Autumn 2008 The Newsletter of the Sussex European Institute Issue Number 38 euroscope 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 Inside ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 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 page 3 8 10 11 13 14 17 18 20 24 28 31 38 European and EuroAtlantic international organisations. I am delighted that we will have Edward Lucas, Central and East European correspondent for the ‘Economist’ and author of an important new book on ‘The New Cold War’, as a guest speaker at our research-in-progress seminar on November 25. Those interested in EU enlargement may also like to take a look at the Professor Aleks recently published Szczerbiak 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], http://www.sussex.ac.uk/sei/ Co-Directors Professor Jim Rollo & Professor Aleks Szczerbiak 2 euroscope 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 http://www.sussex.ac.uk/sei/1-4-2.html. 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 European Integration in 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 Papers During the summer term there have been four new additions to the SEI Working Papers series. These are: • SEI Working Paper No 103 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, Dr 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 Commission’s Directorate 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 104 John Palmer Beyond EU EnlargementCreating a United European Commonwealth 3 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 April. 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 106 Edward Maxfield A New Right for a New Europe? Basescu, the Democrats & Romania’s centre-right • SEI Working Paper No 105 Paul Blokker Constitutional Politics, Constitutional Text and Democratic Variety in Central and Eastern Europe 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: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ sei/1-4-10.html 4 euroscope European Parliament. He is looking at the three major party groups 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 economy. 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 position themselves and 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: http://www.oup.com/ uk/catalogue/? ci=9780199258307 http://www.oup.com/ uk/catalogue/? ci=9780199258352 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 workings. Aleks Szczerbiak and Monika Bil attended a Central and East European Language Based Area Studies network workshop on ‘Beyond Europeanization: The (Non-) 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 21. 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 Series. 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: www.sussex.ac.uk/ lectures. 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 Regulatory R e f o r m , BERR. With the well 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 on (a) what is meant by the concept of deep integration itself; (b) considering ways in which deep integration might be appropriately measured – here one could think of both outcome 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 Gasiorek, Ahmed Ghoneim, Michael Hobday, Bernard Hoekman, Peter Holmes, John Humphrey, Beata Javorcik, James Marku sen , Jan 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: http:// www.sussex.ac.uk/ Units/caris/conf2008/ conferencedig.html. 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- 5 New EPERN Papers 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 Briefing No.41 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 6 euroscope 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 memorated François 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 memory of François Duchêne to contribute to travel and research expenses for research Students of the University of Sussex in any discipline who pursue field work in continental Europe 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, MEP. Students from the MA in Contemporary European Studies (MACES) 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 Agenda’. 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 EU. SEI successfully bid to carry Autumn 2008 out a study for the European Commission on the "non economic" impacts of 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 £200,000. 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 Central and 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 Development Agency on its policy towards Ukraine. 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 Policy. September: UACES nual Conference An- The 38th UACES Annual Conference was held 1-3 September in Edinburgh on ‘Exchanging Ideas on Europe; Rethinking the 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- 7 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. Forthcoming: 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 Berlin. 8 euroscope SEI Working Papers in Contemporary 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] Abstract 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 those impacts, although it appears to have been greatest in those parties that were members of the large European party federations and EP groupings. Monika Bil In terms of general comparative 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] Abstract 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 term substitute for 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] Abstract 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- 9 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 over constitutional forms did not only entail struggles over political power and institutional set-up, but also involved symbolic struggles over the meanings of democracy. The importance of such meanings is revealed in a second step, when the constiPaul Blokker tutional documents 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] Abstract 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 10 euroscope Basescu, there appears to be more coherence and depth to its development than first meets the eye. The party has successfully crafted political appeals for a ‘post-transition’ 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 strong leadership. Narratives, though, play only a part in explaining the Democrats’ success – shared roots in political pragmatism, exploitation 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 Papers 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: www.sussex.ac.uk/sei/1-4-2-8.html • ELECTION BRIEFING No.41 THE ITALIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION OF APRIL 2008 Simona Guerra University of Nottingham School of Politics [email protected] Emanuele Massetti Sussex European Institute [email protected] Key Points All SEI Working Papers are downloadable free of charge from the web: ww.sei.ac.uk The Centre-Right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi and formed by the People of Freedom, the Northern League 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 • The Centre-Left coalition led by Walter Veltroni and formed by the Democratic Party and Italy of Values lost the contest for the government. The Democratic Party m a i n t ai n e d its 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. • ELECTION BRIEFING No. 42 EUROPE AND THE GEORGIAN EXTRAORDINARY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND PLEIBISCITES, 5 JANUARY 2008 11 SEI RESEARCH IN PROGRESS SEMINARS AUTUMN TERM 2008 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 Treaty’ 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 Conflict? 