The International Spectator, Vol. 49, No. 4, December 2014

Sezioni speciali su The Ukraine Crisis and the Future of Western-Russian Relations e EU Migration Policy - Protecting the Migrants or the Union?

A Reappraisal of the EU's Expanding Readmission System Free
Recent Publications Free

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The EU's Institutional Turnover

In Search of a Role for the High Representative: The Legacy of Catherine Ashton
Niklas Helwig and Carolin Rüger
When Catherine Ashton took up office as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR), she met with high expectations - and much disappointment. As the first incumbent of the remodelled position, she had the chance to leave a legacy for her successor, but faced an unclear job description. What was the HR's role in EU foreign policy? It is argued that the HR acted as a diplomat and manager of EU external action, while her role performance in co-leadership and brokering were less successful. Role expectations and performance entered a fragile equilibrium at the end of Ashton's tenure. However, the future role of the HR might shift more towards a co-leader of EU foreign policy.
Keywords: EU foreign policy, European External Action Service, CFSP, Lisbon Treaty
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The Rotating Council Presidency and the New Intergovernmentalism
Uwe Puetter
The Lisbon Treaty fundamentally changed the presidency regime of the European Union at the expense of one of the oldest and most central institutions of European integration: the rotating presidency. The chair positions of the European Council, the Foreign Affairs Council and the Eurogroup have been decoupled from the rotating presidency. Understanding the reduced role of the rotating presidency requires attention for the changing dynamics of EU policymaking, especially for the new intergovernmentalism which implies decision-making outside the classic community method and for the rise of the European Council to the status of a lead institution.
Keywords: European Council, presidency, intergovernmentalism
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Populism in the European Parliament: What Implications for the Open Society?
Heather Grabbe and Nadja Groot
The 2014 elections brought a record number of xenophobic populist parties into the European Parliament (EP). They have a strong incentive to be more united and active than in previous terms, and they could use the Parliament to shape voter attitudes, pressure mainstream parties to adopt more xenophobic rhetoric, fragment the mainstream right, and obstruct parliamentary proceedings. The rise of xenophobic populism could affect the open society through the EU's policies and budget if it alters EP debates on issues that split left and right, particularly Roma exclusion, migration and asylum, and EU external policies and development aid.
Keywords: EU, democracy, populism, election, parliament
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The Crisis of the E/xceptional/ U/nion
Ivan Krastev
The European elections failed to mobilise public support for the European project. Despite the strong showing of populist parties in the European Parliament, there are indications that the European Union would rather be transformed than destroyed by the current political crisis.
Keywords: European Union, elections, democracy
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EU/Ukraine Relations and the Crisis with Russia, 2013-14: A Turning Point
Geoffrey Pridham
The European Union has a unique opportunity to develop a positive strategy towards Ukraine. A pro-EU government is now in power in Kyiv, there is a revived civil society pressing for democratic reforms and the actions by Russia have both reinforced Ukraine's pro-West line and led to the priority given Moscow being questioned by some member states. It is therefore essential to grant Ukraine a membership perspective to strengthen this trend and encourage Kyiv to confront and overcome the basic problems that face the country.
Keywords: EU, Ukraine policy, Euromaidan, Russia, Ukraine
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The Ukraine Crisis and the Future of Western-Russian Relations

