Many studies have documented the negative effect of corruption on development, economic growth, and democracy. Independent anti-corruption agencies are often recommended as the tool to curb corruption. However, their efficiency depends on the political will to allocate authority, powers, and resources. Moreover, setting up new institutions is always costly and accordingly problematic to low and middle income countries. The present study suggests that public administration processes in their own right are a tool to combat corruption. The article uses a survey with responses from 1706 public employees in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Using OLS regression, the study confirms others findings that strengthening meritocracy is an important factor in curbing corruption. It adds to this that enhancing monitoring is a factor just as effective against corruption as meritocracy. It adds attention to the reverse effect associated with hierarchical organizations, norms accepting rule bending, and network decisions. Finally, addressing salaries’ and performance payment’s impact on corruption the study finds no relation.
Evaluation of the European Union Structural Funds' Support in Poland: Scope and Significance
Poland has made significant efforts in the development of the evaluation function as a tool for better decision-making and good governance. Starting from the pre-accession program PHARE as legal obligation, current evaluation is not only used as a tool for accountability and knowledge production but evaluation results are used in the national decision making on. Poland has also made significant attempts to implement a European Union Cohesion policy, the outcome of which should be to decentralize the evaluation function too. However, the system is not working properly yet, due to different obstacles such as lack of human resources, quality of evaluation studies and relevant monitoring data. Poland is moving to the most advanced stage in terms of evaluation content, quality between European Union member states and maybe good example for the present and future members how to make evaluation really work for decision making and absorption of structural funds.
Media literacy campaigns champion systematic thinking and high elaboration in the fight against fake news. However, they often overlook an ancient tool for discrediting demagogues and destroying disinformation: satire. This essay explores how satirist Stephen Colbert used irony in his 2010 congressional testimony, arguing that Colbert’s shift from Socratic to Sophistic irony encouraged listeners to think for themselves through a more central information-processing route. The essay concludes that irony increases recognition of fake news, but warns that an overreliance on Sophistic irony undermines an appreciation of truth, and requires the reintroduction of Socratic irony as a counter balance.
The Impact of Referendums on the Process of European Integration
Direct democracy is becoming more and more significant in political life. Not only does it give citizens the right to choose the government, it also gives them the right to contribute to making important decisions, thus improving the quality of citizens' participation in politics. One of the most popular and most commonly used forms of direct democracy used in politics is referendum, the significance of which is still increasing. Both in the countries of Western Europe, where the tradition of democracy is well established, and in Eastern and Central Europe, referenda are effective tools which complement representative power. Recently there has been a significant increase in the importance of referenda during the construction of so-called unified Europe. The aim of this article is to present the influence of referenda on the European integration process.
Aurelija Pūraitė, Daiva Bereikienė and Neringa Šilinskė
In the past few years the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in Lithuania has significantly increased. However, enjoying the advantages of this technology, which improves society’s socio-economical safety (public safety in a broad sense), raises some privacy concerns. This article analyses European Union and national legal regulations regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles as well as legal tools for defence of the right to privacy or prevention from its breaches in the Republic of Lithuania. Unmanned aerial vehicles have become popular only recently; thus, legislation regarding their use has not yet become a common topic among lawyers. Furthermore, case law of the Republic of Lithuania is silent about it. Thus, the authors model a situation of breach of privacy using an unmanned aerial vehicle and analyse possible defence mechanisms.
Since 2004, when the European neighbourhood policy was established, the European Union has already spent billions of euros to finance the new neighbourhood policies for creating more stable and more cooperative relations with eastern and southern neighbours. However, increased security concerns and challenges, less stable and less prognostic relations seem to have produced the opposite result of what was sought, and so Europe is experiencing a “neighbourhood of crisis”. Did it fail? What strategy has the EU been using within the last 15 years in relations with its neighbouring countries? What specific tools and instruments have been adapted? Did the renewal of European neighbourhood policy introduce any completely new strategic elements? This article examines these questions, focusing on three perspectives suggested by role theory: intentional, interactional and institutional. The study applies qualitative research methodology and claims that the EU has been seeking to transmit not just EU values and standards but also internal institutional practices and modes of EU governance.
