RJEA, Vol. 8, no. 3, September 2008

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Towards a Common Energy Policy in the European Union?

Andras Inotai

Abstract:
Energy policy issues have got increasing relevance in the strategic orientation of the European Union (EU) in general, and in identifying specific economic policy tasks, in particular. Steadily high energy (oil and gas) prices in the last years constitute one factor. However, global political and security issues of growing degree of uncertainty, the level of dependence on imported energy and, not less importantly, the forecasts of growing external dependence of the EU in this field have substantially contributed to the upgrading of the energy question. Finally, the liberalization of the single market, not least in the crucial area of energy supply and the enlargement of the EU by 12 new members, with specific composition of production and not less specific pattern of imports of energy, enhanced the importance of energy in the enlarged EU, with a view to shape and implement a common energy policy.

Keywords: energy consumption, energy security, EU energy policy

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The Traps of the European Union Governing: Deficits of Normative and Social Legitimacy

Alina Strugut

Abstract:
The purpose of this essay is to investigate the various dimensions that indicate deficiency in the normative and social legitimacy at the level of the EU governing. The approach is structured on a theoretical framework defining the conceptual understanding of these notions and an analytical one where the focus will be on identifying different traps/impediments within the EU governance, which motivate these deficiencies.

Keywords: EU governance, EU identity, EU institutions, normative and social legitimacy

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Procedural Aspects Regarding References for Preliminary Rulings

Oana – Mariuca Petrescu

Abstract:
The purpose of preliminary rulings, or the preliminary reference as it is known, can be traced directly to the need to secure uniformity in the Community legal order throughout the Member States. The procedure of preliminary rulings was mentioned for the first time by the Advocate General Joseph-Louis Lagrange 40 years ago in this Opinion in Bosch v de Geus case. Much of the responsibility for applying the rules laid down in the European Community Treaty (EC Treaty) and in Community acts belongs to the national courts of the Member States. To help safeguard the uniform application of Community law, article 234 (former art.177) of EC Treaty, therefore lays down a procedure which enables national courts to refer to the European Court of Justice questions of Community law that they have to decide before giving a judgment.

Keywords: Court of Justice, Governance, justice, legal order

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2008 – Some Global Issues and their Impact on the Prospects of Further European Union Integration

Florin Bonciu

Abstract:
The paper analyzes the implications of some global trends and developments on the prospects of further European Union integration. The transfer of attributes from member states to community institutions is a long term process which confronted numerous set-backs and re-launches. The hypothesis discussed in this paper refers to the fact that current developments in the global arena require fast decision making mechanisms involving very sensitive issues and these developments tend to shift the balance towards member states institutions.

Keywords: globalization, EU integration, energy prices, food prices, Western countries’ policies, banking sector, climate change

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National Minorities in the Law of the EC/EU

Daniel Smihula

Abstract:
In the law of the EC/EU the protection of national minorities is still a marginal matter. The EU has relied on general international law and on a European regional system of international law and, in case of necessity, accepted their norms. But in the 1990s there began a process of “de-economisation of the European integration” and the importance of national minorities became higher. Protection of the national minorities has not become a generally accepted legally binding principle of the EU, although in several legal acts issues of national minorities are mentioned. On the other hand, the political relevance of national minorities´ protection is very high. The importance of protection of national minorities in future will probably grow. It is a result of the adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (2000) and of the discussions regarding the European constitution and the Treaty of Lisbon.

Keywords: EU law, European Charter of Human Rights, national minorities

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Essentials of Public Sector Reform: a Case Study of Croatia

Farhad Analoui

Abstract:
This paper explores the challenges faced by developing countries and countries in transition in their attempt at reforming the inherited bureaucratic public service. The paper explores how the public sector in Croatia has managed to come this far after the turbulent years of political and technocratic dislocation. Croatia is determined to reform its public sector to become eligible for joining the European Union (EU) in near future. This has posed a major challenge for top senior officials and consultants alike. Adopting ‘action research’ as both a methodology and a strategy, a programme of intervention for change was designed and implemented in the Ministry of Finance. The overall results suggest that for the successful implementation of public sector reforms in the 21st century, attention should focus on strategic issues including systems thinking, HRMD, behavioural and attitudinal change, skills and competencies development and, above all, honest and responsible transformational leadership.

Keywords: European Union, human resource management and development, leadership, open system, public sector reform

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