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European Union

Are the Founding Ideas Obsolete?

Isabelle Petit and George Ross

On 9 May 1950, in an elegant salon of the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, France’s Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and Germany, plus any other democratic nation in Western Europe that wanted to join, establish a “community” to regulate and govern the coal and steel industries across national borders. France and Germany had been at, or preparing for, war for most of the nineteenth and twentieth century, at huge costs to millions of citizens. Moreover, in 1950 iron and steel remained central to national economic success and war-making power. The Schuman Plan therefore clearly spoke to deeper issues.

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Marco Brunazzo

On 1 July 2014, Italy took over the rotating six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union. Expectations for the Italian presidency were high. This chapter argues that these expectations were always unrealistic, as the Italian presidency had to deal with the fallout of the European Parliament elections. Nevertheless, Italy managed to pursue its interests by securing important nominations to the European Commission, pushing the EU to do more on migration policy, and encouraging moves to foster greater investment at the European level.

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Inequality and poverty

The ill-fitting pieces in the EU’s development partnerships

Riina Pilke and Marikki Stocchetti

European Union (EU) development policy—poverty eradication and sustainable development in developing countries—poses a challenge in itself to any external intervention. Adding a reduction of inequality to this equation as another emerging development policy

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Mark Gilbert

The year 2004 was a crucial one for the European Union (EU) and an

important one for Italy’s policy toward European integration. As the

rhetoric surrounding the signature of the EU constitution in Rome dies

down, the time is ripe for a preliminary analysis of Italy’s strategy and

tactics during the complex negotiations carried on during the Irish

presidency of the EU in the first six months of 2004 and of Italy’s overall

approach to European questions in the year as a whole. Inevitably,

this analysis can only be provisional in character. The task of providing

a final assessment of the aims and objectives of the Berlusconi

government will fall to a future generation of diplomatic historians.

Nevertheless, a broad generalization about Italy’s European policy in

2004 can already be made. The Berlusconi government, which has

often been accused of a degree of ambivalence toward the European

project, seemingly did attempt to “return, free from the responsibilities

of the presidency, to reaffirming the most advanced European

principles.” More pragmatically, it also strove hard to reassert Italy’s

place as a country that counts within the newly enlarged union.

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Leading through a Decade of Crisis—Not Bad, After All

Germany’s Leadership Demand and Followership Inclusion, 2008-2018

Valerio Alfonso Bruno and Giacomo Finzi

Introduction: The European Union in the Decade of Crisis (2008-2018) Since the global financial and economic crisis began in 2008, 1 the European Union ( eu ) has been hit by a number of crises of different natures, resembling as an almost

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John Agnew

-regional communities worldwide. In 2001, I published an article ( Agnew, 2001 ), which argued in relation to the emerging eastward expansion of the European Union (EU) that the older goals of what was now the EU—increased European global economic competitiveness with

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Christian Schweiger

Throughout the past decade, the European Union has witnessed substantial and multiple crises. The 2008 global financial crisis was followed by the triple banking, economic, and sovereign debt crisis in selected Eurozone (and non

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Uniting Europeans by Values

A Feasible Enterprise?

Jan Berting

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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Exporting or Pulling Down?

The European Social Model and Eastern Enlargement of the EU

Gábor Juhász

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.

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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.