Foreword On the Occasion of the Five-Year Anniversary…
We celebrate the five-year anniversary of the European Institute of Romania with the feeling of having accomplished several projects that contributed to Romania’s preparation for its accession to the European Union.
What do five years mean? An important period at least in terms of accomplishments for a country in transition like Romania and for an institution that was involved directly into the clarification of preaccession issues.
The setting up of the European Institute of Romania was a necessity and,throughout the past five years, EIR has not only provided inputs to policy-making, trained public servants and translated the Community legislation into Romanian, but it has also initiated and stimulated the civil society debates with regard to Romania’s road to the EU and the future of the EU.
Keywords: European Institute of Romania, Romania, Romanian Journal of European Affairs
New and Future Member States: Romania’s Role in the EU-27
The logic of history urges me to believe that the enlargement process,pondered over thoroughly, will no longer be stopped. Therefore, talking today about Romania’s role in a EU with 27 countries cannot be an action against history’s mainstream. On the contrary, I consider this action natural and necessary.
In a multipolar world, characterized by an increasing competition among the big blocks of countries, Europe is condemned to a continuation of the deepening of integration, unless it wants to turn itself into a museum of civilization, good only for future entertainment of American, Japanese, Chinese and, why not, Indian tourists.
Keywords: European Union, future of Europe, Romania
New and Future Member States – What Could Be Their Assumed Role in a 27-Member European Union?
At this point of the European construction, the Union has to find answers for the challenges represented by the need for improvement of its internal mechanisms and the future performance of its institutions, as well as by the delineation of its politics, in order to create a more democratic, more powerful Europe, closer to its citizens and able to assert its role on the global arena.
Keywords: future of Europe, institutional reform, Romania
The Accession – Between Constraints and Opportunities
The recent estimations regarding the outcome of the first wave of the 5th enlargement are quite optimistic as well.
Before May 1st, 2004 pessimists warned that the enlargement could lead to political and economic disaster because of the important gap between the Eastern and Western European Countries. After one year, although new and old members still face political and economic challenges, the emerging trends are very positive. In economic terms, the gains are clear. The new EU members saw gross domestic product rise 5 per cent last year and the economists forecast a further increase of more than 4 per cent in 2005 – more than twice the rate of the EU 15.
Keywords: enlargement, new Member States, Romania
The European Construction – Recent Challenges
Obviously, the stage we find ourselves at in the European construction is the result of some accumulations of internal processes of the European pattern, in relation with the external environment, generated by alternative patterns, opposable to the cultural and civilisation European pattern. Pending our intervention, we will focus upon the internal causative factors.
Keywords: future of Europe, Romania, European construction, reform, transition
The Experience of the New Member States
As concerns Poland’s experience acquired during the first year of membership in the European Union, I must say that, in general, the accession to the EU appears to be favourable both for the country and for the citizens. The majority of the society also evaluate positively the results of the first year in the EU and both macro and micro economic indicators persuade us that on the May 1st, 2004 Poland started a new period of its history, a period of accelerated development and modernisation.
Keywords: enlargement, new Member States, Poland
Implications for the Accession Countries of the Rejection of the EU Constitution
Georges de Menil
The rejection of the EU Constitutional Treaty by the French and Dutch electorates has profound implications for the European Union, its existing members and its accession candidates. The two referenda indicate that public opinion in Western Europe is more wary of deeper European integration and more anxious about enlargement than had seemed the case in the euphoria of May, 2004. The leaders of the existing Union are, therefore, likely to proceed more cautiously on both fronts. In some cases, accession will be postponed, in many the doors to immigrant workers will be partially closed, in all, structural funds in support of accession risk being reduced.
Keywords: EU Constitution, institutional reform, reform, transition, Accession Countries, enlargement
Reflections on the Impact of Enlargement for the EU Institutions
Aurel Ciobanu Dordea
Possibly the most important lessons of the 2005 referenda is that Europe, instead of running into the future in order to hide from the difficulties of the present, should stop for a while and try to solve its major current problems that are symbolic in the citizens’ eyes: economic growth and stability, employment international competitiveness, the solidity of the euro, the completeness of the freedom, justice and security area. These are major achievements or objectives of the last 10-15 years that have once boosted the interest and hopes of public opinions and economic actors. They should become and remain rock-solid in order to allow the Union another leap forward, and only this will help solve the marginal difficulties created by the enlargement, allowing a full integration in the Union of the new members.
Keywords: enlargement, reform; transition, new Member States
Community Institutions: How Can They Cope with a Union of 27 Members?
Given the timing of this conference, it is impossible to approach the topic without evoking the spectre of the recently failed referenda on the Constitutional Treaty in France and Netherlands. Does this affect the programmed accession of Romania and Bulgaria, hence the number of eventual Member States? Does it make the already enlarged Union non-governable? These are just some of the questions which immediately come to mind.
Keywords: enlargement, institutional reform, new Member States, reform
The Constitution Is Dead. Long Live the Treaty of Nice?
June 2005 is perhaps going to be described in history books as a black date in the process of European integration. Just over one year after people across the continent celebrated the biggest ever enlargement of the EU and the reunification of Europe, all the enthusiasm suddenly seems to be gone. The outcome of the French referendum on the Constitutional Treaty on 29 May 2005 came as a first blow to the new phase in European integration which was underway since the inception of the work of the Convention in February 2002. But this time, the result was nothing close to the outcome of the French referendum on Maastricht.
Keywords: Constitutional Treaty, EU Constitution, reform
Economic Assessment of Southeast Europe: Catching-up Continues, but Accession Prospects Uncertain
Southeastern Europe has only a modest deceleration of economic growth in 2005. Thus its catching-up process continues. A deterioration of the already high current account deficit is a major concern. Monetary policy is usually insufficient to deal with the problem and the exchange rate regimes are set mainly to combat inflation. Fiscal tightening is the usual policy response even if the budget deficit is low.
Keywords: economic reform, South-East Europe, new Member States, transition