CIAO DATE: 11/05

The International Spectator

Volume XL No. 2 (April - June 2005)

IAI Library Notes

By Maritza Cricorian

 

The European Union and the Constitutional Treaty

Dalla Convenzione alla Costituzione : rapporto 2005 della Fondazione Istituto Gramsci sull'integrazione europea a cura di Giuseppe Vacca. - Bari : Dedalo, c2005. - 325 p.

This annual report, now in its third year, is made up of a monographic part that differs from year to year (the two preceding ones were devoted to monetary integration and Euro-Atlantic relations), and four permanent sectors. This year, the monographic essay centres on the course of European unification from 1989 to 1991 and, therefore, on the historical and political reasons leading up to the drafting of the European Constitution and the problems involved. In considering the success of this attempt to produce a new type of sovereignty, the essay examines the influence of the new member countries and Euro-Atlantic relations on the Constitutional process, the degree of continuity with respect to the current European institutional configuration, as well as the shortcomings and potential of the Constitutional text. The four regular sections monitor the main areas of European integration: institutions, economy and enlargement, the "space of freedom, security and justice”, and foreign and security policy.

European foreign policy : from rhetoric to reality? / Dieter Mahncke, Alicia Ambos and Christopher Reynolds, eds. - Bruxelles : P.I.E.-Peter Lang, c2004. - 381 p.

This text looks at some crucial issues of European foreign policy from a dual perspective - past and future - and does so in two parts. The first is dedicated to the basis for and the gradual institutionalisation of CFSP; the second is made up of ten case studies analysing the capacity for consistency and coordination witnessed in certain cases or regions. The fundamental questions behind the study are set forth in the first six chapters: 1) the reasons for establishing a common foreign policy; 2) the foundations and starting point for national convergence and the differences between the different foreign policy traditions in Europe; 3) prerequisites for a CFSP and the schools of thought on the role of the EU in the international system; 4) legal aspects (treaties, declarations, competencies); 5) a historical overview of what has been done to date; 6) institutional aspects and relations between European institutions and between the EU and NATO. Various aspects of the promotion of stability and democratisation are examined in the following ten case studies on: transatlantic relations or the lack of an overall foreign policy towards the United States; the role of the EU in Iraq or the limits of CFSP; the EU’s policy towards Russia, Kosovo, Macedonia, the Mediterranean (in both the Mediterranean Partnership and the intergovernmental Common Strategy towards the region), the Middle East, the Great Lakes region (as of 1994), Asia (where there is no coherent CFSP) and Latin America. On the basis of the efforts and shortcomings revealed by the authors, the conclusions outline the consequences and possible improvements.

European neighbourhood policy : political, economic and social issues / edited by Fulvio Attiną and Rosa Rossi. - Catania: Jean Monnet Centre "Euro-Med”, 2004. - 168 p.

This book, one of the first on the subject, gathers together the final results of a research project carried out by the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Catania. The project was carried out by young researchers and experts in various fields, coming from EU member and non-member countries. The book is composed of three sections for a total of 13 chapters. The first section - on the ENP’s policies and institutions - deals specifically with building security and regional security arrangements, the security dimension of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, Europe’s strategy of democracy promotion in neighbouring countries, region-building and, in particular, the Neighbourhood Policy for Mediterranean countries. The second section deals with economic and financial topics and, specifically, with economic cooperation and aid. The four chapters look at the impact of the Euro-Med association on aid and FDI flows into North Africa, FDI potential in the Mediterranean region, EU-Russian economic cooperation, trans-national and regional cooperation within the framework of the ENP. The third and last section investigates cultural and social aspects such as relations between Moldova and the EU, migratory flows and policies, Muslim immigration, possible cooperation between the Ukraine university system and the Union’s system, the responsibility of policies based on the "Washington Consensus” for development in Islamic countries.

European political economy : political science perspectives / Leila Simona Talani. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2004. - xii, 235 p.

An original and useful approach to political economy applied to European integration, this essay gives an overview and a thorough analysis of various theoretical orientations in political science applied to political economy. Functional to this aim is the book’s division into two parts: the first presents and categorises the main theories, definitions and methods - mainstream and critical - in political economy used to conceptualise the process of European integration. In this theoretical framework, the second part provides alternative interpretations of some of the questions of European political economy, in particular: the creation of EMU, the performance of the ECB, unemployment in Europe, employment policies in the EU and the case of Italy in the last decade, social policy and the role of social actors in the European decision-making process, the creation of a "Fortress Europe” and EU immigration policies. The conclusions set the theoretical debate on European integration into the broader context of globalisation and its impact on the nation state.

