Fall 2013 publications from Instituto Affari Internazionali

logo IAISix new reports on the EU institutions and policies from the Istituto Affari Internazionali  – IAI, October-November 2013

Towards a more united and effective Europe: a framework for analysis, by N.Tocci and G.Faleg (Imagining Europe No.1) 28 October 2013, 21 p.

This paper sets out the conceptual framework of the research project “Imagining Europe”. As the unprecedented financial crisis and ensuing economic recession push Europe to the brink, a critical question arises as to what are the foreseeable trajectories affecting EU governance and policy in decades ahead. The crisis has already accelerated policy and institutional evolution in key areas, but the integration project remains torn apart by centrifugal forces. The challenge at hand is that of delineating (a) what kind of model of governance the EU could head towards, and (b) which of these models is fitter for the purpose of a more united, effective, governable and legitimate EU.

Strategy and its role in the future of European defence integration, by M.Muniz (IAI Working Papers 1330) 29 October 2013, 13 p.

Paper prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), October 2013. Research supported by the COST Action “Common denominators for a European vision on CSDP and peace missions”.
EU member states have proven incapable of clarity in their strategic planning, with their key strategic documents almost inevitably abstract and ambiguous. This is extremely unfortunate because without a clear catalogue of interests and an understanding of their location around the world it is impossible to determine a country’s appropriate force structure, let alone conduct a coherent and effective foreign and defence policy. This lack of rigor in strategic planning is hurting European defence integration, as states are unable to have transparent and constructive debates about the interests they share. It would be wise to incorporate into the strategic planning process a model that allows for the capturing and quantifying of states’ interests. Such a process might lead to the realization that EU member states share more strategic interests than is at first apparent.

The Janus-faced new European Neighbourhood Policy: normative (hard) power vs. the pragmatic (soft) approach, by F.Casolari (Documenti IAI 1308) 19 November 2013, 15 p.
Revised version of a paper presented at the Lisboan seminar on “The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?“, Rome, 22 March 2013.

The implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy has drawn strong criticism. Commentators have highlighted its inefficiency and the weak institutional and legal frameworks that have so far characterized this domain. An especially vexed issue is the legal nature of the ENP instruments so far developed by EU actors. This article explores the impact the Lisbon Treaty has had on the definition of ENP tools. I observe that, although some clear features of the new primary-law framework suggest the need for “formalized” ENP tools, the ENP, and in particular its southern dimension, continues to be implemented for the most part by means of soft-law instruments. Despite an undeniable evolution of nonbinding ENP tools, a similar trend could jeopardize the development of the ENP as a whole. I argue that a broader recourse to multilateral or bilateral agreements could make the ENP more effective while strengthening its democratic accountability: a new ENP model based on treaty cooperation would exclude neither flexibility nor a complementary or parallel recourse to soft-law instruments, and would at the same time make the actors involved more accountable, all the while enabling stronger cooperation, at the EU level, between the EU’s institutions and its Member States.

The EU and its Eastern partners: conditionality and expected benefits – how does the Russia factor matter?, by Z.Ludvig (Documenti IAI 1309) 25 November 2013, 18 p.
Revised version of a paper presented at the Lisboan seminar on “The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?“, Rome, 22 March 2013.

Slow progress within the EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) program and disappointment of all affected partners can be explained by both problems arising on the EU and the Eastern partners’ side. Problems on EU side include some major deficiencies like the lack of incentive of EU membership or the slow progress in the visa-free movement of people, the a second major issue for most EaPs. All in all the “carrot” offered by the EU is a small one compared to the appetite of the targeted countries. Eastern partners can also be blamed since most of them delay in “doing their homework” to transform their political, juridical or economic systems. The paper argues that in some cases this “delay” is greatly influenced by a third factor, namely the forced choice on foreign policy orientation for which Eastern partners seem to be either not ready or not dedicated enough. The next EU-EaP summit (Vilnius, 28-29 November 2013) might become a milestone in this respect. The core of the problem roots in the EU “offer” of deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTAs) that institutionally exclude the possibility of the Eastern partner’s parallel economic integration towards East. The first-ever EU EaP Association Agreement including a DCFTA is expected to be signed in this summit with Ukraine.

EEAS audit in the Eastern neighbourhood: to what extent have the new Treaty provisions delivered?, by A. Sek  (Documenti IAI 1310) 26 November 2013, 17 p.
Revised version of a paper presented at the Lisboan seminar on “The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?“, Rome, 22 March 2013.

This paper aims to analyse if and to what extent provisions of the Lisbon Treaty introducing a special relationship with neighbouring countries and Common Foreign and Security Policy-related references, have delivered in strengthening EU’s presence among its Eastern neighbours. The paper will also examine EU’s capacities in decision- and policy-making towards them. The study, built on the author’s interviews and correspondence with officials from EU institutions and literature research, shows that what characterizes the European External Action Service (EEAS) and in consequence EU’s international actorness in the Eastern Neighbourhood are: (i) scarcity of staff in headquarter in Brussels, (ii) scarcity of staff in EU delegations, (iii) underrepresentation of “new Member States”, (iv) lack of esprit du corps. All of these produce various “turf battles” of intra- and inter- institutional nature on the EU-level, which lead to an extension of the decision-making process, and in consequence undermine the possible impact on the Eastern neighbours. Nevertheless, the overall coherence of EU’s external activity is improving. Challenges however remain, particularly the lack of outcomes envisaged by the EU, undermining the Union’s influential transformative role as a norms entrepreneur.

Eastern Partnership Roadmap 2012-2013 and the European Enlargement Strategy: main challenges to the conditionality and differentiated integration principles, by A.Nicolescu (Documenti IAI 1311) 26 November 2013, 12 p.
Revised version of a paper presented at the Lisboan seminar on “The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?“, Rome, 22 March 2013.

This paper aims to look at the challenges faced by the EU in rendering the Eastern Partnership Roadmap 2012-2013 and the European Enlargement Strategy, both adopted last year, into efficient instruments to ensure deeper Europeanisation of its neighbourhood, as the continent is faced with numerous challenges, both internal and external. The two documents put the rule of law principle at the top of their assessment of individual country performance, underlining the need to ensure the irreversibility of democratic practices. Moreover, the indicators and values followed are very similar, in many cases even identical. This points out to a common vision as regards the consolidation of European integration on one hand and of the enlargement policy on the other hand. Similarly as in the case of the Western Balkans, the EU needs to give those Eastern Partnership countries with clear European aspirations and which have so far achieved major democratic progress concrete perspectives for integration. The challenges faced by countries in the Eastern neighbourhood towards continued Europeanisation are multiple, both internal and external. It is high time for the EU to better structure its strategy towards these countries, by adjusting its approach on visa liberalisation and mobility, on a merit-based principle.