In its discourse, the EU places democracy and the rule of law as number one. This paper examines the extent to which the EU is a coherent. The Reluctant Debutante: The European Union as Promoter of Democracy in its Neighbourhood. PDF Download (Kb) | Preview. The Reluctant Debutante book. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. It is a light-hearted, almost farcical, comedy which revolve .
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The Reluctant Debutante: The European Union as Promoter of Democracy in its Neighbourhood. CEPS Working Documents No. , 1 July. The Reluctant Debutante may refer to: The Reluctant Debutante (play), a play by William Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. Centre for European CEPS Working Document Policy Studies No. / July The Reluctant Debutante The European Union as Promoter of Democracy in.
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Hence the positions of the major policy-makers in Europe were hardly coherent on the issue of Turkish membership. The Commission was by far the most positive, followed by the Parliament who put the most emphasis, as expected, on the political criteria.
Such divisions were overcome in the long-awaited December Brussels European Council summit of that gave concessions to all parties concerned. Provisions were also there to satisfy those who were against full membership. Such developments are not expected to prevent the formation of a superficial unity to open accession negotiations in October The Commission has recently confirmed that accession talks with Turkey will begin as scheduled.
Any outcome that falls short of full membership would be a deep disappointment to Turkey. Yet it seems that the dramatic wave of political reform achieved in to pushed by strong EU conditionality has become essentially irreversible. On the other hand, further change without the EU anchor is expected to occur at a slower pace than witnessed between and Also Putin was much appreciated in his first term for reversing the chaotic unpredictability of Russian politics.
Political transition towards democracy, the rule of law and human rights has been a central feature of EU policy towards all the former Soviet Union in the early post-Soviet period. Yet by the early s, and with the important exception of the situation in Chechnya, there was hardly a categorical difference in the apparent quality of democracy, the rule of law and human rights between Russia and Ukraine.
The South Caucasus states were regarded as small dysfunctional democracies, whereas the Central Asians revealed early on that they were not inclined at all towards democracy. The decision to enlarge to Central and Eastern Europe in the early to mids was thus followed by the creation of the Barcelona process.
However the expansion of the scope of the European Neighbourhood Policy in late to include the Southern Mediterranean partners as well as the new European neighbours Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus was another example of how these mild north- south tensions could be reconciled.
It is tempting to regard this as a result of the May enlargement, which brought in new members from Central and Eastern Europe with strong views on EU policy towards all the European CIS states. However, growing internal disagreements on policy towards the European CIS states, and Russia and Ukraine especially, predate the May enlargement.
There developed considerable support in among the 15 member states, as well as in the Commission, Council Secretariat and European Parliament, for a more critical line towards Russia on matters of political values.
In autumn , the Nordic member states and Austria joined with seven new Central and Eastern European member states calling for a greater engagement with Ukraine and a growing reluctance to support enhanced cooperation with Russia. France and Italy had already earlier found themselves opposing a common EU position during tensions over Kaliningrad in , with both favouring a more conciliatory approach towards Russia.
It was only in this latter document that adherence to common values such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights featured, and even so only in a token manner. On the other hand, there later emerged increasing cooperation between Germany and the pro-Ukrainian camp in the Council, with joint policy papers with Poland in October , and with Poland and Lithuania in January , calling for stronger engagement with Ukraine.
Finland, France and Britain provide three examples of such changes. Upon its accession to the EU in , Finland soon became a leading advocate of a stronger and more pro-active EU policy towards Russia, seen most notably with its Northern Dimension initiative from onwards.
British Prime Minister Blair was also in the forefront in courting Putin early in his first term. France was among the hardest critics of the second Russian military campaign in Chechnya from late A geopolitical argument, used mainly by Chirac, calls for an EU- Russian strategic partnership as a key building block towards the creation of a global multi- polar order.
This is supported to a greater or lesser extent by most EU actors. This argument is emphasised by Germany under Chancellor Schroeder, although it must be noted that the new member states calling for a tougher line on Russia are and education, and defer the ones on internal and external security.
Disagreement on the space on internal security revolves around the question of human rights, and treating the four spaces as a package thus becomes an example of conditionality.
Denmark has for a long time been more critical of Russia than most member states; see I Spidsen for Europa Leading Europe.
In spite of the partial failure of the transition process under Yeltsin and the first war in Chechnya, the EU, led by the big member states, provided support for Yeltsin ahead of the presidential campaign.