European regulatory agencies / Giacinto della Cananea (ed.). - [Paris] : ISUPE Press, 2004. - XX, 219 p.

This study, promoted by the Initiative pour des Services d'UtilitŹ Publique en Europe (ISUPE), an organisation for study and promotion of public services in the European construction, with the collaboration of the Groupe d'Etudes Politiques Européennes (GEPE), the Belgian member of TEPSA, investigates how the future of regulatory agencies may be influenced by the Constitutional Treaty. Analysis starts out from the assumption that there is an ever increasing need to legitimate, coordinate and monitor the activity of the regulators. This need is dictated by increasing European integration and has been hindered till now by the so-called Meroni case (Case 9/56 [1957-8], ECR133) which invoked the principle of "balance of powers” to curb the possibility of delegating normative powers to institutions not contemplated by the Treaties. Unfortunately, the Constitutional Treaty does not provide specific legal bases for setting up agencies, but only some implicit references which, while they might ensure more flexibility than in the past in delegating powers and choosing procedural and organisational solutions, could aggravate the negative trend towards "sectionalism”, that is a weak link between public authorities.

La Grande Europe / edited by Paul Magnette. - Bruxelles : Editions de L'Université di Bruxelles, c2004. - 403 p.

The state of the art and prospects of the European model - above all in light of the new Treaty - in the institutional, legal, and internal and foreign policy sectors which can, according to the editor, be traced back to ten fundamental theses: 1) the legal order, matured and rationalised in twenty years, seems to be confirmed and consolidated; 2) the Union’s purpose, competencies and sectors of intervention are better defined; 3) coordination of immigration and asylum policies and the harmonisation of penal policies has been normalised and strengthened; 4) regulation of the single market has been made more flexible and decentralised; 5) social and solidarity policies remain divergent and limited to the national domain, except for a possible general form of convergence; 6) the Union is experimenting with new forms of convergence and coordination in new sectors (e.g. university education); 7) much remains to be done in the field of collective representation and civil commitment (democratic deficit); 8) Europe continues to exert a strong attraction for the outside world because of its political and socio-economic model; 9) the Union has the ability to influence and intervene in global affairs; 10) Euro-scepticism seems to be decreasing among member states. In short, the European project does not seem to be in the least exhausted.

Il rilancio dell'Europa : il progetto di Jacques Delors / Claudio Giulio Anta. - Milano : Franco Angeli, c2004. - 250 p.

An original study stemming from a broadened and revised PhD thesis. The text has a dual focus: the project for "relaunching Europe” after the Euro-sclerosis of the early eighties and, in parallel, the biographical and political course, the experience and political thought of European president Jacques Delors, with particular attention to the years of his double mandate (1985-95). This is done through comparisons with other contemporary figures such as Margaret Thatcher. The author draws from Delors’ many speeches and written works, as well as a personal interview with him in 2002. He thereby reconstructs Delors’ idea of Europe, his plan, the transition - step by step - from a functionalist to the more recent federal vision of the future of Europe as a "federation of nation states”.

Al servicio de Europa : innovación y crisis en la Comisión Europea / Ángel ViĖas. - Madrid : Editorial Complutense, c2004. - XXIV, 572 p.

A book of memoires, but not anecdotes, of a Spanish academic who served for over fourteen years (1987-2001) as an official (director) of the European Commission. The book gives a historical overview and an analysis of the processes involved in formulating EU policies and the "export” of some Spanish interests into the community sphere. The subjects selected by the author and on which he concentrates his analysis are, in chronological order, relations between united Europe and Latin America, a result - the author claims - of the interaction of Spain and the EU; multilateral relations, above all within the United Nations and the defence of the Commission’s "papel”; the policy in defence of human rights and support for democratisation. The work, based on an ample bibliography, is not centred on outputs or outcomes but on inputs into the decision-making process of the policies considered.

Storia dell’integrazione europea : dalla guerra fredda alla Costituzione dell'Unione / Bino Olivi, Roberto Santaniello. - Bologna : il Mulino, c2005. - 347 p.

