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