Recent Publications

Matthaios Charalampous

Abstract

The Lisbon Treaty has introduced significant changes in the field of EU security and defence. On the one hand, important institutional reforms, such as the creation of a renewed High Representative, have of course a great impact on this policy field. On the other hand, the Lisbon Treaty has also introduced specific innovations in the security and defence of the European Union. The mutual defence clause and the new mechanisms for flexible cooperation such as the permanent structured cooperation, are only some of the key innovations. Generally, the European Security and Defence Policy receives its own section in the Treaty on European Union and is rebranded as Common Security and Defence Policy. Thus, the Lisbon Treaty sets the objective for a common policy in this field. However, does this reform really provide for the means for the realization of such a common policy? Furthermore, does the Lisbon Treaty increase the importance of CSDP or is the increasing importance of this policy field just reflected in the Treaty text? These are the main questions that the present paper attempts to address through the analysis of the new institutional setting of the post-Lisbon security and defence policy, as well as through the examination of the specific innovations in this area.

About the author

Matthaios Charalampous has graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Brussels (VUB) with a Master of Laws Degree (LL.M.) in international and European law (PILC program, IES). He holds a university degree in law and in linguistics, both from the University of Athens. Matthaios Charalampous is a qualified Greek lawyer, has work experience as a lawyer, and has held a traineeship at the European Parliament. He takes a particular interest in security and defence issues, some of which are dealt with in the present paper.

Viktorija Balciunaite

Abstract:

The impacts of WTO on women’s labour rights in the developing countries have been raised to the international agenda by various nongovernmental organizations. On the one hand it is assumed that international trade policies are gender neutral. On the other hand a number of authors hold the view that the negative impacts of WTO policies are more pronounced on female than male workers. This paper takes a critical look at these claims. It argues that the impact of the WTO system, the driving force of trade liberalization, on women’s labour rights in the developing countries is a complicated issue, because the effects have been both negative and positive. In support of this claim, this paper first briefly reviews the international framework for the protection of women’s labour rights. Next, the WTO agreements and policies are analysed insofar as they are relevant for the protection of women’s labour rights. The analysis covers, for example, the use of the trade policy review mechanism and restrictions of trade on grounds of violation of public morals.. Finally, a case study is conducted on the situation of female workers in Bangladesh and Pakistan, countries that have recently undergone a liberalization of trade in the textiles and clothing sectors. It is concluded that the increase of international trade in the developing countries has created many work opportunities for women, helped them to become more independent and allowed them to participate in the society more actively. However, it is at the same time posited that in order to comply with its own objectives of raising standards of living and full employment, the WTO should engage itself in active policies to overcome the negative aspects of trade on female workers in the developing countries.

About the author

Viktorija Balciunaite has graduated from Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2006 and obtained Master’s degree in International and Comparative Law of the IES Program on International Legal Cooperation (PILC) in 2007. At the moment she is working in the European Law Department of the Ministry of Justice in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Ben Van Rompuy

Abstract

One of the most important developments in EC competition policy during 2006 was the Court of First Instance’s (CFI) Impala v. Commission judgment annulling the European Commission’s approval of the merger between the music units of Sony and Bertelsmann. It harshly criticized the Commission’s Decision because it found that the evidence relied on was not capable of substantiating the conclusion. This was the first time that a merger decision was annulled for not meeting the requisite legal standard for authorizing the merger. Consequently, the CFI raised fundamental questions about the standard of proof incumbent on the Commission in its merger review procedures. On July 10, 2008, the European Court of Justice overturned Impala, yet it did not resolve the fundamental question underlying the judicial review of the Sony BMG Decision; does the Commission have the necessary resources and expertise to meet the Community Court’s standard of proof? This paper addresses the wider implications of the Sony BMG saga for the Commission’s future handling of complex merger investigations. It argues that the Commission may have set itself an impossible precedent in the second approval of the merger. While the Commission has made a substantial attempt to meet the high standard of proof imposed by the Community Courts, it is doubtful that it will be able to jump the fence again in a similar fashion under normal procedural circumstances.

About the author

Ben Van Rompuy joined the IES team as a doctoral researcher in August 2006. Together with Karen Donders, he is working on the project “Towards i2010: Bargaining for an equitable information society”.His research is concerned with EC antitrust control in the audiovisual and telecommunications sectors.

