In the Autumn issue of the Romanian Journal of European Affairs, the contributors bring forward topics concerning:
- the achievement of national goals in the European Union (small state strategy in internal security integration);
- migrants, the EU and NGOs (The ‘Practice’ of non-governmental search and rescue operations);
- the Europeanization of political parties in Montenegro;
- EU-Russia Rivalry in the Balkans (the case of Serbia);
- the European provisions for the protection of dissenting shareholders within the framework of cross-border mergers;
- a book review for a collective volume edited and published in Germany, in 2015.
The authors published in this edition cover a wide range of European diversity, belonging to countries such as: Estonia, Italy, Czech Republic, Russian Federation and Germany.
How to Achieve National Goals in the European Union? Small State Strategy in Internal Security Integration
Ramon Loik, Ketlin Jaani-Vihalem
The Treaty of Lisbon brought about principal changes in the decision-making process of the European Union by forcing to abjure the intergovernmental approach and increasing the competencies of supranational institutions. Every member state in the EU has its national goals and preferences. Due to limited resources, the small Member States need to develop their strategies in certain ways for successful navigation between the institutions and regulatory frames, domestic factors and interests of other actors. The paper discusses on the bases of explanatory case studies that small states’ efficiency in the process of EU internal security integration is mainly influenced by (i) coherent domestic political consensus, (ii) clear setting of strategic priorities and their multi-level use, (iii) professionalism and expertise of civil servants involved, (iv) appropriate timing and flexible negotiation skills to represent its interests.
Keywords: European Union, internal security, small state, decentralised agencies, governance
Migrants, the EU and NGOs: The ‘Practice’ of Non-Governmental SAR Operations
Migration issues are dominating current debates at all levels. The perception of migrants as a threat quite often prevails over the human dimension and is associated to the immediate emergency management phase, particularly in respect of recent developments in the Mediterranean. The analysis of the roles of NGOs, a combination of traditional assistance to development and social integration and more active interventions i.e. Search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean may offer some interesting insights. The paper is a preliminary analysis of such trends, and is enriched by the results of an expert survey research on the performance of Mare Nostrum and its capacity to manage the crisis. There are three major considerations consisting in an assessment of the literature on the role played by NGOs in EU migration policies, an analysis of the use of SAR by different actors, including the non-governmental, in order to investigate the impact on the management of the crisis and finally empirical data which are used to assess current trends and raise future perspectives.
Keywords: European Union, NGOs, member States, migrants, search and rescue operations
The Europeanization of Political Parties in Montenegro
This paper aims to examine the impact of the process of Europeanization on the relevant political parties in Montenegro in the period between the 2009 and 2012 parliamentary elections by focusing on an in-depth content analysis of their election manifestos. The article argues that the EU has demonstrated a limited impact on Montenegrin changes due to the existence of a strong influence of internal factors which hinder the transformative power of the EU. This assertion is particularly observable in the case of the EU impact on Montenegrin parties where the political elite expresses its unwillingness to comply with the EU requirements. The study claims that the influence of Europeanization on domestic changes will be limited in the following period unless the political elite demonstrates true political will to fully align with the EU accession conditions. The research findings may serve as a suitable framework for providing new scientific insights, as well as for the enhancement of current scientific knowledge related to this particular field.
Keywords: Europeanization, European integration, political parties, election manifestos, Montenegro
EU-Russia Rivalry in the Balkans: Linkage, Leverage and Competition (the Case of Serbia)
Galina A. Nelaeva, Andrey V. Semenov
The article seeks to examine Serbia’s EU integration process in the context of EU-Russia relations in the Western Balkans. Serbia’s path to the EU has been long and problematic, with Serbia recovering from economic turmoil, difficulties in post-conflict reconstruction, the destructive floods of 2014, the refugee crisis of 2015, and strained relations with its Balkan neighbours. By applying Levitsky and Way’s theoretical framework that stresses the importance of an external actor in the democratization process (the importance of leverage and linkage vis-à-vis the democratizing state) and the analysis of linkages/leverage with counter-hegemonic states, we argue that in examining competing linkages/leverages, we must acknowledge the importance of the interplay between powerful actors as well. The events of 2014, which have led to a dramatic rift in EU-Russia relations, offered Serbia an opportunity to exit the “grey zone”, as defined by Thomas Carothers, as well as gave the EU the chance to deepen its influence in the Western Balkans.
Keywords: Serbia, transition, leverage, linkages, EU integration
European Provisions for the Protection of Dissenting Shareholders within the Framework of Cross-border Mergers
Hamed Alavi, Tatsiana Khamichonak
The European legislative framework of cross-border mergers is a result of a long process of identifying the needs of the common market, domestic laws and national businesses and bringing them closer together. From virtual impossibility of merging across national borders, to a transfer of seat, to the Cross-Border Mergers Directive private and public limited companies can now engage in a cross-border merger transaction under best harmonised rules to date. However, the diversity of national company laws leaves gaps that are not resolved on a European level – there is no harmonising instrument in the area of creditor protection and the protection of dissenting minority shareholders, among others. The CBM Directive contains a framework provision referencing the need of protection of minority members, whereas specific mechanisms are left for the Member States to implement. The question that arises is whether the status quo of minority protection is sufficient to ensure smooth functioning of the cross-border mergers framework or whether further harmonisation is required.
Keywords: Cross-Border Mergers Directive, corporate mobility, cross-border mergers, protection of dissenting minority shareholders
Book Review: Europe Renaissance. Essaying European Civil Society – Europa-Renaissance. Die europäische Bürgergesellschaft auf dem Prüfstand
The texts of the present volume represent the result of a conference held at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts in 2014. With their contributions, researchers and students from different fields of investigation from several European countries invite the reader to focus on the perspective of European citizens to which less attention has been paid, compared to the institutional crisis of European Union. In contrast to its increased political and economic power, the EU has not succeeded in incorporating an authority able to communicate to its citizens the feeling of belonging together and to struggle for a common goal. In this sense the title “Europe Renaissance” is meant to push the search for a “good life” back to centre stage. From 2014 to 2016, the situation of the European Union has so clearly deteriorated that a well-known German expert in constitutional and public law Dieter Grimm comes to the result of an alarming democratic failure (Dieter Grimm, 2016, Europa ja – aber welches? Zur Verfassung der europäischen Demokratie, München: C.H. Beck). The political scientist Ulrike Guérot supports this analysis with a fresh manifesto (Ulrike Guérot, 2016, Warum Europa eine Republik warden muss! Eine politische Utopie, Bonn: Dietz).
Keywords: European Union, European Civil Society, Europeanization, European Youth