2008 – vol. 2, no. 3
The Impact of Europeanization on the Quality of Democracy in the EU Candidate Countries. A Comparative Perspective on Romania and Poland
Abstract: This research tries to follow the EU’s role as an agent of democratization, following the effects of Europeanization on the quality of democracy in the candidate states.
Keywords: Europeanization, democracy, horizontal and vertical mechanisms, regulatory competition, acquis, horizontal accountability, pressure for adjustment
European Cooperation in the Field of Energy Security. A Rational Institutionalist Approach
Alina Iosefina BOLFOS
Abstract: This article offers an answer to the question regarding the EU Member States’ possible cooperation in order to organize and adopt rules to preserve a resource such as energy.
Keywords: energy security, common goods, cooperation, action arena
The Cohesion Policy and the Structural Funds. From Idea to Implementation. The Case of Romania
Marius Dan CROITORU
Abstract: The difference between intergovernmentalism and multilevel governance is that intergovernmentalism focuses on the negotiation process between EU Member States and how resources are allocated to each country separately, while multilevel governance focuses on the negotiation processes taking place between the European Commission, the Member States and the regional authorities. There is disagreement between the old EU members regarding the manner in which the structural funds should support the expansion of the Union, the main contradiction being between the old Member States which are net contributors and who would want future funds to be directed to new members only and the Member States who want structural funds to be distributed among all EU members. The Berlin Agreement applied the principle ‘something for everyone” and we can assert that each Member State has gained by negotiating.
Keywords: intergovernmentalism, multilevel governance, structural funds, cohesion states, old members, new members, cohesion policy, safety nets, phasing-out
International Terrorism, an Asymmetric Threat to Security. Case Study: State Sponsored Terrorism
Abstract: Terrorism has evolved with the international political scene and is permanently adapting quickly becoming the greatest threat to international security. Terrorist groups began by acting locally and using terrorism as a method of resolving internal disputes, later becoming a global phenomenon and an asymmetrical threat to security. The danger of terrorist threats has increased due to the economic interdependence caused by globalisation. Terrorism has become a new way of conducting war. The new configuration of the new Middle East has allowed Arab countries to use the Palestinian cause in order to solve disputes with Israel or other states in the Persian Gulf region. These countries view terrorism as the most effective method of waging war on much more powerful states. State-sponsored terrorism has become a new way of conducting wars, which allows a sponsor state to act without submitting to the consequences of sanctions imposed by the international community. States that adopt this method of conducting war may deny direct involvement in the conflict. Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is currently considered the main threat to international security.
Keywords: terrorism, collective security, collective defence, pre-emptive attacks, pre-emptive war, non-state actors, asymmetric attack
Voting Options in Eastern Europe. Case Study: Romania, Czech Republic and Poland
Abstract: The aim of the paper is to research the way voters of the 3 countries form their electoral preferences. The way citizens vote has direct consequences on the type of policies implemented later on, on the party system and on the quality of democracy.
Keywords: voting preferences, downsian model, directional model
Neo-realism and Pragmatism in Foreign Policy of Russia. The Fall of Communism
Abstract: In practice, states have two options in designing foreign policy: counterbalance and alignment. Russia follows both strategies in relation with different foreign actors. Offensivity characterizes Russia’s relations with Moldova and Ukraine, where energetic and military ascendancy allows it to act subversively. On the other hand the Russian federation has intensive cooperation with China through the Shanghai Organization while in relation with NATO Russia still remains suspicious. Despite foreign policy guided by neorealistic principles, it seems that there is still a possibility of a different pattern in relations with the EU being adopted.
Keywords: sphere of influence, neorealism, neoliberalism, the logic of change, Waltzien images, anarchy, hegemony, offensive
Minorities in the Western Balkans in View of a Future Accession to the European Union
Abstract: Research aim: to identify how the EU can influence the status of national minorities in the western Balkans while the population manifests an exacerbated nationalism. In the Western Balkans there is a focus on implementing existing commitments at international level. There is a focus on large regional cooperation, an important role being played by the Central European Initiative through its activity dedicated to intercultural cooperation. Another priority is research, education and training of citizens in multicultural societies. The interest of the European Union towards the Balkan area grew considerably because of the area’s increasing strategic importance. After the problem with Kosovo the Western Balkans became one of the EU’s priorities. The last part of the paper focuses on the way in which Serbia and Kosovo under UNMIK administration have implemented mechanisms for the protection of human rights and minorities. The status of minorities in the European Union will improve once the EU reaches supranational status.
Keywords: civic nationalism, ethnic nationalism, interethnic conflict, public opinion, minority, democratic citizenship, multicultural state
Lisbon Agenda and the Impact on the European Social Model
Abstract: The Lisbon Agenda represents the moment when the actors and the community have managed to reach a consensus about the need for the structural transformation of the community. Concerning the second policy, that of employment, education and training it was desired that in Lisbon it should become more important. Education and training are the pillars of the new approach of the Lisbon objectives. The impact of these measures focused on education brings programs focused on social categories. Thus an integrated labor market approach is being developed, which tries to use each of the available resources for sustainable development to become part of the European social model, while contributing to reducing disparities between the EU and USA, gaps that continue to be persistent despite community efforts to reduce them.
Keywords: governance without government, governance, the public community, forms of education