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  • Author: George Tsebelis, Anastassios Kalandrakis
  • Publication Date: 07-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for German and European Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • Abstract: The paper studies the impact of the EP on legislation on chemical pollutants introduced under the Cooperation procedure. A series of formal and informal analyses have predicted from significant impact of the EP, to limited impact (only in the second round) to no impact at all. Through the analysis of Parliamentary debates as well as Commission and Parliamentary committee documents, we are able to assess the significance of different amendments, as well as the degree to which they were introduced in the final decision of the Council. Our analysis indicates first that less than 30% of EP amendments are insignificant, while 15% are important or very important; second, that the probability of acceptance of an amendment is the same regardless of its significance. Further analysis indicates two sources of bias of aggregate EP statistics: several amendments are complementary (deal with the same issue in different places of the legal document), and a series of amendments that are rejected as inadmissible because they violate the legal basis of the document or the germainess requirement) are included in subsequent pieces of legislation. We calculate the effect of these biases in our sample, and find that official statistics underestimate Parliamentary influence by more that 6 percentage points (49% instead of 56% in our sample). Finally, we compare a series of observed strategic behaviors of different actors (rapporteurs, committees, floor, Commission) to different expectations generated by the literature.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the past few weeks the Belgrade authorities have sacked a number of key public officials. The two most prominent were security chief Stanisic and head of the army general staff Perisic. The firings triggered much speculation in the international media about the stability of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's regime. According to one interpretation, the sackings signal a fundamental weakness in government ranks, with Milosevic moving pre-emptively to oust potential rivals to his authority. Alternatively, the sackings may represent an attempt by the Yugoslav President to further consolidate his power base and to effectively rule with the backing of Yugoslavia's military and security establishments. Both Stanisic and Perisic were seen as Milosevic's opponents on several key policies, notably Belgrade's handling of relations with the Kosovo Albanians. Both Perisic and Stanisic, reportedly moderates not favouring the use of severe force against the Kosovars, have been replaced by Milosevic "yes-men" regarded as proponents of a violent resolution of the Kosovo question. If this is even in part the case, Stanisic's and Perisic's sackings do not necessary reflect a weakness in Milosevic's rule. Instead, the sackings may only signal Milosevic's resolve to return to force as a means of regional problem solving.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Three years after the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), the country has many of the trappings usually associated with statehood such as a common flag, currency, vehicle licence plate and passport. However, these and other breakthroughs have generally required disproportionate amounts of time and effort on the part of the international community and have all too often been rammed through in spite of Bosnia's domestic institutions. Despite visible progress towards many of the goals contained within the DPA, therefore, Bosnia's peace still gives the impression that it is built on shifting sands. Moreover, although critical to the peace process, the scale of the international presence, which increasingly resembles a protectorate, is in some ways counter-productive to Bosnia's long-term future. On the one hand, domestic institutions and politicians have to a large extent given up responsibility for governing their own country. On the other, the massive international stake has led key international players to declare the peace process a success, irrespective of how it is actually evolving. The international presence is also extremely expensive, costing some $9 billion a year.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has dominated Croatian political life since multi-party elections in April 1990 brought an end to communist rule. The HDZ has been a broad movement rather than a modern political party, representing a wide range of political views and interests, united behind its leader, President Franjo Tudjman, in the aim of achieving Croatian sovereignty and independence. In 1990-91, large areas of the country were taken over by rebellious Croatian Serbs, with support from Belgrade. Thus for most of the period of HDZ rule in Croatia, large chunks of the country remained outside Zagreb's control, and the overriding priority was to restore Croatia's territorial integrity, a goal which was finally achieved in January 1998. Croatia also became enmeshed in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) as, supported by Croatia, the Bosnian Croats fought their erstwhile Bosniac allies in 1993-94. The obsession of Tudjman and the hard-line Herzegovina lobby in the HDZ with the dream of eventually detaching chunks of Bosnian territory and joining them with Croatia has been a persistent cause of international pressure on Croatia, as well as of division within Croatian politics.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As winter approaches in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), conditions for refugee returns to that country become increasingly difficult. In neighbouring Croatia, by contrast, the weather is generally milder so that, given political will, refugees should be able to return to their homes throughout the winter months. Moreover, the Croatian government is organising a reconstruction conference next month, at which it hopes to obtain pledges of international support to help rebuild its war-damaged country. Many refugees from Croatia are Serbs – of whom some 300,000 now reside in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska – who fled previously Serb-held regions of Croatia in the wake of the Croatian Army's 1995 military offensives.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Sandzak is an area within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that borders Serbia and Montenegro. It has a multicultural, multiethnic history and a majority population that is Muslim. Since the rise of Serbian strong-man Slobodan Milosevic to political power the majority Muslims have been the targets of coercion. For the time being, the major issue is Milosevic's continuing repression of human and political rights. Stating that, however, is not concluding that the area is entirely immune from the effects of a serious and full-blown military crisis.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The International Crisis Group has decided to publish the report, prepared by the Public International Law and Policy Group, as a contribution to the debate on the future status of Kosovo. The views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the International Crisis Group.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Macedonians go to the polls on 18 October 1998 in the first of two rounds of voting to elect 120 members of the country's parliament. The forthcoming poll is Macedonia's third general election since the disintegration of one-party communist rule. Moreover, it takes place in the shadow of ethnic violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the neighbouring Serbian province of Kosovo and political instability in neighbouring Albania. Although Macedonia has managed to avoid the violent conflict which has afflicted the rest of the former Yugoslavia, its experience of democracy has so far been mixed. Politics is divided along ethnic lines and the last multi-party elections in 1994 were marred by accusations of fraud with two major parties boycotting the second round of voting.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The stakes in Bosnia's forthcoming elections, the fifth internationally-supervised poll since the end of the war, could not be higher, for Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) and also for the international community. Having invested enormous financial and political capital in the peace process, the international community expects a return on its investment. That is why leading international figures including US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have entered the Bosnian political fray, urging Bosnians to back parties which "support Dayton" and threatening to withdraw aid if they do not. The elections will bring some changes so the event will be hailed as a triumph. However, they will not lay the ground for a self-sustaining peace process. That can only be achieved by political reform and, in particular, a redesign of the electoral system to guarantee Bosnians ethnic security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite considerable progress since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) in November 1995 in consolidating the peace and rebuilding normal life in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), international efforts do not appear to be achieving the goal of establishing Bosnia as a stable, functioning state, able at some point to run its own affairs without the need for continued international help. Peace, in the narrow sense of an absence of war, has been maintained; progress has been made in establishing freedom of movement throughout the country; joint institutions, including the state presidency, parliamentary assemblies and ministries, as well as a joint command for the armed forces of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federation), have been established.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Migration, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe