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The European Union is a key player in determining policies and politics in Europe, and yet understanding how it works remains a challenge. The Politics of the European Union introduces students to its functioning by showing the similarities and differences between the EU and national political systems. Fully revised and updated in its third edition, this introductory textbook uses the tools of comparative politics to explore the history, theories, institutions, key actors, politics and policy-making of the EU. This comparative approach enables students to apply their knowledge of domestic politics and broader debates in political science to better understand the EU. Numerous real-world examples guide students through the textbook, and chapter briefings, fact files and controversy boxes highlight the important and controversial issues in EU politics. A companion website features free 'Navigating the EU' exercises to guide students in their analysis of EU policy-making.
What is the value of including vulnerable people in risk regulation decision-making in the European Union (EU)? This article examines a distinctive approach employed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): public hearings integrated within safety reviews of medicinal products. The article presents findings from a case study of the EMA’s public hearing on Quinolone antibiotics, which was included by the EMA as part of a review process that led to significant tightening of regulatory restrictions on the prescribing of this class of antibiotics. The article argues that the public hearing enabled a group of patients who had been victims of a debilitating toxicity syndrome associated with Quinolone antibiotics to criticise the existing scientific evidence base around the safety of Quinolone. Deploying the quantitative Discourse Quality Index and an interpretive analytical approach, the article shows how patients challenged the evidence base in a manner that was efficacious in advancing knowledge in this area of risk regulation. When physically staged alongside interventions by professional experts, the article argues that patients facilitated a process of “negotiation” of expertise, leading professional representatives to propose methods of coordination in order to integrate the patients’ qualitative evidence of their suffering with the toxicity syndrome. Ultimately, this process led to the EMA proposing more stringent future guidelines for the prescription of Quinolone antibiotics in the EU.
This article considers the structural barriers that exist for individuals to hold the EU responsible for violations of human rights abuses in its CSDP missions, despite the theoretical availability of a framework for remedies. This is a result of jurisdictional complications with CFSP/CDSP measures, attribution difficulties, and ambiguity in what constitutes unlawful human rights conduct. While alternative measures exist to compensate individuals for violation of their rights, these do not align with the often-stated right to an effective remedy within the EU. As such, this Article argues that the field requires serious reform in order to ensure that legal relief for individuals against unlawful conduct by the EU is an effective and enforceable right.
This article analyses party positions on European Union (EU) solidarity in Germany in the run-up to the 2021 German federal elections. While previous studies have investigated whether and under which conditions individuals support or reject different types of EU solidarity, little is known about how political parties position themselves on the issue. The study draws on an original expert survey on German party positions, including various items on EU solidarity. First, we demonstrate that the GAL–TAN dimension strongly shapes party positionings on EU solidarity. Second, the support by political parties varies along the long- or short-term institutionalization of types of EU solidarity. Third, the findings have political implications for the current German government coalition, revealing potential problems for a joint political agenda on EU affairs.
Due to its severity, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest crises to have tested the European Union’s (EU) ability to take effective action. The restrictive measures adopted by the Member States to curb its spread affected in particular the free movement of people and partly of goods. This prompted the EU to take action inter alia to maintain essential travel, protect supply chains, enhance contact tracing and facilitate the coordinated resumption of travel. Building on the notion of “output legitimacy”, this paper assesses the EU’s success in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in transport by looking at the four main initiatives between the end of 2020 and June 2022, namely: (1) the EU Digital COVID Certificates; (2) cross-border contact tracing through Passenger Locator Forms; (3) the “Green Lanes” for freight transport; and (4) the coordinated approach to facilitating safe and free movement. These initiatives are measured against the EU’s legal competence, economic interests, political pressure and the added value of EU action. While recognising the small set of cases, the results show that, although legal competence is a decisive factor for success, EU initiatives can achieve equivalent effect even in its absence, provided other conditions are met.
