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Am 12. Juni 2008 richten sich alle europäischen Blicke nach Irland. Die irischen Bürger sind die Einzigen, die über den Vertrag von Lissabon ab-stimmen dürfen. Lange Zeit schien das Referendum im pro-europäischen Irland reine Formsache zu sein. Doch je näher die Abstimmung rückt, de-sto unsicherer wird das "Ja". Ein Überblick in zehn Fragen.
Die Kosovo-Frage kann kaum mehr einvernehmlich gelöst werden. Vieles deutet darauf hin, dass die Kosovaren durch eine Unabhängigkeitser-klärung neue Tatsachen schaffen werden. Der Kosovo-Konflikt gefährdet die Stabilität und Transformationsdynamik der ganzen Region. Die EU muss nun ihre ganze Macht einsetzen, weiter Druck auf die Beteiligten ausüben und die europäische Perspektive der Region neu definieren.
Klima- und Energiepolitik rücken zusehends ins Zentrum europäischer Politik und öffentliche Wahrnehmung. Darin liegt eine große Chance: Für die EU ist der Augenblick gekommen, nach innen wie nach außen eine kohärente Strategie des Umsteuerns zu entwickeln.
Summary. Recently published international rankings indicate that the performance gap between European and American universities is large and, in particular, that the best European universities lag far behind the best American universities. The country performance index we construct using the Shanghai ranking confirms that, despite the good performance of some countries, Europe as a whole trails the US by a wide margin. The reason for this situation, which contributes to Europe’s lagging growth performance, is two-fold. First, Europe invests too little in higher education. Total public and private spending on higher education in EU25 accounts for barely 1.3% of GDP, against 3.3% in the US. This translates into average spending of less than €10,000 per student in EU25 versus more than €35,000 in the US. Second, European universities suff...
Summary. The recently adopted European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is an EU response to the challenge of globalisation. It is to spend up to €500m annually supporting active labour market policies in Member States targeting workers affected by trade-induced (mass) layoffs. In principle, this EU effort to help trade-displaced workers makes sense since trade policy is also decided at EU level. In practice, EGF rules leave too much room for discretionary decisions, exposing it to political posturing and lobbying. During its critical first few years, sound precedents must be established, eligibility rules should be strengthened, and rigorous evaluation should be built into the programme. Otherwise, the EGF may come to be regarded as a political gimmick instead of a useful European response to globalisation.
Summary. The European Union’s budget review, launched last year, is an opportunity critically to examine EU policies and instruments. Structural Funds are at the heart of the EU cohesion effort, and absorb almost one third of the EU’s budget. Their declared aims are economic growth and regional convergence, but these goals do not always complement each other. Allocation of Structural Funds is not efficient from a pure growth standpoint and, although with enlargement cross-country transfers have increased significantly, on average almost twice as much redistribution still occurs within regions as opposed to between regions.
Summary. It is now 20 years since the Single Market Programme was launched with the goal of eliminating barriers to the movement of goods, services, capital and people. Over this period the EU has made substantial progress through a truly impressive legislative effort. But in the process have Europeans really become more “European”? While large industries have embraced the opportunities of the Single Market to become more international in outlook, Europeans basically continue to shop, invest and work at home. And though equity markets are still making progress, the integration of product markets appears to have stalled, and labour remains largely fragmented.
Cette publication des Cahiers de recherche politique de Bruges cherche à identifier les principaux points de blocage empêchant la conclusion du Programme de Doha pour le Développement et formule quelques recommandations afin de faciliter la poursuite des négociations. Un certain nombre de raisons psychologiques peuvent être invoquées pour expliquer le manque de progrès sur le Programme de Doha pour le Développement : l’Organisation Mondiale du Commerce (OMC) est en effet perçue comme une institution idéologiquement biaisée par une grande partie des pays en développement, tandis que les craintes des pays développés vis-à-vis de la mondialisation économique se traduisent par une réticence accrue à l’ouverture des marchés. Lancé de manière quelque peu précipitée au lendemain des attentats du 11 Septembre, le Cycle de Doha se heurte en out...
The ratification crisis of the European Constitution is accompanied by an increased enlargement fatigue, prompting a revision of the EU’s foreign policy choices. The paper shows that the development of the EU’s relations with its neighbours over the past 15 years has facilitated this process. Whereas enlargement policy has long been the Union’s most efficient foreign policy tool, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is about to assume this position by incorporating central enlargement policy elements. Although the incentives offered by the ENP are of particular interest to eastern partners, development perspectives for the Mediterranean have also been enhanced.
Before enlargement, many experts expected that the functioning of most EU institutions would be severely affected by the accession of the ten new member states in 2004. Compared to these expectations, effects that actually occurred were relatively moderate. Especially in the Committee of Permanent Representatives, enlargement took place smoothly and without major disturbances. However, some changes are noticeable. The paper analyses the way how enlargement influenced the functioning of Coreper. The analysis is based on 41 qualitative interviews with experts from the Council General Secretariat and from Permanent Representations from both ‘old’ and ‘new’ member states.
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