The December issue of the Romanian Journal of European Affairs proposes to its readers topics such as: de-Europeanisation and the case of Armenian community in Turkey, Euroscepticism and the Turkish media during the pandemic, the European Integrated Border Management, the Fit for 55 legislative package, national recovery and resilience plans in Bulgaria and Lithuania, the link between REPowerEU and the European Union’s Hydrogen Strategy, the implications of the war in Ukraine for the world order and a book review about the foreign affairs ministries.
De-Europeanisation as Counter-conduct: The Case of non-Muslim Religious Minorities in Turkey
Democratic conditionality has been one of the main drivers of accession Europeanisation and a foreign policy instrument of the European Union’s democracy promotion in third countries through its enlargement policy. In an era of rising autocratisation, however, the normative influence of the EU is increasingly questioned as to whether it continues to be a driver of democratisation. Focusing on one of Turkey’s Christian communities, Armenians, this paper aims at analysing the impact of EU candidacy period between 1999-2022 on the minority policies of Turkey. It employs the concepts of counter-conduct and governmentality to analyse the dynamics through which the Turkish government seeks to uproot and reverse the Europeanisation in minority rights, and how this counter-conduct works in the case of Armenian community.
Keywords: Turkey, minority rights, Europeanisation, de-Europeanisation, counter-conduct, governmentality.
Euroscepticism during COVID-19: The Case of Turkish Media
This paper analyses de-legitimisation and Eurosceptic attitudes in Turkey as reflected in newspapers during the COVID-19 pandemic between 15 March 2020 and 30 May 2021. Easton’s (1975) specific support about concrete policy outcomes and Scharpf’s (1998) output-oriented legitimisation theories are utilised in testing the hypothesis on de-legitimisation of EU-rope in both pro and against government media in relation to EU-rope’s policies towards the “fight” against COVID-19 since Euroscepticism influences the political discourse in general regardless of political or ideological position. In the paper, EU-rope is used, instead of European Union (EU) and Europe as two different terminologies, since the analysed newspapers utilise EU and Europe interchangeably. Five newspapers are included in the analysis for this study: Hürriyet, Sabah, Karar, Gazete Pencere and BirGün based on their political and ideological stances. In the research,
online archives of the newspapers are utilised, and in each newspaper the op-eds are excluded from the analysis. The main focus is given to the news – headlines on Europe and the EU. Keywords that are looked for in newspapers are EU, Europe, vaccine, BioNTech, Sinovac, Coronavirus, COVID-19, and the pandemic. It has been observed that, regardless of political ideologies and the position of newspaper at the left-right political spectrum, Euroscepticism became a common attitude.
Keywords: Euroscepticism, COVID-19, Turkey, Europe, de-legitimisation.
Cooperation as an Essential Component of European Integrated Border Management (EIBM)
Mustafa Ameyahid Mohamed, César Augusto Giner Alegria
The European Union has given new impetus to the European Pact on Migration and Asylum, making important progress in trying to adapt the European response to the current migratory reality. The COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis generated by the war in Ukraine have, once again, highlighted the significant challenges faced by the European Union. Ongoing migration flows and rapidly evolving security challenges have resulted in a growing common awareness within the EU of the need to jointly address these new geostrategic challenges. In the Pact, the migration issue is addressed from a comprehensive approach, proposing different measures, and highlighting the role of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in the management of the EU’s external borders. Regarding the EU’s international cooperation on migration and borders, Frontex emerges as the main player. This paper seeks to elaborate and analyse the legal frameworks enabling the Frontex Agency to implement its external dimension. It also examines the Agency’s international cooperation in the light of the new Frontex regulation and from the perspective of an essential component of European integrated border management (EIBM). Frontex can now provide support through joint operations on the territory of any third country, without the limitation of the neighbourhood tie.
Keywords: European Border and Coast Guard, EU, integrated border management, international cooperation, external dimension.
