiential learning in prompting three complementary processes of institutionalisation: the formalisation and stabilisation of procedures; the importance of inter- and intra- institutional coordination; and the ability of individual actors to influence institutional development.
 
Article
Although they have formerly constituted distinct traditions in the European integration process, EU regulatory activities in environmental and energy policy have now become highly interwoven. Environmental concerns increasingly influence the formulation of the EU’s energy policy, especially given the twofold challenge of securing sufficient energy supply whilst also addressing the necessity of combating climate change. In this context, a key question is, how exactly does the EU approach environmental policy objectives as part of its energy policy? Is the ‘environmental dimension’ of EU energy policy subject to a different regulatory approach than EU environmental policy in general? This paper addresses these questions from a neo-functionalist perspective by comparing the different types of policy instruments adopted by the EU in the two interrelated areas over the past four decades. Overall, this work finds that the EU continues to rely heavily on traditional command and control regulation in the context of air pollution control, whereas the environmental dimension of EU energy policy is frequently controlled by new, less interventionist forms of governance.
 
Article
The paper explores the Austrian understanding of democracy and its likely implications for the European Union. It develops a framework consisting of democratic "frames", "practices" and "discourse" for the analysis of national democratic systems. The Austrian understanding of democracy is influenced by its disruptive history of state- and nation-building and based on an impure parliamentary structure, which for some time had been impeded in its functioning by peculiar consociational practices. Implications of Austria's understanding of democracy for the evolution of the EU are derived from Austria's experience of national identity formation and its peculiar federal and constitutional practices. We identify significant corresponding elements in the workings of democratic governance and complementary "democratic deficits" at both levels which result in rather weak incentives for a more radical democratization of the EU.
 
Article
The aim of this paper is not only to assess whether the European Employment Strategy (EES) has had an impact on national labour market reforms, but to also evaluate the effects of partisan politics on the EES and vice versa. After establishing three causal mechanisms through which the EES may have an effect on domestic reforms, this paper carefully traces the institutional evolution of activation and childcare policy in Austria and Ireland. It is argued that the EES has been effective in amplifying and accelerating the introduction of early interventions and case management in Austria, while even triggering such developments in Ireland. In both cases, partisan actors were willing to embrace, if not strategically utilize, the EES to issue and legitimize such changes. At early stages, money offered through the European Social Fund was also critical in initiating such programmatic changes. The introduction of public childcare, in turn, was opposed by conservative politicians in both countries throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. Only after the launch of the Barcelona summit, which established hard targets for childcare places, governments gradually began to seek a politically viable compromise, acceptable to conservative political actors. Such a compromise was built on simultaneously expanding public childcare places and universal child benefits. While the former satisfies progressive actors and voters, the latter allows mothers to stay at home (at least part of the time) and thus strengthens traditional family values. This compromise became possible only due to the EES and associated targets, which increased political awareness, offered a benchmark, empowered societal actors, and – perhaps most importantly – softened the categorical resistance of conservative politicians to the provision of public childcare.
 
Article
This paper contributes to the ongoing debate between principal-agent theory and the concept of deliberative supranationalism regarding the functioning of the EU committee system by analysing regulatory policy-making in the BSE case. The BSE crisis can be seen as a critical instance for committee governance. This paper argues that the EU's mismanagement of the BSE crisis was mainly due to the prevalence of member states' parochial interests, which clearly supports a rationalist perception of the EU committee system. Whereas the committee system might lead to deliberative problem-solving in more favourable circumstances, the distributive consequences of BSE regulations were asymmetric and too large to permit individual concessions. Consequently, the EU committee system institutions were too weak to prevent reversion to intergovernmental politics. The UK initially downplayed the problem in order to protect its beef industry against a likely ban in the Single Market. After the BSE health risk became evident in 1996, the other member states reacted by banning British beef imports. Throughout these episodes, scientific evidence indicated that neither the British nor the other member states' strategies were sustainable. Only when BSE became 'Europeanised' in 2000 were the member states able to adopt common policies to fight the disease. Whether the new European Food Safety Agency will be able to prevent such crises in the future is an open question, but is doubtful in light of its institutional weakness.
 
