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[From the introduction]. The paper will start by outlining the origins and development of the webTV project in the Parliament and will then turn to the different reasons why it has proved to be controversial, despite (or because of?) the new technical possibilities of the web. It will consider the controversy from three perspectives: first, inter-institutionally, with the Parliament seeking to establish a separate media presence amongst the EU institutions, following the model of other parliaments round the world; second, in terms of the clash between the aim to create a channel perceived as credible from the outside and the desire of those inside to control how they are portrayed; and third, in terms of the increasing tension between a more traditional hierarchically-organised form of communication and a looser more individualistic ne...
I apply the multiple streams lens, which was originally developed to explain agenda-setting in national systems, to the EU policy formation (agenda-setting and decision-making) process. Choice is the result of coupling by policy entrepreneurs of three relatively independent streams—problems, politics, and policies. Each stream is conceptualized as having a life and dynamics of its own. At fortuitous moments in time, skilled policy entrepreneurs will attempt to couple the streams together by “selling” their pet package of problem and policy to a receptive political audience. The chances that a particular policy will be adopted increase when all three streams are coupled together. I conclude with implications for the debate of the role of institutions, actors, and ideas in EU policy-making and a clarification of two paradoxes of EU polic...
[From the introduction]. The decision of the European Union (EU) to start formal accession talks with Turkey in October 2005 marked a historic point in relations between the parties. As a candidate for membership, Turkey attained recognition from its European neighbors that it belongs in the European club of states – a status sought by Turkish and Ottoman governments for almost 150 years. However, unlike in the case of other accession, eventual membership still face certain unknown that might derail the whole exercise – e.g., Austrian and French uncertainty of granting Turkey membership, Germany’s worries over freedom of movement of labor, and the Greek Cypriots’ desire to use its veto card to obtain concessions from the Turks in Cyprus. Despite uncertain future of EU-Turkey relations, one thing remains clear. Without EU membership asp...
[From the introduction]. The African Union, which came into existence in 2002, seems in some ways to be a copy of the European Union. First of all, there is the obvious use of “Union” in the name. Secondly, the institutions of the African Union parallel those of the European Union. Specifically, the African Union has a Pan-African Parliament, an executive African Commission, an African Court of Justice, an Executive Council (to match the European Union’s Council of Ministers), and — at the apex — the Assembly of the African Union, grouping its political leaders and meeting at summits (as per the European Council). Third and finally, the future plans of the African Union include other parallels, in particular an African Central Bank. Yet the African Union as an historical-political expression differs in three key ways from the European ...
[From the introduction]. Enlargement is often called the most successful foreign policy of the European Union (EU). The attractiveness of EU membership and the strict conditionality attached to the accession process have vested the EU with considerable transformative power in the applicant countries (Grabbe 2005; Schimmelfennig and Sedelmeier 2005). After the breakdown of Soviet communism and hegemony in Eastern Europe, enlargement has been credited with having contributed significantly to economic recovery, peace and stability as well as democratization in the transition countries of the region. With the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in January 2007, the Fifth Enlargement of the EU has been completed. Whereas the Western Balkans and Turkey continue to have a membership perspective, the EU has devised the European Neighborhood Poli...
The article uses evidence from an original survey of 200 top Commission officials to suggest that, despite some positive developments, the Kinnock reforms have led to the “bureaucratization” of the organization through the proliferation of burdensome rules and cumbersome procedures. The article suggests that, unless reversed, the recent trend towards bureaucratization risks producing the opposite results than those intended by the modernizers. The expanded body of rules helps guard the Commission against accusations of fraud and mismanagement, but it also risks creating a culture of risk aversion that paralyzes initiative and undermines autonomy. Moreover, the bureaucratization of the Commission risks diffusing individual responsibility, hence exacerbating the problem it originally sought to solve. Despite strong demands from the top m...
The paper focuses on the EU bureaucrats – Eurocrats – and their work. Special attention is placed on the Eurocrats’ work in EU Committees, working groups and council meeting. I have followed and observed their work first, through a trainee position at the Commission and second, by following the Swedish delegation to the Employment Committee meetings. The ethnographic study of the Eurocrats brings them to life as people of flesh and blood – beyond the stereotype. It shows that going by the book and forming technocratic EU decisions is not an option for these bureaucratic elites. They have to be flexible in handling their multiple roles and knowing when to play – and when to stop playing – the game. The paper shows that the roles Eurocrats play shift through the process: pendulum between articulating and defending ‘national’ positions an...
As many empirical studies have shown, non-compliance with EU legislation has already been a significant phenomenon within the EU15. With the accession of twelve new Member States since 2004, all of which had to align their legal and administrative systems to the acquis communautaire within a very short time frame, the compliance issue has become even more pressing. Against this background, it is the aim of this paper to take a closer look at how four new Member States from Central and Eastern Europe fare in implementing EU legislation and how possible compliance problems could be remedied in the future. The paper presents findings from a comparative project on the transposition, enforcement and application of EU legislation from the fields of working time and equal treatment in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. The re...
[From the introduction] The foregoing summary of current events indicates the complexity of the situation the EU is dealing with on the Balkans. Currently, it seems that, apart from Croatia and partly Montenegro and Macedonia, the countries are still far away from any meaningful prospects regarding European integration. A detailed overview of all of the intricacies and activities of the European Union’s foreign policy in the Western Balkans is beyond the scope of this paper. Instead, the following discussion addresses the main institutional and legal issues with regard to the process of integration for the countries of the Western Balkans. This process, the Stabilization and Association Process (SAP), is a precondition to enlargement procedures. In the light of the current events, the final part addresses the particularities of the rol...
Over the last decade, market opening in EU network industries has been accompanied by the emergence of an EU-level regulatory framework. The theoretical literature on regulation predicts regulatory capture, which is due to information asymmetries, agency problems and high levels of transaction costs. Regulatory capture, in turn, is conducive to sub-optimal levels of prices, investment, environmental protection, and affordability/accessibility. Given this background, this article aims to examine the quality of regulation in EU network industries, with a view to assess the optimality of the European regulatory framework that combines both national- and EU-level regulation. The data is obtained from EU Commission sources, reports of European regulators, and the Market Opening Milestones database of Copenhagen Economics. The paper examines...
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