In the Spring issue of the Romanian Journal of European Affairs, the contributors bring forward topics concerning: law enforcement cooperation as a central part of the EU internal security policy, EU’s Humanitarian and Civil Protection Aid, competition within EU Public Procurement regulation and practice, thematic agendas of selected European cross-border cooperation structures, an analysis of the Czech and Slovak different strategic choices towards the Eurozone, as well as a book review of the “United by or Against Euroscepticism? An Assessment of Public Attitudes towards Europe in the Context of the Crisis” volume.
Internal Security Cooperation under Functional Expectations: Initial Law Enforcement Europeanization – Case of Finland and Estonia
Ramon Loik, Erkki Hämäläinen, Viljar Veebel
Law enforcement cooperation as a central part of the EU internal security policy to combat cross-border organised crime and terrorism needs to be more effective by adopting specific provisions and tools. This paper argues that functional expectations require removal of barriers and construction of a common security area, but sometimes better cooperation in practice does not fit, as Europeanization of law enforcement still lacks understanding of objectives, values and principles for improving international trust, consensus, sincere cooperation and effective national coordination. The level of Europeanization of law enforcement could be evaluated as based on the level of implementation of the EU provisions on police cooperation related to practical enforcement, factors promoting or hindering law enforcement and changes in discursive practices due to EU provisions and professional socialisation processes. Some aspects of observed inertia characterizes the slow process of transition or tendencies for absorption in which resilience meets the necessary degree of flexibility allowing for some mutual learning and cooperation, but the result is expectedly a form of accommodation of needful policy requirements in the lack of substantial change perspective.
Keywords: Law enforcement, EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), Europeanization.
EU’s Humanitarian and Civil Protection Aid. Italy’s Eccentric and ECHO-consistent Policy
This paper analyses the coherence of the aid to countries in need of humanitarian and civil protection assistance given separately by ECHO and the EU Member States, with an emphasis on Italy that appears as an eccentric case. Section one is about the humanitarian aid burden of the EU and the major European donor countries in the years 1999-2012. The analysis draws attention to the existing coherence at the world level and also to the difference existing in the aid to the countries of the Middle East and North Africa region. Section two analyses and shows the consistency of Italy’s aid with the ECHO’s. In the Conclusions, the coherence of the EU’s and states’ aid and the consistency of Italy’s aid are shortly discussed in view of the existing shared powers in the humanitarian and civil protection policy area.
Keywords: disasters, emergencies, civil protection, European Union, humanitarian aid, ECHO, cooperation policy, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Mediterranean politics
Competition within EU Public Procurement Regulation and Practice: When EU Competition Law Remains Silent, EU Competition Policy Speaks
Noemí Angulo Garzaro
The economic importance of public procurement within the EU is undeniable, given its pre-eminent role in the overall economic performance of the Union. Its regulation is thus conceived as a priority. Further, the creation of an EU-wide level playing field for economic operators is submitted as indispensable to combat Member States’ preferential treatment towards their domestic firms. In this scenario, the achievement of a Single Public Procurement Market, working under conditions of vigorous competition, is menaced by the immunity from competition constraints of some public behaviour. In this research we are going to analyse the different public activities that may distort the competitive dynamics of the market. First we are going to evaluate the adequacy of not submitting certain public activities to the EU Competition law. Then, some clarifications will be made and the material scope of the EU Competition law will be expanded as to cover public non-regulatory economic activities. Finally, with regard to public regulatory activities and public non-regulatory non-economic activities, it will be argued, with a view of achieving the Single Public Procurement Market, the imperative necessity of observing competition constraints and, consequently, of submitting such activities to EU Competition policy considerations.
Keywords: Single Public Procurement Market, Public Procurement, EU Law, EU Competition Law, EU Competition Policy
In Search of Emerging Polities: Thematic Agendas of Selected European Cross-Border Cooperation Structures
Valentin Cojanu, Alexandru Gavriș, Raluca Robu
The objective of this paper is to find several answers by investigating the extent to which the cross-border cooperation structures (CBCS) act as de facto emerging polities. The scope of research is limited to the layer of territorial cooperation, namely the policy space or more exactly the thematic agendas of a sample of selected CBCS: Council of the Baltic Sea States, Greater Region, and Nordic Council, Oresund Region (OR) and South Eastern European Region (SEER). We design a methodological approach based on a content analysis of public documents or papers specific to each area. For two of the selected regions – Baltic and Oresund – the results support the working hypothesis that a converging approach towards issues of common concern may be a condition for deeper regional integration and, more specifically, for the viability of emerging polities. This research, however, did not look farther than the policy space that is relevant for the territorial integration of markets, leaving aside the economic and the socio-cultural spaces, for which different conceptual frameworks and methodologies are needed.
Keywords: European integration, territory, regional development, polity
Analysis of the Czech and Slovak Different Strategic Choices Towards the Eurozone
Czechs and Slovaks lived in a common country from 1918 to 1992, and in May 2004 the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined the EU together; nevertheless, these two countries took different paths towards the Eurozone. On January 1, 2009 Slovakia became the 16th member state of the Eurozone, while the Czech Republic has not yet determined a specific timetable to enter the Eurozone. In this paper, our main objective is to answer the following questions: Why did the Czech Republic and Slovakia make different strategic choices on the issue of euro introduction? How could Slovakia, a country with unfavourable initial conditions of transformation, quickly achieve the full compliance of the Maastricht convergence criteria? How is Slovakia’s experience in the Eurozone? Compared with the Czech Republic, which has not introduced the euro, is the Slovak economic situation better or not? Which economic consequences did the Eurozone debt crisis bring to Slovakia and how does it affect the decision of the other Central European countries, including the Czech Republic, about euro adoption?
Keywords: Czech Republic, Slovakia, euro adoption, monetary policy, economic convergence
Book Review: United by or Against Euroscepticism? An Assessment of Public Attitudes towards Europe in the Context of the Crisis
Published as a collection of academic articles under the coordination of PhDs Alina Bârgăoanu, Loredana Radu and Diego Varela, the volume “United by or Against Euroscepticism? An Assessment of Public Attitudes towards Europe in the Context of the Crisis” draws a comprehensive image of the public attitudes concerning the European Union, with an emphasis on what has been known as Euroscepticism. Doubled by different perspectives and supported by multiple sources, the phenomenon is coloured in balanced tones from an unbiased light. Euroscepticism and the broader context of the leadership crisis in the EU are permanently mirrored in this book as a connection between the two is sought. The argumentation can be followed logically and chronologically, as it gradually unveils EU public support from the union level to the national level and from the beginning of the crisis towards its expected end.
Keywords: EU, Euroscepticism, crisis, multifaceted perspective