Publications from the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)

logo IAISeven new reports on the EU institutions and policies from the Istituto Affari Internazionali  – IAI, December 2013 – January 2014

Michael Emerson and Alessandro Giovannini, European Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Chicken and Egg Dilemma, (Imagining Europe No. 2) 9 December 2013, 42 p.

The launch of the Euro saw the creation of a two-tier Europe, but systemic defects led subsequently to the current crisis of the Eurozone, resulting in a much more complex and problematic set of core-periphery relations between north and south. The preeminent role of Germany in the north is pointing to the lack of democratic legitimacy in the whole construction. The idea of creating a banking union and fiscal union is in principle aimed at restoring unity to the Eurozone and ensuring its effectiveness. While negotiations over the banking union are ongoing, the recent fiscal innovations are not even approaching the constitution of a sustainable fiscal union. A more federalistic fiscal structure is needed, but this demands major political leadership.

di Thanos Dokos, Eleonora Poli, Chiara Rosselli, Eduard Soler i Lecha e Nathalie Tocci, Eurocriticism: The Eurozone Crisis and Anti-Establishment Groups in Southern Europe, (IAI Working Papers 1333) 10 December 2013, 17 p.

The paper was prepared in the framework of the project “New Voices in the European Debate”, coordinated by Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)

The Eurozone crisis and the ensuing public disaffection towards what many view as deficient EU institutions and policies, have resulted in a surge of euroscepticism across member states. Although euroscepticism is not a new phenomenon, the rise of mass anti- establishment movements notably in southern Europe is. Despite their different political and structural features, Five Star Movement in Italy, Syriza in Greece and several social movements sprung from the Indignados in Spain, have recently become key actors in their national political arena by opposing, inter alia, EU-imposed austerity. Yet these movements are not anti-EU in total; while they criticize what they view as the EU’s lack of democracy and rigid economic policies, they are not opposed to the EU integration project as such. While a fine line distinguishes euroscepticism from eurocriticism, provided such distinction is made, the critique of these movements could be galvanized into a constructive force for a more integrated EU political space.

Juliette Tolay, The EU and Turkey’s Asylum Policy in Light of the Syrian Crisis, (GTE Policy Brief  No. 10) 15 January 2014, 6 p.

The document was prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the context of the IAI-Istanbul Policy Center-Mercator Foundation project “Turkey, Europe and the World”, January 2014.

In the past, Turkey’s asylum policy was considered as highly deficient, in comparison with the higher standards of the EU. Recently, this perception has been changing, with Turkey’s newly adopted law on foreigners, which contrasts with the EU’s slow-paced moves towards standardizing asylum policies and its restrictive approaches towards Syrian refugees. Unlike the EU’s de facto closed-door policy for many Syrian refugees, Turkey has applied so far an open-door policy towards Syrian citizens seeking refuge at its southern borders, welcoming more than 600,000 since June 2011. Moving forward, there seem to be many ways in which Turkey and the EU could work together on refugee policy in general, and on the Syrian refugee crisis in particular. At the core of this reassessment of asylum practices is the need to take seriously the concept of solidarity, meaning solidarity among EU member states, solidarity with countries hosting large numbers of refugees in the region, and, most importantly, solidarity with the refugees themselves.

Andrea Renda, The Digital Infrastructure as the Next “EU Grand Project, (Imagining Europe No. 3) 17 January 2014, 32 p.

The paper was presented at the IAI conference on “Infrastructure, transport and communications in post-crisis Europe”, Rome, 20 January 2014.

