Domestic Contestation and Politicisation of EU’s Relations with Neighbours
Presentations gathered at the proposed panel aim to examine the domestic sources of European foreign policy that have preoccupied scholars of late. In order to focus our analysis, the papers provide an insight into the patterns of contestation of the main policies that are responsible for regulating relations with the EU neighbourhood – EU Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy. Moreover, all contributions engage in discussion on how contestation and politicisation within European foreign policy unfolds, and through this process aim to capture the domestic drivers of foreign policy. Many studies focus on how the EU is constantly involved and how it develops its instruments to impact its closest neighbours. In this panel we are primarily interested in how the political actors react to the mounting problems the EU has with its close neighbourhood. The presentations will be based on the chapters gathered in a book “Contestation of EU Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. Actors, Arenas and Arguments” edited by Magdalena Góra, Natasza Styczyńska, Marcin Zubek, Copenhagen: Djof Publishing, 2019.
Presentations of the Symposium
Conceptualising and Analysing the Contestation of the EU as an Actor in ENP: Actorness, Effectiveness and beyond
This chapter discusses conceptualisations of the European Union as an international actor in the European Neighbourhood Policy, evaluating the concepts of EU presence, actorness and effectiveness for EU Studies more generally, and the ENP in particular. Particular emphasis is put on analysing the contestation of the EU as an actor in ENP. We argue that the concrete circumstances, measures and levels of power enabling the EU to act (effectively) as an international player are of particular interest to studies on the ENP, and that the underlying concepts of EU presence, actorness and effectiveness can be identified in a variety of related literature. Nevertheless, an increase in systematic analyses of EU presence, actorness and effectiveness in the ENP could be of considerable value to enhance the comparability and generalisability of findings. Moreover, making increased use of these concepts in a methodologically more rigorous fashion, and possibly extending the analysis towards novel concepts like EU performance might allow charting new waters in ENP research and contributing to some extent to theory-development in EU Studies more generally. In terms of contestation, the literature on EU presence, actorness and effectiveness has mostly paid attention to patterns of horizontal contestation over the EU’s role among different national elites at EU level. Studies that dig deeper into the layers of contestation within the Member States are largely absent. The same goes for accounts that take aspects of vertical contestation, i.e. the role of the public, into consideration.
EU enlargement policy: A (non-)issue for the Eurosceptic parties
One of the long-term features of many Eurosceptic political discourses has been an idea that there is certain trade-off between the EU enlargement and the deepening of integration. The more numerous the EU is, the less dense are the integration ties. The aim of the paper is however not to test to what extent this alleged inverse proportion works. The goal of the paper is to trace to what extent the issue of further EU enlargement is still on the agenda of Eurosceptic parties. The analysis focus on 2014 and 2019 EP elections and the ambition of the research is to analyse party maniefestos and look for presence or absence of the enlargement agenda there. In the case of Eurosceptic parties that will mention the issue, the content analysis will follow differentiating between positions support of further enlargement and its rejection and to look deeply at the motives. The analysis will cover all parties from Western as well as from the Central Eastern Europe that are soft or hard Eurosceptic enough to participate at one of the Eurosceptic oriented groups in the EP, like ECR, GUE/NGL, EFFD or ENL in the 2014-2019 period. The analysis will look for any trends visible in time as well as related to stances of soft and hard Eurosceptic parties.
Role of Religion in the European Parliament’s Discourses on Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policies
In recent years in political sciences, we have observed a growing interest in the role of religion at supranational European Union’s level. Scholars focus on religion especially in their research on the European collective identity and on role religious organisations play in lobbying at the EU level. Only more recently, this interest extended to include the European foreign policy (EFP). The proposed paper aims to contribute to the latter topic. Analysing discourses on European Union’s enlargement policy (EUEP) and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), I will investigate whether, by whom and in what capacity religion (and which religion?) or its rejection (i.e. secularism) are used in construction and contestations of both policies. The articulations of the discourses n EUEP and ENP take place at different levels, in domestic and international arenas. Among them, the European Parliament (EP) serves as a particularly interesting case. Firstly, the citizens of all the EU countries directly elect Members of EP, and this group, at least to some degree, reflects and presents domestic dynamics in this supranational arena. Secondly, the EP has certain prerogatives in shaping EU policies, including EFP. Moreover, the EP is involved in various initiatives related to religious issues, especially outside the EU (i.e. promotion of freedom of religion and beliefs, protection of Christian minority rights). This therefore all makes this arena particularly interesting for grasping competing discourses on foreign policy at EU level and analysing the role religion plays in their construction.
National Interests or Ideologically Driven? Patterns of Contestation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the European Parliament
The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) both in its Southern and Eastern dimension is attracting significant share of criticism. The Arab Spring and its aftermath and the Russian activities in the Eastern Europe are posing a significant challenge to the European security. The European neighbourhood has in recent years become more unstable and prone to conflicts. European citizens usually perceive the neighbouring regions from the point of view of the impact they have on their security and tend to perceive threats such as terrorism, uncontrolled migration flows, environmental threats as coming from the neighbourhood. Moreover, they express concerns viewing the European Union’s (EU) response to most of these threats as insufficient, ineffective and fragmented. But the contestation of ENP is also visible in the discourse of experts and the scientific community as well as that of political actors. The aim of the paper is to analyse the patterns of contestation of the ENP in the European Parliament (EP). In essence, the analysis will answer the question of who discussed the ENP in the EP during the first decade of its operation (2004-2014), as well as how and why. This will be done through a qualitative claims analysis in plenary debates. Special attention will be paid to the national and ideological lines of contestation as revealed in the EP.