be the source of oppositions and conflicts between different social groups. This is already a very important problem on the national and regional level, but it is an even more important problem when we are speaking about Europe, the European Union
On 1 July 2003, Italy assumed for the seventh time the presidency of
the European Union. The previous Italian presidency was held during
the first semester of 1996 under the leadership of Romano Prodi. For
various reasons, which will be explored in the first section of this
chapter, the role of the presidency of the EU has been of great political
importance not only in Europe but also on domestic and international
levels. Every member state has, in its own history, experienced
an EU presidency that was more or less successful and that helped
build its European reputation. Beyond producing effective reports, the
previous six Italian presidencies contributed to the construction of the
image of a country that, although politically weak, identified strongly
with the values and objectives of European integration. The 1996
presidency, marked by salient issues such as the start of intergovernmental
negotiations that led to the Treaty of Amsterdam, growth and
employment, and preparation for monetary union, had even managed
to increase Italy’s European credibility.
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.
Ulrike Guérot and Michael Hunklinger
In spring 2020, Europe was struck by a virus. COVID-19 has paralyzed the European Union and the political turning point of the COVID-19 crisis will drag on Europe—on the EU—for a long time to come. The EU displayed a bad picture, at least in the
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.
Vittorio Emanuele Parsi
In 2015, Italy’s foreign policy was focused on issues that were linked to the attempt to boost Italy’s international reputation: the Libyan question, the migration crisis, and Italy’s role in the European Union. As for the first two issues, the Renzi government has sought to “Europeanize” them, with the aim of not being “left alone” in dealing with their consequences. The third issue concerns Renzi’s effort to gain fiscal flexibility and “change the course” of the European Union. However, in Europe the prime minister has found himself isolated and has struggled to lead coalitions on issues that are very relevant for the national interest. The assessment of the Renzi government’s action in foreign policy in 2015, ultimately, can be read in two ways: if it is evaluated against announcements, expectations, and demands of the prime minister, the result is disappointing; if it is measured in a more realistic fashion, the appraisal can be less harsh.
The Subversive Performances of Tanja Ostojić
The article explores the artwork of Tanja Ostojić, an interdisciplinary artist from Serbia who uses performance art to examine social and political issues. Ostojić in particu- lar expresses the migrant woman’s perspective when facing today’s world of political and economic inequities. With caustic humor, the artist examines who occupies cen- ter positions and who remains in the margins. Ostojić’s subversive performances blur the boundaries between art and life. Her use of her own body, personal history, and identity reflects a feminist perspective. Placing Ostojić’s work in the longer history of performance art, this article analyzes how this provocative artist pushes the boundar- ies of art and culture by denouncing the power dynamics that rule exclusive systems such as the Western-dominated art world and the European Union.
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.
Joseph Lacey, Centripetal Democracy: Democratic Legitimacy and Political Identity in Belgium, Switzerland, and the European Union (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 312 pp., ISBN: 9780198796886 The European Union (in the form of its
A critique of immigration policy in Germany through the lens of Turkish-Muslim women's experiences of migration
The largest group of migrants in Germany is the Turkish people, many of whom have low skills levels, are Muslim, and are slow to integrate themselves into their host communities. German immigration policy has been significantly revised since the early 1990s, and a new Immigration Act came into force in 2005, containing more inclusive stances on citizenship and integration of migrants. There is a strong rhetoric of acceptance and open doors, within certain parameters, but the gap between the rhetoric and practice is still wide enough to allow many migrants, particularly women, to fall through it. Turkish-Muslim women bear the brunt of the difficulties faced once they have arrived in Germany, and many of them are subject to domestic abuse, joblessness and poverty because of their invisibility to the German state, which is the case largely because German immigration policy does not fully realise a role and place for women migrants. The policy also does not sufficiently account for ethnic and cultural identification, or limitations faced by migrants in that while it speaks to integration, it does not fully enable this process to take place effectively. Even though it has made many advances in recent years towards a more open and inclusive immigration policy, Germany is still a 'reluctant' country of immigration, and this reluctance stops it from making any real strides towards integrating migrants fully into German society at large. The German government needs to take a much firmer stance on the roles of migrant women in its society, and the nature of the ethnic and religious identities of Muslim immigrants, in order to both create and implement immigration policy that truly allows immigrants to become full and contributing members to German social and economic life, and to bring it in line with the European Union's common directives on immigration.