The EU’s Normative Power in the Post-Covid and Post-Brexit Era: Declination or Resurrection?
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom (PhD graduate)
The EU’s normative power has been seriously tested during Brexit and the global pandemic. For Brexit, the EU’s normative power was effective at all in keeping the UK despites the fact that the two shares several fundamental values. Both UK and the EU were focusing on protecting their interests and decision power without little consideration of their common values and the normative power they were proud of at the good times of the EU. For Covid-19, sovereignty states were the centres of the pandemic control with bilateral cooperation more effective than multilateral actions at least in the earlier stages of the pandemic battle. At this point, it is worth to discuss, within the context of European studies, whether Normative Power Europe still exists and if yes, how effective it has been in the two major crises in the European history in the last two years?
This paper argues that NPE as a concept is still valid, but the normative power of Europe has declined due to a series of changes in the international orders post-Brexit and post-Covid. The core values, institutional framework the alliance behind the effectiveness of NPE have been challenged, doubted, and awakened through the European political cries and the global pandemic.
However, in the post-Brexit and especially post-pandemic era, the EU has a change to revive its normative power in multilateral cooperation regarding global health and enforcing global trades including EU-UK trades. However, this will largely dependent on the recovery of global economy and connectivity, the world’s confidence upon globalization and multilateralism as well as the EU’s effectiveness in its internal and external actions.
When EU Normative Power is Contested at Home: an Analysis of Migration and Women's Rights
Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), Spain
The contestation of EU foreign policy is highly relevant as it might put an end to the Union’s normative power. At the external level, the reconfiguration of power is accelerating, nativism and nationalism are on the rise, and the foundations of the international liberal order are heavily contested. At the internal level, the EU faces multiple crises from the consequences of austerity, the consequences of Brexit pandora box to the consequences of the 2020 pandemic, which in turn has awakened the agency of dissenters. Yet, there is a void in the literature when it comes to assessing to what extent these forces are pushing procedural and substantive norms such as sincere cooperation or promotion of human rights into a distraining domain. By delving into a comparative case study based on 41 elite interviews, this research offers insight into how migration politicized women’s rights norms and shows how EU foreign policy seems to be resilient in the short-term but also how contesting forces are eroding EU’s actorness in the long-term.
Revisiting the EU-Turkey Migration Deal: A Success or Failure?
University of Warwick, United Kingdom
A deal that would halt the illegal mass migration towards Europe in 2016 seemed extremely urgent for the EU as the flow of migrants had put significant pressure on the Union, surfaced divergences of opinion within and between the member states, and prompted a new wave of Euroscepticism. The Turkish side, on the other hand, was anxious to redefine its relations with the EU on a new ground that would underline its equality and indispensability to the EU. It acted strategically and cooperated with the EU, using the refugee crisis as a bargaining chip. Both sides were, thus, better off signing a migration agreement which they did on March 18, 2016.
After, five years, this paper revisits the EU-Turkey migration deal, its rationale, and consequences, and assesses its repercussions on the EU, Turkey, and their bilateral relations. Despite occasional bickering, neither the Turkish government nor the EU has described the refugee agreement as an outright failure. While the Turkish side has stated its dissatisfaction especially about its financial benefits and lack of progress on visa liberalization and sometimes has threatened to withdraw from the deal the European side has continuously declared the deal an overall success that must be kept.
However, this paper argues that given the rationale and justifications of the deal, the overall outcome does not fully satisfy both sides. While Turkey has gained strategic leverage in its relations with the EU it has to bear political costs at the home-front and shelve off its accession perspective. The EU, on the other hand, has managed to reduce the number of migrants using the Eastern Mediterranean route but has to endure constant threats of the Turkish government to withdraw from the deal and put up with its withering reputation as a normative power. This article, by demonstrating the inner tension of the EU-Turkey migration deal that breeds mistrust between the parties, argues that the deal is a crisis-ridden one in nature, and as such it has been circumstantial without a solid foundation that is unlikely to last long.
Can the EU Act As a Normative Cyber Power?
Hacettepe University, Turkey
The more technologically advanced, connected and savvy our societies have become, the more open they are to hybrid threats, particularly cyberattacks. The perpetrators are anonymous and the sources of threats are ambiguous in a world where the “speed, scale and intensity” of such threats pertain to the scope, range and complexity of technological advancements. Attacks to hardwares as well as softwares are the new realities of today’s security environment. Ransomwares, digital theft and fraud on the Internet, leaks of sensitive information, illegal access to and improper usage of personal and private data, disinformation campaigns via social media, and paralysing the functioning of critical infrastructures by damaging computer systems and databases are typical examples of cyber threats.
Given the pervasive nature of digital technologies in today’s world and artificial intelligence becoming more and more integrated to existing digital systems defining some norms for the ethical usage of artificial intelligence has become more urgent. Especially, norms about the use of force in the new age of artificial intelligence have to be articulated and more importantly diffused to other states. Against this background, this paper asks whether the EU can become normative cyber power. First, this paper gives a brief overview of traditional norms associated with the use of force with regards to the literature on European strategic/security culture. Then, the paper provides a preliminary normative framework which includes some regulative norms/principles for the use of artificial intelligence in the digital military systems. In this endeavour, this paper specifically analyses the Commission’s white paper on Artificial Intelligence published in February 2020 and EU’s cybersecurity strategy for the digital decade announced in December 2020.