The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem?

The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem?

by Federiga Bindi, Irina Angelescu

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As the European Union tries to increase both its visibility and its impact on the world stage, it cannot overlook the fact that until now enlargement has formed its most successful foreign policy. But is the EU's enlargement strategy still relevant today? Have the economic crisis and the speculative attack on the euro made the enlargement policy more uncertain?

In The Frontiers of Europe, an international cast of leading experts and policymakers examine the EU's prospective borders from new perspectives. Indeed, the frontiers of Europe are as much a matter of values and the EU's international credibility as they are a matter of geographic definition. The contributors highlight the considerable yet different interests of the United States and Russia in the EU's enlargement strategy, paying special attention to the likely effects on the future of U.S.-EU relations.

This comprehensive volume focuses not only on the European Union's outward expansion, but also on the internal dynamics within EU states and those states' abilities to deal with pressing issues such as terrorism, immigration, internal crime, and energy security. The EU must prioritize stability in both its enlargement strategy and its relations with the broader international neighborhood. The book raises a note of caution, however: as governance challenges increase, the EU's attention increasingly draws inward, thus diminishing its soft power.

The Frontiers of Europe is important reading for anyone trying to understand the current geopolitical landscape of Europe and what it means for the rest of the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815721567
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 08/18/2011
Series: Brookings-SSPA Series on Public Administration
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 303
File size: 657 KB

About the Author

Federiga Bindi holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Integration at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, where she is founding director of the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence. She is also professor at the Italian National School of Public Administration (SSPA) and a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Irina Angelescu is a researcher with the Brookings Institution's Center on the United States and Europe.

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The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem?


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ISBN: 978-0-8157-0545-1

Chapter One

Introduction: Defining the Frontiers of Europe from a Transatlantic Perspective

The 2004–07 "Big Bang" enlargement of the European Union to include ten Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) as well as Cyprus and Malta was accompanied by a feeling of relief in Brussels. This moment marked the consolidation of the "new" frontiers of Europe, a continent no longer divided by the Iron Curtain of the cold war period. However, the post-enlargement euphoria was short lived. In hindsight, the enlargement of the European Union (EU) to the east did not so much settle the issue of Europe's frontiers as open a Pandora's box of questions about where the final borders of Europe will be set and what the EU's relations with its neighborhood should be.

As much as the EU would have preferred to enjoy its success and focus on its internal problems, its new neighbors to the south and east demanded that the process of enlargement be opened all over again. They are now "knocking at the EU gates" and asking to be let in as members. Consequently, after the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the issues raised by the economic crisis that began in 2008, the next hot topic on the EU agenda is the future of enlargement and relations with the neighborhood. The question of Europe's frontiers remains unanswered—and of great relevance to its neighborhood and to transatlantic relations.

The importance of future enlargements should not be underestimated. As the EU is trying to gain visibility and have a greater impact on the world stage, it cannot overlook the fact that until now enlargement has been its most successful form of foreign policy. The history of the European Communities (EC, now the EU) shows that waves of enlargement are usually followed by further integration and concentration of powers at the EU level. In other words, enlargement has a significant impact on EU domestic politics.

Defining the EU's frontiers is, however, not solely a domestic issue. Given the countries that could be involved in the next enlargements (Turkey, the Balkan states, and, in the long term, possibly countries in the Caucasus and even Russia), the EU's frontiers are a geopolitical decision with high stakes that will influence contemporary international relations: from transatlantic relations to U.S.-Russian relations. Europe's future borders are therefore likely to profoundly affect its bilateral and multilateral relations in the world. Since both the United States and Russia have strong preferences for how the enlarged EU should look, a new "battle over Europe" is likely to take place. This battle is clearly not only about geographic borders, but also—and mostly—about other issues and policies, ranging from energy security to the economy, development, and immigration.

The present volume aims to escape the usual EU-centric debates over enlargement and instead look at the issue of the future frontiers of Europe from a multidisciplinary and multi-faceted perspective. The chapters represent some of the most representative global voices in the academic and policymaking communities. The underlying idea of the book is that relations between the EU and its neighboring countries and debates about possible future enlargements of the EU should not center on "enlargement fatigue." Instead, the collected essays argue that any future enlargements of the EU are going to have greater geopolitical consequences than "domestic" ones. The contributors to this volume take into account the different interests of the United States and Russia, with a special eye on the future of transatlantic relations, as well as the effect on relations with other increasingly important international actors such as China and Latin America.