The most egregious example came during the Italian presidency in November over Chechnya as already noted and similarly with Berlusconi support to Putin over the Yukos affair. The announced purpose of the March Paris Quartet summit of France, Germany, Spain and Russia was to encourage democratisation of Russia, based on the argument that this can be better achieved through high-level dialogue.
The stance of EU member states is often coloured by their bilateral relations with Russia. The EU-Russia summit in November had to be moved from Copenhagen to Brussels, following the holding of a conference on Chechnya in autumn As between the institutions, the Ukrainian Orange Revolution saw initially Solana and the Commission taking cautious positions.
However as the crisis developed and the heads of state of Poland and Lithuania headed for Kiev to mediate a peaceful solution, Solana was brought to accompany them and ultimately played an active role in persuading Leonid Kuchman to abstain from the use of force.
The European Parliament could find allies in only a minority of member states in support of acknowledging Ukraine as a potential member of the EU. This can be seen in its numerous recommendations, statements and reports on Russia, for instance the Lalumiere report, the Oostlander report and the Bender report.
Their support spans across the political 31 Carl B. Hamilton, Russia's European Economic Integration. As a result the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Ukraine was a paler version of that for Russia. The Action Plan for Ukraine is the most developed example of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and contains a strong emphasis on democracy. Meanwhile the four common spaces agreed with Russia a few months later in May can be viewed as a weaker derivative of the Neighbourhood Action Plans, notably lacking any substantial commitments on democracy, rule of law and human rights.
Democratic political criteria have been heavily influencing the policy evolution. Maghreb Arguably to a greater extent than in some other regions, European democracy and human rights policy in the Maghreb has exhibited some degree of convergence between different EU member states and institutions.
While the traditional differences between European governments persist in this region, these look less overwhelming today than ten years ago when the Barcelona Process was established. This cooperation has included a focus on democracy and human rights. The attention given to democracy and human rights under the EMP has slowly become less timid and subject to a greater degree of agreement amongst EU member states, the Commission and the European Parliament.
In , the Barcelona Declaration enshrined a formal commitment to encouraging human rights improvements and democratic values. However, in the intervening years, some genuine convergence has taken place.
Against an historical context of major European rivalries and differences in the Maghreb, the absence of fundamental substantive disagreement on general strategic goals now appears significant.
On the one hand, the engagement of northern EU member states in southern Mediterranean challenges has undoubtedly intensified. This evolution has represented both cause and effect of the Europeanisation of policy under the EMP. This change was initially unashamedly tactical: The plethora of committees and dialogue forums responsible for managing the EMP does appear to have helped generate a greater degree of shared understanding around human rights and democratic reform concerns.
The routinely asserted problem of poor linkage between different elements of the EU machinery looks less marked under the EMP than in most other areas of European foreign policy.
It was acknowledged that agreement on this strengthened commitment would not have been possible some years previously. The new guidelines reflected notable activism on the part of the European Commission, and particularly of the then-external relations Commissioner, Chris Patten.
Initial support came from the Dutch, Danes, Swedes and British governments, but it was agreed that real significance could be attached to the assent of the French and Spanish governments. France has increasingly seen merit in the pursuit of political reform initiatives in Algeria through the EU dimension; and even Paris has become increasingly exasperated with Tunisian president Bin Ali for resisting any degree of political opening. Notable similarities have become apparent in the human rights and good governance projects funded by different national donors and the European Commission in the Maghreb.
There is a shared agreement on exploring ways of increasing the operationalisation of human rights and democracy strictures through the new Neighbourhood Action Plans, which includes broad agreement on the need to focus efforts more on a country-specific basis in the future. It is still the case that southern member states remain more cautious on the firm benchmarking of aid and trade benefits against specific reforms, but recent debates over the ENP have revealed a broad willingness on their part to support the basic principle of rewards-based conditionality — certainly to a greater extent than in the past.
While elements of a more unified focus on democracy and human rights have developed in policy towards the Maghreb, there is also a commonality in the advocacy of very gradual political change. On this point, there has been little to distinguish the discourse of one member state from another, or Commissioners Patten and Ferrero-Waldner from Javier Solana, in the last three or four years.