The global economy is entering a new “age of connectivity”, spurred by the increased availability of “always on” broadband communications. This is creating new challenges for policymakers: infrastructure and connectivity emerge as key priorities for public policy and essential preconditions for global competitiveness. How is the EU positioned in this global race? This paper argues that the EU’s approach to the information society was ill-conceived, and has led to an unnecessary and undesirable fragmentation of the market. Key EU policymakers have realized only recently that, absent a significant shift in pace, the EU will not be able to keep up with global competitiveness due to a lack of integrated, connected, smart infrastructure. Key areas in which substantial change is needed include incentives and PPPs for broadband rollout, spectrum policy, net neutrality and, overall, competition policy for the high-tech market. The paper explores potential policy options for the future of the EU digital agenda, argues that a gradual “evolution” is not sufficient for the EU to regain its leadership in the ICT sector, and proposes policy scenarios for a more united, effective and “digital” Europe.

di Stefano Riela, Transport, Communications and Infrastructure in a United and Effective Europe, (Imagining Europe No.4) 17 January 2014, 42 p.

The paper was presented at the IAI conference on “Infrastructure, transport and communications in post-crisis Europe”, Rome, 20 January 2014.

Transport, communications and infrastructure are at the heart of the Single Market. However, a more united and effective Europe requires a new and upgraded relevant infrastructure, greater liberalisation, and service provision regulated by more homogenous rules. This reform process has financial, social and political costs. In spite of these, all Member States have an incentive to advance the Single Market project. Incentives for member states to leave the core group, once the project has started or has been completed – thus causing huge damages – should be counterbalanced by heavy penalties. The current crisis reduces the risk that public investment crowds-out private investment. However, public resources are needed in this policy area. As such, a golden rule for the Stability and Growth Pact to exclude investment spending in EU infrastructure as far as the Excessive Deficits Procedure is concerned would be welcome. Finally, avoiding sub-28 governance models could improve the EU’s influence over the international rules of the game. Europe’s “single market” has to evolve into “a single Europe in the global market” where unity is physically intertwined with effectiveness.

Ahmed Ali M. al Mukhaini, EU-GCC Cooperation in the Fields of Higher Education and Scientific Research: The Way Forward, (Sharaka Sharaka Research Papers No. 6) 23 January 2014, 29 p.

Document produced in the framework of the Sharaka project, January 2014

This policy paper seeks to understand the factors that have inhibited significant progress in relations between the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with particular focus on higher education and scientific research (HESR). Based on informal discussions held with opinion leaders and government officials in Oman as well as insights from meetings and discussions held in Brussels in 2011 with representatives of the EU Commission, European Parliament and NGOs, the paper outlines and discusses the factors responsible for the lack of progress in the cooperation. These factors can be classified into four categories: structural/ institutional challenges; political challenges; philosophical challenges; and logistical challenges. Based on the assumption that progress in economic development and scientific research is highly dependent on progress in higher education, as higher education builds up human capital, the paper argues that cooperation in higher education should be the locomotive leading the way for a greater engagement between the EU and the GCC. Furthermore, as the EU’s own experience suggests, cooperation in higher education is highly conducive to integration, stability and economic growth, all of which are valid concerns for the EU and GCC alike, and constitutes an area in which the two blocs can develop a greater sense of complementarity.

Edoardo Barzaghi, EU-GCC Cultural Relations and Representations of the Other in the Gulf Cultural Press: The Case of al-‘Arabī Magazine, (Sharaka Research Papers No. 7)  5 February 2014, 37 p.

Document produced in the framework of the Sharaka project, February 2014.

The aim of this paper is to point out the shortcomings that affect the EU-GCC relationships at the cultural stemming from the insufficient or flawed understanding of the EU as a geopolitical and historical entity. The paper will first briefly outline the main cultural biases influencing the European perspective of the Arab countries as well as the Arab perspective of the European countries. This discussion underlines how the EU countries generally do not view the GCC countries as constituting a separate region from other parts of the Arab world with its own distinct socio-economic and cultural dynamics. Likewise, the GCC countries more often than not perceive the EU countries as a very indefinite entity, usually referred to vaguely as “the West.” Then, the paper will examine one of the most important magazines in the Gulf, al-‘Arabī, as a case study of the different ways in which cultural issues related to Europe are discussed in the region. Some of the Europe-related articles from al-‘Arabī which deal with the perception of the other will be looked at in order to try to give the widest possible outlook of the main biases that still impede a fruitful cultural dialogue.