Euroscope Autumn 2008 [PDF 3.02MB]

Euroscope Autumn 2008 [PDF 3.02MB]
Autumn 2008
The Newsletter of the Sussex
European Institute
Issue Number 38
Message from the Co-Director
As a new academic year begins, I am delighted to extend warm greetings to all those
about to commence postgraduate research
and study at the SEI and say ‘welcome back’
to more long-standing members of the ‘SEI
family’ both at Sussex and beyond. Those of
you about to start at the SEI can see from
reports from last year’s Masters, and current
doctoral, students that you are joining one of
the most vibrant and exciting contemporary
European studies postgraduate research and
training centres.
Europe and the Georgian crisis
The main development in Europe during the
summer was obviously the Russian invasion of
Georgia. In the last issue of Euroscope, I regretted NATO’s failure to draw Georgia - and
Ukraine - more closely into the West’s orbit by
offering them ‘membership action plans’. SEI
has always taken a broad and inclusive approach to trying to understand contemporary
Europe and many of us have championed the
efforts of the former communist states of
Central and Eastern Europe to integrate with
SEI Diary
SEI Working Papers
EPERN Briefing Papers
SEI RiP Seminar Timetable
Paul Taggart’s Professorial Lecture
Feature: Lisbon in Limbo
Politics Seminar Timetable
SEI Student Reports
Conferences and Seminars
‘Life After Lisbon’
Ongoing Research
Research Fellow Post
SEI Dispatches
European and EuroAtlantic international
organisations. I am
delighted that we
will have Edward Lucas, Central and East
European correspondent
‘Economist’ and author of an important
new book on ‘The
New Cold War’, as a
guest speaker at our
seminar on November 25. Those interested in EU enlargement may also like
to take a look at the
Professor Aleks
SEI working paper on
‘Creating a United
European Commonwealth’ by John Palmer,
former European Correspondent of the
‘Guardian’ and currently an SEI Visiting Practitioner Fellow. Hopefully, the events of the
summer will have served as a deafening
‘wake up call’ to European political elites, and
the EU and NATO will now adopt a more positive attitude towards post-Soviet states such
as Georgia and Ukraine; fledgling (although,
admittedly, imperfect) democracies keen to
embrace our values and join Western international structures (although I’m not overly optimistic about the prospects for this).
Future of the Lisbon treaty
The Russian incursion into Georgia overshadowed the crisis precipitated by the Irish
rejection of the Lisbon treaty in July, the
other big European news story of the summer. In this issue of Euroscope, we have a
feature article analysing the Irish referendum
and its implications by Prof Helen Wallace, my
illustrious predecessor as SEI Co-Director and
currently an SEI Honorary Professor. The SEIbased European Parties Elections and Refer-
Sussex European Institute, A Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, A Marie Curie Research Training Site
University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RG, Tel. No. (01273) 678578
Fax. No. (01273) 673563 Email: [email protected], [email protected],
Co-Directors Professor Jim Rollo & Professor Aleks Szczerbiak
endums Network (EPERN), which I coconvene with my colleague Prof Paul
Taggart, organised a workshop in July to discuss the Irish No vote and published a special briefing paper on this topic. This timely
event, and the success of the EPERN network more generally, highlight how SEI has
made understanding the interface between
European integration and domestic politics a
core element of our intellectual mission. The
SEI's internationally recognised expertise in
this area gives us a real edge over other research and postgraduate training centres
specialising in contemporary Europe. You
can read a report of the workshop by SEI
doctoral student John FitzGibbon, who is
conducting research on Eurosceptic protest
movements including the Irish case, in this
issue of Euroscope. You can also access the
briefing paper, from the EPERN website at
This term, we will hold an SEI round table on
October 21 on the future of the Lisbon
Treaty immediately after the special EU
summit that is being held to consider this
issue, with John Palmer and SEI scholar Prof
Jörg Monar as the guest speakers. I am also
pleased that SEI will host research-inprogress seminars on the Lisbon Treaty ratification process and European integration
referendums more generally, on November
18 and 25 respectively, addressed by Prof
Clive Church (University of Kent) and Dr
Sara Binzer Hobolt (University of Oxford).
Welcome (back) to Sussex!
Jörg Monar is, of course, another distinguished predecessor of mine as SEI CoDirector, and I am delighted that he will be
returning to Sussex after three years as an
EU funded Marie Curie Chair of Excellence in
internal security at the Robert Schuman University of Strasbourg. Jörg will be dividing
his time between SEI and the College of
Europe in Bruges. I am very pleased that Dr
Sue Collard will be back as well to convene
SEI’s flagship ‘Making of Contemporary
Europe’ core course on our taught Masters
programmes, after spending three years on
research leave in France. I would also like to
‘welcome back’ (although he hasn’t actually
been away anywhere!) Dr Tim Bale, who
spent the last academic year on leave working on a Leverhulme Trust funded research
project on the British Conservative party.
You can read reports of Jörg’s three years
‘on loan’ to Strasbourg and Tim’s research
activities on the Conservatives in the section
on ‘Ongoing Research’.
I am also very pleased to welcome Prof
Robin Kolodny from Temple University in the
USA, who will be visiting Sussex as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar during the coming academic year. Prof Kolodny’s visit is, of
course, extremely timely given that the most
important (foreseeable) international event
of this autumn will be the November US
Presidential election. Robin will be one of the
keynote speakers at an SEI round table on
November 5 to discuss the results, the day
after the election, organised jointly with the
Sussex American Studies and Politics Departments. An important aspect of the discussion will, of course, be the impact of the
US elections on trans-Atlantic relations. You
can read an article on this topic by SEI Visiting Fellow Prof John McCormick from the
University of Indiana in ‘SEI Dispatches’.
SEI summer successes
Last but not least, some congratulations are
due to my SEI colleagues who have been
involved in some major successes over the
summer months. Firstly, well done to Dr Sabina Avdagic, an SEI-based Research Councils UK (RCUK) Fellow, who has been
awarded an ESRC First Grants Scheme grant
worth £200,000 for a two-year project on
the 'Causes and Consequences of National
Variation in Employment Protection Legislation in Central and Eastern Europe'. SEI is
currently advertising for an 18-month research post at post-doctoral level linked to
the project, further details of which you can
find on page 31 of this issue of ‘Euroscope’.
Second, congratulations to an SEI-based
team led by Prof Jim Rollo, my Co-Director,
and Francis McGowan for their successful bid
to prepare a report for the European Commission on the ‘non-economic’ impact of the
fifth EU enlargement. You can read more
about both of these projects in this issue of
‘Euroscope’. Finally, congratulations to SEI
doctoral student Simona Guerra on her double success in September: defending her
thesis successfully and then (the next day!)
being appointed as a Teaching Fellow at the
University of Nottingham’s School of Politics.
Well done to all of you!
Prof Aleks Szczerbiak
SEI Co-Director
Autumn 2008
SEI Diary
During the summer
term of 2008 members
of SEI have been involved in many memorable activities connected to teaching and
research on contemporary Europe.
April: Croatia Conference
SEI has been deeply involved with Croatia’s integration with the European
Union for the last decade.
Professor Alan Mayhew advised the Government of
Croatia on the establishment of the first Office for
1998 and for the following
decade SEI has been hosting Croatian students on its
Masters courses.
The students agree to work
for the Government of Croatia for three years once they
New SEI Working
During the summer term
there have been four new
additions to the SEI Working Papers series. These
• SEI Working Paper No
Aleks Szczerbiak and
Monika Bil
When in doubt, (re-) turn
to domestic politics? The
(non-) impact of the EU on
party politics in Poland
have completed their year
at Sussex. The convenor of
the MACES course,
Adrian Treacher, maintains
contact with many of these
students when they return
to Zagreb and is impressed
by the contribution which
they are making to the realisation of Croatia’s European ambitions.
To celebrate the first decade
of this arrangement, SEI
held a one-day conference
in the Sussex Conference
Centre on April 25 which
was attended by the Croatian Minister for EU Affairs,
the Director General of the
General for Enlargement,
the Deputy Governor of the
Croatian Central Bank and
SEI Co-Director Jim Rollo.
More information on the
conference can be found in
Alan Mayhew’s report on
page 20.
• SEI Working Paper No
John Palmer
Beyond EU EnlargementCreating a United European Commonwealth
Simona Guerra presented
the paper ‘Familiarity doesn’t Breed Contempt: Polish
Attitudes toward European
Integration in a Comparative Perspective’, to the
panel on ‘Empirical Studies
of Changing Attitudes to the
EU’, at the 2008 Midwest
Political Studies Association
National Conference, Chicago on European Politics, in
Simona also presented with
Sarah de Lange (University
of Antwerp) on the ‘The
League of Polish Families
between East and West,
past and present’ at the
Conference on ‘The Radical
Right in post-1989 Central
and Eastern Europe: the
Role of Legacies’, at New
York University, 24-26 April.
During the summer-term
SEI welcomed new visiting
research student Stefano
Braghiroli. Stefano came to
us from the University of
Siena in Italy to work with
Paul Taggart and Tim Bale.
His research is on party
politics at the level of the
• SEI Working Paper No
Edward Maxfield
A New Right for a New
Europe? Basescu, the Democrats & Romania’s centre-right
• SEI Working Paper No
Paul Blokker
Constitutional Politics,
Constitutional Text and
Democratic Variety in
Central and Eastern
Abstracts from all four new
SEI Working Papers can be
found on pages 8-10.
All SEI Working Papers
are downloadable free of
charge from the web:
European Parliament. He is
looking at the
and is focused on intragroup dynamics, looking at
national delegations' diversified voting patterns and
identifying collective behavioural styles. Stefano reports on his work over the
term on page 34.
On 24-26 April Lucia Quaglia
was in Berlin to present a
paper entitled 'Political science and the 'cinderellas' of
economic and monetary union: payment services and
clearing and settlement' for
the preparation of a special
issue of the Journal of European Public Policy.
In April SEI Co-Director Jim
Rollo spoke to a Chatham
House event called ‘The
London Programme’, which
was for foreign executives
and diplomats posted to
London for the first time, on
the outlook of the British
A major new two-volume
book on 'Opposing Europe?
The Comparative Party Politics of Euroscepticism in
Contemporary Europe' edited by SEI-based scholars
Aleks Szczerbiak and Paul
Taggart was published by
Oxford University Press in
April. According to the publisher: "'Opposing Europe?'
provides the first comprehensive review of partybased Euroscepticism across
the breadth of contemporary Europe, and the first indepth comparative academic
study of Euroscepticism. It
is a groundbreaking, 'state
of the art' book that provides a definitive review of a
key issue in European politics.
It is also one of the few attempts to integrate the
fields of EU studies with
both West European and
East European studies in
order to draw lessons about
the way in which the EU interacts with domestic politics in both member and
non-member states. Examining the way that parties
compete on the European
issue provides powerful lessons for the trajectory of
the European integration
project more generally and
on the prospects for the
emergence of a European
political system and polity.
For more details visit:
In April SEI doctoral students Rose Marie Azzopardi
and Adamantia Xyggi successfully defended their theses. Rose’s thesis was titled
‘Economic Integration and
Small States: Case Studies
of Cyprus and Malta within
the European Union’ and
Adamantia’s thesis was on
the subject of ‘Capital Market integration: What have
been the obstacles and what
are the remaining barriers
to the achievement of a Single European Capital Market’.
May: Conferences
John Palmer, Former European Correspondent for the
Guardian and Former Director of the European Policy
Centre gave a talk on ‘The
Media and Think Tanks in
the EU’ on 1 May. John
spoke about how these organisations influence and
make sense of the EU and
about potential career possibilities in these areas. John’s
talk provided members of
SEI with an excellent opportunity to find out more
about the EU’s internal
Aleks Szczerbiak and Monika
Bil attended a Central and
East European Language
Based Area Studies network
workshop on ‘Beyond Europeanization:
Impact of the EU on Party
Politics’ at SSEES/UCL on 7
May 2008. They presented a
paper on "When in doubt,
(re-)turn to domestic poli-
Autumn 2008
tics? The non-impact of the
EU on Polish party politics"
which has been published as
an SEI/EPERN working paper. The papers presented
at this workshop will be
published as a special issue
of the Journal of Communist
Studies and Transition Politics next year. Aleks reports
on the workshop on page
The European Law Research
Group in the Law School
held a day long seminar entitled 'Seeking Solidarity in
the EU - Towards Social Citizenship and a European
Welfare State?' in May at
the Conference Centre in
Bramber House. The event
was sponsored by the Modern Law Review Seminar
Paul Taggart’s professorial
lecture on ‘European integration and representative
politics’ was held on 20 May
at the Chowen Lecture
Theatre, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex. An outline of
Paul’s lecture is given on
page 13 and further information about the Sussex
lecture series can be found
on the Sussex website:
The Centre for the Analysis
of Regional Integration at
Sussex (CARIS) held its Annual Conference at the University of Sussex Conference Centre on 22-23 May
on ‘Regional Integration &
Deep Integration: Concepts
and Empirics’.
The conference was supported by the Department
for Business, Enterprise and
R e f o r m ,
documented rapid rise in
regional trading arrangements, the aim of the conference was to focus on the
potential role of, what is often referred to as, "deep
integration". This annual
conference focused in detail
(a) what is meant by the
concept of deep integration
(b) considering ways in
measured – here one could
think of both
measures (eg. in terms of
patterns/types of trade), or
in terms of process measures (actions undertaken by
either public or private sector actors);
(c) evaluating the possible
impact of deeper integration
– be this, for example, on
patterns of trade, production, or welfare.