There has been a shared hesitancy on the part of all EU member states and the Commission to engage with Islamist organisations not formally sanctioned by incumbent regimes. In light of the sensitivities of democracy and human rights promotion in this region, member states have shared a desire to encourage the Commission to take lead role, to a greater degree than in most other areas of EU foreign policy. This facility, within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument ENPI , would go beyond the specific support that may be mobilised under regional or national action plan.
In , joint UK-Spanish proposals were forthcoming on these issues. In , the UK joined forces with France, Spain, Portugal and Italy in a project aimed at enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of border guards and patrol vessels in the Mediterranean.
During the s, intra-European differences over Libya were one of the most commonly-cited cases of EU strategic disarray. This appears for the moment to have involved all member states accepting that the prize of progress on non-proliferation with Libya justifies an absence of pressure on internal democratic reform and human rights concerns.
Notwithstanding such convergence, differences naturally remain. These can be said to divide along a number of cleavages.
Firstly, geography still plays a causal role. If variation between northern and southern EU member states is not quite as marked as previously, significant differences remain over the tactics advocated to advance human rights and democracy in the Maghreb.
This is seen in debates over the critical language used in EU responses to human rights abuses and democratic shortfalls. Southern member states have fought to dilute the critical tone of EU reaction to human rights abuses in the Maghreb.
The first is seen by them as offering the potential for positive EU leverage, the latter as counter-productive. These states often complain that northern member states disingenuously present themselves as paragons of economic virtue on this issue, in the comfortable position of simply not competing in the same sectors as Maghreb producers. This economic variation is of relevance to the issue of democracy and human rights in so far as it reflects one difference in philosophy: This difference should not be overstated; all member states would commonly espouse an element of both logics.
The variation is rather one of onus: Northern and the new Eastern European member states conceived the ENP primarily as a framework for boosting cooperation and political reform work in the eastern European states left out of the accession process. While southern member states pushed successfully to ensure the inclusion of the southern Mediterranean, differences remain over the allocation of resources between the eastern and southern dimensions of the Neighbourhood.
Indeed, since May , an east-south cleavage has been added to the longstanding north-south division within the EU — even if most observers judge the new Eastern European members to have adopted relatively low profile positions within the CFSP so far.
Under the ENP action plans, the issue of benchmarking has become a source of difference. A number of northern member states, in particular the UK, have more firmly pushed for commitments to benchmark political reform; Spain and other more cautious states have sought to retain more discretion in decisions over the allocation of future resources to — and crucially, between — Maghrebi states.
These debates also relate to the general level of commitment shown towards the Maghreb. Northern member states may be engaged partners in the EMP now, but it is France, Spain and Italy who channel the significant shares of their bilateral development aid to the Maghreb.
French aid remains oriented towards the francophone states of the EMP. Significantly, in the case of the Maghreb, the differences explained by geography compound those of ideological choice. In most places of the world, southern member states are more cautious on human rights issues by ideological inclination; in the Maghreb, they cite geographical proximity as a factor that compounds this standard difference.
Thus, if Denmark were situated where Italy is, its policies in the Maghreb might be slightly more Italian, but not entirely so. An official view positing the opposite logic, namely that geography should give southern member states a more urgent interest in Maghreb political reform, has not been heard.
A second cleavage relates to institutional function, and often cuts across national differences. The trade policy community has been wary of political pressure and conditionality. The development policy community in a majority of member states has been wary of funding industrial restructuring work in middle-income states.
The Middle East peace process policy community has been wary of the political dimensions of the EMP cutting across the primacy of peace process initiatives and negotiations.
In all these cases, a balance of nationally- and functionally-rooted perspectives co-exist. A third cleavage is structured around the contrasting ways in which different actors have interpreted the relationship between EU democracy and human rights policies in the Maghreb, on the one hand, and a number of exogenous contextual influences, on the other. Differences have deepened over the nature of the link between the EMP and the Arab-Israeli conflict; the impact of the Iraqi conflict on the rightful approach to human rights and democracy elsewhere in the Middle East; and the implications for European policies in the Maghreb of new US initiatives, from the Middle East Partnership Initiative, through the ill-fated and apparently, European-scuppered Greater Middle East Initiative, to the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative now developing under the auspices of the G8.
Significantly, differing perspectives on relations with the US have sometimes cut across the north-south division within the EU. The significant point here is that internal socialisation in the field of democracy and human rights has to some extent been offset by the way that differences over other issues have woven themselves into this area of policy.
