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Issue 4/2020 of integration

Peter Becker explains how under excep­tional circum­stances an equally excep­tional compromise was reached in the budget negoti­a­tions and what common­al­ities and devia­tions from known negoti­ation patterns exist. In their contri­bution, Niklas Helwig, Juha Jokela and Clara Portela analyse the EU sanctions policy against the background of internal and inter­na­tional challenges and identify potential for reform. Funda Tekin looks at the “EU-Turkey statement” five years on and the question whether an insti­tu­tional shift from a rules-based accession process to an interest-driven trans­ac­tional character of the bilateral relationship can be identified. Stefan Lorenzmeier discusses the effects of the opinion of the European Court of Justice on the Singapore Agreement on the design of the EU’s various trade and associ­ation agree­ments from a legal and political perspective. In forum article, Hartmut Kaelble puts the effects of the corona crisis and how it is being dealt with in relation to past crises and describes the historical novelty of the current situation.

The Negotiations on the Budget of the European Union – Between Continuity and Changes in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Peter Becker

The difficult negoti­a­tions on the multi­annual financial framework (MFF) of the European Union have so far been charac­terised by conti­nuity and path depen­dencies. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the framework, the condi­tions, the topics and also the estab­lished procedure of MFF negoti­a­tions. The coinci­dence in time between these negoti­a­tions and the Corona crisis opened up the possi­bility of funda­mental changes and reforms. This article first presents the agreement of the European Council of 21 July 2020 on the new MFF 2021–2027 of around 1 trillion euros and on the “Next Gener­ation EU” (NGEU) stimulus budget of additional 750 billion euros. It traces the negoti­ation process and finally analyses the conse­quences for integration policy. The amend­ments to the system of own resources for financing the MFF and the agreement on the additional stimulus budget NGEU could lead to funda­mental changes in the European budgetary system.

Full article

EU Sanctions Policy in Geopolitical Times: Europe’s Toughest Foreign Policy Instrument and its Challenges

Niklas Helwig, Juha Jokela and Clara Portela

Sanctions are one of the toughest and most coercive tools available to the European Union (EU). They are increas­ingly used in order to respond to breaches of inter­na­tional norms and adverse security devel­op­ments in the neigh­bourhood and beyond. However, the EU sanctions policy is facing a number of challenges related to the efficiency of decision-making, short­comings in the coherent imple­men­tation of restrictive measures, as well as the adjust­ments to the post-Brexit relationship with the United Kingdom. This article analyses these key challenges for EU sanctions policy. Against the backdrop of an inten­si­fying global compe­tition, it points out the need to weath­er­proof this policy tool. The current debate on the future of the EU provides an oppor­tunity to clarify the strategic rationale of EU sanctions and to fine-tune the sanctions machinery.

The EU-Turkey Statement Five Years On: An Institutional Change in the Bilateral Relationship?

Funda Tekin

Five years after the “EU-Turkey statement” it is time for a review. This statement of 29 November 2015 has defined a compre­hensive roadmap for deepening EU-Turkey relations. It is perceived to represent an insti­tu­tional shift from a rules-based accession process to an interest-driven trans­ac­tional character of the relationship. This paper analyses whether such a change in perspective can indeed be identified. To this end, the question is addressed as to which different goals and thus also inherent path depen­dencies the decla­ration pursues. The conceptual classi­fi­cation of Turkey as a candidate country, a key partner and a strategic partner is helpful in this respect. In a further step, the extent to which circum­stances in these three areas have changed after the statement and how this affects the imple­men­tation of the objec­tives and path depen­dencies is discussed. The paper concludes with a critical assessment and draws lessons for the future devel­opment of EU-Turkey relations.

The Future of Comprehensive and Mixed Agreements of the EU after the Singapore Opinion

Stefan Lorenzmeier

The article explores some legal issues regarding compre­hensive trade and mixed agree­ments of the European Union (EU). The concept of mixed agree­ments is special to the EU legal order and under strain after the opinion 2/15 of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 16 May 2017, in which the Court defined the exclusive compe­tence of the EU for concluding “EU-only agree­ments” in the context of the common commercial policy. This led to a split-up of trade agree­ments of the Union into “EU-only agree­ments” and mixed agree­ments on investment issues whereas no change of policy had been estab­lished for associ­ation agree­ments to date. Besides creating greater legal certainty, some problems remain regarding the to-be-improved accep­tance of EU free trade agree­ments in the Member States. The analysis focuses on the division of powers between the EU and the Member States and its impact on mixed agree­ments on a political and legal level. It concludes that “mixity” has not been ended by the jurispru­dence of the Court of Justice and can still be seen as a useful tool in the process of negoti­ating and concluding future compre­hensive inter­na­tional trade and associ­ation agreements.

More Than a New Clinical Picture: Why the Corona Crisis is a Historical Novelty for the European Union

Hartmut Kaelble

The COVID-19 pandemic poses new challenges for the European Union (EU). It is not a repetition of previous crises of European integration. The expec­ta­tions, but also the confi­dence of the EU citizens are higher. Diver­gences between Member States tend to be greater, social inequal­ities are more complex and the pressure from outside more hostile. At the same time, the EU has gained more experience with crises over the past decade than before, reacts to the current crisis more quickly as well as more supra­na­tionally, and – unlike in earlier crises – so far appears globally not as a “sick man” but as a crisis solver.

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