Article
A comparison of the results of the six most recent Intergovernmental Conferences (IGCs) in the European Union (EU) indicates that member governments' success in achieving substantial compromises based on issue linkages differs across cases. An examination of supranational and intergovernmental bargaining theory shows that both fail to provide a satisfactory explanation for this variation. Instead, we argue that the problem that all participants to a negotiation have an incentive to maximise individual rather than overall gains often leads to efficiency losses. In IGCs, EU member states established two procedures to surmount this problem: a preparatory phase precedes the actual negotiations, and the Council presidency acts as a mediator in the negotiations. Lack of time for preparation, a biased presidency, or external shocks that reduce the capacity of the presidency to guide the negotiations, however, can cause efficiency losses in IGCs since under these conditions the two procedures fall short of facilitating bargaining efficiency. In an empirical analysis of all IGCs from the Single European Act to the Constitutional Treaty, we find support for our argument.
 
Article
Even if one may agree with the possible criticism of the Lisbon process as being too vague in com-mitment or as lacking appropriate statistical techniques and indicators, the benchmarking system pro-vided by EUROSTAT seems to be sufficiently effective in warning against imminent failure. The Lisbon objectives are very demanding. This holds true even if each of the objectives is looked at in isolation. But 'Lisbon' is more demanding than that, requiring a combination of several objectives to be achieved simultaneously (GDP growth, labour productivity, job-content of growth, higher quality of jobs and greater social cohesion). Even to countries like Ireland, showing exceptionally high performance in GDP growth and employment promotion during the period under investigation, achieving potentially conflicting objectives simultaneously seems to be beyond feasibility. The European Union benchmark-ing exercise is embedded in the context of the Open Method(s) of Co-ordination (OMC). This context makes the benchmarking approach part and parcel of an overarching philosophy, which relates the benchmarking indicators to each other and assigns to them their role in corroborating the increasingly dominating project of the 'embedded neo-liberalism'. Against this background, the present paper is focussed on the following point. With the EU bench-marking system being effective enough to make the imminent under-achievement visible, there is a danger of disillusionment and 'benchmarking fatigue', which may provoke an ideological crisis. The dominant project being so deeply rooted, however, chances are high that this crisis will be solved im-manently in terms of embedded neo-liberalism by strengthening the neo-liberal branch of the Euro-pean project. Confining itself to the Europe of Fifteen, the analysis draws on EUROSTAT's database of Structural Indicators. ...
 
Article
This article deals with the stability and growth pact the EU´s heads of state or government approved in Amsterdam in June 1997. The pact´s aim is to provide budgetary discipline in Stage 3 of European Monetary Union in order to ensure a stable common currency and the European Central Bank´s independence. Excessive deficits are evaluated by taking into account real GDP growth. The forthcoming regulation is not to include the specific growth rates which allow for an excessive deficit. This enforces the discretionary elements of a deficit´s evaluation. A hypothetical application of the stability pact for the period 1979 to 1996 and an empirical testing of the deficit´s dependence upon a country´s growth rate both give reason for concern about the credible enforcement of the stability pact in future EMU. A game-theoretic approach supports these conclusions. Therefore an institutional reform is proposed which is to distribute a nation´s voting power in the european council according to Art. 148 EC-treaty and its average budget deficit over the last two years. By implementing such a „double weighting" of votes the budgetary disciplined countries´ bargaining position could be strenghtened and the acceptance of a large monetary union improved.
 
Article
This paper gives a viewpoint on a controversial issue of transnational regional cooperation (TRC) in Eurasia covering the analysis of cooperation between Europe and the regions of Russia. By promoting the favorable regime of transnational regional cooperation, both sides become more effective in managing such common problems as mutual security, political, economic and environmental challenges; illegal immigration; drug- and human-trafficking; etc. What is needed for the successful development of TRC in Eurasian context? What factors make a crucial impact on the development of regional cooperation, whether it is further "inclusion" or "exclusion" of the regions from cooperation with European neighbors? Is it the geopolitical location of the regions that makes regional cooperation more feasible or are there other factors that influence the success of this process? How might the regulatory and administrative tools of central government facilitate or complicate this process? To answer these questions, the study attempts to re-conceptualize the theories of integration, Europeanization, and regionalism. Then, it addresses the role of ethnicity, economical development, and geopolitical factors in the establishment and development of transnational regional cooperation. It also investigates the importance of "domestic-policy factors" (reforms in the federal governments) in the development of TRC.
 
