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  • Author: Fabrizio Cafaggi, Horatia Muir Watt
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: The current debate on the desirability and modes of formation of European Private Law (“EPL”) is engaging a wide number of scholars and institutions. Current work concerns the search for a common core of EPL, the rationalisation of the acquis communautaire, the design of a European Civil Code. These ongoing projects raise at least two related questions concerning the challenges to Europeanisation of private law: First, what is the often implicit definition of priv ate law standing behind the debate about the creation of EPL? Second, does the process of creation of EPL need some type of governance structure?
  • Topic: Development, Government, International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Susana Borrás
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Recent transformations in the European Union have been putting significant pressure on the management function of the European Commission. Examining its brokerage position in policy networks, this article asks what kind of role does the Commission have in the political interactions in Brussels after the year 2000. Developing a conceptual framework about brokerage roles in EU policy, the article uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative data in an empirical analysis of two very different cases where the Commission has been embattled the past years. The article argues that previous reports of the Commission's demise are much exaggerated, because it continues playing a leading role in managing interaction between multiple actors at different levels of governance. The empirical results show that the Commission is a resilient central network broker.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ank Michels
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Democracies in Europe differ in what they see as being at the core of the democratic system. In some countries, citizen participation constitutes the fundamental tenet of democracy; in others, democracy is closely linked to pluralism and the protection of minorities. This paper tries to identify certain core principles of the Dutch democratic system that are reflected in the institutions and political culture that have to come to define the democratic system and are derived from the intellectual context in which the system emerged. It does so by asking two questions. The first is: what are the core principles of Dutch democracy that are reflected in the democratic system? Five core principles are distinguished, each of which has been institutionalised in various ways. The second question is: which ideas on democracy of key political thinkers of the 19th and early 20th century are relevant to understanding the core principles of Dutch democracy? This paper explores the normative theories on democracy of a number of political thinkers in the Netherlands. Traces of different theories appear to be present in the core principles of the Dutch democratic system.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Netherlands, Dutch
  • Author: Anne Corbett
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: This paper argues that at a time in which higher education has become central to the concerns of EU institutions as well as national governments, it is helpful to understand current policy initiatives - both the spin offs from the EU's Lisbon strategy and the intergovernmental Bologna Process – in the comparative terms of the dynamics of policy-making. Drawing on institutionalist frameworks biased towards process (Kingdon 1984, March and Olsen 1989, Barzelay 2003) and comparative historical analysis, it presents policy initiatives from the period 1955-87, including the supranational European University proposal and the Erasmus programme, as both historical events, and theorised configurations of agenda setting, alternative specification, and choice. It suggests that such a framework can be helpful to both those interested primarily in European integration and those whose interests lie in the dynamics of higher education policy-making in a multi-level setting.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Philip Manow, Holger Döring
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Voters who participate in elections to the European Parliament tend to use these elections to punish their domestic governing parties. Many students of the EU therefore claim that the party-political composition of the Parliament should systematically differ from that of the Council. This study, which compares empirically the party-political centers of gravity of these two central political actors, shows that opposed majorities between Council and Parliament may have other than simply electoral causes. The logic of domestic government formation works against the representation of politically more extreme parties, and hence against more EU-skeptic parties in the Council. At the same time, voters in EP elections vote more often for these more extreme and more EU-skeptic parties. The different locations of Council and Parliament in the pro-/contra-EU dimension may thus be caused by two – possibly interrelated – effects: a mechanical effect, due to the translation of votes into seats and then into ‘office’, and thus also into Council representation, and an electoral effect in elections to the European Parliament. The paper discusses the implications of this fi nding for our understanding of the political system of the EU and of its democratic legitimacy.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wojciech Sadurski
