The Franco-German Relationship in the European Union (Routledge Research in European Public Policy)

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The present blog aims to demonstrate that both theories are outdated and have to be replaced. As newly elected President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron has made his mark on the debate about the European Union by introducing the term European sovereignty.

Fixing the deficit

In his speech at the Sorbonne of 26 September he elaborated his vision on European sovereignty in detail. The reason why this term raises distrust among lawyers is that it contains an apparent contradiction. Sovereignty in Europe rests with the member states, not with the Union. So, has President Macron merely launched a political slogan or will closer examination reveal that his approach gives fresh impetus to the smouldering debate about the future of Europe?

His address, which triggered a series of blogs on this website about the nature of the EU, contained a remarkable dichotomy. This new regulation will have impact on the whole of the EU Zone which currently spans 28 member countries and half a billion citizens. The new regulation aims to harmonise how data is handled across the whole of the EU, but will affect organisations inside or outside the EU Zone.

The data protection world has changed radically over the past 20 years. This new regulation will bring crucial changes. This blog is an introduction to this important new General Data Protection Regulation. It is conventional wisdom in Brussels and the wider European Union that a good crisis should never be wasted. Since the start of this century, however, the European Union has been besieged by such a variety of crises that it seems to be haunted by its own version of the ten biblical plagues.


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The constitutional crisis, which had been caused by the rejection of the so-called Constitution for Europe in by the French and Dutch electorates, was solved through the Lisbon Treaty of Hardly had the new treaty entered into force or the financial or sovereign debt crisis erupted. It pushed the euro and the EU to the brink of collapse, but the migration crisis was already pressing before the euro crisis had been brought under control. This combination of crises resulted in a Crisis of Confidence between the EU and its citizens.

In his speech Mr Cameron created a peculiar dichotomy, which the EU has […]. On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the EU seems to be besieged by problems, challenges and disasters. Recently, leading proponents of the EU expressed the belief that their Union is tormented by a modern version of the biblical plagues of Egypt. However, the EU will be well-advised to use the occasion for taking a long, hard look at itself. Notably, the way in which the EU presents itself on the Europaserver is indicative for its lack of self-confidence.

Brexit, the armed conflict in Syria and Iraq, the refugee crisis, terrorism and the Italian referendum; all topics covered by the Peace Palace Library in several Library Specials and Library blogs. This blog touches upon a couple of developments which can lead to discussion within the European Union and its members. During the U. Apart from undermining the deterrence-effect of NATO, this policy would be disastrous for European security.

Fortunately U. A fiercely debated issue regarding the European Union EU is its budget and the allocation of funds, e. Furthermore ECA monitors if the annual facts and figures are reliable and if the transactions comply with the applicable European rules and regulations. Although EU citizenship has become one of the most distinctive symbols of the European Union since its foundation in , the majority of UK voters have decided to leave the EU and to relinquish their rights as citizens of the Union.

Last Thursday, June 23, the British people voted to leave the European Union in an unprecedented referendum about membership of the European Union. According to the official result This blog will assess certain aspects of the outcome of the referendum and will try to clarify what the next steps of the so-called Brexit are. What is the procedure of withdrawal and the Treaty Article which governs it all if the U.

Article 50 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union outlines the procedural steps for a Member State wishing to withdraw from the EU. This provision was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in force 1 December The treaty foresees two options in which withdrawal can occur. The first option is the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement.

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The second option is that no agreement is reached. Today, Wednesday April 6th, citizens in the Netherlands can cast their votes in an unprecedented advisory referendum. As the late Umberto Eco already suggested, a library is not merely a collection of books, but also forms an intellectual meeting place.

Thanks to the digital innovations of the last decades, the Peace Palace Library blogs have become a breeding place for innovative ideas in the field of International and European Law. Thousands of visitors of the PPL-website are using the opportunity to read the weekly blogs and to contribute to development of new approaches and, indeed, of paradigm shifts. Almost twenty five years after its foundation in the EU has established itself as a new polity in international law with an own and distinct model of governance.


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Contrary to the expectations of the signatories of the Maastricht Treaty the EU has neither become a state nor a free trade zone. The EU is not a State because sovereignty in the polity remains with the member States.

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Mr Schrems, a frequent Facebook-user, lodged a complaint with the Irish supervisory authority because in his view leaks from Edward J. Celebrating International Democracy Day on the 15th of September, the Peace Palace Library takes pleasure in announcing the emergence of a new model of democracy. Guest blogger Jaap Hoeksma continues his series of blogs about the European Union by submitting that the EU has overcome the deadlock in the debate about its future.

Large numbers of desparate migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa are trying to enter the European Union every day. Apart from this there are also many illegal immigrants who have entered the EU undetected. A conserable number of them have died during their attempt.

According to a report of the UNHCR, around migrants who were trying to reach and enter the European Union have died or gone missing in the past year. In his Models of Democracy, initially published in , David Held submitted that in the 21st century democratic institutions must be developed at regional and global levels as a necessary complement to those at the level of the nation-state.

A few years earlier Tony McGrew distinguished in his seminal essay on Transnational Democracy between four different accounts of transnational democracy rooted in the distinctive traditions of democratic thought, namely liberal-internationalism, radical democratic pluralism, cosmopolitanism and deliberative democracy. Whereas Held and McGrew discussed transnational democracy primarily as abstract concepts, Habermas suggested in that the European Union has to become a transnational democracy. However, when one analyzes the relationship in depth, the legal aspects of wine have been and still are significantly important for the legal integration of the European Union and the creation of the common market.

