European Union Publications

311. Working toward the EU: Bulgaria's Progress and Serbia's Struggles

Jul 07, 2011
February 2005 - Two recent trips to the region, to Sofia in October and to Belgrade in January, inform these observations. Beyond simply reporting on the latest in my long series of visits to both cities, I welcome the chance to call attention to Southeastern Europe at a time when American interest is flagging. Since 9/11 and the occupation of Iraq, the Middle East has understandably moved to the forefront of policy-relevant regions. But that priority does not justify neglecting Southeastern Europe. Its problems may be "forgotten but not fixed," as Edward Joseph put it in "Back to the Balkans," Foreign Affairs (Jan.-Feb. 2005). more

60. Governed by Accession? Hard and Soft Pillars of Europeanization in Central and Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
With the collapse of state socialism in 1989, the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (hereafter CEE) had no choice but to shake off their deeply ingrained Cold War mentality and try to take their place in a world characterized by globalization and increased regional integration. Their “return to Europe,” or integration into the structures of the European Community/European Union (EC/EU), passed an important milestone in 1993, when the EU made the historic decision to enlarge eastwards and accept new members from the formerly communist countries. Accession negotiations opened in spring 1998 for "fast-track" countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Estonia), and in February 2000 for "slow-track" countries (Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia, and Lithuania). This paper focuses on the CEE countries’ “accession perspective”—their motives, expectations, deliberations, and practical difficulties as they strive to become part of the EU’s anticipated eastward enlargement. more

309. A Neoliberal Trojan Horse? The New EU Member States and EU Social Model

Jul 07, 2011
December 2004 - European Union (EU) enlargement raises important questions about both the impact of EU membership on the postcommunist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the impact of these new member states on the EU. Although it has been a relatively short time since the May 1, 2004 enlargement, several trends can already be identified. The first trend reveals that the EU and its institutions have lost much of the influence they had in the new member states during the accession process. New member states now have somewhat more freedom in directing their economic, social and political development. A second trend indicates that some new member states (namely those that are poorer, more peripheral and "newer" nation states) have displayed a stronger preference for the Anglo-American model of social policy and opposed the traditional European social model, based on social cohesion and solidarity. The third trend is connected to the so-called "fiscal dumping" practiced by several of the new member states, where substantially lower levels of corporate and payroll taxes (compared to the average tax and payroll burden in the EU-15) were introduced. Several of the EU-15 states immediately expressed their disapproval. This unanticipated competition between the old and new member states goes hand in hand with "social dumping," which stems from the wage differentials between the old and new member states. As a result, governments in the EU-15 are afraid that prosperous companies in the West will move to Eastern Europe. These trends indicate an overall divergence between old and new EU member states. But, is it a serious gap or just a temporary digression? What are the underlying reasons for the divergent processes in the two parts of Europe and what are the possible consequences for the EU? more

22. Eastern Europe: Back to the Future?

Jul 07, 2011
Fidelity to traditional values has generated a peculiar approach to politics as such throughout Eastern Europe. The author found in Poland that the criteria people used to judge political excellence, or political leadership, had little to do with programs and performance, and almost everything to do with morals and ethics. Poles tended to judge leaders not by whether they were or were likely to be effective at moving the country in a given direction, but by whether they were good or bad men: decent or indecent, strong or weak, kind or brutal, loyal or disloyal. The author's conclusion was that this moralization of politics made swinstwo--swinishness--the primary category for political condemnation. This paper then analyzes this phenomenon throughout the region as a whole. more

306. The End of Postcommunism

Jul 07, 2011
September 2004 - On May 1, 2004, ten countries joined the European Union (EU). On the day of the accession, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary all had Central-Left governments in power. One day later, Leszek Miller, the Polish premier was forced to resign. In June, Czech social democrat Prime Minister, Vladimir Spidla followed suit, and in August, the head of the Center-Left government of Hungary, Peter Medgyessy, was also forced to resign. "Too weak," "lacks energy," "cannot communicate effectively"—these were some of the accusations lodged against them. In spite of the fact that all three leaders where very popular at the beginning of their terms, it appeared that the initial success of their materialist-redistributive politics faded quickly. None of these countries was in bad shape economically—on the contrary, they were experiencing economic booms—yet political observers sensed that there was a crisis in the leadership. This situation had clear ties to EU accession. A national consensus supported the European accession almost everywhere: EU membership seemed logical and would clearly serve the common good. So, once the long-held goal of EU accession was achieved, why did these governments collapse? Was it just coincidence that all three were replaced by much younger prime ministers with very different outlooks from their predecessors? The answers to these questions are directly related to the fact that EU enlargement has brought the region to a new stage in its development, and one in which the former communists need to redefine their political roles. Indeed, this stage could be interpreted as the end of postcommunism. more

Environmental Security: A View from Europe

Jul 07, 2011
We must reinvigorate the comprehensive—and reject the exclusively militaristic—definition of security, Margaret Brusasco-Mackenzie warns. more

299. New Technologies of Border Control in an Enlarged Europe

Jul 07, 2011
June 2004 - The European Union (EU) has been taking international cooperation on migration and border controls into sensitive areas of state sovereignty, government surveillance and data collection and exchange. In response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, EU member states not only passed antiterrorism legislation and committed to joining the US in Afghanistan, but they also tightened borders and accelerated border control information technology programs with the goal of creating a common transatlantic security space. At the same time, the EU and its member states increased budgets, staffing and improved technology for border controls in anticipation of enlargement and the prospect of lifting internal borders with the new member states while moving the common external border eastward. In light of these simultaneous border shifts, the European Commission is endeavoring to bring the new member states into the evolving transatlantic security space. more

Protecting Regional Seas: Developing Capacity and Fostering Environmental Cooperation in Europe

Jul 07, 2011
Conference proceedings from Saving the Seas: Developing Capacity and Fostering Environmental Cooperation in Europe, held 14 May 1999 at the Wilson Center. more

"Implications of Enlarging the Euro-Atlantic Space: Problems and Prospects for Northeastern and Southeastern Europe"

Jul 07, 2011
November 2002 Policy Bulletin- The anticipated expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) in November and December 2002, respectively, will have a profound impact on the security environment in Eastern Europe—a region that, a decade after the fall of communism, still faces a number of critical security uncertainties and daunting reform challenges. NATO enlargement will likely take a “big bang” approach with invitations issued to seven countries at the Prague Summit in November — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Romania. However, uncertainties and challenges remain and include questions about the future US commitment to, and interest in, Europe; the credibility of European leadership in the region; territorial and ethnic disputes; incomplete democratic and economic reform processes; and the proliferation of organized crime and corruption. To address these challenges and encourage much needed debate on these issues, the Euro – Atlantic Initiatives program of the Stanley Foundation, in conjunction with the East European Studies program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, organized a two - phase project entitled Enlarging the Euro - Atlantic Space: Problems and Prospects for Northeastern and Southeastern Europe. more

297. European and US Policies in the Balkans

Jul 07, 2011
May 2004 - Because the European Union (EU) and the US share the same goals in the region, the Western Balkans have become a cornerstone of transatlantic cooperation over the last decade. Despite the many rifts that have appeared in the transatlantic partnership, the US and Europe continue to be united in their commitment to contain violent nationalism in the Balkans and help the region in its transition to liberal democracy and European integration. more

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The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.