2018 Issue No. 28 /December
Table of Contents
1. Valentin NAUMESCU and Margriet KRIJTENBURG: EDITORIAL: THE REFORM OF THE EUROPEAN UNION: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
- Keywords: European Union, crisis, reform, challenges, opportunities.
We know some of the new challenges that divide this family of nations, but what once brought them together? Given today’s rumblings of discontent, it is worthwhile to reflect on the founding principles of the European Union, for they are still capable of uniting Europe and bringing it to prosperity. The European unification project started in 1950 with the objective of achieving peace and security on a devastated continent. A flourishing economy was seen as a means to an end. Implementing this political integration project would lead to peace, make states interdependent and thereby war impossible. The main architect of this project, Robert Schuman, highlighted four key principles to guide unification: a) reconciliation b) effective solidarity, c) subsidiarity, and d) supra-nationality. Schuman hoped to see the unification of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe realised as soon as possible. Borders should become lines of communication rather than rigid lines of separation. Above all, Europe needed a soul. Today’s crises can be partly explained by Schuman’s frame of reference in which the person is at the heart of the economy, technology, and politics and not the other way around. Schuman’s key principles can contribute in a crucial way to solve crises and strengthen the ties between the European countries and beyond.
- Keywords: Schuman, frame of reference, heritage, common good.
3. Léonce BEKEMANS and Victoria MARTÍN DE LA TORRE: ROBERT SCHUMAN’S CONCEPT OF “EUROPEAN COMMUNITY”: WHAT LESSONS FOR EUROPE’S FUTURE?
The European Union faces an existential crisis and for the first time there is a risk of dis-integration and growing nationalism. Despite the motto “united in diversity”, diversity is often perceived as a threat. This study argues that revisiting the concept of “Community” in the Founding Fathers could give new impulse to the integration process and would allow for a reformulation of Europe’s future based on the original principles and values. The human-centred political project of the Founding Fathers can be epitomised in Robert Schuman’s definition of “Community”.
It is argued that the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church and Communitarian Personalism are the main sources of spiritual and intellectual inspiration for Robert Schuman, clearly reflected in his thinking and writing. Several texts by Schuman are analysed to identify the main features of Schuman’s “European Community”. This study argues that the “Community” requires a certain mind-set that can only be achieved through personal encounters and specific policies aimed at promoting trust and mutual understanding among the peoples of Europe.
- Keywords: European Community, Robert Schuman, personalism, intercultural dialogue.
4. Mircea Teodor MANIU: ON ROMANIA’S CROOKED JOURNEY TOWARDS EURO
This research is focused on the auspices of adopting Euro in the present day economic, social and political junctures of Romania. Starting with the analysis of the economic outlook after the moment of fulfilling the prerequisite macroeconomic criteria, the approach is developed in a particular manner towards the assessment of the domestic social and political conditional ties that are contextually relevant, from a political economy angle, with inflexions towards the current positioning of the domestic political deciding factors. Except for a batch of remarks concerning convergence, the paper does not deal with the specific econometrics of Euro adoption, such as business cycle synchronization or any of the optimum currency area present day debates. Instead it attempts to serve the Euro adoption cause in the predictable future, given the lessons hopefully learned during the years 2015-2016 when Romania was indeed within the Euro compliance margins, but for various reasons never considered taking advantage of this peculiar window of opportunity. Seen from this perspective, combining endogenous with exogenous arguments, mainly of social and cultural consistence, the research is moreover a professional awareness bell for various categories of stakeholders, than an attempt to suggest any sort of normative policy blueprint for such a manifold process as Euro adoption seems to be in this country.
- Keywords: Macroeconomics, Euro adoption, Romanian economic environment, Social and cultural factors, Economic policy.