Since 2000, literature on West (EU15) and East-Central European (EU8) welfare states has focused on a set of ‘new social risks’ including insecure employment and income, population ageing, unsustainable social security systems, and large-scale international immigration. Our State-of-the-Art (SOTA) article brings Russia into the dialogue on ‘new social risks’. We show that broadly similar structural changes in industrial economies, labour markets and demographic patterns ended the post-World-War-Two (WWII) ‘Golden Age’ of welfare expansion in both the EU15 and communist states. Shared new social risks rose to the top of policy agendas. Governments responded mainly, though not exclusively, with liberalising, privatising and exclusionary policies. The SOTA compares their policy responses, specifically pension system reforms, demographic (pro-natalist and family) policies, and integration of immigrants. We find both convergence and divergence based on states’ differing welfare legacies. The conclusion considers path-departing ‘emergency Keynesian’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis, and renewed attention to Beveridge welfare models.
On 24 June 2022, the Contracting Parties of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) finalized discussions on the modernization of the treaty. After fifteen rounds of negotiations, an agreement in principle was reached to be adopted by the Energy Charter Conference on 22 November 2022 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.1 The ECT, adopted in 1994, establishes a legal framework that aims to promote international cooperation in the energy sector.2 It has a membership of 53 countries primarily from Europe and Central Asia, as well as the European Union (EU) and the European Atomic Energy Community. In recent years, the ECT attracted widespread public attention due to its impact on states’ environmental and climate policies. Particularly, the treaty’s provisions on investment protection, with investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) at the centre, allow foreign investors in the energy sector to challenge adverse state action before international arbitration and claim compensation for measures affecting their business activities. Fossil fuel investors have increasingly used the ECT to challenge environmental and climate measures, such as phasing out coal-fired power generation, banning offshore oil drilling in coastal areas, and prohibiting gas fracking projects. Such cases have fuelled concerns regarding the abilities of governments to roll-out large-scale climate action. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that international investment agreements (IIAs) like the ECT could ‘be used by fossil-fuel companies to block national legislation aimed at phasing out the use of their assets’.3 With some of these damage claims running into billions of euros, the ECT enables fossil fuel investors to offload the costs and risks associated with their affected assets onto society at large in the face of necessary climate action. This would go, in the words of the editorial board of the Financial Times, against the ‘heart of the capitalist social contract’ and the ‘ability of markets to deal adequately with the challenge of climate change’.4
A survey was carried out to examine the attitudes of Turkish veterinarians towards animal welfare issues. The email questionnaire consisted of three sections of statements with a five-point Likert scale for choices of answer. The first section included statements examining the attitudes of Turkish veterinarians to animal welfare issues relating to European Union (EU) Legislation (93/119/EC, 95/29/EC, 2002/4EC and Council Regulation 1/2005). In the second, statements were designed to ascertain veterinarian attitudes towards the recently-passed Animal Protection Law, TR-5199. The statements in the last section were designed to assess the respondents' personal beliefs on a variety of welfare topics. The survey was sent to 615 veterinarians and the response rate was 40.2%. Turkish veterinarians expressed considerable support for the implications of animal welfare with the exception of statements regarding ‘stunning of ruminants pre-slaughter’, ‘phasing out of battery cages for poultry’ and ‘not operating on animals for aesthetic purposes’. In addition, they did not agree with the statements related to ‘ethological needs of farm animals’ and ‘effectiveness of EU laws and legislation in Turkey’. Females had higher mean values than males. The results of the survey indicated that significant concern for animal welfare issues is seen in the Turkish veterinarian population. Although the process of becoming a fully-integrated member of the EU will not occur rapidly, the influence of veterinarians could potentially enhance animal welfare in Turkey.
The European Union (EU) has often been regarded as a prime mover in the cause of improved animal welfare. There is a great deal of European legislation to support this contention. This article discusses a recent case brought by the UK Government under Article 177 of the Treaty of Rome 1957 which challenges the assumption that EU law always favours animal welfare. We suggest that free trade is the driving force behind EU legislation and that where this conflicts with animal welfare, free trade is usually preferred.