Alexander Mattelaer

Abstract

On 28 January 2008 the European Union launched the military operation EUFOR in Chad and the Central African Republic. Its mandate was to contribute to the security of the civilian population, the numerous refugees from neighbouring Darfur and the local presence of the United Nations. This paper describes and analyses the planning process of this operation at the political-strategic and military-strategic levels with the aim of understanding how the military instrument was intended to generate the desired political effects. The paper argues that, from a military perspective, the EUFOR operation is based on the concept of humanitarian deterrence: the threat of military force is used to discourage potential spoilers from targeting the civilian population. As with any military operation, the planning of EUFOR was plagued by various elements of friction. At least some of this friction seems to flow from the mismatch in expectations between the political-strategic and military-strategic levels. The various political and military-technical constraints within which the operation was planned resulted in an operational posture that is less decisive than what the political ambitions would have suggested.

About the author

From October 2006 onwards, Alexander has been working at the IES as a doctoral researcher in the domain of European security and defence. His research focuses on the planning of military strategy in crisis response operations. Having studied in detail the issue of military intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa, special attention goes to analysing the usefulness of the military tool for stabilisation purposes.

Karen Donders

Abstract

The European Commission’s interference through state aid rules with the Member States’ support for public service broadcasting is not undisputed. Member States, public broadcasters and numerous academics fear that State aid control might limit the public service remit and, hence, the multi-platform and holistic role of public broadcasters in the converging media industries. This paper assesses to what extent the fear for Commission intervention is, indeed, justified. It starts with the assumption that the transformation from public service broadcasting to public service media is vital for the European democratic society. The paper leads to the observation that, in fact, European State aid policy might contribute to such a necessary and urgent transformation, instead of threatening it. The paper consists of three main parts. Firstly, the legal constraints and margins of the Community’s State aid framework are discussed. Secondly, the application of the rules to a selection of public broadcasting cases is analyzed. Finally, some conclusions are drawn from the analysis.

About the author

Karen Donders holds a Master’s degree in Communication Sciences. In 2006 she became a PhD researcher at the Institute for European Studies. Karen is also affiliated with the Center for Studies on Media Information and Telecommunications (SMIT), which is a partner in the IBBT research consortium. Karen’s research concerns the impacts of European State aid policy on the remit, control and financial support of public broadcasting organizations in the EU, in particular whether or not European State aid control can assist the transformation from public service broadcasting to public service media.

Agata Brzezińska

Abstract

The principle of gender equality forms a part of the EU’s social policy and serves equally men and women. So far, fourteen directives concerning gender equality have been adopted in the EU, with the New Equal Treatment Directive as the latest one. The EU has developed different models to promote gender equality: equal treatment, positive action and most recently gender mainstreaming. The equal treatment model is primarily concerned with formal equality and it unfortunately prevails in the ECJ’s rulings. Indeed, this paper argues that so far, the ECJ has not managed to develop a firm and consistent case law on gender equality, nor to stretch it coherently to positive action and gender mainstreaming. It seems that in spite of some progress in promoting the position of women, the ECJ’s case law has recently taken a step backwards with its conservative judgments in e.g. the Cadman case.

Overall, this paper aims at summing up and evaluating the most important cases of the ECJ on gender equality.

About the author

Agata Brzezińska has graduated from the Law and Administration Faculty of Warsaw University and holds an LL.M degree in International and European Law from the Institute for European Studies (IES) at Vrije Unversiteit Brussel. Brzezińska has worked on EU legal matters in the European Parliament and in an international law firm in Warsaw. As of September 2009, she has been working in the European Commission. The viewpoints presented here are her personal opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions she is or has been working for.

Armelle Gouritin

Abstract

Questions regarding oil spills remain high on the political agenda. Legal scholars, legislators as well as the international, European and national Courts struggle to determine key issues, such as who is to be held liable for oil spills, under which conditions and for which damage.

The international regime on oil spills was meant to establish an “equilibrium” between the needs of the victims (being compensated for their harm) and the needs of the economic actors (being able to continue their activities). There is, however, a constantly increasing array of legal scholars’ work that criticizes the regime. Indeed, the victims of a recent oil spill, the Erika, have tried to escape the international regime on oil spills and to rely instead on the provisions of national criminal law or EC waste legislation. In parallel, the EC legislator has questioned the sufficiency of the international regime, as it has started preparing legislative acts of its own. One can in fact wonder whether challenging the international liability regime with the European Convention on Human Rights could prove to be a way forward, both for the EC regulators as well as the victims of oil spills. This paper claims that the right to property, as enshrined in Article P1-1 of the Human Rights Convention, could be used to challenge the limited environmental liability provisions of the international frameworks.