Article
In the second half of the nineties, a number of EU Member States went through intense public controversies over agro-food biotechnology. These controversies occurred almost synchronously, brought about parallel issue-framings and actor-constellations, led national governments to adopt biotechnology aversive policies, and prompted a considerable tightening of the EU’s agro-food biotechnology regulation. This article analyses these events against the background of the current discussion on the lack of a European public. It tries to demonstrate that, as far as the democratic functions information and control are concerned, synchronized national controversies brought about effects equivalent to those theoretically expected from an integrated European public. The analysis also explores the reasons for the synchronous and, in important respects, analogous mobilizations of national publics, and highlights the major policy mechanisms accounting for the observed supranational responsiveness to mobilized national publics. The article concludes with a reflection as to whether other policy fields might provoke similar cases of supranational responsiveness to mobilisations of national publics.
 
Article
DeutschDas Versagen der Regierung Raffarin, den Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt (Stabilitätspakt, SWP) zu respektieren, ihr Ruf nach einer Rekonzeptualisierung des Pakts, nach Reform des Managements der Geldpolitik der Eurozone und Belebung der Konjunktur auf EU-Ebene sollten nicht als signifikanter Wandel der französischen Politik in Bezug auf 'gouvernement économique' ('Regieren im Bereich Wirtschaft' auf EU-Ebene, GE), sondern als neuerliche Behauptung langjähriger aber widerspruchsvoller französischer Präferenzen gesehen werden. Französische politische Entscheidungsträger sind im Hinblick auf die Konstruktion der ökonomischen Dimension der WWU in einem Dilemma zwischen zwei starken Präferenzen gefangen gewesen: Auf der einen Seite die supranationalen Konsequenzen eines dirigistischen Ansatzes in der Makro-Politik, und auf der anderen Seite ein Gaullistischer Reflex zur Wahrung von Souveränität soweit möglich und die Beharrung auf Intergouvernementalismus im makroökonomischen politischen Entscheidungsprozess auf EU-Ebene. Die "Preisstabilitäts"-Funktion des "Regierens im Bereich Wirtschaft", wie in den Konvergenzregeln des Vertrags von Maastricht enthalten, und der SWP ist im Diskurs französischer Regierungen, sowohl der Rechten als auch der Linken, beständig marginalisiert worden. Vielmehr wurde GE in fünf sicht teilweise überschneidende Arten gemacht, welche alle im Sinne des Paradoxons des französischen Strebens nach sowohl verstärkter makroökonomischer Politik-Koordination auf EU-Ebene, als auch nach nationalem Handlungsspielraum durch intergouvernementale Politikgestaltung gesehen werden können. Bezeichnenderweise erklärt dieses Paradoxon auch den Mangel an Klarheit und Inkonsistenz in französischen Äußerungen über GE. Die meisten Elemente der Reformvorschläge der Europäischen Kommission und des Ecofin zur Reform des SWP und die präzisen Elemente der Paktreform, über die schlussendlich im März 2005 Einigung erlangt werden konnte, stießen auf französische Zustimmung, da sie dem SWP, bei größeren Handlungsspielraum in der Entwicklung und Umsetzung der wirtschaftspolitischen Leitlinien (BEPGs) und der Anwendung des Verfahrens bei einem übermäßigen Defizit (EDP) mehr Flexibilität geben, und folglich den französischen intergouvernementalistischen Präferenzen der GE besser entsprechen, jedoch gleichzeitig die Koordinierung nationaler makroökonomischer Politiken, welche zu einem effektiven Politik-Mix mit der Geldpolitik der EZB beitragen könnten, untergraben.
 
Article
The salience of European issues to the general public is a major determinant of the domestic legitimacy demands that governments face when they devise their European policies. The higher the salience of these issues, the more restrictive will be the legitimacy demands that governments have to meet on the domestic level. Whereas the domestic legitimacy of European policy can rest on a permissive consensus among the public in cases of low issue salience, it requires the electorate’s explicit endorsement in cases of high issue salience. Polling data from Britain and Germany show that the salience of European issues is clearly higher in Britain than in Germany. We thus conclude that British governments face tougher domestic legitimacy demands when formulating their European policies than German governments. This may contribute to accounting for both countries’ different approaches to the integration process: Germany as a role model of a pro-integrationist member state and, in contrast, Britain as the eternal 'awkward partner'.
 
Article
Recent transformations in the European Union have been putting significant pressure on the management function of the European Commission. Examining its brokerage position in policy networks, this article asks what kind of role does the Commission have in the political interactions in Brussels after the year 2000. Developing a conceptual framework about brokerage roles in EU policy, the article uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative data in an empirical analysis of two very different cases where the Commission has been embattled the past years. The article argues that previous reports of the Commission’s demise are much exaggerated, because it continues playing a leading role in managing interaction between multiple actors at different levels of governance. The empirical results show that the Commission is a resilient central network broker.
 