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: The language of common European constitutional identity is distinguishable from that of common European constitutional traditions in that the former does not focus so centrally on the past, and is independent of the legal doctrinal language of the EU law. When discussing constitutional identity, there are, in particular, the following four questions which deserve to be addressed: (1) What are we doing when we are “constructing” the European constitutional identity; what are the features of the interpretation leading to such a construction? (2) What values/ideals/principles are a part of our constitutional identity? (3) How does European constitutional identity relate to the specific constitutional identities of European nation-states? (4) What is the relationship between the discourse about political integration within the EU and the existence of European CI, as separate from, and paramount to, identities of member states? On that last issue it is submitted that there is no simple connection between ascertaining the dominant identity at a particular level and the implications for the division of authority between the European and national levels within the EU.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wojciech Sadurski
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Soon after the accession of eight post-communist States from Central and Eastern Europe to the EU, the constitutional courts of some of these countries questioned the principle of supremacy of EU law over national constitutional systems, on the basis of their being the guardians of national standards of protection of human rights and of democratic principles. In doing so, they entered into the well-known pattern of behaviour favoured by a number of constitutional courts of the “older Europe”, which is called a “Solange story” for the purposes of this article. But this resistance is ridden with paradoxes, the most important of which is a democracy paradox: while accession to the EU was supposed to be the most stable guarantee for human rights and democracy in postcommunist States, how can the supremacy of EU law be now resisted on these very grounds? It is argued that the sources of these constitutional courts' adherence to the “Solange” pattern are primarily domestic, and that it is a way of strengthening their position vis-à-vis other national political actors, especially at a time when the role and independence of those courts face serious domestic challenges.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: The fragmented nature of national and international legal and dispute settlement regimes, and the formalistic nature of the customary international law rules on treaty interpretation and conflicts of laws, offer little guidance on how national and international judges should respond to the proliferation of competing jurisdictions and the resultant incentives for forum shopping and rule shopping by governments and non-governmental actors in international economic law. Due to their different jurisdictions, procedures and different rules of applicable laws, national and international judges often interpret international trade law from different (inter)national, (inter)governmental, constitutional and judicial perspectives. This paper explores the judicial functions of national and international judges to reach justified decisions based on positive law, on the basis of transparent, predictable and fair procedures, and to interpret international treaties “in conformity with principles of justice.” Chapters I to III explain some of the “principles of justice” underlying international trade law and argue that international rules for a mutually beneficial division of labour among private citizens should be construed with due regard to the human rights obligations of governments. Chapters III and IV propose to strengthen international cooperation among national and international courts, for instance by negotiating additional WTO commitments to interpret domestic trade laws in conformity with the WTO obligations of the countries concerned and to settle WTO disputes over private rights primarily in domestic courts, without transforming essentially private disputes into disputes among governments.
  • Topic: Development, Government, International Trade and Finance, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Henry Farrell, Adrienne Héritier, Carl-Fredrik Bergström
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: In this article we explain how actors' ability to bargain successfully in order to advance their institutional preferences has changed over time as a function of the particular institutional context. We show how actors use their bargaining power under given institutional rules in order to shift the existing balance between legislation and delegation, and shift the rules governing delegation in their favour, between formal treaty changes. We argue that a collective actor's preferences over delegation is a function of whether the actor has more ability to influence policy through delegation or through legislation. We go on to argue that the degree to which a specific actor's preferences can prevail (in a setting in which different actors have different preferences) will depend upon its bargaining power under existing institutional rules, i.e. its ability to impede or veto policy in order to change the division between legislation and delegation and the rules of delegation. Our primary focus in this article is on choice over procedure; i.e. the battles over whether or not delegation or legislation should be employed. We maintain a secondary focus on change in procedure, examining how different procedures of comitology have come into being and been removed from the table. We examine the evolution of the debate over comitology and implementation, over five key periods. We scrutinize how actors within these periods seek to shift the balance of legislation and delegation and the rules of delegation according to their preferences. Our conclusions assess our empirical findings on the basis of our model.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Holger Döring
