Categories for European Studies

Impact of the EU on Member States

Summary

The aim of this dissertation is to analyse how the European Union impacts on the national level of the foreign policy-making of its smaller Member States and how their role within the European political system and vis-à-vis other countries has or has not changed as a result. It will review the ways and means by which the national foreign policy-making of a small European state has been transformed by participation in a broader European political system. This topic was chosen because it relates to Malta, being the smallest country in terms of population and territory in the EU. 

This dissertation will be approached purely from a political angle. The influence of EU membership on small states’ foreign-policy making will be examined by looking at the positions and strategies small states adopt during their day-to-day life in the EU and their behaviour towards EU Member States and non-EU Member States.

The literature examined shows that domestic factors such as public opinion, party politics and history seem to have considerable influence on the intensity and the pace of the process of Europeanization in small states. The post-Cold War context has also left its imprint on European foreign-policy making while international organisations have helped bring stability to small countries.

Europeanization is defined as an interactive and ongoing process of ‘Europeanizing’ countries, linking national and European levels. The institutions, structures, and processes utilized by the smaller Member States in Brussels are compared with a view to discovering whether there is evidence of convergence around a common model or whether national differences persist. Also analysed is the effectiveness of national actions in achieving the small member states’ intended goals and the factors that influence or determine performance at the European level.

Chapter 1

The Europeanization of National Foreign Policy

Since the failed European Defence Community (EDC), European Member States have increasingly felt the need to come up with common foreign policy positions. Two factors helped this process in recent years, namely globalization and European integration. By bringing states together in ‘high politics’, both globalization and European integration have left their trace on the traditional and modern Westphalian notions of sovereignty.[1]

However, in the post-modern context of European integration, the meaning of what constitutes sovereignty has changed. Strang argues that this is applicable to the concept and exercise of national foreign policy which in Europe has shifted from a national foreign policy created to secure a state’s sovereignty to one that is concerned with external issues; therefore adopting positions which are homogenous throughout the European Union.[2]

The terms ‘Europeanization of Member States’ and its outcome, the ‘Europeanization of national foreign policy’ are not new but they have become more well-known in recent years, following the increasing numbers of research projects that are being carried out in this field. Bulmer and Radaelli have identified four macro-dynamics that have stimulated an increasing interest in Europeanization.[3]

The first one is the institutionalization of the single market. Although the idea of the EU’s internal market has not yet been completely fulfilled, EU directives, regulations, and jurisprudence affecting national markets increased considerably since the Single European Act in 1986.[4]

The second reason is the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This is due to fact that EMU has not only created a single currency but it has also deepened the degree of interdependency and cooperation between other policies. Within the Euro zone, the outcomes and consequences of debates on key areas are not restricted simply to the nature of national policy but they also affect the process by which national policy is formulated.[5]

The third factor highlighting the debate of Europeanization is regulatory competition, having a direct relation to the single market. A number of European policy-makers think that “excessive regulatory competition may have already spawned a race-to-the-bottom, detrimental to the cause of the welfare state and the European social model”.[6] Europeanization could thus serve as a process by which national policies secure themselves in competitive terms within a broader EU context. 

The fourth factor is the spill over effect from the process of enlargement of the European Union. The Copenhagen Criteria of 1993 contributed to quite a large degree of Europeanization. Candidate countries had to comply with vital European Union standards in relation to the rule of law, democracy, human rights and economic adjustment. The ‘Europeanization effect’ was very strong externally before the big-bang enlargement of 2004. After that the same ‘Europeanization effect’ has turned into something internal.[7]

These four macro-dynamics have had a significant effect on the foreign policy of European Union Member States which we will go into later on during this chapter while discussing what has changed in the character of the Member States, enabling them to ‘Europeanize’ their foreign policy in such a way as to make this topic interesting to study.

1.1 Defining Europeanization

Kevin Featherstone has claimed that “‘Europeanization’… can be a useful entry-point for greater understanding of important changes occurring in our politics and society. The obligation of the researcher is to give it a precise meaning”[8]

Having explained why Europeanization is such a hot issue, one needs to have a clear understanding of what exactly constitutes ‘Europeanization’. It is a word which has been given various interpretations in Western Europe by different authors throughout recent years.

The penetration of the European dimension into the national arena is the first thing that springs to mind when one hears the term ‘Europeanization’. Robert Ladrech (1994) was among the first to delve into the explanation of this term. He defines Europeanization as “an incremental process of re-orienting the direction and shape of politics to the extent that EC political and economic dynamics become part of the organizational logic of national politics and policy-making”.[9]

Therefore, when speaking of the Europeanization of a foreign policy, one is referring to “the process of foreign policy change at the national level originated by the adaptation pressures and the new opportunities generated by the European integration process”.[10] As the term has been applied to numerous fields including International Relations and social sciences, maybe the best way to define Europeanization in simple terms is as becoming more “European-like”.

From a Foreign Policy Analysis perspective, Ben Tonra, in his study about Danish and Irish Foreign Policies, defines Europeanization as

“a transformation in the way in which national foreign policies are constructed, in the ways in which professional roles are defined and pursued and in the consequent internalisation of norms and expectations arising from a complex system of collective European policy making.”[11]

“Europeanization”, as given in Tonra’s definition, is principally made up of two components – first, a political concept and second, a theoretic instrument.[12] The first implication is crystal clear; the political concept is present because firstly the European Union is a political body and secondly due to the interdependence between domestic politics and institutional structures and those of the European Union. The second term, the theoretical tool, is used to analyze the progress and change in the national and European Union policies and institutions, the influence they exert on each other and how they negotiate and get along with each other.

There are two dimensions to Europeanization. In the dynamics of EU-Member State relationships, Europeanization represents the ‘top-down’ approach or ‘reception’. This needs to be complemented by another dimension, the ‘projection’;

“European integration is not just ‘out there’ as some kind of independent variable; it is itself to a significant degree the product of member government’s wishes. Given that the European Union has its own organisational logic, it is necessary for national political actors […] to accommodate some of that logic if the opportunities afforded by the EU are to be exploited”[13]

A problem one encounters when assessing Europeanization is the difficulty to isolate the ‘EU-effect’ from other changes in the global, bilateral and national spheres.[14] So when defining ‘Europeanization’ there is a risk of conceptual stretching.[15] Conceptual stretching is the term used by Sartori meaning “the distortion that occurs when a concept does not fit the new cases”.[16] The limits of what can be classified under the term ‘Europeanization’ can be established either by examining if the changes which have occurred are of relevance to this process, by taking into account what is the link between the observed changes and the European integration process or else by exploring the changes inflicted in the light of other processes taking place on the international stage, running parallel to Europeanization.

1.2 Four Themes of Europeanization

There are four themes of Europeanization which are directly linked to the foreign policy of European Union Member States.[17]

The first one relates to new constraints and new instruments. There has to be a balance between formal and informal constraints, i.e. on the formal level there are transferred competences such as in the case of common policies (Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries) where national governments keep no direct competence in the areas which directly affect their relationship with other countries.[18] On the informal level, there are strong pressures to reach agreements and avoid unilateral action in areas which are dealt with jointly, as in CFSP discussions.[19] This is crucial for having a plausible European Foreign Policy in the eyes of third countries but also for internal cohesion and to consolidate an acquis upon which future policies can build. As regards European instruments, one needs to study how efficient they are when compared to national ones and how successful a Member State has proved to be in using the existing European instruments.

The second theme of Europeanization is becoming aware of identity, interests and preferences. Identity is all about the understanding of oneself. Participation in the common frame of European Foreign Policy has an effect on the external identity of Member States. Therefore, “national identities are defined or re-defined in the context of EFP, even if this is just for the purpose of making a difference with the other Member States’ external identity”.[20] National interest, on the other hand, does have an objective foundation which can be traced down to geographic, economic, historical, domestic, cultural and other factors. Here one has to take a look at the evolution of the Member State’s interests in a certain area and the policy consequences of those changes. Upon EU accession, no country violates its interests but aspects of interests can change during negotiations with the other Member States.[21]

Policy-making is the third theme in the study of Europeanization. It is quite tempting for Foreign Policy Analysis academics to focus on the EPC/CFSP only when assessing the impact of EU membership on national foreign policies as this is the focus of attention of most studies on Europeanization in political sciences.[22] However, one has to take into consideration the first (EC) and the third (JHA) pillar policies as they also have an effect on external relations. An example of such would be Trade, Agriculture and Fisheries which are dealt with in the European framework and for years they have been common policies. The Commission (and in some cases the European Parliament) has a very important role in the decision-making of these policies[23].

The last theme to be explored is the domestic dimension. Changes in the weight and orientation of the domestic political actors, national parliament, pressure groups and political parties all have to be taken into account when studying Europeanization. One has to investigate whether, as Hill and Wallace claim, national parliaments have lost capacity to monitor foreign policy.[24] Public opinion is also crucial for this debate because though foreign policy studies have often concluded that most of the time public opinion is indifferent to foreign policy, there still needs to be an assessment of how Europeanization has affected the role of public opinion in policy-making.[25]

1.3 The Link between Europeanization and National Foreign Policy

“The purpose of a nation’s foreign policy should be power, strength and influence in furtherance of its interests and beliefs. That purpose never changes. But the context in which it is pursued does”[26]

The outcome of the four factors mentioned in the beginning of this chapter – the institutionalization of the single market, EMU, regulatory competition and enlargement – has left Europe wondering “what is left for national public policy”.[27] Looking at these changes in Europe, there is little wonder why there has been an increase in academic interest in Europeanization.[28] With those four key prominent areas where Europeanization is actively taking place from a continental point of view, one needs not forget to turn the attention now to the other side of the coin; the national side, where national foreign policy and sovereignty go hand in hand.

Foreign policy is synonymous with sovereignty. In simple terms it refers to the external activities and relations of a sovereign state with other states in fulfilling its aims and objectives in the international sphere. In more sophisticated terms

“foreign policies consist of those actions which, expressed in the form of explicitly stated goals, commitments and/or directives, and pursued by governmental representatives acting on behalf of their sovereign communities, are directed toward objectives, conditions and actors – both governmental and non-governmental – which they want to affect and which lie beyond their territorial legitimacy”[29]

According to Rousseau’s volonté générale concept, foreign policy can be seen as the expression of the people’s will in a sovereign state.[30] The Europeanization of foreign policy is a post-modern phenomenon which is made possible and builds upon the changes in the concepts of both foreign policy and sovereignty.

The traditional conduct of state foreign policy which has always aimed at maintaining full state sovereignty has increasingly acquired a European dimension. In spite of Henry A. Kissinger’s warning not to abandon the sovereign nation-state as long as there is no proven alternative in place, the EU Member States have ceded substantial parts of their sovereignty.[31] As in the process of European integration, foreign policy has been subjected to the impact of the factors discussed previously, it underwent considerable change.[32]

Modern Westphalian conceptualizations of foreign policy are biased in favour of the state. The theoretical assumptions of the state-centric school seem to be outdated against the developing European foreign policy-making. This is due to the fact that in this theory, there is the notion of foreign policy as being an area no one can penetrate. So could foreign policy be immune to Europeanization? This question crops up as Member States are assumed to guard this key area of national sovereignty jealously.[33]

The European idealist school, as opposed to the state-centric school, allows for non-state actors to play a role in foreign policy. It recognizes that states’ foreign policies are important though over time they are being replaced by a common European approach. This is understandable because if this were the case, there would be no sense in studying the Europeanization of foreign policy. Jordi Vaquer i Fanés claims that “there is a case for studying the Europeanization of foreign policy, despite the fact that this policy remains, by and large, at the national governments’ hands”.[34] It thus becomes clear that “foreign policy is not a special case immune to Europeanization pressures”.[35]

1.4 Small States’ Europeanization – desire of inclusion or fear of engulfment?

As foreign policy is not immune to EU membership, one needs to include in the subject of ‘Europeanization’, the national foreign policies of numerous small states making up the European Union today. Indeed, today Europe has become a “union of small states”, with our own homeland, Malta, being the smallest EU country in terms of both territory and population. But do small states wish to be part and parcel of a larger institution or are they afraid of this?

Small states like Malta that decide to join the EU do so to build a shell of protection around them and help boost their economy through trade. So, suggesting they are “weak states” first of all does not help Europe as a whole and secondly, it does not really define their nature[36].

The main foreign policy objective of all countries and especially small states, is participating in a pool of wealth to ensure the free flow of information, money, goods and services as well as the eventual free flow of people and corporations.[37] In Malta’s case, the first step was Malta’s accession in the EU in 2004, now what we are assessing are the effects of Malta’s EU membership. Though Malta has been a Member State for a relatively short period, one can still determine if any changes have occurred in the country’s foreign policy.

Malta’s ex-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Frendo declares that the real challenge in the EU is getting and holding the interest of the EU’s bureaucracy in Brussels; this is an ongoing difficulty for the smaller Member States.[38] According to Dr. Frendo,

“[membership] frees the mind from the constraints of a small territory and provides [Malta’s] citizens with a continent in which they can, by right, travel, study, work and reside. It provides us with the tools to influence decision-making in European policies including common foreign policy and therefore enables us to strengthen our relevance and enhances our weight to international affairs in all contexts, regional, bilateral, multilateral and/or regional context feeds strength and relevance in bilateral relations and vice-versa”[39]

The EU gives an international voice to its smaller Member States and places them on an equal platform as the other, bigger, Member States. The EU is the most important context for small Member State foreign policy-making. Keeping this in mind, one has to assess how small EU Member States are being affected by Europeanization and how they are conducting their foreign policy post-EU accession.

Chapter 2

The Influence of EU Membership on Small States’ Foreign Policy-Making

With EU membership, there are a number of areas in which the Member State in question must adapt and reform itself. When states join the European Union, their foreign policy is to a certain degree influenced by various factors such as how they are going to convey and address their policies towards existing and future Member States. Linked to the same argument, EU Member States must also develop a foreign policy towards non-Member States outside Europe. Over the years, there have been changes in the EU framework which have left their imprint on the process of European integration particularly in relation to foreign policy. From this perspective, one can say that the ever-changing European environment has had an impact on the existing Member States’ foreign policy as well as for the newer Member States. Membership has served as a milestone in the small states’ history, improving their relations with other countries.[40]

2.1 Historical Overview

In 1970, the EC Member States decided that they would strengthen their co-operation on international issues. This gave rise to European Political Cooperation (EPC). This was however on an intergovernmental level. Sixteen years later, the Single European Act formalized EPC under Title III and reinforced practices that were born through the years.[41]

In 1993 the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy was established through the Treaty of Maastricht, where for the first time the term “common foreign policy” was used. Since Maastricht, the EU has been able to express its stands on behalf of its Member States on armed conflicts, human rights and many other issues which the EU considers as a threat for its well-being or which go contrary to its values.[42]

A key step in the EU’s history with regards to foreign policy was the introduction in the Treaty of Amsterdam of the High Representative for the CFSP who is Mr. Javier Solana and of the Special Representatives of which currently there are ten. Their role is to help regions and areas which are torn apart by conflict by giving advice to the authorities concerned and ensure peace is restored whenever possible. Their political presence is essential in putting the EU on a prominent place on the international stage, acting as its “voice” and “face”.[43]

In 2003, when the Treaty of Nice entered into force, the number of areas which fall under qualified majority voting increased and the role of the Political and Security Committee in crisis management operations was enhanced. After the Nice Treaty, new challenges began to arise. One such challenge is the Helsinki Headline Goal which can be met through developing the EU’s defence policy. This is just one instance where small Member States may feel dominated by their larger counterparts, the reason being that large Member States would be keener on defence policy. Another example where small Member States would feel more controlled when compared to large Member States is in regards to the management of the single currency; the Euro. Small states may be scrutinized more than their larger counterparts, mostly because some argue that bigger economies have a larger say. So they put more pressure on small weaker states to comply with what has already been achieved.[44]

Over the years, the smaller Member States have looked up to the Commission as a “friend of the small”.[45] However, during recent years the Commission has lost part of its power and will undergo further reforms if the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified in all 27 Member States.

2.2 Small State Foreign Policy

With the end of the Cold War, the European Community looked like a fantastic idea; the ideal security organization for small states. As time went by, the integration process transformed the conditions for small state foreign policy-making in Europe. The coming together of the large powers in one single institution helped small states tailor their foreign policy according to their priorities. The dangers of conflicts and military attacks were wiped off small states’ concerns with the emergence of a larger community body and the development of the situation in Europe. The key issue on small states’ agenda by now had become how to influence large states while maintaining their own autonomy.[46]

For those states that joined the EU before the Cold War there was the challenge of adapting their foreign policy to the post-Cold War context. The bulk of small EU Member States joined in 2004, however there were some small states which were already members at this time, namely, Ireland, Denmark and Luxembourg. During this time, new tensions arose because the Member States had to learn how to interact with the world around them, as well as with each other.[47] 

The dilemma between influence and autonomy is particularly relevant to small states’ cases for a number of reasons. Small states tend to risk being exploited far more than large states and their foreign policy decisions are more likely to have an impact on their security and survival. It may also be argued that they do not even really have the choice to opt-out of the EU because that probably will only serve as a blow to their security on the international stage.[48] So, very often they find themselves going to and fro, pondering whether to risk becoming trapped or enjoy having liberty and voice through the decisions taken at the international level. Thus, between autonomy and influence, small states are more willing to choose autonomy because that is a far more realistic approach. Though in the end they may reject this course for reasons just outlined.[49]

International institutions help small countries become more stable. They provide rules and regulations for their Member States to be applied uniformly and without any exceptions, while providing a voice to small Member States. This level playing-field gives the opportunity to influence the actions of more powerful states.[50] The disadvantage is that by becoming more prominent on the international stage, small states face the problem of losing their political autonomy. This is particularly evident in the foreign policy positions traditionally taken by European small states. One such strategy was neutrality. This strategy was chosen because it was no use involving small states in conflicts they had no chance of influencing anyway. Now, that the process of globalisation is widespread and countries are dependent on each other, neutrality makes less sense than ever before. EU membership was the ultimate factor which led these countries to abandon neutrality as defined in its classical meaning; Finland, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Ireland. In fact, today they are sometimes referred to as the post-neutral states.[51]

2.3 Balance between Small and Large Member States

By becoming an EU Member State there is the fear that a country loses its sovereignty. Its territorial size restricts it from exploiting its full potential, namely have an influential say in priority areas. The idea that big states are normally in accordance with each other over the majority of issues is not correct. Countries usually do what is in their interest, irrelevant of their size. This fact is sometimes pointed out as small states tend to be more adaptive than their bigger counterparts over international issues, the reason being that they know their security and survival would be at risk if they decide to take a stand that runs counter to what has been decided by the larger countries.