Speakers at the conference
included Simon Evenett, Michael
Ghoneim, Michael Hobday,
Bernard Hoekman, Peter
Holmes, John Humphrey,
Beata Javorcik, James Marku sen ,
Mi ch al ek,
Giordano Mion, Jim Rollo,
Dirk Willem te Velde and
Alan Winters. The papers
presented to the conference
and more information on
CARIS can be found at:
On 23 May 2008 a seminar
was organised jointly by SEI
and the Sussex European
Movement to analyse the
implications of the Treaty of
Lisbon. The event also com-
There have been two new
additions to the European
Parties, Elections and
Referendums Networks
(EPERN) election and
referendum Briefing Paper series published during the Summer term and
one new EPERN Referendum Briefing Paper.
Key points from all three
new EPERN papers can
be found on page 10.
These were:
• Election
Simona Guerra and
Emanuele Massetti
The Italian Parliamentary Election of
April 2008
• Election Briefing
No. 42
Lyubka Savkova
Europe and the Georgian Extraordinary
Presidential Election
and Pleibiscites, 5
January 2008
• Referendum Briefing
Paper No.16
Dr Michael Holmes
The Referendum on
the Treaty of Lisbon
in the Republic of
Ireland, 12 June
The European Law Research
Group, in conjunction with
the SEI, held a seminar entitled 'Much Ado about Nothing? Legal and Political Perspectives on the Treaty of
Lisbon' on Friday 13 June.
The seminar evaluated the
Treaty of Lisbon with a view
to exploring its innovative
legal features and its significant political implications.
speakers included Yuri Borgmann-Prebil (SLS) and Francis McGowan.
SEI DPhil student Ezel Tabur collecting her
Duchêne Bursary
Duchêne, a much respected
member of the Sussex
branch of the European
Movement, who died in
2005. Chris Jones of the
Sussex European Movement
outlines the day’s events on
page 24. Several members
of SEI including Jim Rollo,
Paul Taggart and Visiting
Academic Fellow Nathaniel
Copsey addressed the seminar as well as Claude
Moraes MEP.
The commemorative event
launched a Bursary set up in
Duchêne to contribute to
travel and research expenses for research Students of the University of
Sussex in any discipline
who pursue field work in
connected with issues of European Integration broadly
construed or contribute to a
collaborative project in another European country and
connected to their research.
This bursary has been set
up with funding from Sussex
European Institute, friends
of François Duchêne and
from members of the Sus-
sex branch of the European
Movement and is being administered by SEI.
This year three bursaries
were awarded to Malgorzata
Sulimierska, Ezel Tabur and
John Crossland researchers
from different departments
of the University of Sussex. The awards were presented by Claude Moraes,
Students from the MA in
programme visited Brussels
with Jim Rollo and Lucia
Quaglia on a field trip in
June. The trip included
meetings with members of
the European Council, SEI
alumni, SEI practitioner Fellows and a visit to the European Parliament. A report of
the trip by MACES students
Larisa Krizan and Iva Hladnik on page 18.
June: Ireland Workshop
On 12 June Jim Rollo spoke
at a conference run by the
Swedish Board of Trade in
Stockholm at a panel on
‘Trade Policy and the Lisbon
A half-day workshop was
organised by SEI and the
European Parties Elections
and Referendums Network
(EPERN) to analyse the Irish
referendum on the Lisbon
treaty and the implications
of the 'No' vote for the future of the EU on 27 June.
The workshop was titled
‘Ireland and the Lisbon
Treaty: Why did they say no
and what happens next?’
Speakers at the workshop
included Dr Michael Holmes
(Liverpool Hope University/
EPERN), SEI DPhil student
John FitzGibbon and Jim
Rollo. John FitzGibbon reports on this on page 22.
Jim Rollo also attended two
Research Assessment Exercises for the European Studies Sub panel on 30 June.
In June Lucia Quaglia lectured financial regulators
and EU officials as part of
the advanced seminar on
the 'Lamfalussy process' organised by the European
Institute of Public Administration in Brussels. Her lecture, which discussed the
case sudy of the Markets in
Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), is part of her
research project on financial
services governance in the
SEI successfully bid to carry
Autumn 2008
out a study for the European
Commission on the "non
enlargement. Jim Rollo and
Francis McGowan have been
leading the project. Francis
writes about the study on
page 38.
July: ESRC First Grant
Sabina Avdagic, SEI’s Research Councils UK (RCUK)
Fellow was awarded an
ESRC First Grants Scheme
grant worth approximately
The two-year
grant for a project on the
'Causes and Consequences
of National Variation in Employment Protection Legislation in Central and Eastern
Europe' includes an 18month post-doctoral level
research post. Sabina outlines the project on page 29
and an advert for the post
can be found on page 31.
Jim Rollo was in Geneva 911 July talking to officials
and diplomats about the
Doha Development Agenda
and its direction.
Aleks Szczerbiak and SEI
Visiting Fellow Sean Hanley
(SSEES/UCL) co-edited a
special issue of Party Politics
on 'Europe's New CentreRight: Comparative Perspectives' that came out in July.
Aleks had two jointly authored articles in this:
i) with Sean Hanley, Tim
Haughton and Brigid Fowler
‘Sticking together: Explaining Comparative CentreRight Party Success in PostCommunist
Eastern Europe,’
ii) with Tim Bale ‘Why is
there no Christian Democracy in Poland - and so why
should we care?’.
Sussex Politics Undergraduate Amy Busby, who com-
mences doctoral research at
the SEI this autumn, was
successful in being awarded
one of the highly competitive ESRC research studentship 1+3 quota awards. Her
thesis title is 'An ethnography exploring the behaviour
of MEP’s and the culture of
the European Parliament'.
August: Advisory Roles
During the summer Alan
Mayhew was appointed to
the Board of the European
Policy Centre (EPC) in Brussels. EPC is one of the leading Brussels think-tanks on
European policy issues. Alan
was also invited to write a
policy strategy report for
the Polish Government on
the development of EU relations with Ukraine and
worked with the Jean Monnet Wider European Network
advising the Swedish International
Agency on its policy towards
Throughout the summer
term Jim Rollo has been
working as a Special Advisor
to the House of Lords Select
Committee on the European
Union Inquiry into Trade
September: UACES
nual Conference
The 38th UACES Annual
Conference was held 1-3
September in Edinburgh on
European Union’ at the Edinburgh Europa Institute.
A report of the conference is
given by SEI research student Anna Sydorak-Tomczyk
and Lucia Quaglia on page
23. Adrian Treacher also
presented a paper on French
perspectives on ten years of
the EU's Security and De-
fence Policy. Adrian then
spoke about the EU as a
global actor to the EU Institute at the University of
Kobe, Japan. Finally, he presented a paper on the potential impact of the Lisbon
Treaty on EU foreign policy
at the ECPR EU Studies
Standing Group conference
in Riga, Latvia.
In September Lucia Quaglia
attended the Eurofin conference in Nice as part of the
activities of the French
presidency of the EU.
SEI celebrated on 16 September as SEI DPhil student
Simona Guerra successfully
defended her thesis on
'Domestic Proxies and the
European Factor before and
after accession: Polish attitudes towards EU integration in a comparative perspective'. Following on from
her successful viva defence,
Simona was appointed as a
Teaching Fellow at the University of Nottingham school
of Politics.
An article by Aleks Szczerbiak titled ‘The birth of a bipolar party system or a referendum on a polarising
government? The October
2007 Polish parliamentary
election’, was published in
the September 2008 issue
of the Journal of Communist
Studies and Transition Politics.
The SEI sponsored Wider
Europe Network and the
Stiftung Wissenschaft und
Politik are co-organising a
conference on the Member
States of the EU and the
making of policy towards
the eastern neighbours, on
30 October at the Stiftung
Wissenschaft und Politik in
SEI Working Papers in
European Studies
SEI Working Papers present research results, accounts of work-in-progress and
background information for those concerned with contemporary European issues.
There are four new additions to the SEI
Working Papers Series. The abstracts from
the papers are presented below:
• SEI Working Paper No 103
When in doubt, (re-) turn to domestic politics? The (non-) impact of
the EU on party politics in Poland
Aleks Szczerbiak and Monika Bil
Sussex European Institute
[email protected]
[email protected]
This paper argues that although, if one
seeks them out, one can find limited evidence of EU influences, in overall terms EU
accession has had little significant direct impact on Polish party politics. We also find
that there is no obvious linear relationship
between party positions on European integration and the extent to which the EU had
impacted upon a party
and the nature of
although it appears to
have been greatest in
were members of the
large European party
federations and EP
Monika Bil
In terms of general
conclusions, our analysis
highlights three main
analytical and conceptual problems of examining EU impacts
on domestic politics:
how can they be properly conceived and
measured; what expectations do we have
of change and what benchmarks are we
measuring these impacts against; and how
do we trace change back to an EU source,
given that many of the adjustments were
subtle and ‘indirect’?
Our findings also suggest that, in many
ways, ‘Europe’ appears to have been assimilated successfully into the logic of Polish domestic party politics. We conclude by suggesting that as analysts we should start from
the assumption that all developments in
party and electoral politics can be explained
through ‘domestic’ factors and, only when
we have exhausted these, should we look for
‘European’ explanations.
• SEI Working Paper No 104
Beyond EU Enlargement-Creating
a United European Commonwealth
John Palmer
Sussex European Institute
[email protected]
This paper explores the challenges facing
the European Union’s “European Neighbourhood Policy” and its likely future development. It questions the assumption that EU
enlargement can continue indefinitely without putting the future functioning of the Union and the prospects of closer European
integration into question. The paper explores how the ENP might be strengthened
and made more attractive to the EU’s
neighbours, including steps to strengthen
cooperation between the EU and both the
Council of Europe and the Organisation for
Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The author questions whether, even after
reform, the ENP can offer an adequate long
Autumn 2008
those among the EU’s
eastern neighbours who
aspire to eventual Union
membership. The fatal
flaw in the present ENP
is the lack of any multilateral character to the
relationship – placing
each ENP partner at a
considerable negotiating
disadvantage in relation
to the EU. He examines
possible new relationJohn Palmer
ships which might be
envisaged between a finally enlarged European Union and its eastern neighbours –
specifically a proposal to build together a
“United European Commonwealth” (UEC) as
a limited sovereignty sharing community.
The paper also suggests some possible institutions and decision making processes
which might enable such a United European
Commonwealth to achieve a limited but significant degree of integration with those of
its eastern neighbour states – including Russia – which fulfil stipulated criteria for democracy and the rule of law.
• SEI Working Paper No 105
Constitutional Politics, Constitutional Text and Democratic Variety
in Central and Eastern Europe
Paul Blokker
European University Institute
[email protected]
In the paper, it is argued that democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe involves
important forms of differentiation of democracy, rather than merely convergence to a
singular – liberal-democratic, constitutional model. One way of taking up democratic differentiation in post-communist societies is
by analysing the constitutional documents of
the new democratic orders, and the constitutional politics leading to the foundational
documents. In a first step, the paper analyses constitutional politics and the major ac-
tors involved in three countries (Hungary,
Poland, and Romania), emphasising the
symbolic conflict over perceptions of democracy and emerging dominant discourses on
democracy in constitution-making.
In this, the paper argues that the drafting
processes and debating
forms did not only entail struggles over political power and institutional set-up, but
also involved symbolic
meanings of democracy. The importance of
such meanings is revealed in a second
step, when the constiPaul Blokker
themselves are looked
at. It is shown that the constitutions of the
respective societies portray significant differences in the codification and hierarchisation
of rights and the rule of law, citizenship and
identity, civic participation, and - to a somewhat lesser extent - distributive justice. It is
argued that the constitutions put different
emphases on a number of what will be
called ethics of democracy, which can be related to different democratic political cultures.
• SEI Working Paper No 106
A New Right for a New Europe?
Basescu, the Democrats & Romania’s centre-right
Edward Maxfield
Sussex European Institute
[email protected]
This paper examines the development trajectory of Romania’s Democrat Party and
explores the reasons for its growth to its
current position as the country’s largest centre-right party. While opponents brand the
party as no more than a populist vehicle for
its de facto leader, state president, Traian
Basescu, there appears to be more
depth to its development than first
meets the eye.
The party has successfully
political appeals for
electorate: moderate nationalism; poEdward Maxfield
litical and economic
modernisation; and improved public service
delivery. Running through each of these has
been a focus on tackling corruption (a proxy
for anti-Communism) and an incongruous
intertwining of the cult of victimhood and of
play only a part in explaining the Democrats’ success – shared
roots in political pragmatism,
of political skills and a
focus on organisation
and party discipline have also helped ensure
the formation has survived and grown.
It may be too early to tell whether the Democrats can been seen as a case-study of
success for centre-right parties in Central
and Eastern Europe but the party’s approach
at least tests some assumptions about both
Romania’s post-Communist political development and theories about party systems in
the region.
European Parties Elections & Referendums Network (EPERN): Briefing
The network produces an ongoing series of
briefings on the impact of European integration on referendum and election campaigns. There are two new additions to the
election briefing paper series and one new
referendum briefing paper. Key points
from these are outlined below.
All EPERN briefing papers are available
free at:
Simona Guerra
University of Nottingham School of
[email protected]
Emanuele Massetti
Sussex European Institute
[email protected]
Key Points
All SEI Working Papers are downloadable free of charge from the web:
The Centre-Right
coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi and
formed by the People of Freedom, the
and the Movement
for Autonomy won
the 2008 Italian
election with a solid
majority in both
Houses of Parliament.
Otherwise, each Working Paper is £5.00
(unless noted otherwise) plus £1.00 postage
and packing per copy in Europe and £2.00 per
copy elsewhere. Payment by credit card or
cheque (Payable to 'University of Sussex')
e-mail: [email protected]
Simona Guerra
Autumn 2008
Walter Veltroni and
formed by the Democratic Party and
Italy of Values lost
the contest for the
m a i n t ai n e d
ground but proved
unable to make
gains. The coalition
as a whole slightly Emanuele Massetti
increased its vote
share thanks to the good result for the
Italy of Values party.
