Regional Black Sea Architecture and Consequences for the Regional Cooperation Framework
Sometimes considered an asset, other times a liability, the Black Sea started recently to be regarded as a region. However, the Black Sea Region lacks a common vision, often due to the complicated and often inefficient nexus of regional cooperation initiatives. Following the logic of finding regional solutions for regional problems, this paper aims to assess existing institutional and regional initiatives, reflecting on the implications for the success of Black Sea regionalism in creating patterns of sustained and sustainable development and a high degree of actors’ involvement.
This paper concentrates on two complementary research questions: What is the regional order in the BSR and what does it imply for its future? What is the current contribution of the most significant cooperation initiatives and what are the consequences for regional institutionalism? For the purpose of this paper, I draw on best-practices from other two regions: the Northern Dimension and South- East Asia. Through a comparative perspective, I suggest an analysis of the most important initiatives: BSEC, CDC, Black Sea Synergy, Eastern Partnership, Baku Initiative and the BSF. This paper argues that a possible strategic solution for successful policy development lies in the creation of an integrated regional cooperation package, functioning on the principles of multi-speed and multi-dimensional cooperation in several policy fields, in a context in which the BSR seems to be caught between two paradigms: a European and a Russian-oriented one.
Keywords: Black Sea Region, Northern Dimension, regional cooperation framework, regional order, South-East Asian regionalism
Turkish Parties’ Positions towards the EU: between Europhilia and Europhobia
This research is a case study meant to find out whether the arguments put forward by Szczerbiak and Taggart analyzing Euroscepticism in the party systems of the EU candidate states of Central and Eastern Europe hold true for party-based Euroscepticism in Turkish politics. The primary argument of this article is that the Turkish party system displays many similarities with its Central and Eastern European counterparts despite some differences. In order to test this argument, firstly the nature of Euroscepticism in Turkey and Turkish political parties is clarified. Then, the characteristics of Euroscepticism in Turkish political parties are tested against Szczerbiak and Taggart’s hypotheses with respect to the Central and Eastern European candidate countries. Among the propositions tested are the influence of a party’s position in the left-right spectrum on the expression of Euroscepticism, the relationship between the level of public Euroscepticism and the level of Euroscepticism in the party-system, the variation between soft-Euroscepticism and hard-Euroscepticism in the candidate and member states of the EU, the correlation between the level of Euroscepticism and the prospect for EU membership, the link between state development and the level of party-based Euroscepticism, and the relationship between public Euroscepticism and party-based Euroscepticism.
Keywords: EU integration and enlargement, Euroscepticism, political parties, Turkey
Brief Overview on the Conditionality in the European Neighbourhood Policy
The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has become a top issue on the EU agenda after the EU enlargement wave of 2004, completed in 2007. The question of efficiently managing the new borders of EU, by facing the new-fangled challenges related to security, combating trafficking, ensuring economic prosperity and environment protection has driven new and restructured EU mechanisms in order to manage the relations with its new neighbourhood – rather diverse in terms of economic and social welfare. Conditionality from the part of EU towards the ENP partner states has been an intricate issue even from the start. How committed can these countries be on the path of rough economic, political and social reforms, in the absence of a perspective of EU accession? If conditionality, as we know it from the pre-accession process of the former candidate states for example, is going to be a success or a failure in the case of the ENP states is still a matter of perception. This paper attempts to give an overview of different opinions upon the potential effect of the conditionality mechanism within the ENP. The victory or breakdown of conditionality within the ENP depends both on the commitment of the ENP partner states to the goals, values, concrete projects promoted through this policy and its consolidated initiatives (Eastern Partnership, Union for Mediterranean), but most of all on the capacity of the European Union to replace the traditional incentive of accession with a proper alternative, mostly in economic, financial, social and security terms.
Keywords: common values , conditionality, cooperation, European Neighbourhood Policy, neighbours, Security
Europeanization of Romanian Foreign Policy
The paper discusses various aspects of the Europeanization of Romanian foreign policy: elite socialization, bureaucratic reorganization, institutional and policy adaptation to the requirements and exigencies of EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), projection of national interests onto CFSP agenda and decisions. There is very little written in the literature on the subject of Romanian foreign policy Europeanization. From this standpoint this article fills a gap and indicates an area of research in need to be explored. The paper is using a series of Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) documents related to its organizational changes as well as a number of interviews with diplomats. It is trying to test in the case of Romania a few relevant theses written by significant authors with reference to the Europeanization of other Member States. It draws a number of conclusions – most of them confirming important theses on Europeanization. It ends by remarking the uneven character and the short length of the Romanian foreign policy Europeanization.
Keywords: Europeanization, Foreign Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, national adaptation to EU, projection of national interests, Republic of Moldova, Romania
Supporting the EU with(out) Political Knowledge: Empirical Evidence from a New Joiner
This article investigates the relationship between political knowledge and trust in the EU among the Romanian citizens between 2002 and 2009. It uses individual level data from the Candidate Countries (2001-2004) and Standard Eurobarometers (2005-2009) to check whether there is a direct linkage between the decreasing level of trust and the increasing level of knowledge in the most Euro-optimist new member state. The statistical analysis reveals that the more citizens know about the EU, the more they trust it. Such a result gains supplementary relevance in the context of decreasing support. Two other general results are relevant for the Romanian case. First, although the level of political knowledge increases as the accession gets closer, it continues to be quite low. Second, the Romanian citizens constantly overestimate their knowledge about the EU.
Keywords: citizens, European Union, political knowledge, trust
Le systeme européen d’acquisition d’armement. Facteur de soutien de la PESD
The European Union needs a solid and effective Security and Defence Policy. The goals of this article are to demonstrate, with recent developments in the matter, major challenges and statistic elements on defence, investment and research budgets: at first, that the process of standardisation and harmonisation at the European level are necessary steps toward the creation of a European system of defence procurement, and secondly, the link between this system and the ESDP.
Keywords: budgets, European armaments procurement system, European Security and Defence Policy, European Union, Security
La protection des infrastructures critiques – défis actuels
Considering that in the European Union’s plan, it has not been identified a solution for surpassing the legal differences between states (derived from priorities and different interests), Romania continues the program of alignment towards increasing its own standards and interconnecting internal critical infrastructures with the European and regional ones. This process is a lasting one, fact revealed also by the distance, in terms of time, between the first approaches, at a European level, of the problems of critical infrastructures, at the implementation of Directive 114/2008 provisions. The steps taken by the authorities in Bucharest are intended to drive Romania towards a level of development compatible both with the integration in a single European space of critical infrastructures and the fulfillment of an important role in stating the future strategies of the European Union. Currently, Romania’s alignment to the European Union and international standards creates the optimum framework for developing and implementing some specific provisions which, at this time, are materialized as the steps of a single national plan for protecting critical infrastructures, on the way of being configured.
Keywords: critical infrastructure, energy, protection, telecommunication, transportation