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Francesc Morata

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.

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Local cross-border cooperation at the European Union's external border

The meaning of local in the European Neighbourhood Policy

Andrey Demidov and Sara Svensson

English abstract: The article examines a key priority in European Union policy toward the east and south: the effort to turn the external border areas into secure, stable, and prospering regions via support for cross-border cooperation. This features highly in a range of policies brought together under the European Neighbourhood Policy and in the partnership with Russia. The main question asked by the article is if these policies live up to the goal of involving local actors. Based on a content analysis of program documents and a categorization of project partners by actor type, the article argues that the notion of "local" can be subject to various understandings, but if we understand local versus regional along the lines of the European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) classification, the policy in practice is undoubtedly tilted toward regional rather than local cross-border cooperation. In addition, the article argues that the four objectives of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument-Cross Border Cooperation (ENPI-CBC) do not match what could realistically be achieved with the resources available.

Spanish abstract: El artículo examina una prioridad clave en la política de la Unión Europea hacia el este y el sur: el esfuerzo de convertir las zonas fronterizas exteriores en regiones seguras, estables y prósperas a través del apoyo a la cooperación transfronteriza. Este tema es fundamental en una serie de políticas públicas reunidas en la Política Europea de Vecindad y en la asociación con Rusia. La principal cuestión planteada en el texto es si estas políticas alcanzan el objetivo de involucrar a los actores locales. Con base en un análisis de contenido de los documentos del programa y en una categorización de los socios del proyecto por tipo de actor, el artículo sostiene que la noción de "local" puede ser objeto de diversas interpretaciones, pero si entendemos lo local frente a lo regional en la clasificación NUTS (Nomenclatura de las Unidades Territoriales Estadísticas) Europea, en la práctica la política está indudablemente inclinada hacia la cooperación transfronteriza regional más que a la local. Además, el artículo sostiene que los cuatro objetivos del IEVA-CT (Instrumento Europeo de Vecindad y Asociación - Cooperación transfronteriza) no coinciden con lo que realísticamente se puede lograr con los recursos disponibles.

French abstract: Cet article examine une priorité clé dans la politique de l'Union européenne vis-à-vis de l'Est et du Sud: l'effort de transformer les zones frontalières extérieures en régions sûres, stables et prospères via un soutien à la coopération transfrontalière. Cet objectif figure au centre des priorités de la Politique européenne de voisinage et de partenariat avec la Russie. La principale question posée dans ce texte est celle de savoir si ces politiques sont en mesure de faire participer les acteurs locaux. Fondé sur l'analyse des documents et du contenu des programmes, ainsi que sur la catégorisation des projets de partenariat et du type d'acteurs, l'article affirme que la notion de «local» peut être sujette à diverses interprétations, mais que si nous analysons le terme à l'échelle régionale suivant les critères dé finis par la nomenclature européenne NUTS (Nomenclature des unités territoriales statistiques), nous verrons que dans la pratique, la politique européenne semble plus axée vers la coopération transfrontalière régionale que locale. En outre, l'article affirme que les quatre objectifs du IEVP-CTF (Instrument Européen de Voisinage et de Partenariat- Coopération transfrontalière) ne cadrent pas réellement avec les ressources disponibles.

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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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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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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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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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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.

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'Poland Has Always Been in Europe'

The EU as an Instrument for Personal and National Advancement

Marysia Galbraith

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.

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Reproductive Governance in the New Europe

Competing Visions of Morality, Sovereignty and Supranational Policy

Joanna Mishtal

While the European Union currently lacks a mandate to govern reproductive health services and policies, reproductive governance is increasingly debated both at the EU and the nation-state levels. The EU has taken formal positions to promote access to comprehensive reproductive health services. In tension with the EU's position is the Vatican, which promotes the use of conscientious objection to decline the provision of certain health services. Currently, the use of conscientious objection is mostly unregulated, prompting debates about supranational regulation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) meeting in Paris in 2010. This article uses the lens of the PACE meeting debate to consider the cultural, historical and political specificities and agendas that give shape to competing arguments about rights, health and state sovereignty. I argue that political rationalities directed towards reproduction locally and the supranational rights debates work synergistically to paralyse European reproductive health policymaking.

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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.