The draft-Constitution of the European Union mentions several values on which the Union is based. The status of these values is rather ambiguous, as the Constitution speaks about 'values', about 'developing common values' and about values which are common to all nation-states. Strangely enough, in the political debates that followed the presentation of the draft-Constitution, the specific role of values in the making of the EU was not elucidated. These debates show us a rather muddled state of affairs. Six different themes can be distinguished that are interrelated in complex ways.
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Uniting Europeans by Values
A Feasible Enterprise?
Exporting or Pulling Down?
The European Social Model and Eastern Enlargement of the EU
This paper hypothesises that public support for the economic and political transformation in east-central Europe in 1989 was fuelled by enthusiasm for the reception of the (west) European Social Model, where the capitalist mode of production was combined with a high degree of social protection. In the first part of the article the author identifies the basic values of and the challenges to the European Social Model. Them he analyses the impact of the European Union on the transformation of east-central European social policy in the 1990s, and concludes that the negotiations concerning the accession of post-communist east-central European countries to the EU hardly contributed to the reception of the core values of the European Social Model in the new member states. Giving an overview of he social situation in the accession countries, the third part of the article calls the reader's attention to the alarming differences regarding the quality of life between the EU Fifteen and the new member states. In the final part, the author raises questions about the European Union's capacity to preserve the European Social Model, taking reactions of the members states to post-enlargement fears of social gaps between the east and west of Europe into consideration.
For Whom Is Europe?
A Friendly Reply
Henry R. Huttenbach
In a previous issue of the European Journal of Social Quality, Wolfgang Beck and Laurent van der Maesen raised the question: ‘Who is Europe for?’ Certainly not for the general populations, they conclude, judging from who designs the blueprints, formulates policy and executes and manages plans in and for the emerging European Union. Beck and van der Maesen raise the age-old plaint that the people, the citizens of and residents in multi-state Europe are being systematically bypassed by a bureaucratic elite more or less deaf to the voices and interests of the general public. Instead of decision-making taking place in the openness of the agora, in the public space, it is being made in camera by faceless and democratically unaccountable committees. The authors object to the new Europe increasingly run by experts, by arrogant professionals and by disinterested technocrats who harbour a basic contempt for grassroots democratic processes. In short, Beck and van der Maesen are critical of a Europe designed almost exclusively for transnational corporate interests and their allies – investment bankers, public officials, and so on.
A geography of debauchery
State-building and the mobilization of labor versus leisure on a European Union border
By comparing the spatial organization of Swedish labor and leisure practices today with the movements and stereotypes tied to previous generations of Sweden's sizeable population of so-called "vagrants," this article studies the impact of state policy on the spatial imagination of both citizens and other sojourners within its bounds. Because the ethnographic research for the article took place in a new transnational city that is being created by the European Union and various local proponents, the article then considers the same issue at the EU level, to pursue the question of the EU's "state-ness" and the status of migrant laborers within that emerging polity.
Between the Party and the European Union?
The Regulation of Working Time in France
Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos
Do parties matter when EU policy is implemented in France? This article examines this question first in the context of cleavage theory and the literature on party positioning on European integration that draws attention to the origin and the nature of party preferences, and second in light of empirical evidence from the implementation of the Working Time Directive in France. It shows that, when faced with the same issue, governments of different ideological orientation responded in a way that reflected their historically defined référentiel rather than an EU Diktat. The argument here, then, is that far from ending domestic political contestation on the Left-Right axis, European integration and its concrete domestic manifestations in France are in fact subject to it.
Clutching the Ladder of Development
European Sugar Reform in Poland
Dong Ju Kim
In the last two decades, privatisation has been slowly progressing in Poland. I examine the case of beet-sugar factories in western Poland, which were privatised between 1995 and 2003. As this process was coming to an end, reform for the European Common Agricultural Policy was implemented and, after Poland joined the European Union, the European sugar market reform started to take shape as a result of a global trade dispute on subsidised sugar prices. I recount the story of sugar factory privatisation and multiple reform processes from the viewpoint of sugar beet farmers, factory managers, and local rural experts from the province of Wielkopolska in western Poland. These accounts will show how sugar market reforms affected the aftermath of privatisation and factory close-downs, and how these experiences have prompted local people to think of being Polish within Europe, but reluctantly European within a global framework of sugar trade.
