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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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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.

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Charlotte Galpin

The European Union has been in its biggest ever crisis since the onset of the Greek sovereign debt crisis in 2010. Beyond the political and economic dimensions, the crisis has also sparked discussions about Germany's European identity. Some scholars have argued that Germany's behavior in the crisis signals a continuation of the process of “normalization” of its European identity toward a stronger articulation of national identity and interests, that it has “fallen out of love” with Europe. This article will seek to reassess these claims, drawing on detailed analysis of political and media discourse in Germany—from political speeches through to both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. It will argue that the crisis is understood broadly as a European crisis in Germany, where the original values of European integration are at stake. Furthermore, the crisis is debated through the lens of European solidarity, albeit with a particular German flavor of solidarity that draws on the economic tradition of ordoliberalism. Rather than strengthening expressions of national identity, this has resulted in the emergence of a new northern European identity in contrast to Greece or “southern Europe.”

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Roger Hamburg

Jonathan P.G. Bach, Between Sovereignty and Integration: German Foreign Policy and Identity after 1989 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999)

David F. Patton, Cold War Politics in Postwar Germany (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999)

Marc Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999)

Celeste A. Wallander, Mortal Friends, Best Enemies: German-Russian Cooperation after the Cold War (Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, 1999)

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Edward Berenson, Elinor Accampo, Joseph Bohling and Michael Seidman

Aaron Freundschuh, The Courtesan and the Gigolo: The Murders in the Rue Montaigne and the Dark Side of Empire in Nineteenth-Century Paris (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2017).

Nancy L. Green, The Other Americans in Paris: Businessmen, Countesses, Wayward Youth, 1880–1941 (Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Peo Hansen and Stefan Jonsson, Eurafrica: The Untold History of European Integration and Colonialism (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014).

Jean-Pierre Le Goff, Malaise dans la démocratie (Paris: Éditions Stock, 2016).

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Thierry Chopin

External geopolitical developments and the role of the United States have been particularly important in the creation and orientation of the European integration. This study appraises the outlook of transatlantic relations in the wake of Barack Obama's 2008 election and the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. It is argued that whereas these developments on both sides of the Atlantic could provide for a window of opportunity to shift bilateral relations into higher gear, success will eventually depend on Europe's internal capacity to approach the US with collective and united answers to the main contemporary international challenges.

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Iñigo Sagardoy de Simón

To reach a proper understanding of what are the social challenges currently facing the European Union, one must first take a short look at what has happened in recent years, analysing both the successes and the difficulties which the union has had to confront. We have all been able to appreciate the profound changes which have taken place in Europe over the course of the past decade, due in the main to the two successive enlargements which increased the number of member-states to fifteen, and the two significant amendments to the treaties, the Single European Act and the Treaty on European Union, which made profound changes to the institutional and political framework of the union. Nor, however, can we overlook the two substantial financial packages which redefined the aims of the integration which have accompanied these developments and the resources for this.

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Jewish Space and the Beschneidungsdebatte in Germany

Multiculturalism, Ritual and Cultural Reproduction

Jay (Koby) Oppenheim

The concept of Jewish space, initially conceived by Diana Pinto as a unique European development, marked a critical shift in relations between Jews and non-Jews, the latter embracing a Jewish past as constitutive of their countries' own. The hoped-for European multiculturalism failed to blossom and Jewish space, in Pinto's assessment, has not born the fruit of its potential. To investigate the shortfall of Jewish space, this article examines the 2012 debate on ritual male circumcision in Germany (Beschneidungsdebatte) that drew contemporary Jewish practice into the public eye. Pinto's formulation is premised on a multicultural society that actively works to blunt intolerance, a condition whose fulfilment in contemporary Europe remains incomplete and uneven. Moreover, this attempt to extend the integration of history into memory was stymied by its lack of a living subject. While Jews constitute a long-standing minority population with a unique history in Germany, their success in establishing a shared Jewish space is tied to the broader project of tolerance and integration facing immigrant and minority groups in Western Europe.

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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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Francesca Vassallo

In 2013 France and Germany will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, signed by the two countries to create a close collaboration in the interest of peace and prosperity. Over the course of five decades, different couples of French Presidents and German Chancellors have dealt with the Paris-Berlin relationship in slightly different ways, some with more success than others. Despite the many changes in the European context and to the balance in the alliance between France and Germany, the initial motivation and meaning of the treaty remains astonishingly valid today, especially in light of its positive contribution to European integration. Even with many possible factors weakening the two countries' core relations, the Franco-German duo retains its historically dominant influence in successful European governance, as the recent Merkozy situation showed.