Issue 3/2019 of integration

What conclu­sions can be drawn from the European elections regarding the European political and party system? To this, Rudolf Hrbek analyses the European elections and takes the Spitzenkan­di­daten procedure as example for the role of the European Parliament in the political and insti­tu­tional framework of the European Union. Johannes Kohls and Manuel Müller examine in a forum article the causes of trans­for­mation in the European party system.

What influence will the French-German Aachen Treaty have on European integration? Central to Stefan Seidendorf’s article is a theory-based discussion of the impli­ca­tions for European integration.

How can the associ­ation of the neigh­bours of the EaP be shaped in a way that is satis­fying for both sides? Tobias Schumacher traces the current debate on associ­ation policy towards the states of the EaP and highlights chances and challenges which result from an “associ­ation plus”.

The issue also contains a summary of the conference on regional and inter­na­tional cooper­ation in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, organized by the Institut für Europäische Politik and the Centre inter­na­tional de formation européenne, as well as a report of the “Arbeit­skreis Europäische Integration” about the 2019 ZEW Public Finance Conference on “The Political Economy of European (Dis)Integration”.

European Elections 2019: New Political Constellations for the Electoral Period 2019–2024

Rudolf Hrbek

This article argues that the results of the European elections 2019 differ consid­erably in the 28 member states of the European Union since they were primarily deter­mined by factors within the respective national context: the prior­ities in the political discourse and the actual config­u­ration of the party system. The article identifies new political constel­la­tions for the European Parliament (the formation and compo­sition of party groups incl. the relative weight of national groups as well as the relations between party groups) and asks about their impact on the role of the European Parliament in the electoral period 2019–2024 and on the inter-insti­tu­tional relations. The Spitzenkan­di­daten procedure serves as a first test case.

Full text

France, Germany and European integration in the Aachen Treaty

Stefan Seidendorf

How “European” is the new Franco-German bilateral treaty signed in Aachen on 22 January 2019? And what kind of “Franco-German leadership for Europe” does it stipulate? The article starts by estab­lishing a model of Franco-German cooper­ation and leadership in the European Union, which then allows to analyse the content of the treaty. The treaty can be seen as a strategic commitment to European integration and to Franco-German leadership. It outlines far-reaching ambitions in foreign policy cooper­ation as well as in the areas of security and defence, where the estab­lished European model is partic­u­larly prone to bilateral leadership. The treaty is more nuanced in the field of economic and social politics, where a Franco-German economic area shall be estab­lished. While this could poten­tially balance Franco-German asymme­tries, it will also raise questions partic­u­larly amongst Eastern European Member States.

The European Union, the Eastern Partnership and ‘Association Plus’: On the Debate About the Integration of Associated Neighbours Below the Level of EU Membership

Tobias Schumacher

This article takes up the European Neigh­bourhood Policy-related debate on the future design of the associ­ation policy of the European Union (EU) towards the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). It pursues two objec­tives. First, it examines – apart from a brief discussion of the origins and genesis of the concept of “associ­ation plus” in the context of the wider EU neigh­bourhood framework – how the intra-EU discourse on the future of the EaP has evolved and changed in recent years and which propo­si­tions are nowadays at the core of the debate. Secondly, it analyses these propo­si­tions, mainly revolving around the integration of EaP countries into the emerging Energy and Digital Union and the Schengen Area as well as the creation of bilateral customs unions, in what regards oppor­tu­nities and challenges for the eastern neigh­bours. The article argues that “associ­ation plus”, as demanded by the European Parliament and some EaP countries, would generate consid­erable financial and political costs even for those eastern neigh­bours that have imple­mented signif­icant reforms and that it seems acceptable only if it were explicitly declared as an inter­me­diate step towards the granting of an EU membership perspective.

The European Parliament Elections 2019: Three Drivers of the Transformation in the European Party System

Johannes Kohls and Manuel Müller

The results of the European Parliament elections 2019 are a reflection of a longer-term trans­for­mation in the European party system, whereby (left-)liberal and right-wing forces are gaining votes at the expense of tradi­tional centre-left and centre-right catch-all parties. This contri­bution highlights three societal reasons for this trans­for­mation: a new cleavage between inclusion and exclusion which gains impor­tance with respect to the left-right cleavage, changes in the structure of public commu­ni­cation, and the catalytic effect of the European crises of the last years.


Yvonne Braun

Zentralasien und der Südkaukasus auf der regionalen und inter­na­tionalen Bühne – Chancen und Heraus­forderungen


Annika Havlik

Europa und das Desin­te­gra­tionspara­doxon

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