The Left coalition (Rainbow Left), The
Right (La Destra) and the Socialists (PS)
were swept out of both Houses of Parliament.
The Christian Democratic Centre coalition
succeeded in gaining representation in
both Houses of Parliament, with contained
losses compared to the 2006 election.
The Northern League almost doubled its
vote share, reaching its early 1990s’ levels of support.
The party system resulting from the election is extremely simplified with six p a r liamentary groups, two
of which, People of
Freedom and Democratic Party, making up
more than 75% of the
Lower House and more
than 80% of the Senate.
The European issue was never salient in
the campaign, but presented in soft Eurosceptic tones in the People of Freedom’s
manifesto and Euroenthusiasm in the Democratic Party’s programme.
Tuesdays 14.00 - 15.50
(Except for 15.10 and 05.11 which are
Wednesdays 14.00-15.50)
Arts C233
15 October
Fear of Others: Social Exclusion and the European Crisis of Solidarity
Gerard Delanty, University of Sussex
21 October*
SEI round table on ‘The Future of the Lisbon
Jörg Monar, John Palmer, University of Sussex
28 October
Service Liberalization in the Enlarged EU: Race to
the Bottom or the Emergence of Trans-national
Nicole Lindstrom, University of York
5 November**
SEI/Politics/American Studies round table on the
‘2008 US Presidential Elections: Analysis of the
Results and Implications for Transatlantic Relations’
Robin Kolodny, University of Sussex/ Temple
Clive Webb, University of Sussex
11 November
The Future of European Party Federations: Where
next for Euro-party Research?
Simon Lightfoot, University of Leeds
18 November*
Will Merkel's gamble pay off? Watching the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty
Clive Church, University of Kent
25 November*
The New Cold War: a threat, a reality or an illusion?
Edward Lucas, The Economist
2 December*
Europe in Question: How Voters Decide in Referendums on European Integration
Sara Binzer Hobolt, University of Oxford
*Joint with Politics
**Joint with Politics and American Studies
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for seminars, please contact Gabby Barker or
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Lyubka Savkova
Sussex European Institute
[email protected]
Dr Michael Holmes
Department of Politics and History
Liverpool Hope University
[email protected]
Key points
Key points
• This was a pre-term Presidential election in
Georgia which was initiated after a series
of public protests
against the political
regime were organised by the opposition parties in the
Lyubka Savkova
• The current President, Mikheil Saakashvili, won the
election at the first
round with 53.52%
of the vote while
the opposition candidate,
Gachechiladze, received 25.76%.
• There were widespread allegations of pressure and intimidation used on voters as well as the utilisation of public resources in the campaign of Saakashvili which gave him an
unfair advantage over the other candidates.
The election campaign was highly politicized with candidates debating the fairness of the electoral process rather than
policy alternatives.
Simultaneously with the election, two
plebiscites took place on NATO membership and the timing of the next general
election in the spring of 2008. Both gathered over 70% public support.
JUNE 2008
The Republic of Ireland was the only one
of the 27 EU member states to hold a referendum to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon.
The referendum took place just over a
year after the general election which saw
the Green Party go into coalition with Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats.
In the midst of the campaign, Bertie
Ahern resigned as Taoiseach, being replaced by Brian Cowen.
The country voted by 53% to 47%
against the Treaty, with a 53% turnout.
The ‘No’ vote was concentrated amongst
women, young people and the working
Although many voters indicated a lack of
understanding of the content of the
Treaty of Lisbon, polls suggest a high
level of engagement with the issues
rather than the referendum being a
‘second-order election’.
The government is now faced with contrasting pressures, with a number of EU
voices calling for a second referendum
while most Irish commentators would
rather avoid such a scenario.
Submissions to
Euroscope welcomes submissions for its
Spring-Term issue. Please send information
for the SEI Diary, short articles on ongoing
research projects or reviews of events by
the deadline of 1 December. E-mail submissions to Euroscope’s Editor Daniel Keith at:
[email protected]
Autumn 2008
Representative Politics and European
Paul Taggart, Professorial Lecture
In the lecture I argued that, in order to understand the interplay between the processes of domestic politics and European integration that we really need to understand
politics better than we do. In particular we
need to fully appreciate the workings of representative politics. By this I mean that we
should focus on way in which democratic
politics actually function in systems based on
representative democracy and we need to
move away from some very prevalent myths
about the realities and possibilities of politics.
By moving away from thinking of politics as
an adversarial game between two hostile
parties we can see the reality of politics
functioning as an on-going (iterative) ‘game’
and with necessity for political parties as
brokers of collective interests and that there
are (changing) sets of winners and losers
and different ‘settlements’ between interests
at different moments.
Turning to Europe I argued that there are
well-known difficulties in seeing European
Parliamentary elections as a connection between domestic and European politics because they tend to be dominated by domestic concerns and to function as moments of
commentary on the performance of governments and as an opportunity to vote for
smaller protest parties. They function therefore as limited representative events.
At national elections it is difficult for Europe
to figure as an issue as political parties do
not contest the European issue and because
voters, even if presented with conflicts over
Europe, tend to see it as an issue of low salience.
There has been, since Maastricht, an increasing use of referendums in the process
of European integration. While these are
successful at focusing the attention of citizens on European integration, they amount
to a very different form of politics from the
usual representative processes and have the
danger of treating the European issue as different from others - as a simple binary, onedecision issue. The real challenge is to normalise the European issue and integrate it
into the functioning of everyday politics.
I concluded by suggesting that the European
issue is insufficiently woven into the fabric of
domestic politics and that politicians, citizens
and social scientists have contributed to
treating the EU as a distinct and separate
form of politics, when it is, in reality, a
growing part of politics in Europe at every
level. In analytical terms it is a real challenge to bring together an understanding of
27 different member state political systems
with an understanding of the EU’s political
system but the challenge represents the
success of a project at bringing together so
many different representative political systems.
The lecture is available for viewing at:
Paul Taggart’s Professorial Lecture
Lisbon in Limbo: the Aftermath of the Irish
Helen Wallace, SEI Honorary Professor
On 12 June 2008 the Irish held their referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. On a turnout
of 53.1% (1,621,037 voting) 53.4% of those
voting (862,415) were against and 46.6%
(752,451) were in favour. The results of
previous Irish referenda on amendments to
the treaties governing the European Union
(EU) are given in Table 1. Ireland is the
only member state of the EU to hold a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon – in sharp
contrast to the string of referenda held on
the Constitutional Treaty, including the
negative referenda in France and The Netherlands in 2005 which led to the suspension
of that ratification process.
Several other EU member states have not
yet completed the ratification process of the
Treaty of Lisbon. In both the Czech Republic
and Germany there have been constitutional
court challenges. In Finland a further endorsement is needed from the Åland Islands.
And the Swedes had always planned that
their parliamentary process would be completed towards the end of the year. These
developments therefore put the Treaty of
Lisbon into limbo at least for some months.
The Irish rejection of Lisbon
Ireland has gone through a remarkable period of social and economic transformation in
the period since accession to the European
Communities in 1973, as the then poorest
member of the then EC9. It is now one of
the richest. This economic and social success has many roots, some from within the
country, some from broader international
factors, and also many that are directly related to Irish membership
of the EU. This EU dimension is widely recognised.
Irish people across the political spectrum and across
groupings generally describe
‘Europeans’. The most recent Eurobarometer survey
(carried out spring 2008) shows that support
for EU membership in Ireland was among
the highest in the EU: 73% of those polled,
only bettered by The Netherlands at 75%,
and in sharp contrast to the UK 30%.
Under the Irish Constitution referenda are
required on many issues of public policy.
The Irish Supreme Court ruled in the 1987
that any amendments to the EU treaties that
would alter the Irish Constitution’s recognition of sovereignty as being ultimately derived from ‘the People’ would need an
amendment to the Irish Constitution, possible only on the basis of a positive referendum. Habits of holding referenda on a diverse range of policy issues have generated
habits of campaigning, including by developing ‘no’ coalitions against the Dublin-based
political class.
After the negative vote in the referendum in
June 2001 to ratify the Treaty of Nice, the
European Council meeting in Seville in June
2002 issued a declaration on matters of special concern to Ireland. The Irish Declaration centred on foreign and defence issues,
stressing its traditional military neutrality,
that ‘Ireland is not party to any plans to develop a European army’, and hence that a
positive referendum would be required for
any such move to be endorsed by Ireland.
In addition the participation of Irish military
contingents in overseas operations, including
under ESDP, would be subject to what has
become known as the ‘triple lock’, i.e. endorsement by a) the UN Security Council, b)
the Irish Government, and c) the Dáil. Several less formal undertakings were made by
leading politicians, particularly statements of
intention to protect the influence of the Irish
within the EU institutions, including, for example, by their best efforts to ensure that
there would be an Irish member of the European Commission and by a willingness to
withhold consent to particular policy proposals subject to the unanimity rule in the
Council of Ministers or European Council.
Autumn 2008
In October 2002 a second referendum with
a much larger turnout of 50% produced a
‘Yes’ majority of 63%. The campaign for the
first referendum on the Treaty of Nice had
been lacklustre. The main political parties
and their leaderships did not engage proactively with the issues or with the electorate.
In a nutshell the ‘no-sayers’ were able to
rally opinions that were deeply felt on specific issues, while the ‘yes-sayers’ consisted
of voters with more diffuse and less intensely held opinions. The low level of turnout was a critical factor, in that ‘no’ voters
were mobilised far more effectively than
‘yes’ voters. Poor understanding of the content and implications of the Nice Treaty was
an important factor (see Sinnott 2001). The
campaign for the second Nice referendum
was fundamentally different in character.
The main political parties were proactive and
energetic. In addition a wider civil society
platform took the issues to wider sections of
public opinion and civil society, and framed
the issues in much more accessible terms to
a wide range of Irish voters. Far more extensive efforts were made to inform electors
about the Nice Treaty (see Sinnott 2003).
The process of proceeding to ratification of
the Treaty of Lisbon started slowly. For a
long time there was uncertainty about the
referendum timetable, not least because of
‘corruption’ tribunals under way to investigate political financing, which involved questioning of monies received by Bertie Ahern,
the Taoiseach. Ahern announced in April
that he would resign on 6 May 2008, and
was succeeded by Brian Cowen.
It was
hoped that without this distraction voters
would concentrate on issues specific to the
Lisbon Treaty. It was only then that the
main political parties set about developing
their campaign and that the broader ‘Yes’
coalition groupings began to be active.
The ‘No’ groups had been busy well ahead of
this and had already started to mount vigorous campaigns. In addition to the typical
‘no-sayer’ groups from the Nice referenda
period (Sinn Fein, conservative Catholic
groups, traditional Eurosceptics and so
forth), the new kid on the block was Libertas, a well-funded organisation set up in December 2007 by Declan Ganley, a successful
entrepreneur, who claims to have voted ‘yes’
in both of the Nice referenda. Libertas campaigned on two main themes: one was the
lack of democratic accountability in the EU
system; and the
other was the
claim that the
provisions of the
the options for
the development
economy, especially as regards
corporate taxation and foreign
The issues that
have figured in
Helen Wallace
that are familiar, but also some more contingent ones as well as the downturn in the
economy: issues relating to neutrality and
European foreign and security policies
(despite the fact that the EUFOR operation in
Chad is led by an Irish officer and has a contingent of Irish troops); issues that touch on
conservative Catholic concerns; resentment
at the workings of the common fisheries policy; and concerns about the erosion of Irish
influence in the EU. To these have been
added: a) much more forcefully than in the
Nice campaigns the question of Irish corporate taxation and the worry that the
passerelle clauses in the Lisbon Treaty could
provide a back door to undermining unanimity on this matter (remarks from French
ministers on ‘disloyal tax competition’ did
not help); b) concerns about trade union
rights, partly as regards the limited remit of
the Charter of Fundamental Rights and
partly as a result of criticism of the ECJ Laval
judgement on posted workers from new
member states working in old member
states; and c) some confused discussion
about the Irish ‘opt-outs/opt-ins’ on Schengen and matters relating to justice and
home affairs.
Several other issues erupted during the
campaign, some particularly relevant to the
farming community, traditionally a beneficiary of EU policies. Worries over the prospect
of beef imports from Argentina and Brazil
being liberalised and undercutting Irish markets crystallised around criticism of the proposed EU mandate for negotiations in the
WTO, in which Peter Mandelson became a
target of very vocal
attacks as the architect
of an EU position that
would damage Irish
interests. Brian Cowen,
the Taoiseach, under
pressure to block the
conceded on 3 June in
a meeting with the
Irish Farmers’ Association that ‘Ireland can veto EU agreement to
an unacceptable deal’ (though of course the
relevant issues are formally subject to QMV).
The IFA leadership then agreed to advocate
a ‘yes’ vote, although opinion polls showed
that Irish farmers were evenly split. To these
bigger issues can be added a proliferation of
smaller issues. For example, in the west of
Ireland people complained at prohibitions on
cutting peat turf devised by ‘Brussels’.
In the wake of the Irish ‘No’ vote the Irish
Government commissioned an enquiry into
the reasons for it. Recently published, the
report (Millward Brown IMS, September
2008) confirms the range of factors behind
the rejection. It stresses that ignorance of
the EU institutional system and the substance of Lisbon was important (as in the
Nice case) and that on both the ‘Yes’ and the
‘No’ sides many voters had only soft views
and made their minds up close to the date of
the poll. It also indicates a majority of ‘No’
voters among women, among young voters
and among social groups CDE. This last
point chimes with the evidence on fears of
unemployment and concerns about immigration.
