Multilateralism and the Emergence of ‘Minilateralism’ in EU Peace Operations
In recent years, the multilateral practice of peacekeeping and peace support operations has been growing as legitimate instrument to interrupt violence, strengthen security, and protect against gross human rights violations. Invented by the United Nations, peace operations have passed through a process of change that has given new features to multilateral security. Since the late 1980s, the number of UN-authorized peace operations has been growing. Also regional organisations have engaged themselves in an unprecedented number of peace support operations. Recently, the European Union has entered into the practice of peacekeeping, and put multilateralism at the centre of its presence in the world political system. This paper reviews political science knowledge on peace operations (especially, the legitimacy and efficacy issues), and examines the hypothesis of the appearance of minilateralism as the consequence of the engagement of regional organisations and actors, like the EU, in peace operations. The hypothesis is tested by comparing the data of the peace missions of three European organisations (EU, OSCE, and NATO) with those of the United Nations. The paper conclusion is that the European states are developing a preference for selective engagement (i.e. minilateralism) in peace operations, and the EU is capable of playing both as multilateral and minilateral security provider.
Keywords: European security, minilateralism, multilateralism, peacekeeping
EU and Russia in the Black Sea Region: Increasingly Competing Interests?
This article examines two fields of geopolitical competition in the Black Sea region, in which an increasing EU involvement is increasingly challenging Russian interests. First, the EU’s effort to diversify its energy sources through new transportation routes is meeting competition in the form of Russian-sponsored projects. The EU has realized the partial incompatibility of Russian and EU interests in this regard; however, the lack of cohesion within the EU prevents the formation of common external energy policies. Second, the EU is increasingly recognizing its interest in engaging with conflict resolution in the region. This also runs contrary to Russian strategy, which strives to maintain the status quo in the conflicts rather than working for solutions, in order to maintain Russian leverage over the South Caucasus and Moldova. In this field, the EU has yet to officially recognize its interest conflict with Russia. However, due to the intertwinement of the conflict resolution processes with the EU’s deeper policy goals in the Black Sea region, namely the promotion of a stable, secure and democratic European neighborhood, the EU will likely find it increasingly difficult to pursue its key interests in the region, while simultaneously maintaining a passive stance towards Russian policies in the region.
Keywords: Black Sea, energy strategy, Russia, South Caucasus
On the Threshold of Independence? Scotland One Year after the SNP Election Victory
In 2007, marking both the tercentenary of the Anglo-Scottish Union and the tenth anniversary of the successful Devolution Referendum, the May elections caused a political earthquake, breaking the nearly five decades of hegemony of Scottish Labour at the national and, even more emphatically, at the local government level and ushering in an SNP (Scottish National Party) minority government at Holyrood. Was this the proof that devolution did not, as George Robertson had claimed, ‘kill Nationalism stone dead’, proof that it was, rather, a stepping stone, or a ‘staging post’? If the latter, where to? Just underlining that devolution, pace Ron Davies, was a process rather than an event, part of what Henry McLeish calls the ‘evolution of devolution’? Towards greater autonomy or towards regaining Scottish independence as a sovereign nation-state?
Keywords: devolution, Scotland, Scottish National Party
Securing Fragile Democracies in the Balkans: the European Dimension
The European Union faces unprecedented difficulties in its integration of the Western Balkans in terms of the requirements for change by countries in that region wishing to join. In order to meet this challenge, the EU’s political conditionality has moved significantly beyond its demands made on the post-Communist entrants of 2004 and 2007. But its effort to bridge the gap between the ability or political will of Balkan countries to adapt to European modernisation and uncertainties about EU commitment created by “enlargement fatigue” among Member States is vulnerable to weak consensus on both sides. Accordingly, the dynamic behind further enlargement is not comparable with the historic drive that impelled the enlargement of 2004. At the same time, there are strong geopolitical arguments on grounds of stabilising the Balkans for going ahead with integrating the Western half of this region.
Lobbying Opportunities, Confusions and Misrepresentations in the European Union
Lobby activities are often likened to the misuse of authority and bad practices. Such parallels generate problems that easily spiral down into crises and conflicts, and the symbiosis of politics and business turns into an ambiguous platform. Why should we look into the core of the suspicions regarding the intertwining and overlapping interests of political and business communities? The answer: because in Romania public interest is often defined in a private or personal framework, whereas private interests are defined in markedly public terms. Confusion sets us clearly apart from the effective Israeli, American, British, Czech, Polish or Magyar lobbyists. The same confusion has a damaging effect: we are unable to efficiently handle institutional relations and public-private relations, be they national or international, that is, European. To what extent is the politics-business relationship deemed appropriate in US and EU? Which are its constraints, prerequisites and possible sanctions? These are the questions which accompany our dilemmas that we clarify in this paper. We conclude with proposals on what can be done in promoting efficiently the Romanian private interests within the European institutions.
Keywords: advocacy, EU public-policy making, interest groups, lobbying pressures, NGOs
The Role of Ethnic Parties in the Europeanization Process – the Romanian Experience
Sergiu Gherghina, George Jiglau
This paper aims to show how ethnic parties can become influential actors in the process of Europeanization of post-Communist countries, by conducting a case-study of Romania. We consider Europeanization of Romania as the dependent variable of the two hypotheses we put forward. First, we test if the presence of ethnic parties in government led to an acceleration of the Europeanization process. Second, we are interested in seeing if the European dimension of ethnic parties’ political activity led to additional challenges for domestic governments in the Europeanization process. Thus, we show that the moderation of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR) had both positive and negative consequences for the process of Europeanization in Romania.
Keywords: DAHR, democratization., ethnic parties, Europeanization, transition