This blog focuses on these legal aspects in four judgments of the European Court of Justice and its predecessors. This decision was a foreseeable effect because of a previous judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the annulment of the European Directive on data retention on April 8, It seems now that European Member States are starting to face the consequences of that annulment.

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The cause of this is the fact that the European judgement did not automatically make national data retention legislation invalid. I will briefly discuss the case of the Dutch national data retention law. There is sincere doubt as to whether it will ever be possible to define the European Union.

It depends on the perspective of the beholder, which she or he is likely to conclude about the nature of the Union. The present blogger tends to simultaneously agree and disagree with the authors. He concedes that the perspective from which one investigates the European Union, may determine to a large extent the conclusions which that person is likely to draw.

The purpose of this blog is to describe the Union from various perspectives in a number of different ways. The Eurasian Economic Union is the next step in Eurasian economic integration. It will function as a common market with a customs union and has the aim of providing the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce and conducting common policies in key economic sectors, such as energy and agriculture.

The question concerning the nature of the EU has been one of the most contested political and academic issues of the last fifty years. From the outset, the debate about European integration has been dominated by the dilemma as to whether the project should result in the emergence of a sovereign state of Europe or in the formation of a Europe of sovereign states. This line of thought leads to the suggestion that, anno , the identity of the EU may be described with the following words: the EU is a Union of citizens and member states which functions as a common democracy.

On Thursday 11 September , the European Court of Justice ruled on the meaning of the research and private study exception to copyright infringement for libraries, educational establishments, museums and archives. The financial crisis has intensified the debate about the feasibility of the European Union as a new phenomenon in international law. In an interview Habermas focuses on the conceptual challenges of the EU by asking the quintessential question: How should we imagine a for closer co-operation necessary, supranational association which complies with stringent demands of democratic legitimacy without assuming the shape of a state?

The European Court of Justice has been pretty busy the past weeks. On Tuesday, April 8th , the Court has declared the Data Retention Directive invalid from the date on which the directive entered into force.

Why the Franco-German Relationship is Critical to the European Union’s Survival

On Thursday, April 10th , the Court has given its verdict on a complicated Dutch case involving the home-copying exception of European copyright legislation, and the associated use of copyright levies on blank media. The theoretical hallmark of the European Union is its flexible approach to sovereignty. According to the Westphalian system of international relations which forms the prevailing paradigm in international law and lies at the heart of the organisation of the United Nations, sovereignty is one and indivisible. States are sovereign and without sovereignty there is no State.

In an apocalyptic essay, written at the height of the euro-crisis in , Joseph Weiler predicted that the European Union will turn on its member-states in a similar way as the Golem of Prague persecuted its creators in the 16th century. As messianic narratives are doomed to collapse, the European project is set to disappoint and alienate the populace as well.

Consequently, the EU creates the conditions for its own destruction. For decades, the process of European integration has been hampered by the predominance of the Westphalian system of international relations. According to this system, which owes its name to the Peace of Westphalia, the process of European integration had to result either in the creation of a federal European state or in the establishment of a confederal union of states.

Founded in , the EU defied the Westphalian paradigm from the outset. These benefits will only be fully achieved with increased co-operation Delors, The free movement of goods is an important, valuable and possibly indispensable step which has to be taken before economic integration can be achieved. But it is not the ultimate goal.

The basic idea behind the notion of an ESM was the existence of a European model of capitalism, different from Anglo-Saxon pure-market capitalism, capable of simultaneously promoting sustainable economic growth and social cohesion Jepsen and Serrano, European integration had therefore to protect such a social model against the potentially destructive tendencies of globalization. In the Delorist discourse,. The beneficial effects of a large market would be dissipated if some Member States were to seek a competitive advantage by sacrificing social achievements Delors, a : But in opposition to the Delorist discourse, which was progressively being endorsed by the different European social democratic parties, a neo-liberal approach to the single market was articulated by the right-wing governments of the EC, the more export-orientated fractions of capital and global financial institutions Van Apeldoorn, The result was decreasing levels of competitiveness of the European economies.

The institution of a common market was therefore imagined as the removal of trade barriers to intensify competition between member states and market forces and thus accelerate technological innovation, eventually improving the international competitive position of the EC.

As expressed by Thatcher in her speech to the College of Europe:. The aim of a Europe open to enterprise is the moving force behind the creation of the Single European Market. By getting rid of barriers, by making it possible for companies to operate on a European scale, we can best compete with the United States, Japan and other new economic powers emerging in Asia and elsewhere. As expressed again by Thatcher :. We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.

The strategic goals and compromises established in the Single European Act SEA of were mainly shaped by the neo-liberal discourse, so that the national economies were forced into the treadmill of unfettered competition. As Grahl and Teague explained, the key mechanism that ensured the elimination of all national barriers was the institution, following the proposal of the White Paper, of the method of mutual recognition—instead of harmonization—as the preferential mechanism for building the single market: according to this principle, in those areas without specific European-wide regulation member states had to accept without restriction products fabricated in the other member states.

Such a policy change represented a crucial break in the mode of market governance within the EC, and, coupled with the qualified-majority voting system in the European Council that made the drafting of EU-wide harmonization policies incredibly difficult, generated important downward pressures on national regulatory standards, since goods commercialized according to lower standards could be sold just as easily as higher-standard ones.