The subordination of social policy to economic policy has been a continuous theme in the postwar history of British social policy (Wootton, 1955; Titmuss, 1967; Townsend, 1975; Walker, 1984; Hill, 1996). This distorted relationship has consistently cast doubt upon the autonomy of social policy, which has attracted labels such as the 'poor person's economic policy' and the 'handmaiden' of economic policy. Looking beyond the parochial vagaries of British social policy it is clear that the same problem shackles social policy in other European countries and, especially, at the European level. Indeed it is becoming increasingly clear that unless something can be done to reconstitute the relationship between economic and social policy the European project itself will lose contact with the everyday concerns of citizens as it concentrates overly on economic and monetary union (EMU) and becomes primarily a 'Bankers' Europe'. Such concerns have been expressed by senior European policy makers but, so far, there is no sign of a strategy to overcome the problem.
Alan C. Walker
Erik Oddvar Eriksen and John Erik Fossum, eds., Democracy in the European Union (New York: Routledge, 2000)
Dusan Sidjanski, The Federal Future of Europe: From the European Community to the European Union (Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 2000)
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.
Contrasts and Congruence within and between Germany and England
Eleanor Brown, Beatrice Szczepek Reed, Alistair Ross, Ian Davies and Géraldine Bengsch
This article is based on an analysis of the treatment of the European Union in a sample of textbooks from Germany and England. Following contextual remarks about civic education (politische Bildung) in Germany and citizenship education in England and a review of young people’s views, we demonstrate that textbooks in Germany and in England largely mirror the prevailing political climate in each country regarding Europe. At the same time, the analysis reveals a disparity between the perspectives presented by the textbooks and young people’s views. The textbooks in Germany provide more detail and take a more open approach to Europe than those in England. Finally, we argue that the textbooks may be seen as contributing to a process of socialization rather than one of education when it comes to characterizations of Europe.
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.
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.
This article describes and analyzes the complex relationship between Turkey, Germany, and the European Union over the past half-century. It asks why numerous other countries have jumped the queue and managed to gain entry, whereas Turkey has been left knocking at the door, presented with increasing obstacles through which it must pass. The role of Islam is examined as a motivating factor in the exclusion of Turkey. Also, the historical memory of the Ottoman Empire's relationship with Europe is discussed. The mixed reception and perceived problems of integration of the large population of people from Turkey and their descendants who arrived in the 1960s as "guestworkers" is put forth as a key obstacle to Turkey's admission to the European Union. Contradictions in policies and perceptions are highlighted as further impediments to accession.
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.
Differences between various groups and classes in perceptions of social reality result in different interpretations of social and cultural events—collective representations—which can cause opposition and conflicts among social groups. This contribution analyzes this complex problem, especially in relation to two pivotal concepts: individualism and collectivism. In most political discussions, these concepts are used in opposition to each other, even though they are always interdependent. Moreover, in a modern society we can distinguish between seven types of individualism and six types of collectivism. Finally, this analysis of collective representations is connected with questions related to the present problems confronting the European Union (EU). With the introduction of the concepts of collective representation, collective identity, and the opposition between individualism and collectivism, we have paved our way toward an efficient debate about the future of the EU.
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.