To summarise, a trend can be observed towards a somewhat greater harmonisation of EU policy objectives in the Maghreb. The significance of well-known and historically-rooted intra- European differences should not be understated. However, after a decade of gradual socialisation within the EMP, the underlying direction is towards a greater willingness to accept mutual compromise between the EU and its Maghreb partners with a view to gradually extending and deepening the application of EU economic and political norms in the Maghreb.
By the turn of the century, EU positions crystallised into a well-defined position in support of a two-state solution in the Middle East. Yet the Union has also articulated in detail its aims and preferences with respect to the internal and external conduct of both Israel and the Palestinians. A fundamental pillar of EU goals has been the importance of respecting human rights, democracy and international humanitarian law.
Most EU declarations on the Middle East conflict since the s have condemned Palestinian violence and terrorism, pointing to the violations of rights and law that such acts entailed. The member states have also condemned Israeli settlements in the occupied territories OTs , whose construction contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention governing the laws of occupation.
With the collapse of the Oslo Process, the Union intensified its calls to halt and reverse the construction of settlements and the wall in the West Bank.
The Union has also denounced the whole array of human rights and humanitarian law violations, ranging from Palestinian suicide bombings, to Israeli incursions, extra-judicial killings and forms of collective punishment. It repeatedly affirmed that Israeli security and Palestinian self-determination should be pursued only within the confines of international law.
In principle, a two-state solution on the one hand, and the respect for democracy, human rights and international law on the other are fully compatible. The respect for rights and law could and should be the necessary means to achieve a viable two-state solution. Have short-term diplomatic victories on the conflict settlement front trumped democracy, human rights and international law objectives, hindering also the long-term goal of conflict resolution?
The means by which the Union has pursued its goals in Israel-Palestine have not relied on historical processes. European history has left a highly complex legacy in the region. It has created a degree of affinity amongst former European Israelis. Yet it has left deep scars and traumas in the region, ranging from memories of European anti-Semitism and the holocaust in Israel to the British colonial betrayal in Palestine.
Relative to Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the EU cannot rely on its magnetic presence and power of attraction either. Neither Israel nor Palestine has ever seriously engaged with the idea of entering the EU. In the case of the Palestinians, the question is clear-cut. Neither have Palestinian elites nor the public ever expressed the desire to join the Union. The Palestinians would welcome a more active EU role in the region. But this role is viewed exclusively within the domain of foreign policy and is linked to their prime objective of securing viable statehood.
As far as Israel is concerned, the picture is far more nuanced. At first glance it appears that the prospect of EU accession could have a strong hold amongst Israelis. Yet scratching beneath the surface, these statements appear to stem more from a general desire to exit the turbulent Middle East and enter a European security community, than from a thorough realisation of what membership would entail. Hence, even in the hypothetical situation in which EU membership were on offer, it seems unlikely that Israel could be mobilized to pursue actively this goal.
Other forms of passive EU influence have also had limited impact on the parties. The Union can only have a limited socialisation effect on the parties. However, these social processes remain too thin to have a strong discernible effect on Israeli politics. The spiralling violence on the ground during the second intifada could neither have been halted nor substantially ameliorated by the EU alone.
More specifically, alleged conflict settlement goals have trumped long-term goals aimed at democracy, human rights and conflict resolution. What explains these results? One hypothesis concerns the possible divisions within the Commission itself, coupled with the institutional immaturity of the Commission, as illustrated in the dispute with Israel over the preferential export of Israeli goods produced in settlements.
Former External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten and DG External Relations have been well aware of this fact, clarifying that the preferential treatment of settlement products is illegal. Under the arrangement that came into force in February Israel would name the locality of final substantial or partial transformation on the origin certificates of Israeli exports.
In principle, this would allow member state customs to detect fraudulent exports and deny preferences. Under the arrangement, the EU would entitle Israel to represent all localities as situated within the State of Israel. If the Community considered the arrangement as legally binding or acted to that effect the meaning of the association agreement would be reversed.
No EU political declaration to the contrary would alter this fact. The EP has typically called for extreme remedies against the violations of democracy, human rights and the rule of law by the parties. These have included the suspension of aid to the PA in view of the corruption within the Authority and the fear that EU money was being channelled to terrorist groups.
It has also called for the imposition of sanctions and arms embargoes on Israel in Yet its calls have gone largely unheard. Particularly in its appeals for sanctions on Israel, the EP has contributed to obfuscating the fundamental EU dilemma, which concerns less the use of sticks and carrots and more the respect for international law in its bilateral relations with Israel.
