RJEA, Vol. 10, nr. 1, Martie 2010


Equity as the missing Link: the Values of the European Union

Annette Freyberg-Inan

The European Union (EU) is a singularly successful example of economic integration. To what extent it has also been a force for democracy- and how it can more clearly become one- are the key questions addressed in this article. Below, I first lay out how the values of prosperity, democracy, and equity are theoretically linked. Second, I show that the values of democracy and equity have been subordinate to aggregate prosperity in the process of both European integration and European Union enlargement. Not only do the EU's institutional structure and policy priorities reveal an imbalance in favor or the common market and in disfavor of a common fiscal and social policy as well as democratic accountability, EU strategy vis-à-vis candidate and accession countries reveals a disregard for the socio-economic implications of transition and for EU-fostered technocratic threats to democratic consolidation. While formal democracy of course remains a criterion for membership, EU conditionality on the whole conflicts with the development of democracy beyond minimal formal criteria. The institutional design and key policies of the enlarging EU thus clearly aim more at creating aggregate wealth than at ensuring social justice or popular empowerment. Greater awareness of the relevant choices among values should precede any further attempts at regional integration.

Keywords: equity, EU enlargement, political norms, regional integration, social democracy, Social Policy

Disquietude on the Eastern Flank: awaiting Alliance Response

Octavian Manea, Iulia Serafimescu

The absence of significant and tangible military defensive infrastructure on the Eastern flank generated over time a breach of credibility in the security guarantee provided by NATO under its Article 5 commitment. The main argument of the countries in the New Europe now is that, in order to be credible enough, and not just a paper guarantee, a collective defence commitment must be backed by "boots on the ground" and by military tangible logistics.While assuming this perspective, the present article looks at some of the alarm signals coming from the countries on NATO's Eastern flank, trying to explain the feeling of insecurity perceived by the states in the region as well as the options available to the Euro-Atlantic community in order to engage in a much-needed process of strategic reassurance.   

Keywords: Article 5 commitment, Central and Eastern Europe, collective defence, European Security and Defence Policy, NATO, Sikorski doctrine, strategic reassurance

EU and Civil Society: the Case of NGOs in Peace Missions and Humanitarian Intervention

Daniela Irrera

Social scientists and policy-makers are increasingly concerned with the civil society ability to influence the external policy of EU and the member states. This ability depends to a large extent on the capabilities and instruments of the non-governmental-organizations (NGOs), national and international associations, and lobbies, which represent civil society interests. In order to represent the demands that cut across the borders of states, NGOs are increasingly gaining access to international decision-making institutions. However, this access continues to face with the controversial issue of the NGOs engagement in political participation, representation, and democratization of the decision-making processes of international organizations. This paper aims at analyzing the increasing engagement of NGOs, within and in relation with the EU, in the framework of CFSP/ESDP, and in responding to composite humanitarian emergencies.

Keywords: European Union, NGO, peace-keeping, Security

Are contemporary Wars “new”?

Clara Darabont

This paper will assess the existing perspectives on "new wars" in the literature. It will then analyze the degree to which contemporary wars are "new" by looking firstly at the changing nature of the state. It will not however support the view that state's weakness is a structural cause of conflict but rather that it is a facilitator one. Finally, it will explore the degree to which globalization has impacted the role Romanian forces have to play in hotbeds such as Irak or Afghanistan. While engaging the existing literature, I argue that we must understand the "new wars" as an adapted form of engagement and not necessarily as a new breed of war.

Keywords: contemporary conflicts, globalization, means of engagement, new wars, Romanian military strategy, transnational networks

Changes in Romania’s Foreign Policy from the Perspective of NATO and EU Membership

Agnes Nicolescu

This article aims to analyze the main changes and factors which have an impact on Romania's foreign policy agenda, considering the fact that our country is a member state of the European Union and also a NATO member. The goal is therefore to identify the possible changes in the decision-making process as far as Romanian foreign policy is concerned, in the context of its accession to the European Union and the major topics that may involve an adaptation to the European Foreign and Security Policy. Romania's accession to the European Union involves that domestic foreign policy structures function in the spirit and according to the European norms, which means that certain changes and transformations need to be assumed in order to be able to fulfil the proposed objectives. This also implies a revision and ongoing adaptation of the main topics on the Romanian foreign policy agenda, such as, for instance, the issue of how viable the deployment of Romanian troops in Iraq is and its implications in the long term on our country's relations with the other EU members as well as with the other allies in NATO, or the conflict in Transnistria. With regard to this matter, it is interesting to point out that this situation has sparked off greater interest among the European audience only over the last few years, as Romania joined the European Union, rendering Brussels more sensitive to this issue which, however, is still far from being properly tackled. This has prompted Romanian decision-makers to consider in a more pragmatic and dynamic manner relations with its Eastern neighbours, through already existing instruments such as the Black Sea strategy and the ones still under elaboration, like the European Danube Strategy.

Keywords: Black Sea Synergy., Common Foreign and Security Policy, Eastern Partnership, European Neighbourhood Policy, Foreign Policy, Romania

Between Hammers and Anvils: the Socialization of European Permanent Representatives Romania and Bulgaria – a comparative Case Study

Neculai-Cristian Şurubaru

The question of administrative governance in the European Union reflects the links between the decision-making process and the national Member States. The Permanent Representations are the key institutions translating Brussels policies into the national sphere. This article contradicts the constructivist/Europeanization arguments for thick socialization of permanent representatives and focuses on Romania and Bulgaria, in the institutional medium of the Political and Security Committee. The author claims that the adaptation - thin socialization - of the permanent representatives can be measured differently, within a theoretical framework based on intergovernmentalism, institutionalism and "Brusselization". Specific for the Bulgarian representatives is their slow pace in acquiring the formal and informal procedures of the committee, while the Romanian diplomats have a different relation with their Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both countries are similar in terms of networking and their logic is driven by national interests. It is important to look at these countries as a potential model of comparison between Member States, in how they integrate in the multi-level diplomatic layers in Brussels.

Keywords: Brusselization, Bulgaria, institutionalism, intergovernmentalism, Permanent Representations, Political and Security Committee, Romania