The following article focuses on the various attempts that have been carried out to reform the migration and asylum legislation of the European Union. It examines the current perceptions about migration following the 2015-2016 migration and refugee crisis, and then briefly traces the historical evolution of the current legal framework on migration and asylum. My aim is to show how this evolution has reached the point where any attempts to reform the system are primarily driven by security, rather than humanitarian considerations, which makes consensus on any contentious issue very difficult to achieve, a fact highlighted in the third section of the present contribution. The conclusions discuss the limited scope of the latest attempt to overhaul the existing immigration framework, arguing that EU member states are still reluctant to transfer decision-making responsibilities to the supranational level regarding what they consider a matter crucial to their national sovereignty.
- Keywords: European Union, immigration and asylum policies, migration crisis, securitisation.
6. Romana Emilia CRAMARENCO: THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE REFUGEES ON EUROPE. COSTLY ON THE SHORT TERM, BENEFICIAL ON THE LONG RUN?
We witness an unprecedented Age of Migration, with massive inflows of refugees in search for survival, escaping conflict and persecution in their home communities. In the last two years, migration as a whole, and asylum and border management in particular, were put under severe pressure, with a relevant input given by media coverage in Europe, often portraying refugees as main source of instability in EU – “marginalization makes them easy targets for scapegoating by far right parties, which have gained increasing support throughout Europe by exploiting fears and inciting resentment” (Rudiger and Spencer, 2003: 12). Member States seemed unable to respond effectively to such crisis. The latest influx of newcomers reopened the debates on border controls and humanitarian aid, but also on the social and economic challenges that need to be addressed. The article investigates the socio-economic impact of the refugees in EU, with a focus on the costs and benefits, starting from the assumption that the short and medium term costs will be shadowed by the long term benefits.
- Keywords: refugees, migration of third country nationals, migration out of choice, migration out of necessity, cost-benefit analysis.
7. Hans Bastiaan VAN DEN BERG: THE ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ON THE CHESSBOARD OF GREAT POWER POLITICS
The European Union can be considered as the triumph of liberal institutionalism. However, the international community only seems to understand a realist rhetoric. It is therefore questionable to what extend the EU needs to move towards a more realistic outward perspective rather than its current liberal institutionalist. To understand the extent of this necessity three cases studies have been conducted to identify windows of opportunity in policy areas where the Union is currently fragmented. At the same time these situations expose the necessity for the EU to take on a stance which is more pragmatic and oriented on the protecting and promotion of its interests. The dependency of the Union’s members on Russian energy offers an opportunity to further integrate the single market and build a more stable relationship. The issues surrounding NATO membership and the current U.S. approach are discussed to further explore possibilities for a more autonomous EU military and further harmonisation and integration of the Unions Defence and Security policies. By exploring these subjects, a conclusion is drawn that the EU is in a position where it can harmonise its internal liberal institutionalist perspective with an outward realist position to withstand the international power struggle.
- Keywords: Defence, Integration, Europe-Russia-U.S., Energy.
At the end of the 1940s and the early 1950s, the question whether or not to rearm West Germany was a fiercely and hotly debated topic in Europe. The Americans suggested doing this by integrating the Federal Republic in NATO. However, many Europeans feared the resurgence of German militarism. Nowhere was this more true than in France. Therefore, the French Foreign Minister René Pleven launched the so-called Pleven Plan, designed to allow West German units to be established, but only in small units. That way, Europe could profit from West Germany’s manpower, without the country becoming a military threat. Discussions on the European Defence Community were tough, but in the end was signed by the six Founding Fathers. The Dutch did so reluctantly, especially because the Americans were left out, favouring security arrangements in NATO and rearming and incorporating West Germany in the Western alliance. To the Netherlands, it was essential to incorporate the British and especially the Americans in the Western defense; the Dutch always favoured an Atlantic alliance, opposing too much supranationality in the European integration project. The Federal Republic of Germany on the other hand, saw it as an opportunity to regain sovereignty. In the end, the French National Assembly did not ratify the EDC-Treaty, opening the way to rearming West Germany and making it a full member of NATO.
- Keywords: The Netherlands, West Germany, West German rearmament, NATO, Pleven Plan, EDC.