The Council has instead focused on the primary importance of the peace process over and above the prerogatives of human rights and international law, as if these two goals were not compatible. Over the Oslo years, this entailed refraining from excessive criticism of the parties, fearing that these could upset the process. Hence, despite the growing internal complaints within the Palestinian territories, the Council unlike the Commission only began paying attention to Palestinian reform after the outbreak of the intifada.
Since the end of the peace process, the Union can certainly report important successes in promoting Palestinian reform.
However, its effective impact remains below potential. This is in part due to the sui generis context in Palestine. However, it is also linked to the inadequate or incomplete specification of EU conditions.
In particular, while some areas have received disproportionate EU attention such as the security sector, or the creation and empowerment of a prime minister , others have received none at all. Two key issues are at stake: This deliberate neglect opens issues of fundamental importance concerning the extent to which the Union genuinely prioritises democracy promotion in Palestine.
Since the eruption of the intifada, the Council and the EU Special Representative on the Middle East Peace Process have instead been preoccupied with day-to-day crisis management, and have prioritised efforts aimed at resuming the peace process. This has meant a primary focus on the reform of the security sector in Palestine. While security sector reform is certainly welcome, other areas of reform could have benefited from the same levels of attention by the Council. Instead, the Commission has focused on its bilateral relations with Israel and the PA.
Compared to other EU institutions, the Commission has borne the brunt of the deterioration of relations with Israel since , and has therefore been adamant to use the opportunity of the ENP to expand and deepen bilateral ties with Israel.
As put by a German diplomat: It remains to be seen how this ongoing saga will resolve itself. A third explanation of EU ineffectiveness, often flagged in the literature on EU foreign policy, is the division between the member states.
It is a well known and oft-mentioned fact that member states such as Germany, Holland, Denmark and the UK have typically taken more pro- Israeli positions, whereas member states such as France Italy, Spain and Greece have been more sympathetic towards the Palestinians. Indeed, there are some important differences between member states. Members such as Germany and Austria have been particularly sensitive to Israeli accusations of anti-Semitism in view of their historical legacies.
Members such as the UK, Holland and Denmark have instead tended to view the Middle East through transatlantic lenses, and have thus been reluctant to excessively criticise Israel as well as moderate actors in the PA and harm, in their view, the peace process. Members such as France, Italy and Spain have instead been associated more closely with the Arab world, rendering the states more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.
But without underestimating the importance of these differences, which have hindered effective EU action on several key occasions, member states have ultimately converged on their vision in the Middle East as well as on the policy instruments to pursue their objectives. All however, have been constrained politically in their pursuit of these objectives. To different degrees, all member states have been sensitive to criticisms of anti-Semitism, all have valued political as well as economic ties with Israel and no member state has been willing to withhold financial, let alone humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians.
Rather, it has derived from the manner in which EU actors collectively have chosen to deploy the policy resources at their disposal.
Findings Can this mass of detail be distilled into some structured conclusions? Has the EU become a real driver of democracy promotion in the last decade, through building up its instruments of action and extending the reach of Europeanisation into its wider neighbourhood?
Or have the cleavages among its member states and between its institutions remained so important that its performance as promoter of democracy has been substantially curtailed? We structure our findings in the following order: Doctrine and discourse Here there is no problem. The EU puts the values and norms of democracy and the rule of law at the top of its agenda for speeches and official documents.
As a result of the accession process, it has had to work out how to apply these ideas in practice.
The Copenhagen political criteria have been given pride of place, and the very detailed conditionality and monitoring of the accession process have meant that the institutions have learned how to establish effective norms judgementally even where the mechanisms of democracy are notoriously varied. By category of partner state In the wider neighbourhood, there is a hierarchy of categories, qualified by the nature of the relationship with the EU: For the accession candidates, the Copenhagen political criteria are clearly dominating the game.
The role of the Commission is also pre-eminent once the negotiation process has begun. The great conditionality machine is switched on. For the post-conflict cases in the Balkans, the game becomes less straightforward, even though the Copenhagen criteria still apply and the Commission has an important role as tutor in EU norms and executor of the conditionality machine.
