CIAO DATE: 12/01
Volume XXXVI No. 2 (April-June 2001)
Although Arab governments have embraced the Euro-Med Partnership, convinced that it will enhance their security, progress in the Barcelona process has been slow. The problem is that Arab Mediterranean countries are torn between opening up to globalisation, something they feel is essential in order not be marginalised, and maintaining the status quo for fear that openness will lead to a loss of control. Future foreign policy choices in the Mediterranean North African region will depend upon the extent to which these countries can increase their capacity to handle the complexities of the current world system.
TEPSA Europe Forum
For the first time in fifty years, a public debate on the constitutional foundations of the European construction has begun. This article argues that a new constitution for the European Union is needed to respond to two primary needs: codifying the existing legal order, so as to stop the creeping expansion of Union powers, and bestowing democratic legitimacy on the Union's decisions. Union competences can be limited by proper definition of the principle of subsidiarity, a list of activities reserved to member states, and an institutional arbiter (political or jurisdictional) of power conflicts. Various ways of improving the democratic legitimacy of Union institutions are also discussed. The new treaty revisions should be prepared by a democratically accountable Convention, as proposed by Romano Prodi, although by necessity formal approval would require an intergovernmental conference.
Growth in a global world or the lack of it in Europe is the euro's greatest weakness. The Lisbon summit was the first occasion on which Europe acknowledged that its divisions are causing delays with respect to the new economy. Therefore integration must be deepened and priority given to establishing rules by which innovation can spread throughout Europe and setting up networks to ensure the sharing of knowledge. The new economy can only be reconciled with European integration if the latter is strongly and unitarily pursued, so that the networks and the euro work together and represent two positive externalities contributing to the furthering of integration itself.
Italian foreign policy survey
An overview of Italy's efforts to adapt its defence policy to the new realities of the post-Cold War era. As attested to by its participation in the Euroforce, in European defence industry joint ventures and by its efforts at domestic reform, Italy finally seems to have accepted its responsibility in the field of European defence and ready to shoulder its share of the European burden. Nevertheless, much remains to be done.
A New Course for the Transatlantic Partnership?
Despite the soothing rhetoric of continued co-operation it is clear that the first months of the Bush administration have sharpened pre-existing transatlantic disputes in foreign policy. Increasingly, Europeans and Americans differ over the importance of global rules and norms; over what counts as a security problem; and over what sort of strategies are most effective to deal with them. The article identifies the factors that in recent years have created a new climate of opinion in Washington. Moreover, it offers concrete policy suggestions that both sides of the Atlantic should implement in order to stem the harmful transatlantic drift over "global governance".
The test of transatlantic relations in the future will lie in three main fields: bringing long-term stability to the Balkans, US policy towards Russia, and how the US adapts to EU efforts to build a more effective foreign and security policy. To ensure a vital link, there will have to be greater engagement between the US and Europe on global and out-of-area issues and Europe will have to be willing to take on more of the "hard" side of security. But it will also take a sustained commitment from both sides.
US and European polities have developed economic policies and institutions that differ in many important ways over how to embed liberalism and these differences have long underlain tensions in transatlantic relations. Both globalism and the rise of the new economy have sparked political-economic struggles, widening the divide between the US's neo-liberal and Europe's more socially-regulated economic governance. This could sharpen transatlantic economic conflict and rivalry, threatening the future of international economic openness and multilateralism, and could cause political division within and between the US and European political economies.
The United States and European Union have reached an impasse over climate change, which threatens both transatlantic relations and the Earth's environment. The deep uncertainty associated with climate change greatly exacerbates the diplomatic challenge. Current scientific understanding supports a range of views, from those who see the problem as a potential environmental catastrophe to those who argue its effects will be hard to notice among the other changes of the 21st century. Under such conditions, policymakers should seek climate protection strategies robust across a wide range of potential future scenarios. This article offers five key, near-term goals for a robust, long-term climate policy. It then suggests modifications to the current policy framework, with less stringent binding emissions targets offset by additional milestones for near-term policy, that could help the US and EU find common ground on climate change.
In the decade since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's foreign policy has been largely oriented towards the US as its main foreign interlocutor. However, these relations cooled from 1998 onwards, and now there is no clear orientation. Russian President Putin has made conflicting signals - now concentrating on relations with the former Soviet states, now suggesting strategic relationships with China and India, now proposing a closer partnership with Europe. This article argues that a partnership with Europe is the only coherent strategy for Russia in the long term - the more so since it is a largely European country. Like other former imperial powers, it can find in Europe a means for economic and technological development, political support and a framework to nurture human and civil rights. Other strategies lead back to confrontation.
After reviewing the record of European-Iranian relations since 1979 in light of US pressure to isolate the Iranian regime, the article assesses the effectiveness of US sanctions against Iran and argues that if US policy maintains its present course towards Iran, the issue will remain a prominent stumbling block for EU-US relations.
* * *
Although a Cold War kind of confrontation has never been contemplated in the Baltic region, a new kind of confrontation between a Western and a Russian model of security could impede the natural development of the Baltic democracies. The article assesses whether the actions taken by international organisations have played a preventive role in a situation that could otherwise have been more compromising for Europe's overall security. Concluding that they have been particularly effective for the Baltic states' involvement in the Western network of institutionalised relations, attention is drawn to the fact that greater consideration of the other protagonist in the region Russia is needed.
Book Reviews and Notes