Article
Public Administration is in an era of change. This article studies one under-researched part of public administration, the executive arms of International Governmental Organizations (IGOs). These are referred to as International Executives (IEs). The article provides a conceptual mapping and an empirical illustration of three important dynamics of IEs – intergovernmental, supranational and transgovernmental dynamics. The study also offers a middle-range organization theory perspective that suggests five independent variables that affect the behavior and roles of IE civil servants. The variables are (H1) the organizational properties of IEs, (H2) the degrees of institutionalization of IEs, (H3) the recruitment procedures of the IEs, (H4) characteristics of the relationships between IEs and external institutions, and finally (H5) demographic characteristics of the IE civil servants. The empirical illustrations are drawn from the European Commission, the OECD Secretariat and the WTO Secretariat. The article highlights that the IEs of the EU, the OECD and the WTO seem to share important behavioral dynamics due to organizational similarities.
 
Article
This paper undertakes a content analysis of the discourse on the Open Method of Coordination on Health Care (OMC/HC) in order to show how equity and solidarity are increasingly linked to optimisation and, as such, how neoliberalism increasingly frames health care. Some of the side-effects of this reframing for politics are highlighted: legitimating and extending European Union governance, reducing the space for oppositional formations and limited citizenship. The analysis begins by interrogating the broader context of the Lisbon Strategy II, after which the techniques of the OMC/HC and its substantive outputs are analysed.
 
Article
Europeanization research has evolved into a promising research programme and has benefited from its increasing linkages with general theories of the social sciences. The paper starts from the assumption that the research programme would also benefit from a greater awareness of social science methodology. The paper focuses on the problem of case selection. Most Europeanization studies are designed in ways that the independent variables in which Europeanization research should be most interested – EU regulations, incentives or models – does not vary. Control cases are lacking. Therefore it is difficult, and some would even argue impossible, to demonstrate that the EU has been causally important for domestic developments. The paper explores two strategies to establish variation in the independent variable: counterfactual reasoning and comparing EU member states with non-members or, if research is restricted to EU countries, cases where the source of an EU effect is present with cases where the source of an EU effect is absent. Although neither of these strategies is a panacea for the problem of causality, their careful application will help to get better answers to the question of whether the EU makes a difference.
 
Article
"Although liberal intergovernmentalism claims that economic interest groups shape national preferences towards integration, while neofunctionalism assumes that these groups support integration for its expected economic benefits, these approaches cannot account for variation in EU integration across policy areas. We employ an analytical framework to explain divergent firm preferences towards integration in the EU-wide internal energy market. Building on Weber and Hallerberg’s (2001) specification of transaction costs and external (competitive) threat as independent variables in their model of divergence in firm preferences towards ‘binding’ EU rules, our analysis incorporates domestic market structure and firms’ international relationships as intervening (contextual) variables. Testing our argument in four cases - Germany, Italy, France and the UK - confirms that distinct national institutions promote divergent attitudes towards the internal energy market because domestic market structures and firms’ international settings respond to transaction costs and external threat in this market within the context of member states’ traditional local models of capitalism. In relation to theories of European integration, this study underscores the importance of varieties of capitalism in preference formation vis-à-vis integration, offering additional insights into the conditions under which national institutions have been influential in response to common external pressures in the energy market.
 
Article
Environmental concerns have played a key role for institutionalizing energy policy at the level of the European Union. There is thus a tendency in research literature to assume that the objectives of these cognate policy areas are compatible and mutually reinforcing. There have been only few efforts, however, to critically assess the quality of this relationship. The contributions to this mini-special issue reveal that the instruments employed in these two policy fields are markedly different. Environmental policy instruments are mostly based on the command-and-control logic whereas environment-related European energy policy is characterized by the use of ‘softer’ measures. The second main finding is that despite the centrality of climate change concerns in the rhetoric of the European Commission, an effective integration of environmental goals into energy policy is difficult to achieve.
 
Article
This paper examines the impact of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on the fiscal performance of EU member states. I will show that the process towards EMU and the accompanying Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) have increased fiscal performance in the EU member states. Small EU states have generally performed better than big states, because they were more constrained by the institutions of the SGP: During the period of accession, the threat of being excluded from the final stage of EMU was more severe than for the large states in the core of the EU (Germany and France). Second, as members of the EMU, smaller states will encounter higher difficulties in finding allies to avoid punishment through sanctions in the Council.
 