In September 2013 in the case of Divito v Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) the Supreme Court of Canada dealt with the issue of whether section 6(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Charter, which grants Canadians the right to enter Canada was violated in a case where the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness declined to consent to the transfer of a Canadian citizen to serve his sentence in Canada where the sentencing state had consented to the transfer. Another issue was whether sections 8(1) and 10(1)(a) and 10(2)(a) of the International Transfer of Offenders Act, which granted the Minister the discretion to consent or not to consent to the transfer, were contrary to section 6(1) of the Charter. In resolving the above issues, the Court referred to its earlier jurisprudence, academic publications and international law. Although the Court agreed with the government that the appeal was moot because the appellant had left the USA by the time it was heard, it held that it retained “a residual discretion to decide the merits of a moot appeal if the issues raised are of public importance” and that this case was one of public importance because “[t]he issues are likely to recur in the future and there is some uncertainty resulting from conflicting decisions in the Federal Court.” The purpose of this article is to highlight the interpretative tools invoked by the court and the implications of the judgement.
The Hermaphrodite Sovereign: Walter Benjamin, Carl Schmitt, and the Permanent State of Exception
This article re-imagines the textual relationship between Carl Schmitt and Walter Benjamin as one of much greater affinity than has typically been granted to it. This reworking of their textual relationship draws largely from a study of how and in what ways the figure of the sovereign in Walter Benjamin's study of the German Trauerspiel can be read as a response to Carl Schmitt's theory of sovereignty as found in Political Theology. Though the article's narrative trajectory covers a textual relationship, the larger stakes of the work here involve the description of the structure of the state of exception (in particular in its legal, political, and philosophical valences) and its uses and abuses as a tool of sovereign authority, both historically and in contemporary forms. The paper argues that a) functionally and historically a great deal of the truth of the paradoxically riddled structure of sovereign authority can be found in its opposite, namely, the inability to decide on the exception; and b) typologically the sovereign suffers from the tension inherent in a diametrically opposed dual-identity; c) the article also explores from a psychoanalytic perspective the potential space for politics in a world in which law and life have been grafted together in a permanent state of exception.
Political jurisprudence points out that constitutional court judges sometimes act like political actors, and that their decisions are a function of strategic and ideological as much as legal considerations. Consequently, the proper role of the courts, notably in exercising their review of constitutionality, has been one of the most debated issues in modern political and legal theory. Part of the controversy is also how to measure the interpretative fidelity of judges to the constitutional texts, or conversely, the level of their political engagement. This paper argues for the reconsideration of Aharon Barak’s Purposive Interpretation in Law in that light. Barak’s work was intended to provide, in the first place, judges and other lawyers with a sort of judicial philosophy – a holistic system of legal reasoning, applying both to the interpretation of will, contract, statute and constitution. Nevertheless, these conventions of legal reasoning, modified and readapted, could well be used also as heuristic tools by the academics in measuring the interpretative fidelity of judges to various sources of law. Accordingly, this paper clings closely to the presentation of Barak’s precepts for the purposive interpretation of constitutions, by focusing on the notions of subjective and objective purpose in interpreting constitutions, and how the potential conflicts between these purposes are resolved.
Refugee resettlement is not new to EU member states. But the EU only accounts for about 10 percent of resettlements globally. Before the 2015 European Council decisions to relocate about 160,000 persons from Italy and Greece only half of EU Member States participated in resettlement programs. Relocation of refugees has emerged as a new form of resettlement as an EU reaction to the growing refugee influx. It is likely to become a permanent part of Common European Asylum Policy. The refugee emergency has intensified discussions about the application of the solidarity principle to pressure member states not yet engaged in relocation to contribute to the joint efforts of the EU. But this has created serious political controversy in many of the new (eastern) member states.
The article outlines key elements of refugee resettlement and relocation that have recently emerged in the EU and discusses the prerequisites for the sustainable use of this tool in an unfavorable political and unclear legal environment, with particular focus on new member states. The main goal of the article is to identify factors that need to be considered for the design of sustainable resettlement and relocation programs, considering the aspects of political salience, legal conditions, burden-sharing, and member states’ capacity. The case study of Lithuania presented in this article suggests that such programs need to be carefully considered and adequately funded as there are ample pitfalls which can quickly discredit the idea among the citizens.