For a small state the EU can result in a challenging experience because it is characterized by a big bureaucracy. Considering the great number of small Member States that have recently joined the union, and with an effective foreign policy in place, however, a state who is willing, can manage to succeed.[52]

A Member State of a union can only have an effective foreign policy if it has voice and representation in the union it belongs to. Small states are usually known as having a good relationship with the Commission by relying on it to back them up on issues where they need support vis-à-vis their larger counterparts. The Commission acts as a mediator mostly because small states try to find a common footing, rather than wait for their large counterparts to take on a Council meeting and engulf the small states’ voices.[53]

According to Professor Esko Antola, the balance between the small and the large Member States was given priority in the founding of the European Community. This is shown through the system of weighted votes in the Council of Ministers and in the national quotas in the European Parliament. Antola therefore observes that the treaties of the European Union take into consideration both factors of population and territory rather than just the size of a state’s territory.

The Benelux countries, being the only three small states at the establishment of the European Community, were allowed over-representation in voting for reasons of balancing out the powers between the six founding states. When the Union began to expand and a series of small states began to join in, new ways of representation had to be adopted.[54]

During the 1990s, the European Union experienced tensions with regards to the composition of the Commission and the reform of the weighting of votes, as the number of small states joining it kept rising. This was seen as an important aspect in the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992. In fact, the balance of power between small and large states was high up on the agenda of the following intergovernmental conferences of Amsterdam in 1997 and Nice in 2000 both of which led to Treaty Reform.[55]

Small states would rather have strong institutions in place so that constant balance of power can be kept, even if this means pooling some layers of their own sovereignty. All Member States have a right to veto, on key issues particularly in defence matters, thus giving power to small states to stop large states from pursuing their own interests instead of the union’s interest as a whole. In addition, the great number of small Member States of the EU is crucial in decisions where unanimity is necessary. Strong institutions are a key sign of longevity for small Member States. Intergovernmentalism, according to Antola, is not so positive in promoting small state interests and threatens to eliminate equality between EU Member States.[56] This could be because intergovernmentalists feel that control of the EU should be in the hands of heads of states or governments. This way, the Commission and the European Parliament would be dedicated a much smaller role.[57]

Even though we tend to put all small states in one broad category, in reality small EU Member States are different from each other in many aspects. They also differ in their views of Europe. Some support intergovernmentalism and are Euro-skeptics like Sweden, Denmark, and recently Poland. Others are convinced that supranational institutions can better represent small states such as Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Finland. Then there are a group of other small Member States that have a somewhat different approach than those in the former two categories. Such an example is the Netherlands who is “not quite a small Member but has not a recognition as a middle power”.[58] In a peculiar way, such countries therefore, not being large states, have an interest in securing small states’ wishes but also a bigger interest in not expanding the EU budget, being one of the net contributors.[59] 

A few months before the historic enlargement of 2004, critics argued that “equality between states had to give way in the name of effectiveness”. The reason behind this was that according to the large Member States, both the Commission and the rotating presidency would be negatively affected if there was to be no change whatsoever. However, even if each Member State would retain one commissioner, the Commission would still be much smaller than a national Parliament. The enlargement of 2004 resulted in a change in the balance of power between big and small EU Member States. This reasoning was only brought up to defend the interests of the large members and help them keep a tight grasp on small states.[60]

2.4 Changes in the Foreign Policy-Making of Small Member States as a Result of Enlargement

When the EU Member States were fifteen, there was already a considerable number of them which were referred to as “small states”. Now, following the big-bang enlargement of 2004, the EU has practically become a union of small states, with as many as six new small states joining in, namely; Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This is the reason why the issue of small states has in recent times come to the fore, with many policy-makers across Europe realizing that the role of the smaller EU Member States has to be looked at with more importance and be developed for the sake of Europe as a whole.

As a direct result of European Union membership, the foreign policy of Me

Impact of the EU on Member States

Summary

The aim of this dissertation is to analyse how the European Union impacts on the national level of the foreign policy-making of its smaller Member States and how their role within the European political system and vis-à-vis other countries has or has not changed as a result. It will review the ways and means by which the national foreign policy-making of a small European state has been transformed by participation in a broader European political system. This topic was chosen because it relates to Malta, being the smallest country in terms of population and territory in the EU. 

This dissertation will be approached purely from a political angle. The influence of EU membership on small states’ foreign-policy making will be examined by looking at the positions and strategies small states adopt during their day-to-day life in the EU and their behaviour towards EU Member States and non-EU Member States.

The literature examined shows that domestic factors such as public opinion, party politics and history seem to have considerable influence on the intensity and the pace of the process of Europeanization in small states. The post-Cold War context has also left its imprint on European foreign-policy making while international organisations have helped bring stability to small countries.

Europeanization is defined as an interactive and ongoing process of ‘Europeanizing’ countries, linking national and European levels. The institutions, structures, and processes utilized by the smaller Member States in Brussels are compared with a view to discovering whether there is evidence of convergence around a common model or whether national differences persist. Also analysed is the effectiveness of national actions in achieving the small member states’ intended goals and the factors that influence or determine performance at the European level.

Chapter 1

The Europeanization of National Foreign Policy

Since the failed European Defence Community (EDC), European Member States have increasingly felt the need to come up with common foreign policy positions. Two factors helped this process in recent years, namely globalization and European integration. By bringing states together in ‘high politics’, both globalization and European integration have left their trace on the traditional and modern Westphalian notions of sovereignty.[1]

However, in the post-modern context of European integration, the meaning of what constitutes sovereignty has changed. Strang argues that this is applicable to the concept and exercise of national foreign policy which in Europe has shifted from a national foreign policy created to secure a state’s sovereignty to one that is concerned with external issues; therefore adopting positions which are homogenous throughout the European Union.[2]

The terms ‘Europeanization of Member States’ and its outcome, the ‘Europeanization of national foreign policy’ are not new but they have become more well-known in recent years, following the increasing numbers of research projects that are being carried out in this field. Bulmer and Radaelli have identified four macro-dynamics that have stimulated an increasing interest in Europeanization.[3]

The first one is the institutionalization of the single market. Although the idea of the EU’s internal market has not yet been completely fulfilled, EU directives, regulations, and jurisprudence affecting national markets increased considerably since the Single European Act in 1986.[4]

The second reason is the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This is due to fact that EMU has not only created a single currency but it has also deepened the degree of interdependency and cooperation between other policies. Within the Euro zone, the outcomes and consequences of debates on key areas are not restricted simply to the nature of national policy but they also affect the process by which national policy is formulated.[5]

The third factor highlighting the debate of Europeanization is regulatory competition, having a direct relation to the single market. A number of European policy-makers think that “excessive regulatory competition may have already spawned a race-to-the-bottom, detrimental to the cause of the welfare state and the European social model”.[6] Europeanization could thus serve as a process by which national policies secure themselves in competitive terms within a broader EU context. 

The fourth factor is the spill over effect from the process of enlargement of the European Union. The Copenhagen Criteria of 1993 contributed to quite a large degree of Europeanization. Candidate countries had to comply with vital European Union standards in relation to the rule of law, democracy, human rights and economic adjustment. The ‘Europeanization effect’ was very strong externally before the big-bang enlargement of 2004. After that the same ‘Europeanization effect’ has turned into something internal.[7]

These four macro-dynamics have had a significant effect on the foreign policy of European Union Member States which we will go into later on during this chapter while discussing what has changed in the character of the Member States, enabling them to ‘Europeanize’ their foreign policy in such a way as to make this topic interesting to study.

1.1 Defining Europeanization

Kevin Featherstone has claimed that “‘Europeanization’… can be a useful entry-point for greater understanding of important changes occurring in our politics and society. The obligation of the researcher is to give it a precise meaning”[8]

Having explained why Europeanization is such a hot issue, one needs to have a clear understanding of what exactly constitutes ‘Europeanization’. It is a word which has been given various interpretations in Western Europe by different authors throughout recent years.

The penetration of the European dimension into the national arena is the first thing that springs to mind when one hears the term ‘Europeanization’. Robert Ladrech (1994) was among the first to delve into the explanation of this term. He defines Europeanization as “an incremental process of re-orienting the direction and shape of politics to the extent that EC political and economic dynamics become part of the organizational logic of national politics and policy-making”.[9]

Therefore, when speaking of the Europeanization of a foreign policy, one is referring to “the process of foreign policy change at the national level originated by the adaptation pressures and the new opportunities generated by the European integration process”.[10] As the term has been applied to numerous fields including International Relations and social sciences, maybe the best way to define Europeanization in simple terms is as becoming more “European-like”.

From a Foreign Policy Analysis perspective, Ben Tonra, in his study about Danish and Irish Foreign Policies, defines Europeanization as

“a transformation in the way in which national foreign policies are constructed, in the ways in which professional roles are defined and pursued and in the consequent internalisation of norms and expectations arising from a complex system of collective European policy making.”[11]

“Europeanization”, as given in Tonra’s definition, is principally made up of two components – first, a political concept and second, a theoretic instrument.[12] The first implication is crystal clear; the political concept is present because firstly the European Union is a political body and secondly due to the interdependence between domestic politics and institutional structures and those of the European Union. The second term, the theoretical tool, is used to analyze the progress and change in the national and European Union policies and institutions, the influence they exert on each other and how they negotiate and get along with each other.

There are two dimensions to Europeanization. In the dynamics of EU-Member State relationships, Europeanization represents the ‘top-down’ approach or ‘reception’. This needs to be complemented by another dimension, the ‘projection’;

“European integration is not just ‘out there’ as some kind of independent variable; it is itself to a significant degree the product of member government’s wishes. Given that the European Union has its own organisational logic, it is necessary for national political actors […] to accommodate some of that logic if the opportunities afforded by the EU are to be exploited”[13]

A problem one encounters when assessing Europeanization is the difficulty to isolate the ‘EU-effect’ from other changes in the global, bilateral and national spheres.[14] So when defining ‘Europeanization’ there is a risk of conceptual stretching.[15] Conceptual stretching is the term used by Sartori meaning “the distortion that occurs when a concept does not fit the new cases”.[16] The limits of what can be classified under the term ‘Europeanization’ can be established either by examining if the changes which have occurred are of relevance to this process, by taking into account what is the link between the observed changes and the European integration process or else by exploring the changes inflicted in the light of other processes taking place on the international stage, running parallel to Europeanization.

1.2 Four Themes of Europeanization

There are four themes of Europeanization which are directly linked to the foreign policy of European Union Member States.[17]

The first one relates to new constraints and new instruments. There has to be a balance between formal and informal constraints, i.e. on the formal level there are transferred competences such as in the case of common policies (Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries) where national governments keep no direct competence in the areas which directly affect their relationship with other countries.[18] On the informal level, there are strong pressures to reach agreements and avoid unilateral action in areas which are dealt with jointly, as in CFSP discussions.[19] This is crucial for having a plausible European Foreign Policy in the eyes of third countries but also for internal cohesion and to consolidate an acquis upon which future policies can build. As regards European instruments, one needs to study how efficient they are when compared to national ones and how successful a Member State has proved to be in using the existing European instruments.

The second theme of Europeanization is becoming aware of identity, interests and preferences. Identity is all about the understanding of oneself. Participation in the common frame of European Foreign Policy has an effect on the external identity of Member States. Therefore, “national identities are defined or re-defined in the context of EFP, even if this is just for the purpose of making a difference with the other Member States’ external identity”.[20] National interest, on the other hand, does have an objective foundation which can be traced down to geographic, economic, historical, domestic, cultural and other factors. Here one has to take a look at the evolution of the Member State’s interests in a certain area and the policy consequences of those changes. Upon EU accession, no country violates its interests but aspects of interests can change during negotiations with the other Member States.[21]

Policy-making is the third theme in the study of Europeanization. It is quite tempting for Foreign Policy Analysis academics to focus on the EPC/CFSP only when assessing the impact of EU membership on national foreign policies as this is the focus of attention of most studies on Europeanization in political sciences.[22] However, one has to take into consideration the first (EC) and the third (JHA) pillar policies as they also have an effect on external relations. An example of such would be Trade, Agriculture and Fisheries which are dealt with in the European framework and for years they have been common policies. The Commission (and in some cases the European Parliament) has a very important role in the decision-making of these policies[23].

The last theme to be explored is the domestic dimension. Changes in the weight and orientation of the domestic political actors, national parliament, pressure groups and political parties all have to be taken into account when studying Europeanization. One has to investigate whether, as Hill and Wallace claim, national parliaments have lost capacity to monitor foreign policy.[24] Public opinion is also crucial for this debate because though foreign policy studies have often concluded that most of the time public opinion is indifferent to foreign policy, there still needs to be an assessment of how Europeanization has affected the role of public opinion in policy-making.[25]

1.3 The Link between Europeanization and National Foreign Policy

“The purpose of a nation’s foreign policy should be power, strength and influence in furtherance of its interests and beliefs. That purpose never changes. But the context in which it is pursued does”[26]

The outcome of the four factors mentioned in the beginning of this chapter – the institutionalization of the single market, EMU, regulatory competition and enlargement – has left Europe wondering “what is left for national public policy”.[27] Looking at these changes in Europe, there is little wonder why there has been an increase in academic interest in Europeanization.[28] With those four key prominent areas where Europeanization is actively taking place from a continental point of view, one needs not forget to turn the attention now to the other side of the coin; the national side, where national foreign policy and sovereignty go hand in hand.

Foreign policy is synonymous with sovereignty. In simple terms it refers to the external activities and relations of a sovereign state with other states in fulfilling its aims and objectives in the international sphere. In more sophisticated terms

“foreign policies consist of those actions which, expressed in the form of explicitly stated goals, commitments and/or directives, and pursued by governmental representatives acting on behalf of their sovereign communities, are directed toward objectives, conditions and actors – both governmental and non-governmental – which they want to affect and which lie beyond their territorial legitimacy”[29]

According to Rousseau’s volonté générale concept, foreign policy can be seen as the expression of the people’s will in a sovereign state.[30] The Europeanization of foreign policy is a post-modern phenomenon which is made possible and builds upon the changes in the concepts of both foreign policy and sovereignty.

The traditional conduct of state foreign policy which has always aimed at maintaining full state sovereignty has increasingly acquired a European dimension. In spite of Henry A. Kissinger’s warning not to abandon the sovereign nation-state as long as there is no proven alternative in place, the EU Member States have ceded substantial parts of their sovereignty.[31] As in the process of European integration, foreign policy has been subjected to the impact of the factors discussed previously, it underwent considerable change.[32]

Modern Westphalian conceptualizations of foreign policy are biased in favour of the state. The theoretical assumptions of the state-centric school seem to be outdated against the developing European foreign policy-making. This is due to the fact that in this theory, there is the notion of foreign policy as being an area no one can penetrate. So could foreign policy be immune to Europeanization? This question crops up as Member States are assumed to guard this key area of national sovereignty jealously.[33]

The European idealist school, as opposed to the state-centric school, allows for non-state actors to play a role in foreign policy. It recognizes that states’ foreign policies are important though over time they are being replaced by a common European approach. This is understandable because if this were the case, there would be no sense in studying the Europeanization of foreign policy. Jordi Vaquer i Fanés claims that “there is a case for studying the Europeanization of foreign policy, despite the fact that this policy remains, by and large, at the national governments’ hands”.[34] It thus becomes clear that “foreign policy is not a special case immune to Europeanization pressures”.[35]

1.4 Small States’ Europeanization – desire of inclusion or fear of engulfment?

As foreign policy is not immune to EU membership, one needs to include in the subject of ‘Europeanization’, the national foreign policies of numerous small states making up the European Union today. Indeed, today Europe has become a “union of small states”, with our own homeland, Malta, being the smallest EU country in terms of both territory and population. But do small states wish to be part and parcel of a larger institution or are they afraid of this?

Small states like Malta that decide to join the EU do so to build a shell of protection around them and help boost their economy through trade. So, suggesting they are “weak states” first of all does not help Europe as a whole and secondly, it does not really define their nature[36].

The main foreign policy objective of all countries and especially small states, is participating in a pool of wealth to ensure the free flow of information, money, goods and services as well as the eventual free flow of people and corporations.[37] In Malta’s case, the first step was Malta’s accession in the EU in 2004, now what we are assessing are the effects of Malta’s EU membership. Though Malta has been a Member State for a relatively short period, one can still determine if any changes have occurred in the country’s foreign policy.

Malta’s ex-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Frendo declares that the real challenge in the EU is getting and holding the interest of the EU’s bureaucracy in Brussels; this is an ongoing difficulty for the smaller Member States.[38] According to Dr. Frendo,

“[membership] frees the mind from the constraints of a small territory and provides [Malta’s] citizens with a continent in which they can, by right, travel, study, work and reside. It provides us with the tools to influence decision-making in European policies including common foreign policy and therefore enables us to strengthen our relevance and enhances our weight to international affairs in all contexts, regional, bilateral, multilateral and/or regional context feeds strength and relevance in bilateral relations and vice-versa”[39]

The EU gives an international voice to its smaller Member States and places them on an equal platform as the other, bigger, Member States. The EU is the most important context for small Member State foreign policy-making. Keeping this in mind, one has to assess how small EU Member States are being affected by Europeanization and how they are conducting their foreign policy post-EU accession.

Chapter 2

The Influence of EU Membership on Small States’ Foreign Policy-Making

With EU membership, there are a number of areas in which the Member State in question must adapt and reform itself. When states join the European Union, their foreign policy is to a certain degree influenced by various factors such as how they are going to convey and address their policies towards existing and future Member States. Linked to the same argument, EU Member States must also develop a foreign policy towards non-Member States outside Europe. Over the years, there have been changes in the EU framework which have left their imprint on the process of European integration particularly in relation to foreign policy. From this perspective, one can say that the ever-changing European environment has had an impact on the existing Member States’ foreign policy as well as for the newer Member States. Membership has served as a milestone in the small states’ history, improving their relations with other countries.[40]

2.1 Historical Overview

In 1970, the EC Member States decided that they would strengthen their co-operation on international issues. This gave rise to European Political Cooperation (EPC). This was however on an intergovernmental level. Sixteen years later, the Single European Act formalized EPC under Title III and reinforced practices that were born through the years.[41]

In 1993 the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy was established through the Treaty of Maastricht, where for the first time the term “common foreign policy” was used. Since Maastricht, the EU has been able to express its stands on behalf of its Member States on armed conflicts, human rights and many other issues which the EU considers as a threat for its well-being or which go contrary to its values.[42]

A key step in the EU’s history with regards to foreign policy was the introduction in the Treaty of Amsterdam of the High Representative for the CFSP who is Mr. Javier Solana and of the Special Representatives of which currently there are ten. Their role is to help regions and areas which are torn apart by conflict by giving advice to the authorities concerned and ensure peace is restored whenever possible. Their political presence is essential in putting the EU on a prominent place on the international stage, acting as its “voice” and “face”.[43]

In 2003, when the Treaty of Nice entered into force, the number of areas which fall under qualified majority voting increased and the role of the Political and Security Committee in crisis management operations was enhanced. After the Nice Treaty, new challenges began to arise. One such challenge is the Helsinki Headline Goal which can be met through developing the EU’s defence policy. This is just one instance where small Member States may feel dominated by their larger counterparts, the reason being that large Member States would be keener on defence policy. Another example where small Member States would feel more controlled when compared to large Member States is in regards to the management of the single currency; the Euro. Small states may be scrutinized more than their larger counterparts, mostly because some argue that bigger economies have a larger say. So they put more pressure on small weaker states to comply with what has already been achieved.[44]

Over the years, the smaller Member States have looked up to the Commission as a “friend of the small”.[45] However, during recent years the Commission has lost part of its power and will undergo further reforms if the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified in all 27 Member States.

