integration 4/2014

In this issue of integration, Timm Beichelt presents in his inter­jection contentious issues of the general assump­tions of the European Neigh­bourhood Policy and explains how this antag­onism condemns the policy to failure. Further topics of the issue are problems of the French government with finding a new European narrative in face of strength­ening Euro skeptic voices, a critical appraisal of the economic and political benefits of the first ten years of Hungarian EU-membership as well as the devel­op­ments and perspec­tives of European macro regional strategies such as the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Furthermore, there are reports from the sixth German-Nordic-Baltic-Forum and a conference on the economic perfor­mance of public admin­is­tra­tions.

France’s Search for a New European Narrative

Olivier Rozenberg

For a long time, French politi­cians have viewed France’s partic­i­pation in European integration as a justi­fi­cation for the preser­vation of its power through the framework of Europe. However, France’s position in the European Union seems to become less and less linked to the idea of “Europe puissance”. In spite of the slow erosion of this idea, and due to cultural as well as insti­tu­tional reasons, French policy makers have not been able to create an alter­native national narrative which would justify European integration. In addition to the anti-European stance of the winning faction “Front National”, the biggest winner of the 2014 European elections, there has also been a diffusion of European skepticism throughout the governing parties in France.

One Decade of Hungary’s Membership in the European Union: A Critical Appraisal of Benefits and (Self-made) Costs

András Inotai

The paper offers a critical survey of Hungary’s EU membership through analysis of key expected benefits, including trade, free circu­lation of persons and capital, impact of EU transfers and full-fledged partic­i­pation in the decision-making process of the integration. Free trade has generated too rapid an increase of trade with new EU members and a substantial Hungarian trade surplus. Compared to other new members, the Hungarian labour force remained rather immobile at the start of membership, but revealed enhanced mobility after the formation of a new government in 2010. Since 2007 Hungary has been one of the major benefi­ciaries of EU funds, unfor­tu­nately a large part of that money could have been managed much more efficiently. The current government’s increas­ingly critical view of the European integration process, imple­men­tation of “unorthodox” economic (and social) policies has made Hungary, as of today, the only member country with a government-level anti-EU attitude.

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region: Evolution and Contemporary Perspectives of a New Approach in EU Regional Policy

Stefan Gänzle and Kristine Kern

With the adoption of the macro-regional strategies for the Baltic Sea, Danube and the Adriatic-Ionian regions in 2009, 2011 and 2014 respec­tively, the European Union has intro­duced a new concept in EU regional policy. Building on the EUROPE 2020 program as well as existing forms of regional cooper­ation, these strategies aim at the estab­lishment of a new integrated framework for transna­tional collab­o­ration involving both EU member states and partner countries from the same geographical, cultural and functional space. This article analyses the extent to which the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea has hitherto lived up to its objec­tives and what kind of impact it has triggered vis-à-vis regional organi­za­tions with a view to improving cooper­ation between actors and across polices in the Baltic Sea region.

Incompatible Positions and Antagonistic Challenges – the Eastern Partnership Policy of the EU

Timm Beichelt

The European Neigh­bourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EP) are contro­versial issues among political actors and the Public. This article identifies three contentious issues: sovereign statehood, inter­na­tional alliance capac­ities and the EU accession perspec­tives of the EP countries. Since no hegemonic opinions regarding all three issues could establish itself on the inter­na­tional level, the character of the EU associ­ation process is antag­o­nistic. As long as the actors of the EU do not accept this fact, the strategy towards the eastern European neigh­bours cannot be consistent and is thus doomed to failure.


Christian Opitz

Die Europäische Union in unruhigem Fahrwasser: Eine deutsch-nordisch-baltische Reform­part­ner­schaft in Zeiten innen- und außen­poli­tischer Heraus­forderungen

Arbeitskreis Europäische Integration

Zareh Asatryan, Benjamin Bittschi, Melissa Engel, Lisa Evers, Friedrich Heinemann, Christoph Schröder, Frank Streif und Mustafa Yeter

Der Einfluss der öffentlichen Verwaltung auf die ökonomische Perfor­mance von Ländern

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ISSN 0720–5120

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