Table 1
For the moment it is not known whether or
not the Irish Government will hold a second
referendum and it can play for time since
ratification processes remain incomplete in
some other member states – no second run
is likely before autumn 2009. The economic
environment is not encouraging. The political risks would be considerable. Irish voters
are perfectly well aware that Dutch and
French voters were not asked to vote a second time on the Constitutional Treaty. No
doubt a political declaration could be devised
in the hope of allaying Irish concerns, but
this time it might well be harder to make it
convincing than in the Nice period.
Living with the Treaty of Nice
The upshot is that for the immediate future
the EU will have to operate on the basis of
the Treaty of Nice. Politicians across the EU
have become increasingly aware that many
of their own electorates share many of the
concerns of Irish voters, and latterly there
has been less of a rush to condemn the Irish
or to suggest that somehow they might be
forced out of the European mainstream. The
2009 European Parliament elections and the
process to nominate the next college of
European Commissioners are thus likely to
operate on the basis of Nice, or rather the
Nice bis provisions which had anticipated
enlargement to 27 member states. The
other most immediate casualties are the Lisbon provisions to enhance EU capabilities for
taking forward foreign and security policies
and for developing policies in the sphere of
justice and home affairs. As so often in the
Irish Referenda on EU Treaties
10 May 1972
Total poll
For (%)
Against (%)
European Communi1,783,604
903,439 (50,7%)
724,836 (84,6%)
131,430 (15,6%)
26 May 1987
Single European Act 2,461,790
1,085,304 (44,1%)
755,423 (69,9%)
324,977 (30,1%)
18 June 1992
Maastricht Treaty
1,457,219 (57,3%)
1,001,076 (69,1%)
448,655 (30,9%)
22 May 1998
Amsterdam Treaty
1,543,930 (56,2%)
932,632 (61,7%)
578,070 (38,3%)
7 June 2001
Nice Treaty
997,836 (34,8%)
453,461 (46,1%)
528,478 (50,4%)
19 Oct 2002
Nice Treaty
1,446,588 (49,5%)
906,317 (62,9%)
534,887 (37,1%)
Autumn 2008
past, the EU will have to depend on evolutionary adaptation rather than designer reform.
Politics Research in Progress Seminar
Autumn 2008
The Centre for Parties & Democracy in
and the Sussex European Institute
Wednesdays 2-4pm
Millward Brown IMS (September 2008),
Post Lisbon Treaty Referendum Research
Findings, for the Irish Department of
Foreign Affairs, Dublin,
available on
R. Sinnott (2001) Attitudes and Behaviour of the Irish Electorate in the Referendum on the Treaty of Nice, Dublin:
European Commission Representation in
21 October*
SEI round table on ‘The Future of the Lisbon
Jörg Monar, John Palmer, University of Sussex
R. Sinnott (2003) Attitudes and Behaviour of the Irish Electorate in the Second
Referendum on the Treaty of Nice, Dublin: European Commission Representation in Ireland.
5 November**
SEI/Politics/American Studies round table on
the ‘2008 US Presidential Elections: Analysis
of the Results and Implications for Transatlantic Relations’
Robin Kolodny, University of Sussex/Temple
Clive Webb, University of Sussex
Professor Helen Wallace CMG FBA was founder of the SEI and its first Director between
1992-2001. Previously she held numerous
posts including Director of West European
Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. After Sussex, she went on to
become Director of the Robert Schuman
Centre, European University Institute in Florence from 2001-6, during which time she
was also an SEI Professorial Fellow.
Helen is currently Special Adviser to European Commissioner Olli Rehn and a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has written
countless publications on European integration including seminal texts on ‘PolicyMaking in the European Union’, (with Mark
Pollack and William Wallace, OUP, 2005) and
‘The Council of Ministers of the European
Union’ (with Fiona Hayes-Renshaw, Palgrave, 2006). Helen has received numerous
honours in recognition of her contribution to
the discipline including, in 2006, the University Association for Contemporary European
Studies Lifetime Award for service to European Studies. In 2007, she became an Honorary Professor of the University of Sussex.
12 November
Tony Blair, Man of Destiny
Sophie Loussouarn, University of Amiens
18 November*
Will Merkel's gamble pay off? Watching the
ratification of the Lisbon Treaty
Clive Church, University of Kent
25 November*
The New Cold War: a threat, a reality or an
Edward Lucas, The Economist
2 December*
Europe in Question: How Voters Decide in
Referendums on European Integration
Sara Binzer Hobolt, University of Oxford
10 December
Comparative European Communist Party
Daniel Keith, University of Sussex
* Jointly with SEI (TUESDAYS 2.15-3.50 C233)
**Joint with Politics and American Studies
SEI Brussels Trip 2007/2008
Larisa Krizan and Iva Hladnik (MACES
students 2007-08)
Questions were asked, discussions held, interesting people met, new things learnt, and
of course funny things happened. This would
be, in short, a summary of the SEI Brussels
trip in June this year.
After months of preparation, the 2007/2008
MACES generation finally came to the centre
of the European Union, Brussels. Two hours
drive with Eurostar and we were already
there. We stayed at a youth hostel in a quiet
part of Brussels. Some of us arrived on Sunday, 1 June, the others on Monday. Since
the programme started on Monday afternoon, all of us had plenty of time to discover
Brussels on our own.
Our first official stop on Monday was DG
Enlargement, where Henrik Bendikson talked
about the current issues of the enlargement
policies and the biggest problems impeding
accession negotiations. We were happy to
hear that Croatia has been making progress
but we also acknowledged hearing about difficulties that it has encountered on its path.
After a few questions about benchmarks, we
went to the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), an inde-
Lucia Quaglia and Jim Rollo with the
MACES students on the trip to Brussels
pendent and non-profit policy research think
tank dedicated to international economic
policy issues of importance to Europe. The
think tank co-operates with other centres
and institutes, and offers new research and
analysis. Tuesday was spent at the European
Parliament. John Fohdrham and Michael
Shackleton (whom we had already had the
opportunity to meet before) gave us quite an
interesting insight into functioning of the big
bureaucratic giant behind the curtains. After
taking some time for a couple of photos, we
tried to find our way out through the groups
of visitors.
Our next stop: DG Regio. Jurgen Grunwald
from the Commission legal service was very
thorough in talking us through Community
Law, and making it more interesting by
drawing the whole legal system! Graham
Meadows, former director of DG Regio, and a
person with a lot of experience in this area,
talked about EU regional policy. After a couple of questions, we left the meeting still
puzzled by the complexity of Structural and
Cohesion Funds, and the struggles the Member States have over them. At the end of the
day we went to the European Policy Centre
(EPC), another think tank providing its
members and the wider public with information and analysis on the EU and global policy
agenda. It was also a chance to finally hear
our tutor, Lucia Quaglia, talking in her
mother tongue with Antonio Missiroli, foreign
and security policy expert in EPC, after the
The next day we had an unusual experience.
On our way to the UK Permanent Representation in Brussels, we bumped into a group
of fishermen demonstrating against fish quotas. Still thinking about the demonstrators,
we tried to concentrate on the presentations
prepared for us in the UK Representation
office. First, we heard about the main issues
regarding Croatia’s accession. Angus Lapsley
concluded that the Western Balkans had no
other alternative but to join the EU, it is only
a matter of time. Phil Douglas gave an inter-
Autumn 2008
prepared for the next generation of MACES
students. Although it could be argued that
this trip could have been a good jump start
and team-building opportunity at the beginning of the year, we believe the Brussels trip
was an important round-up of issues we had
encountered during the year, that it was
highly motivating and that it marked a good
point for us to move on to start of work on
our dissertations. We hope new MACES students will enjoy it as much as we did!
MACES student Larisa Krizan
esting talk about immigration. 80% of migrants who come to the EU do not have any
qualifications, compared to 67% of highly
qualified migrants who are going to the US
and Canada. This is yet another issue the EU
will have to solve if it wants to compete in
the global market. Last but not least, Jack
Schickler talked about another important EU
policy, EMU. A short discussion followed afterwards. The final day, was a rainy day on
which we visited the Emilia-Romagna Office,
which hosted Guy Milton from the Council
Secretariat. He talked about the Lisbon
Treaty, its evolution, institutional changes
and referenda. Afterwards, we learned about
the activities of the Emilia-Romagna EU Liaison Office and regional networks. In the
end, Leonardo Piccinetti from Europe for
Business Ltd. had a presentation on benefits
and opportunities of participation in EU science programmes.
MACES student
Iva Hladnik
Overall, we experienced Brussels in a new
used the opportunity to go to
different institutions and use
them as material for their
The study trip
and diversified,
and is probably
Stephen Booth
(MACES student 200708)
Having previously studied for my undergraduate degree at Sussex I thought I knew
what to expect from the MACES course.
However, when I enrolled last September
and attended the cursory ‘get to know you’
meeting, I found myself entering an entirely
different environment to that which I had
left only four months earlier. The Sussex
faculty member who first prompted my interest in the MACES programme had promised that I would become a member of a
multi-national cohort comprised of people of
varying ages and academic backgrounds and
he was certainly right. Yet, the fact that I
was one of only two Britons on the course
did come as a surprise. However, this gave
me the unique opportunity of experiencing a
wide range of European cultures and ideas
only with the benefit of the fine English
weather and without all the hassle of that
exotic foreign travel.
The SEI Christmas party, to which students
are encouraged to bring a national dish, offered me the chance to sample a wide selection of the foods of Europe. I made sure the
UK was represented with a hearty pork pie,
which, I have to admit, received mixed reviews. Well that is from those who dared to
try it. In seminars I tried my best not to appear as the ‘British Eurosceptic’ to my colleagues, the majority of whom came from
countries outside the EU or countries that
recently joined.
However, I fear
I may not have
course, with its
wide range of
m u l ti - n at i on al
intake, offered
a truly stimulating and enjoyMACES student
Stephen Booth
experience, improved
knowledge of the major issues facing the EU
and Europe and developed the skills I will
require for post-academic life. All I can say
is that hopefully more British students, and
those from more established EU member
states, will take the opportunity to study in
this unique environment.
Conferences and
This issue of euroscope has five reports
on conferences and seminars that members of SEI have been involved in during
the summer. Alan Mayhew reports on
the SEI Conference on Croatian Accession, Aleks Szczerbiak outlines the international workshop on the impact of
the EU on party politics in postcommunist states held in May. John
FitzGibbon reports on SEI’s seminar on
the Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty,
and Anna Sydorak-Tomczyk and Lucia
Quaglia tell us about the 38th Annual
UACES Conference. Finally Chris Jones
of the Sussex European Movement
writes on the conference held at the
University of Sussex on ‘Life after Lisbon’.
The 28th EU Member
State: SEI Conference
on Croatian
Alan Mayhew
In October, SEI will welcome, for the tenth
year in succession, a group of Croatian students to its Masters courses.
To celebrate this first decade, a conference
on Croatia and the European Union was held
in the Sussex University Conference Centre
on April 25. Speakers included Željko Kuprešak, the Croatian State Secretary for
European Integration, Michael Leigh, the Director General of the European Commission’s Enlargement Directorate General, and
Boris Vujčić, Deputy Governor of the Croatian National Bank.
Professor Jim Rollo, Co-director of SEI,
opened the proceedings by reminding the
participants of the role which the Institute
has played in Croatia’s journey from the Balkan wars of the mid-Nineties to the brink of
accession as a full member to the European
Union. SEI staff have advised the Croatian
Government for much of this period, but it is
the programme which brings the Croatian
students to Sussex, which was the centre of
Over this period around 70 Croatian students have studied at Sussex. In return for
the year’s education in SEI, they sign contracts which pledge them to work for the
Croatian public administration for three
years. The Institute has therefore trained a
significant proportion of the officials in Zagreb who work on EU affairs.
Many of these officials are now in senior positions in the Administration, several having
achieved Head of Division status in their
Ministries. Others have moved on from Government service to the private sector. SEI
staff keep in contact with as many of these
students as possible and reunions have been
held in Zagreb.
Autumn 2008
Leigh outlined
the EU on
enlargement, underscoring
the advantages
the Union
Alan Mayhew
challenges which it brings. He was extremely
positive about the chances for Croatia to accede early to the EU and expected negotiations to be concluded in 2009.
The State Secretary underlined the importance of this scheme for Croatia and praised
the contribution which the Sussex-trained
staff had made to the preparation of Croatia’s accession to the Union. The Deputy
Governor outlined the recovery of Croatia’s
economy from a brief recession in the early
years of this decade and pointed to the fact
that its current performance and its remarkable stability qualified it for smooth entry to
the Union.
At the end of the conference, the current
Croatian students were given time to meet
with the State Secretary and the Deputy
Governor, when after a day full of English,
they could relax in Croatian with the most
senior figures in their Government’s European policy.
Workshop on the EU
and Party Politics in
Aleks Szczerbiak
On May 7, SEI-based scholar Monika Bil and
I participated in an international workshop
on the theme of ‘Beyond Europeanization?
The (Non-)Impact of the EU on Party Politics
in Post-Communist States’ at the University
of London’s School of Slavonic and East
European Studies. The workshop, sponsored
by the Central and East European Language
Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) network, was
a follow up to a successful September 2007
panel organised at last year’s ECPR General
Conference in Pisa.
In addition to Monika and my paper on Poland, there were also contributions on the
Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Slovakian and
Slovenian cases, together with a quantitative
comparative paper. Most of the participants
were members of the SEI-based European
Parties Elections and Referendums Network
(EPERN) and the discussants included SEI
Visiting Fellows Sean Hanley (SSEES/UCL)
and Paul Lewis (Open University). Paper givers looking at particular countries all attempted to examine (to a greater or lesser
extent) the impact of the EU on: patterns of
inter-party competition, party programmes,
organisational development, and transnational links with European party federations and EP groupings. They also tried to
make an explicit comparison between the
last parliamentary election held in these
countries immediately prior to EU accession
and the first once they became EU members.