Medical devices form a large heterogeneous group of products ranging from simple tools to medical testing and implants, the safety and efficacy of which are strictly regulated in all developed countries. Thanks to the health and cost benefits, medical devices have also found their way into veterinary medicine but, surprisingly, the regulation of these products is far less complex or, in some cases, missing altogether. Given the complexity and potential hazards of certain veterinary devices, the current state of affairs may lead to health and safety risks, both for animals and personnel involved. This review is the first to systematically map the current situation in the EU, revealing health and safety risks in practice for both animals and personnel involved and discussing them in a broader context. Only six out of the EU's 28 member states (Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia) were found to have at least a degree of regulation of veterinary devices. As a result, a single product may be regulated as a veterinary medicinal product, a veterinary medical device or not be regulated at all, depending on the particular EU member state in question. As things stand, veterinary medicine makes use of all kinds of medical devices, including human products, regardless of their regulatory status and (pre-market) control. However, the use of such devices may influence the health and well-being of animals. Several measures are therefore suggested to attain the required levels of safety and efficacy surveillance for veterinary medical devices without creating excessive administration.
This article explores the UK vote in 2016 to exit the European Union, colloquially known as ‘Brexit’. Brexit has been portrayed as a British backlash against globalisation and a desire for a reassertion of sovereignty by the UK as a nation-state. In this context, a vote to leave the European Union has been regarded by its protagonists as a vote to ‘take back control’ to ‘make our own laws’ and ‘let in [only] who we want’. We take a particular interest in the stance of key ‘Brexiteers’ in the UK towards regulation, with the example of the labour market. The article commences by assessing the notion of Brexit as a means to secure further market liberalisation. This analysis is then followed by an account of migration as a key issue, the withdrawal process and likely future trajectory of Brexit. We argue that in contrast to the expectations of those who voted Leave in 2016, the UK as a mid-sized open economy will be a rule-taker and will either remain in the European regulatory orbit, or otherwise drift into the American one.
International solidarity is indispensable for coping with global crises; however, solidarity is frequently constrained by public opinion. Past research has examined who, on the donor side, is willing to support European and international aid. However, we know less about who, on the recipient side, is perceived to deserve solidarity. The article argues that potential donors consider situational circumstances and those relational features that link them to the recipients. Using factorial survey experiments, we analyse public support for international medical and financial aid in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results show that recipient countries' situational need and control, as well as political community criteria, namely, group membership, adherence to shared values and reciprocity, played a crucial role in explaining public support for aid. Important policy implications result: on the donor side, fault-attribution frames matter; on the recipient side, honouring community norms is key to receiving aid.
This article systematically examines how access of business groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to the executive branch of the European Union varies across political heads, civil servants, and an understudied yet critical intermediary figure of the executive branch: political advisers. Building upon exchange theory, we argue that the occurrence of a meeting between public officials and interest groups depends on information and legitimacy sought and offered by both types of actors, the public officials’ public exposure, and the interest groups’ lobbying strategies. The empirical analysis is focused on the executive body of the European Union (i.e., the European Commission). Our results show that, while political advisers and civil servants are more likely to meet with business groups than with NGOs, political heads are not biased in favor of any of these two groups.
The introduction sets out the parameters of this book, which brings together contributions from experts from a range of academic disciplines, with legal scholarship at the core of the volume. It presents the context for the book’s focus upon sustainable value creation and explores how this might be developed inside the EU and through the EU’s institutions. The volume is positioned within a research-based concept of sustainability, defined as securing social foundations for humanity now and for the future within planetary boundaries. This provides the basis for the analyses of the potential for sustainable value creation in the EU. The introduction goes on to identify a number of mileposts that have shaped the progress of the EU and its relevance for value creation, including the EU’s ambitions, the financial and debt crises, Brexit and the urgent challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the broader environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. The contributions of the volume are briefly introduced, before the chapter concludes with hope and optimism, setting the tone for the critical and constructive analysis to follow.