The ‘Fit for 55’ Package: Towards a More Integrated Climate Framework in the EU
Beatriz Pérez de las Heras
The European Union (EU) is determined to become the world’s first climate-neutral economy by 2050. The European Green Deal (EGD) is a comprehensive policy framework, intended to lead the EU towards this goal. The European Climate Law is the first legal initiative to implement the EGD. It makes climate neutrality a legally binding target, whilst also setting a mandatory goal of reducing emissions by 55% in 2030. To achieve the 2030 mitigation objective, the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package includes proposals to revise the targets, scopes, and structures of all existing legal acts in the current 2030 climate and energy policy framework. It also contains proposals for new complementary legal instruments. This article provides an in-depth analysis of the evolving legal framework with the aim of assessing its potential to accelerate the green transition in the European Union and reinforce the EU’s climate legal architecture.
Keywords: European Climate Law, climate neutrality, 2030 target, 55% emissions reduction, ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package.
Clasificare JEL: Q54, Q58, R11.
Climate Policy and Plans for Recovery in Bulgaria and Lithuania
Maria Kotseva-Tikova, Jaroslav Dvorak
The article analyses the climate policy and activities envisaged by the national recovery and resilience plans of Bulgaria and Lithuania, which aim to contribute to the green transformation and stabilisation of both economies after the economic slowdown as a result of COVID-19. The methodology of the current research is based on literature review and data analysis of the two countries with different economic structures and sizes. The National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRP) of both countries are compared through the methodology of Bruegel think tank, as that approach is applied to study the Bulgarian plan, which was finalised on 6 April 2022. The main instrument for recovery is the investment in the green economy, which also allows for reaching the climate neutrality target. Both countries demonstrate a decrease in emissions since 1990, as the GHG emissions per GDP in Bulgaria are more than two times higher than the EU27 average and the Lithuanian emissions, as a result of the energy sector. The countries need further actions for GHG reduction and have therefore allocated significant financial resources to achieve the green
recovery measures in their plans.
Keywords: climate policy, climate change, recovery and resilience plans, Bulgaria, Lithuania.
The Implications of the REPowerEU Plan in Accelerating the Implementation of the European Union’s Hydrogen Strategy
The paper analyses the context and implications of the adoption of the REPowerEU (May 2022), a European Union strategy for the reduction and elimination of dependency on fossil fuels imported from Russian Federation, and for the transition to a green economy. In this analysis, REPowerEU is placed within the context of EU’s strategic planning during the past 22 years, the focus of this research being on the transition to a hydrogen economy. The research reviews some challenges that may affect the implementation of REPowerEU and proposes their classification into three categories depending on their nature. The conclusions provide some solutions for overcoming these challenges and a couple of recommendations for Romania as a member of the European Union.
Keywords: REPowerEU, European Green Deal, green economy, hydrogen economy, net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Clasificare JEL: F02, F53, F64, O33, O38.
The EU on the Road to Damascus: The War in Ukraine and the World Order in Transition
The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks the point of no return of the transition of order in world politics. The first three sections of this article address the implication at the heart of this topic, that is, the reconfiguration of world coalitions at the initial stage of the transition phase. The next three sections analyse the impact of the Western coalition reconfiguration on the EU. Based on the analysis of CFSP texts published before the war in Ukraine and after the start of the war, the article assesses the consistency of the actions of EU countries with the position expressed by the EU texts. The objectives and interests of the EU institutions and member states’ governments are rarely perfectly homogeneous and normally not fully consistent with each other in the face of a serious external challenge. Sharing how to respond to the Russian invasion proves difficult because the implications of the invasion are broader than violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a non-EU European country. Many praise the level of unity achieved by the EU, but the conclusion of the present analysis shows that sharing strong Western coalition ties might represent a temporary undertaking of EU countries.
Keywords: World order, Russian-Ukrainian war, EU foreign and security policy.
Book Review: Christian Lequesne (ed.), Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the World: Actors of State Diplomacy
The book offers a new perspective in comparing the ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) around the world, accentuating their role of high interest on the diplomatic scene, in the context of numerous drastic changes taking place at international level. In the past years, the MFAs had to adapt to a diverse range of situations, like the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, the recruitment challenges in a multi-ethnic environment, or the science diplomacy. The research offers a multidisciplinary approach of MFAs from Europe, South America, Asia and other parts of the world.
Keywords: diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, geoeconomic diplomacy, science diplomacy, consular diplomacy.