RJEA, Vol. 10, nr. 2, Iunie 2010


Understanding the Treaty of Lisbon

Clive H. Church, David Phinnemore

The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon comes at a time of continuing lack of agreement about its significance thus justifying a new and less polarized assessment. The article looks at previous assessments, including those that see the Treaty as a major breakthrough for efficiency backed by a new political dynamic and as the unnecessary and undemocratic imposition of a superstate and noxious policies. The article assesses the status, structure and style of the treaty and its contents, highlighting its provisions on values and rights, powers and policies, institutional changes, democratization and enhanced external activity. These, like assessments of the treaty, are often contradictory and point to the fact that Lisbon was yet another compromise document and not a master blueprint. Hence the resulting Union is likely to be a messy hybrid, being legalistic, lacking a single power centre, uncertainly democratic and enshrining more constructive ambiguity. 

Keywords: European Union, Lisbon, reform, Treaties

La libéralisation des marchés de l´électricité et du gaz naturel au niveau européen – enjeux et défis actuels

Irina Maria Găman


The creation of an internal energy market at the European level becomes nowadays a sine qua non condition for a single and coherent voice on energy issues at the global level for the EU. One essential step to be done is the liberalization of energy sectors, such as electricity and natural gas. This process of  liberalization for the electricity and gas market should have been totally and homogeneously accomplished by the mid of 2007 by the member states of the EU, goal established by the European Commission through two legal instruments, more precisely the Directive 2003/54/EC and the Directive 2003/55/EC. Despite the European legislative settlement and despite the existence of common institutions of regularization, the liberalization has its limits. How these limits can be explained and which are the factors for the heterogeneous degree of liberalization of the electricity and gas markets at the European level? This article is focusing on the specific economic and political factors through which the limits of liberalization of energy markets can be explained.   

Keywords: energy policy, gas and electric energy markets, internal market, liberalization, Regulation

Not so wide, Europe: Reconsidering the Normative Power of the EU in European Foreign Policy

Scott Nicholas Romaniuk

Through the use of political conditionality, the European Union (EU) exercises what Ian Manners has termed 'normative power', which many scholars and political analysts have regarded as the primary force behind the speedy democratization process of the 2004 enlargement of the EU.  The two most recent enlargements of the EU have extended the Union into a new neighbourhood bordering still relatively democratically infant and unstable states such as Belarus and Ukraine.  Following the relative success of conditionality during the enlargement process, the ENP was developed in 2003 to once again take advantage of conditionality to spread EU 'norms' and secure political stability at its borders, this time without the incentive of membership. This article analyzes the ability of the EU to exercise normative power in Eastern Europe. It presents the argument that despite systematic attempts to spread EU policies, or so-called 'norms' beyond the Union's external borders, disparities in norm-adoption among ENP target-states exemplifies incongruence in the success of the EU's normative power in foreign relations.  To address the question of whether the EU demonstrates normative power through its application of the Neighbourhood Policy, the authors' analysis will address the cases of Ukraine and Belarus.  

Keywords: acquis communautaire, democratization, discursive power, European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), membership, normative power, norms, transformative policy

Reassessing European Union Limits: What Role for the new Regional Partnerships?

Adriana Berbec

As every enlargement brings new neighbours to the European Union, the European Neighbourhood Policy is facing new challenges regarding its policy towards the countries in its proximity. Although the ENP does not offer perspectives for accession, nor does it preclude it, new forms of cooperation between the EU and its neighbours are taken into consideration as an alternative to full membership. This essay will analyze how the latest enlargements have brought new opportunities and challenges to the EU in relation to its new neighbours, the role of the "Eastern Partnership" and the "Union for Mediterranean" initiatives in fostering cooperation with the contiguous countries and whether these community projects, together with the ENP, can have a contribution to the understanding of what the EU limits are.   

Keywords: conditionality, enlargement, EU-Russia relations, European Neighbourhood Policy, regional cooperation

Romanian Security in an Evolving European Context

Mircea Micu

With the arrival of formerly Soviet-dominated Central Eastern European countries in the EU, the conceptualisation of European security was yet again challenged, this time by different perceptions of old threats, instead of different readings of modern threats. The evolving (Western) European security culture has tended to address the challenges stemming from beyond EU's borders, while, in this process, the new EU member states brought with them security concerns sprung from within EU's borders and EU's taboo neighbourhood (Russia). Romania was such a country, which, in spite of fully subscribing to the Western perspective on (rather politically neutral) modern threats, also displayed a conservative 'territorial defence' attitude rooted in its recent adverse history and compatible, to a great extent, with American conceptions of security matters. Lessening the European East-West mismatch over defining and addressing Europe's security challenges may occur through a process of asymmetrical adaptation to each other's security concerns, though this mismatch may equally endure over time and even generate centrifugal forces at the heart of EU's security policy-making.

Keywords: European security culture, Romanian foreign policy, transatlantic relations

L’opérationnalisation en Roumanie de l’aquis communautaire de la coopération pour le développement

Victor Negrescu


The European Union is the main contributor to the global development assistance funds for assistance to developing countries. By entering this club, Romania has undertaken EU's objectives in this field and must allocate in the coming years up to 0.33% of its GDP to official development assistance funds. Understanding how the acquis communautaire in terms of development cooperation was operationalized in Romania will enable us to realize how it was understood the new donor status of the country. The operationalized system will be integrated in the theoretical concepts of international relations regarding the cooperation for development.

Keywords: acquis communautaire, Developing countries, national interest, neoimperialism, official funding for development cooperation

Book Review: Vasile Boari and Sergiu Gherghina (eds.), Weighting Differences: Romanian Identity in the Wider European Context

Book review by Ionuţ Constantin Trăistaru

In an era marked by accelerated globalization and extended European integration, there is an increased tendency to overlook the national identity. This topic, of major concern for scholars especially after decolonization and disintegration of federal states (e.g. USSR, Yugoslavia), continues to reveal unknown facets when studied in the environment of contemporary challenges. In such a framework it is embedded the volume edited by Vasile Boari and Sergiu Gherghina, which focuses on Romanian identity and puts together the contributions of relevant scholars. The multidisciplinary character of the book, ranging from anthropological and historical to political science and economic perspectives, allows a more comprehensive approach of the subject. The goal of the editors is to provide answers to a few interconnected questions about the essence of Romanian identity, the historical development of the main features of the Romanian people, and to what extent existing identity perceptions share behaviours. All these issues are examined within the broader European perspectives, the reader being thus confronted with a general multi-level analysis.

Keywords: globalization, Romanian identity