Created on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 20:58
European Union is often praised for its normative soft power and transformation capacity. However very active in promoting democracy in its neighbourhood, the case of Orbán’s Hungary shows that the EU is struggling to ensure the respect for democracy, human rights and rule of law within its borders. In this article, already existing tools which the EU applied or discussed in the case of Hungary EU are examined - such as various declarations, infringement procedure or Article 7 TEU. Bilateral sanctions and suspension of the “guilty” political party’s membership in the EP groups are described as alternative options used in the past by the EU members, but outside the EU processes. Proposals for the new rule of law mechanism and ex-ante conditionality are analysed as possible tools of the future. The article comes to conclusion that none of those tools can be fully effective when there’s a clear lack of unity on the EU side and the political will to address the issue is missing.
More information in our colleague's paper here
Created on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 14:40
The post-Maidan developments in Ukraine, on the one hand, pose a challenge for the EU in terms of maintaining regional stability in the eastern neighborhood. On the other hand, the situation represents an opportunity for the EU to assist Kiev in the process of consolidating democratic standards of government. Given that the EU was active in assisting democracy in Ukraine in the post-Orange revolution phase, the current state of affairs presents, in a sense, a “second chance” to consolidate democracy in Ukraine. The EU has a number of instruments at its disposal to further this goal, mainly consisting of capacity building activities for Ukraine’s governmental institutions and financial aid to civil society. The Support Package for Ukraine, the Special Measure and the European Agenda for reform present systematic and comprehensive efforts to assist Ukrainian democracy – at the same time they seem to build on experience from the post-Orange revolution period and on the perceived shortcomings of EU’s activities. The EU, nevertheless, needs to maintain a certain level of flexibility in its assistance and realize that the process of democratic consolidation may span many years.
Read more in out associate research fellow Jan Hornát's paper here.
Created on Thursday, 02 April 2015 12:45
On Thursday 2, 2015 the recommendation from the round table about the energy security which was organized by Národní Konvent o EU
and the debate material
were prepared by the team of EUROPEUM, Radomír Špok and Helena Schulzová. Both materials are available in Czech only.
More information about the round table are available in Czech on the website of Národní Konvent o EU
Created on Sunday, 29 March 2015 22:59
EUROPEUM's research fellow Mitchell Young published new paper "Realizing the Fifth Freedom: On the Road to an Internal Market for Knowledge"
- Europe's fifth freedom has entered a new phase with the Member States needing to develop roadmaps by mid-2015.
- Upgrading from back-roads to superhighways and thereby avoiding a two-speed Europe involves four key challenges which are addressed in this policy brief.
With the claim of having finalized the conditions for bringing about a fifth freedom in the internal market, the EU has shifted the burden of realizing the European Research Area with its free circulation of knowledge over to the Member States. By the middle of 2015 each Member State will produce a roadmap for addressing the five priorities identified by the EU. Given the central role that knowledge is now considered to play in the economic competitiveness of nations, these roadmaps are not just about the future of knowledge policy, but about the potential distribution of wealth across Europe in the future. The question of a two-speed Europe came up during the Eurozone crisis, but the metaphor holds here too - some countries have superhighways of knowledge while other are still driving the back-roads. This policy brief identifies four key challenges by which to analyze whether these roadmaps will provide an opportunity for those countries to catch up: sufficiency of funding levels, engagement with the knowledge-based economy, promotion of excellence, and the protection of national interests.
Mitchell Young is a doctoral candidate in the West European Studies department of the Institute of International Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in Prague. His research is on research evaluation and funding policies, public management, and the European Higher Education and Research Areas.
The paper is available here.