About the author

Armelle Gouritin is a Ph.D. researcher at the Institute for European Studies. In her Ph.D., she focuses on the substantive interplay between EC environmental responsibility directives on the one hand, and international environmental law and the European Court on Human Rights’ case law on the other. The author warmly thanks Lawrence Steenstra and Claire Roche Kelly from the IES for all the time and work they kindly devoted for this paper to be published.

May 2011
working paper
Nikki Slocum-Bradley
Andrew Bradley

Abstract

This paper examines both the processes and outcomes of governance in the context of the EU’s relationship with ACP States within the period of the Cotonou Agreement (CA). It discusses and assesses a variety of governance mechanisms, including the European Commission’s use of the governance concept, EPAs, manifestations of partner preferences, the EDF, the revision of the CA, and Fisheries Partnership Agreements. Specific examples of the wielding of each mechanism are assessed based upon two criteria: a) the extent to which the wielding of the mechanism by the EU is a manifestation of “good governance”, and b) the extent to which the EU’s wielding of the mechanism has resulted, or is likely to result, in the sustainable development of and reduction of poverty in ACP countries. The examples are chosen to illustrate contradictions between rhetoric and practice and the consequential negative (actual and potential) impact upon development in ACP States. The final section offers suggestions for improving the EU’s governance processes and their outcomes for development.

About the authors

Nikki Slocum-Bradley is a Research fellow of the Institute for European Studies and an Associate Research Fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) in Belgium. Her research encompasses a broad range of issues at the nexus between psychology, sociology, politics and international relations. She has published in a variety of journals and books across disciplines, and edited Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity (Ashgate, 2008). She has also authored a variety of background papers for policy forums.

Andrew Bradley is Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Human Development of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. His current responsibilities include, for example, the maintenance of ACP–EU relations, migration, human and social development, conflict prevention and resolution, and the promotion of democracy and human rights. Previously he was a career diplomat serving in South African embassies and missions in Canada, Switzerland and Belgium. In this capacity, he was involved in the discussions/negotiations that brought about democratic change in South Africa.

Nikki Slocum-Bradley

Abstract

Proposing a discursive approach to studying identity, this paper presents Positioning Theory as a theoretical framework for conceptualizing the construction of identity in discourse. The Positioning Diamond is employed to analyse the discourse surrounding the Danish Euro referendum. The analysis reveals how identities are constructed in discourse that promotes a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote in the referendum, highlighting the generally implicit allocation of rights and duties to actors within a specific narrative context. The penultimate section discusses appropriate criteria for evaluating discursive accounts, distinguishing between cases in which truth, normative and ethical criteria are applicable. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of policy considerations and recommendations.

About the Author

Nikki Slocum-Bradley is a Research fellow of the Institute for European Studies and an Associate Research Fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) in Belgium. Her research encompasses a broad range of issues at the nexus between psychology, sociology, politics and international relations. She has published in a variety of journals and books across disciplines, and edited Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity (Ashgate, 2008). She has also authored a variety of background papers for policy forums.

Alexia Herwig

Abstract

Many service transactions are highly complex, and their quality is difficult to ascertain for consumers. In order to have properly functioning service markets, the services thus often require regulation. However, with the advent of the WTO, international trade in services has become increasingly rule-bound. GATS has considerable, intricate effects on social regulation due to the characteristics of services. The allocation of regulatory jurisdiction between home and host country, for example, is rendered difficult by the process-based nature of a lot of services. The WTO US – Gambling dispute settlement report is the first to address GATS disciplines on social regulation in a detailed manner. This working paper submits that the US - Gambling report has increased interference with domestic social regulation and created regulatory uncertainty for WTO members. However, it is also argued that the real impact of the GATS on social regulation can only be understood by looking beyond the text of the GATS. GATS disciplines may become amplified through their interaction with domestic and other international law. The GATS also contains some “political” counterbalancing mechanisms that allow members to renegotiate their commitments. It is argued that these political mechanisms strengthen subsidiarity in the GATS, and make WTO dispute settlement bodies accountable to WTO members.

About the author

Alexia Herwig is an FWO post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Law and Cosmopolitan Values in the area of international economic law. Alexia has JSD and LL.M degrees from New York University School of Law. Her current research focuses on the constitutionalisation of the WTO, global distributive justice and labour law aspects raised by the liberalisation of trade in services. Alexia has previously been a post-doctoral research associate at the Special Research Centre on Transformations of the State at the University of Bremen, Germany and at the Institute for European Studies (IES). This paper is based on work conducted during her visiting fellowship at the IES.