Past events at the Portuguese Institute of International Relations (IPRI), Autumn 2016

IPRI PortugalKick-off meeting of the research project “Democracy in Times of Crisis: Power and Discourse in a Three-Level Game”, 11 and 12 November 2016, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Nova University of Lisbon

The meeting formally launched the research project coordinated by Catherine Moury and hosted by the Portuguese Institute of International Relations (IPRI)/ NOVA University of Lisbon. The international team made up of researchers from Portugal, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Greece discussed the general goals of the project and decided on the next steps of the research.

The full programme of the meeting is available here.

Past events at the Romanian Center for European Policies (CRPE) – Summer 2016

CRPE

Conference on “Education for Justice and Democracy – a citizenship training programme in schools”, 20 April 2016, Romanian Center for European Policies (CRPE), Bucharest

Romanian Center for European Policies together with Liderjust (association of law practitioners) organized on 20 April 2016 the final conference of the project Education for Justice and Democracy – a citizenship training program in schools.

During the event, the most important results of the pilot project regarding the experience of teaching legal education in pre-universitary learning institutions were presented, along with the students’options concerning legal education: how they perceive this subject, what they want to learn, who should teach these notions.

Romanian Center for European Policies and Liderjust also presented the public policy options resulted from recent consultations on the introduction of legal education in schools, and launched the debate on the existent short-term options for continuing the program.

The event brought together professionals from the fields of Education and Justice, public policy experts from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Justice, Law experts and practitioners, magistrates, representatives of non-governmental organizations and academia

The pilot project aimed to test the best formulas for teaching legal education in schools as a tool for early prevention of corruption, to promote respect for law and democracy and knowledge of rights and civil liberties.

Conference on “European judicial cooperation in the area of cybercrime”, 23 June 2016, Romanian Center for European Policies (CRPE), Bucharest

The project  “European judicial cooperation in the area of cybercrime”, implemented by the Romanian Center for European Policies, in partnership with Center for Criminal Justice and Security StudiesNational Institute for Magistracy in Romania and National Institute for Justice aimed at contributing to a further development of an European area of justice based on mutual trust and cooperation, with a view to fostering a common legal and judicial culture in Europe.

The project tackled the issue of European Cooperation on fighting Cybercrime from a judicial perspective, addressing the need of prosecutors and judges to have accurate knowledge of the present methods used in cybercrime investigation, national work procedures but also good practices in bi-lateral cooperation or cooperation with EU institutions. For this purpose, a target group of 60 judges and prosecutors from two Member States – Romania and Bulgaria – benefited from trainings in this area.

In order to disseminate the information from the trainings to a wider group of magistrates across

Europe, a Guideline on European Cooperation in the area of Cybercrime has been drafted

within the project. The Guideline, as well as the results of the project were presented at the event and shared within European judicial cooperation networks.

The event was followed by a workshop on Virtual Currencies, challenges to the judicial

system.

 

Recent publications from the Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ – Spring 2016

Clingendael

 

Adriaan Schout, Why a national referendum does not work, but a European one will

In this article, Adriaan Schouts reflects on the broader implications of the recent Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement. According to the author, the Dutch events have proven how a national referendum can paralyse joint decision making.

Against the background of the ongoing debate on the alleged European democratic deficit, the author claims that the Netherlands should launch a discussion in the EU on whether national referenda on EU-wide issues should be replaced by EU-wide referenda.

This ‘no’ is not only a Dutch problem, argues Adriaan Schout, but calls for a structural European democratic response. Other countries, too, will have to ask themselves whether this may provide a solution to the democratic deficit.

The full article can be accessed here.

