CIAO DATE: 06/05
Volume XXXIX, No. 3 (July - September 2004)
The "Clash of Civilisations" and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, by Pascal Boniface
The Arabs and, more generally, the Muslims see the West's failure to address the Palestinian question as indisputable proof of its hypocrisy and hostility towards Islam. More generally, the manifestly double-standard policy of the West, but especially the US, in dealing with regional conflicts has created deep-seated distrust and resentment in the Arab/Muslim world. To counter this trend and neutralise the potential of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to become the main catalyzer of the much feared "clash of civilisations", the Palestinian question must be put back at the top of the West's foreign policy agenda.
A Rejoinder: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Clash within Civilisations, by Mark A. Heller
In "The Clash of Civilisations and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict", Pascal Boniface speaks for those European intellectuals who have adopted the Palestinian agenda, which is to pressure the United States to pressure Israel to concede Palestinian demands, under threat that failure to do so will lead to a general clash of civilisations. However, the linkage between these two issues is not that one depends on the other but rather that they both depend on the outcome of a third -- the clash within the Arab/Muslim civilisation between backward-looking forces of uncompromising confrontation, self-righteousness, repression, regression and stagnation and those embattled voices calling for transformation and modernisation based on serious introspection and honest self-criticism. Every new anti-US/anti-Israel diatribe by the chattering classes of Europe encourages the first camp and further reduces the chances that either issue will end well.
Saddled with a Divided Cyprus: An EU Dilemma, by Tozun Bahcheli
The EU gambled that it could act as a catalyst for the settlement of the Cyprus conflict by promising enry to the island. Although no political settlement was reached before accession, EU states granted membership to the island represented by the Greek Cypriot-controlled Republic of Cyprus in 2004. With the Turkish Cypriot-administered northern Cyprus excluded from membership, the EU has to contend with the anomalies arising from having admitted a divided island. EU states need to remind the Republic of Cyprus that it does not represent the Turkish community, and find appropriate formulas to secure Turkish Cypriot representation in European Councils.
Reflections on Post-Referendum Cyprus, by Nathalie Tocci
On 24 April 2004, voting on the future status of their island, Turkish Cypriots accepted and Greek Cypriots rejected - both overwhelmingly - the UN-sponsored "Annan Plan". The reasons that led the Greek Cypriots to reject it were numerous: the lack of effective political pressure upon the Greek Cypriots, the latter's widespread fear that Turkey would not deliver on its commitments if the plan were adopted and the conviction that once in the European Union, with Turkey still outside, they would be in a much stronger position in future negotiations. Even though it would seem to be counter-intuitive at first sight, a series of unilateral goodwill measures could be undertaken by the Turkish Cypriot side to contribute to the normalisation of the socio-economic situation in northern Cyprus, while helping to keep the Annan Plan alive.
Reform of the Stability and Growth Pact: Looking beyond the Commission's Proposal , by Maria Teresa Salvemini Ristuccia
The Commission's proposal for reform of the EU Stability and Growth Pact is partial and inadequate. It is in fact doubtful that changing the rules on deficit and debt ceilings can ensure both monetary stability and economic growth. One solution might be removing the rule that binds the EU to a balanced budget and replacing it with a "golden rule" that would allow the Union to incur debt to finance public expenditures of strategic importance in order to relaunch growth.
The French-German Duo and the Search for a New European Security Model (PDF, 12 pages, 113.1 KB), by François Heisbourg
French and German security cooperation has never been closer. French and German military concepts and doctrines have evolved in a converging manner; in defence industrial terms, the two countries have also drawn ever closer. But this masks an underlying reality of a largely worn-out French-German relationship and a decreasing ability on the part of the Paris-Berlin couple to set the tone of European security developments. France and Germany no longer come close to covering the broad spectrum of differences in EU affairs in general, and in security and defence affairs in particular. A European "avant-garde" will have to operate within a broader framework than the Franco-German couple to have traction in influencing all-Union security and defence policy. The inner core of the 25-plus European Union could well be a Quadrangle, rather than a pair, with Berlin, London, Paris and Warsaw as players.
The European Parliament Assesses the Constitution, by Andrew Duff
The European Constitution enhances the capacity of the European Union to act effectively at home and abroad. At the same time, it allow for the rapid development of parliamentary democracy to keep pace with integration. Greatly reinforcing both the legislative and budgetary roles of the European Parliament, the Constitution will bring the Union greater stability and legitimacy than it has had before.
The Powers of the European Parliament in the new Constitutional Treaty, by Cesare Pinelli
The new powers with which the European Parliament has been entrusted by the European Union's Costitutional Treaty comprehend both the extension of the codecision procedure between the EP and the Council to the adoption of almost all legislative acts and the enhancement of the EP's role in appointing the European Commission. The importance of such developments within the European enterprise as a whole is evident, but there are nevertheless obstacles that could prevent the EP from fulfilling the role of an Assembly fully representing European citizens in the sometimes puzzling institutional assessment afforded by the Constitutional Treaty.
The Challenges of the European Neighbourhood Policy , by Michele Comelli
Underlying the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is the innovative idea of a single framework for the EU's relations with its neighbours, be they eastern or southern. This could provide a decisive contribution to the search for a coherent and consistent EU foreign policy. Nevertheless, implementation of the ENP is unlikely to be easy. Not only has it received a lukewarm reception in some countries - negative in Russia, but the neighbouring countries' commitment to it is still unknown. Finally, the most important factor of all, the resources earmarked for it, are still scarce.
Waiting for December 2004: Turkish Blues for the EU, by Sinem Akgül Açikmese and Mustafa Aydin
The decision of the European Council in December 2004 on whether or not to start accession negotiations with Turkey will mark a historic turning point in Turkey-EU relations. Both sides are now standing at the crossroads of grasping the advantages Turkey's membership would offer or bearing the costs of its exclusion. While the potential economic and political implications are important for both sides, it is not certain that Turkish membership in the EU is indispensable for either. Any further postponement or, worse, the total rejection of negotiations at this time would cause disillusionment in Turkey, but it would be exaggerated to assume that it would cease its democratisation and modernisation process. Its relations with European countries would certainly be acrimonious for some time and there would be a price to pay, but connections between Turkey and the EU are so ingrained that neither side can afford to sever them for good.
Book Reviews and Notes
The Major Challenges Facing the Multilateral Trading System (PDF, 3 pages, 58.9 KB) , by Irene Caratelli
IAI Library Notes , by Maritza Cricorian