The Four Pillars of Russia's Power Narrative
Andrey Makarychev and Alexandra Yatsyk
The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the annexation of Crimea were two major international events in which Russia engaged in early 2014. In spite of all the divergence in the logic underpinning each of them, four concepts strongly resonate in both cases. First, in hosting the Olympics and in appropriating Crimea, Russia was motivated by solidifying its sovereignty as the key concept in its foreign and domestic policies. Second, the scenarios for both Sochi and Crimea were grounded in the idea of strengthening Russia as a political community through mechanisms of domestic consolidation (Sochi) and opposition to unfriendly external forces (the crisis in Ukraine). Third, Sochi and Crimea unveiled two different facets of the logic of normalisation aimed at proving - albeit by different means - Russia's great power status. Fourth, one of the major drivers of Russian policy in both cases were security concerns in Russia's southern flanks, though domestic security was also an important part of the agenda.
Keywords: Russian foreign policy, Sochi Olympics, annexation of Crimea
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Bracing for Cold Peace. US-Russia Relations after Ukraine
Ondrej Ditrych
The crisis in Ukraine has turned the tables of the post-Cold War relationship between the United States and Russia. The ongoing transformation can result in a number of outcomes, which can be conceived in terms of scenarios of normalisation, escalation and 'cold peace' - the latter two scenarios being much more probable than the first. NATO ought to shore up its defences in Central and Eastern Europe while Washington and its allies engage in a comprehensive political strategy of 'new containment'. This means combining political and economic stabilisation of the transatlantic area with credible offers of benefits to partners in the East and pragmatic relations with Russia which are neither instrumentalised (as was the case with the 'reset') nor naïvely conceived as a 'partnership'.
Keywords: US, Russia, Ukraine, cold peace
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Ukraine's Crisis and Russia's Closest Allies: A Reinforced Intra-Alliance Security Dilemma at Work
Alena Vysotskaya Guedes Vieira
Russia's actions towards Ukraine in 2013-14, which inaugurated a new Cold War in its relations with the West, presented a dilemma to Russia's allies: whether to align themselves with Russia's choices or pursue a more independent course of action. The leadership of Belarus, Russia's closest ally, chose the latter option both by establishing dialogue with the interim government and President of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchinov, considered illegitimate in Russia and, later, by being present at the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko on 7 June 2014 and downplaying Russia's position on the 'federalisation' of Ukraine as the only way out of the country's instability. The perspective of the intra-alliance security dilemma helps explain the divergence of views between Russia and Belarus, while pointing to the changing position of the parties towards the Eurasian integration project.
Keywords: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine crisis, intra-alliance security dilemma
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The European Endowment for Democracy and Democracy Promotion in the EU Neighbourhood
Serena Giusti and Enrico Fassi
The European Endowment for Democracy (EED) is a recently established instrument of democracy promotion intended to complement existing EU tools. Fashioned after the US National Endowment for Democracy, the EED's privileged area of action is the European neighbourhood. Meant as a small rapid-response, actor-oriented 'niche' initiative, its main task is to select those actors, from both civil and political society able to produce a change in their country. The EED represents a step forward in the EU's capacity to foster democracy, but does not necessarily go in the direction of more rationality and effectiveness. Not all EU member states support the EED with the same enthusiasm and it is still not clear how it fits into the EU's overall democracy promotion architecture. Its actions may be successful in a very constrained timeframe. However, recent crises at the EU's borders would seem to call for a strategy that takes into consideration systemic hindrances, post-regime change complexities, regional dynamics and finally rival plans of autocracy promotion.
Keywords: EU, EED, democracy promotion, neighbourhood
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EU Migration Policy - Protecting the Migrants or the Union?

A Reappraisal of the EU's Expanding Readmission System
Jean-Pierre Cassarino
Readmission is not simply a means of removing undesirable foreigners through coercive methods. When viewed as a way of ensuring the temporary stay of foreign workers in the labour markets of European destination countries, readmission may also impact on the participatory rights of a growing number of native workers facing equally temporary (and precarious) labour conditions, in a context marked by employment deregulation and wage flexibility. These implications have clear democratic significance. A new analytical perspective applied to the expansion and development of the readmission system, is aimed at promoting a reflection on an unexplored research area bridging the gap between labour migration regulation and labour market deregulation.
Keywords: Labour migration, readmission policy, labour markets, precariousness, labour rights
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Deterrence and Protection in the EU's Migration Policy
Anna Triandafyllidou and Angeliki Dimitriadi
EU migration and asylum policy is facing tough challenges at the southern borders of the Union as migration and asylum pressures rise, fuelled by political instability and poverty in several regions of Asia and Africa. Current European border control practices create three spaces of control: externalised borders, through readmission and return agreements which enrol third countries in border control; the EU borders themselves through the work of Frontex and the development of a whole arsenal of technology tools for controlling mobility to and from the EU; and the Schengen area, whose regulations tend to reinforce deterrence at the borders through the Smart Border System. As a result, the EU's balancing act between irregular migration control and protection of refugees and human life clearly tips towards the former, even if it pays lip service to the latter. More options for mobility across the Mediterranean and more cooperation for growth are essential ingredients of a sustainable migration management policy on the EU's southern borders. In addition asylum management could benefit from EU level humanitarian visas issued at countries of origin.
Keywords: European Union, migration, refugee, human rights, Mediterranean, Greece
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Book Reviews

The EU Might Be Doomed, But the Process of European Integration is Not
Elena Baracani
Review of: Is the EU Doomed?, by Jan Zielonka, Polity Press, 2014
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Insta-Politics? What's New about the Binomial Politics/Internet
Alba Ferreri
Review of: Politics and the Internet in Comparative Context, edited by Paul Nixon, Rajash Rawal and Dan Mercea, Routledge, 2013
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Recent Publications
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