In the Spring issue of the Romanian Journal of European Affairs, the contributors bring forward topics concerning: the EC initiatives related to the evidence of non-compliance with the social objectives targeted in the EU 2020 Strategy, the EU as international diplomatic actor, the relations between the European Union and Turkey, the EU’s intervention in the Iranian crisis, as well as a book review on the strategic divisions in EU-Russia relations.
European Commission Initiatives to Promote Social Concern on the Market: a Counterbalance to Fiscal Discipline?
Laura Gómez Urquijo
The aim of this article is to analyse the significance of recent European Commission initiatives in the face of evidence of non-compliance with the social objectives targeted in the EU 2020 Strategy. In the midst of the ongoing debate regarding austerity and growth, we stress the need to further the EU trend toward differentiated growth-friendly fiscal consolidation. Given that “conditionality” is a new keystone of economic governance and cohesion policy, the difficulties that the Member States encounter and the diversity of their social protections give a new meaning to the European coordination policies that are intended to promote social cohesion. By analysing EU proposals and official documents, we will show how the Commission’s initiatives have introduced diverse elements that are intended to address the social consequences of the economic crisis and reveal how new ideas of growth and new ways to deepen the internal market have been promoted. We will also determine whether we can consider these ideas to be a valid response to current social challenges.
Keywords: fiscal consolidation, social cohesion, growth, economic values
The European Union – a ‘Sui Generis’ International Diplomatic Actor: Challenges Posed to the International Diplomatic Law
Ruxandra Laura Boşilcă
It has often been argued that the European Union has a sui generis status by being less than a nation-state, but more than an international organization, which is also reflected in its conduct of diplomatic relations with third states and international organizations. Since its inception, the European Union has managed to set a wide bi- and multilateral diplomatic network – which is subject to the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR). This paper’s purpose is to analyze some of the main challenges posed to the international diplomatic law by the EU’s emergence on the diplomatic scene, in the light of the significant transformations brought by the Lisbon Treaty.
Keywords: European Union, international diplomatic law, Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Lisbon Treaty, European External Action Service, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, EU Delegations
EU-Turkey Relations: Changing Approaches
The enlargement policy is important for the EU not only to extend its zone of peace, stability and prosperity, but also to increase its global competitiveness. Among the potential EU candidates, Turkey has a special place. As the only candidate that belongs to the group of newly emerging economic powers, Turkey may contribute significantly to the economic prosperity of Europe. Since its creation in 1923, Turkey showed an eager wish to belong to the European nations. Turkey adopted deep reforms in its constitutional, political and economic structure, and was finally able to start accession negotiations with the EU in 2005. Due to policies from both the Turkish and some EU countries’ side, however, the accession process slowed down and came to a stalemate. Since neither the EU, nor Turkey is interested in a breakup of the accession process, they started negotiation on some key issues, to keep the accession process alive. In the study we examine some of the most important issues of mutual interest – common foreign policy challenges (such as Syria); energy transport issues; mobility and visa free travel, customs union and other trade issues – and try to analyze their effects on the dynamics of EU-Turkey relations.
Keywords: European Union, Turkey, accession, customs union, energy, foreign policy, visa
European Union Intervention in the Iranian Crisis – A Sociological Institutionalist Perspective
The European Union began to be involved in solving the Iranian crisis starting with 2003. While in the past the EU used to react to this type of problems by issuing declarative documents or by silence due to the internal divisions, this time the EU member states were willing to react promptly and united. The paper aims to analyze using the framework offered by sociological institutionalism whether and to what extent the values and norms incorporated in the EU’s international identity, as well as processes like social mobilization, learning from other experiences and mobilization of non-state actors have influenced the European Union approach towards the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Keywords: European Union, Iranian nuclear program, institutionalism, socialization, European identity
Book Review: Divided States: Strategic Divisions in EU-Russia Relations
This review analyses Scott Nicholas Romaniuk and Marguerite Marlin’s book, Divided States: Strategic Divisions in EU-Russia Relations, highlighting the main aspects of the European Union’s relation with the Russian Federation. This book introduces the topic by presenting the two major players involved, underlining the fact that many scholars have regarded the EU as the “good” and Russia as the “bad.” Referring also to the regional impact of each actor, the review examines the role of third parties, civil society and minorities in official relations between the two entities. Influence of the Western world, often periods of hostility and isolation, and also relations with other actors represent just some of the main aspects of the research carried by the authors. Attractive to all types of readers, this book is suitable for students and scholars interested in this topic of research.
Keywords: EU-Russia relations, civil society, human rights, opposition