In this region, the post-conflict task of state- building, as in Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro and Kosovo, brings the Council, the High Representative Javier Solana and his special representatives into play. Security trumps democracy for an interim period at least. For the European neighbours with unrecognised accession aspirations Ukraine, Georgia, etc. If anything, the EU has tended to be a little behind the game, welcoming the results but being studiously cautious in not promoting them.
Of course the various official documents all laud democratic principles, but hints of deference to Moscow on the part of the Council and various member states have coloured the atmosphere. Even if this deference to Moscow seems now somewhat muted, another restraining factor rises in importance, namely the reluctance to the EU to contemplate continuing enlargement. It may be that the drive for democracy in these states will be sustained because the cause is itself so strongly desired, and because the EU remains there as a presence and a model.
Enlargement fatigue risks trumping democracy. There are timid indications that some positive conditionality with respect to political criteria may be introduced in practice in the workings of the neighbourhood policy. EU policy may therefore be moving with the tide. The EU is not demanding democracy with a strident voice, armed with massive sticks and carrots.
Instead its most important and unique contribution may be in the very subjective quest for some kind of Euro-Mediterranean identity, and for a modern place for Islamic culture inside the democratic EU, which in turn may feed back through diaspora connections to the domestic politics of the Arab world.
Finally comes the case of Russia in a class of its own, with the de-democratising leadership of President Putin. The EU would like to see an ordered renaissance of democratic tendencies in Russia, and tends to believe that it is only a matter of time before this will happen.
But in the meantime Russia is still the big neighbour with strategic capabilities. Yet the role of the EU as civilisational model and reference for Russian elites and civil society has considerable resonance, and perhaps this may become sharper as they watch what is happening in Ukraine.
Cleavage damage Not all the traditional cleavages between member states are so damaging. The cleavage between north and south over their natural priorities based on geography seems to be fading away. More precisely the EU is repeatedly seeing the north and south taking leading positions in favour of their respective geographic neighbours, but succeeding also in persuading the EU as a whole to embrace their concerns in extensions to prior EU external policies.
For example, Finland led the Nordic member states in persuading the EU as a whole to embrace its idea of a northern dimension policy. When the idea of a neighbourhood policy was first advance by some northern member states for some northern neighbours, the south easily sustained the case for the Mediterranean to be similarly included.
The syndrome of post-colonial sensitivities translating into reluctance to impose political conditionality towards the neighbours seems also to be fading away. France and Spain seem to be ready for the EU to be more assertive in the Med, after a decade of disappointing experience with the Barcelona Process. The case of Austria taking a softer line over its Croatian neighbour and former Hapsburg territory has been noted, although this has not been a constraint on EU conditionality because of the unanimity rule as explained below.
In the Balkans, special representatives in the protectorates such as Paddy Ashdown in Bosnia have not been inhibited from exercising neo-colonial gubernatorial powers with gusto, which nevertheless has meant prioritising security over the fostering of Bosnian democracy. All these states attach the highest importance to sound relations with Russia, but they also take a much less benign attitude to Russian political behaviour that is deemed to be out of line with European norms.
These states are typically saying words to the effect: The cleavages left still by World War II may also enter the picture here, with Germany taking an exceptionally friendly line towards Russia, and personally so at the level of Chancellor Schroeder towards President Putin.
The shadow of World War II is perhaps now only in the background, whereas strategic energy security is in the foreground, with current plans for a further major gas pipeline to go directly from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. The gas pipelines become an umbilical cord between Russia and Germany, but this links significantly to the entire EU gas network.
Gas seems to trump democracy. Germany has consistently taken the line in the EU foreign ministers meetings of softening or avoiding criticisms of Putin. Could this mean Putin turning to adopt political positions at home and abroad more in line with democratic norms?
The evidence is not there so far. The legacy of World War II is more clear cut in the case of EU policy towards Israel over its infringements of international law in the expansion of settlements. As noted above, the EU has a strong legal obligation to hold Israel accountable for its illegal trade practices, claiming preferences for products originating in settlements.
Yet most member states, first and foremost Germany and Austria as well as the UK and Denmark , have rejected any measure that is remotely perceived as being confrontational.
Concern for a propaganda barrage from Jerusalem over alleged anti-Semitism has trumped concern for international law and human rights. The deepest cleavages affecting the foreign policies of the EU come from divergent visions for the EU itself as well as divergent world views. Is the EU to remain open to any European democracy, and thus go on enlarging to 35 or even 40 member states?