Article
Eastern enlargement is a process in which the very identity of the European Union is under construction, with its constitutive principles and values being challenged. Policy choices of the member governments participating in this process can not exclusively being explained by rational choice assumptions, but a sociological approach to the issue also becomes necessary. Through the analysis of the Spanish government's policy on enlargement, this paper aims to show how policy preferences might not only respond to a cost-benefit calculus and how policy contents might develop endogenously during the process of policy formation in the EU. In this process there is room for member states to pursue their goals and search a collective decision that better accommodates their self-interest. However, deliberation also matters, and governments have to justify their actions in terms considered legitimate by all according to the constitutive principles and values of the EU polity.
 
Article
With the ongoing making of a European polity the character of political representation and the role of national parliaments is changing. Europe is more and more facing a situation where input legitimacy is produced at the national level whereas binding political decisions are taken at the supranational level. This is why there is an ongoing debate about the democratic deficit. The paper takes up this discussion from a particular perspective: how do the members of national parliaments of eleven member states and the members of the European Parliament perceive the future of European integration, to which degree do they support further competence shift, and which kind of future political order of the EU do they prefer? The impact of several factors on support for further integration are explored including policy character, exposure to economic globalization, and national institutional settings. Results show that the ideas about institutional reform and future political order do differ considerably between MPs of different nations, ideologies as well as the national and European level partly due to the mentioned factors. The necessary consensus about the future order seems to be far from feasible.
 
Article
It is well known that EU citizenship is parasitic upon national citizenship. To become an EU citizen it is necessary to be a citizen of one of the Member States, and the states have exclusive competence to decide who their own citizens are. They therefore function as gatekeepers, and jealously guard this role. However, in practice national citizenship and nationality laws are influenced by EU membership. Firstly, this influence comes from other Member States, who recognise that the decision on citizenship taken by their neighbours have, as a result of rights of free movement and non-discrimination a direct impact upon themselves. Secondly, there is an influence from the EU institutions and EU legislation, for example by granting rights to long-term third country national residents. Since periods of residence are often a central criterion for gaining nationality, EU residence rights effectively amount to EU support for national citizenship for these residents. These points are made using the examples of Spain, Ireland and Germany, all of which have made changes to nationality laws, or exercised nationality decisions, in a way where the influences above can be demonstrated. The long-term residents directive is used to show the influence of the EU itself. These empirical findings are placed in the context of current debates on the nature of citizenship, and on methods of harmonisation, in particular the increasing use of soft and reflexive methods.
 
Article
In this paper we empirically test three of the most significant theories about the emergence of a European identity. The three approaches considered here are, respectively: first, a "cultural" theory, which understands identities as being based on ethno-cultural factors generated through a long-term (historical) process; second, an "instrumental" theory, which conceives of identities as being based on self-interested calculation (whether economic or political); and a third "civic" theory, which understands identities as being based on agreement over rules for peaceful political co-existence. Our empirical test of these theories exploits Eurobarometer data. In recent years, many researchers have become increasingly dissatisfied with the way these surveys poll attitudes towards the EU. We have contributed to this debate by designing special new questions to measure national and European identities which were included in Eurobarometer 57.2 and are used here for this analysis. Our results provide only partial support for the theories mentioned above. We find that national and European identities are compatible. This is, in part, because while national identities are largely "cultural", European identities are primarily "instrumental". However, we also find that there is a sufficient European common "cultural" ground for a European identity to emerge. We have also confirmed that, because national and European identities are different, the development of a European identity does not necessarily imply the transfer of loyalties from the national to the supranational level. In all the countries analysed here, attachment to the nation remains strong, and certainly greater than attachment to Europe. We also show that it is harder for a European identity to develop in countries with a strong sense of national pride.
 
