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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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Regions and Regionalism in Social Anthropology

Possibilities and Approaches – The Case of Slovakia

Alexandra Bitušíková

The article deals with the study of regionalism in European social anthropology with the focus on Slovakia's regions, regional diversities and identities in a broader perspective of European integration and regionalisation. It looks at socio-anthropological research on regionalism worldwide and in Slovakia particularly. The key objective is to examine the impact of geographical conditions and political-administrative reforms on the development of historic regions, sustainability of regionalism and the survival of regional differences and identities in Slovakia. The essay also discusses the creation of transborder regional co-operation and the establishment of Euroregions that only started to develop in the new democratic conditions after 1989. What do transborder regions mean to local people? Are they only bureaucratically constructed entities based on co-operation of formal authorities or do they also have an impact on people's identities? The essay aims at drawing attention to the importance of this research orientation in contemporary European social anthropology.

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Anna Horolets

Travel is one of the important modes of identity construction. It is influenced by individual choices as well as by macro-contexts of institutional practices and changes. Based on the study of the accounts of young middle-class Polish travellers to the former Soviet Union countries, this article attempts to demonstrate the ways in which macro-processes of systemic transformation and European integration affect the identity-building processes. After offering a discussion of the cultural meanings of emphasising the uniqueness of their experience and difference from 'mainstream tourists' by the travellers, the article turns to the interpretation of the role of the encounter with local dwellers as an important identity-formation related experience. The analysis of the acceptance or rejection of food from local dwellers demonstrates the ambiguous attitude of travellers to the local dwellers and attempts to place this ambiguity in the macro-context.

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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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Jaro Stacul

At a time when European cities redefine themselves through 'culture' in an attempt to attract tourists, investors and potential residents, policymakers have to negotiate different notions of 'local culture' defined by state governments on the one hand and by the EU on the other. Drawing upon research conducted in the Polish city of Gdańsk in the context of the redevelopment of its urban landscape, the article illustrates how 'local culture' is redefined as 'culture of freedom' by municipal and state institutions in order to establish a relationship of historical continuity between the time when Gdańsk was a thriving multicultural city and the post-socialist present. The article puts forward the argument that while the reformulation of local culture as 'culture of freedom' involves reconciling notions of national identity with new norms of local, regional and European integration, it does not necessarily entail the supersession of nationalism.

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The Accession Pedagogy

Power and Politics in Turkey's Bid for EU Membership

Bilge Firat

From 1989, new plans to enlarge the EU caused growing public disenchantment with the future of European integration as a viable model of cooperation among states and peoples in Europe. To manage disenchantment, EU actors designed various policy tools and techniques in their approaches to European peripheries such as Turkey. Among these, they intensified and perfected processes of pedagogy where EU actors assume that they have unique knowledge of what it means to be 'European' and that they must teach accession candidates how to become true Europeans. Based on accounts of EU politicians and officials, past experiences of government officials from former EU candidate states and Turkish officials' encounters with the EU's accession pedagogy, this article explores the EU's enlargement policy as a pedagogical engagement and the responses it elicits among Turkish governmental representatives, in order to test the reconfigurations of power between Europe and the countries on its margins.

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Les soubresauts du couple franco-allemand

moteur ou frein de l'intégration européenne?

Sabine von Oppeln

This article addresses the impact of the Franco-German couple on European integration since the Schuman Declaration. Based on qualitative research von Oppeln reveals that constructive influence only took place in the 80s; otherwise it was rather ambivalent or even negative. Five analytical approaches are used to define the variations in the Franco-German couple's level of influence: the different political stakeholders, the institutions involved, the main ideas and visions about European politics, the policy preferences, and the general external conditions. Ultimately, the conciliation of the German and French interests remains an indispensable condition for the success of European politics, but it has also become more and more elusive because of external factors such as EU enlargement. To overcome the recent deadlock the Franco-German couple needs to commit to the EU, foster cooperation between the main stakeholders, and conciliate different views and policies.

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The Revenge of Neglected Issues

EU Founders and Social Policy

George Ross

The founders of European integration had to make momentous choices that have since deeply marked the EU. They decided to focus their efforts on market-building, hypothesizing that economic interdependency would lead in time to “spillover“ beyond the new Europe's original mandates, a decision that left many key dimensions of national sovereignty outside the mandate of integration. One of these dimensions was social policy, roughly defined as the welfare state and labor relations. This division between what the EU could and could not do has lasted, with limited exceptions, to the present. Market integration over time, however, indirectly shifted the ground under national social models, sometimes imposing adjustments that have worked against the legitimacy of Europeanization. More recently the EU, concerned about the need for social policy reform to confront globalization, has attempted to coordinate national social model change by “soft power“ methods. These methods, by and large, have not been effective. This essay will discuss the consequences of the founders' choices historically.

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Ullrich Kockel

With this issue, AJEC returns to its original format as a journal with, for the time being, two issues per year. When the first issue was published in 1990 by the European Centre for Traditional and Regional Cultures (ECTARC), Europe was a different place. As the director of ECTARC, Franz-Josef Stummann (1990: 7), explained in his introduction to that issue, the ‘magical date of 1992’, heralding the Single European Market as a significant step towards European integration, had ‘a substantial bearing’ on the foundation of the journal. Moreover, the Berlin Wall, symbol of the political divide that cut right through Cold War Europe, had crumbled the previous year. German unification was imminent, but very little else seemed predictable. Eighteen years and two Gulf Wars later, not only has the European Union acquired fifteen new member states, ten of them former Communist countries, but we have also been told to perceive a new divide – between a ‘new’ Europe and an ‘old’ one.

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Benoît Challand

This article argues that the symbolic borders of Europe and the existence of external Others have been at times more important than Europe's center or its actual physical boundaries, especially during the first decades after the foundation of the European Communities. Analyzing textual and visual sources taken from some ninety French, Italian, and German history textbooks published between 1950 and 2005, the various sequences in which European integration has been constructed are highlighted. Communism, the first external Other, provided the first minimum common denominator for a nascent political Europe. It was not until the end of the Cold War that a projection of a distinct European identity appeared. Nevertheless, the role of new external Other(s) remains important for the evolution of the discourse of a European identity. This article draws attention to the Others, seeking to embed the Others' perspective in narratives of Europe.