'Poland Has Always Been in Europe'
The EU as an Instrument for Personal and National Advancement
The paper explores ways in which individuals make use of the opportunities and resources provided by the European Union (EU), and how such instrumentalities can make the concept of Europe more salient for citizens. This is important to European Union studies generally because careful observation and analysis of everyday engagements can help to reveal the basis upon which the EU gains legitimacy, or, alternatively, the grounds for resistance to further integration. Through an examination of Poles' experiences of mobility, and their reflections about crossing national borders to work and travel, the paper shows that instrumentality is not just motivated by economic interests, but also by the desire to advance culturally, socially and symbolically within a global imaginary of hierarchically ranked nations. As such, support for European integration tends to weaken in situations where ongoing inequalities and exclusions lead to perceptions of social demotion. Further, instrumentalities can deepen meaningful engagement with the EU in ways that also reassert national loyalties.
The Transnational Turn Meets the Educational Turn
Engaging and Educating Adolescents in History Museums in Europe
History museums in Europe are transnationalizing their narratives. In contemporary historical sections they also increasingly include references to European integration and the present-day European Union. This "transnational turn" within a predominately European narrative frame meets the "educational turn." Museums attempt to transform themselves into more interactive spaces of communication. The meeting of these "turns" creates particular challenges of engaging and educating adolescents. I argue that in responding to these challenges, history museums in Europe so far use three main strategies: personalizing history, simulating real life decision-making situations, and encouraging participative narrating of the adolescents' own (transnational) experiences.
*Full article is in French
English abstract: The Western Bug is one of the major border rivers in Central and Eastern Europe. It is the border between Poland and Ukraine and between Poland and Belarus, but at the same time it is one of the European Union's external borders. Despite this particular position and a certain number of political, legal, economic and human barriers, cross-border cooperation is improving in order to preserve water resources and promote better management. This article illustrates the main steps that lead to this cooperation and seeks to analyze whether it will be possible to set up common management of the Bug river basin.
Spanish abstract: El Bug occidental es uno de los ríos más importante en Europa central y oriental ya que sirve como límite entre Polonia y Ucrania, Polonia y Bielorusia, y como frontera externa a la Unión Europea. A pesar de esta situación particular y de los numerosos obstáculos que superar (políticos, jurídicos, económicos y humanos), la cooperación transfronteriza avanza para preservar el recurso agua y gestionar mejor la cuenca hidrográfica del Bug. El artículo presenta las principales etapas de esta cooperación, las medidas implementadas y, analizando los principales obstáculos al establecimiento de una política común, se interroga sobre la posibilidad de una gestión conjunta en la cuenca del Bug.
French abstract: Le Bug occidental est une des principales rivières frontières en Europe centrale et orientale. Elle sert non seulement de limite entre la Pologne et l'Ukraine, la Pologne et la Biélorussie, mais aussi de frontière externe à l'Union européenne. Malgré cette position particulière et les nombreux obstacles à surmonter (politique, juridique, économique et humain), la coopération transfrontalière progresse en vue de préserver la ressource en eau et de mieux gérer le bassin hydrographique du Bug. L'article présente les principales étapes de cette coopération, les moyens mis en œuvre et s'interroge sur la possibilité de gérer en commun le bassin du Bug en analysant les principaux obstacles à la mise en place d'une politique commune.
This article is a thought experiment. It constructs ideal types of political representation in the sense of Max Weber. Inspired by Quentin Skinner and others, the aim is to give a rhetorical turn to contemporary debates on representation. The core idea is to claim an ‘elective affinity’ (Wahlverwandschaft, as Weber says following Goethe) between forms of representation and rhetorical genres of their justification. The four ideal types of political representation are designated as plebiscitary, diplomatic, advocatory, and parliamentary, corresponding to the epideictic, negotiating, forensic, and deliberative genres of rhetoric as the respective ways to plausibly appeal to the audience. I discuss historical approximations of each type of representation and apply the combination of representation and rhetorical genres to the understanding of the European Union’s unconventional system of ‘separation of powers’. I conclude with supporting parliamentary representation, based on dissensus and debate, with complements from other types.