2020 – vol. 14, no. 2
THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS AND THE ECONOMIC CRISIS. IS CAPITALISM AT A NEW TURNING POINT?
Daniel DĂIANU | National University of Political and Administrative Studies | Bucharest/Romania
Mankind will prevail in the fierce war against the coronavirus, a hidden, treacherous foe that has been attacking randomly and leaving many human deaths behind. The struggle with this pandemic has an end in sight because we have effective weapons to combat it now, such as vaccines which are be used on a grand scale, worldwide. We will overcome the severe economic downturn as well; but this crisis will leave deep scars, given that economies are witnessing sweeping changes. These changes, adding to tensions and intricate issues and policy dilemmas that date back prior to the Pandemic and the current economic crisis, call for introspection, examination of economies’ functioning and a revisiting of public policies. The financial crisis that erupted a decade ago prodded social scientists and policy-makers to think about serious problems that afflict modern economies. In the text below I hook up with ideas that I have expressed in recent years and extrapolate them to the fallout from the current crises
Keywords: capitalism; climate change; economic crisis; fairness; illiberalism; inclusion; inward-looking syndrome; liberal democracy; reforms; pandemic
IMPLICATIONS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Ioan Mircea PAȘCU, PhD | Professor, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Romania, Bucharest
Alexandra NUNWEILLER-BĂLĂNESCU, PhD candidate | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Romania, Bucharest
The global order was facing multiple challenges even before the pandemic, so it is very likely – based on the evolutions recorded since the beginning of 2020 – that these challenges will further amplify. On the impact of COVID-19 on the world order, opinions of political scientists vary greatly, from reserved optimism to worst-case scenario, from treating it as a simple inflexion point to forecasting the transformative changes it will entail. In this article we argue that this current pandemic will only accelerate previous trends by deepening international power competition, thus accelerating the transition towards a more realist world order. This working hypothesis disregards potential non-linear events that might occur from this point on and that could impact all forecasts. In this article we discuss the structure of the current international system and we analyze recent developments, thus trying to determine which specific trends will be accelerated. Furthermore, we examine the „lessons” learned so far and try to determine what can be done to limit the consequences of the pandemic, at least at the national level.
Keywords: COVID-19; world order; multilateralism; democracy; US; EU; China; Romania.
THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – A SOURCE FOR GEOPOLITICAL CHANGE?
THE CASE OF EASTERN EUROPE
Oana – Antonia COLIBĂȘANU, PhD | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Department of International Relations and European Integration | Bucharest/Romania
The world’s tectonics seem to be changing faster than before, considering the current Covid-19 pandemic. Understanding the general, global sources for change that drive the major powers’ national interests is key to understanding Eastern European geopolitical trends. This research paper looks at the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had so far on the world, considering the main geopolitical questions that have been raised during the last nine months since the pandemic started. It also addresses the pandemic effects on Europe, focusing on the challenges for Eastern Europe during the short and medium term. Conclusions refer to the way the regional balancing act changes, depending on how the EU, the US, China and Russia change position globally and how their strategies intersect with one another and with those of the countries in the Eastern Europe.
Keywords: COVID-19; EU geopolitics; global balance of power; Eastern Europe
EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL AND THE NEW POLICY GOALS IN TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY – HOW GAMIFICATION CAN INFLUENCE PRO-ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOUR FOR CUTTING CARBON EMISSIONS IN THE EU
Miruna BUTNARU-TRONCOTĂ, PhD | National University of Political Science and Public Administration (SNSPA) | Bucharest, Romania
Road traffic is one of the major sources of many of the worst pollutants, including carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide, carcinogenic particles and noise. The past decades have seen a dramatic rise in these harmful effects on human health, that proved to cause at the same time massive damage to the natural and built environment. In response to this aggravating situation, the new European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen placed as the centrepiece of her political mandate ‘the European Green Deal’, a comprehensive climate and nature package of measures to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. To reach this very ambitious goal, there is a need for very creative and efficient policy solutions. And this is the scope of the current study.
