In the Winter issue of the Romanian Journal of European Affairs, the contributors bring forward topics concerning: assessing the European Parliament’s democratic credentials; a short story of the negotiations in Greece during the first half of 2015; mapping the EU–Republic of Moldova trajectory: roadblocks on the way to economic integration with the EU; management of regional and international crises by the European Union; the future of private equity in Europe.
Assessing the European Parliament’s Democratic Credentials
Doubts persist about the democratic legitimacy and role of the European Parliament in EU decision-making – this article takes a critical look at the body’s democratic credentials. An analysis of voter turnout and the impact the ‘Spitzenkandidaten process’ had on the second-order nature of European elections suggests that the European Parliament suffers from lower turnout than national counterparts, and that the 2014 European elections remained a second-order affair, in spite of the Parliament’s efforts. Existing data and analysis show that while the European Parliament to does a reasonable job translating citizens’ views in relation to left/right issues, the Parliament is more supportive of EU integration than citizens – new data gathered suggest the lack of congruence is pronounced. The European Parliament’s institutional framework set by the Treaties affects its choices, its more limited role in certain areas may lead it to adopt policy positions that are at odds with citizens’ views and security. Ultimately, the European Parliament does not enhance the democratic nature of the EU. The adoption of a more intergovernmental approach to EU decision-making at the expense of the European Parliament would help improve the democratic credentials of EU decision making, and as a minimum further expansion of the Parliament’s powers should be avoided.
Keywords: European Parliament, democracy, legitimacy, democratic deficit, elections
In the Shadow of Grexit: A short Story of Long (and Failed) Negotiations, January-July 2015
The article gives an outline of the failed strategy followed by the Greek government under Alexis Tsipras during the six-month negotiations with Greece’s creditors (January-July 2015). It is argued that Mr. Tsipras’ government had no concrete plan during these negotiations and that its moves were largely based on a combination of ignorance, misconceptions, and wishful thinking. The prolongation of negotiations was made at the expense of creating huge problems for the Greek economy and making the Greek position worsen with each passing day. The final blow was the proclamation of the Greek referendum which was held on 5 July 2015. Because of this failed strategy, Greece was found at the edge of default and exit from the Eurozone, a development which was avoided literally at the last moment.
Keywords: Greece, Economic crisis, European Union, Eurozone, Grexit, Greek crisis, Greek referendum, SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras
Mapping the EU–Republic of Moldova Trajectory: Roadblocks on the Way to Economic Integration with the EU
Gabrielle G. Bulgari
This article focuses on EU–Republic of Moldova relations by taking an in-depth look at the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement’s provisions. Specific attention is given to both the political and economic integration aspects, benefits for the agriculture sector and an assessment of risk factors. Within the European Neighbourhood Policy instrument and the policy of Eastern Partnership, the Republic of Moldova has gained a crucial importance over the past 10 years. Having been positioned between two political and economic strong poles, many times it had to decide on which side to be. Moreover, the Association Agreement signed in June 2014 has updated the EU-Moldova relations and gave it a boost towards European integration, economic and commercial development, encouraging the Republic of Moldova to finally break from its Soviet past and move forward.
Keywords: EU, Republic of Moldova, European Neighbourhood Policy, Association Agreement, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), economic integration, agriculture sector, Trade policy, EU-model society, Eastern Partnership
Management of Regional and International Crises by the European Union
Antonio Manrique de Luna Barrios
One of the European Union’s main goals is to be an important actor in the field of international peace and security and, with this in mind, it has developed a number of military and civil capacities. With these capacities the EU has launched and contributed to a great number of peace missions on different continents. And, by capitalizing on the experience gained during these peace missions, a general improvement of the standards of the EU peacekeeping missions can be achieved. And with the lessons learned and the actions that have been taken by the EU in its military, civil and mixed operations it could also make use of its normative power in order to consolidate the respect and protection of the fundamental rights of different populations around the world.
Keywords: European Union, crisis management, Petersberg tasks, peacekeeping, civil and military crisis management.
The Future of Private Equity in Europe – The Determinants Across Countries
This paper examines two aspects related to private equity investments in Europe. First, we will present the evolution of private equity investments across European countries during the last crisis. Second, the paper will analyse and identify the main determinants of the European private equity market, using an empirical panel analysis. The empirical model includes many of the determinants already tested in previous studies (GDP growth, Market Capitalization, Research and Development Expenditures, Interest rates, etc.) and also new variables such as productivity and corruption index which we consider important factors in explaining the evolution of private equity investments in Europe. The present research paper follows the equilibrium model of private equity investments (Gompers and Lerner 1998, Jeng and Wells 2000, Romain and de La Potteria 2004, Félix 2007). We will use aggregated data from European private equity market during 2000–2013, as well as macroeconomic data, in order to estimate a panel data model with fixed and random effects. This paper will also run the Hausman specification test in order to compare the consistency of fixed effects models and random effects models. Our results confirm existent hypotheses regarding the importance of some determinants on the evolution of private equity investments in Europe. However, in the context of the last crisis new factors emerged as important for the private equity market in Europe such as productivity or corruption.
Keywords: private equity, economic growth, market capitalization, unemployment rate, corruption, private equity determinants, Europe.