Recent publications from the Centre d’Etudes Européennes of Sciences Po – Spring 2016

CEE Sciences po3

Dageförde, Mirjam. Concepts of Congruence and Europeans’ evaluation of representation. A micro-level-analysis. Cahiers européens de Sciences Po, n° 03/2016, Paris : Sciences Po, CEE, March 2016

The analysis of the relation between citizens and politics is mostly conducted from two different perspectives and disciplines: On the one hand, legislative scholars analyse legislative behaviour or evaluate representation in terms of responsiveness or congruence. On the other hand, public opinion research focuses mainly on analyses of political trust or satisfaction with democracy for assessing cCEE pub 1itizens’ perspective. To a minor degree, both disciplines are combined: In the last decades, legislative research neglected the perspective of citizens, and public opinion research referred only rarely to theories that concern representation at its core. This article aims at closing this r
esearch gap and addresses citizens’ evaluation of representation. It investigates the effects of congruence – as the main indicator for judging about the quality of representation – from a micro-perspective while referring to the underlying assumption: The higher the congruence, the better the quality of representation. It (1) develops new models for conceptualizing congruence on the micro-level, (2) analyses how citizens assess parliamentary representation in terms of perceived responsiveness and (3) explores how different concepts of congruence impact on it. The analysis is drawn for the EU countries. The results indicate that the distinct conceptualizations of congruence are of varying importance for explaining citizens’ representational judgments.

Rovny, Jan. Is Eastern Europe Uniformly Anti-Immigrant? Not so fast. Understanding immigration policy positions and policy change in Eastern EuropeLIEPP Policy Brief. March 2016, n° 24, p. 1-7

As the European Union struggled to address an unprecedented influx of refugees in 2015, four Eastern European governments rejected a proposal for European Union refugee quotas. Within each country, however, there are different views on the migrant crisis and immigration in general that are overshadowed by this uniform policy response. My research on the political divisions in each country explains that these differences are related to how political camps developed after communism. Through an analysis of the causes of immigration salience and the reasons behind immigration and integration policy positions of various parties in Eastern European countries, this research finds that which party – left or right – adopts more socially liberal policy positions depends on its relationships to communist federalism and the most politically notable ethnic group in the country. My work finds three distinct political patterns in Eastern Europe.

Rovny, Jan. Hungary and Poland’s anti-democratic turn: a new era or more of the same? In MAEurope, March 2016

Reforms affecting the independence of courts and the media in Hungary and Poland have received significant attention in recent months. But to what extent do these developments constitute a genuine shift in the nature of Hungarian and Polish politics? Jan Rovny writes that while both countries have witnessed a rise in support for parties with anti-democratic tendencies, the dynamics of party competition remain consistent with the liberal-conservative political divide that has characterised the politics of these countries since the fall of communism. [First lines]

Rozenberg, Olivier (ed). Should we continue to Study the EU?  Politique européenne, March 2016, vol 2015/4, n° 50

CEE pub 4In French: La gravité et la multidimensionnalité des crises que connaît l’UE imposent un questionnement sérieux. Comment les sciences sociales peuvent-elle analyser le désenchantement vis-à-vis de la construction européenne ? Faut-il voir dans les incertitudes de l’actualité une occasion unique de rendre les études européennes plus scientifiques et objectives ? Pour son 50e numéro, la revue s’efforce de regarder au-delà de la science politique de langue française.

Vitale, Tommaso. Roma: Oltre le baraccopoli: Agenda politica per ripartire dalle periferie dimenticate, Roma : Associazione 21 Luglio, 2016, 18 p.

In Italian : Con il presente documento, presentato in vista delle elezioni comunali che si svolgeranno a Roma nel 2016, l’Associazione 21 luglio vuole proporre alle forze politiche e ai candidati a cariche elettive i principi essenziali per mutare radicalmente le politiche verso gli abitanti delle baraccopoli e dei micro insediamenti presenti nella Capitale. Le azioni previste nel documento hanno come obiettivo, nell’arco temporale di 5 anni: la chiusura graduale e progressiva delle baraccopoli e dei micro insediamenti della Capitale e il superamento dei centri di raccolta dove sono concentrate le famiglie vittime degli sgomberi che nel passato hanno coinvolto abitanti di numerose baraccopoli. “Roma: oltre le baraccopoli” si avvale degli studi condotti dall’Associazione 21 luglio e, nell’ultima parte, del prezioso apporto del prof. Tommaso Vitale, Sciences Po (Université Sorbonne Paris Cité)1. Il testo condivide medesimi principi e metodi riportati all’interno della “Delibera di iniziativa popolare per il superamento dei campi rom”, promossa da nove associazioni2 e sottoscritta da oltre 6.000 cittadini, depositata in Campidoglio l’11 settembre 2015.