Article
The establishment of ESDP/CSDP in 1999 has been accompanied by the anticipation that the European Union will represent a unique strategic actor because of its ability to mix civilian and military crisis management instruments as part of a comprehensive approach. But to what extent is this characteristic reflected in the EU’s civil-military organisation? The EU is clearly not a state, but it does embody certain non-intergovernmental characteristics that set it beyond a 'normal' inter-state organisation or alliance, the expansion of the role of the administrative level being one of them. The development of a well-functioning civil-military organisation is important in this regard, but appropriate benchmarks for what such an organisation would look like are missing from the current EU debate. A problem is that, when focusing on the novelty and uniqueness of the EU’s comprehensive approach, institutional change is often treated as a good in itself. However, by contrasting and using two classical models for organising civil-military relations – Samuel Huntington’s so-called 'normal', or separated model, and Morris Janowitz’ 'constabulary', or integrated model – as benchmarks, the article shows that institutional innovations have largely sustained a separation of the civil-military interface, despite the stated objective of developing an EU 'culture of coordination'. This situation reflects the inherent tension between a traditional civil-military culture with deep roots in the Member States, on the one hand, and an evolving 'in-house' civil-military culture within the Council Secretariat, on the other. When it comes to ESDP/CSDP, certain Member States have used institutional reform as a way to push through national agendas, producing frequent but often ineffective institutional change. At the same time, there has been a lack of attention inside the Council Secretariat paid to effective measures for breaking down professional and cultural barriers between military officers and civilian personnel.
 
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Article
In this article, we analyse EU energy policy from the perspective of the EU’s long-term commitments to combat climate change. We focus on the policy integration of climate concerns – ‘climate policy integration’ (CPI). We seek to answer the question: what is the extent of CPI in energy policy, and what factors can explain this level of CPI? After outlining a conceptualisation of CPI that argues for applying a principled priority standard for the assessment of the level of integration of climate policy objectives in other policy sectors, we apply an analytical framework, with factors derived from general theories of European integration and literature on environmental policy integration, to explain the strength of CPI in two sub-energy sector case studies – renewable energy policies and internal energy market policies. CPI is found to be insufficient in both cases, and two factors are highlighted as particularly crucial for furthering CPI: political commitment to CPI, and the strong participation of climate advocates in the policy process. The article suggests that the expansion of EU competence in energy policy does not necessarily provide a guarantee for full and complete CPI.
 
Article
The distinction between negative and positive integration that has played a pivotal role in understanding the dynamics of the common market is also instrumental in explaining the dynamics of criminal law co-operation in the EU. Despite manifold differences between common market governance and criminal law cooperation, the introduction of mutual recognition as the lead principle has privileged the abolition of obstacles to cross-border law enforcement (negative integration) over the adoption of common standards (positive integration). As an analysis of the measures taken thus far demonstrates, criminal law cooperation has been biased towards law enforcement at the expense of individual rights.
 
Article
The co-decision procedure has had significant implications for the interaction between the EU institutions and has attracted the attention of a series of formal, rational choice institutionalists. However, these have mostly dealt with the Commission in a relatively superficial way and their conclusions about its legislative role have been rather pessimistic. Instead this study examines the role of the Commission in more detail by looking closer at both the formal and informal ways in which the Commission has affected legislation in co-decision from Maastricht to one year after the entering into force of the Amsterdam Treaty. The study includes interview and quantitative data at a general level as well as from three Socrates procedures completed in 1995, 1998, and 2000. In line with the formal, rational choice theorists, the paper notes that the Commission’s room for manoeuvre is significantly reduced in co-decision, but it argues that its relative loss of power with the introduction of the procedure should not blur the picture that in absolute terms it is still an important actor in the day-to-day decision-making of the EU.
 
Article
This article is an attempt to a thorough chronological analysis of the EC’s existing law in the field of international trade since the WTO agreement. It deals with the evolution of the EC’s common commercial policy competence through the years, starting with the WTO agreement signed in Marrakesh in 1994 until the days of the European Convention establishing a Constitution for Europe, with a view to enabling the EC with a coherent policy in the WTO framework. Thus, a legal analysis of EC trade policy in the pre-Amsterdam Treaty period, at the Treaty of Amsterdam, at the Treaty of Nice and during the European Convention period is provided.
 
Article
In this paper I would like to elaborate on the interaction between law and language. The use of the different (legal) languages of the European Union Member States is one of the most practical and most difficult problems in the process of European integration. The linguistic matters are directly contacting all legal issues. In February 2003 the Commission launched an Action Plan on a more coherent European Contract Law. With this Action Plan a sector specific approach of legal and linguistic harmonization will start. On of the official aims will be the preparation of a common frame of reference, providing a pan-European terminology and rules. This contribution will reflect the need of a better and more coherent legal language use on a European Union level and describe a more concept-based approach of linguistic legal integration.
 
Top-cited authors
Claudio Maria Radaelli
  • University College London
Antoaneta Dimitrova
  • Leiden University
Cornelia Woll
  • Sciences Po Paris
Sophie Jacquot
  • Université Saint-Louis
Liesbet Hooghe
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill & RSC EUI Florence