integration 3/2015

In this issue of integration Minister of State Michael Roth asks for more credi­bility and visibility in the EU enlargement policy and illus­trates how the German federal government intends to strengthen the dynamic elements in the enlargement process. Katrin Böttger provides recom­men­da­tions for a middle- and long-term concept for the EU-Russia relationship in view of the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Eva Mareike Schmitt and David Kabus analyse the agenda-setting power of the European Union as a liber­al­izing force in the WTO. Peter Becker and Ronny Müller present the reasons and results of the recently reformed cohesion policy of the EU for the funding period 2014–2020. Besides the report on the third annual conference of the German-Portuguese Forum two conference reports of the “Arbeit­skreis Europäische Integration” focus on subjects, such as free trade versus democracy and market versus state.

EU Enlargement Policy – Anchor for Stability or a Hope Unfulfilled? How We Can Hold On to the Dynamic of the Enlargement Process

Michael Roth

Although EU enlargement policy is of utmost strategic impor­tance for the European Union, it is not being shown the necessary atten­tiveness by the European public, which has its eyes set on internal crises. This has created the impression amongst the West Balkan partner states that they are no longer welcome. In this backdrop, this article details which concrete proposals have been submitted by the German federal government to strengthen the enlargement dynamic. It under­scores the impor­tance of West Balkan states to the European project in that they have a clear membership perspective, insofar and as soon as they fulfil the necessary criteria. When this is to be the case, depends funda­men­tally on their own efforts. In this regard, lessons were drawn from past rounds of EU enlargement, and the strategy of accession negoti­a­tions was reworked accord­ingly. In Serbia’s example, the pros and cons of the adapted enlargement strategy are illustrated.

The EU-Russia Relationship: A Look Back and Forward in the Context of the Ukraine Crisis

Katrin Böttger

The relationship between the European Union and Russia has reached a new low in the course of the ongoing Ukraine crisis. The question of how Europe should behave in this crisis vis-à-vis Russia is still under debate between politi­cians and academics. But in view of its signif­i­cance to European and inter­na­tional politics, the question of how to form a middle- and long-term concept for the EU-Russia relationship must be posed today. In order to provide recom­men­da­tions to this effect, we have need not only of an analysis of the relationship and current trouble spots as they stand, but also of common interests. Alongside potential solutions, a review of cooper­ation oppor­tu­nities between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union is also needed.

The EU as an Actor Promoting Liberalization in the World Trade Organization

Eva Mareike Schmitt and David Kabus

The article raises the questions whether the European Union can – according to its own claim – profile itself as a liber­al­ising force in the WTO, and if the Union can enforce its specific interests in the WTO agenda setting. Special focus is put on agriculture negoti­a­tions, merchandise trade, services, the so called Singapore Issues and devel­opment. The analysis displays the Union’s heavy engagement in all concerned policy fields; however, liber­al­i­sation efforts vary and the European Union was not partic­u­larly successful in bringing about its positions in policy fields of special interest to the Union. The results shed a critical light on future negoti­ation successes in the WTO, given the fact that the Union – as one of its most relevant actors – is therefore likely to commit itself to diverging agree­ments in the future.

The Force of the Crisis – the Reform of the European Structural Funds#

Peter Becker and Ronny Müller

The deep crisis in the euro zone influ­enced the recent reform of European cohesion policy for the funding period 2014–2020. The policy has to obey the constraints of tight budgets. The Commission reacted to this challenge by imple­menting new instru­ments to increase efficiency and effec­tiveness. This was accom­panied by a double change of meaning and function: (1) having been the tradi­tional policy of multi-level gover­nance in the European Union, in which the role of member states has been limited by the Commission and the regions, the reformed policy today shows slow central­i­sation tendencies and, conse­quently, a strength­ening of the EU insti­tu­tions at the expense of room to manoeuvre for the regions. (2) The European Struc­tural Funds seem to become more and more the financial instrument to pursue the European economic and employment policy objec­tives; the classical cohesion and conver­gence objec­tives increas­ingly are being replaced by the objec­tives of the European growth and jobs strategy, Europe 2020.


Yvonne Braun, Tobias Herbst, Julian Plottka und Richard Steinberg
Neue Heraus­forderungen nach der Krise — das dritte Deutsch-Portugiesische Forum zieht Bilanz Arbeit­skreis Europäische Integration


Arbeitskreis Europäische Integration

Frédéric Krumbein
Freihandel versus Demokratie

Ansgar Belke und Gunther Schnabl
Markt versus Staat in der Europäischen Union

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