9. Edi PUKA and Dilina BESHIRI: POLITICAL AND SOCIAL PARTICIPATION OF ITALIAN WOMEN IN THE EUROPEAN CONTEXT
Politics is a field in which the female presence is still very scarce; however, women having attended political positions, as head of governments, have left their marks as to be nicknamed iron ladies. The relationship of women with politics continues to be discussed and is increasingly addressed as a democracy rather than women problem. Although the Italian women have acquired political rights in the last century, they have not been able to participate to a large extent in representative political institutions. The purpose of this article is to analyze the reasons for this phenomenon, and whether it is linked to representation crisis and socio-cultural factors. It is a question of raising public awareness on this issue, and of changing a political culture which even today considers man to be the legitimate protagonist of the State management.
- Keywords: Italian women; politics; leadership; vote; human rights.
10. Ioana CONSTANTIN-BERCEAN: A NUCLEAR TEST FOR DIPLOMACY: IRAN AND THE (NEW) EU-US SANCTIONS DEBATE
Europe and Iran have had important political, cultural and commercial relations that date back several centuries, but these relations have been steadily strained since 2002 when the uncertainty with regard to Iran’s nuclear program became an issue of international concern. In the attempt to demonstrate its role as an important foreign policy actor capable of taking the lead in resolving a global crisis, through the leadership of France, United Kingdom and Germany (EU3) the European Union spearheaded efforts to obtain a solution to the deadlock between Tehran and the international community over Iran’s nuclear program. Nowadays, after the nuclear agreement with Iran was sealed, the EU can move beyond its exclusive nuclear focus with Iran, and shift to a relationship based on engagement, not containment. However, this goal encounters an unforeseen obstacle: the new American Administration, who wants to shift the US policy on Iran toward aggressive containment and away from the diplomatic openings created by the precedent one. Therefore, it looks that the divide between Europe and the US is set to deepen over Iran, as long as the Trump Administration’s heated rhetoric and actions will continue. The EU made it clear, through its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy statements that it will continue to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Furthermore, the European leaders understood that a constructive relationship between Iran and the EU is essential for the latter, and it could help to achieve its common security and defense objectives while safeguarding its commercial and energy interests. This article aims to present the relation between Europe Union and Iran post-JCPOA and the European agenda on Iran and to explain how and whether the nuclear agreement could become the reason of a European-American cleavage.
- Keywords:European Union, Iran, Constructive Engagement, Nuclear Deal/JCPOA, European Union Global Strategy.
11. Oana POIANĂ and Andreea STRETEA: “BREXITOLOGY”: A STORY OF RENEGOTIATIONS, REFERENDUMS AND BREGRETS”?
The United Kingdom’s path inside the European Union can be defined as a roller-coaster ever since its first years as a member state a Member States. As BREXIT talks are touching key issues such as the unity and prosperity of the European Union, this article seeks to analyze BREXIT through a comparison between the two referendum campaigns UK held, first in 1975 – two years after joining the Union – and then in 2016. Although not entirely a mirror image of Wilson’s strategy, Cameron’s decision to hold a referendum followed the same line of thinking but within a completely different political and economic context.
- Keywords: Brexit, United Kingdom, referendum, “brexitology”, “bregrets”.
This paper is about entrepreneurship European style and European economy as a culture, by means of a theoretical model that is constructed of the distinctive features of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). This is not a quantitative but a qualitative model, stemming from historical experience, that can be considered as a visionary image of the future form of European economy and its position in the globalising world. Based on such a forecast a back-casting analysis can be developed: a problem-solving-oriented analysis of the extremely complex crisis where the European Union finds itself in at present. The cultural identity as well as the success of the economy European style lays in the incalculable risk factor of the human involvement in the enterprise, that in the neo-liberal shares-value oriented economy is systematically factored out; involvement of man, not just as ‘manpower’ (knowledge and labour force), but the central presence of man as such, determining the whole of the organisation by ‘proximity’.
- Keywords:polycrisis, European economic culture, SME cultural model of enterprise, proximity, EU a social project.