The conclusion higlights continuing challenges for the EU and the rest of the world and how the future humanity faces is uncertain. Yet an optimistic message is also presented. Noting that shareholder primacy is increasingly coming under question and a growing interest in the concepts of corporate purpose and sustainable value creation, the conclusion draws upon the suggestions made among the chapters throughout the book to highlight the potential for corporations to be a force for good if supported by more effective legal and regulatory reforms and operating with more innovative structures and technologies. More stable, resilient and democratic institutional structures are necessary too as is the inclusion of active political and entrepreneurial women. Also fundamental to change is setting sustainable value creation within planetary boundaries as an overarching purpose for business, with mandatory rules to ensure that sustainability is integrated into the governance of business across global value chains. In a policy coherence for sustainability perspective, the book concludes by positioning the research-based reform proposals for business and finance within broader European Union laws and policies, underlining the necessity of reform also of other related areas, including circular economy policies, competition and state aid law and public procurement.
What role do international organizations play in international law? Similar to states, they have international legal personality, responsibilities, and immunities. This chapter focuses on the preeminent global intergovernmental organization, the United Nations, and details the functions and limits of its principal organs. Special attention is given to the General Assembly, Security Council, and International Court of Justice. The European Union is the leading example of a regional, supranational organization, and its authority and institutions are discussed in detail as well. The chapter concludes with brief considerations of other major international organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization of American States, the African Union, and the World Health Organization.
During the last decade, discussion on shareholder activism concentrated on hedge funds, some seeing them as agents for passive institutional shareholders, bridging the separation of ownership and control, others believing their short-term value-maximization interests differing fundamentally from those of other shareholders. Some have seen hopes for long-term activism in institutional shareholders such as pension funds. In the European Union, activism is seen positively, encouraging proposals to enhance shareholders’ rights against the boards’ discretion. The purpose of this chapter is to focus on institutional investor activism and its impact on both their ultimate beneficiaries and their target companies, and how investors could be incentivised to more sustainable behaviour in their activism. Albeit the focus is on the European Union, institutional investors are global. A broader perspective including North America and Asia is therefore taken. The most important impact of institutional activism is arguably normative, causing changes in corporate governance. Specific attention is therefore given to governance questions.
This chapter concludes the book by shifting the analysis to three sets of interlinked conversations that seem to frame the current debates about race and migration. We begin by analysing the impact of the ongoing conversation about the position of the United Kingdom within the European Union that led to the decision in the 2016 Referendum to support a strategy of leaving the Union and taking back control of national borders. As several commentators have argued in recent years, the impact of the debates around Brexit is likely to be felt in the coming decade or so as their impact on influencing and shaping both current and future agendas about race and racism become more evident. We then move on to explore the implications of continual efforts to develop and maintain a hostile environment around questions of immigration and belonging to assert control over borders and create a social basis for integrated communities. The final part of this chapter allows us to engage critically with the attempt by some commentators to distinguish racism from those forms of identity that are defined in terms of national citizen preference and racial self-interest.
The European Union Treaty after Lisbon emphasises the overarching objectives of sustainable development and a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment, high levels of environmental protection and social progress. Yet, in 2022, it is clear that these ambitions have not been fully achieved. The ongoing pandemic, the continuing fall-out from Brexit and the resulting economic damage, a Grexit avoided, and potential other exits from the EU, have come to undermine the political consensus of the idea of a European Union. Amidst these challenges, the debates on how to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals have turned towards demanding more sustainable economic policies, financial investments and business actions. The present volume provides a much-needed space for in-depth discussion of the concept of sustainable value creation and how it can be achieved within the ecological limits of our planet, through the prism of an interdisciplinary concept of sustainability.
This chapter defines robustness and fragility, argues that they can only be determined confidently in retrospect, but that assessments made by political actors, whilst subjective, have important political implications. We suggest some of the consideration that may shape these assessment. They include ideology, historical lessons, and the Zeitgeist. We go on to describe the following chapters, providing an outline of the book.