As the sustainability concerns become vital for policy planning, the paper advocates for the need of all EU’s main stakeholders to realise the potential of ‘green gamification’ to help EU member states reach these ambitious policy goals, particularly in the field of transport and mobility – which are of crucial importance for overall CO2 reduction. Placed at the intersection of technology innovation and the need to find more efficient ways to protect the environment, ‘green gamification’ is an emerging concept that refers to the usage of game mechanics when it comes to engaging people, with the purpose to change their behaviour on sustainability issues. In short, it aims to motivate a sustainable behaviour within companies, institutions and citizens, with the use of interactive games, in order to fight against pollution and climate change. Applied to the field of transport and mobility, green gamification implies using strategies to cut carbon emissions especially by convincing people to reduce the use of private cars. But how can we better incentivise citizens’ behaviour for cutting carbon emissions and achieve the new EU transport and mobility policy goals for 2050? To tackle this relevant question the article aims to assess the potential of ‘green gamification’ to help EU member states reach these ambitious policy goals.
Keywords: carbon emissions; European Union; gamification; Green Deal; pollution; transport.
BLACK SEA SECURITY: THE ROMANIAN PERSPECTIVE
NATO – EU INTEROPERABILITY, A DIVISION OF LABOUR
Olga R. CHIRIAC | Department of International Relations and European Integration | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Bucharest, Romania
The current world order is under scrutiny. The 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine have marked a turning point in international affairs: a state actor used force against another sovereign state to gain a territorial victory in order to advance its own geopolitical interests. Since then all major building blocks of the system, mainly the multilateral institutions such as the UN and NATO have been scrutinized and their effectiveness has been questioned. The significance of the individual nation state is gaining again in significance. It is more important than ever to find ways to repair transatlantic discord and to deepen cooperation between NATO and the EU, to recalibrate the strategic bedrock of the alliance and to reposition the transatlantic defence community in a way that facilitates effective defence and deterrence.
It is the aim of the article to define and contextualize the Romanian official strategic vision and to outline how it in fact successfully synergies its membership in NATO and in the EU with bilateral partnerships in order to achieve its strategic goals as well as to contribute to the transatlantic cause.
The paper starts by introducing the theoretical framework, mainly structural realism. Next, it defines the Romanian strategic view, it contextualizes it and it correlates the strategic priorities to the Black Sea area. The article focuses on EU NATO complementarity through a Romanian strategic lens by focusing on interoperability and crisis readiness in the Black Sea, an area of existential significance to the Romanian national interest. Finally, the conclusions underscore how the Romanian strategic paradigm creates an auspicious medium in order for NATO – EU complementarity and deeper cooperation to occur.
Key Words: Black Sea Security; Interoperability; NATO; PeSCo; Romania
EX-POST EVALUATION DESIGN PROPOSAL FOR THE ROMANIAN YOUTH STRATEGY 2015-2020. AN ANALYSIS OF THE NGO SECTOR IMPACT ON THE RESULTS
Delia – Simina DĂNILĂ, PhD Student | National University of Political Science and Public Administration | Bucharest, Romania
Success or a lesson to learn? In this paper, I propose an evaluation design of the Romanian Youth Strategy 2015-2020 transformative effects, in which I argue for a participative evaluation process, promoting diversity, social justice, fairness and transparency. My focus is not only on the instruments for analyzing the objectives, results, resources and impact, but also on encouraging the development of the social values that are attached to this policy. The innovative elements of the suggested design are the introduction of the gender perspective and multiple discrimination and also the reflection on the influence of the NGO sector on the achieved results. It is expected this study to engage the evaluators and the readers interested in the youth issue in a debate for improving the process of assessing public policies and programmes.
Keywords: evaluation design; ex-post evaluation; youth Strategy; NGO sector; impact evaluation
BIREGIONAL COOPERATION FOR ADVANCING GAMIFICATION IN TRANSPORT POLICIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Ioana Antoaneta DODI, PhD. | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Bucharest/Romania
The globalization process is constantly growing and actors in the international scene have to find ways to adapt to the changes that this makeover involves. Therefore, there has been an increased cooperation between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean in many policy areas, including transport, especially in terms of access, affordability and sustainability. The Vienna Declaration of the Fourth ALC-UE Summit of Heads of State and Government from 2006 mentions the encouragement towards European and Latin American and Caribbean financial institutions to support physical integration by means of interconnectivity, network infrastructures, notably in the fields of energy, transport, telecommunications and research. The Lima Declaration of the Fifth ALC-UE Summit of Heads of State and Government from 2008 moves a step forward and comprises the fact that the states from the two regions will develop bi-regional energy cooperation regarding improvement of energy services, inter alia, in the metropolitan public transport. Moreover, the Madrid Declaration of the Sixth ALC-UE Summit of Heads of State and Government from 2010 refers to energy savings in all sectors of the economies, including transports, meanwhile the Santiago Declaration of the First UE-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government from 2013 prioritises the improvement of policies and providing, among others, adequately resourced basic health services, water and sanitation, housing, education, public transport and energy, besides strengthening the Latin America Investment Facility, to improve integration, energy and transport infrastructures, energy efficiency, renewable energy. Therefore, this paper aims to analyse best practice cases from both regions in terms of gamification of transport policies and infrastructure, in order to highlight the the potential of the biregional consolidated cooperation for advancing gamification (in view of modern, sustainable, affordable, efficient transport policies, networks and infrastructure), the financial and political instruments that can be used in this sense and the mutual benefits that it would bring for the participant actors.