These ideas were discussed at an international conference that took place in Rome in July 2010, the second event in a series dedicated to the "Frontiers of Europe." The conference was organized by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. It was co-financed by the EU Commission and supported by the Italian Foreign Ministry and the Italian National School of Public Administration (SSPA). The conference and present publication were made possible through the generous support of the European Commission.

Structure of the Book

The volume is divided into six parts, each addressing a set of issues that are of vital importance for the future of transatlantic relations and the EU's role in the world.

The book's foreword is by Franco Frattini, the foreign minister of Italy and a former EU commissioner for justice and home affairs. He argues that the frontiers of Europe are as much a matter of values and principles as they are a matter of geographic definition. Frattini takes a strong stance in favor of future enlargements and suggests that failure to enlarge further and successfully would undermine the EU's credibility on the world stage. He warns that without the inclusion of the Western Balkan states the EU "would not be complete," and he compares the symbolic importance of Turkey's possible EU membership to that of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The chapter by Federiga Bindi offers an overview of the current state of accession negotiations and provides a historical perspective on all the waves of enlargement in the European Communities/ European Union history. She analyzes the EU history of enlargement from both the EU and the U.S. perspective and argues that until now the EC/EU enlargements—as well as the creation of the EC itself—have benefited from the strong support of the United States. The United States in fact saw European integration as a matter of national interest inasmuch as it ensured stability in Europe and in the transatlantic alliance. Bindi describes how the enlargement of the EC/EU evolved naturally as part of the European integration process. She warns that it is unclear whether the United States will remain supportive of future EU enlargements, an issue that is also addressed in other contributions to this volume.

Beginning part one, the chapter by Ferdinando Nelli Feroci discusses the current state of the accession negotiations. He reminds us that, at this writing in mid-2011, there are five official candidate countries (Croatia, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey) and many other aspirants to membership. In Nelli Feroci's view, the successful 2004–07 wave of enlargement will be remembered in history as "the reunification of Europe." He observes that although the EU is officially committed to enlargement, there is actually little enthusiasm among most member states and a general sense of enlargement fatigue. Nelli Feroci argues that such a frame of mind is counterproductive and could jeopardize the future of the European integration project.

The chapter by John Peet takes a broader view of the meaning of EU enlargement and of Europe's frontiers. His starting point is an attempt to best determine where the EU's frontiers end. He concludes by arguing that be cause the EU is defined in both geographic and political terms, it is to the EU's advantage to leave the question of its frontiers undefined. Peet emphasizes that any EU enlargement benefits not only the acceding countries but also the existing member states and the EU itself, given that most waves of enlargement were followed by further integration. Like Frattini and Nelli Feroci, Peet believes that in the medium term the EU should enlarge to include the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey.

The contribution of Christoffer Kølvraa and Ian Ifversen focuses on the EU's relations with its neighborhood through the specific instrument of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), which was inaugurated in 2003. They look at the ENP in order to determine the underlying frame of mind that drives the EU's relations with its neighbors. On the one hand, Kølvraa and Ifversen suggest that the ENP can be seen as guided by geopolitical considerations focused on interests and geographic alignments. On the other hand, they argue that a civilizational discourse based on a transfer of values and principles best characterizes the EU's interactions with its neighboring states. They suggest that this latter approach should be chosen according to the preferences of the surrounding countries themselves.

Irina Angelescu's chapter opens the second part of the volume, which deals with the issues of immigration, security, and terrorism in the EU. She begins by offering a historical overview of how competencies in the field of immigration and asylum were granted by the member states to the EU. Angelescu argues that especially in the aftermath of the 2001, 2004, and 2005 terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe, there was a shift of paradigms in EU migration policies from human rights and development to security. Finally, she describes how the 2004–07 enlargement and the conditions imposed by the EU on the new member states in the field of immigration have strained these countries' relations with their neighbors and affected their labor markets. This dynamic is likely to characterize any future enlargements.

Gilles de Kerchove addresses three issues in his chapter: the nature of terrorism in Europe, the counterterrorism challenges that the EU has to respond to, and the changes and opportunities brought by the Treaty of Lisbon in this field. He observes that although the terrorist threat of organizations such as al Qaeda are still present, a recent dangerous phenomenon is that of the homegrown terrorist or "lone wolf" who operates in isolation from any terrorist organization. De Kerchove observes that there are some connections between diasporas and terrorism in Europe, but he warns against linking the two. Indeed, he argues that the fight against discrimination and social marginalization of migrants is a relevant and important counterterrorism tool, and further, that focusing on the community of migrants as the only potential source of terrorism is counterproductive and limiting.

The remaining chapters in this part are country-specific and elaborate on two specific issues associated with immigration: criminality and terrorism. Umberto Melotti looks at the link between immigration and crime in Italy. According to him, the phenomenon is especially strong in this country be cause of shortcomings in law enforcement, inefficiencies of the judicial system, and lack of political will to deal with immigration. He argues against the culture of "denialism" that prevents politicians from taking necessary measures to address the immigration challenge. The attempts by Italy to address migration are similar to those by other European countries: a mix of border controls with crime and terrorism prevention and social measures aimed at integrating existing migrants. Melotti's concerns have been validated by the current crisis in the Arab world. The lack of European solidarity in dealing with the immigrants arriving on the southern Italian shores can be partially explained by Europe's fear that there is a link between diasporas and nonstate violence. The issue is complex and often extremely sensitive. Worst-case scenarios are made possible when prepositioned operational cells live within societies clandestinely. After analyzing the case of the Turkish diaspora in Germany, JeanLuc Marret concludes that it is hard to see radical Turkish networks as a main source of threat. He suggests that Turkish organizations are currently operating in diasporas in the EU and that future enlargements could multiply opportunities for terrorist attacks. His contribution therefore raises the question of whether an enlarged EU would help better deal with terrorism—or, on the contrary, increase the risk of terrorist attacks.

The third part of the volume is devoted to the implications of possible future enlargements for the EU's energy security. The chapter by Alessandro Ortis outlines the energy issues of major concern in the global and European arenas, including those related to energy supplies and climate change. Ortis argues that the experience of 2007–09 shows that energy price security can only be attained by improving regulation and monitoring financial and energy markets. In the case of the EU, he argues for more investments in research and for efforts to improve EU-Russian relations. According to Ortis, the EU is carrying out a lonely battle against climate change. This situation is complicated by the fact that energy policies were not an original EC/EU competency and that the internal energy market is a very new project. Convergence toward a single European market was challenged by the 2004–07 enlargement and is likely to be further complicated by future accessions.

The contribution of Massimo Gaiani challenges the consensus that the 2004–07 enlargement has made the EU stronger and more dynamic. He argues that the EU's energy balance did not improve as a result of the enlargement because none of the new members is a major energy producer. At the same time, the EU affects the energy landscape of candidate and member states by imposing two requirements: shut down nuclear plants that do not meet international security standards and liberalize the domestic energy markets. In this sense, the EU had a positive impact by preventing a possible disaster like the one at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant after the tsunami in March 2011. Furthermore, EU competencies in the field of climate change give it extra leverage in dealing with energy issues with these countries. Gaiani suggests that the Treaty of Lisbon gives the EU the task to ensure the proper functionality of the energy market, but also the security of the energy supply, the promotion of energy efficiency, and the development of renewable forms of energy and interconnected energy networks.

Luca Einaudi's chapter, in the fourth part of the book, is dedicated to the economic development of Europe. His contribution analyzes the origins of the euro, explains the underlying mechanisms of the euro crisis, and discusses the challenges of new economic governance. Einaudi argues that commentators not familiar with EU history too often do not see that the euro is a major political project, part of a long-term strategy to adapt Europe to globalization. Because of this fact, he says, the costs of dissolving the euro are too great to even be considered by EU member states. In the remainder of the chapter he addresses the way euro rules were conceived and how they failed and illustrates how these rules have been reinvented.

The contribution by Giovanni Andornino discusses the EU's relations with one of the most dynamic economies of the world, China. He argues that relations between these two actors are affected by their different approaches to foreign policy: Chinese politics is more pragmatic, while the EU is postmodern, preferring to link human rights issues to trade relations. This link has strained relations between the two actors, with China insisting on mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Andornino warns that the EU enlargement and its dynamics will lead to further complications in the EU-China dialogue. Despite its success in stabilizing the European neighborhood, enlargement also runs the risk of making Brussels increasingly reliant on regional, rather than global, strategies and approaches.

The fifth section of the book analyzes the security dynamics of any possible future enlargements. Jan Techau focuses on the NATO enlargements after the end of the cold war. He views NATO's expansion to the east as the biggest geopolitical shift in Europe since 1989, fundamentally changing the function of the transatlantic alliance. He argues that in the post–cold war world, NATO evolved from a military coalition to an agent of political change. At the same time, he questions whether enlargement to so many new member states affected the defensibility of the alliance. Techau projects that any future NATO enlargement would not rank high on the political agenda of many of its member states and would strain relations with Russia.

Mark Entin provides an unorthodox perspective on the EU's and NATO's recent waves of enlargements. In his view, neither organization has fully grasped the complexities of the new international environment because they have been too self-absorbed. He argues not only that the two organizations did not understand the nature of the post–cold war world but also that, through their actions, they prolonged the cold war reality by shifting the borders of the Western alliances to the east. Entin suggests that both organizations should stop ignoring Russia and consider the Russian president's proposals for a new Euro-Atlantic alliance. He says that media engagement in this endeavor on both sides would increase the chances that such negotiations would succeed.


Excerpted from The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem? Copyright © 2011 by THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION and SCUOLA SUPERIORE DELLA PUBBLICA AMMINISTRAZIONE (SPPA). Excerpted by permission of BROOKINGS INSTITUTION PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Franco Frattini ix

Acknowledgments xv

1 Introduction: Defining the Frontiers of Europe from a Transatlantic Perspective Federiga Bindi Irina Angelescu 1

2 A Brief History of EU Enlargements Federiga Bindi 9

Part 1 The State Of EU Negotiatiations And Enlargement Perspectives

3 EU Enlargement Policy: From Success to Fatigue Ferdinando Nelli Feroci 25

4 EU Enlargement: Benefits and Obstacles John Peet 35

5 The European Neighborhood Policy: Geopolitics or Value Export? Christoffer Kølvraa Jan Ifversen 45

Part 2 Immigration, Terrorism, Internal Security: Related Or Unrelated Phenomena?

6 One Frontier, Many Boundaries? European Union Migration Policies Irina Angelescu 69

7 Terrorism and Immigration in the European Union: Strangers in the Night Gilles de Kerchove 83

8 European Union Enlargement, Violent Radicalization, and Terrorism Jean-Luc Marret 98

9 Immigration and Security in Europe: A Look at the Italian Case Umberto Melotti 107

Part 3 Energy Policies: Between Environmental And Power Politics

10 The Challenge of the European Union's Energy Policy and Regulation Alessandro Ortis 127

11 Translating Energy Strategy into Policy with EU Enlargement Massimo Gaiani 144

Part 4 The New Frontiers of Economic Development For Europe

12 Development Policy in a Changing Europe: More Donors, New Challenges Maurizio Carbone 151

13 The Euro Crisis and the New Economic Governance Luca Einaudi 166

14 European Union-China Relations in Light of Possible Future EU Enlargements Giovanni B. Andornino 185

Part 5 A New Security Architecture?

15 A Saturated Alliance? Assessing the Prospects for Further NATO Enlargement Jan Techau 199

16 Imperatives of Constructing a New Security System in the Euro-Atlantic Region: The Russian Perspective Mark Entin 209

17 The EU Concept of Security from a U.S. Perspective Kurt Volker 219

Part 6 Democracy Promotion And The Rule Of Law

18 The Rise and Stall of Democratic Enlargement Amichai Magen 229

19 European-Latin American Relations in the Twenty-First Century Joaquín Roy 248

20 Conclusion: The European Union Should Again Be "Open for Business" Federiga Bindi Irina Angelescu 272

Contributors 281

Index 287

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