Woll, Cornelia. A Symposium on Financial Power. Accounting, Economics and Law: A Convivium, March  2016, vol 6, n° 1, p. 1-3

1st lines: It is a privilege to be read and discussed by such insightful scholars, several of which have made important contributions to our understanding of industry-government relations and financial regulation in recent history. Their reading of my own analysis has given me a much sharper sense of my argument. Indeed, I agree with many of their comments, including some of the critical ones, and believe our discussion contributes positively to the still on-going political analysis of the recent global crisis. The reviews all thoroughly engage with the political analysis and the empirical discussion of the bank bailout schemes presented in the book. Their main thrust differs, however, and it is helpful to organize my response by grouping them according to the focus of their criticism. This allows me to clarify three subjects in my rejoinder to the following discussion: the nature of power, the use of the chicken-game metaphor and the role of healthy banks in different countries.

Woll, Cornelia. A Rejoinder by the Author. Accounting, Economics and Law: A Convivium, March 2016, vol 61, p. 85-92

In order to respond to the insightful and detailed discussion, I find it helpful to group the authors according to the most relevant issues they have identified. First, I will return to the notion of power in business-government relations, which Wilmarth and Barnes discuss at length and which Reinke finds problematic. Second, I will clarify the use of the game-theoretical framing, which has certain heuristic limitations. It does, however, address the governments’ strategy, contrary to the criticism of Reinke and Jensen. Third, I dive into the empirical study to address other factors that help to explain bailout arrangements. I show why I disagree firmly with Jensen, who believes that healthy banks alone are sufficient to analyze the six cases, suggesting that my argument is over-determined. I do concede, however, that additional elements help to provide a richer analysis, in particular the institutional and legal settings highlighted by Moutot and Thiemann.

PADEMIA Third Annual Conference, 19-20 May 2016, Brussels

PADEMIA

 

The third and last Annual Conference in the framework of the PADEMIA project took place in Brussels on 19-20 May 2016.

The conference consisted of parallel thematic workshops organised along the lines of PADEMIA’s seven research themes. Keynote speeches from external practitioners and EU decision makers further elaborated on the themes of the project. Moreover, the winners of the student paper competition as well as the annual research and teaching awards were announced.

Prizes were awarded in three different categories:

1)      The PADEMIA Award for Outstanding Research on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe 2016

2)      The PADEMIA Award for Outstanding Teaching on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe 2016

3)      The PADEMIA Student Paper Prize 2016

The conference also served as a platform for the partner institutions to meet and discuss the management, activities and timelines of the project. Moreover, it enabled the partners to exchange teaching practices on the subject of parliamentary democracy in Europe, to offer opportunities to make contacts in Brussels, and to enhance collaboration and develop synergies for research and publications.

Programme of the conference

 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

 

10.30 – 12.00: Meeting of the Steering Committee (Steering Committee Members only)

12.00 – 13.00: Registration and Sandwich Lunch

13.00 – 14.15: PADEMIA General Assembly (PADEMIA Members only)

14.15 – 14.30: Coffee Break

 

14.30 – 16.00: First Set of Thematic Workshops

1) The influence of parliaments over public policies – chair: Olivier Rozenberg, Sciences Po Paris

2) Explaining issue variation: which EU matters are scrutinized by national   parliaments? – chair: Tapio Raunio, University of Tampere

 

16.00 – 16.30: Coffee Break

 

16.30 – 18.00: Second Set of Thematic Workshops

3) Referendums and parliamentary democracy – chair: Julie Smith, University of
Cambridge

4) European parliaments and crisis management – chair: Zlatko Sabic, University of Ljubljana

 

16.00 – 16.30: Coffee Break

 

18.30 : Keynote Speech by Kaare Strom, University of California: “The perils of Parliamentary Democracy and the Madisonian Turn”

 

19.30: Reception Dinner & announcement of PADEMIA awards 2016

 

Friday, 20 May 2016

 

8.30-9.00: Welcome coffee

9.00 – 10.30: Insights of three years of research on parliamentary democracy part I

10.30 – 11.00: Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.30: Insights of three years of research on parliamentary democracy part II

12.30 – 12.45: Concluding words by Geoffrey Edwards, University of Cambridge

12.45 – 13.45: Sandwich Lunch

 

Venue: Fondation Universitaire, Rue d’Egmont 11, Brussels

 

More detailed information about the panels and the thematic workshops can be found here.

