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Tolga Demiryol

Abstract

This article discusses the prospects and challenges of energy cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Turkey within the context of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Part of the EaP agenda is to advance energy cooperation between the EU and the partner states, particularly regarding the diversification of import routes. As an energy corridor between the EU and the hydrocarbon-rich Caspian states, Turkey is a strategic asset for European energy security. Turkey also has economic ties and political capital in the Caspian region that can help the EU reach out to its eastern partners. Despite robust incentives for cooperation, however, the EU-Turkey energy partnership has so far failed to meet mutual expectations. This article argues that this is primarily due to the inability of the two actors to credibly commit to regional energy cooperation. Commitment problem stems from two factors. First, the predominance of national energy interests over communal ones undermines credible commitment. The variation in energy needs of Member States prevents the EU from acting in unison in external energy policy. Similarly, Turkey also prioritizes its own energy security, particularly in its relations with suppliers, which undermines cooperation with the EU. Second, the EU and Turkey hold divergent perspectives on the potential political payoffs of energy cooperation. Turkish decision makers are convinced that energy cooperation warrants palpable progress in Turkey’s accession while most EU actors appear hesitant to establish a direct connection between energy and accession.

Open access

Aksel Kirch

Abstract

The article studies the problems of human resources stemming from increased mobility, and the emergence of new aspects of migration processes. A comparative analysis of the connection between academic development in the context of university (and the science system) and the process of labour migration taking place in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia was carried out. The article examines the limits of the model through European territorial migration process and concludes that the huge migration of high-skilled labour (called the “knowledge workers”) has had a very negative impact on the innovative and academic potential of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and a negative impact in Estonia. In the final section, the article examines increase in the requirements for competence in the Baltic Sea macroregion of the European Union and Estonia’s university reform of 2013-2016 as an illustrative experiment to (un)resolved problems. The first results of the reform in higher education indicated that it was ineffective-for students, the good ideas of the reform proved to be a lost experiment and the mobility of knowledge workers, as the future academic resource in homeland, turned from Estonia to larger Europe, especially to Finland and the UK.

Open access

Mait Talts

Abstract

This comprehensive article provides an overview of the broader process of political, legal and societal changes characterizing the Baltic countries’ convergence towards the European Union. The article aims to identify the specific areas and issues which reveal both similarities and differences between the three Baltic countries. Special focus has been given to issues of economic development, economic policy choices, employment, public opinion and some legal aspects. The article, first of all, tries to reveal the differences between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania stemming from different economic policy decisions made by the Baltic countries in the 1990s as well as from to the fact that in 1997-1999 the European Union treated the Baltic countries somewhat differently in terms of conditionality. However, during the 21st century, especially due to the economic recession, the ‘Baltic clocks’ have been synchronized despite the obvious differences in political system and levels of economic development. The author of the current article believes that the main factor behind that development was the convergence to European Union.

Open access

Roberta Medda-Windischer

Abstract

Minority rights instruments have been traditionally applied to old minority groups. This paper examines to what extent these same instruments are conceptually meaningful to the integration of new minorities stemming from migration. The conviction that minority groups, irrespective of their being old or new minorities, have some basic common claims that can be subsumed under a common definition does not mean that all minority groups have all the same rights and legitimate claims: some have only minimum rights, while others have or should be granted more substantial rights; some can legitimately put forward certain claims – not enforceable rights – that need to be negotiated with the majority, while others should not. In order to devise a common but differentiated set of rights and obligations for old and new minority groups, it is essential to analyse the differences and similarities of both categories of minorities, their claims, needs, and priorities; in this way, it will be possible to delineate a catalogue of rights that can be demanded by and granted to different minority groups. Studying the interaction between traditional minorities and migrants or old and new minority groups is a rather new task because so far these topics have been studied in isolation from each other. It is also an important task for future research in Europe since many states have established systems for the rights of old minorities but have not as yet developed sound policies for the integration of new minority groups stemming from migration.

Open access

Zsombor Csata

Abstract

The article is a brief evaluation of the regulatory environment of language use in Transylvania, Romania based on Van Parijs’ conceptual toolkit presented in his 2011 book Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World. This linguistic regime is a coercive hybrid regulation containing elements stemming from both the categorical regime (personality principle) and territoriality. In municipalities or counties where the official use of minority languages is permitted, it is typically present in a conjunctive manner, but its enforcement is weak and inconsistent. The principle of territorially coercive linguistic subdivision – proposed by Van Parijs as an optimal solution for a greater linguistic justice – is not accommodated in any of the fields of official communication and under present political circumstances it has no further plausibility. A hypothetical alternative for the territorially coercive regime would be the introduction of English as a lingua franca in interethnic communication. We argued that this latter option would be fair only if English could entirely replace the official languages currently in use or it would receive a fully equivalent status at least in those regions where a considerable number of linguistic minorities live.

