CIAO DATE: 03/05
Volume XXXVIII, No. 4 (October — December 2003)
Four articles of this issue of The International Spectator address, from various perspectives, the problem of the democratic accountability of the institutions of the European Union and, in this context, the evolving role of the European Parliament.
Forging a Transatlantic Consensus on Missile Defence, by Jeffrey P. Bialos and Stuart L. Koehl
Missile threats are real and a consensus seems to be emerging in Europe about creating defences against them, subject to considerations of competing needs and funding. Very legitimate issues warrant debate on both sides of the Atlantic. Should the Old Continent apply resources to missile defence, it should do so as "Europe" rather than on a fragmented national basis. With strong leadership and commitment to the transatlantic security relationship, multi-national cooperation between the United States and its allies offers "win-win" prospects from the standpoint of strengthening the alliance and mutual security.
Dilemmas of the Western Middle East Agenda
US Nation-building Policy in the Greater Middle East (PDF, 16 pages, 68.9 KB), by Marina Ottaway
The Bush administration has reluctantly accepted the necessity of nation-building in the Middle East, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has also proclaimed its intention to transform other countries of the region into more modern and democratic states. US ambitious goals are unlikely to be attained. The United States is competing with powerful domestic forces with nation-building agendas of their own, including all Arab governments and Islamist organizations. Furthermore, the Bush administration continues to rely on democracy promotion projects very similar to those that were unsuccessful in the 1990s.
Third Party Monitoring in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (PDF, 13 pages, 109.5 KB), by Jarat Chopra
The terms of third party monitoring in the various initiatives for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have so far proved unworkable. Each American-led effort has foundered, in part, because of a preoccupation with short-term security interests at the cost of longer-term political objectives. The different types of monitoring attempted - political and security, security-only, security-plus and security-minus-political - have been characterised by minimalist incrementalism and followed by unprecedented deterioration in ground conditions. Unless sound operational principles are taken seriously within a more comprehensive approach, monitoring mechanisms will continue to be undermined by the absence of agreement between the sides before they can be helped to reach any kind of outcome.
Reform and Reconstruction in the Middle East: Room for EU-US Cooperation?, by Tim Niblock
US and EU plans for promoting economic and political reconstruction in the Middle East, basically set down in the US' Millenium Challenge and Middle East Peace Initiative and the EU's Barcelona Declaration framework, provide the basis for the two sides to pursue cooperative and coordinated policies in this field. While no deep ideological divide exists between the approaches, it would nonetheless be wrong to seek to coordinate policies. There are significant differences in the interests and objectives of the EU and US in the region. Policy coordination on reconstruction could make it more difficult for the EU to achieve its wider objectives in the region. This should not, however, inhibit each side from learning from the experience of the other.
European Armaments Cooperation - Lessons for a Future European Armaments Agency, by Andrew James
Recent events have made the prospect of a European armaments agency seem less remote. Important issues still have to be addressed: the integration of existing armaments cooperation organisations, the membership of the agency and the possibility of enhanced cooperation, the responsibilities of the agency and the willingness of national governments to provide it with the necessary executive powers, concerns about European preference, and the role of the European Commission. The agency should not be seen as an end in itself and success will be measured not by the establishment of the institution but by the difference that it makes to European capabilities in support of the ESDP.
EU Constitutional Reform and the Convention Method, by Flavia Zanon
Starting from the the motivations that led to the convening of the Convention on the Future of Europe, this article aims to identity the limits and potential of the "Convention method" for the process of constitutional reform of the Union. It examines the main features of the internal organisation of the assembly, in particular the dialogue with the civil society, the decision-making procedure, the role of the Praesidium and the components of the assembly. Drawing on the lesson of this Convention, the article try to identify advantages and shortcomings of the Convention method for the future amendments of the Union Constitution.
Transatlantic Tristesse - More than Just History Repeating Itself, by Nicole Renvert and Marcus von Essen
Based on the assumption that the nature of transatlantic relations has fundamentally shifted and that there is a need to redefine interests on both sides of the Atlantic, the article lays out a scenario for the future of the Euro-Atlantic partnership and takes a critical look at the growing interdependence of security and economics in transatlantic affairs. It examines the effects of the Iraq crisis on the transatlantic alliance but also on the development of Europe. With the end of transatlanticism as the driving force in decision-making processes, the challenge for Europe to bring its ideas to the negotiating table is stronger than ever. The US, at the same time, continues to face serious challenges from Europe in the economic field and will therefore be forced to find a functioning modus vivendi for future cooperation.
Index 2003 (PDF, 3 pages, 372 KB)
List of Contributors 2003 (PDF, 1 page, 10.31 KB)