In the Autumn issue of the Romanian Journal of European Affairs, the contributors bring forward topics concerning: the European aid to foreign countries in emergencies, agricultural risks management in some EU partner countries, genetically modified maize labelling policies, the European Parliament policy priorities from a candidate’s perspective, the European Union society from the Romanian governmental elites point of view, as well as a book review on the new member states and the EU – foreign policy and Europeanization.
European Aid to Foreign Countries in Emergencies – Are ECHO and the EU Large-Donor Countries on the Same Track?
The paper analyses financial aid given by the richest countries of the European Union and by ECHO (European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department) to six geographical groups of countries. It aims at advancing existing knowledge about the relevance of enabling conditions and the importance of general interest and self-interest to emergency aid. In political science, explanation focuses on economic power and political interest as, respectively, the enabling condition and the contingent reason for aid. The paper analyses the ECHO/EDRIS dataset which weakly supports the enabling conditions explanation and disconfirms the geopolitical interest explanation. The large similarity of the data of the emergency aid policies of the most rich EU MSs requests further study about the EU countries’ preference for funding assistance directly to a larger extent than through the EU’s programs, and about keeping foreign assistance as shared competence in the EU system.
Keywords: disaster assistance, EDRIS dataset, European emergency policies, foreign aid, new security issues
Integrating Agricultural Risks Management Strategies in Selected EU Partner Countries: Syria, Tunisia, Turkey
Fabio G. Santeramo, Fabian Capitanio, Felice Adinolfi
Dynamics and transitions in the agricultural sector of emerging countries are not well understood yet. A decade of major political and economic changes is challenging the Mediterranean Economies, affecting the primary sectors of transition economies which are largely influenced by recent trends. The resulting exposure of agriculture to risks has called great attention on risk management strategies and public intervention. We explore their role in three different economies with a view to a unified policy framework. The analysis is conducted through a field activity in Syria, Tunisia and Turkey that has allowed understanding the key issues. The experts’ opinions draw a clear picture of retrospect and prospects and stimulate a comparative analysis that widens the current knowledge of risk management in the EU Partner Countries.
Keywords: agricultural policy, EU integration, partner countries, risk management
Direction of Policy Convergence in the EU: The Case of Genetically Modified Maize Labelling Policies
Gustavo Sadot Sosa-Núñez
The aim of this article is to contribute to the academic dialogue of policy convergence by examining the direction taken by the policy to label genetically modified maize in the European Union. Considering international harmonisation as the causal mechanism, this article provides a chronological account of policy outputs, understood as directives and regulations related to this policy area. Additionally, there is an analysis of the increase of the degree of policy convergence. Furthermore, different national perspectives on the issue are presented, offering an insight about policy direction in terms of the interaction that governments of member states have between them and with the European Commission. Concomitantly, the direction that policy convergence takes points at strengthening member states’ views of developing stricter rules through time. Subsequently, results demonstrate that policy convergence can appear only with member states’ consent, regardless of the position that regional institutions may have; although they may influence the process to some extent. Nonetheless, this does not mean that the current direction should be taken for granted.
Keywords: direction, European Union, genetically modified maize, labelling, policy convergence
WHAT COMES NEXT? A Candidate Perspective on the EP Policy Priorities until 2019
Promises during electoral campaigns have been the focus of an extensive body of literature. So far, the candidates’ perceptions prior to the moment of policy formulation received little attention. To partly address this problem, this article analyses the priorities of the European legislature for the 2014-2019 legislative term through the eyes of Romanian candidates in the 2014 European elections. The empirical evidence comes from a survey conducted during the electoral campaign (April-May) among candidates from 14 out of 15 competing parties. The results indicate little agreement about the perception of problems with which the EP will confront in the near future. Although one third of the candidates identified economic issues as central, qualitative insights into candidates’ answers reveal different meanings attached to economy. Furthermore, important differences of policy perspectives are observable when looking at party affiliation, list position, and age.
Keywords: candidates, European elections, European Parliament, perceptions, policy priorities
The European Union: a Regional International Society from the Point of View of the Romanian Governmental Elites
This article investigates how Romanian governmental elites conceptualize the European Union as an international society using the English School approach. The argument advanced in the article is that the EU is conceptualized as a society of states divided between a solidarist core and a fragmented periphery. New members must acquaint themselves first with a certain code of conduct and adhere to a certain system of values in order to achieve a movement into the core.
Keywords: European Union, Romanian governmental elites, international society, solidarist, pluralist
Book Review: Michael Baun and Dan Marek (eds.) The New Member States and the European Union. Foreign Policy and Europeanization
A radical decision at the time, the 2004 enlargement constituted a critical juncture for the Central and Eastern European Countries. Although a great deal of literature has been written in regard to other aspects of Europeanization, the effects of EU membership on the foreign policy of the new member states have been rarely discussed. This is what the volume coordinated by Michael Baun and Dan Marek seeks to accomplish, namely to fill a gap in the European Studies with a series of articles explaining the more or less significant institutional and behavioural changes which occurred at the level of the new member states’ political elites. Focusing on three main domains in which Europeanization purportedly occurred, namely national preferences and interests, institutions and procedures, foreign policy strategies and actions, the studies gathered in this volume provide a useful overview of the effects of EU membership on what was traditionally known as “foreign policy”.
Keywords: enhanced cooperation, Europeanization, Foreign Policy, national interests, neoinstitutionalism