This book, meant for a broad, not only academic, audience, reconstructs the course of European integration, from the fifties up to the recent enlargement to 25 members. Based on rigorous sources, the authors, both with direct experience in European institutions, reflect on the developments of European integration, placing them in a continental and global context, interpreting facts and highlighting the problems. The book is composed of eight chapters, each dedicated to a historical phase of the integration process: 1) the Cold War and the French veto (1947-63); 2) from Britain’s new request for entry to the oil crisis (1964-73); 3) from the Paris summit to the Spinelli plan (1974-84); 4) from the completion of the single market to the implementation of the Single Act and the new revision of the Treaties (1985-89); 5) from the end of the Cold War to the Treaty of Maastricht (1989-92); 6) from the birth of the European Union to the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona (1993-95); 7) from the Treaty of Amsterdam to the Helsinki European Council (1997-99); 8) from the Lisbon European Council to the new Barroso presidency and the "Turkish question” (2000-04). Winding up is a useful chronology (May 1950 to December 2004) and an essential bibliography.

Trattato che adotta una costituzione per l'Europa : firmato a Roma il 29 ottobre 2004 / Servizio Affari internazionali del Senato della Repubblica. - Roma : Senato della Repubblica, 2004. - XCII, 510 p.

La costituzione europea : riflessioni sul contributo italiano / a cura di Francesco Tufarelli. - Roma Philos Edizioni, c2004. - 175 p.

Il progetto di trattato-costituzione : verso una nuova architettura dell'Unione Europea / a cura di Lucia Serena Rossi. - Milano : GiuffrŹ Editore, c2004. - XVI, 314 p.

Three Italian books on the European Constitutional Treaty. The first includes the full Italian version of the Treaty signed in Rome in October 2004 and a selection of the protocols and the more important declarations annexed to the Treaty. All of this is preceded by a useful introduction analysing and commenting the four parts of the Treaty and, above all, highlighting the changes with respect to the preceding treaties and the draft drawn up by the European Convention. The second book summarised Italy’s contribution, especially from civil society, to the work of the Convention. The analysis of the problems, proposals and objectives reached by the parties involved in the debate is divided by actor rather than by subject, namely: national political parties, regional and local authorities, the academic world and research centres, the social actors, the services sector, youth. A last chapter is devoted to opinion polls. The text is enhanced by a bibliography and two chronologies, one on the reform process and the other on Italian initiatives on the future of Europe. The book with its CD-Rom containing documentary material is put out by the Observatory on the European Convention, a body set up in 2002 by the Italian Ministry for Community Policies to act as a liaison between the Italian representatives at the Convention and the country itself. In March 2004, it was replaced by the Observatory for European Citizenship. The third volume, which stems from a conference held in Bologna in July 2003, retraces the principal innovations of the Constitutional project up to the Intergovernmental Conference in 2003. It analyses the general aspects of the Constitutional process (part one), the new role of the institutions (part two) and the various implications on citizens’ status (part three). Interestingly enough, it includes the contributions of two prominent Italian politicians: then president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, and the head of the Italian Party of the Democratic Left, Piero Fassino.

Un popolo per l'Europa unita : fra dibattito storico e nuove prospettive teoriche e politiche / a cura di Corrado Malandrino. - Firenze : Leo S. Olschki editore, 2004. - X, 251 p.

In the light of the recent Constitutional process, this essay offers some new thoughts on a subject that is not new, namely the problem of "a European people” in the European reality. It verifies the validity of the interpretative schemes adopted till now, also in the light of new contributions such as the communicative paradigm of Jürgen Habermans, which take into account the points of view of all national subjects involved. The book is made up of contributions from various scholars, some of which were presented at an international conference held in Turin in March 2003, on various aspects of the subject: the concept of "people” and of "European people” in particular, also in a historical perspective; the problem of sovereignty; European/federal citizenship; the principle of subsidiarity and the European "social model”.

UL'Unione Europea tra processo di integrazione e di allargamento / a cura di Giorgio Bosco, Francesco Perfetti, Guido Ravasi. - Milano : Edizioni Nagard, c2004. - 341 p.

This book presents the proceedings of a series of political science and European studies conferences organised by the Fondazione Europea Dragąn in 2003-03. It is broken down into three parts corresponding to the three sessions. The first introductory part contains the memoires of Italian Prime Minister Alcide De Gaspari as told by his daughter Maria Romana and an intervention by Stefano Silvestri on the European Union and the new world order. The second offers a series of reflections on the subject of reform and enlargement, including: the Italian government’s points of view and objectives for Europe; costs and benefits of enlargement; the political economy of the European Union, etc. The third part reflects the perspectives of seven of the ten new member countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia) as expressed by their ambassadors to Italy. It looks at some important aspects of the integration process: legal aspects of immigration, legal cooperation, human rights, the constitutional process, the next candidate countries, the creation of the United States of Europe.