CIAO DATE: 02/01
Volume XXXV No. 1 (January-March 2000)
An overall reform of the Unions institutional system, is required to prevent enlargement from leading to a dilution of the Union, a deterioration of the acquis communautaire and the achievements made in integration, and/or a blockage of the further "deepening" required by the integration process. Also required is the constitutionalisation of the Union, establishing a framework of principles, objectives, rights and institutional arrangements with which the citizens can identify more clearly and profoundly. The Intergovernmental Conference for which work has already started should address these and other issues.
TEPSA Europe Forum
Six episodes in the history of the European Parliament (the parliamentary assembly for the European Coal and Steel Community; parliamentary power over public expenditure; direct elections; the Single European Act and Parliaments legislative role; the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties introducing co-decision and power over the Commission; theEPs removal of the Commission) are presented as part of a process of development towards a federal parliament. Today, the question of whether or not the European Parliament will become the equivalent of a federal house of the people depends mainly on whether it can acquire the power of co-decision over the remainder of the legislation and the budget. The present Intergovernmental Conference may well decide to take important steps in this direction.
Proposals ranging from the approval of a Charter on Human Rights and a Constitutional Pact, to the democratisation of the decision-making process, reform of the revision procedure and the introduction of measures allowing for closer cooperation, transparency and control are put forward to deal with the three major challenges facing the European Union today: the economic imbalance between the various geographic areas of the continent; the democratic deficit in the Union itself; and security on the continent.
Kosovo in Limbo
Kosovos past attempts at state-building, whether framed in an ideological debate between two concepts of communism, or focused, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, on trying to create the pretence of a state and the illusion of a legitimate, democratically elected government, were brought to an end by the Drenica uprising in 1998. It became clear that the self-illusion of a state was not sufficient to create one and that it was impossible to go ahead in realising statehood without Western support. Where to from here? There are positive factors in Kosovar society today that favour Kosovos development into a democratic and viable state. But further steps cannot be taken towards democracy unless a consensus is established within society as a whole on basic questions concerning Kosovos present and future. Public debate is required on issues relative to the quality of the institutions of democracy, the quality of economic transformation, the level of tolerance in society and the quality of Kosovos relations with its neighbours.
The current policy of letting the issue of Kosovo's final status be decided by political process does not take into consideration political and social developments in neighbouring countries which are also undergoing uncertain processes of change. Developments in these countries are in part contingent on what happens in Kosovo, but also simultaneously influence options and developments there. The political status of Kosovo involves a relationship with them that must be negotiated and accepted and will require adjustments by all, if it is to be stable. Options for Kosovo must be discussed in terms of a regional or sub-regional strategy.
In the area of law and order, as well as in several other important sectors, the absence of a final settlement and a vision about the way forward have had a dismal effect on the development both of local capacities in this field and on the ability and willingness of the international presence to perform its duties effectively. The process towards a political settlement should be speeded up (although this is easier said than done) and a major review of the entire international effort in Kosovo undertaken, which would involve either handing over part of the policing task to KFOR or improving cooperation between KFOR and UNMIK police. Attention must also be given to establishing a functioning independent judiciary and penal system.
Balkan Regional Cooperation: A Realistic Goal or a Chimera?
The Stability Pact brings together all actors with an interest in stability, peace and reconstruction in the Balkans and which feel that the only way to restore the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable growth is to follow a comprehensive and regional approach. A key objective is the eventual integration of the region into Euro-Atlantic structures. Although not a financing agency, the Stability Pact screens proposals coming from the countries in the region, coordinates the activities of the international financial institutions and establishes priorities for projects. In order to achieve its goals, a number of conditions will have to be met: the momentum that led to the signing of the Pact will have to be kept up and increased, if possible; Europe must take the lead in the context of the Stability Pact in the field of economic and commercial integration; and finally, a realistic approach to the Serbian question will have to be found.
A global approach to the Balkan problem, although the only one possible, cannot be easily implemented today (if only for the Serbian question). Thus the only feasible alternative remains a partial approach that could, however, be coherent with future global action. Priority should be given to basic infrastructure. An initial stage could tie bilateral links to multilateral links able to influence the relations among the countries involved, establishing, for example, an initial regional framework of economic relations. Some form of European integration would certainly be an incentive. A second stage could be similar to the one developed by the EU towards the Central and Eastern European countries, with various levels of agreement leading up to application for entry into the EU.
Managing Security in the Mediterranean
After analysing the factors militating for and against the development of a new instrument of multilateral security management in the Mediterranean area, with special attention to conflict prevention mechanisms, the article reviews the structural characteristics of Mediterranean security to illustrate why a new security architecture is needed. It goes on to compare existing security threats with available security instruments and the role of existing security institutions in the creation of new instruments for multilateral management of regional security in the area. While asymmetries in security needs and perceptions complicate development of a cooperative security in the Mediterranean region, littoral countries now have a common ground for political and security interests, consisting in the search for ways to deal positively with globalisation and to lower the human and economic costs of guaranteeing security.
The Barcelona Declaration envisaged political dialogue as an important instrument available to the institutions of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) for attainment of its goals. This articles discusses a number of possible models of Euro-Med political dialogue and tries to ascertain which one appears most in tune with the broad objectives of the EMP, as well as sustainable with respect to the political conditions prevailing in the EMP sphere. It then considers "enhanced political dialogue" as a mechanism of conflict prevention in itself, as well as a mover of other instruments for conflict prevention. The article warns of the risk of overusing EU facilities to makeup for difficulties in setting up joint instruments and procedures as it could deepen southern perceptions of EU unilateralism in dealing with the EMP and downgrade confidence-building with respect to non-EU partners.
The most relevant development within the political and security chapter of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) will undoubtedly be the drafting of a Charter for Peace and Stability. However, no mention of military dialogue or other kinds of military measures can be found in the guidelines agreed upon for elaborating it. After giving five reasons that justify attributing a new kind of security dimension to the EMP, the author examines the purpose of an EMP military and defence dimension and suggests some concrete military partnership-building measures. Nevertheless, establishment of the EMP's military dimension should be prudent and gradual in order to surmount several difficulties described.