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Recent theoretical studies question the view that the European Commission is a preference outlier. This paper addresses this question by discussing the composition of the European College of Commissioners and by focusing on the appointment process. The analysis is based on a dataset that contains biographical information for all commissioners since 1958. The analysis highlights the importance of commissioners' party affiliation and their former political positions. Multivariate regression analysis shows that smaller member states have tended to send more high-ranking politicians to the College of Commissioners than larger member states. However, party affiliation has not become more important as an appointment criterion. What has changed with time has not been the party link but the caliber of positions held by commissioners before they are appointed to the College.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sabina Avdagic
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Are newly established institutions capable of shaping actors' strategies and coordinating behavior on a single path? Contrary to punctuated equilibrium analyses, this paper suggests that the constraining capacity of a range of newly established institutions in new European capitalisms is weak and that their very interpretation is subject to contention. Focusing on peak-level tripartism – a formally similar institution whose functioning has varied across national contexts – this paper proposes an actor-centered framework to elucidate the logic and consequences of actors' ongoing strategic maneuvering for the interpretation, enactment, and development of these young institutions. Combining insights of rational choice and historical institutionalism, the paper develops a heuristic model which, by focusing on strategic choices of government officials and union leaders, links the varied enactment of tripartism to different power balances that become mutually accepted in the course of their repeated interactions. In offering a set of falsifiable propositions, the paper provides a guideline for building analytical narratives to evaluate empirically this model.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rainer Nickel
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: European Governance is more than just a policy instrument without legal significance. Its regulatory sub-divisions, such as Comitology, the Lamfalussy procedure, and the growing number of European administrative agencies, have colonized substantive parts of the law-shaping and law-making processes. This contribution argues that European Governance is a distinct phenomenon that cannot be easily reconciled with traditional notions of legislation and administration, but needs to be theorized differently. Accordingly, its legal shape has to be adjusted to this new situation, too. Neither a - still only vaguely defined - concept of 'accountability', nor a non-binding policy concept of 'good governance' can fill this gap.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Antoaneta Dimitrova, Mark Rhinard
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Transposition research provides an excellent opportunity to bring new data to bear on two of the most dominant theoretical approaches to European Union studies: rational choice institutionalism and sociological institutionalism. Yet the goal of comparable testing is hampered by the underspecified nature of the sociological perspective. This paper takes some steps towards identifying and operationalising a sociological explanation of the transposition of EU directives. Examining an array of alternatives, we single out an approach that focuses on the transmission of norms as a way to explain transposition delay and content changes, and on persuasion to help explain norm change over time. To probe the validity of our explanation, we apply it to a case study of the transposition of two anti-discrimination directives from 2000 in Slovakia. In short, our paper aims to move forward the search for a testable sociological framework in EU studies, while offering an operational approach to studying the process of transposing EU directives.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Slovakia
  • Author: Ulf Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: This chapter analyses the processes and dynamics of institution building in the European Union (EU). While most studies of EU institution building have dealt with the birth and evolution of key institutions, such as the legislatives, the executives or the courts, the focus is here on a different aspect of democratic governance: the informational foundation of the EU. The chapter examines developments and changes in the organization of numerical information in the EU, in particular the role of Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Commission. How and to what extent can we observe the emergence of a pan-European informational system? How and to what extent has the European information system in Europe interacted and worked together with national statistical institutes?
