CIAO DATE: 09/03
Volume XXXVIII No. 2 (April — June 2003)
In the Postwar Scenario: Keeping the Transatlantic Alliance Whole and Vital, by Harlan K. Ullman
The damage done to transatlantic relations by the Iraq war could be irreversible unless very energetic steps are taken by all to repair the cracks and fissures. One of the most important tools for this purpose could be the NATO Response Force (NRF). If the NRF is fully approved, it will invert and improve the structure of NATO. If the alliance is further divided over Iraq, the NRF could provide a mechanism to heal these breaches. The NRF should be broadly embraced and pushed by the US.
Empire, Multipolar World or Global Governance. Take Your Pick, by Cesare Merlini
In the last fifty years, international crises have systematically arisen and varied in intensity and impact. But the crux of the war in Iraq is the change in the relationship between Europe and the United States that the crisis generated or at least dramatically accelerated - a change for the worse. Why now? The explanation offered is that Europe, indeed the West at large, witnessed the end of the Cold War without fully evaluating its consequences and is now paying the costs that derive from that negligence. Given the tough economic realities, there are signs of growing alarm in civil society in Europe, in the US and across the Atlantic. Dismissing them could prove short-sighted.
Fiscal Policy Rules and the European Constitution (PDF, 16 pages, 60 KB) , by Albert Majocchi
Definition of the role of the EU budget and the rules relating to fiscal policy have gained extreme importance after EMU and the euro. One of the constraints on the use of the EU budget as an instrument of economic policy is its size, but the political will needed to promote even the very small increase still seems to be lacking. At the same time, the prerequisite for use of the budget for allocative purposes and stabilisation is recognition of the Union's role as a federal state. If Europe is able to undertake a federal-type institutional reform, the result could be important novelties in the management of economic policy at the European level.
The Draft constitutional text presented by the Praesidium introduced a number of alterations to the current system of competences without, however, changing the fundamental lines. It retains elements of flexibility in the system, rejecting the idea of a rigid catalogue of Union competences and confirming the residual competence laid down in the current Article 308 TEC. There are two main innovations: classification of the Union's competences and the areas falling into each category; granting the national parliaments a role in the preliminary phase of the European legislative process for preventive control of compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. The article provides some integrations and changes that could be made to the provisions of the Draft as concerns the Union's competences.
The Role of the Regions in the European Union and the Principle of Subsidiarity, by Rudolf Hrbek
Over the past two to three decades, many European countries have been undergoing processes of decentralisation, regionalisation or federalisation, giving territorial entities at subnational level a more prominent role within the respective state. The first part of the article deals with the idea and notion of "region" and analyses the growing role of regions within the European nation states, the impact of the European integration process on regions and their reaction and adaptation to this process. The second part of the article deals with the principle of subsidiarity, describing the origin and basic idea behind the principle and explaining the provision on that principle in the EU Treaties. Finally, it considers the debate on the principle in the Convention.
International Treaty-making in the EU: What Role for the European Parliament?, by Stefania Di Paola
The European Parliament (EP) has been struggling to exercise more influence in European Union (EU) external relations. The focus of the article is on the functioning and implications of the assent procedure, which constitutes the core of the EP's powers in this area. Two dimensions are considered: the inter-institutional bargaining that takes place in the EU system between the EP, the Council and the Commission and, secondly, the EP's involvement and links with third countries negotiating agreements with the EU. All in all, the EP has developed greater expertise and credibility over the last fifteen years, has raised its profile through a constant focus on human rights issues, and has learned to make more effective use of the assent procedure.
Italian Foreign Policy Survey
Italy's Constitutional Reform and the External Powers of the Regions, by Marco Gestri
The article looks at the regions' external powers as amended by a number of recent laws reforming the Italian Constitution. Two main issues are considered: 1) the participation of the regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano in the formulation of European Union policies; 2) the power of the regions to maintain relations with foreign states or territorial entities. Given the specificity of relations with the EU in the framework of the constitutional amendment, a distinction is made between relations with the EU and with other foreign actors.
Atlanticism and Europeanism in Italy and France: a Critical Comparison, by Jean-Pierre Darnis
Analysis of the debate on the Iraqi crisis in Italy and France reveals two different paradigms. On the one hand, that of France, strongly opposed to the US logic; on the other, that of Italy, fulfilling its traditional role of loyal US ally. These different positions can be seen as a form of fracture inside Europe, confirmed by the two countries' open criticism of each other. Yet, by examining the two countries' policy guidelines their positions can be relativised and points of divergence, but also strategies of convergence identified.
Book Reviews and Notes
Selective Multilateralism as a US Strategy (PDF, 3 pages, 21 KB) , by John M. Owens
IAI Library Notes , by Maritza Cricorian