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 University, 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 If you would like to be included in our mailing list for seminars, please contact Gabby Barker or Amanda Sims, tel: 01273 678578, email: [email protected] 12 euroscope 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 country. Lyubka Savkova • The current President, Mikheil Saakashvili, won the election at the first round with 53.52% of the vote while the opposition candidate, Levan 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. • REFERENDUM BRIEFING PAPER NO 16 THE REFERENDUM ON THE TREATY OF LISBON IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND, 12 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 class. • 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 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 13 Representative Politics and European Integration 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: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ sussexlecturesarchive/paultaggart Paul Taggart’s Professorial Lecture 14 euroscope Lisbon in Limbo: the Aftermath of the Irish Referendum 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 economic and social groupings generally describe themselves as ‘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 15 system; and the other was the claim that the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty would weaken the options for the development of the Irish economy, especially as regards corporate taxation and foreign direct investment. The issues that have figured in the campaign Helen Wallace included many 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 16 euroscope 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 mandate, eventually 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 Date Subject 10 May 1972 Electorate Total poll For (%) Against (%) European Communi1,783,604 ties 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 2,542,840 1,457,219 (57,3%) 1,001,076 (69,1%) 448,655 (30,9%) 22 May 1998 Amsterdam Treaty 2,747,088 1,543,930 (56,2%) 932,632 (61,7%) 578,070 (38,3%) 7 June 2001 Nice Treaty 2,867,960 997,836 (34,8%) 453,461 (46,1%) 528,478 (50,4%) 19 Oct 2002 Nice Treaty 2,923,918 1,446,588 (49,5%) 906,317 (62,9%) 534,887 (37,1%) Autumn 2008 17 past, the EU will have to depend on evolutionary adaptation rather than designer reform. Politics Research in Progress Seminar Series Autumn 2008 References The Centre for Parties & Democracy in Europe and the Sussex European Institute ARTS C233 Wednesdays 2-4pm • Millward Brown IMS (September 2008), Post Lisbon Treaty Referendum Research Findings, for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin, available on http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/ • R. Sinnott (2001) Attitudes and Behaviour of the Irish Electorate in the Referendum on the Treaty of Nice, Dublin: European Commission Representation in Ireland. 21 October* SEI round table on ‘The Future of the Lisbon Treaty’ 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 University 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 illusion? 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 Organisations Daniel Keith, University of Sussex * Jointly with SEI (TUESDAYS 2.15-3.50 C233) **Joint with Politics and American Studies 18 euroscope 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 meeting. 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 19 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 way and learned many new things. Some of us used the opportunity to go to interviews in different institutions and use them as material for their dissertations. The study trip was eventful and diversified, and is probably already being ‘The MACES Melting-pot’ 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 20 euroscope recently joined. However, I fear I may not have entirely succeeded. The MACES course, with its wide range of options and m u l ti - n at i on al intake, offered a truly stimulating and enjoyMACES student able studying Stephen Booth experience, improved my 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 Seminars 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 Accession, 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 interest. 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 Michael Leigh outlined the policy of the EU on future enlargement, underscoring the advantages to the Union but not neglecting Alan Mayhew the 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 post-communist states, 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 21 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 22 euroscope look for ‘European’ explanations. Much of the discussion at the seminar focused on the analytical and conceptual problems of examining ‘EU impacts’ on domestic party politics. These included methodological 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 result. 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 situation. 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 Quaglia 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- 23 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. 24 euroscope ‘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 seminar also commemorated François 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 authorities losing 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; and authoritarian governments. The average GDP per capita in Ukraine was $2830, and the country was in a phase of negative economic 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 economy. Nathaniel Copsey Moldova was obsessed 25 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. 26 euroscope subsequently there has been a retreat from ‘plebiscitary politics’, withdrawing from referenda as a democratic method. When the French and Dutch voted ‘no’, these were votes against local political issues, but motivated by the loss of stable Paul Taggart employment, against economic liberalism 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. Paul 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 EU 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 Two. 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 out books on migrant themes. 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 not more widely publicised? What was being done about poverty on the eastern European borders? 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 27 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: www.sussesineurope.org/ Claude Moraes, MEP 28 euroscope 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 SECURINT experience 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 parliamentary and judicial control procedures which has shown a clear but limited increase of the powers of the European Parliament since the introduction of co-decision to 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 29 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). 30 euroscope 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 (CEECs), and in particular on their efforts to liberalise employment protecSabina Avdagic tion l eg i sl a t i on (EPL). Because 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 Most political parties rely on more than one of these labour streams – and some rely on all four. The importance of having this knowledge relates to the general 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. 31 * 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 pa) 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 research. 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 www.sussex.ac.uk/jobs (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. 32 euroscope Leverhulme Trust funded research on the Conservative Party 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. Questions 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. Answers 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 to. Outputs 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 Party Change’, E-Pol, www.politicaleducationforum.com 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 year. 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 conference based on this research. Tim Bale As a result of a research interview with Rt Hon. David Willetts MP, Mr Willetts kindly agreed to visit Sussex in his capacity as Shadow Secre- 33 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. ‘European Constitutionalism and Citizenship’, Dr Yuri BorgmannPrebil, Sussex Law School 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 34 euroscope 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 particular. 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 law. 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 simpler. 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 academically and socially. At the same time the facility to get in touch with the colleagues and the faculty coupled with a high Stefano Braghiroli level of in- 35 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. 36 euroscope 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 conducting my fieldwork for the ‘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 up with another 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 interrupted by an honourable butler 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 Parliamentarians Paul Taggart and Tim Bale 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- 37 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. 38 euroscope 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 39 spending and military commitments at their current rates, which means that they may well have to depend increasingly on Europe to help sort out international crises, which will in turn mean listening more closely to 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 Europe. 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. 40 euroscope 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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