CIAO DATE: 02/01
Volume XXXV No. 4 (October-December 2000)
The contribution of the EU is growing in importance in practically all major areas of UN intervention. Not only does the Union provide the biggest share of international aid but it is also at the centre of international reconstruction and development efforts in many ravaged regions. Nevertheless, the persistent deficiencies of the CFSP continue to prevent the Union from exercising a corresponding political influence within the UN. The EU's six-month rotating presidency is particularly inadequate for this purpose. The prospect of a single European permanent seat in the UN Security Council remains quite remote, but a logical solution might be to entrust the European Commission with more power in the CFSP area.
Various courses of action are open to European countries to counter the effects of rises in oil prices and ensure that similar future shocks are absorbed more rapidly and effectively. The proposal put forward is a supply-side, anti-inflation policy centred on temporary tax cuts to be implemented every time oil prices go above a given level. Such a mechanism, which should be coordinated at the European level, would have the advantage not only of containing inflationary pressures but also of giving the economic systems more time to restructure when faced with dramatic changes in oil prices. It is maintained that a common European strategy of this type would be make it easier to enter into agreement with OPEC, since avoiding excessive price oscillations is also in the long-term interest of the oil producers.
TEPSA Europe Forum
The objective, of a single European financial market is unlikely to be reached unless a single European system of regulation and supervision of financial markets is established. So far, EU countries have not recognised this linkage. While an integrated financial market can and should co-exist with competition among financial institutions and financial centres, it is hardly conceivable that there should be competition among different regulatory systems. In order to achieve a truly European financial market, what is needed is a clear blueprint, like the one that led to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but that will require, among other things, a specific change in the EU Treaty.
The EUs Foreign and Security Policy Dimension
The difficulty of the EU countries in taking effective common decisions in the foreign policy field lies in the Union's weak legitimacy as a single international actor rather than in insurmountable divergences of national interests. The state of paralysis of the CFSP -- despite the recent initiatives to provide it with an array of new instruments -- reflects the fragility of the European construction as a whole. In the absence of an effective CFSP, even the search for a European defence identity is doomed to failure and Europe will necessarily remain dependent on continued US engagement. On the other hand, the Union has played an increasingly assertive and pro-active external role in the economic field, which indicates that it is particularly suited for the post-modern agenda of interdependence and globalisation. The EU should rely first and foremost on these inherent capacities to establish more balanced relations with the US.
Putting the so-called St. Malo process in the wider context of the Unions external role, which also includes other crucial processes such as eastward enlargement and revision of the security relation with the US, the article identifies the main challenges that the Union is facing in its effort to assert itself as a credible security provider. In order to be successful, key prerequisites are greater involvement on the part of the European Commission in the EUs security policy, establishing functional synergy between the Unions activities in the second pillar (CFSP) and the third (Home and Justice Affairs) since internal and external security can hardly be separated, and creating direct institutional links between the EU and NATO.
Italian foreign policy survey
With the end of the Cold War, the gap between Italys growing aspirations for recognition as a major international player and the persistent weaknesses of its institutional system has widened. The recent attempt made by parliament to change the distribution of constitutional powers in the field of foreign and defence policy ended in failure because of fundamental divergences among the major political parties on other parts of the constitutional reform. But the draft reform concerning foreign policy powers worked out by parliament was in any case ill-conceived as it would have left unsolved and perhaps even aggravated the current overlapping of competencies of various constitutional bodies. The government nevertheless took an important step towards adapting foreign policy instruments to the new realities of the international system by approving a major reform of the structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But even the potential benefits of this achievement will remain limited unless it is complemented by and eventually becomes part of a comprehensive reform of Italys institutions and state administration.
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A comparison of the characteristics of Italys industrial specialisation model with those of other OECD countries reveals that Italian industry is specialised in traditional sectors, shows little product innovation and is less inclined toward active internationalisation than other advanced economies. This rigidity reflects the structure of its enterprises, as well as serious shortcomings in the accumulation of human capital, in basic research and in infrastructure, the public administration and the supporting financial system. In a rapidly changing international environment, characterised by the spread of new information technologies, European Monetary Union and global capital mobility and in the absence of significant qualitative changes in Italys competitiveness, each phase of expansion will do nothing but reproduce and amplify the characteristics of the Italian production system, narrowing, rather than expanding its productive base.
The interest in cooperative security arrangements has not ceased to increase since the end of the Cold War; the article assesses how this has been reflected in NATOs policy towards the Balkan area. Analysis focuses, in particular, on the role of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, a typical example of cooperative security arrangements. An examination of the origin and evolution of the EAPC, its actual and potential contribution to the stabilisation of the Balkans is followed by a set of policy recommendations for improving the functional mechanisms of the EAPC and for coordinating its programmes with those of other international organisations.
What was special about the US foreign policy decision-making structure under President Clinton? It relied much more than previous adminsitration on the activities of individuals on the one hand and agencies outside the White House on the other. An analysis of the foreign policy decision-making of the Clinton administration in five different areas reveals that this "non-absolute presidential model" was not particularly successful, but seemed to correspond to a long-term trend toward greater fragmentation in foreign policymaking engendered by the growing complexity of the external action of states, especially such a major international actor as the United States.
Book Reviews and Notes