More information about the PADEMIA project

TEPSA Newsletter Editorial “Euro zone governance and democratic legitimacy”, October 2012

In its interim report “Towards a genuine Economic and Monetary Union” of the 12nd October 2012, President Van Rompuy devoted few lines in the end to democratic legitimacy. This paragraph gives the impression of paying lip service to the concept, rather than reflections on its applicability in the ‘genuine’ Economic and Monetary Union. The report does nonetheless clearly outline the subject matter. To the extent the core aspects of the Euro zone governance are fulfilled at intergovernmental level, the democratic oversight of the Euro zone naturally lies within the competency of national parliaments. The European Parliament also has a role to play in the democratic oversight of the Euro zone insofar the governance of the Euro zone is governed by the community method . No need to emphasize on this second point, since it clearly emerges from the treaties.

Regarding the role of the national parliaments however, it is interesting to assess to what extent national parliaments actually play a role in the system. After all, the decisions taken at European level have not only an impact on the power of the national parliaments, but also and most of all, on the life of citizens in the member states. The last years have demonstrated that national political debates focused on EU’s economic and monetary activities. The successive austerity plans imposed on some Euro zone members have also compelled these governments to feed these constraints into national debates. Another implication is that national Heads of State and Government individually bear the consequences of the decisions taken by the European Council in Brussels in their national arena.

A study currently elaborated by TEPSA in collaboration with Notre Europe on the role of national parliaments in oversight of the positions taken by Head of State or Government in the European Council shows a remarkable development in this field. The study demonstrates that nowadays in 17 Member States formal rules exist on the participation of national parliaments in the preparation of the European Councils. These rules can be applied mutatis mutandis to Euro zone summits. They vary between the member states and are more developed in those which have already established a system of oversight on the activity of the Council of the EU. There is a tendency that can be observed in favour of a priori control by providing documents and organising debates before European Council meetings. This a priori oversight consists more often of issuing non-binding recommendations than giving a legally or politically binding mandate. Meanwhile, the practice of debates on the outcome of European Councils is maintained. Insofar the Prime Minister personally takes part to the European Council and a Euro zone summit, his participation in debates in the national parliament is particularly important. The future will tell whether this practice will become widespread.

The trend shows it is no longer only about submitting politically binding positions ex post that can be adopted. Instead it is also about orienting the position of the government during the European Council meeting in question. However, this trend has some limitations. First of all, it faces the still largely informal character of European Council meetings. It is difficult to provide national parliaments with comprehensive information on future conclusions which are still under negotiation. It is neither possible nor desirable for national positions to be fully publicly discussed before the meeting or even subject to a national mandate. This would risk to reduce the bargaining power. National parliaments can only shape general recommendations, which will be subjected to the Prime Minister or the President’s interpretation while acknowledging that if it deviates too much from the mandate given by his parliament it could impact on his/her political responsibility. The above mentioned report will suggest in this sense a set of best practices.

However, considering that the Euro zone governance uses both community and intergovernmental methods, it is deemed essential to ensure that the positions of national parliaments and of the European Parliament are not entirely in conflict, otherwise difficulties of implementation would soon arise. For this particular reason national parliamentary debates should initiate an exchange of views between national parliaments and the European Parliament. Article 13 of the Treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance provides for cooperation between the European Parliament and specialised committees of national parliaments. It would be advisable that this cooperation is set-up at an early stage and not only focuses on Euro zone summits’, but also on the work undertaken in the framework of the European Semester. A parliamentary network has already been formed in the field of foreign policy, it is essential that a similar network starts to function on Euro zone issues without delay.

One cannot request efforts from the European citizens unless they have the conviction of being listened to and understood. Solidarity is not born spontaneously from a generous feeling, it must be based on the idea that efforts undertaken by everyone will benefit to all. So far we have not found any better way to achieve this outcome than through a debate between representatives of the people. Democratic legitimacy is therefore part of the responses to the crisis.