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David J. Howarth
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: The failure of the Raffarin Government to respect the Stability and Growth Pact (Stability Pact, SP), its call for the Pact's reconceptualisation, reform of the management of the Euro-zone's monetary policy and EU-level reflation should be seen not as a significant change in French policy on 'gouvernement économique' (that is, EU-level economic governance (GE) but as a reassertion of long standing but contradictory French preferences. French policy-makers have been caught in a dilemma with regard to the construction of the Economic dimension of EMU between two strong preferences: on the one hand the supranational consequences of a dirigiste approach to macro-economic policy and, on the other hand, a Gaullist reflex to retain sovereignty as much as possible and to insist upon intergovernmentalism in EU-level macroeconomic policy-making. The 'price stability' function of GE as embodied by the Maastricht Treaty rules on convergence and the SP has been consistently marginalized in the discourse of French governments of both the Right and Left. Rather EG has been presented in five overlapping ways which can all be seen in terms of the paradox of the French pursuit of both reinforced macroeconomic policy coordination at the EU level yet also national margin of manoeuvre through intergovernmental policy making. Crucially, this paradox also explains the lack of clarity and inconsistency in French pronouncements on GE. Most elements of the 2002 Commission and Ecofin SP reform proposals and the precise elements of the Pact reform finally agreed in March 2005 met with French approval given that they render the SP more flexible allowing greater margin of manoeuvre in the development and implementation of the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPG) and the application of the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP), thus better meeting French intergovernmentalist preferences on EG but undermining the coordination of national macroeconomic policies that could contribute to an effective policy mix with the ECB's monetary policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Torbjorn Larsson, Jarle Trondal
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: This study offers an organisation theory approach that claims that the differentiated organisational constellation of the European Union contributes to a differentiated Europeanisation of domestic core-executives. It is argued that the European Commission mainly activates the lower echelons of the domestic government hierarchies, notably professional experts within sector ministries and agencies. Furthermore, the European Commission arguably weakens domestic politico-administrative leadership, the Foreign Office and the Prime Ministers Office. By contrast, the Council of Ministers arguably strengthens domestic politico-administrative leadership, the Foreign Office and the Prime Ministers Office. A comparative analysis of the decision-making processes within the central administrations of Norway and Sweden is offered. Based on a rich body of survey and interview data this analysis reveals that multi-level interaction of administrative systems between the European Commission and the Norwegian and Swedish central administrations occur largely outside the control of the domestic politico-administrative leadership, Prime Ministers Office and Foreign Office. In Sweden this tendency is to some extent counterbalanced by the inter-sectorally interlocking effect of the Council of Ministers.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas Christiansen
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: The recent period of Europe an integration has witnessed the attempt by elites to formalise the long-standing trend towards a constitutionalisation of the European Union. The paper asks whether this process of constitutionalisation, together with a twin process of territorialisation – the development of the EU as bounded political space – can be seen as a move towards state- building at the European level. In order to address these issues, the paper assesses in turn the significance and the impact each of the two processes may have on the 'remaking' of Europe. In this context, the EU's Nordic Dimension, the debate surrounding the Turkish application for EU membership and the evolving Neighbour Policy of the Union are looked at in more detail. By way of conclusion this paper argues that the discourses – rather than the decisions – which have dominated the integration process in recent years, mark something of a departure from the previous 'post-Westphalian' path of European integration, and instead point towards a more statist conception of the Europe an Union. It remains to be seen to what extent these discourses will subsequently have ramifications in normative, institutional and policy-terms, and what resistance to the choices implicit in these discourses will have to confront.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian Joerges, Rainer Nickel, Damian Chalmers, Florian Rödl, Robert Wai
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: The clear rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty by the French and Dutch electorates seems to reflect, at least in part, the uneasiness of many European citizens with a Europe which they perceive to govern "from above" with insufficient legitimacy, and without an adequate balance of free market vs. social concerns.
  • Topic: Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Vivian A. Schmidt
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Public discourse, understood both as ideas about public action and interactive processes that serve to 'coordinate' the construction of those ideas and to 'communicate' them to the public, has been central to the success (or failure) of the reform projects of social democratic parties. Certain background factors, including countries' policy legacies, problems, preferences, and capacity set the stage for reform while good ideas which are cognitively sound and normatively appropriate as well as relevant, coherent, and consistent contribute to reform success. But institutional context also matters with regard to how ideas are conveyed to whom, with 'simple' polities emphasizing the 'communicative' discourse to the general public and more 'compound' polities the 'coordinative' discourse among policy actors. This is demonstrated with examples from Germany, France, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands