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IDM News   Freitag, 15 Oktober 2021

Opinion Piece (CoFoE): Can the EU speak with one voice about its foreign policy?

MalwinaTalik 

One of EU’s greatest strengths is stated in its motto: “United in its diversity”. However, this diversity can often pose a challenge when it comes to formulating cohesive and common foreign policy towards major global players. This often leaves individual Member States to interact with external actors in ways that others find harmful. Let us take a look at the relations with China.  

What I have often heard from the Chinese echoes somewhat Kissinger’s question: “Who are we supposed to talk to, if we want to have our deals with the EU agreed on? The EU or individual Member States?” Many opt for the latter. Different historical trajectories and national interests often overshadow EU external policies and strategies. Sometimes they duplicate the East-West divide, which we are still learning to overcome.  

The EU countries of China-CEE/17+1format were criticized for developing too close ties to China “behind EU’s back”, even though many EU states cooperate with China bilaterally. The format has not gone much beyond impassioned speeches or resulted in dramatic increase in Chinese presence in the said EU countries, Chinese investement there remains the lowest in the EU.  

To speak with one voice, the EU has first to find its voice. CoFoE offers an excellent opportunity to juxtapose various perspectives, engage in a discussion and work out a consensus, also on our joint foreign policy. 

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What is Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE)?
It is an initiative of the European Parliament and the European Commission with an aim
to promote democracy, build a more resilient Europe and involve citizens as equal partners in the discussion on the future of the EU. Since 19 April 2021 also you can participate through the multilingual digital platform of the Conference.

The platform offers each European citizen the possibility to express their wishes for the future of Europe. Participating is easy: you can share your opinion, react to other citizens’ ideas, moderate your own events, or join live debates and workshops with other citizens. Don’t hesitate to engage in this exciting discussion to shape the Europe of the future!
IDM News   Dienstag, 12 Oktober 2021

Daniel Martinek über die Wahl in Tschechien für APA

Daniel Martinek über die Wahl in Tschechien für APA

Die liberalpopulistische Partei ANO von Premierminister Andrej Babis hat die Parlamentswahl in Tschechien verloren. Allerdings kommt es nun auf Präsident Milos Zeman an, der bei der Regierungsbildung eine entscheidende Rolle spielt. Welche Optionen bestehen, erklärt Daniel Martínek, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am IDM: 

Tiroler Tagezeitung: "Experte: In Tschechien hängt es jetzt von Präsidenten ab"

Der Beitrag von Danil Martinek wurde auch in den tschechischen Medien rezipiert (Novinky.cz)



IDM News   Dienstag, 12 Oktober 2021

IDM Short Insights 15: Update on the court ruling of Poland's Constitutional Tribunal

Folie1 

In our IDM Short Insights 13, we looked at the implications of the judiciary feud between the European Court of Justice and Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. In an unprecedented new ruling, a decision was taken that Polish law can take supremacy over EU law. What will this mean for the future of the country as well as European Integration and what can we do to prevent further escalation? Watch Malwina Talik (IDM) answering these questions during her participation at the GLOBSEC Tatra Summit 2021

 

IDM Short Insights 15:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k22lF2L-Iog
 

IDM News   Freitag, 17 September 2021

Opinion Piece (CoFoE): Knocking at the Glass Ceiling: Women in the EU Politics

MalwinaTalik 

To be effective and just, representative democracy should mirror the demos. Women constitute about half of the society, but do they enjoy a respective representation? The EU is a front runner in this regard. The situation varies greatly among the Member States, but on average women comprised 33% of national parliaments and cabinets in 2020, four were heads of state. A far cry from gender parity.  

Women have more seats at the political table, but not necessarily more say. A greater formal representation does not automatically translate into more even power distribution. Social attitudes and biases do not cease to exist overnight because of new regulations and quotas. Women politicians often face more hateful personal attacks, struggle to have their voices heard and be taken seriously: not only in the parliaments, but also in media and society.  

“Sofa gate” showed that the authority gap still exists and even top female politicians face blatant gender discrimination. As Ursula von der Leyen stated after that incident: "This shows how far we still have to go before women are treated as equals." If this happens to President of the European Commission, then what about women at lower positions of power?  

Woman quotas, in place in ten EU countries, can be one solution, but not a panacea. Challenging gender stereotypes, engaging women into politics, offering them leadership opportunities, can be some other ways to achieve a gender balanced political representation sooner than in 145 years! 

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What is Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE)?
It is an initiative of the European Parliament and the European Commission with an aim
to promote democracy, build a more resilient Europe and involve citizens as equal partners in the discussion on the future of the EU. Since 19 April 2021 also you can participate through the multilingual digital platform of the Conference.

The platform offers each European citizen the possibility to express their wishes for the future of Europe. Participating is easy: you can share your opinion, react to other citizens’ ideas, moderate your own events, or join live debates and workshops with other citizens. Don’t hesitate to engage in this exciting discussion to shape the Europe of the future!
IDM News   Freitag, 17 September 2021

Opinion Piece (CoFoE): The Involvement of the Civil Society in the Decision-Making System


When civil society is considered a threat, we have to say goodbye to misleading presumptions


Daniel Apaydin (Neubacher)

In July 2021, Hungary’s prime minister distributed his “demands” for the future of Europe as advertisements in several European dailies. One of them deals with the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). According to Viktor Orbán, too many decisions are made by NGOs. As we have observed it before, the prime minister uses exaggerations, emotionalization, misleading information and other populist means to strengthen the narrative of transnational actors such as the EU institutions, international organisations and NGOs as a threat to Hungary’s national interests. Nevertheless, as an experienced politician Orbán always bases his critics on legitimate issues. Disregarding the exaggeration, the Hungarian government addressed an existing tension relationship: On the one hand, we have powerful supranational structures like lobbies and organisations including the WTO, the ECB and civil society organisations (CSOs) that shape, advocate and follow certain political agenda. On the other hand, as their leading decision-makers are not elected by the European electorate they lack democratic legitimization.  

The outsourcing of problem-solving capacities to the supranational level is rooted in the formative experiences of the First and Second World War as well as in the trustful hope to assure peace in the following. With more regulation power and influence of supranational structures, the national governments’ power has decreased. Parallelly, social movements and their leading organizations have tremendously gained momentum and professionalized since the 1980s – also under major influence from western actors. The supranational structures have become a major addressee for CSOs. EU institutions, NGOs and international organizations have often been used for mediation in domestic conflicts, or to apply international pressure on governments. 

One needs to understand that current EU policies are based on long-lasting presumptions and experiences that are not necessarily shared by all member states. For example, the histories of civil society in Western and Eastern European countries differ in many ways. When considering these different paths, we can explain better why the prime minister’s harsh rhetoric against NGOs find such a fertile breeding ground. In Hungary, the concept of NGOs and independent associations is comparably young and strongly shaped by the western model. Therefore, many perceive established NGOs as imported hence foreign subjects. In addition, the self-image of domestic civil society actors is deeply rooted in the ideas of antipolitics. In many post-soviet countries, the so-called third sector suffers from decades of collective mistrust towards any form of civil engagement. When tackling current issues of participation and democratization, these legacies have to be taken into account. This starts with understanding the differing connotations of civil society terminology. Undoubtedly, the EU needs to strengthen the stability and independence of civil society actors, in particular their strategic litigation to uphold Human Rights. When tackling the civic spaces and developing policies, the EU must consider domestic contexts better. For this, the EU needs to include the local actors more in shaping policies in order to say goodbye to western-centric presumptions and foster comparative civil society research with long-term perspectives. 

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What is Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE)?
It is an initiative of the European Parliament and the European Commission with an aim
to promote democracy, build a more resilient Europe and involve citizens as equal partners in the discussion on the future of the EU. Since 19 April 2021 also you can participate through the multilingual digital platform of the Conference.