Open access

Maurice Dawson and Pedro Manuel Taveras Nuñez

Abstract

Many developed countries are placing resources to combat the growing threats in cyberspace, and emerging nations are no different. Since 2016, the Dominican Republic is undergoing massive changes within the current government to prioritize cybersecurity through laws, policies, and doctrine. This initiative is causing politicians, industry, and even government entities such as the national police to start the journey to begin to fully understand what are the issues in cybersecurity as they apply to the nation. It is essential that the security challenges and problems identified are addressed through a process of discovery while mitigating risks. This paper is to present those challenges and offer solutions that can be used to achieve an acceptable level of cyber risk.

Open access

Besfort T. Rrecaj

Abstract

Since its declaration of independence Kosovo has clearly postured itself towards Euro-Atlantic integration with NATO, keeping its door open towards Western Balkan states. This integration process faces major challenges stemming from different dimensions: NATO’s internal unity and its stance towards Kosovo’s political status having direct impact in consensual decision making processes; current geopolitical tensions from a global perspective, particularly between the West and Russia; and Kosovo’s ability to fulfil NATO’s standards and criteria. These challenges might prove very difficult to overcome at least in the current global political and security environment. The objective of this paper is to discuss from legal and geopolitical perspectives the relations between Kosovo and NATO and the challenges, dynamics and perspective of NATO opening a formal integration process for Kosovo.

Open access

Ana Bojinović Fenko and Ana Urlić

Abstract

This study analyses the differences in content and procedure in the application of political criteria and political conditionality in the EU accession processes of Slovenia and Croatia. The article ascertains that with regard to substance, the Commission and EU member states did apply political criteria more extensively and meticulously to Croatia in comparison to Slovenia, but mainly due to the difference in the states’ initial assessment of preparedness for EU membership and the application of the principle of own merits. Empirical results, however, show that the differences in political conditionality did not only stem from Croatia’s post-conflict conditions, but also from the EU’s experience of the 2004 and 2007 enlargements and the concern about the EU’s absorption capacity. As for the accession process procedure, the latter has increasingly empowered the Commission rather than EU member states, which bears relevance for future (Western Balkans) enlargements

Open access

Veronika Valkovičová

Abstract

The aim of this article is to explore the conceptualisation of benchmarking, ranking and good practice sharing tools within European Union gender equality policymaking. In the first part, the article looks at these soft law measures applied within intergovernmental cooperation. Stemming from the extensive body of literature, the study approaches these measures as a form of scientific knowledge, which is diversely applied within policymaking. Next, the article directs various points of criticism at these policymaking tools through different variables that may hinder knowledge use. The second section of this article further focuses on the Open Method of Coordination and the role of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in relation to gender equality policies. The empirical part of this article is focused on the criticism of EIGE’s External Evaluation Report and the different conceptualisations of scientific knowledge use which are presented within this audit document. As such, this article aims to contribute to a new conceptualisation of the technocratic tools of benchmarking, ranking and good practice sharing within the highly ideological area of gender equality policies.

Open access

Elena Dück and Robin Lucke

Abstract

After the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, the French government reacted swiftly by declaring a state of emergency. This state of emergency remained in place for over two years before it was ended in November 2017, only after being replaced by the new anti-terror legislation. The attacks as well as the government’s reactions evoked parallels to 9/11 and its aftermath. This is a puzzling observation when taking into consideration that the Bush administration’s reactions have been criticized harshly and that the US ‘War on Terror’ (WoT) was initially considered a serious failure in France. We can assume that this adaption of the discourse and practices stems from a successful establishment of the WoT macro-securitization. By using Securitization Theory, we outline the development of this macro-securitization by comparing its current manifestation in France against the backdrop of its origins in the US after 9/11. We analysed securitizing moves in the discourses, as well as domestic and international emergency measure policies. We find extensive similarities with view of both; yet there are differing degrees of securitizing terrorism and the institutionalisation of the WoT in the two states. This suggests that the WoT narrative is still dominant internationally to frame the risk of terrorism as an existential threat, thus enabling repressive actions and the obstruction of a meaningful debate about the underlying problems causing terrorism in the first place.