2.2 Small State Foreign Policy

With the end of the Cold War, the European Community looked like a fantastic idea; the ideal security organization for small states. As time went by, the integration process transformed the conditions for small state foreign policy-making in Europe. The coming together of the large powers in one single institution helped small states tailor their foreign policy according to their priorities. The dangers of conflicts and military attacks were wiped off small states’ concerns with the emergence of a larger community body and the development of the situation in Europe. The key issue on small states’ agenda by now had become how to influence large states while maintaining their own autonomy.[46]

For those states that joined the EU before the Cold War there was the challenge of adapting their foreign policy to the post-Cold War context. The bulk of small EU Member States joined in 2004, however there were some small states which were already members at this time, namely, Ireland, Denmark and Luxembourg. During this time, new tensions arose because the Member States had to learn how to interact with the world around them, as well as with each other.[47] 

The dilemma between influence and autonomy is particularly relevant to small states’ cases for a number of reasons. Small states tend to risk being exploited far more than large states and their foreign policy decisions are more likely to have an impact on their security and survival. It may also be argued that they do not even really have the choice to opt-out of the EU because that probably will only serve as a blow to their security on the international stage.[48] So, very often they find themselves going to and fro, pondering whether to risk becoming trapped or enjoy having liberty and voice through the decisions taken at the international level. Thus, between autonomy and influence, small states are more willing to choose autonomy because that is a far more realistic approach. Though in the end they may reject this course for reasons just outlined.[49]

International institutions help small countries become more stable. They provide rules and regulations for their Member States to be applied uniformly and without any exceptions, while providing a voice to small Member States. This level playing-field gives the opportunity to influence the actions of more powerful states.[50] The disadvantage is that by becoming more prominent on the international stage, small states face the problem of losing their political autonomy. This is particularly evident in the foreign policy positions traditionally taken by European small states. One such strategy was neutrality. This strategy was chosen because it was no use involving small states in conflicts they had no chance of influencing anyway. Now, that the process of globalisation is widespread and countries are dependent on each other, neutrality makes less sense than ever before. EU membership was the ultimate factor which led these countries to abandon neutrality as defined in its classical meaning; Finland, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Ireland. In fact, today they are sometimes referred to as the post-neutral states.[51]

2.3 Balance between Small and Large Member States

By becoming an EU Member State there is the fear that a country loses its sovereignty. Its territorial size restricts it from exploiting its full potential, namely have an influential say in priority areas. The idea that big states are normally in accordance with each other over the majority of issues is not correct. Countries usually do what is in their interest, irrelevant of their size. This fact is sometimes pointed out as small states tend to be more adaptive than their bigger counterparts over international issues, the reason being that they know their security and survival would be at risk if they decide to take a stand that runs counter to what has been decided by the larger countries.

For a small state the EU can result in a challenging experience because it is characterized by a big bureaucracy. Considering the great number of small Member States that have recently joined the union, and with an effective foreign policy in place, however, a state who is willing, can manage to succeed.[52]

A Member State of a union can only have an effective foreign policy if it has voice and representation in the union it belongs to. Small states are usually known as having a good relationship with the Commission by relying on it to back them up on issues where they need support vis-à-vis their larger counterparts. The Commission acts as a mediator mostly because small states try to find a common footing, rather than wait for their large counterparts to take on a Council meeting and engulf the small states’ voices.[53]

According to Professor Esko Antola, the balance between the small and the large Member States was given priority in the founding of the European Community. This is shown through the system of weighted votes in the Council of Ministers and in the national quotas in the European Parliament. Antola therefore observes that the treaties of the European Union take into consideration both factors of population and territory rather than just the size of a state’s territory.

The Benelux countries, being the only three small states at the establishment of the European Community, were allowed over-representation in voting for reasons of balancing out the powers between the six founding states. When the Union began to expand and a series of small states began to join in, new ways of representation had to be adopted.[54]

During the 1990s, the European Union experienced tensions with regards to the composition of the Commission and the reform of the weighting of votes, as the number of small states joining it kept rising. This was seen as an important aspect in the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992. In fact, the balance of power between small and large states was high up on the agenda of the following intergovernmental conferences of Amsterdam in 1997 and Nice in 2000 both of which led to Treaty Reform.[55]

Small states would rather have strong institutions in place so that constant balance of power can be kept, even if this means pooling some layers of their own sovereignty. All Member States have a right to veto, on key issues particularly in defence matters, thus giving power to small states to stop large states from pursuing their own interests instead of the union’s interest as a whole. In addition, the great number of small Member States of the EU is crucial in decisions where unanimity is necessary. Strong institutions are a key sign of longevity for small Member States. Intergovernmentalism, according to Antola, is not so positive in promoting small state interests and threatens to eliminate equality between EU Member States.[56] This could be because intergovernmentalists feel that control of the EU should be in the hands of heads of states or governments. This way, the Commission and the European Parliament would be dedicated a much smaller role.[57]

Even though we tend to put all small states in one broad category, in reality small EU Member States are different from each other in many aspects. They also differ in their views of Europe. Some support intergovernmentalism and are Euro-skeptics like Sweden, Denmark, and recently Poland. Others are convinced that supranational institutions can better represent small states such as Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Finland. Then there are a group of other small Member States that have a somewhat different approach than those in the former two categories. Such an example is the Netherlands who is “not quite a small Member but has not a recognition as a middle power”.[58] In a peculiar way, such countries therefore, not being large states, have an interest in securing small states’ wishes but also a bigger interest in not expanding the EU budget, being one of the net contributors.[59] 

A few months before the historic enlargement of 2004, critics argued that “equality between states had to give way in the name of effectiveness”. The reason behind this was that according to the large Member States, both the Commission and the rotating presidency would be negatively affected if there was to be no change whatsoever. However, even if each Member State would retain one commissioner, the Commission would still be much smaller than a national Parliament. The enlargement of 2004 resulted in a change in the balance of power between big and small EU Member States. This reasoning was only brought up to defend the interests of the large members and help them keep a tight grasp on small states.[60]

2.4 Changes in the Foreign Policy-Making of Small Member States as a Result of Enlargement

When the EU Member States were fifteen, there was already a considerable number of them which were referred to as “small states”. Now, following the big-bang enlargement of 2004, the EU has practically become a union of small states, with as many as six new small states joining in, namely; Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This is the reason why the issue of small states has in recent times come to the fore, with many policy-makers across Europe realizing that the role of the smaller EU Member States has to be looked at with more importance and be developed for the sake of Europe as a whole.

As a direct result of European Union membership, the foreign policy of Me

Cyprus’ Accession in NATO’s Partnership for Peace

ABSTRACT:

The contemporary political debate which has emerged recently in the political arena of Cyprus regarding the issue of Cyprus’ accession in NATO’s programme Partnership for Peace (PfP) provoked a rich discussion concerning the historical orientation of the country’s foreign policy. Although Cyprus has been a full member of the European Union since the 1st of May 2004, its comprehensive participation to European Security and Defence Policies and structures is questioned and partly limited. This statement is an emanation of the fact that Cyprus constitutes the only Member State in the EU, which is neither a member of NATO nor of the PfP. Therefore, the Cypriot indirect absence from ‘Western’ security and defence structures combined with the Turkish intensive participation causes several internal and external implications and raise doubts concerning, both the exact role of Cyprus in the European Security system, as well as the future of the dialogue regarding relations between NATO and the EU. This paper explores three different phases of Cyprus’ foreign policy and tries to evaluate the reasons which led to the partial adjustment in its directions. In particular, throughout the Cold War, Cyprus implemented a policy of the Non-Aligned Movement. However, in 1990 it applied for EEC membership transforming its foreign policy and shaping a European orientation. Nevertheless, since February 2008 the new elected President Demetris Christofias – a former leader of the communist party AKEL- has been categorically rejecting to put Cyprus in the path of accession into the NATO’s PfP. As the conclusion states, although Cyprus’ foreign policy is Europe-oriented, there are particular cases which prove that the country’s foreign policy is not linear and is partially modulated depending on the government’s political and ideological orientation. The final assessment of whether the foreign policy transformations are rational and beneficial for Cyprus remains controversial and open to different interpretations.

Introduction

The exercise and implementation of foreign policy comprise a decisive parameter which marks and defines the state’s external behaviour, as well as its politico-ideological placement in the international system. Undoubtedly, the establishment and cultivation of external relations, as well as the ability to inaugurate diplomatic contacts with other states and international organizations, are all fundamental elements of international relations, which enhance and reinforce the state’s position in the international scene and improve the climate of cooperation between states. However, a basic question that needs to be addressed and evaluated concerning the implementation of foreign policy is whether it remains steady and linear, or is being transformed and adjusted depending on evolving national interests and the rapid changes which are observed in the international environment. If the latter scenario is the case, the question which arises has to do with the variety of different factors which contribute and lead to the transformation and the partial redefinition of the national foreign policy direction.

Despite the fact that it is a relatively small island, the Republic of Cyprus has had a rich and diverse history, .

This paper will examine the case study of Cyprus’ foreign policy, analysing and critically approaching its evolutionary process throughout the years, trying to contribute to the discussion concerning the orientations and transformations of the country’s foreign policy throughout its existence. As the methodological type of this research is a case study, this paper tries to focus on the historical process of Cyprus’ foreign policy seeking to assess the factors which led to its partial redefinition and rethinking during three crucial stages of its history. It is worthy to clarify that the purpose of this paper is not to present and examine the Cyprus Problem per se, but how Cyprus saw and still sees its place in Europe through the exercise and implementation of its foreign policy. This explanatory case study attempts to evaluate three different stages which reveal the ‘asymmetric nature’ and non linear orientation of the country’s foreign policy.

As the conclusion states, although Cyprus after 1990 has been following a steady European orientation, its foreign policy has not changed, but is partly modulated and adjusted depending on the ideological background of the party in government. The following analysis will prove that despite the fact that Cyprus’ foreign policy is Europe-oriented, some of its aspects are now hostage to the government’s ideology. What diversifies this paper from the existing literature is the interplay between internal and external dynamics in foreign policy perceptions.


The structure of the Work

This paper is divided into three parts based on three different approaches and periods of Cyprus’ foreign policy. The first chapter examines Cyprus’ foreign policy in the very early years of its existence, when it faced the dilemma of either being a satellite state, expressing support to either of the two superpowers, or to remain neutral. Bypassing the intensive disagreement from the Turkish Cypriot Vice President, President Makarios, took the decision to participate in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 1961 keeping the country away from the direct epicentre of the Cold War. After following a non-aligned foreign policy during the Cold War and with the Cyprus problem being unresolved, the Cypriot political leadership decided that the country needed to dramatically change the orientation of its foreign policy.
 
Following the brief examination of Cyprus’ non-aligned foreign policy during the Cold War, the second chapter deals clearly with the immediate post Cold-War era, where one could notice a total shift and a significant alteration of the country’s foreign policy. This chapter argues that the period after 1990 can be characterized as an effort from the Cyprus government to approach and join the Western European structures maintaining at the same time, friendly relations with the former Soviet Union countries. In 1990, Cyprus applied for membership of the EEC in order to achieve a series of national, political, and economic goals.

The third chapter will present and analyze one of the most recent and contemporary political debates, concerning the issue of Cyprus’ comprehensive participation in European Security and Defence structures and policies, with additional emphasis on the issue of Cyprus’ prospect of joining NATO’s PfP.

After the examination and analysis of the above three periods which showed a different motivation from Cypriot governments concerning the orientation of foreign policy, this paper concludes with an overall assessment of the aforementioned issues. Although the purpose of this paper is not to make predictions and speculations for the future, it is necessary to pose some crucial questions for further research about how Cyprus sees its place in Europe.


Literature review – Methodological approach – Conceptual clarifications

It is widely accepted that the Cyprus problem is by its nature a very tenebrous, sensitive, ambiguous and controversial political problem which can be approached from a variety of different political angles depending on the way one understands the various balances and realities in Cyprus. When studying cases like Cyprus, an objective researcher must take into account a series of different variables concerning the politico-ideological ambiguities in the context of the Cyprus political arena in order to be objective and formulate realistic arguments. A significant limitation which emerges in research methodology, as well as in the process of the examination and evaluation of recourses is the question of subjectivity and the realistic interpretation either of the primary sources or of the historical proceedings. The way the political life in Cyprus is structured, provides a rich philosophical tradition of debate between the political tendencies, which offers different explanations, different interpretations and even different conclusions. If we apply the theory that a coin has always two sides and an argument has two different explanations, in the case of Cyprus, many coins have too many sides.

The present brief literature review presents the major works published in the English language on the Cyprus issue in general. It is worthy to note that the vast majority of social scientific works on Cyprus are focused on Cyprus’ political problem and the conflict between the two communities and their political and territorial aspirations in the island. The impact of the factors which led to the reformulation of foreign policy attitude, or indeed the impact of the political debates in Cyprus’ political arena on foreign policy is comparatively little explored. The works contained herein have been chosen because of their relevance to one or more of the major themes running through the paper. Regarding the three key areas of this research, i.e. ‘Cyprus’ foreign policy’, ‘Cyprus’ EU accession process’ and ‘Cyprus and PfP’ the majority of the literature on Cyprus is extremely vast and enlightening on the second, less so on the first, and virtually nonexistent on the last.

In particular, one contemporary, objective and realistic account is offered by James Ker- Lindsay, [2004,2005,2008]. Ker-Lindsay and Hubert Faustman [2009] also undertook a comprehensive research on the politics and government of Cyprus, providing us a solid argumentation about the country’s political realities. Other historical backgrounds and analysis are offer by other authors like [Markides, 1977] “The Rise and fall of the Cyprus Republic” [Bitsios, 1975], “Cyprus: the vulnerable Republic”, [Polyviou, 1975] “Cyprus: The tragedy and the challenge”. Theophylactou Demetrios presented in 1995 his interpretation concerning the security, identity and the nation building offering a comprehensive work on the Cyprus issue based on a combination of domestic and external factors. Concerning Cyprus’ EU accession process there is an extensive literature. Nattalie Tocci [2004] examined the prospect of Cyprus’ accession process as a catalyst for peace to the political problem and offered an evaluation of the role of the EU to the conflict resolution in Cyprus. Moreover, Theophanous [2005] analysed the role of the EU in the Eastern Mediterranean, and its impact on the Cyprus question.  Additionally, Brewin [2000], Christou [2004] and Stephanou [2005], analyzed the period of accessions negotiations and assessed the implications which emerged in the country’s accession process and in the path towards the final membership.

Nevertheless, the focus of the third chapter, concerning the Cyprus’ application for PfP membership constitutes a very contemporary issue and thus almost absent from the current literature. However, this does not mean that it will be consumed in speculation theories, as it is a useful example which proves that Cyprus’ foreign policy is not linear and is being adjusted depending on a series of political, national and ideological factors. Therefore, the author has used many comprehensive accounts on Cyprus and the Cyprus problem which also evaluate some of the basic foreign policy aspects that are assessed in this paper. Furthermore the works of [Howorth 2007] on European Security and Defence Policy and [Kentas 2005] on Cyprus and PfP were very helpful for this particular analysis Moreover, as there is a need to understand the position of the political parties, it was attempted to take interviews from all political parties, as well as from members of the core-executive. It can be argued that the interviews offered the author the opportunity to better understand the existing political perceptions especially about the issue of PfP.

A ‘diplomatic neutrality’:  Cyprus’ Foreign policy of the Non-Aligned Movement

The agreements negotiated in Zurich and London in February 1959 between the three guarantor powers – Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom – led to the declaration of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 .

Apart from the domestic political implications, President Makarios, who was the first President of Cyprus, faced an early challenge and a significant dilemma. The specific dilemma and foreign policy decision has partly marked the country’s path and participation in international politico-economic affairs. In the apex of the Cold War, and with the international balances being sensitive and fragile, Cyprus’ government had three options regarding its foreign policy position and reaction to the global and political classifications.

Firstly, there was a weakened assumption that Cyprus should have joined NATO as it belongs in the sphere of its influence and due to the fact that the three guarantor powers of the Republic are members of NATO. Besides the island’s strong indirect bonds with NATO, one could argue that, according to the informal and secret agreement between the Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis and his Turkish counterpart Mederes, which was signed in Zurich in February 1959, Greece and Turkey, agreed to support a future Cyprus accession in NATO. However, the paradox of this case implies the fact that Makarios was informed and agreed to the specific provision of the agreement. Secondly, there has been a perception that Cyprus would have drifted to the Soviet bloc, due to the impact, the friendly relations and the significant power of the communist party in Cyprus – AKEL – with the Soviet executive structures. However, those who knew and understood the political philosophy of President Makarios, realized that the most appropriate foreign policy option for Cyprus was the direction of the Non-Aligned Movement, as an effort to approach the third-world countries and the Arab world.

The Non-Aligned Movement constitutes an international organisation of states considering themselves not formally and directly aligned with or against any major power bloc .

As James Ker-Lindsay accurately observes, in 1955 ‘Makarios was one of the many leaders who attended the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung in Indonesia’ .

However, all scenarios that Cyprus would have joined and expressed support to either of the two superpowers remained only speculation, as Makarios decided that the best foreign policy direction for Cyprus was to join the NAM. An observation of the Cypriot daily press of the period shows that the decision generated slight repercussions in some political and social lobbies on both a domestic and international level. In particular, it is worthy to note that the Non-Aligned orientation provoked the intensive disagreement of the Turkish Cypriot vice president Dr. Fazil Kutchuk, despite the fact that he did not exert his veto right to block the decision . It is commonly believed that the Turkish Cypriot vice president was urged by Ankara to accept Makarios’ decision to make Cyprus a member of the NAM. Turkey’s political leadership believed that if Cyprus joined NATO and participated in the political and security structures of the Western alliance, Turkey’s ability to intervene in Cyprus on any occasion under Article 4 of the Treaty of Guaranty would be severely curtailed and subject to delays as it would need the essential approval of the other NATO member states.

During the procedures of the Belgrade Conference in 1961 Cyprus became one of the twenty five founder states of the NAM. A basic explanation of this choice, which does not require any political analysis is that Makarios maintained excellent and friendly relations with a number of leading figures from Bandung’s Conference, especially Yugoslavia’s Josep Broz Tito and Egypt’s Abdul Gamal Nasser, and he was already forging a reputation as a leader across the Arab world . Moreover, the fact that Makarios’ first official overseas visit was to Egypt to see his very good friend and colleague President Nasser instead of visiting Greece was unexpected.  

Additionally, the general consensus regarding the choice of NAM is proved by the fact that, even General Georgios Grivas who was the leader of EOKA and then one of the most intensive sources of opposition over Makarios’ policies, claimed that the movement towards the Arab world was promising and successful, expressing simultaneously his frustration at the way the Western allies treated Cyprus. Furthermore, he did not hesitate to call the Greek government to withdraw from NATO .

Apart from the above, the general social frustration concerning the way the Western Allies treated Greek Cypriots during several times in contemporary Cyprus history, constituted another reason which demonized NATO in the eyes of the Greek – Cypriot people. The initial negative experience the Cypriots obtained from the West has concerned the way the British responded to the demand of self determination and union with Greece. Although Cypriots participated and fought for the British in the Second World War, the British governments misplaced Cypriot hopes that Britain would have taken a more encouraging and positive position regarding the issue of union with Greece. Moreover, another crucial reason which proves the social disappointment to the British attitude has been the content and provisions of the various partitionist plans for a settlement proposed by several British officials. In particular such plans prepared and submitted by Marshal Sir John Harding in 1956 in his negotiations with Makarios, the ideas of Lord Radcliffe in December of the same year and the comprehensive proposal prepared by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1958. All these plans were assessed and rejected as unacceptable by the Greek Cypriot leadership and provoked a general mistrust against British policy over Cyprus.

The issue of the Greek appeal in the UN seems to be very crucial. After the referendum organized by the Orthodox Church calling for unity with Greece .

Theophylactou, who offers an interpretation of Makarios’ position, claims that Makarios, ‘whose political philosophy was steadily moving away from Athens national policy vis- a- vis Cyprus, had dismissed enosis and adopted a policy of Non-alignment and independence for Cyprus’ . Furthermore, it is noticeable that Greece was highly economically dependent on economic and financial support from the West and did not wish to endanger the loss of its economic lank. As Makarios committed himself to the NAM he began to pursue his own political initiatives.

Evaluating his policies one could argue that the vast majority of his decisions were gradually being contradicted with the policies of the National Centre. Makarios was being supported by AKEL and he was trying to implement policies that satisfied the party’s electorate as he was heavily reliant on AKEL’s support. Nevertheless, after the breakdown of peace in Cyprus the US with the active support of Britain tried to propose plans to bring about a settlement. After the rejection of the Acheson plans by Makarios in 1964 and his broader approach to the Soviet Union, the US through their President Johnson had been worried about the possibility of Cyprus eventually becoming ‘the Cuba of Mediterranean’ and Makarios the Castro of the area .

However, assessing the role of the NAM in the efforts for a settlement in the Cyprus issue, it is questioned whether it has positively and actively contributed or whether its support was limited in rhetoric. It is worthy to note that interviewing the political party officers in the Greek Cypriot side, there is not an intense assumption that the direction of NAM was wrong and no party criticised Makarios for the specific orientation he attributed to the country’s foreign policy.

In the following years the political anomaly had dramatically increased. In July 1974, Turkey found the pretext to impose its partitionist plans against Cyprus, following the coup of 15th of July, perpetrated against the elected government of President Makarios by the Athens military junta. On July 20, claiming to act under article 4 of the Treaty of Guarantee, the Turkish armed forces staged a full scale invasion against Cyprus. Though the invasion was in violation of all rules of international legality, including the UN Charter, Turkey proceeded to occupy the northern part of the island.

Later on, the basis for a solution of the Cyprus problem was set in two High Level Agreements. Both agreements, (between President Makarios and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in February 1977 and between President Kyprianou and Denktash in May 1979), were concluded under the auspices of the UN Secretary General. Apart from the High Level Agreements several initiatives were attempted especially from the Greek-Cypriot side to find a settlement through UN mediation. In particular until 1990 one could argue that the initiatives of the Secretary Generals of the UN Kurt Waldheim, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and Boutros Boutros Ghali were the most comprehensive efforts for a settlement. All the above initiatives clashed to the intransigent position of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. After the subsequent failures to inaugurate negotiations for the resolution of the Cyprus problem, which was the primary foreign policy objective for the Cyprus Government, the Cypriot political leadership decided in 1990 to change the orientation of the country’s foreign policy.

 

 ‘Westernisation’ of Foreign Policy:  Cyprus’ European orientation as a catalyst for peace or source of further implications?

The end of the Cold War, proved that the Western and European structures and values would dominate in the new era which was emerging and uprising. As the most sensitive issue for Cyprus was the necessity to intensify the efforts to find a negotiated settlement to the Cyprus problem, the Cypriot political leadership realised the need to partly transform the country’s foreign policy, implementing a policy aiming at a final accession into the EEC/EU.

However, this foreign policy transformation created a strong reaction and opposition from AKEL. The communist party which had positively contributed to the election of President Vasiliou in the Cypriot Presidency in 1988, declared an intensive disagreement concerning Cyprus’ application for EEC membership. According to the official AKEL’s position, they considered the EEC as an imperialistic and neoliberal economic organisation which was using its economic power to pursue its political power in the world against the interests of the poor countries .

AKEL saw the EEC as just another Western ally of the United States and NATO and strongly believed that Cyprus has no place and nothing to be benefited from organizations which organized and advocated to the Turkish invasion and the conspiracy of 1974. On the contrary all the other political parties including the right wing Democratic Rally (DHSY), the centre wing Democratic Party (DHKO) and the Socialist Party (EDEK) were vigorously supporting Cyprus’ accession and harmonization to the European structures . In the meantime, in 1993 Glafkos Clerides, the leader of the right wing Democratic Rally, a former President of the House of Representatives (Vouli) and a Greek Cypriot negotiator in the inter-communal talks of 1968-1974, was elected President of the Republic. Initially, his election brought a new prospect for Cyprus, as he was one of the most constant politicians and supporters of Cyprus’ accession into the EU.

A central issue of this foreign policy transformation has been the role of the EU and its mediation in the conflict resolution in Cyprus and the outcomes of Cyprus’ EU foreign policy orientation. It is widely accepted that throughout the years, the vast majority of initiatives for a negotiated settlement have been undertaken by the United Nations, with the active support of the United States . Until the early 1990s, the EC/EU was almost absent from the efforts for a settlement. That was because the role of the EC/EU as an international actor until the end of the Cold War was partially undermined. Its contribution to the conflict resolution using civilian and diplomatic instruments was poor.

As Olga Demetriou accurately argues, “the EU has played a minor role in the search for a solution to the Cyprus conflict in comparison with the UN and Britain, and even the US” . However, during the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st a substantial shift to the EU’s role in the resolution of the Cyprus problem is noticed which vindicates the aspirations of Cypriot leadership.

With the growth of the European Integration process and the initial empowerment of the EU’s role as an international actor during the early 1990s with the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, European involvement in South-Eastern Europe grew steadily for a variety of different reasons. The political situation in the Middle East, the Euro-Turkish relations, as well as the substantial issue of immigration, have all constituted the main reasons of the EU’s broader interest in the region. Apart from that, Cyprus’ geographical location at the crossroads of three continents, made it inevitably very crucial as regards the security dimension .

As aforementioned, Cyprus’ European orientation “officially” began in 1990 when it applied for membership in the EEC. Since then, and due to the Turkish European aspiration, as well as the continuous Greek support on the Cyprus problem, the impact of the European Union towards the Cyprus conflict was steadily increasing. Moreover, Cyprus’ application for membership transformed the Cyprus problem into a European issue. However, in the initial stage of the accession process, the political problem was considered an obstacle for the accession and it was suggested that a settlement or at least significant moves towards one were necessary for Cyprus’ accession process to move forward .

Various assumptions have been formulated regarding the issue of a settlement as a precondition for the accession. The provoked debate in the European Union has been between those who believed that Cyprus’ EU accession process would act as a catalyst for peace . Obviously, an insistence on a solution before accession would undermine the prospect of Cyprus’ EU accession process to act as a catalyst for peace.

The question of whether Cyprus’ accession process should constitute a catalyst for peace was at the centre of the political debate and can be examined from different perspectives in regard to the interests of Greek and Turkish Cypriots. According to Tocci, the EU’s role in the Cyprus problem has two dimensions: “the impact of the EU as a framework on conflict resolution efforts, and the impact of the accession process on the parties in conflict” . This paper argues that the fact which constituted a crucial help in the resolution of the Cyprus problem was not Cyprus’ final accession in the EU, rather the effect of Cyprus’ EU accession process especially during the final stage. Additionally, another factor has been the partial shift in Turkish foreign policy, as a result of the Turkish European aspirations, which became more active after the coming of power of the AKP.

The final stage of the EU accession process which coincided with the latest initiative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Anan had diverse effects to the policies of the two communities .

It is important to mention that the EU, as well as the international community, tried in several ways to support the Yes campaign in both communities. There is no doubt that on both sides there were several political parties which were more active to the idea of a solution prior to accession. However there were parties which hardened their positions due to the elections in both communities before the referenda. For those who were in favour of a solution prior to accession, the Anan plan constituted an opportunity for a solution. Moreover, the EU had declared and urged the two communities to accept the Anan plan, showing its active support for a solution prior to accession based on the specific plan. Another significant element which shows the EU’s positive involvement in the efforts for a resolution was its vigilance to economically support a possible solution prior to accession, as well as to provide financial aid to the new state, in order to eliminate the economic disproportion between the two communities.

The decision to apply for membership in 1990 can be interpreted as an aim of “strengthening the Greek Cypriot bargaining position in negotiations” . Moreover Cyprus’ accession would confirm the Turkish attack and occupation of an EU member state.

To put it differently, the EU, in its various structural, institutional and conceptual manifestations, has played, is still playing and is envisioned as having to play in the future, a variety of roles concerning the conflict in Cyprus. It remains to be seen whether this involvement will change in the future and whether the outcome of any mediation will bring a new prospect for Cyprus and its people. An overall assessment of Cyprus’ EU orientation reveals that the decision to apply for EEC membership in 1990 and partly transform the country’s foreign policy was a correct political evaluation and anticipation of the future prospects.  However, Cyprus retained very good and friendly relations with other former Soviet states as well as with countries of the Arab Worlds and the NAM. Nevertheless, Cyprus as a full member of the EU, is implementing a Europe-oriented foreign policy which is relevant with the European structures and values.  Is this statement always the case for Cyprus? An observation of some contemporary debates regarding Cyprus’ foreign policy and the country’s role in the international system, shows that sometimes, the country’s foreign policy is hostage to other factors which hamper it from its natural European orientation. The internal political debate about the issue of Cyprus’ application for Partnership for Peace membership which will be examined and assessed in the next chapter will prove the correctness of the above assumption.

Cyprus’ Foreign Policy Hostage to ideology:  The issue of Partnership for Peace.

 The process of Europeanization – defined as a process of domestic change in order to align national policies with European structures as a result of potential membership- .

This section will examine the contemporary debate which emerged recently in the Cyprus’ national political arena concerning the issue of Cyprus’ application for accession into NATO’s programme PfP. Nevertheless, before analysing the domestic political debate regarding the issue of PfP, there is a necessity to clarify and examine some basic theoretical issues about the evolving role of the EU as an actor in the international system. This analysis is crucial, as it is related with the uncertain relations between NATO and the EU which directly affect the examined case of Cyprus and PfP.

History proves to us that initiatives to create a common defence policy are not inextricable from European Integration but they are its precondition.  The fact that the efforts have been numerous and of dubious outcome underline the complexity of the goal, but also its necessity. Undoubtedly, the failure of the EDC initiative in 1954, ensured that defence related issues were being discussed outside the EEC context .  However, towards the late 1990s, there was a gradual departure from this policy path.

A turning point in the progress made towards ESDP was the summit in St-Malo in December 1998 . Furthermore, relations between the EU and NATO came into question regarding this issue. However , despite the efforts and the to date implementation of 23 missions, the extent to which EU’s security and defence role in the new security architecture in the immediate post-cold war period

Social Advantages of EU Memebership

Introduction

The following working paper presents the Social assistance and social advantages in the European Union and third country nationals (with special attention for Turkish persons). It has been organized in seven main chapters which are summarized briefly in the following paragraphs.

In order to have a view of what makes the legal basis for TCN’s rights in European Union, this paper tries to describe the most important International and European legal instruments. These instruments set minimum standards relating to the protection of migrants, their families and refugees as well as for international co-operation on migration. International law protect migrant according to fundamental principles like; equality of treatment between regular migrant workers and nationals in the realm of employment and occupation; universal human rights apply to all human beings, including all migrants, regardless of status.

International instruments provide normative standards for all national legislation and policy on migration. The main international human rights Conventions and Covenants apply to all human beings, including migrants and refugees. The Council of Europe’s migration instruments cover general human rights and more specific agreements relating to migrants and migrant workers.

The Community has power to enter into agreements with third countries which agreements may either be limited to matters within the exclusive competence of the Community or cover a wider mix of issues including areas of shared competence between the Member States and the Community[3]. Agreement with third countries in this working paper are mentioned not because they provide direct social rights (referring to the Turkey agreement) to TCN’s but because the European Court of Justice often make reference to them conferring direct effect[4] for the equal treatment of TCN’s.

Under the EU law, where a right deriving from an agreement is found to be directly enforceable by the ECJ (direct effect), it is part of the acquis communautaire and must be applied by the Community’s national courts. The jurisprudence of the ECJ clarify the treatment of third country nationals having an advantageous legal status close to nationals of Members States.

Moreover, it has been tried to provide a general view of social advantages for TCN’s in European Union. It is well known that social advantages and social rights for TCN’s depend mainly on their legal status. Different categories of TCN’s are treated differently in respect of social rights within the Union. Irregular immigrants and persons illegally residing in a country are mentioned in this paper but are not treated deeply considering that they have very restricted rights in respect of social rights. Regular immigrants have a more favorable situation and enjoy rights and obligations comparable to those of citizens of the European Union. A description of different directives and regulations has been made in order to explain what social rights and advantages have the category of third country nationals within the European Union. Reference to the definition of social advantages according to ECJ case laws has been made.

In the following chapter, Social assistance in the European Union, it has been tried to explain several definitions that exist for social assistance, Social Regimes and Social Protection Delivery Systems, the role of social assistance, its personal scope, level and duration of social assistance benefits and conditioning of social assistance.

The general situation of social assistance is further analyzed in four European countries; Germany, Austria, France and Belgium. European Union Countries provide social assistance for persons in need in different ways. They are guided almost from the same principles but apply different provisions and eligibility criteria because access to social assistance is governed according to national rules. This section aims to present an analysis of how social assistance systems are administered in Germany, Austria, France and Belgium, their legal and administrative structures and rules of eligibility, relative rules which determine the benefits etc.

In general, immigrants with permanent residence status have access to social security benefits on the same basis as nationals in all Member States. There are greater differences in regulations relating to social assistance, where the great majority of the States provide access to long-resident third-country nationals on the same basis as for nationals. Regulations and practices regarding the provisions available for asylum seekers also differ. Contribution-based benefits are generally accessible on the same basis as they are for nationals. However, there are often limitations linked to minimum contributions or waiting periods. Conditions of access to social assistance can have an important impact on the social inclusion of immigrants. Considering the above, in the chapter 6 of this working paper “Social assistance for third country nationals in four European union countries”, it has been tried to provide a view of how TCN’s are treated in Germany, Austria, France and Belgium as regarded to social assistance.

The selection of these countries has been made according to the differences they have in providing social assistance to third country nationals. France and Germany have more liberal social assistance system concerning third country nationals than Belgium and Austria. In the first two countries social assistance is provided for all persons without any condition relating to period of residence in the national territory, meanwhile in Belgium and Austria residence condition is mandatory for being eligible to social assistance. 

In the last chapter of this paper has been described different social rights, which are found in different directives and regulations for Turkish persons in European Union. Even though, it is obvious that the arrangements for Turkish migrants under the association instruments provide less legal protection compared nationals of Member States, they have a more favorable social situation than other third country nationals.

The methodology used is that of qualitative content analyses of International and European primary and secondary legal instruments as well as a description of the situation of social assistance in four European Union Countries.

1. Legal Instruments For Social Security of TCN In European Union

International and European legal instruments set minimum standards relating to the protection of migrants, their families and refugees as well as for international co-operation on migration. Although States have their sovereign rights over migration policies in their countries, international law protect migrant according to fundamental principles like; equality of treatment between regular migrant workers and nationals in the realm of employment and occupation; universal human rights apply to all human beings, including all migrants, regardless of status.

International Legal Instruments 

International instruments provide normative standards for all national legislation and policy on migration. The main international human rights Conventions and Covenants apply to all human beings, including migrants and refugees. Nonetheless, specific sets of instruments have been elaborated to address the particular situations of, respectively, refugees and asylum seekers, migrant workers, and trafficking and smuggling of human beings. Certain aspects of other international treaties also apply to migration, notably International Labor Standards, international consular law and certain international trade agreements.

International Human Rights Conventions provide a broad and ample normative framework for the protection of migrants. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 laid out a comprehensive set of universal human rights principles. It is not legally binding, but it has provided the foundation for the recognition of social secu­rity rights in treaties subsequently adopted. Art. 22 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee the right to social security. Art. 25 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right of everyone to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age and other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his or her control[5].

Specific conventions subsequently explicitly extended the application of universal rights to victims of racial discrimination, women, children, and migrants: Convention for the Elimination of Racism and Racial Discrimination (CERD), Convention Against Torture (CAT), Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families(CMR)[6].These instruments have been characterized as fundamental human rights instruments that define basic, universal human rights and ensure their explicit extension to vulnerable groups world-wide[7].

The Convention on the Status of Refugees 1951 provides essential standards regarding recognition, protection of and assistance to refugees and asylum seekers. The Convention defines who is a refugee, sets out rights of individuals granted asylum, delineates the responsibility of States to non-refoulement and provides other provisions such as regarding refugee travel documents.

ILO Convention No. 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards) recognizes the following nine spe­cific branches of social security: medical care, sickness benefits, unemployment benefits, old­age benefits, unemployment injury benefits, family benefits, maternity benefits, invalidity benefits and survivors’ benefits[8]. Minimum re­quirements are stipulated as to the coverage of the population, the content and level of benefits, the protection of the rights of con­tributors and beneficiaries and matters of administration.

Other relevant Conventions of ILO are: Maternity Protection Conven­tion (Revised), 1952 (No. 103); Equality of Treatment Social Se­curity) Convention, 1962 (No. 118) (concerning equality of treatment of nationals and non-na­tionals); Maintenance of Social Secu­rity Rights Convention, 1982 (No. 157). International Labor Standards to policy and practice regarding employment dimensions of migration have repeatedly underscored the applicability to all migrant workers of International Labor Standards covering conditions at work, occupational safety and health, maximum hours of work, minimum remuneration, non-discrimination, freedom of association, collective bargaining, and maternity leave, among others.

European Legal Instruments

The Council of Europe’s migration instruments cover general human rights and more specific agreements relating to migrants and migrant workers.

The European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR)[9] applies clearly to everyone within the jurisdiction of a state party, which means that all migrants in Council of Europe member states are covered by its provisions irrespective of their country of origin[10]. The importance of this Convention is because, unlike other Council of Europe instruments, its personal scope is not limited to nationals of other states parties. The ECHR primarily safeguards civil and political rights and that the legal status of migrant workers. This convention is strongly connected to the protection of their economic and social rights but its role in this field is limited. Nevertheless, the discriminatory application of economic and social rights in respect of migrants may well lead to a violation of the ECHR. While there are no specific provisions on migrant workers in the ECHR, migrants have obtained remedies from the European Court of Human Rights under its case law in protection of their right to respect for family life and the non-discrimination principle (Arts. 8 and 14 respectively)[11].

The European Social Charter (1961) and its Additional Protocol (1988), as well as the Revised European Social Charter (Council of Europe, 1996) which entered into force in July 1999[12], in contrast to the ECHR, has a limited personal scope because it only applies to foreigners who are nationals of other contracting parties. The Charter is the only treaty which guarantees the right to social and medical assistance. The dichotomy between social security and social assistance is highly controversial, it appears in the Charter, which approaches the two areas in two separate Articles (Article 12 and Article 13) carrying different undertakings. Article 12(4), is concerned with ensuring equal treatment between the nationals of contracting parties in respect of social security rights by the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements (or by other means) and Article 13(4), is concerned with the treatment of foreigners lawfully within the territory of contracting parties in respect of social and medical assistance in accordance with the obligations of contracting parties under the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance. It considers as social assistance, benefits for which individual need is the main criterion for eligibility, without any requirement of affiliation to a social security scheme aimed to cover a particular risk, or any requirement of professional activity or payment of contributions.

European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers (Council of Europe, 1977) includes provisions relating to the main aspects of the legal status of migrant workers coming from Contracting parties, and especially to residence and work permits, medical examinations and vocational tests, recruitment, housing, family reunion, travel, conditions of work, transfer of savings, expiry of the contract of employment, dismissal and re-employment, social and medical assistance, social security, and preparation for return to the country of origin[13].

European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance ensure that nationals of contracting parties lawfully present in the territory of another contracting party, and who are without sufficient resources, are entitled to social and medical assistance on the same basis as nationals (Article 1) [14]. As of 15 September 2002, this convention was in force in seventeen member states[15]. The convention prohibits a contracting party from repatriating nationals from other contracting parties who are lawfully resident in its territory on the sole ground that they are in need of assistance (Article 6.a), although it may still do so if the following three conditions in Article 7.a are satisfied:

the person concerned has not been continuously resident in the territory of that Contracting Party for at least five years if he entered it before attaining the age of 55 years, or for at least ten years if he entered it after attaining that age, he is in a fit state of health to be transported, and has no close ties in the territory in which he is resident[16].

The importance of this convention is that both the provisions concerning social and medical assistance in the European Social Charter (Article 13(4)) and the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers (Article 19) refer specifically to the obligations of contracting parties under the convention. Articles 13(1)-(2) of the Charter require contracting parties to ensure that persons without adequate resources are provided with adequate assistance and health care and that they do not suffer from the diminution of their political and social rights because they receive such assistance. Article 13(3) provides that everyone should be able to benefit from public or private services to prevent, remove or alleviate personal or family want. These rights also apply to nationals of contracting parties who work regularly or reside lawfully within the territory of another contracting party on the same basis as nationals. Article 13(4) of the Charter extends the scope of these provisions by stipulating that they are to be applied by contracting parties on an equal basis to the nationals of other contracting parties lawfully within their territories in accordance with their obligations under the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance[17].

Treaty Establishing the European Community (EC Treaty) provides for freedom of movement for workers from EU member states, although transitional arrangements are in place limiting this freedom for nationals from certain new member states. The Treaty prohibits any discrimination based on nationality between these workers as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment, including social security (Arts. 12 and 39). The EC Treaty also invites the EU Council of Ministers to take measures necessary to ensure equality of treatment and to combat discrimination based on, inter alias, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, and sexual orientation. The Council is also empowered to take measures in the field of asylum, immigration and safeguarding of the rights of nationals of third countries, although the measures adopted to date on legal migration have afforded third-country nationals lesser rights than those granted EU citizens.

European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights, adopted in 2000, sets out in a single text, for the first time in EU history, the whole range of civil, political, economic and social rights of EU citizens and all persons resident in the European Union.

Council Directive 2003/109/Ec f 25 November 2003 on 3rd country nationals who are long term residents respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognized in particular by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union[18]. It promotes the integration of third-country nationals who are long-term residents in the Member States as a key element in promoting economic and social cohesion[19]. This directive specifies that long-term residents should enjoy equality of treatment with citizens of the Member State in a wide range of economic and social matters. With regard to social assistance, the possibility of limiting the benefits for long-term residents to core benefits is to be understood in the sense that this notion covers at least minimum income support, assistance in case of illness, pregnancy, parental assistance and long-term care[20]. The modalities for granting such benefits should be determined by national law. A broader view of directive 109 provisions is presented in the chapter with social advantages for TCN’s in EU.

Council Recommendation 92/441/EEC[21] of 24 June 1992 on common criteria concerning sufficient resources and social assistance in social protection systems. This Recommendation, adopted in June 1992 at the Lisbon European Council, recognizes the basic right of a person to guaranteed sufficient resources and social assistance, as part of a comprehensive and consistent drive to combat social exclusion, and to adapt their social protection systems as necessary. It is open to all individuals resident in the Member State in accordance with national and Community provisions that do not have access to sufficient resources individually or within the household in which they live.

Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons and their families moving within the Community (5), provide Third-country nationals with refugee status equal social security rights with EU nationals.

Council Regulation (EC) No 859/2003 extends the provisions of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 and Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 to nationals of third countries who are not already covered by those provisions solely on the ground of their nationality. It ensure fair treatment of third country nationals legally residing in the territory of Member States, granting them rights and obligations comparable to those of EU citizens. In this regulation is enhanced social and cultural life and the legal status of TCN is approximated to that of Member States’ nationals. A high level of social protection is promoted and a set of uniform rights as near as possible to those enjoyed by EU citizens is granted to TCN.

European Community agreements with third countries

The Community has power to enter into agreements with third countries which agreements may either be limited to matters within the exclusive competence of the Community or cover a wider mix of issues including areas of shared competence between the Member States and the Community[22]. 

Turkey Agreement:

The EEC-Turkey Association Agreement[23], implemented by Association Council Decisions 2/76, 1/80 and 3/80,4 provides for certain rights for Turkish nationals and their family members employed and resident in EU member states. Turkish workers resident in EU member states are also entitled to the same protection from expulsion as EU nationals employed in other member states. With regard to social security rights, the European Court of Justice has also held that Article 3(1) of Decision 3/80, which affords Turkish workers and their family member’s treatment equal to that of nationals of member states, confers direct effect[24].

Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia:

The agreements with the Maghreb countries of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia[25] confer equal treatment on Maghreb nationals employed and resident in EU member states as regards their working conditions or remuneration and social security[26]. These non-discrimination provisions have been found by the European Court of Justice as containing sufficiently clear and precise obligations to confer direct effect in EU countries of employment[27]. Equal treatment in social security extends to family members, who have been defined broadly by the ECJ to include the parents of the worker and his or her spouse residing in the host member state[28].

In the field of social security, these agreements are generally based on the following principles:

  • Equal treatment with nationals of the Member States in which they are employed, of Moroccan workers and members of their families living with them, for all branches of social security covered by Regulation 1408/71.
  • Aggregation of periods of insurance, employment or residence completed in the Member States for each of the above social security branches, with the exception of unemployment benefits, industrial accident or occupational disease benefits, and death grants;
  • Transfer of family benefits to other Community countries;
  • Transfer to Morocco of old-age, survivors’ and invalidity benefits, and industrial accident or occupational disease benefits;
  • Application of these principles by Morocco to Community workers, with the exception of aggregation.

Europe Agreements:

The Community can enter into Europe Agreements with third countries which may also be candidates for accession to the EU. These agreements include a provision guaranteeing equal treatment of migrant workers and nationals as regards working conditions, remuneration or dismissal. In contrast to the agreements with the Maghreb countries, however, equality of treatment in the Europe Agreements in respect of social security is dependent on the adoption of provisions for the co-ordination of social security schemes by the Association Council established under each agreement.

The Ruling of the European Court of Justice

Under the EU law, the rights of non-EU nationals (including Turkish nationals) to entry, residence, work, social security benefits, education and other social and tax advantages are based either on their relationship with EU nationals or firms (derivative rights) or on their status as a national of a country with which the Community has concluded an international agreement (direct rights)[29].

The EU law differs from other instruments of international law in that decisions, agreements and acts of the institutions of the Community are directly applicable in the Member States. Of course, not all provisions of directly applicable international law are capable of direct effect[30]. When a provision of EU law is directly effective, domestic courts are under an obligation not only to apply it, but to do so in priority over any conflicting provisions of national law according to the principle of primacy of EU law[31]. Therefore, EU law has priority over national laws in the areas in which they apply.

Under the EU law, where a right deriving from an agreement is found to be directly enforceable by the ECJ (direct effect), it is part of the acquis communautaire and must be applied by the Community’s national courts. Furthermore, if it appears to a national court that a national provision does not comply with community law, the court is under an obligation to apply Community law and if necessary grant interim relief while the opinion of the ECJ is being asked[32].

Despite the jurisprudence of the ECJ clarifying the treatment of third country nationals having an advantageous legal status close to nationals of Members States, a comprehensive and exclusive Community competence in this area still remains to be unresolved. A dichotomy was developed over the years by the Member States, by explicitly recognizing, on the one hand, the requirement of much closer consultation and co-operation at Community level in the implementation of national migration policies vis-à-vis third countries[33]. On the other hand, Member States always underlined that matters relating to the access, residence and employment of migrant workers from third countries fall under the jurisdiction of the governments of the Member States and nothing shall stop them to take measures to control immigration form third countries[34].

2. TCN In European Union

Definition of TCN

According to Article 17(1) of the Treaty”[35] ‘third country national (TCN) is “any person who is not a citizen of the Union within the meaning of this definition includes a number of categories of persons: Refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers, those who enter through family reunion, and legally resident and undocumented immigrants. It also includes stateless persons, in accordance with the definition in the Constitutional Treaty.

Categories of TCN

Third country nationals are contrary to EU-nationals. Their situation differs not only from European Union Nationals but also between the different categories of third country nationals.

Referring to the definition of TCN the following categories can be distinguished:

Asylum Seeker: is someone who makes a claim for asylum in a country other than their own. The rights of asylum seekers are more restricted than the rights of refugees in relation to movement (where they can travel to), employment, health care and social security.

Illegal Immigrant: is someone who has moved from one state to another without any legal claim, such as a visa or a claim for asylum.

Migrant Unlike refugees, migrants do not fear persecution from their home state. Instead, they make a conscious decision to move and have the freedom to return to their state of origin if they wish.

Refugee: in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees a refugee is defined as someone who: “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”[36].

Stateless Person: is someone who does not belong as a citizen to any state. A stateless person may also be a refugee but this is not always the case. For example, a person may leave their home state without persecution. Some people are also born into statelessness due to their parents either being stateless themselves, or unable to register the birth of their child.

According to the legal base which covers TCN the following categories can be distinguished[37]:

Third country Nationals from EFTA states. They are covered by regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 and their situation is similar to EU-nationals.

Third country Nationals who are family members of EU nationals, partly covered by Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71.

Third country Nationals covered by agreements concluded between the community and third countries.

Third country Nationals covered by multilateral agreements such as agreements of the Council of Europe, ILO etc.

Third country Nationals covered by bilateral agreements.

Third country Nationals who are not covered by any agreement.

Legal Status of TCN

According to their legal status, immigrants in European countries can be grouped into four different categories[38]:

  1. The immediate citizenship model. The receiving state recognizes the immigrants as citizens immediately on their arrival.
  2. The quasi-citizenship model, immigrants have a similar status but not completely identical to the citizenship model. Alien resident have the same rights as the citizens of the host state in almost all fields of social life.
  3. Privileged treatment for special categories of immigrants, rights to enter or stay in the country are granted to certain special categories of aliens. Their residence rights are protected. Those aliens have limited possibilities for expulsion or deportation[39]. They have special rights or same treatment as citizens in several areas.
  4. Denizen[40] status, or semi-citizen status, aliens receive almost full residence rights (expulsion being limited to exceptional cases). Equal treatment with citizens is granted in most areas of public life (access to all jobs, equal rights to housing, education and social security) and sometimes even in political life.

The exact content of the rights included in each model may differ slightly from country to country. The main differences in Social and political rights granted to immigrants are between the first model and the other three models. Full set of social and political rights are granted only to immigrants with citizenship of the country of residence. As for the other three models immigrants social and political rights are limited to the right to participate in elections on the local or the regional level and the access to certain jobs in the public service.

3. Social Advantages of Third Country Nationals In European Union

It is not easy to define social advantages of TCN’s in European Union. Social advantages and social rights of TCN’s depend on their legal status. Different categories of TCN’s enjoy different social rights within the Union. Illegal immigrants, for example, cannot claim any rights and are not eligible for any welfare schemes because of their impossibility of presenting any official documents (identification, residence or work permit, etc.) regarding their status. Regular immigrants have a more favorable situation and enjoy rights and obligations comparable to those of citizens of the European Union. According to their status, their social rights are included within different directives and regulations.

The European Council, in its special meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999, acknowledged the need for harmonization of national legislation on the conditions for admission and residence of TCN’s. In this context, it has in particular stated that the European Union should ensure fair treatment of third country nationals residing lawfully on the territory of the Member States and that a more vigorous integration policy should aim at granting them rights and obligations comparable to those of citizens of the European Union.

Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 has a restricted personal scope of application and provides equal social security rights with EU nationals only to third-country nationals with refugee status.

Analysis of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

The Geography of European Integration: Economy, Society and Institutions

  • Kourdoumpalou Panagiota

Which of the following two sentences is more likely to be correct in your opinion? Present at least two arguments to support your opinion.

  1. The establishment of a common monetary union in the EU was a successful step towards deeper European integration.
  2. The idea of a common monetary union in EU didn’t take under consideration all the economic aspects resulting in its failure a few years later.

Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) represents a major step in the integration of EU economies. It involves the coordination of economic and fiscal policies, a common monetary policy, and a common currency, the euro. The 28 EU Member States take part in the economic union, but some countries have taken integration further and adopted the euro.

The decision to form an Economic and Monetary Union was taken by the European Council in Maastricht in December 1991, and was later enshrined in the Treaty on European Union. The Economic and Monetary Union helps the EU in its process of economic integration. Economic integration brings the benefits of greater size, internal efficiency and robustness to the EU economy as a whole and to the economies of the individual Member States. This offers opportunities for economic stability, higher growth and more employment. On January, 1999, 11 of the 115 European Union (EU) countries formed the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), adopting the euro as their common currency. Since then, in the Eurozone, the European Central Bank carries out a common monetary policy and, to a high degree, bond markets are fully integrated ( European Commission).

The creation of the Eurozone was preceded by a gradual regulatory harmonization among European stock markets and the ending of various restrictions on nonresidents, and also by an effort among EU countries to satisfy the Maastricht criteria for joining the Eurozone. The effort to satisfy the Maastricht criteria also led to better‐balanced fiscal budgets, which may have led to a “real convergence” of European economies, that is, an increased synchronization in business cycles across the European economies (Julian Alworth, Giampaolo Arachi, 2008).

The introduction of the euro had many advantages. It improved transparency, it standardized the pricing in financial markets, and reduced investors’ transaction and information costs. Finally, the introduction of a single currency eliminated the currency risk within the EU and reduced the overall exchange rate exposure of European stocks. This factor, together with the nominal and real convergence, should have led to more homogeneous valuations of equities in EMU countries (Gikas A. Hardouvelis, Dimitrios Malliaropulosa, Richard Priestleyd, 2007).

One way to evaluate if European stock markets became more integrated during the 1990s is to examine the evolution of the relative influence of EU. When stock markets are partially integrated, both global and local risk factors are priced. There is a possibility of estimating a conditional asset pricing model with a time‐varying degree of integration, which measures the importance of EU, wide market and currency risks which are relative to country‐specific risk (Gikas A. Hardouvelis, Dimitrios Malliaropulosa, Richard Priestleyd, 2007).

Each Eurozone country has its own time‐varying degree of stock market integration. The degree of integration is bounded between zero and unity and conditioned on a broad set of monetary, currency, and business cycle variables. These variables estimate the gradual nominal and real convergence of the European economies during the pre‐monetary union period. Among the included variables, the most prominent one is each country’s forward interest rate differential with Germany which was widely used by market analysts as an indicator of the probability that an EU country would eventually manage to join the Eurozone. In the second half of the 1990s, the degree of integration gradually increased to the point where individual Eurozone country stock markets appear to be fully integrated into the EU market. There have been two main factors that driven the increase in the level of integration: the evolution of the probability of joining the single currency and the evolution of inflation differentials (Gikas A. Hardouvelis, Dimitrios Malliaropulosa, Richard Priestleyd, 2007).

Moreover, economic integration resulted in business‐cycle convergence. Cross‐country return correlations and business cycles are related. Monetary and fiscal policy coordination may have led to increased synchronization of business cycles among EMU member countries, which could have led to increased correlation of expected corporate earnings and more homogeneous estimates of European equities (Gikas A. Hardouvelis, Dimitrios Malliaropulosa, Richard Priestleyd, 2007).

In the 1990s there is a process of increased integration of European stock markets to the prospects of the formation of EMU and the adoption of the euro as the single currency. During the 1990s, the degree of integration of each country’s stock market with the EU market was negatively related to both its forward interest rate differential with Germany and its inflation differential with the best three performing countries. Also, the inflation differential was a major indicator of whether a country with a high inflation had the ability to achieve nominal convergence and satisfy a major criterion for admittance into the Eurozone. The process of integration was not easy, but in the second half of the 1990s, stock markets converged toward full integration. In other words, their expected returns became increasingly determined by EU‐wide market risk and less by local risk (Gikas A. Hardouvelis, Dimitrios Malliaropulosa, Richard Priestleyd, 2007)

Concluding, supporting evidence on the hypothesis that the prospect of EMU was the cause behind the observed increase in stock market integration among Eurozone countries comes from two main sources. First, when we observe the experience in the United Kingdom, an EU country that chose not to join the Eurozone, is clearly different than the rest of the European stock markets. The UK market showed no signs of increased integration with the EU stock market. Second, the integration in Europe appears to be a Eurozone‐specific phenomenon, which does not rely on possible simultaneous world‐market integration. So, now it can be said that the establishment of a common monetary union in the EU was a successful step towards the European integration. It is obvious that the process of integration was not easy, but there was a convergence of the stock markets towards full integration. In other words, their expected returns became increasingly determined by EU‐wide market risk and less by local risk.

References

  • European Commission, Economic and Monetary Union. [online] Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/emu/index_en.htm
  • Gikas A. Hardouvelis, Dimitrios Malliaropulosa, Richard Priestleyd, (2007). The impact of EMU on the equity cost of capital. Journal of International Money and Finance
  • Julian Alworth, Giampaolo Arachi, (2008). Taxation policy in EMU, Economic Papers 310

1

Definition of Europe in the 21st Century

“Europe is ringed – from Kalingrad in the North, to the Caucasus and Central Asia, to the Balkans – by an arc of danger and instability.” (EU Commissioner for external relations Christopher Patten, July 2001).

Does this mean that at the present time ‘Europe’ and the European are one and the same thing?

Introduction:

The European or EU citizen is at the present time becoming synonymous with the definition of the point to where the continent of Europe extends. This seems to be the case with the present reaction to enlargement and the focus on crime from outside the borders of the EU and the fears of crime from the newly integrated countries and from those countries that ring the EU. Enlargement will illustrate the new tiered system in the EU, the newly ascended countries from post-Communist countries, which are viewed as not truly European. Therefore this discussion will illustrate how the definition of what Europe is in the 21st Century has been narrowed from the expanse of the European continent to the membership of the EU; whereby countries are aiming to join this political unit in order to gain legitimacy within the global political and economic structure.

Enlargement – A Case Study of a Narrow Definition of Europe:

Enlargement of the EU is a mixed blessing, because on one hand it is helping to achieve a status of stability and cohesiveness throughout the region. On the other hand, there are concerns that in making the Union larger will in fact de-stabilize the region. This is due to prejudice of certain groups which would have free access in the region, one such group are the Roma Gypsy migrants from Slovakia. In the past few months the newspapers have displayed the concerns of the British public and politicians about these migrants when the nation joins the EU. Therefore this introduces the question whether the EU really respects the integrity of cultural difference? Other problems include the possible de-stabilizing of the economy by incorporating smaller, less affluent countries; marginal and war torn countries; and transitional countries. These countries could also cause the EU problems in regard to its unique approach of ensuring cohesiveness by using the rule of law, because if the EU gets too large it may not be possible any longer to ensure its political and legal stability. Therefore the consistency and coherence that the rule of law ensures is no longer apparent due to the sheer size of the Union. Another problem lies in the fact that smaller nations may not have the legal, political and economic clout to ensure that their agenda is considered. Although previously it has been mentioned that the EU’s rule of law acts as a check and balance to more powerful nations, in truth the original countries in the EU were mainly ex-colonial empires. The newer nations that are joining the EU are akin to colonies of a colonial power, therefore there is an inherent imbalance in the Union.

However in response to the negative effects of the possible de-stabilization of the region, one must consider that in order to join the Union each nation must have fulfilled the Copenhagen Criteria. This criterion states that each joining nation must be:

Be a stable democracy, respecting human rights, the rule of law, and the protection of minorities; have a functioning market economy; adopt the common rules, standards and policies that make up the body of EU law.

The EU paints a very enthusiastic picture of enlargement, where the only outcome of enlargement is beneficial. In truth this is a very lopsided picture because of the public outcry against the possible immigration into the original EU states. This can be seen in the article by Cathy Newman in the Financial Times:

Britain will throw open its doors to workers from the former communist countries joining the European Union on May 1, but those that refuse to get a job will be denied benefits and thrown out, the government has pledged

Tony Blair – after months of pressure from the Tories and the right wing press over fears of an influx of immigrants from the former Soviet bloc – vowed: “If they can’t support themselves, they will be put out of the country.”

This article illustrates the problems that have occurred within one nation over the policy of enlargement. Although the enlargement is supposed to bring together the European region, the public opinion of at least one EU nation is resisting the expansion, in relation to economic migrants – migrants which the nation has traditionally refused asylum applications. However these fears may be unfounded because as Kraus & Schwager argue that increased migration from East to West EU countries would only occur under the fear of rejection to Union membership. In fact they argue that the EU’s expansion will have a beneficial effect on the economy of these smaller nations and this will result in a boost of their economies and job market, hence reducing the amount of migrants from East to West. The conclusion of their article they state that:

Policy makers who are, for whatever reason, reluctant to accept large numbers of immigrants should not feel troubled with enlargement. On the contrary, the prospect of joining the EU may well reduce immigration. The economic and social benefits which probably accrue to Eastern Europe from accession should be presented as a means to reducing the incentives to emigrate. Policies which enhance convergence of income levels in eastern and Western Europe, such as the internal market and, possibly, Structural Funds should be promoted. .. In this process, diverging interests of major EU members have created substantial uncertainty about the date and conditions of accession. It is quite plausible that such uncertainty has raised the fear among potential migrants that accession may fail or be postponed for a long time. According to our result, this may have increased immediate immigration. Thus, if immigration is not desirable, for future accession rounds a straightforward and predictable negotiation process is to be recommended.

Hence Kraus& Schwager argue that the fears of the right, which have been fed to the public through the media, concerning immigration from the East that will de-stabilize the economy, have no place. This is because the possible migrants would prefer to stay in their homeland with a stronger and growing economy rather than move to another nation. However, although these fears may be unfounded the resistance to these new citizens from the Eastern Europe illustrates the possible de-stabilization of the EU politically. In addition to this it causes problems legally because the cornerstone and the uniqueness of the EU lies within the rule of law and one of the most important laws that is upheld is the Free Movement of EU Citizens, which includes their ability to trade, reside and work in part of the EU. Yet, the accession of the new Eastern European nations has heralded blocks to this ability by many of the original and major EU players. In the UK it has caused a debate because the government was going to allow a free movement of possible immigrants but this has been resisted by the right, as well as members of the public. This is illustrated by the arguments of Michael Howard, leader of the Conservative Party:

Mr Howard, seeking to make political capital out of Labour’s discomfort on the issue, will accuse the Government of complacency over the implications of the EU’s expansion in May. This comes as the Government sought to play down fears that Britain would be flooded by migrants seeking work in more prosperous parts of the EU. During a high-profile visit to Burnley, the scene of race riots in2001, Mr Howard will demand that Britain copy the “transitional arrangements” adopted by Germany and France to prevent citizens from new EU members from working there. Mr Howard will say: “The Conservative Party has always supported the enlargement of the EU to take in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe. We continue to do so.”

But he will continue: “Almost every other country in the EU has quite rightly taken the precaution of putting in place transitional arrangements to deal with immigration from the accession countries. It is still not too late for the British Government to put in place transitional arrangements as well. If we were in government, we would do so. The Government has approached this problem in typical fashion. First it failed to address it, then it ignored it, now it is claiming to face up to it.”

In short the cohesiveness that the EU has claimed will occur with the enlargement has not happened in the expected manner. Ever since enlargement there have been a greater amount of problems combating organized crime, because of decreased security, corruption of public officials in favour of organized crime groups in the newly acceded nations and the breaches of human rights in arrests. Therefore this creates problems for combating organized crime with either prisoners being let off on technicalities, the vastness of places to hide decreasing the effectiveness of policing or the police not interested in fighting organized crime. Kennedy has commented that the EU is committed to justly and fairly fighting organized crime within the realms of human rights and justice; however its weakness is that it relies only on specific domestic member state intelligence:

We are being told that Europol and Eurojust – the new European body to strengthen collaboration between justice ministries and prosecution services- will only act on specific intelligence. This is to rely on the integrity of the state and its officials [I]t also means relying on the intelligence of other countries and, as I have said before, we have no idea about how this may be collected and by what standards. Justice does not permit shortcuts, but governments will readily pursue quick and dirty solutions to problems if not kept under scrutiny.

Therefore by purely relying on only specific intelligence this will reduce the effectiveness of the fight against organized crime, especially when there is the added problem of corrupt post-communist regimes that have joined the EU after enlargement; whereby the true European, i.e. the EU citizen needs to be protected especially those original member states which define the true Europe.

Economic and monetary union

Identify and discuss the costs and benefits of joining the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)? Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Thesis Statement

The Economic Monetary Union has been the centre of prolonged debates as to whether a country joining it will either create benefits or drawbacks. During the course of this analytical report, both costs and benefits will be identified and explained in order to judicate the feasibility of joining the EMU and a specific country will be chosen to illustrate this further.

Introduction

To understand the concept behind the creation of the Economic Monetary Union, the overall objective of the European Union must firstly be understood. Since the end of the World War II, European political forces have been attempting to unite forces in order to escape the extreme forces of nationalism which were seen as unsustainable. Industries were evolving and beginning to compete globally, international trade throughout the globe expanded at an exponential rate and some felt it had to be regulated in order to maximise the gains achievabe. As a result, the European Union was set up in 1993 with X. Its primary principles are of a single market with no barriers to trade in goods and services or to capital and labour movements, competition and social policies, co-ordinated macroeconomic policy and a harmonised fiscal policy. In order to regulate these aspects effectively the EU set up a body named the Economic Monetary Union. This was seen as potentially a contender to the widely traded and valued US dollar and as the solution to deepening the integration of the European Union.

The EMU is characterised by the following policies, policy harmonisation to remove barriers to improve mobility, a common monetary policy which states there is one interest rate and exchange rate policy determined by the Central Bank, fixed exchange rates via the single currency and the pooling of foreign exchange reserves. The evolution of the EMU began in the late 1980s and was characterised by three stages set out by the Delors Report in 1993. The first stage was devoted to ensuring all member states participation in the Exchange Rate Mechanism and improved policy co-ordination and the removal of barriers to capital flows. The second stage consisted of the creation of the European Monetary Institute (EMI) and central banks becoming independent from their national governments (January 1994). Finally the last stage involved fixing the participating currencies and creating the European System of Central Banks which takes over the responsibility for monetary and exchange rate policies and finally the Stability and Growth pact came into force by January of 1999 to ensure member states that do not comply to the EMU principles are fined or sanctioned. During this evolution in 1992 twelve countries signed the Maastricht Treaty, which fundamentally was the root of the introduction of the Euro. During 1992 and 1997 the convergence criteria was set out which stated that in order for a country to join it must have a low and stable inflation, stable exchange rates and stable public finances and by 1999 the countries officially joined the EMU. However as the Euro could not be introduced overnight, there was a transition period in order to allow the member states to adapt to the new currency and after three years, by 2002, the euro was officially the single currency for all European union member states.

Initially the transition period was considered a triumph by European Union members, but as individuals (mainly economists) observed the evolution, many critics are still debating whether joining the EMU and endorsing the euro brings success or just adds to the ever amounting issues each member states are already experiencing. This topic will be thoroughly explored throughout the course of this analytical report and a balanced argument will be drawn from the information available as to whether the EMU carries with it primarily, benefits or costs to a member state joining.

The Economic Monetary Union is considered to be one of the major steps in integrating a before divided Europe, as people and businesses could begin moving and trading freely as trade barriers were removed, the currency becomes more stable, financial markets are integrated, the cost of exchanging currencies was eliminated, transaction costs reduced and theoretically increased competition between countries which is a driving factor in keeping prices low and productivity high which is both favourable for consumers and businesses. These benefits must be more deeply explored in order to comprehend the extent to which they have aided success or deepened the intricate network in Europe.

The success of the EMU has been difficult to quantify as its revolutionary principles have only been recently enforced, however the theoretical benefits are supposed to be more easily identifiable in the long run as more member states join and European integration is extended to particularly the eastern European community. Debra Johnson and Colin Turner state that one of the major benefits, the elimination of transaction costs in intra-EU trade, have only saved 0.5% of the EU’s GDP and that SMEs which predominantly serve local markets, will not benefit extensively from this. However as successful SME’s usually have high exports they can expect a favourable return from the introduction of the Euro.

The EMU is also responsible for the lowering of interest rates. Various studies suggest that decentralised fiscal policies cause a bias in inflation and public spending (Sibert 1992, Levine 1993, and Levine and Brociner 1994) and therefore are in favour of the co-ordinated fiscal policies in a monetary union.

The single European market can bring numerous benefits to a joining country such as the price transparency. It is still considered too early to quantify precisely the degree to which it has helped and many argue that the EMU must speed up the price convergence through enabling consumers to compare prices across member states more easily. This in turn could facilitate a lowering or raising in in labour costs and could change supply patterns resulting in a more stabilised and fair souricng of resources for firms and possibly improve equality throughtout the European union. These benefits are possibly achievable but have not yet been completely achieved as these processes take time and co-operation and some believe these are not present in todays European society as the recession has caused political and financial instability.

The EMU has the potential to create extraordinary gains for the member states but these will not be visible or quantifiable in the near future as it is a timely process of evolution, this therefore poses a risk of not only time consumption but also of resources both nationally and individually and along with the few drawbacks of joining the EMU, critics believe the EMU is not the optimum choice for certain countries in Europe.

The drawbacks of joining the EMU are considered to not outweigh the benefits by the majority of observers but still must be considered thoroughly before joining a revolutionary body which causes a country to enter a short-term of deflation, the loss of the exchange rate tool which is considered a tool of national economic policy, the potential problems related to a lack of ‘real’ convergence and potential policy conflicts and finally the inappropriateness of one monetary policy for many states. These will be analysed and explored in order to conclude whether these outweigh the benefits even considering the majority of parties disagree.

The main risk of joining the EMU is the differences in trade cycles between countries, this is one of the core reasons as to why the UK is yet to join. European countries have differing economic statuses and languages, which fundamentally are essential in permitting countries to maximise the gains achievable from a single currency. It is therefore argued that more attention needs to be given to how economies can enhance their factor mobility to balance out the differences found in differing countries. Cohesion funds are the possible solution to the problem but today there are still great differences across the member states in terms of economic performance and labour mobility. This raises the legitimate question whether one monetary policy can fit all member states.

The globe today is experiencing an economic recession which is highlighted one of the major issues with joiing the Economic Monetary Union as governments from member states are obliged through the stability and growth pact to keep to the Maastricht criteria meaning they cannot regulate or alter fiscal and monetary policies in order to alleviate the problems arising from a receeding economy. Countries would not be able to devalue to boost exports, to borrow more to boost job creation or to decrease taxes because of the public deficit criterion.

The most debated issue with joining the economic monetary union is the loss of national sovereignty. This would result in more established and developed states having to co-operate with the less stable and strong economic countries which are more tolerant to higher infation rates.

Finally, the last drawback of joining the EMU is the initial cost of introducing the single currency. This issue is mainly debated in the UK as the British Retailing Consortium estimated that British retailers will have to pay between £1.7 billion and £3.5 billion in order for the Euro to be introduced. However it is argued that the one off cost does not outweigh the long-term benefits obtainable from the policies and regulation and that if more countries join the EMU these benefits will be amplified even further.

Robert Mundell and Abba Lerner(1960s) believed in a currency area. This is “a group of countries that maintain their separate currencies but fix the exchange rates between themselves permanently” (Nello, 2009:205). The optimal currency region (OCR) is the idealistic view that an entire region sharing a single currency can benefit extensively the efficiency of the member states’ economies. It states the optimal characteristics needed for a successful economic integration to occur. These are optimal labour mobility across the region, openness with capital mobility and price and wage flexibility across the region and an automatic fiscal transfer mechanism to redistribute money to areas/sectors which have been negatively affected by the first two characteristics.

Supportive Evidence

The UK has the world’s fourth largest economy and the EU’s second largest and is consequently one of the primary targets of speculation as to whether the benefits outweigh the costs of joining the EMU. In 1999, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown said that although the government supported the principle of a single currency, Britain would not join. This decision was based on various factors that could have caused rifts in the country. In terms of trade it was seens as unfeasible to join because the UK has the lowest level of intra-EU trade and therefore is more vulnerable to fluctuations in external countries. The UK is vulnerable compared to the rest of the EU counties to potential unfavourable interest rates set by the Central Bank because it has one of the highest percentages of home owners potentially leaving British mortgage holders in a state of crisis. Another characteristic that lead the UK to not favour the joining of the EMU is its position as an oil producer and exporter meaning it is harshly affected by changes in oil prices, however as the quantity of oil diminuishes at an ever expanding rate and the gradual transition to more sustainable energy resources means that this is not as important as it was when the EMU was introduced a decage ago.

These issues are feasible arguments to the absence of the UK in joining the EMU however as the countries that have joined the EMU continue to attract foreign direct investments, the UK has been threatened by foreign investors that the Eurozone is becoming a more attractive zone to trade with because of its increased stability. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development released information on the World Investment Report in the form of a bar graph clearly illustrating the downward trend of inward FDI of the UK compared to the general upward trend of the countries with the EMU.

As clearly illustrated by figure 1.0, the UK continued to attract FDI from 1992 until 2000, where it increased five-fold from 20 billion in 1992-1997 to almost 120 billion U.S dollars in 2000. However by 2003 this figure drastically fell to below 20 billion, which was less that it was almost ten years before. Whilst France, Netherlands, Spain and Ireland all either increased or stabilised by 2000 and resumed until 2003. This is further evidence that the UK should consider joining the EMU, in order to guarantee long-term success. As more countries join, currently 26 today, the EMU is ever closer to achieving an optimal currency area (Mundell, 1973) creating, idealistically speaking, a perfectly harmonized economy and resulting in countries flourishing.

Conclusion

In a perfect world, the EMU’s potential benefits would be endless but due to unforeseeable fluctuations in economies, labour mobility, and personal matters it is difficult to quantify the benefits and costs of joining the EMU. Especially with the recent economic downturn the risk of joining the EMU has been even more re-considered by certain countries especially the U.K. However these drawbacks are limited and do not outweigh the vast benefits achievable from embracing a single currency and single European market as it would guarantee to a certain extent the long-term success of a country as harmonization and stabilisation will cause consumers to be given better prices and businesses to trade more efficiently creating a, arguably, more competent country.

Establishment of the Maastricht Treaty which was signed by twelve countries in 1992, which set out the convergence criteria, ultimat

The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 established a single currency, the euro, and on January 1st 2002, the EMU began using the euro.The EMU was created in 1992 It has stringent conditions and objectives which countries have to meet via signing the Maastricht Treaty. With joining the EMU, the euro must be endorsed and therefore the monetary policies become the responsibility of the European Central Bank and national central banks of member states. Essentially they are co-ordinating the monetary and fiscal aspects of the member countries.

Sovereignty

European Union’s Democratic Deficit: A Critical Assessment

Introduction

The European Union is in a middle of a crisis. The worst part of its economic crisis has passed but it still faces even more severe issue: a trust crisis. People do not feel represented by the European Union and have turned their support towards populist and radical movements.

What is the basis of this crisis? Some authors incline to say it is the EU’s democratic deficit. Thus, since there is a wide gap between what EU citizens want from their politicians and how the EU bureaucrats and institutions act. This leads to a situation where the public’s opinion and desires are not taking into account by the body that should represent them[1]. Yet, first we need to analyse in detail what a democratic deficit means to then address this problem.

Democratic deficit is a tricky issue as it does not have a widely accepted definition between politics and law scholars. Depending on the author and its background, the term can be used with different connotations and meanings; hence, the results of the analysis tend to depend on the notion of democratic deficit the author uses[2].

Therefore, first, we shall develop our own democratic deficit conceptual approximation. Then, we will be able to lead a critical assessment on representation and participatory actual problems of the European Union. Afterwards, we will have all the tools necessary to address in detail if there is a true democratic deficit problem in the European Union and to propose some possible alternatives to solve it.

The European Union and Democratic Deficit

If a hyperbole is permitted, democratic deficit may have as many meanings as authors have discussed it. It is not an easy issue to address or to encompass in a single-simple definition. First of all, especially because, even though we can agree on some basis for democracy, in wide terms it is an ambiguous subject. So, what an author considers a democratic deficit will be highly influenced by what he considers to be a democracy.

One of the first scholars to use this term was British David Marquand. He used it to define the democratic legitimacy faintness of –then- European Community. He suggested direct elections for representatives before the European Parliament. When this was adopted, the issue around European Community democratic legitimacy arose even further, as for the European Parliament represented the voice of the European Community citizens but the Community was not ready to give more powers to the Parliament, causing more tension. After the approval of the Maastricht treaty, the problem grew. Two pillars were added to the Union (common Foreign and Security Policy and Home Affairs), and in none of them the Parliament had any control[3]. Other authors propose the democratic deficit problem in the terms of a backwards Hume’s is/ought as they consider there is a discrepancy between is and ought/ should in the European Union[4] institutions and democracy as the transfer of substantial amounts of political decision-making towards the supranational level on non-elected institutions has diminished the democratic influence and the basic control the citizens have on their political institutions.

It is obvious that at the first stages of the European Community it was reasonable and necessary to keep citizens away from decision-making as it was initially designed to be an economic community and not a political institution[5], but its goals mutated in time. The Community passed from a purely economic institution to a political one. As it was a community formed by democratic countries, one could expect that the supranational body they formed would also have democratic and participatory channels. Nonetheless, European Union turned into a bureaucratic and political giant that has slowly diminished the national entities and directly-elected supranational bodies -European Parliament- and passed it to its hands.

Yet, other approaches[6] suggest that, even though the democratic deficit issue is real, it has to be attributed to the Union’s member states, rather than the Union itself. Integration between European states was responding to a series of already-existing democratic legitimacy issues within the states. They argue that the Union is not democratic enough because the member states have not been able to democratise their integration. The issue of the lack of democracy within European Union institutions is not considered as the cause of the problem, but the natural consequence of the democratic deficit of European Union members.

This perspective must be necessarily rebuked. Even with their flaws, most of the European Union members have developed and stable democracies. If an institution poses itself as the supranational ruler of a continent and its legitimate representative, it must follow the same form of government that those national units it intends to rule, which is democracy. Where could European Union legitimacy come if not from its citizens? The Union’s decisions directly impact its citizens, as much as a national government decision, or even more. It also breaks citizens’ capacity to rely on the regular channels of influence –voting- to ensure they are being listened and to participate in political process[7]. The lack of democracy of the Union and is tightness to evolve and accept citizens demands only causes further disgust and loss of legitimacy. European Union is a sui generis institution, as it is not a state but it represents them and takes decisions in their name, therefore it should be held accountable for its decisions in direct elections.

One cannot fail to notice that there is a deep democratic deficit in the European Union from the turnout in its elections. Ever since legislative powers were transferred to the Council of Ministers of the European Union from the national governments, the setup of the European Union shifted from that of an economic block to that of a political one. The lack of democracy in the Union has been evident in the voter turnout. From the first vote in 1979, the turnout has been going lower and lower with the 2014 election having a disappointing turnout of 42.54%. Compared to the individual member nations where the average voter turnout is 68%, this is a sign that the members of the European Parliament have noted something wrong with the setup and are thus silently revolting. This has led to the debate as to what ought to be done to get the Union back on track. While one side states that reforms are enough to make the Union serve its needs, others think the European Union should be simply debunked. The fact that the European Union has a lot of benefits for its member states and the world in general, however, means that its abolishment is not the best solution. To get the best solution for the case, therefore, requires an in-depth analysis of how the Union works and where it is failing.

The Origin of the Democratic Deficit of the European Union

Looking at the origins of the European Union, it is easy to make the conclusion that it was primarily meant to be purely economic and the introduction of the political aspects only complicated issues. The Treaty of Paris in 1951 saw to the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) which was meant to provide a trading bloc for coal and steel in Europe as suggested by its name. In 1957, the Treaty of Rome saw to the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC). The EEC’s original members were known as the European Communities. In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty would see to the establishment of the European Union. With the European Union came the introduction of European citizenship. The latest of the treaties in this regard is the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon. While a lot has changed in the structure and function of the European Union to the present moment, some of the problems that plague the Union are the same. 

The Manifesto for the Young European Federalists by Richard Corbett first raised the issue of the lack of democracy in the European Union in 1977 where the term democratic deficit was first used. David Marquand would later use the term in reference to the workings of the European Economic Community. The coining of the term primarily focused on the European Parliament, which was previously referred to as the European Assembly, and why it had a deficit of democracy. The primary argument behind this assertion is that the Parliament was made up of members who had not been directly elected by the citizens of the European Union. As such, the European Union was not serving the needs of its citizens but those of a few people. Effectively, the European Union is thus not democratic enough given that it does not meet the definition of a democracy where there is a government for the majority. The fact that the majority is not represented through free and fair elections of the members of the European Parliament is one point to the fact that there is a deficiency of democracy in the Union.

The European Constitution

The European Union prides itself in democratic legitimacy through various aspects of the constitution. The first of these aspects is the European Parliament. The Parliament is subject to the electorates of the member states. The other organs are the Council of the European Union also called the Council of Ministers, and the European Council made up of the heads of national governments of the member states. The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union appoint the European Commission members. This system of making decisions is supposed to give the European Union democratic legitimacy in the same way the US House of Representatives and the US Senate give democratic legitimacy to the United States. Decisions are thus to be reached by both bodies agreeing, and a third organ in this case the European Commission.

The intended democratic legitimacy has, however, not been entirely attained by the European Union. The construction of the Union itself has occasioned what the German Constitutional Court called a structural democratic deficit in the Union. This court established that the process of making decisions for the European Union was primarily those of an international organisation rather than those of a government. The difference is that, as an international organisation, the European Union based its democracy on the equality of the member nations rather than the citizens of these countries. It is thus difficult to reconcile the needs of the citizens and those of the member nations of the European Union provided its operation as an international organisation rather than a government. Similarly, the British Electoral Reform Society filed a report in 2014 to the same issue of the EU constitution having a structure which focused on the needs of the member states rather than the citizens. The report stated that, while the European Union has focused on upholding the principles of democratic engagement, accountability and representativeness, there is the need to focus on the needs of the minority in any democracy. The European Union, being mostly made up of minorities, thus needs to have a focus on serving the needs of the citizens rather than those of the member governments[8].

Democratic Deficit and the European Commission

One of the main structures put in place by the European Union in support of democracy is the European Commission. First, there has been criticism concerning the legitimacy of the European Commission and its role in the initiation of legislation in the European Union. However, this criticism does not have the backing of facts as similar bodies within national governments have yielded similarly poor results. However, its position as a body that legitimises the European Union and its take on democracy has failed by a large extent. The main weakness with such a body, as also noted in the case of the United States government, is that the regulations may be so detailed that the member states have little freedom in making their decisions on legislation[9].

While the issue of a democratic deficit was noted as far back as the 1970s when the idea of a united Europe was still in development, democratic legitimacy has always been an issue the Union has been dealing with ever since. When the Treaty of Lisbon was put in place, its primary aim was to provide room for better democracy in the region. The Treaty of Lisbon required that the President of the European Commission ought to take account of the results of the European Union parliamentary elections. This simply means that the President of the European Commission should be nominated by the  most dominant group in the parliament. This step effectively makes the European Union a political body rather than the economic one meant for the over watch of the economic activities of Europe. In fact, the European Union, owing to this kind of structure, has become partly a federation and also an international organisation[10]. The President of the European Commission would thus be partly elected and partly appointed. This position gives the president less power than is needed to win the confidence of the population, and too much power to earn the trust of the governments of the member nations. The resulting model is one where little democracy is accorded to the citizens of the European Union and their governments as well.

The European Parliament and Democratic Deficit

When the European Parliament was set up, a lot of people were ready to voice its weaknesses in seeing to the implementation of legislation. However, political scientists would come to the rescue of this organ by stating that, first, the European Parliament is different from the parliaments of single countries due to various factors such as the lack of a divide between the government and the opposition, the presence of a divide between the executive and the legislature, the presence of political parties that are decentralised, bipartisan voting, and the roles of the various committees. For this reason, the European Parliament has been compared to the US House of Representatives but with the advantage of not having a governing body over it like the latter house. The fact that the majorities in the European Parliament have to be built each time while depending on negotiations, persuasions, and explanations ought to make it better in function than the US House of Representatives. This is true given that the lack of interference between the executive and the legislature has made the European Commission and the European Parliament more effective. For instance, the member states of the European Union have less than 15% of their legislative initiatives becoming the law. This is largely due to the lack of support from the executive. The executive bodies, on the other hand, rarely require the input of the legislature in the same nations to pass amendments. The role of the European Parliament is the propositioned amendments to the existing laws. The success rate of these amendments is as high as 80% with the lowest levels recorded (mostly for the hotly contested topics) is at 30%.

To an extent, however, the structure of the European Parliament allows for a level of lack of accountability and weakness when it is compared to parliaments with an overwatch body like the case of the US House of Representatives.

Voter Turnout in European Elections and the Impact on Democratic Deficit

With any democracy, the legitimacy of the leaders in power heavily relies upon the turnout of the voters during elections. The European Parliament has had some of the lowest levels of elections voter turnout hence the reduction in its democratic legitimacy. This is based on the fact that the turnout of the European Parliament elections has been declining consistently since its formation. However, the President of the European Union, Pat Cox, said that the 1999 European Parliament elections and a far much better turnout than the presidential elections in the United States. Compared, the voter turnout for the presidential elections in the United States in 1996 was 49%. However, the voter turnout in the European Parliament elections for 1999 was at 49.51 percent. For both types of elections, this turnout was among the very lowest.

While both are at their lowest, it is difficult to use this as an excuse for the lack of democracy in the European Union. As a matter of fact, the case of the United States is very different from that of the European Union and the reasons for the low voter turnouts. For the European Union, the people have an option of whether to belong to the Union or not. And the way they can show their willingness to belong or not belong to the Union is through participating (or not participating) in its activities such as elections. The social aspect of the European Union, that of being accepted or rejected by the people, has been observed in the way the people have turned out in low numbers at each European Parliament vote[11]. The massive lack of knowledge for the common citizen of the European Union has led to the lack of participation by the voters. On the other hand, the United States electorate can have a low voter turnout for many other reasons none (or very little) of which is being against the union that is the United States.

As it is, the European Union is not a very effective and efficient democracy given that its workings are not in line even with the developing democracies of the world. First, it is torn between being a government, and an international organisation. Secondly, the citizens, having seen that the democracy of the Union does not work (and it is too complex to understand), are increasingly ceasing to buy into the idea of the European Union being there to improve their lives through fostering democracy.

Democratic Deficit and the Council of the European Union

Another organ of the European Union is the Council of the European Union. This Council is also part of the efforts of the union to foster democracy among the member states. Its primary role is acting as the voice of the member governments of the EU while adopting the laws European Union and coordinating the polices of the union as well. Depending on the policies of the union, the government ministers of the members states are the members or the Council of the European Union. The presidency of the Council is held on a rotating basis (among the states) with each president holding the office for 6 months only. The Council carries out voting on legislation and discussions with both exercises being held in public. The decisions are based on a qualified majority whereby at least 55% of the countries (which is about 65% of the total population of the European Union) are required. In blocking a decision, 4 nations are needed (being the equivalent of 35% of the European Union population). For issues that are of an administrative and procedural nature require a simple majority while a unanimous vote is needed for the very sensitive topics such as taxation and foreign policy.

While the structure of the Council of the European Union seems to read democracy all through it, the same weaknesses that plague the European Parliament plague it hence it is just another example of democratic deficit in the EU. For one, own-initiative reports from either the European Parliament or the Council of the European Union do not have legal consequences as such to the member states. Also, both bodies cannot play major roles in the amendment and repealing of legislation that is already in place. Lastly, and most importantly, the bodies do not address the needs of the citizens of the member nations. Looking at the structure of the European Union, it is easy to conclude that the reason it has not met the needs of the citizens is because there is too much bureaucracy between the top organs of the Union and the common citizens for the member states. The organs are too separated from the citizens in that the decision made take a very long route to reach the citizen. The representatives also have to make decisions which serve the needs of the Union and those of their respective countries; an issue which often introduces a conflict of interest.

What the European Union has Done to Better Democratic Legitimacy

All the concerns expressed here about the democratic legitimacy of the European Union have been expressed before by various persons and bodies and they have been heard by the people at the helm of the Union. For this reason, the Union has put in place various changes to the constitution with the focus being on doing away with the noted weaknesses in the laws and constitution of the Union in general. Among the changes made include the introduction of the Maastricht Treaty. This was a landmark treaty which is credited with the introduction of citizenship of the European Union. This citizenship would grant EU citizens voting rights to the European Parliament in each of their countries. Even municipal elections of the European Union were also included in the treaty. The treaty would also introduce co-decision procedure in which the European Parliament was given powers that gave it an equal footing to the Council of the European Union in making legislative decisions[12]. These steps would make the European Parliament much more functional and powerful but not powerful enough to overcome the issues of being a purely democratic entity.

 The other change made to the constitution of the European Union is the Treaty of Lisbon. Becoming effective from the 1st of December 2009, the treaty saw to better representation of the EU citizens both directly in the European Parliament and indirectly through the Council of the European Union. This was meant to foster democracy and representation. The treaty would also see to the implementation and acceptance of the co-decision procedure as the primary procedure for the legislative dealings of the Union. The Treaty of Lisbon is also credited with tremendously increasing the powers of the European Parliament by a large extent[13]. One of the main areas in which the Treaty of Lisbon helped focus on the EU citizens was in giving the citizens the right to make petitions to the European Parliament concerning any matters of material effect[14]. This increased the powers of the citizen and their levels of participating in the making of decisions. Further on, the treaty would ensure that Council of the European Union meetings which discussed public matters are made public for all to see. In this way, the citizens can better understand the debates and the workings of the European Union. The Treaty of Lisbon also receives credit for improving on the role played by the national parliaments of the member nations in putting in place the laws and legislations of the Union[15]. Lastly, the Treaty of Lisbon is credited with giving the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union full legal effect. This meant that various steps taken by the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament would have full legal effect in areas where they apply[16].

Conclusion

The workings of the European Union in seeking democracy have been so far ineffective on various levels as observed above. While there is intention from the leaders of the European Union to remedy these weaknesses in the workings of the Union, the fundamental reason why there have been low levels of success when it comes to attaining democracy for all citizens is its structure. It aims to operate like a government yet at its basic form it is an amalgamation of governments. Each of these governments have different needs, goals, histories and fundamental principles. The rest is that the leaders of each country first take care of their countries’ needs before those of the European Union. Also, its structure makes it difficult to make laws that will lead to better governance as each piece of legislation needs to have the needs of the many member states at heart. With time, it can be hoped that better legislation will be enabled for all the democracy to be attained.

References

Avbelj, M. 2005. Can the New European Constitution Remedy the EU “Democratic Deficit”?. EUMAP.org

Campbell, M (2012) The Democratic Deficit of the European Union. Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union, p. 25.

Castro, C. (2015). Assessing the Democratic Deficit in the EU: towards a Participatory Approach. RIPS, 14 (1), p. 63.

Craig, P; Grainne De; P. P. Craig (2007). “Chapter 11 Human rights in the EU“. EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 379.

Dilek, K. (2011). The Problem of “Democratic Deficit” in the European Union. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1 (5) p. 244.

Electoral Reform Society — Close the Gap — Tackling Europe’s democratic deficit.

European Parliament: Relations with National Parliaments.

Innerarity, D (2015). The Inter-Democratic Deficit of the European Union: The Governance of Europe’s Economic, Political and Legal Transformation. Pp. 173-174.

Kelemen, R. (2012). The Rules of Federalism: Institutions and Regulatory Politics in the EU and Beyond. Harvard University Press. pp. 21–22.

Milev, M. (2004) A ‘Democratic Deficit’ in the European Union? Master Thesis, I.H.E.I. p. 10.

Schütze, R (2012). European Constitutional Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 99.

[1] Castro, C. (2015). Assessing the Democratic Deficit in the EU: towards a Participatory Approach. RIPS, 14 (1), p. 63.

[2] Milev, M. (2004) A ‘Democratic Deficit’ in the European Union? Master Thesis, I.H.E.I. p. 10

[3] Milev (2004), pp. 11-12.

[4] Dilek, K. (2011). The Problem of “Democratic Deficit” in the European Union. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1 (5) p. 244

[5] Castro, C. (2005), p. 66.

[6] Innerarity, D (2015). The Inter-Democratic Deficit of the European Union: The Governance of Europe’s Economic, Political and Legal Transformation. Pp. 173-174

[7] Campbell, M (2012) The Democratic Deficit of the European Union. Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union, p. 25.

[8] Electoral Reform Society — Close the Gap — Tackling Europe’s democratic deficit.

[9] Kelemen, R. (2012). The Rules of Federalism: Institutions and Regulatory Politics in the EU and Beyond. Harvard University Press. pp. 21–22.

[10] Charlemagne. 2013. A democratic nightmare: Seeking to confront the rise of Eurosceptics and fill the democratic deficit. The Economist.

[11] Avbelj, M. 2005. Can the New European Constitution Remedy the EU “Democratic Deficit”?. EUMAP.org

[12] Schütze, R (2012). European Constitutional Law. Cambridge University Press. pp. 31–32.

[13] Schütze, R (2012). European Constitutional Law. Cambridge University Press. pp. 43–44

[14] Schütze, R (2012). European Constitutional Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 99.

[15] European Parliament: Relations with National Parliaments.

[16] Craig, P; Grainne De Burca; P. P. Craig (2007). “Chapter 11 Human rights in the EU“. EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 379.

The effects of marine pollution

Describe and discuss the major causes and effects of marine pollution. Suggest solutions for the problem and analyze how successful they may be.

This essay concentrates on three major causes of marine pollution, which are the discharge of domestic and industrial wastewater, waste oil and plastics. The proposed solution to this problem will be prevention and pollution treatment, and eventually, the former one proves to be more effective. Firstly, this essay will present and explain the major causes and effects of marine pollution. Then, different solutions will be suggested in the second part. The final part will evaluate the effectiveness of these solutions and show that prevention may be more successful.

The first main cause of the marine pollution is the discharge of domestic and industrial wastewater. Since both the cities and industrial estates are crowded with lots of people, there is more sewage flowing into rivers and then into oceans. Therefore, the quality of seawater gets worse and oxygen content decreases rapidly. Without oxygen, fishes living under the sea can not survive. Because of the nutrients in the sewage, seaweed may grow well firstly and eventually die when running out of food. The wastewater will finally destroy ecological balance.

Waste oil is another significant cause of marine pollution. After flowing out of factories, or leaking from ships, or spilling in accidents, waste oil enters oceans. The total amount of waste oil is surprisingly great. A typical case which occurred in Taiwan in 2001 is an spill accident caused by a ship from Greece, which was broken and oil spilling into the sea resulted in serious pollution in its surrounding sea area (Chiau, 2005). Then the waste oil floats on the water and drifts with winds for it is lighter than water. Several elements in the waste oil is harmful to the living of creatures, especially to the living of seabirds. The oil sticks to the wings of seabirds so they can not fly and die on the sea one after another. Waste oil may let seabirds run into danger of becoming distinct.

The third major cause of marine pollution is plastics. Plastics share most of the floating pollutant. There is a research that showed in the seashore of Japan, 72.9% of the total number of the wastes are plastics which weighed 53.8% of the total wastes, and in the neighbouring Russia, the statistics are 55.1% and 23.4% respectively (Islam, 2004).[C] The plastics can block the propeller of ships and may cause enormous accident. Plastics floating in the oceans can also cause lack of oxygen and have the similar effects that preventing respiration of creatures as the sewage does.

There are two main solutions to the marine pollution problem. Prevention comes out first. It is suggested that government should perfect new intendance system of protecting the quality of water, and develop cooperation among countries (Islam, 2004). [D] It is also necessary to establish laws to keep the conduct of people and enterprises. The second main solution is pollution treatment, which contains setting up treatment plants and planting trees. Since trees are able to make soil secure and hold back water from running off, they can be planted in the crowded cities and factories which cause marine pollution. In Kocasoy, Mutlu, and Alagöz’s study (2008), [E] these solutions can reduce the discharge of domestic and industrial wastewater and improve the quality of seawater. It is unpractical to totally forbid the discharge of wastewater, and bringing some limits to it is a feasible treatment.

Weighing the pros and cons, Prevention of marine pollution will be more effective to solve the problem. In one hand, prevention is the most essential theme of environmental management. The monitoring of water quality can be put into practice in advance to prevent damage to ocean environment. The restraint of ideology and conception on marine environment of people and enterprises will also obviously be helpful. In the other hand, always first polluting the marine environment and then taking counter-measures as treatment is irresponsible behaviour. Although these measures can reduce pollution to some extent, the disastrous consequences may have already existed and will continually come into being.

This essay considers main causes and solutions of marine pollution. The prevention of marine pollution is proved to be more effective than pollution treatment because it can basically solve this problem and maintain the original environment. For the government, it is a challenge to take proper measures to prevent people continuing the polluting behaviour. However, there is still a long way to go in the future.

Data Protection Act 1998

Abstract

The focus of this report is to explain the requirements & imposes of Data Protection Act 1998. The 1998 act affects to all people who uses information or data about other individuals & Business. The DPA 1998 covers from the initial collection of data through its final deletion or destruction. The main term used in the IT industry is Data Processing which is extremely wide and it can be either usage of data, alteration of data, retrieval, data transmission or destruction of data.

Introduction

        The Data Protection Act 1998 is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament [1] which came into force early in 1999 and replaced the Data Protection Act 1984. The Act defines law on the processing data of living people. It is one of the main laws of legislation that governs the protection of personal data. Under this act, those who manage or use personal information have to follow rules or principles that are defined in the DPA. It also provides rights to individuals over their personal information. Some of the individual rights under DPA include access, compensation and the prevention of processing.

        The basic principle of DPA is protecting privacy and a way in which each individual can control information about them. Also it defines a way in which organisations should carry their marketing strategy, through any communication media. Most of the act does not apply to domestic use, for example keeping personal address book. Well, if anyone holds personal data for other purpose he should follow this Act. The DPA also ensures that the data controller or the computer bureau will be liable for processing operation against the DPA Principles.

The History

        The Data Protection Act 1984 was introduced in UK legislation to provide special protection to individuals. The Act was adopted by the European Parliament after a lengthy discussion sessions. They adopted a proposal for a directive on the processing of personal data and on the transfer of such data. Certain protections where given in scenario where the personal information relating to them was handled, such as large business organisations and in emerging information technology. Data given from one party to another party may only be used for the specific purpose it was disclosed for. The data should be only kept for a limited period of time and must not be disclosed to other party without the authorisation of data owner. The term ‘Processing’ and ‘Personal data’ had a great impact in transformation during the DPA 1984. The ‘Personal data’ covers both the data in electronic and manual form. And the term ‘Processing’ became wide in such a way that nothing could be carried out in relation to personal data under this definition.

        The Data Protection Registrar was the regulatory authority who oversees the implementation and functionality of the act. Later it was followed up by the Data Protection Act 1998, which is an implementation of European Union Directive 95/46/EC. In DPA 1998 it renamed the Data Protection Registrar to Data Protection Commissioner. The functionality of Data Protection Commissioner is to ensure the compliance by publics by taking the necessity steps. The current Information Commissioner is Richard Thomas, he has the authority to inform parliament directly. The other function of commissioner is to provide guidance, promote good practice which falls under the Act. It also provides helpline services by phone or written request. The commissioner also acts like a legal adviser to the data controller’s and has developed & issued many documents for the data controller for implementing and interpretation of their duties.

Some of the documents include:

  • Code of Practice for CCTV users;
  • Code of Practice on Employment Practices, which include codes on Recruitment and Selection; Records Management; Monitoring at Work and Medical Information about the employees.
  • Code of Practice on Telecommunications Directory Information and Fair Processing.

The Principles of DPA 1998

        The DPA 1998 contains eight data protection principles in relation to the processing of personal data. They are

  1. Personal data should be processed fairly and lawfully.
  2. Personal data should only be obtained for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and it should not be further processed in any manner incompatible with these purposes.
  3. Personal data should be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or processed.
  4. Personal data should be accurate and where necessary kept up to date.
  5. Personal data should not be kept longer than is needed for its intended purpose.
  6. Personal data should be processed in accordance with the rights of the individual which the information concerns.
  7. Appropriate technical measures should be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing or destruction of personal data and against accidental loss or destructionor damage to personal data.
  8. Personal data should not be transferred outside the European Economic Area unless that country ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

The First Data Protection Principle

        The first data protection principle says that

“Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless –

  1. At least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met, and
  2. In the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions in Schedule 3 is also met.”

        In the first principle, by fairly and lawfully it means that any processing of personal data must be allowed by common law. Fair processing states that any all the processing must be fair without any misleading. The processing should be carried out without any deception. The important point of view of the first principle is obtaining and disclosing personal data, which covers the whole life cycle of personal data used by the data controller. The data controller should have legitimate reasons for collecting and processing the personal data and should not use the data in such a way that have unjustified adverse effects on the individual concerned.

        The Lawful processing also defines that the data subjects should be provided with information during the time of collecting the data, on why and how their data are being processed. This information is provided in the Fair Processing Notice. The notice should include the basic information given below:

  • The identity of the data controller who process the personal data.
  • The purposes for which the personal data are intended to be processed.
  • To whom the personal data may be disclosed to, for example, a government department or agency.
  • And any further information regarding the processing, to ensure the subject, that the data controller does not do anything unlawful with the data.

Conditions to be Satisfied for Fair Processing

        In addition to the Fair Processing Notice, there are some more conditions that should be met. The conditions are listed in Schedule 2 of the Act. There are six conditions for processing personal data in Schedule 2; the personal data should not be processed unless one of the conditions is met.

Schedule 2 conditions

  • The data subject has given his consent for processing.
  • If it is for performing or entering a contract with the data subject.
  • The data controller is under a legal obligation, other than under contract
  • For the purpose of protecting the vital interest of the data subject.
  • It is for the administration of justice, exercising functions under an enactment, exercising of government functions, or the exercise of any other functions of a public nature in the public interest
  • It is for the pursuit of the legitimate interests of the data controller.

In the case of sensitive personal data, one of the conditions in Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 must also be met for Fair Processing.

Schedule 3 Conditions

  • explicit consent has been given by the data subject
  • it is for the exercise of rights or obligations in connection with employment
  • it is to protect the vital interests of the data subject or anyone else
  • it is part of the legitimate activity of a not for profit organisation
  • the personal data have already been made public by the data subject
  • it forms part of legal proceedings, including obtaining legal advice, and exercising or defending legal rights
  • it is for the administration of justice, or exercising functions under an enactment, or exercising of government functions
  • it is for medical purposes
  • it is for the purpose of monitoring equality of opportunity

The Second Data Protection Principle

        The Second Principle “Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes”, explains the requirement for specifying the purpose for which it obtains the personal data. It also means that, the organisation who obtains the personal data should clearly specify the reason to the ICO, why they are collecting and what they intend to do with the personal data. The organisation should also notify the process to the Information Commissioner.

        The data controller can send privacy notices regarding the process to make it more effective. Privacy notices are generally given at the time of collecting personal data. Data controller should also need to get prior consent to use or disclose the personal data for the purpose other than he originally obtained for.

The Third Data Protection Principle

        The third principle of the Data Protection Act states three conditions or requirements to the data controller. The data controller should not obtain any more personal data than they need for the processing nor they should discard any personal data. The data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive. Also the data controller is not authorised to process whatever information he likes about the individual.

        The third principle also states that the data controller should identify the minimum required information on each individual to fulfil their purpose. Only in certain cases he can hold additional information about certain individuals for the processing. A simple example for this is a surgeon before performing a surgery he should know about the patient medical conditions, such as his medical history, his habits (like drinking, smoking… etc), information from medical checkups. If the patient has to undergo a major heart operation, the surgeon will also look upon patient family member’s medical history also. If the parents have asthma, blood pressure, etc.

        In organisation the same process is taking place in a different manner during the recruitment process. The employees are asked same in depth question regarding their personal information. The third principle is strongly linked to the first principle. Processing of personal data which is inadequate, irrelevant or excessive is unfair to the data subject. The first principle requires fairness in processing. The excessive information can be something that the organisation keeps for certain conditions, like in a manufacturing factory they will keep the blood group of their entire employee who works in a hazardous environment and this information is needed only in case of accidents. Such information are likely to be irrelevant and excessive for the rest of the employees.

The Fourth Data Protection Principle

        The Act says that “Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date”. Once the data controller overcomes the first and second principles of DPA, the next main fact to consider is the data quality, in which accuracy plays the main role. There are two obligations in the fourth principle that should be taken care off.

        Firstly, the data should be accurate. The data controller should take necessary steps to ensure the accuracy of data in regard to the purpose for which it is collected and further processed. Incomplete information will be inaccurate if it misleads. Even though if the actual given data happens to be true, there will be a misleading if the two data subjects are identical. In such cases more information will be needed to keep it more accurate for the data controller to identify. If the data controller makes decision on the result of inaccurate processed data, then he will be breaking the first data protection principle which indicates the strong link between accuracy and fairness in data processing.

        Secondly, the data controller should also see that the personal data are kept up-to-date. This condition depends upon the case where personal data are subjected to repeated use for a long period of time. In such cases data controller has to take more review on personal data. If the data subject notifies the data controller that the data is inaccurate, then he should ensure the changes are made to the data to keep it up-to-date.

        If a data subject suspects that the information held about him is inaccurate, he will have to see the personal data which the data controller holds. The data subject can make an access request under section 7, for accessing a copy of his personal data held by the data controller. If the court is satisfied with the data subject, then the court may order the data controller to rectify, block, erase, or destroy the personal data. If the processing had caused damage to the data subject then the court will order to give compensation.

The Fifth Data Protection Principle

        The Fifth Act says that “Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes”. The data controller should review, for how long the personal data is retained. He shall also retain the data for performing purpose other than the original purpose for which it was obtained. The main element of the fifth principle is to show the reason for which the personal data is held. If the data controller fails to show a sufficient reason for holding the data then, he should get rid of the data.

        If the personal data is kept for a long time there is a chance that the information will go out of date causing error. It also becomes difficult to ensure that the information is accurate. Even if the information is no more needed, the data controller should make sure that it is held securely. Reviewing personal data regularly and deleting those no longer needed is a good practice. The data that should be retained must be archived or put offline.

        The personal data are retained only in certain scenarios depending upon the current and future scope of the information. Major concerned things for retaining data are the cost, liability and risks for retaining the personal information.

The Sixth Data Protection Principle

        The sixth DPA principle says that “Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act” [9]. The sixth principle gives rights to the individual in respect of personal data the organisation hold about them. Under this principle certain rights for individual are mentioned they are:

  • Access to personal data.
  • Preventing process likely to cause damage or distress.
  • Prevent direct marketing.
  • Automated decision making.
  • Correcting inaccurate personal data.
  • Compensation.

        Access to personal data is commonly referred to as subject access. It is created by section 7 of the DPA. This is mostly used by data subjects who want to see the copy of personal data which the organisation holds about them. The data subjects are entitled only to their own data. By giving a written request an individual is entitled to know whether any personal data is being processed. The organisation should also inform him the reasons it is being processed and whether it will be given to any other organisation.

        The second right says that the data subject can demand the organisation to stop the processing if it causes damage or distress to the data subject. The individual can write an objection stating the damage or distress faced by them to the data controller. This is called “Objection to processing”. The objection should clearly specify the effect of processing.

        For example, consider the scenario where a person is refused a job in an manufacturing company because the company came to know from a third party that the man is unsuitable for job because he was one among the trade union activists. The third party will be having a blacklist containing names of people who are unsuitable to be employed in a manufacturing company. The suffering person can write to the data controller who maintains the blacklist and ask him to remove his name from the list. He can show that he is suffering damage and distress because of this processing. In this case the data controller should cease processing the persons information and respond to his mail within 21 days.

        The data subjects also have the right to prevent their data being processed for Direct Marketing. They can give an ‘objection to processing’ to halt the usage of their data for direct marketing. Direct marketing includes junk mails that are not addressed to a particular person but to the occupier. For example, mails posted through every letter box in a street, like leaflets, shop advertisements, etc. The direct marketing does not just refer to selling items to customers but also includes promotions and campaigns. The data subject may ask the organisation to delete these details from database. But it is preferable to suppress the personal data. Suppressing involves just retaining only enough information about the customers. It also ensures that the organisation not sends marketing to people who have asked not to and helps retaining individual information in the database.

        Data subjects also have the right to inform the data controller, not to make automated decision using their personal data and can ask to reconsider the decision taken by automated means. The data controller should inform the data subject when such a situation is taken. These types of decision are taken without any human intervention. For example, consider a person who transfers his cash from one account to other and the transfer gets declined automatically. This might have happened because the individual’s information did not match the pre-defined criteria in the automated system. He may undertake manual process to do the transfer.

        According to the fourth principle the data should be accurate. If the data is inaccurate, the data subject has the right to apply the court for releasing an order to block, rectify, erase or destroy the inaccurate information. The court may investigate whether this statement is true or not. If the individual has suffered from damage or distress then he will be awarded compensation.

The Seventh Data Protection Principle

        The seventh DPA ensures the security of personal data undergoing process. The principle says that “Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data”. This principle is often called security principle. The data controller should take proper care of data which he holds not accidentally or deliberately compromise. He should also need to design and organise the security to fit to the process. Also make sure about the person in his organisation that is responsible for the data information security. The data controller should adopt appropriate measures against

  • Unauthorised processing of personal data.
  • Unlawful processing of personal data.
  • Accidental destruction, damage or loss to personal data.

        Technical measures/security includes the use of passwords and other authentication techniques, encryption and anti-virus software to detect malwares. . He should also ensure to keep up to date with the development of security technologies, make sure that well trained and reliable staffs with robust physical and technical security are used. As a part of notification process the data controller should describe the Information Commissioner about the security arrangements made in the organisation to keep the personal data.

The Eight Data Protection Principle

        The eighth DPA says that “Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the EEA unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data”. The data controller requires informing individuals about the disclosure of their personal data to other overseas parties. Before making the data transfer to a third party, the data controller should consider whether he can achieve his aims without processing the original data and there should be some substantive processing conducted on the personal data in the third country. The condition will not apply in the case where it is not possible to identify individuals from the information. In this type of cases the data controller are free to transfer the information outside the EEA.

        A transfer is said to have occurred when the personal data is send to other country. If the data controller puts the personal data on a website will often results in data transfer to other countries outside the EEA. The transfer occurs when someone outside the EEA access the website. The data controller should also consider the fact that a transfer occurs while putting personal data on websites and sees whether it is fair for the concerned data subject. Currently, there are no restrictions on personal data transfer to EEA countries. They are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

        The European Commission will also undergo a case to case assessment of the level of protection affordable by the third country. All the circumstances surrounding the data transfer are assessed. In addition to this consideration must be also given to:

  • The nature of personal data.
  • How long will the proposed process last.
  • The country of origin of personal data and the destination to which it will be transferred.
  • The security measures and professional rules in the destination country.

        Certain countries have been considered for having adequate protection by the European Commission. They are Argentina, Canada, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Switzerland, and Jersey.

Conclusion

        I hope this report would have given a brief idea about the Data Protection Act 1998. This report also mentions the different principles concerned with DPA, the way that a data controller should follow for lawful and fairness processing. Proper care should be taken while handling personal data, still cyber threats are done by accruing the mobile numbers of individuals and pinpointing them by identifying the co-ordinates of the SIM location. So the firms or organisation should ensure that they pay more attention to DPA for the safety and privacy of people.

Annotations

  • DPA – Data Protection Act 1998
  • ICO – Information Commissioner’s Office
  • EEA – European Economic Area
  • SIM – Subscriber Identification Module Card

References

  1. Stewart Room, 2007, “Data Protection & Compliance in Context”, Published by CAPDM.
  2. City Of London, Data Protection Act, Available at: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Council_and_democracy/Data_protection_and_freedom_of_information/Data_protection_act.htm Accessed on [Jan 10,2010]
  3. Wikipedia, Data Protection Act 1998, Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Act_1998 Accessed on [Jan15,2010]
  4. Piers Leigh-Pollitt & James Mullock, 1999, “The Data Protection Act Explained”, Second Edition 2000,Publlished by Osborne Clarke.

  5. Lancaster University Data Protection Project, 2001, the Data Protection Principle. Available at: http://www.dpa.lancs.ac.uk/principles.htm Accessed on [Jan16, 2010].
  6. ICO, Processing personal data for specified purposes (Principle 2), Available at : http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection_guide/principle_2_processing_personal_data_for_specified_purposes.aspx Accessed on [Jan 24,2010]
  7. ICO, Keeping personal data accurate and up to date (Principle 4)Available at : http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection_guide/principles_3_to_5_information_standards/keeping_personal_information_accurate_and_up_to_date.aspx . Accessed on [Jan 24,2010]
  8. ICO, Retaining personal data (Principle 5).Available at: http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection_guide/principles_3_to_5_information_standards/retaining_personal_data.aspx . Accessed on [Jan 24,2010]
  9. ICO, The rights of individuals (Principle 6).)Available at: http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection_guide/principle_6_the_rights_of_individuals.aspx . Accessed on [Jan 26,2010]
  10. ICO, Information security (Principle 7).Available at: http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection_guide/principle_7_information_security.aspx . Accessed on [Jan 26,2010]
  11. ICO, Sending personal data outside the European Economic Area (Principle 8).Available at: http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection_guide/principle_8_sending_personal_data_outside_the_eea.aspx . Accessed on [Jan 26,2010]
  12. Peter Carey,2004, “Data Protection Handbook”, Published by Law Society.