Or is the whistle going to be blown, to say stop at some much earlier point, for example after the Bulgarian and Romanian accessions in The arguments favouring a stop are basically twofold. The first is about the possible institutional ungovernability of an over-enlarged EU. These arguments have a special flavour in France, where they combine with a concern that France has less and less influence and control over the European construction.
The French position is further special in that these various considerations have led the government to pass an amendment to the French Constitution, requiring that all further enlargements of the EU beyond Bulgaria and Romania be ratified by popular referendum. How will this affect also the European motivation of Ukraine? The alternative vision of the EU is that it should strive for a united and democratic Europe. The cleavage in world views was dramatically highlighted by the Iraq war.
Of course the divide over Iraq was such that the EU had no position at all. However the collateral diplomacy saw France enjoining first Germany and then Russia in its opposition to the war. Institutions and decision-making rules The member states have remained the principals. Of the two, Solana has remained the most closely controlled of the agents, since he has few institutional powers of his own. He belongs to the world of foreign ministers and diplomats, which gives first priority to immediate matters of strategic security.
Democracy and values always feature in the discourse, and in the long-run security and democracy are viewed as being almost synonymous. Yet in terms of how day-to-day energies are expended, democracy promotion is often in the background.
The Commission, on the other hand, is an agent that has been acquiring such extensive mandates and instruments of action that it partly turns into a principal in its own right. This is certainly relevant to democracy promotion where the huge conditionality machine of the acquis and related incentives is seriously deployed, as in the accession process, or wherever in the neighbourhood where the partner states have serious accession aspirations.
In the latter case, even though the Commission may be discouraging future membership candidates from applying, it has still designed a neighbourhood policy as a derivative of the accession process. For Belarus this question is indeed being asked. The political elites who think in more geo-strategic terms will be reflecting on the loneliness of their last remaining non-democratic regimes. At this level of thinking, it is of little consequence whether EU leaders get their speeches towards Russia precisely in line.
Russian society and elites are thinking about deeper and longer trends in the mapping of European society and politics. Does the unanimity rule in important matters of foreign policy, which severely constrains the actions of the institutions, have the effect of limiting or strengthening the objective of democracy promotion in the neighbourhood?
Interestingly the case studies show that it can work both ways, either to impose a lowest common denominator, or a highest common factor. It depends essentially on who is the demandeur, the EU itself or the partner state, or more concretely, whether it is the EU wanting to impose punitive measures or the partner state seeking to gain accession or a breakthrough in negotiations.
Where the EU or a group of member states wants to impose punitive sanctions, but with some member states resisting such action, then the unanimity requirement yields a lowest common denominator result i. Where however the partner state regimes are less strongly criticised, it will be difficult to achieve unanimity to impose sanctions.
This has been the case with the Barcelona Process in general, where the southern member states were unwilling to try to play the political conditionality card, although this position may begin to change now. This was blocked by a group of member states, especially Germany. In the contrary case of accession aspirations of states such as Turkey and Croatia, where these states are the demandeur, the negotiations only proceed beyond vital checkpoints opening of negotiations, or actual accession if the highest demands from among the member states are met.
This was seen in as Turkey was obliged to deliver on sufficiently impressive conditions to overcome the reluctance of the least enthusiastic member states.
More recently this model was clearly at work over Croatia, where the arrest and surrender to The Hague of an indicted war criminal was the condition imposed by some member states.
However, strong conditionality policies can overreach themselves and turn counterproductive. In the Croatian case, public opinion is seriously divided over whether the indicted war criminal is a hero or a villain, and the tough EU line may re-empower the very same nationalist politicians that the Europeanisation process is supposed to disempower.
In the Turkish case the decision by the French president to subject the final ratification of accession to approval by referendum may cast doubt in Turkish minds as to whether any reasonable conditions could satisfy the French.
In this way the credibility of EU conditionality bargaining may be undermined. The Commission has since the early s been endowed with huge increases in programmes of technical assistance to all the neighbours — the accession candidates, association agreement partners of the CIS or Balkans or the Mediterranean partner states of the Barcelona process. These instruments have suffered from a combination of high and low politics between the institutions. In line with their concern to restrain the entry of the Commission into the domain of high politics, the Council has typically responded to new needs for the EU to act with big budgetary allocations for technical assistance grants.
