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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