In our paper on the Polish case, Monika and
I argued that, if one sought them out, one
could certainly find some clear, if limited,
evidence of EU influences. In overall terms,
however, EU accession appeared to have
had little significant direct impact on Polish
party politics. We also argued that there was
no obvious linear relationship between party
positions on European integration and the
extent to which the EU had impacted upon a
party and the nature of those impacts, although in overall terms it appeared to have
been greatest in those parties that were
members of the large European party federations and EP groupings. We also suggested that, in many ways, ‘Europe’ appeared to have been assimilated successfully
into the logic of Polish domestic party politics. We concluded by agreeing with the argument made by Agnes Batory (Central
European University) in her paper on the
Hungarian case: that analysts should start
from the assumption that all developments
in party and electoral politics can be explained through ‘domestic’ factors and only
when these have been exhausted should one
‘European’ explanations.
Much of the discussion
seminar focused
on the analytical
problems of examining ‘EU impacts’ on domestic party politics.
Aleks Szczerbiak
issues such as:
how can such issues be properly conceived and measured;
what expectations do we have of change and
what benchmarks are we measuring these
impacts against; and how do we trace
change back to an EU source, given that the
many of the adjustments were subtle and
‘indirect’? In a lively debate, there was little
consensus on these comparative-theoretical
questions and even on whether the same
phenomenon could be identified as a significant, minor or non-existent ‘impact’.
The papers presented at the workshop will
be published as a special issue of the
‘Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics’ in 2009 and subsequently as an
edited book.
The Irish Rejection of
the Lisbon Treaty,
John FitzGibbon
The SEI hosted an EPERN (European Parties
Elections and Referendums Network) conference on the Irish rejection of the Lisbon
Treaty on Friday the 27 June. Conference
co-convenor Prof Aleks Szczerbiak said its
aim was to help participants “come to an
understanding as to the causal factors of the
Irish No vote”.
Presentations were made by Dr Michael
Holmes of Liverpool Hope University, Prof
Jim Rollo and myself (from the SEI). The
first two presentations focused on the cam-
paigns of the Yes and No sides and the result itself. The final presentation dealt with
potential solutions to the impasse generated
by the Irish result and how the EU might,
and indeed might not continue on.
Dr Holmes employed the analogy of Bertolt
Brecht’s work to convey the confusion with
which the campaign had been conducted and
the uncertainty that has engulfed the Irish
political class since the vote. He identified
the emergence for the first time of right
wing Euroscepticism and infighting amongst
the Yes side as crucial variables in the success of the No campaign. I confirmed this
analysis by presenting the latest opinion poll
data that shows strong, yet conditional, support amongst the Irish public for European
integration. Focusing on civil society based
Euroscepticism it was argued that the five
month head start of the No campaign, allowed them to dictate the issues with the
Yes side never buidling any momentum as a
Finally SEI Co-Director Jim Rollo led a wide
ranging and diffuse discussion on the options
for the EU and Ireland post Lisbon. Given
the unique situation at present, many possible future scenarios were outlined. These
ranged from Ireland exiting the EU, a two
speed EU of those who had and had not ratified Lisbon, to Ireland holding another referendum with “declaratory reassurances” from
the EU. This section of the conference
prompted the most discussion and led to a
forceful debate on the nature of post
enlargement EU integration and the political
and institutional requirements that are, or
are not, required for the EU to work in this
Participants were a
diverse range of SEI
DPhil students and
faculty, visitors from
University of Kent,
Canterbury and the
University of Surrey.
Co-convenor of the
conference Prof Paul
Taggart was pleased
both with the turn out
and the level of debate, saying that “we
all learned something
about the Irish case
John FitzGibbon
Autumn 2008
and the issues it has created, we also heard
some fascinating and controversial solutions
to these issues”.
The 38th Annual
UACES Conference,
Anna SydorakTomczyk and Lucia
From 1 to 3 September 2008, a record number of 400 participants gathered in Edinburgh to attend the UACES Exchanging
Ideas on Europe Conference hosted by the
Edinburgh Europa Institute which celebrated
its 40th birthday this year. It was the 38th
UACES Annual Conference and this year it
focused on the contemporary issues of the
EU and brought together academics and
practitioners from a wide range of European
related disciplines. During the three-day
conference there were nine research sessions, with approximately 11 panels in each
session. The University of Edinburgh bestowed its venues of the Appleton Tower,
the Chrystal Macmillan Building and the Teviot Tower for the conference’s needs.
The conference was preceded by a firework
display to highlight the end of the Edinburgh
Festival on Sunday 31 August. On Monday,
the first plenary lecture focused on An
American Perspective on European Integration, chaired by Dr Chad Damro of University
of Edinburgh. The next day the Journal of
Common Market Studies (JCMS) invited Professor Alberta Sbragia (University of Pittsburgh, USA) to talk on Comparative Regionalism for its Annual Review Lecture. In her
lecture Prof Sbragia explained how and why
the term of regionalism is perceived differently by scholars of the EU and in the rest of
the world with an emphasis on Asian regionalism. The lecture was followed by a series
of questions coming among others from Professor Jim Rollo. Finally, on Wednesday we
could hear a Plenary Panel on Rethinking the
Lisbon Treaty with distinguished speakers
such as Dr Paul Gillespie, Foreign Affairs Edi-
tor of the Irish Times, Sir John Grant KCMG,
President of BHP Billiton plc Europe and a
former meritorious functionary of British
Diplomatic Services, and Christian Leffler,
Head of Cabinet for the Vice President of the
European Commission Margot Wallström.
The panel was chaired by Professor John Peterson of University of Edinburgh.
The SEI was represented by a robust
'contingent' at the UACES conference. Senior
Lecturer Dr Lucia Quaglia presented two papers, first on The Left in Italy and the Lisbon
Treaty: A ‘Political’ Europe, a ‘Social’ Europe
and an ‘Economic’ Europe in the panel entitled The Left and the European Constitution
and a second paper on Completing the Single Market in Financial Services: The Politics
of Competing Advocacy Coalitions’ in the
panel Completing the Single Market IV: Finance and Gambling.
In the panel on Decentralised Enforcement of EU Competition Law: A Sectoral
Perspective Anna Sydorak-Tomczyk, SEI
DPhil student presented a paper on
Smooth Cooperation
or Turf Wars Within
the New European
Competition Regime?
It should be noted
Lucia Quaglia
that this year’s conference produced a
large number of papers in the area of European competition policy. During the second
conference day Jean Monnet Reader in Economics Dr Peter Holmes presented a paper
on How Can Deep Integration EPAs be Good
for Development. At the same time Dr
Adrian Treacher presented a paper on St
Malo Ten Years On: Franco-British Perspectives on ESDP.
The UACES conference exuberated in social
events such as a reception at the National
Gallery of Scotland hosted by the Rt Hon
Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister of the
Scottish Government on Monday and the
UACES Conference Dinner and Awards ceremony on Tuesday. The UACES prizes for the
best book and the best doctoral thesis were
presented during the conference dinner. Lucia Quaglia is a member of the jury for both
prizes. The UACES career prize was awarded
to Alan Milward.
‘Life after Lisbon?’
Chris Jones, Sussex European Movement
On 23 May 2008 a seminar was organised
jointly by SEI and the Sussex European
Movement to mull over some of the issues
following from the Treaty of Lisbon. SEI was
able to provide the new well-equipped Conference Centre suite at the University of
Sussex as the venue for this seminar, where
some 40 members and guests met. The
Duchêne, a much respected member of the
Sussex branch of the European Movement,
who died in 2005. Among those addressing
the seminar were SEI Co-Director Jim Rollo,
Professor Paul Taggart, Dr Nathaniel Copsey
and Claude Moraes, MEP. Summaries of their
presentations are given below:
Eurocrats in Brussels took any serious interest in Labour local authorities – there had
been no interest
from London government administrators. Now under
a Labour government there was a
risk of these local
interest in EU structural funds if the UK
was seen only in the
role of a contributor.
Current economic
issues in the EU
Medium Term: Energy and climate change.
The EU was leading in the preparation for
low energy and low carbon policies. Carbon
trading on a global scale may be a political
compromise, but the ‘selling’ of negative
carb on
am ou n t s
seem ed
b i z arre.
Future increasing demands for energy meant
the use of either coal or nuclear energy.
There was new focus on research and development in carbon capture technology.
In the medium term the impact of the
emerging economic powers would be felt. It
made good sense for economic negotiation
with China to be at a pan-European level.
With the EU now expanded to embrace 27
countries the overall issue was the convergence of neighbour countries on the EU. The
Sussex European Institute was much involved in studies of European integration.
Jim Rollo: identified that after the Treaty of
Lisbon there were short, medium and longterm issues that need to be discussed.
Short Term: The current situation echoed
the economics of the 1970s, when
“stagflation” hit the developed countries.
Any period of low growth would cause major
problems for politics throughout Europe.
Growth in China was a major factor in the
world economy. But Chinese production had
become virtually integrated with consumer
demand in the US and in Europe. Any slowdown would eventually affect China, unless it
were prepared to open up its own highly
compressed domestic economy.
The EU budget was nominally planned up to
2013. In the UK the net contribution to the
EU was usually about 1% of national GDP.
Curiously, during the Thatcher period, only
Jim Rollo
Long term: Europe as a whole would be
living with relative economic decline. The
working population was expected to fall by
the year 2050 to around 50%; or would fertility increase? The EU 27 countries would
make up 500 million out of a global population of9 billion. If there was not increased
productivity, then there would be inevitable
economic decline. This implied for the need
for longer working lives.
Some questions that were raised in the discussion that followed included:
Are we currently at peak oil production,
hence rapidly rising prices?
“High oil
prices are God’s way of telling you to
change your technology.”
Autumn 2008
Will the next generation, self-indulgent
and unhealthy, die faster?
An increase
in the death rate would indeed delay economic decline, but Jim Rollo thought the
greater economic effect would derive from
lack of personal savings in the next generation.
Is there any prospect of global rules? The
current climate change awareness illustrates a wider problem. It is easier to stop
people doing things. In the long run it
may become clearer that selfish interest
is best served by co-operation.
The EU and its eastern
neighbours: Ukraine,
Belarus and Moldova
What kind of Europe do we want? Wider or
deeper? According to Nathaniel Copsey
attitudes to this question would govern relations with the EU’s eastern neighbours.
There was need for a radical revision of
neighbourhood policy.
Although there was little actual trade between the EU and COMECON, the significance of the eastern neighbours was that
they hosted pipeline routes for oil from the
east. The three chosen countries were facing
severe problems in establishing their independence: nation-building; sever economic
collapse; problematic relations with Russia;
The average GDP per capita in Ukraine was
$2830, and the country was in a phase of
growth. Dr Copsey believed the conventional
view of an east-west
divide within the country was irrelevant. Both
Ukraine and Belarus
continued to suffer the
aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. Belarus
was one country which
persisted with a centrally planned postSoviet
Nathaniel Copsey
Moldova was obsessed
with the Transdnestr problem, characterised
by the predominance of organised crime in
politics. Of all geographically European countries it had the lowest GDP. All three countries have to face the issue of democratisation, potentially leading to economic involvement with the EU. The current EU
Neighbourhood Policy seemed to require
these countries met conditions similar to negotiating the acquis, but without any serious
promise of accession.
It seemed likely that when migrant labour
from Central Europe dries up, as those countries economies become more equal, the
three eastern countries could become valuable sources of cheap migrant labour.
“Absorbability” was a theme in the questions
that followed Dr Copsey’s presentation –
how well has the EU adjusted to its most recent expansion? The evidence suggested
that the 2004 enlargement has been a genuine success. In considering further expansion
it might be a matter of legal and ethical issues versus economic pragmatism.
Electoral politics of the
Lisbon Treaty
Integrating European issues into domestic
politics has proved to be no easy task. Paul
Taggart described three periods in this:
permissive consensus – the electorate
permits developments to happen; elites
make proposals, democratic consensus
allows them.
1992-2007 saw a decline in ‘permissive
consensus’, an increase in the use of referenda, and the need to face the implications of populist rejection.
subsequently there
has been a retreat
politics’, withdrawing
from referenda as a
When the French and
against local political
issues, but motivated
by the loss of stable
Paul Taggart
employment, against
and by a nostalgia for national sovereignty. Only Ireland would now risk a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
parliamentary democracy? Paul Taggart
advocated integrating European issues
into domestic politics. Would that dilute
understanding of European issues? They
could best be seen in their impact on local
economics. But the complexity of European issues fed the need to over-simplify
– that is where the challenge lay. In the
UK, the character of adversarial politics
meant that both major parties avoided
exposing Europe as a political issue. The
“democratic deficit” was already embedded in UK politics, and implied here a
need to change the domestic political
situation first.
Euroscepticism had remained stable in the
1996-2007 period, in the range 10% to
17%, neither declining nor increasing. Major
political parties rarely adopted euroscepticism – in all parties, both left and right, it
occurred on the fringe. It tended to be used
as a way of protesting on other issues. Opinion polls in advance of the Irish referendum
had demonstrated a great deal of indecision
– 34% for, 31% against and 34% undecided. Clearly there was a risk of one state
holding Europe to ransom, and there appeared to be no contingency plan for rejection.
In all countries the problem was that Europe
was an issue of low salience to voters. It
was difficult to identify any specific controversial issue, and a general assumption that
the EU was here to stay, like a national
health service.
In the lively discussion that followed, participants argued on several issues:
Surely the transfer of sovereignty was a
legitimate use for a plebiscite.
Taggart questioned whether sovereignty
was a genuine concept in any contemporary context – making the case that issues such as climate
change go beyond the
concept of sovereignty.
• The European Parliament had become more
significant and more effective, but how could
voters be persuaded to
participate in European
There was little political education apparent in schools. This suggested there were
no foundations on which to build mature
political involvement. A citizenship agenda
had been introduced into school curriculum, but there was a long way to go in
allowing time for exploring complex issues. Academics and researchers, also,
perhaps did too little to communicate
more widely.
Migrant workers in the
Claude Moraes has been a Labour MEP for
London since 1999. He opened by saying it
was unusual for him to talk to a proEuropean audience. He often had to remind
people that European integration had started
in the aftermath of appalling genocide and
the economics of starvation after World War
The real issue in migration had not yet got
across to most people. The issue was the
psychology of migration. A stark example
came recently from Italy, where the government wished to temporarily pull out of the
Schengen Agreement, because the free
movement of Roma from Romania was politically unacceptable. Yet the EU means free
movement of workers. In the UK acceptance
of the issue had been eased by introducing
registration of workers to ensure labour exploitation was avoided.
Up until 2004 the UK was largely dealing
with Commonwealth migration. New European migration was seen as another wave of
the same immigration.
Autumn 2008
In the recent Crewe and Nantwich byelection, a clear disaster for Labour, a very
high Polish migrant population had done
much to revive the economy of the area, yet
they did not have the vote. None of the parties even mentioned the issue in their campaigns. Curiously, in Spain the largest single
immigrant community has been the British,
and they are the least integrated. It seemed
ironic in the context of the UK now requiring
English language competence for immigrants. The proposed points system for immigrants was irrational, doing little to filter
the young, bright and useful. He advocated
that the European Movement should establish its own “narrative” for the politics of migration. “It’s a twilight world”, he said –
even publishers were inhibited from bringing
Many of his fellow MEPs had to answer to
two whips – the Socialist group in the European Parliament, and to 10 and 11 Downing
Street, worried the European Parliament
might promulgate unacceptable laws. Occasionally the UK was in the vanguard. For instance, the rights of agency workers was a
key issue for migrants. Yet the directive had
been blocked for over two years. MEPs
sometimes had to see the bigger picture, not
necessarily supported by domestic politics.
Why is European Parliament political work
What was being done about poverty on the
Or about desperate migration from subSaharan Africa?
Claude Moraes set out to answer a group of
questions. On publicity: the problem lay with
our domestic politicians, who avoided raising
European issues. On poverty-motivated migration, he was concerned that Denmark
had recently set a dangerous precedent, describing new migration laws there as the first
racist laws since Nuremburg. In general everyone should be concerned about the role of
the media. For example, the new Services
Directive had major implications; yet they
had been ignored by the media, and were
really only known internally by the public
services unions.
Claude Moraes noted the apparent lack of
visibility of MEPs that had been exacerbated
when the number of UK MEPs was reduced
to 74 and that their contact time was spread
too thinly. The proportional representation
system adopted for electing MEPs has the
effect of alienating them from their constituencies, yet UK democracy has always historically been based on individuals representing their constituencies as well as their
parties. In both the South-East of England,
as much as in Scotland, distances were too
great. Was their any forecast data on forced
migration and asylum? Migration was likely
to be massively affected by climate change
in the future, since Europe would be cooler.
Europe was also the only continent with a
rapidly ageing population. Even if avoided
now, the next generation will certainly have
to face a critical problem. “There is no silver
bullet for migration”.
The seminar day included the award of the
first François Duchêne bursaries to help
postgraduates at the University in pursuing a
European topic. The seminar also included
appreciations of the life and work of François
Duchêne. For more information on the seminar and the European Movement visit:
Claude Moraes, MEP
Ongoing Research
This issue of Euroscope presents reports on the current research projects being worked on
by Jörg Monar, Sabina Avdagic, Robin Kolodny, Tim Bale, Paul Taggart, Yuri BorgmannPrebil, Stefano Braghiroli, Ralf Tils, and Francis McGowan.
Back after three years
“on loan” to
Strasbourg: The
Jörg Monar
One of the main aims of the European research area is to encourage the mobility of
researchers across borders in order to facilitate critical mass building in major emerging
research fields at universities where there is
already a major research capacity in the respective field. SEI made a contribution to
this aim by letting me go for three years
(2005 to 2008) to take up an EU-funded
Marie Curie Chair of Excellence in internal
security governance at the Robert Schuman
University of Strasbourg (URS). This Chair
involved the direction of the SECURINT project on EU internal security governance and
the teaching (obviously in French) of postgraduate courses related to this field.
This type of “mobility” – much encouraged
at the European political level – appears
rather straightforward and simple enough as
a principle. Yet in practice it actually requires quite a major effort of “getting in”
and adaptation from the individual concerned as research approaches, teaching
methods, working cultures, academic networks and administrative and financial procedures continue to be substantially different from one EU academic system to the
other. In addition there are the inevitable
practical issues of moving the centre of your
life to another country – while at the same
time maintaining your base as you are intending to come back after the three years.
But looking back at those three years now –
after just having come back to SEI – I think
that the effort was really worth it, and this
in three respects, on the research side, as a
teaching experience and as a personal experience:
On the research side the SECURINT project
fulfilled four main tasks:
(1) The identification of the limitations of the
current EU internal security concept because
of its subsidiary role with regard to national
internal security, its limitation to serious
forms of cross-border crime and the continuing predominance of national internal
security threat assessments behind the
common EU threat assessments provided by
Europol and other EU structures.
(2) The critical assessment of the benefits of
EU action in this field – consisting of the
gradual emergence of common priorities,
reduced obstacles to cross-border cooperation, the development of common criminal
law and procedure elements and the buildup of common structures and operational
capabilities – and of its costs – consisting
primarily of an ever increasing complexity
because the “opt-outs” and “opt-ins”, serious implementation problems because of the
differences between the national systems,
the proliferation of often poorly coordinated
structures and the negative legal and procedural implications of the “pillar” structure.
(3) The analysis of the EU governance in the
internal security domain which has shown an
overall ‘cooperative’ rather than ‘integrative’
orientation with an extensive use of nonbinding target-setting and convergence support instruments, a preference for ‘softer’
rather than ‘harder’ governance which is also
reflected in a reluctance to engage in substantive harmonisation and the transfer of
real operational powers to agencies such Europol, Eurojust and Frontex. While this tends
to reduce the effectiveness of EU measures
on the implementation side it has, on the
other hand, facilitated the extension of EU
governance to more and more aspects of
internal security governance formerly con-
Autumn 2008
sidered as a purely
national domain.
(4) The evaluation of
judicial control procedures
shown a clear but
limited increase of
the powers of the
European Parliament
since the introduction
some of the fields of
internal security govJörg Monar
ernance and a growing but still fragmentary assertion of the role
of the Court of Justice as protector of fundamental rights and civil liberties in the “area
of freedom, security and justice”. These persistent control deficits would be significantly
reduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, whose implications were extensively assessed during
the final phase of the project.
On the teaching side, the Marie Curie Chair
certainly meant a widening of the horizon of
my teaching experience and – as evaluation
forms have shown – also of the students I
taught in Strasbourg. The teaching methods
in Strasbourg are much less interactive and
in a sense more “top-down” than the ones
usually applied here at Sussex, and the students seemed to appreciate the wider space
I left for questions, discussion and student
presentations. On the other hand I had to
adapt to the expectations of students in
terms of delivering very well structured and
detailed course outlines, to refer much more
frequently to primary sources and to finish
each seminar/lecture with a substantial set
of conclusions (as far as possible) logically
following from the various issues covered. I
was also impressed by the quite effective
implementation at Strasbourg of the
“Bologna model” with its two year master
programmes under which students chose in
the second (“M2”) year between a vocational
orientation (involving a traineeship) and a
research orientation (involving a longer dissertation).
On the personal side finally it is quite a privilege to dive deeply into another living environment, especially if the city is as culturally
rich and – with its old buildings and picturesque waterways – atmospherically appealing as Strasbourg. This is not to say that on
the practical side everything was always
smooth: I lost lots of time struggling with
inefficient phone and broadband providers
and the expensive complexity of the French
banks. Yet whatever the occasional mounting anger – it could always be calmed down
by the excellent Alsatian food and wine.
But let me reassure my colleagues at SEI
that I didn’t spend the time they lent me out
to Strasbourg on a prolonged Alsatian holiday: In total the project led to more than 30
publications, the establishment of a research
data-base on EU justice and home affairs
documents and a documentation centre at
the URS, the organisation of 9 international
conferences, seminars and expert meetings,
11 public lectures by senior EU and national
government representatives given in Strasbourg, 22 public lectures given by me in 18
EU and non-EU countries and a total of 16
courses and modules offered at the URS
over the three years. And on all this the
European Commission demanded regular
reports with complex forms and financial details, to which the University of Strasbourg
administration added its own arcane procedural requirements and in part rather curious financial rules.
I am now looking forward to bringing what I
have gained in Strasbourg in terms of additional experience and expertise to the work
here at Sussex with colleagues and students
– this being not one of the least benefits of
European “mobility”.
SEI Fellow wins
ESRC Grant
Sabina Avdagic
The Economic and Social Research Council
(ESRC) has awarded a research grant of
£206,000 to Dr Sabina Avdagic, SEI-based
UK Research Councils (RCUK) Academic Fellow for the project on ‘Causes and Consequences of National Variation in Employment
Protection Legislation in Central and Eastern
Europe.’ The project, funded under the
highly competitive ESRC First Grant scheme,
will run for two years from 1 January 2009,
and it will employ a post-doctoral researcher
to work alongside the principal investigator
for 18 months (see advert of page 31).
The research will
focus on the political economy of labour market reforms in the EU’s
new member states
and accession countries from Central
and Eastern Europe
particular on their
efforts to liberalise
employment protecSabina Avdagic
l eg i sl a t i on
CEECs on the whole display a rather poor
employment performance, International Organisations have commonly advised them to
deregulate their labour markets by reducing
the strictness of hiring and firing rules.
These recommendations, however, often
overlook that the CEECs are not a homogenous group, and that like in the old EU
member states both employment performance and the strictness of EPL vary significantly across these countries.
What explains the differences in employment
regulation in these young capitalisms and
whether they actually matter for employment outcomes is a question left unanswered in the academic literature. Comparative studies of employment protection in
CEECs are few and mostly descriptive. As
such, they commonly neglect causes of
regulatory differences and offer little insight
into the politics of labour market deregulation. This project aims to fill this gap in the
literature by providing a thorough examination of employment protection in the CEECs
that is both systematic and well attuned to
national differences.
The research will include three interrelated
parts focusing on (1) the causes of national
variation in EPL strictness, (2) the consequences of this variation for employment
performance, and (3) the dynamics of EPL
reforms over time and the conditions that
make these politically difficult reforms viable. To facilitate the analysis, the project
will create a comparative database of EPL
reforms documenting annual changes in employment protection since 1990, as well as
the political and economic factors associated
with these reforms.
A combination of quantitative and qualitative
methods will be employed to obtain a more
complete explanation of the politics and economics of EPL reforms. Specifically, the research will combine standard statistical techniques and more complex time-series crosssection (TSCS) regression analysis with
state-of-the-art qualitative methods in the
form of crisp-set and fuzzy-set Qualitative
Comparative Analysis (QCA). This multimethod approach should prove particularly
useful in the analysis of employment outcomes, as it will allow us to incorporate a
possibility that there may be more than one
recipe for good/bad employment performance. By recognising that the same outcomes may be the result of different causes,
this analysis may provide evidence against
one-size-fits all policy recommendations,
which often wrongly assume that what
works in one country will work everywhere.
By doing so, this research should yield important insights for both academics and policy makers.
‘Working Inside
Political Parties’,
Robin Kolodny
Robin Kolodny is a Fulbright Distinguished
Scholar in residence at the University of Sussex for the 2008-09 academic year. She is
Associate Professor of Political Science at
Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Kolodny’s award is for a combination of lecturing and research. An expert
in American elections, political parties and
campaign finance, Kolodny will teach on several courses in the autumn/spring term.
My research project centres on the question
of who does the work of political parties. I
have long been interested in the relationship
between political consultants and political
parties in the US and am now ready to expand this research comparatively. Political
campaigns rely on a combination of free and
paid labour to communicate with voters.
The chief objective of this study is to uncover the comparative composition of political party workers. The project will investigate how political parties recruit and maintain a volunteer corps, how they rely on paid
party members or activist donors, the
amount of professional staff members retained, and the use of political consultants.
Autumn 2008
parties rely on
more than one
of these labour
streams – and
some rely on all
The importance of having this knowledge relates to
Robin Kolodny
sense of contemporary scholars that political parties in
newer democracies are not as institutionalised as those in older democracies, and
more to the point, leads to a far less stable
party system, in which new parties emerge
and other parties exit the electoral stage.
Reliance on new technologies to communicate with voters is a central explanatory
variable in new party system instability, as
presumably the candidates dispense with the
traditional need to create a mass based
party organisation and instead create one
that is geared solely toward the science of
campaigning. My study takes this question
of the lack of a mass-based tradition a step
further, by asking not just how parties communicate with voters but who does the communicating. In newly established democracies especially, we must ask who now does
the work of political parties, institutions that
did not have a meaningful existence thirty
years ago. My hypothesis is that the individuals who now do the work of political parties were previously “Civic Engagers” in another institutional context. Individuals who
once worked for labour unions or community
groups might now be party employees. If,
then, political parties are vehicles for civic
engagement (as the literature has long
held), it should not surprise us then that democracies that did not have a history of social movements that produced mass-based
parties would still be able to invent party
organisations that depended on the infrastructure of other types of civic institutions.
While at Sussex, I first plan to develop a rubric for evaluating the composition of political party staffs. Second, I will determine
case selection for the comparative study. In
the autumn term, I will give several lectures
and informal talks on the 2008 American national elections. The elections will be historic
for many reasons, and the opportunity to
view them from abroad is extremely welcome.
* Research Fellow post available on
ESRC-funded project at
Sussex European Institute*
Department of Politics and
Contemporary European Studies,
University of Sussex
Duration: 18 months. Expected start date: 1
January 2009 or as soon as possible thereafter Salary: Grade 7 (£28,290 - £33,780
The Sussex European Institute is seeking to
appoint a Research Fellow to work on an
ESRC-funded project on the politics of labour market reforms and employment performance in the EU’s new member states.
The Research Fellow will work alongside the
principal investigator and contribute to data
collection, analysis, and dissemination of
We are looking for a post-doctoral researcher (or those expecting to hold PhD in
the near future) with a background in comparative politics/political economy, sociology
or economics, and a solid training in quantitative methods. You will have strong analytical skills and demonstrable experience of
research using applied quantitative techniques, including analysis of time-series
cross- section data. Interest in multi-method
analysis and cross- fertilisation with qualitative research would be an asset.
Informal inquiries may be addressed to Dr
Sabina Avdagic ([email protected] or
+44(0) 1273 67 8190)
For further particulars and how to apply see (Ref:362)
* Closing date for applications: 22 October
2008 * Interviews will be held in the week
commencing: 10 November 2008.
The University of Sussex
is committed to equality
of opportunity.
Leverhulme Trust
funded research on
the Conservative
Tim Bale
I was lucky enough to get a year off teaching courtesy of the Leverhulme Trust during
the 2007-8 academic year. This has helped
me immeasurably with a long-term project
on the British Conservative Party.
The aim of this project is to understand why
the Conservatives – normally such an adaptable party – took so long to recover from the
difficulties they got into after ditching Margaret Thatcher.
Why did the Tories not
make a convincing bid for the centre ground
of British politics until David Cameron came
along in 2005, and how and why has he
been able to successfully pursue such a
course when his predecessors either made
little effort to do so or were prevented from
so doing? It aims to answer this question by
getting inside the party, most importantly
via interviews with some of the key players
involved. But it also hopes to measure the
explanatory power of existing explanations
of inertia and change derived from the political science literature on political parties.
My research so far suggests that the deductive explanations of party inertia change put
forward by political scientists all are partially
correct but that none of these off-the-peg
explanations, either on their own or in combination, can adequately capture the complex interaction between ideas, interests,
institutions and individuals that led to the
Conservative Party ‘getting stuck’ before
2005 and then managing to free itself thereafter. The pursuit of strategies that are – to
an outsider anyway – clearly not going to
work is also a path-dependent process: leaders get locked into doing things that will not
help, and will often harm, their chances.
Moreover, though they are routinely thought
of as unprincipled opportunists, politicians
are ideological creatures: they cling to electorally damaging stances because they cannot bring themselves to embrace, or sometimes even to contemplate, the alternative.
And even when they do see they need to
moderate, they are often unable to resist
returning to issues that take them ‘offmessage’ and are even counterproductive.
They are also under intense pressure to deliver in the very short-term: this makes it
impossible to pursue a long-term strategy
even when defeat at the next election is almost inevitable. Finally there is a paradox
at the heart of party leadership: a party
needs to change most when it is unpopular,
but when it is unpopular the leader lacks
sufficient internal support and legitimacy to
pursue change. Moreover, only an exceptional leader continues to pursue change
when he or she apparently no longer needs
This research will produce two books and
has already produced one journal article and
a chapter in an edited book, as well as conference papers and shorter pieces in nonacademic outlets. I now have a contract for
two books arising directly from this research: the first, Getting the Message: The
Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron will be published by Polity Press sometime in 2009; the second, The Conservative
Party since 1945 will be published by Oxford
University Press in 2011. The following journal articles and book chapters have emerged
directly from this research:
(i) Bale, Tim (2008) ‘“A Bit Less BunnyHugging and a Bit More Bunny-Boiling”?
Qualifying Conservative Party Change under
David Cameron’, British Politics, 3 (3).
(ii) Bale, Tim (2009) ‘The Conservatives –
Trounced, Transfixed – and Transformed?’,
in Terrence Casey (ed) Britain after the Blair
Era (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
This research has also led to two articles to
be published in non-academic journals – one
for parliamentarians and one an e-journal
for A-level students and teachers:
(i) Bale, Tim (2008) ‘Passing the Wednesday-Friday Test’, Parliamentary Brief, July.
Autumn 2008
(ii) Bale, Tim (2008) ‘Qualifying the Common Wisdom: David Cameron and Conservative
The research has also helped me contribute
to the website for Conservative Party members and supporters, ConservativeHome,
which has been a useful source of feedback
and contacts with which will help me disseminate the main findings of the book next
Other Activities
In October 2007, I addressed a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference in
Blackpool held by the Electoral Reform Society. I spoke, with Fraser Nelson of the
Spectator, on the Tories and electoral reform. As a result of my attendance, I was
interviewed on the BBC’s World at One programme. I conducted research interviews at
this conference and at the party’s Spring Forum in Gateshead in 2008.
In September this year, I gave a paper on
the Conservatives and religion at both the
International Sociological Association meeting in Barcelona and the annual conference
of the Elections, Parties and Public Opinion
specialist group of the Political Studies Association. My paper was featured on the BBC’s
Westminster Hour programme, for which I
was interviewed.
The fellowship also gave me time to cofound a specialist group on Conservatives
and Conservatism of the Political Studies Association. I am also co-organising an academic conference on the Party at Nottingham University in December 2008. I will of
course be giving
a paper at the
based on this
Tim Bale
As a result of a
research interview with Rt
Hon. David Willetts MP, Mr Willetts
agreed to visit
Sussex in his
Shadow Secre-
tary of State for Innovation, Universities and
Skills and gave a very well-attended talk,
which I hosted and chaired, to our Politics
Society. Other Conservative MPs and candidates I met as a result of my research have
done or will be doing likewise.
Studying the Tories inevitably means I get
asked about how the Party will handle the
European issue. To which my answer is ‘I
don’t know and I’m not sure they do either!’
While it was therefore a pleasure to be
asked to give a talk on that very subject to a
local branch of the European Movement at
the beginning of September, I may well have
left them none the wiser! Given the state of
the Brown government, however, we may
not have long before we find out what treats
Cameron and co. have in store for the EU
and of course the UK too.
Constitutionalism and
Dr Yuri BorgmannPrebil, Sussex Law
I am currently in the process of converting
my thesis into a monograph. The provisional
title of the book is “The Rule of Reason in
European Constitutionalism and Citizenship”.
The book is a work of legal theory applied to
European law, in particular European constitutionalism and citizenship. Drawing on
Habermas and Alexy, it revisits and identifies crucial deficiencies in the legal theories
of Hart and Dworkin.
Substantively, the
central argument is that a rule of reason
governs the relationship between the European Union and its member states. I make
this argument with reference to the free
movement law of the internal market
(including the landmark judgement of Cassis) and the recently developed case law on
the free movement of citizens. I show how
both the contours of European and member
state legal systems on the one hand and
European and national citizenship on the
other are delimited
through an ongoing
judicial discourse. The
argument is influenced
by the theory of functionalism in that it
takes a critical stance
towards the nationstate as an unquestioned locus of authority and government to
which European conYuri Borgmannstitutionalism is conPrebil
ceived as a welcome
challenge. In this regard the purpose of the
legal theory dimension of the book is twofold. First, different theoretical approaches
to foundationalism of law are applied to the
EU constitutional context with a view to
identifying appropriate criteria of legal validity for European law. Second, the findings of
this investigation are then used to evaluate
the usefulness of the different theoretical
approaches employed.
Habermas’ discursive theory of law, which is
portrayed as reconciling legal positivism with
a normative account of law, is identified as
the most appropriate legal theory to conceptualise the contested nature of the foundations of European law, in general and the
constant delimitation of the boundary between member state and European law in
I have recently published two articles on
European citizenship. The first one, entitled
"The Rule of Reason in European Citizenship", 14(3) European Law Journal (2008)
pp 328, reviews the European Court of Justice's case law on European citizenship in the
light of relevant rights theories. The central
argument is that there is a conceptual analogy between the case law on European citizenship and the economic free movement
provisions of the Single Market. This approach leads to the stipulation of a thin, juridical conception of European citizenship
that does not rely in any way on thick, essentialist properties. The second one,
"European Citizenship and the Rights Revolution", 30(2) Journal European Integration
(2008) pp 311, focuses on the conceptualisation of European citizenship, which it is
argued is conducted predominantly through
a rights discourse.
I am also currently devising a future re-
search project on the legal dimension of the
European Higher Education Area as envisaged by the Bologna process. Whilst it is obvious that the creation of the European
Higher Education Area is complementary to,
and to some extent consequential of, the
Single Market, one of the objectives of the
investigation is to explore whether and to
what extent the approach to integration in
the area of Education is conceptually comparable, or even analogous, to Single Market
Visiting Research at
the SEI,
Stefano Braghiroli,
University of Siena
At the beginning of the 2008-09 academic
year I was faced with one of the most important and challenging decisions of my PhD
experience, concerning the definition and
organisation of my period of study abroad.
For the readers who don't know me, I am a
3rd year doctoral student in Comparative
and European Politics at the Centre for the
Study of Political Change (CIRCaP) of the
University of Siena, Italy. Considering the
strong international commitment of my research centre and its well-established ties
with a number of foreign universities, both in
Europe and in the US, this experience would
have been extremely relevant for both my
academic growth and, more in particular, a
clearer structure for my research project, of
which the final version has to be submitted
by the end of this academic term.
Given my analytical interest in the political
dynamics at EP level and, more specifically,
in the voting behaviour of the MEPs, not surprisingly, the Sussex European Institute
seemed to me the best possible choice, provided its internationally-recognised reputation and the quality of its research activities.
Day after day, this embryonic idea became
stronger and more concrete thanks to the
support of my thesis supervisor, Luca
Verzichelli, who actively favoured my choice
and to Niccolò Conti, a Research Fellow at
Autumn 2008
CIRCaP and former visiting student at the
SEI, who strengthened my determination by
celebrating the virtues of Brighton both academically and from a more socially-oriented
perspective. *Ex post* I can proudly claim
that my expectations were definitely right.
So, the decision was taken, but now it was
time to move ahead from theory to practice.
And, in order to grant a successful outcome
of my application process a few preliminary
steps were required. My arrival in Brighton
has been therefore preceded by some bureaucratic procedures concerning, among
others, the formal registration process and
the rental of a room in the University residence. Practically, it implied an abrupt insight into a different university system with
its own language and its own distinctive procedures. Words such as registration number,
application number, letter of acceptance,
confirmation letter, pre-definitive student
account, previously completely absent in my
vocabulary, used to become increasingly familiar.
Quite surprisingly I came to know that Italy
is not the only country affected by an overbureaucratic nature and that international
payment procedures (although within the
EU) are not as easy as they might seem.
Special thanks go to the staff of the University and of the Housing Office that proved to
be so keen to help me and that did everything possible to render intricate procedures
I finally arrived in the UK on April 15, just
two days after the Italian general elections
which had brought Berlusconi back to power.
Some might maybe think that this was a political exile, but as I said above my visiting
period had been planned earlier in advance.
From my first days in Brighton, I found the
SEI environment extremely stimulating both
socially. At
get in touch
and the faculty coupled
with a high
Stefano Braghiroli
level of in-
formality made it a perfect place for open
discussion and intellectual debate. Both my
supervisors, Paul Taggart and Tim Bale, followed the development of my work constantly throughout my visiting period. They
gave me very useful suggestions for the improvement of my thesis and successfully attempted to add a qualitative taste to the
eminently quantitative nature of my project.
Needless to say, the same holds true for the
SEI DPhil students who did everything to
make me feel at home in the research students' room C311. We established a very
friendly relationship and I am still in contact
with them.
During my visiting experience I never felt
like a stranger, I never felt detached. On the
contrary, everybody tended to behave with
me in a very informal and friendly way, in
order to make me feel fully involved in the
activities of the centre. Among others, I was
offered by my supervisors to take part to a
SEI-based project on "The New European
Parliament and the New European Parliamentarians". In practice, it gave me the opportunity to go to Brussels to conduct several interviews with Italian MEPs. That experience represented a very good chance to
increase my awareness of the EP institutional environment and to practically learn
how to interact with the MEPs.
When it comes to a less academic assessment of my experience, Brighton proved to
be exactly how I expected. It represents a
perfect place for students since it perfectlymatches the advantages of mid-sized city
with a vibrant cultural scene and an extremely vivid nightlife with its myriad of
pubs, bars, and discos. In one word, the
'best place to be' as it has been ranked in a
survey involving over 40 British universities.
The choice to rent a room in the city centre
proved to be equally right since it gave me
the opportunity to appreciate the real taste
of the city and to enjoy its extremely multicultural and cosmopolitan environment.
Frankly speaking the only two things that I
really missed in those three months have
been the milder weather of the Peninsula
and the Italian food, even if the latter has
been validly substituted by wonderful Indian
and Asian specialities.
Searching for strategy
in British politics,
Ralf Tils,
Visiting Fellow
Thanks to a kind offer of support from Paul
Webb, I gratefully took up the opportunity to
be a Visiting Research Fellow in PolCES and
the SEI at the University of Sussex from end
of April to beginning of July 2008. Alongside
being a great place to base myself whilst
‘Habilitation’ (second PhD), I was lucky
enough to spend time on the south-coast at
the best time of the English year; the
weather was super for the vast majority of
my time in the UK!
The main purpose of my sojourn in England
was to do some field work for my research
project on "Strategic Steering in Party Government". This project aims to develop and
employ a conceptual framework for analysing strategy and politics in systems of party
government. The two cases that I examined
were strategic governing processes in Great
Britain during the British Labour government
under Prime Minister Tony Blair (1997-2005)
and the German red-green government
(1998-2005) under Chancellor Gerhard
Schröder. The University of Sussex turned
out to be the right base to get valuable data
for the project, and, above all, served as an
optimal starting point for my interviews with
relevant actors from the Blair era.