The platform offers each European citizen the possibility to express their wishes for the future of Europe. Participating is easy: you can share your opinion, react to other citizens’ ideas, moderate your own events, or join live debates and workshops with other citizens. Don’t hesitate to engage in this exciting discussion to shape the Europe of the future!
Neuerscheinung: Der Donauraum 2-3/2021
IDM News   Donnerstag, 09 September 2021

Neuerscheinung: Der Donauraum 2-3/2021 Die im September 2021 im Böhlau Verlag erschienene Ausgabe der Zeitschrift "Der Donauraum" versammelt die neuen Forschungsergebnisse von vier Historikern, die sich mit der Region in der Habsburgermonarchie auseinandersetzen. Die Autoren der Ausgabe - darunter Daniel Martínek, Doktorand an der Westböhmischen Universität in Pilsen, Dr.  Kostiantyn Polishchuk, Historiker und Lektor in der Abteilung für Internationale Beziehungen und Diplomatischer Dienst der Ivan Franko Universität in Lemberg, Dr. Momir Samardžić, Universitätsprofessor an der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universität von Novi Sad sowie Dr. Gregor Antoličič, Forscher am Geschichtsinstitut Milko Kos des Forschungszentrums der Slowenischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und Kunst - sind allesamt Stipendiaten des Dr. Teodora Toleva Gedächtnisstipendium.

Weitere Informationen zur Neuerscheinung




http://www.idm.at/publikationen/der-donauraum/der-donauraum-2021/item/au%C3%9Fenpolitische-herausforderungen-in-der-donaumonarchie
IDM News   Dienstag, 07 September 2021

“Mitteleuropa Revisited” is now available in five languages
“Mitteleuropa Revisited” is now available in five languages 

The book byDr. Erhard Busek und Dr. Emil Brix, which was originally written in German, has just been published in English by Routledge Publishing House as “Central Europe Revisited - Why Europe’s Future Will Be Decided in the Region” 
 
The volume explores the role of Central Europe in the 21st century, the importance of the European Union, the significance of a transforming Central Europe for European unity, and what happens when we marginalise Central Europe. The view of the authors is unequivocal: European integration will only succeed when the Central European countries from Poland to North Macedonia, from the Czech Republic to Romania and Moldova, will be seen as being at the heart of Europe. The European Union needs to build more common and fair ground between "old" and "new" member states. According to the authors, any further move towards a "Europe of two speeds" would lead to a break-up of the EU.” (from the book cover) 

For more information on the English edition please visit the website of the publishing house.

Mitteleuropa Revisited jetzt auch auf Englisch

In November 2021 it will also be published in Czech. 
We are looking forward to translations into other languages!

IDM News   Freitag, 03 September 2021

Opinion Piece (CoFoE): Despite the current conflict of perceptions, the future of Europe is inevitably post-national


Despite the current conflict of perceptions, the future of Europe is inevitably post-national

Daniel Martínek 

Mindsets, attitudes, opinions, perspectives… every individual perception of the world is strongly influenced by the environment and circumstances in which the personality grows up, lives and is socially active. These personal, and to a certain extent imaginary, constructs then significantly affect the actions of each person. Looking at the socio-political map of Europe, one can observe various patterns of different political, societal, or cultural developments in specific regions. It is precisely this variety of developments linked to diverse contexts that produce differing perceptions that will fundamentally shape the future of Europe and of the European project. Far-reaching global cha(lle)nges affecting our lives are very often - especially in the region of Central, Eastern (CEE) and Southeastern Europe (SEE) - perceived as negative ones not only because of their nature but also due to the unpreparedness of the population for these. For thlatter, these are easily misused by national political elites within their political agendas to create emotionally and non-rationally based constructs with the purpose to cement their path to gaining political power.  

The Covid-19 pandemic proved itself to be another expression of these differing patterns all over Europe when it comes to security, responsibility and solidarity. As it happened already during previous crisis, the nationalist and protectionist forces played a leading role in the management of the state of emergency. However, the future of Europe does not lie in such individual approach based on a nation-state concept. The only answer to the current global challenges we are all facing is a decisive and, above all, collective, jointly organised procedure. The European path of division and national competition that we have witnessed in recent months is in the long-term unsustainable and does not represent an effective tool in understanding and addressing the challenges of our time such as climate change, economic globalisation or demographic shifts. In favour of common solutions, the abandonment of individualism and so-called national sovereignty must be applied in all spheres of human life - both socially and politically.  

In order to achieve this, it is necessary to leave behind the outdated nation-state perception based on strong nationalism and often anti-democratic principles and establish “beyond-the-nation-state" thinking. By doing so, various historical developments and experiences must be taken into account, as well as the current circumstances upon which the main arguments of national conservative and radical (“patriotic”) political groups are based. This is particularly true for the region of CEE and SEE, where divisive identity-based nationalism has strong roots and is being widely practiced. While turning our back on the concept of national sovereignty and identity or various ideological struggles, it is obvious from the very nature of the worldwide challenges that minor states on a comparatively small continent, such as Europe, are not able to deal with the above-mentioned global trends alone. A reality that continues to be misunderstood or disregarded by the population across the continent. Therefore, the European Union must use all its available tools and communication channels, and if necessary, create new ones, to explain and correctly tackle this issue. And even though transnational organisations might be imperfect, the global socio-political developments suggest that the future of Europe is inevitably going to be a post-national, pan-European one.

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More on this subject:


What is Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE)?
It is an initiative of the European Parliament and the European Commission with an aim
to promote democracy, build a more resilient Europe and involve citizens as equal partners in the discussion on the future of the EU. Since 19 April 2021 also you can participate through the multilingual digital platform of the Conference.

The platform offers each European citizen the possibility to express their wishes for the future of Europe. Participating is easy: you can share your opinion, react to other citizens’ ideas, moderate your own events, or join live debates and workshops with other citizens. Don’t hesitate to engage in this exciting discussion to shape the Europe of the future!
IDM News   Freitag, 03 September 2021

"European Values on the Road to the Balkans" report from a discussion with Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović

European Values on the Road to the Balkans: Changes, Challenges, Visions

A report from a discussion with Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović, which took place in Vienna  School of International Relations and was coorganised by the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe and Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy.

by Mykhaylo Nychyporuk

Montenegro


On 1 September 2021, inside the Festsaal of the Vienna School of International Studies, a conference on the 
European Values on the Road to the Balkans was held. The event had a special guest – the current Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović – and was moderated by the Director of the institution, Ambassador Emil Brix, who gave a short introduction in which he called the guest ‘a symbol of hope for Montenegro, but also for the integration of the Western Balkan countries’. 

The main topic of the discussion was the possibility of Montenegro’s membership in the European Union which, in the words of the Deputy PM, should happen as soon as possible. Montenegro finally changed its government after thirty years; Dritan Abazović and his colleagues from the new coalition represent this change, so he considers it his duty to make it happen. The politician sees in EU membership a first step towards improvement, as it would give Montenegrins hope that the situation in the country will not remain the same, and that improvement is possible. Other very important points stressed by the speaker were ‘open border Europe’ and the fight against corruption, organized crime, and drug smuggling in Montenegro in order to encourage the young people who have left the country to return. All the aforementioned issues make citizens feel unsafe, as the state seems to be unjust and unable to protect them.  

 

One important distinction pointed out by the guest was that the country needs new people, not young people, as it is not the age that makes difference in this sense, but the ideals of a person. In summary, the most important factor in this sense is the readiness of embracing democracy and ‘crushing the autocratic system’. To do so it is crucial to work with personnel who have not been contaminated by the corrupt politics of the 1990s. Nevertheless, the Deputy Prime Minister is highly optimistic and convinced that the process of building a new political elite in his country has already started and is going quite well at the moment, even if there are still some problems to be solved. The vision promoted by his party in the government is directly linked to more liberal politics, sustainable environment, and a more cosmopolitan Europe without borders.  

 

After the talk with the Deputy Prime Minister began the discussion. The first question had to do with the ambitions of his party, which currently has only 5% of the people’s votes, and how he wants to increase this percentage.  He claims that the goal is not to expand the range of the supporters, but to convince the people that change is possible, as the Montenegrin population have lost faith in politics. He believes that even 5% may be enough to show the other 50% that change is possible, that there is an alternative, and that there is still hope.   

 

The second question regarded the position of the government on the inauguration of the new bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church, to happen on Sunday 5th September. This situation worries the international community so much that Serbian human rights activist Sonja Biserko appealed, together with 120 other important public activists, against the increasing influence that the Serbian Orthodox Church continues to exercise in Montenegro. In his answer Abazović expressed his concern about the inauguration, yet he highlighted the fact that as a member of the government he must assure the right of free expression to all the religious communities in the country, guaranteed them by the constitution; the same right which gives the opposition the freedom to protest against it. This specific issue has roots in a 100-year-old schism between the Montenegrin and the Serbian Orthodox churches and cannot be solved immediately by the new government. The problem with this is linked to the will of some people to use the church as a tool for political advantage.   

 

The third question touched upon the unwillingness of some EU countries (e.g. France) to accept Montenegro’s EU membership and how the country will balance its relations with Russia after joining the union. The answer mentioned that the unwillingness of some is not a general refusal, that a positive result is still palpable, and that skepticism in these cases it is a common thing. As to Russia, the politician remarked the fact that Montenegro must maintain its sovereign decision to follow its foreign policy path of becoming an EU member, and that there cannot possibly be anything personal in it; Montenegro is not a global superpower whose aim should be to balance the peace in the world.   

 

Then there were two last questions about the slow progress of reforms inside the Montenegrin political system and the lack of meritocracy, and about how the state will be able to repay the Chinese loan for the construction of highways in Montenegro without renouncing its sovereignty. In the first case the Deputy PM replied by acknowledging the existence of those two issues, and that although there are already some notable changes, the process requires more time, as the country is still at the beginning of its rebuilding process. The Chinese question is directly linked to the lack of infrastructure in Montenegro, which urges representatives to look abroad for investments. Once the news about the Chinese loan was mentioned by Abazović himself in Brussels, the Montenegrin financial problems became clear to the EU and highlighted the issue, so many European banks started to contact Montenegrin representatives to offer their help. The Chinese deal was an extremely bad one for Montenegro, for the highway law that the government passed to manage this specific project gave too many privileges to the investors and meant too large debts for the country, which in case of nonrepayment must give China control over a certain non-specified part of its territory. The responsibility for any kind of problem will lie in a Beijing court. The Deputy is convinced, though, that his country will be able to repay the loan.   

The conference is ended by director Brix, reassuring Abazović of the support from the Austrian side in its aim to become a member of the EU and wishing him all the best. 

IDM News   Freitag, 20 August 2021

Opinion Piece (CoFoE): Democracy is on thin ice, let’s invest in social cohesion between East and West


Democracy is on thin ice, let’s invest in social cohesion between East and West

Daniela Neubacher

The climate is changing, not only in regard to weather extremes or melting glaciers, but also in our public sphere. As extreme positions go viral and the spread of false information rests uncontained, a toxic atmosphere is in the making. Both foreign and domestic actors intentionally deceive the public with misleading information that fuel conspiracies gradually weakening the arenas of democracies.

Disinformation is a phenomenon with a history. Its deceiving strategies were not invented by contemporary populists such as Donald Trump, but they go back a long way in the history of political communication. Researchers and EU decision-makers are struggling with the observation that public spheres of Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and Southeast Europe (SEE) seem to provide a more fruitful platform for disinformation campaigns than in other regions of the continent. Current headlines featuring political leaders such as Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Ivan Janša in Slovenia, Aleksandar Vučić in Serbia or Mateusz 
Morawiecki in Poland might prove this perception.

In fact, the public spheres of the countries mentioned are showing severe deficiencies. Democratic institutions lack trust due to corruption scandals and historically rooted tribalism, unresolved conflicts separate the political elite, ethnicity-based identity politics lead to a high level of political and societal polarization – all together these deficiencies are accelerated and instrumentalized by populists in order to maintain their power.

For too long, have the neighbor countries of CEE and SEE as well as the institutions of the EU passively observed the erosion of the media ecosystem in the region. While the cohesion funds’ resources went into modern infrastructure, less tangible factors of social and cultural cohesion have been neglected for much too long.

In addition, the stalling enlargement process on the Western Balkans lost leverage for change and created a generation disillusioned from the promises of EU integration. The effects of post-truth politics tackle the needs for orientation and belonging. If we do not act immediately, narratives of colonialism and the promotion of exclusionist conservative ideas will spread further. Increasing violence towards vulnerable groups such as the LGBT+ community, ethnical minorities as well as journalists is alarming.

The current focus of EU actors on foreign interventions regarding disinformation is missing the point as domestic contexts and actors enable and strengthen, often even initiate disinformation campaigns to create noise in the arenas while pushing forward their egoistic interests. Qualitative journalism will always lag behind this noise as negativity and emotion is more powerful than reason. Therefore, we need to understand the psychological unrest behind these conflicts. As mentioned, disinformation is a phenomenon with a history.

Investigating and negotiating the history of the region, particularly in regard to the interdependencies and entanglements between East and West, poses the biggest and most urgent challenge. We will not successfully tackle the melt-down of social coherence by fighting only the superficial threats of disinformation. We will not contain the societal climate change at all by just creating algorithms, tools and sanctions. A healthy atmosphere for discourse and negotiation can only become a collective goal if we invest in intensive regional cooperation, enable a dialogue without taboos and support every single voice that is committed to these efforts.
 

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More on this subject:


What is Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE)?
It is an initiative of the European Parliament and the European Commission with an aim
to promote democracy, build a more resilient Europe and involve citizens as equal partners in the discussion on the future of the EU. Since 19 April 2021 also you can participate through the multilingual digital platform of the Conference.

The platform offers each European citizen the possibility to express their wishes for the future of Europe. Participating is easy: you can share your opinion, react to other citizens’ ideas, moderate your own events, or join live debates and workshops with other citizens. Don’t hesitate to engage in this exciting discussion to shape the Europe of the future!
IDM News   Freitag, 06 August 2021

Opinion Piece (CoFoE): Reforms of the institutional set-up of the EU


Sebastian Schäffer

The need for a reform of the EU institutional set-up has been ignored for far too long. However, the way it is designed is now causing slowness and status-quo on questions such as enlargement, the environment or foreign policy. To overcome these apathies, the EU should firstly moderate the weight a single member can have.  All decisions on the European level need to be taken with a qualified majority instead of unanimity. Plus, the reform of the institutional set-up needs to provide safeguard mechanisms, which will prevent one or a few heads of state or government to interfere with decision-making and/or work against the democratic principles in their country.

A European body that would represent the regions (a second chamber next to the European Parliament, with representatives from the European Regions replacing the Council of ministers) should be created to work to ensure that civil society is better listened to, consulted, and understood, and finally to promote mutual understanding. By granting both the EP and the Council of Regions the right of initiative, not only the role of the structural and cohesion funds would gain more importance but also the influence of national governments on European decision-making would be more balanced. Building a second chamber as a kind of a senate is necessary and would furthermore help to develop the common foreign policy of the EU.

Brave and bold steps need to be taken. The conference on the Future of Europe is one possibility. However, the pressure from the civil society on the decision makers to really work on restructuring governance in Brussels needs to be increased.

In order to launch a break-through reform of the institutional set-up, a European referendum held jointly, and not separately in each member country, could foster discussion beyond national politics and provide a real basis for a reform of European governance. A legal basis for holding such a referendum needs to be passed. Another possibility to be discussed could be that a negative outcome would not hold the whole process of a treaty reform as is has been the case, amongst others, in 2005 and 2008, but rather if the decision is to remain in the EU under the new treaty or to leave.
  

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More on this subject:

What is Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE)?
It is an initiative of the European Parliament and the European Commission with an aim
to promote democracy, build a more resilient Europe and involve citizens as equal partners in the discussion on the future of the EU. Since 19 April 2021 also you can participate through the multilingual digital platform of the Conference.

The platform offers each European citizen the possibility to express their wishes for the future of Europe. Participating is easy: you can share your opinion, react to other citizens’ ideas, moderate your own events, or join live debates and workshops with other citizens. Don’t hesitate to engage in this exciting discussion to shape the Europe of the future!
IDM News   Montag, 02 August 2021

IDM Short Insights 14: USA and Germany reach agreement on Nord Stream 2

Folie1 

After long disputes, the USA and Germany reached an agreement on the controversial Nord Stream 2 project. What implications will it have for the EU, which was divided over this issue? Why is Germany pursuing the pipeline?  

 

Sebastian Schäffer offers answers to these and other questions in IDM Short Insights. This video was originally recorded for the "Breakthroughs from Europe", a series of GLOBSEC.

 


IDM Short Insights 14:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P46Dws-aiIc



IDM News   Freitag, 23 Juli 2021

Opinion Piece (CoFoE): Enlargement: Western Balkans


Enlargement: Western Balkans
Sebastian Schäffer/ Emilie Laborel

While the EU aims to abolish borders, this impulse dried out after 2013, especially for the Western Balkans (WB6). The EU member states are reluctant when it comes to enlargement, despite the promise given at the Thessaloniki summit in 2003. 

For almost 20 years, the WB6 demonstrated their readiness to join. They started official procedures and some became candidates. They reoriented policies and all are participating in initiatives to prepare to become a member (e.g. CEFTA, mini Schengen, etc.).  

After Croatia's accession, enthusiasm for enlargement within the EU itself waned in the last decade, despite the positive signal it sent. The EU failed to keep up the momentum. This could weaken the trust of the WB6 in the EU and lead them to soften efforts while other actors (Russia, China or Turkey) are offering a viable alternative to integration.   

The EU focuses too much on the Copenhagen criteria to assess the WB6 applications. It is not productive to point out each year which one is not met, especially when EU members have trouble meeting them. They should be adjusted. The EU's ambition for WB6 is predominantly economic, it should rather be political. The economic gap between the two regions has been worked on and EU membership could speed convergence. The EU is making the accession processes increasingly complex, which can be blocked by a single country. All countries need to become politically responsible. Therefore, the EU should integrate the WB6 immediately.  

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More on this subject:

Policy Paper: "Why the Western Balkans should join the EU immediately"

Interview:
Sebastian Schäffer about the Western Balkan's accession to the EU for PULS24 (German)

Audiobook: Balkan nach Europa - sofort (German)


What is Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE)?
It is an initiative of the European Parliament and the European Commission with an aim
to promote democracy, build a more resilient Europe and involve citizens as equal partners in the discussion on the future of the EU. Since 19 April 2021 also you can participate through the multilingual digital platform of the Conference.

The platform offers each European citizen the possibility to express their wishes for the future of Europe. Participating is easy: you can share your opinion, react to other citizens’ ideas, moderate your own events, or join live debates and workshops with other citizens. Don’t hesitate to engage in this exciting discussion to shape the Europe of the future!
IDM News   Donnerstag, 22 Juli 2021

IDM Short Insights 13: Can national law take primacy over EU law?

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The European Court of Justice ruled that the disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court should be suspended because it is not compatible with the EU law. The same day Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal stated that the ruling of the Court is incompatible with the Polish Constitution and thus Poland does not have to comply. Watch Malwina Talik (IDM) explain, what may be the implications of this judiciary feud for the EU.

IDM Short Insights 13:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIZfPilS1vo&t=77s



IDM News   Donnerstag, 15 Juli 2021

"Gelb ist die Hoffnung" Iris Rehklau und Sebastian Schäffer zur Parlamentswahl in der Republik Moldau für Der Standard
"Gelb ist die Hoffnung"

Die pro-europäische PAS (Partidul Acțiune și Solidaritate) von Maia Sandu ist klarer Sieger der Parlamentswahl in der Republik Moldau. Kann die neue Regierung das Land aus der Dauerkrise führen?
Lesen Sie die Analyse von Iris Rehklau und Sebastian Schäffer auf der DER STANDARD und auf dem Eastblog - Universität Wien.



Anlässlich der Parlamentswahlen in der Republik Moldau organisierte das Institut für den Donauraum und Mitteleuropa (IDM) in Zusammenarbeit mit der Politischen Akademie eine weitere Podiumsdiskussion im Rahmen der traditionellen Veranstaltungsreihe zu Parlamentswahlen in unseren Zielländern. Sie können die Onlinediskussion auf dem IDM-YouTube-Kanal ansehen.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwh3MNeE5fI&t=2s
 

 

 

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