Yet at the same time it has been very reticent in granting the Commission staff resources at the level of these programmes, while also imposing on the Commission onerous tendering and management committee procedures. At the same time the European Parliament, anxious to enter the foreign policy field from which it was initially totally excluded, had to build on its partial powers in the budgetary domain, where it has made common cause with the Court of Auditors over matters of financial control.
The findings were in the event of trivial proportions,41 yet this led to ever-increasing severity of financial procedures, and highly risk-adverse management behaviour on the part of Commission civil servants, with the overall result of severely hampering operational effectiveness of democracy promotion actions.
By contrast, comparable programmes of the US and bilateral EU programmes such as those of Denmark, Sweden and the UK are seen as positive models of their kind.
The problems that have arisen are multiple: It is common knowledge within the EU and the partner states that many potential project managers consulting companies, research institutes, NGOs will look to the EU programmes as a last resort, after trying more user-friendly sources of funding first after European or US bilateral programmes.
These issues involve much technical detail and so should not be pursued here. Other sources have documented the problems thoroughly. The EU has been emerging as foreign policy actor quite rapidly over the last decade. This was to be the biggest technical assistance package in the world, for which the Commission had to try and start with zero management resources, and it took years after the collapse of the Soviet Union for the Tacis programme to reach a low cruising speed.
Partners Limited on behalf of a group of NGOs: Closer inspection shows the process to be more problematic. Partial or heavily constrained transfers of competences from member states to new and immaturely formed institutions can turn out to be seriously dysfunctional.
The rational solution might be a maturing of the institutions in the sense of giving the executive wider room for manoeuvre, but this would mean that the member state principals would lose even more control over their agent. When the choice is between loss of power by the member states and enhanced efficiency of an EU programme, such as for democracy promotion, or the winning of power by the European Parliament through imposing overwhelming burdens of financial control procedures, the priority seems to be power.
Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. It is a light-hearted, almost farcical, comedy which revolves around the mother's deep anxiety and attempts to avoid scandal after she confuses two men both called David and accidentally sets up her daughter with 'David Hoylake-Johnston' who has a reputation as a philanderer instead of 'David Bulloch' who she believes to be the perfect match for her daughter.
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Showing Rating details. Sort order. May 26, Petra Eggs rated it it was ok Shelves: Rewritten in a bitter kind of way 24th Jan, Fluffy light rubbish. A farce that might have amused the Noel Coward school of social playrights, but then again, since The Reluctant Debutante is pure fluff and no social commentary, might not. It's about an aristocratic family attending the debutante balls in London and trying to get their daughter married 'well' meaning to someone even richer than they are and not getting her bedded by a moneyless Lothario.
The farce comes from the slight fact Rewritten in a bitter kind of way 24th Jan, Fluffy light rubbish. The farce comes from the slight fact that both the wealthy and the randy are called David. William Douglas-Home was the son of a lord, his eldest brother was Sir Alec Douglas-Home, a Conservative Prime Minister, both of whom went to deb balls, huntin', shootin' and fishin' and so perhaps the shallowness of The Reluctant Debutante is but a true reflection of this wealthy and self-exalted class of society.
Funny really, since almost all of them are descended from warmongers, pirates and exploiters who gained their titles and land by sharing their spoils with the Crown. They've all long lost sight of their roots though and swallowed their own PR. Not only their own PR but also a plum resulting in the strange haw haw haw accents and peculiar pronounciations of names that ought to be straightforward - 'Douglas-Home' is pronounced 'Douglas-Hume'.
WDH is as famous for being court-martialled for not obeying orders as he is for having stood -and lost - in three by-elections, on the platform of opposing Winston Churchill's policy of requiring unconditional surrender of the Germans in WWII. What a snotty little shit he must have been and that perhaps is why The Reluctant Debutante is such a small, snotty little effort. View all 21 comments. I would NOT recommend this play. This play was completely boring. I would have to say it is VERY loosely based on this play.
Of course, it was written in the 's, and the female characters just drove me insane. Jan 16, Ruth rated it it was amazing.
I read this play because the movie adaptation is one of my favorites! The play and movie are very similar and both hilarious! Gotta love British social comedies. Connie Jellison rated it liked it Jul 23, Regine rated it really liked it Jul 31, Bipasha rated it did not like it Oct 21, Jemma rated it it was ok Feb 05, Lenna McDougall rated it it was amazing Oct 11, Mohamed rated it really liked it Aug 13, Sarah rated it it was ok Feb 12, Rachel Brown rated it it was amazing Jan 16,