Keywords: biregional cooperation; sustainable transport; mobility efficiency; gamification
POLITICAL AND SOCIAL VULNERABILITIES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE REFUGEE CRISIS 2011-2016: THE ARAB SPRING AND THE ROLE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA
Toader FLUTUR, PhD | National University of Political Science and Public Administration | Bucharest/ Romania
The issue of uncontrolled migration has produced an institutional transformation of the European Union, dictated by the need to find solutions to new challenges. The reform of migration and asylum policy had to enter the European public agenda at an accelerated pace and political leaders had to find the common will to create the right legislative framework to respond to the migration crisis. The most important migration route preferred by refugees and economic migrants, is the Mediterranean Sea which in recent years has experienced the most intense human trafficking but also the most deaths in such a short time. As a result of the popular riots in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, the deteriorating political and social situation in the countries of origin, more and more citizens have left their native places in the hope of ensuring a better life in the European Union. In order to support the structural reforms needed by the two areas and even physical reconstruction if we refer to the Syrian case, the European Union must show active involvement and a coherent plan to curb the fluid sources of migration. Supporting the reconstruction of foundations or strengthening institutions, investment in aid programs to stimulate economies and strong agreements with the governments of the states of the Middle East and North Africa are just some of the measures that the European Union should take swiftly.
Keywords: migration; conflict; Middle East; the European Union
A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE UN INSTRUMENTS AGAINST TERRORIST FINANCING
Iffat NAHEED, PhD | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Bucharest/ Romania
Terrorist financing with its different modes has become a core area of interest for researchers and policy makers around the world. With the passage of time the troika of terrorist financing; money laundering as a means for financing terror; and transnational organized crime has become a new equation to be considered for possible eradication. As terrorist financing has assumed complexities worldwide, so has the global response for countering it gained more legal maturity. In 2006, the adoption of “Global Counter Terrorism Strategy” aimed at strategizing policies and actions for combating Terrorism and especially Terrorism Financing. In 2009, ‘International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism’ largely filled the lacuna in identifying terrorist financing as a criminal offence. This paper is aimed at critically analyzing the different UN instruments for countering terrorist financing along with the challenges encountered in their implementation. It assesses that one of the most difficult aspects in countering terrorist financing remains the manner in which different UN Member States synchronize these instruments with their domestic legal framework. Another complicating factor remains the ever evolving complexity penetrating into terror financing.
Keywords: terrorist financing; counter terrorism; money laundering; transnational organised crime; terrorist financing convention; UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy (UNGCTS)
THE PRESENCE OF NEWER EU MEMBER STATES IN THE EUROPEAN EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE’S STAFF: THE CASE OF SLOVAKIA
Erik PAJTINKA | Matej Bel University, Faculty of Political Science and International Relations | Banska Bystrica/ Slovakia
The article evaluates the representation of Slovakia within the selected categories of the European External Action Service (EEAS) staff in 2012-2019 and drafts possible factors influencing the representation of Slovakia in this EU institution. The evaluation is based on the analysis of statistical data available in EEAS official documents, as well as empirical data obtained from interviews with EU diplomats working for the EEAS. It is concluded, Slovakia’s representation within the EEAS’s staff between 2012 and 2019 is was inadequate. This may be due to the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ overall attitude toward the work of its diplomats in the EEAS, its career advancement system, and its institutional culture, and to the conditions under which applicants are selected to posts within the EEAS.
Keywords: European External Action Service; geographic balance in the European External Action Service; European Union diplomacy; Slovakia