Conducting interviews, of course, always
throws up interesting and, at times, funny
and odd moments. My interviews for this
project were no different. I got to know the
different colours of the carpets in the Houses
of Parliament (red, green, blue) and had to
learn about which carpets guests are allowed
to walk and stay on (never leave the red and
green ones!). Valuable knowledge indeed.
When I was in Number 10 to talk to Jeremy
Heywood, currently Gordon Brown’s Permanent Secretary and Tony Blair’s Principal Private Secretary from 1999 to 2003, a friendly
and helpful young woman led me directly to
the Cabinet Room where the Prime Minister
himself was sitting at the table and looked
as astounded to see me as I was to see him!
The clue to this puzzle: they mixed me
guest. Thankfully the
mix up was quickly
put right and I soon
had the opportunity
to talk to Mr Heywood for twenty-five
minutes, only to be
who served us a cup
of tea that in itself
Ralf Tils
took five minutes to
sort out! It was a further affirmation of the
general truth for empirical field work that
you have to be flexible and take every available opportunity!
I would like to say thank you to all members
of the department for the very warm welcome and their ongoing endeavours to make
my stay a pleasant and productive one. I
took advantage of the opportunity to hold a
seminar presenting some of my research
ideas and the participants proved to be very
helpful and critically-supportive discussants.
Furthermore, I experienced the rich intellectual life at the department and beyond, and,
last but not least, I liked meeting everyone
whether it was in the gym while playing
football (even if I did not understand the
quirky rules that were adopted) or the enjoyable evening in the Italian restaurant after Paul Taggart’s professorial lecture. The
only thing I still can’t forgive is that I drew
Austria in our “Great SEI Euro Championship
Football Pool“. Paul, what did you do with
the handsome sum that you won?
E-mails, Ebbsfleet, and
the new European
Paul Taggart and Tim
The summer saw the completion of our data
collection for our British Academy grant on
the study of roles of Members of the European Parliament. This built on the Nuffield
Autumn 2008
funded project under which we interviewed
50 new members of the European Parliament to see what roles they took in this new
institution when they first entered after the
elections in 2004. The BA grant allowed us
to return to re-interview 30 of the original
sample and to see how things had changed or not - in the intervening two or three
years. We had to steel ourselves once more
into electronically pestering the unsung heroes of the EP – the assistants – for interviews with their often very busy bosses.
And we had to get accustomed once again to
getting up in the wee small hours in order to
catch the early Eurostar to Brussels – this
time from Ebbsfleet rather than Ashford.
As an institution the EP is a rather strange
one. It is only one part of the EU’s legislative
process. It is less scrutinised by its electors
than other parliaments. And it is, with each
enlargement and treaty reform, changing in
terms of size, composition and competences.
This means that it presents in-coming new
members without prior experience with the
opportunity to take very different orientations towards what they should be doing.
And indeed, it became clear that MEPs took
very different orientations – with some focusing a particular set of policy concerns,
others being concerned with representing
constituencies, others drawing motivation
from the institution itself and still others
seeing themselves as evangelists for European integration. It was also clear that many
MEPs were unaware that others took very
different orientations.
The process of conducting over eighty interviews for this on-going project has been
both rewarding and challenging. The reinterviews are key to our project as we are
concerned with seeing how initial impressions and behaviours are either reinforced or
changed by extended experience in the
European Parliament. But to try and attain
second interviews with 50 MEPs has been
hard work. The MEPs have become busier
and harder to reach and we have been delighted to attain 30 interviews but it is the
usual story of needing much communication
prior to the interviews.
Our original sample of MEPs was deliberately
taken from across the range of party groups
and of member states. One of the challenges
we faced was getting hold of some nationalities. We were delighted then to have Ste-
fano Braghiroli as a visiting researcher (who
came to Sussex from the University of Siena
for the first part of 2008), on the project and
he successfully conducted interviews with
three Italian MEPs.
While our analysis of the data is, by no
means, complete, we are struck by the initial
impression that, as we expected, most initial
roles are reinforced over time but that some
MEPs have fundamentally changed their orientations. We are now moving to examine
that systematically over the whole of the
sample and to look at whether there are
common factors. Another initial finding was
that, while the new MEPs from the 2004
enlargement states were generally coming
with more political experience, that this prior
experience did not make a great deal of difference in determining how they saw their
roles in the EP.
An innovation for this second wave of interviews was a set of interviews with Commission cabinet members who serve as advisors
for the Commissioners. We used these as
‘control’ cases as we used those new to the
Commission and it is clear that there is also
a high degree of latitude as to how the role
of the cabinet member is understood. Again,
there was variation in the roles taken with
some, even in this most un-national of EU
institutions seeing national representation as
part of their brief.
The effort involved in attaining a large number of in-depth interviews has been considerable. We won’t miss all the emailing and
we won’t miss driving to Ebbsfleet that much
either. But we have enjoyed the process
and are looking forward to analysing all the
rich data we have collected and then writing
it up as a book that we hope will make a
contribution not just to academic (and hopefully popular) understanding of the European
Parliament but to legislatures more generally. The jumping off point for our study,
after all, was that the EP, and those who
work in it, need not be seen as sui generis.
Our research also confirms – like much of
the work done at the SEI – that one cannot
hope to understand European integration
without understanding ‘domestic politics’,
while the latter can no longer be understood
without taking into account the former.
Evaluating the Effects SEI Dispatches
An update on the activities of SEI members
of Accession
across Europe and beyond
Francis McGowan
This summer SEI successfully bid to carry
The Implications for
out a study for the European Commission on
the "non economic" impacts of enlargement.
Europe of the US
With 2009 marking the fifth anniversary of
the "fifth enlargement", the European Commission is keen to evaluate the effects of
Presidential Election
accession not only in economic terms (this
work is being carried out internally) but also
John McCormick
with regard to the ways in which the EU has
changed institutionally, externally and culturally.
University of Indiana,
Jim Rollo and myself are leading the project
SEI Visiting Research
along with Adrian Treacher and Gerard Delanty. Gerard, a contributor to SEI's graduFellow
ate and undergraduate teaching programmes as well as the author of many
books on the European idea and social and
cultural change in Europe, is leading the
"cultural" dimension of the study. Adrian is
leading the "external" dimension and I am
leading the "institutional" strand while Jim is
contributing to the external and institutional
aspects. In addition, Paul Taggart, Aleks
Szczerbiak, Alan Mayhew and Lucia Quaglia
are acting as advisors and reviewers on the
project. The project is also making use of
the talents of a number of SEI Faculty members; postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers who have been involved in searching and summarising a range of academic
and policy literature on the impacts of
enlargement (in English and a number of
other European languages).
We have sought to use this research resource as the basis for an analysis of the different enlargement effects upon the EU as a
whole as well as upon new and old member
states. In particular we are examining how
enlargement has affected the policy making
process, the conduct of political actors, the
outcomes of policy and perceptions of the
EU. The project is an intensive one, having
kicked off in August and with the final report
due in early November. The logistics of organising the material and condensing the
findings into a summary report are challenging. Overall however we are confident that
we will produce a comprehensive and insightful review of the impact of enlargement.
In almost every sense, the 2008 US presidential election is charting new territory. For
the first time in history, it is being contested
by two incumbent Senators (Barack Obama
and John McCain); it will replace a president
who has the lowest public approval ratings
since Richard Nixon, and who has already all
but disappeared from public view; it is being held at a time when 80% of Americans
feel that their country is headed in the
wrong direction; several states that have
long been reliably Republican or Democrat
are now in contention for the first time in
decades; and it will give the United States
either its first ever African-American president or its first ever female vice president.
Little wonder that it is attracting so much
interest, both domestically and internationally.
But although foreign policy experience has
been a prime question in the candidacies of
both Barack Obama and Republican VicePresidential candidate Sarah Palin, little attention has so far been paid in the US media
to the impact of the election on US relations
with Europe. Nearly everyone agrees that
things cannot be any worse than they have
been during the Bush administration. And
both Obama and McCain have promised that
they will rebuild US-European relations, listen more to what European allies have to
say, and work harder to build coalitions to
deal with urgent international problems.
Autumn 2008
They have also promised a bigger role for
Europe in responses to those problems. But
just how much will Europe really matter in
the calculations of the new president? The
answer depends on four factors.
First, how good a job will Europe do at expressing itself to the Americans? During the
Cold War, Americans became used to expecting either the support or the acquiescence of a weak and divided Europe. The
public and political opposition to Iraq took
many of them by shock, and certainly nothing has been the same since. But how soon
Americans can concede that Europe should
not always be taken for granted depends on
how good a job EU leaders can do at offering
a united front in their responses to threats
and crises, and at constructively opposing
US policy where they feel so moved. Given
past history, future prospects are not good.
Second, how multilateral is the new president likely to be? In spite of his attempts to
distance himself from George W. Bush,
McCain talks much of the same talk about
national security and the importance of a
strong military. Expect him to work more
closely with Europe, but also expect him to
go his own way if and when Europe opposes
his policies. His vice president may have almost no experience on foreign affairs, but
the conservative base that she was recruited
to encourage will be keeping a close eye on
what her boss does.
As for Obama, he will probably start out by
consulting actively with the Europeans, if
only to make up for his own lack of foreign
policy experience, but at the end of the day
will probably fall back into the strong arms
of the military-industrial complex, and at
least talk like someone with unilateralist tendencies, if not act like one. The Americans
may have been shocked by the European
response to Iraq, but whether Republican or
Democrat, they still have an inclination to
think of European soft power as appeasement.
Third, what will happen in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what will happen to the US economy? The US defence budget is already at
record levels, as are the national debt and
the trade deficit, and the US dollar is only
currently regaining some of its lost ground
because the eurozone is in a downturn. The
US cannot continue indefinitely to keep up
spending and military commitments
rates, which means
that they may well
have to depend increasingly
Europe to help sort
crises, which will in
turn mean listening
Europe. If Iraq continues to improve,
which seems likely,
John McCormick
and military commitments can be
both reduced and redirected at Afghanistan,
the Americans may be in a better mood to
work in a more cooperative manner with
Finally, how much will Americans and their
political leaders improve their understanding
of the significance of the European Union? It
is an almost unknown quantity in the US
(except when you talk about the euro, which
Americans do understand), and the majority
view over here is that Europe is still ultimately an agglomeration of independent actors rather than a vast new marketplace
with increased political clout. To make matters worse, no-one has yet replaced Tony
Blair as a leader who can capture media
headlines in the US, and the European presence in the American public sphere is that
much weaker as a result.
If Europeans could vote in this election, it
seems certain that Obama would win by a
landslide. He has electrified European
crowds like no other candidate or president
since John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan in
his better days. His message of change
seems to have been taken on board by Europeans, while John McCain – in spite of being
a less than mainstream Republican – still
seems unable to distance himself from Bush.
But while there is no doubt that the candidate is important (think how different transatlantic relations might have been if Al Gore
had won in 2000), the bigger issue remains
the kind of challenges that the new president is likely to face, and how much the
European position on those issues is likely to
be relevant to American calculations.
The EU’s Constitutional Imbroglio What Lessons?
Graham Avery,
European Policy Centre, SEI Visiting
Practitioner Fellow
For the last six years the European Union
has devoted much time and energy to institutional and constitutional questions. The
Convention on the Future of Europe led to
the Constitutional Treaty, which was killed
by referendums in France and the Netherlands. It was succeeded by the Lisbon
Treaty, which has been stopped by a ‘no’ in
Ireland. The way ahead is unsure. Will the
Irish be asked to vote again? Will they say
‘yes’? If not, can the Lisbon Treaty be
saved? No-one has answers to these questions, and we are almost back at square one.
This is a huge disappointment for those who
consider that institutional reform is a measure of the EU’s progress, and for those who
want to bring the EU closer to the people.
The Convention was a good experiment in
making the EU’s ‘deepening’ go parallel with
its ‘widening’. Its results were more substantial than those of the Intergovernmental
Conferences which preceded it, and its scope
was more comprehensive, with representatives of parliaments as well as governments,
and of the EU’s future member states as well
as existing members. But the fruit of its
work - the Constitutional Treaty - was the
victim of exaggeration, both in its presentation and in its ratification.
Firstly, it was oversold. It should not have
been described as a Constitution, and it
should not have been claimed to last for 50
years. Nor should it have been argued that
the Treaty was necessary to avoid paralysis
resulting from the EU’s extension from 15 to
27 members. The enlarged EU functions just
as well – or as badly – as it did before. The
reforms in the Treaty are desirable, but not
because of the arrival of new members: in-
Graham Avery
deed, some of the old members seem to be
less positive towards the EU than the new
ones. Secondly, the Treaty was subject to
referendums, including in countries such as
France and the United Kingdom where there
was no such constitutional requirement. Referendums may have a place in governance,
but they are not a good way of handling
complex international treaties, for which
parliamentary procedures are better suited.
In referendums people tend to exercise the
right to answer another question, typically
related to the competence of the government in office. It may be true that the EU
needs to be brought closer to the people,
but it was an error to substitute popular referendums for the elected parliaments which
are the centre-piece of the European model
of representative democracy.
In my view, two lessons can be learned from
this imbroglio. First, if we want to encourage
people to express their views on the EU, the
classic instruments of representative democracy – the European Parliament and national
parliaments – should be better exploited:
popular referendums are a bad solution.
Second, we should give more priority to
‘deepening’ the EU by developing its policies
and making them more effective: that kind
of progress is more interesting to most people than institutional reforms.
Graham Avery is a Practitioner Fellow at the
Sussex European Institute, University of
Sussex, a Senior Member of St. Antony’s
College, University of Oxford, and a Senior
Adviser at the European Policy Centre, Brussels. He served for 33 years in the European
Commission, of which he is an Honorary Director General.
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