«A thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham for the degree of Doctor of ...»
Despite this importance of ensuring such unity, the articulations in the Commission documents show an important inconsistency, which can be interpreted as contributing to further exacerbating the already existing tendency towards the construction of an internal border on social issues between “old” and “new” member states. This is the discrepancy between the main trend in developing EU cooperation and integration on social policy issues and the main tools used during the Enlargement process for ensuring the incorporation of the candidate countries into the social models in the EU. While the former indicate a move towards limiting Community-level legislation (as the first section of the Chapter has shown), there is a tendency in the Commission discourse on Enlargement to not pay sufficient attention to this. For example, although as I said above some documents mention that the candidate countries have been actively involved in the Lisbon objective and working methods since 2003 when they were included in the structural indicators,176 the documents that talk about the progress of the applicant countries towards meeting the Enlargement requirements usually only refer to the achievements towards adopting the existing Community legislation in the social field.
Therefore, the main ways in which the discourse of the European Commission contributes to the construction of internal borders in the EU is through inconsistencies and 176 Romano Prodi, Towards Barcelona, SPEECH/02/85, 27.02.2002, p. 4 177 See for example Anna Diamantopoulou, Employment and Social Policy: Achievements and Prospects, SPEECH/03/550, 15.11.2003, p. 3; Anna Diamantopoulou, The European Social Model and Enlargement, SPEECH/00/235, 23.06.2000, p. 3 225 silences in its articulations. In both cases examined in this section, there is an evident trend to contradict the de-bordering tendencies in the discourse of the Commission on social policy. In the case of the UK this is manifested through articulations that link the country with the US and “deregulators”, both of which emerge from the Commission discourse as “Others”. In the case of Eastern Enlargement, this is a result of the flaws of the process, which has meant that in some important instances the Commission has been silent on social policy issues. Importantly, as the above analysis shows, the Commission is not the EU institution that has taken the lead in establishing the conditions that enable the emergence of the internal dividing lines. Instead, the Commission articulations are bound by the wider discursive contexts established by individual member states‟ undertakings and positions (the case of the UK) or the Council (the Copenhagen criteria). However, due to the Commission‟s inability to successfully overcome the existing arrangements, in both cases the existing contradictions and silences have obstructed the successful de-bordering of the EU social space and have instead contributed to the construction of an internal border in the Union.
5.6. Summary This chapter has looked into the main ways in which the Commission social policy discourse configures borders. The detailed analysis has shown that it not only undermines existing borders between the EU member states but also contributes to the construction and reconstruction of the Union‟s internal and external borders. Despite the existence of a line in the Commission discourse that contributes to the abolition of internal EU borders through references to increased mobility, the main way in which a common social space in the EU is established is through articulations of common values. These downplay existing differences between the member states‟ social arrangements and construct common identity. The last section, however, has shown that there are some important inconsistencies and silences in the discourse of the European Commission.
Contrary to its claims in favour of establishment of a common social space in the EU, these in fact construct internal borders in the Union. This ambiguity in the Commission 226 discourse, however, is different from the one in the previous chapter. There it arose as a result of the efforts of the Commission to secure greater coverage of free movement of people amidst opposition from the member states. This meant that the Commission was driven to articulate specific categories of people (TCNs or EU nationals) who will be covered by the freedom of movement provisions in the acquis. In the field of social policy, the ambiguity is a result of different factors. Firstly, in the case of Eastern Enlargement it is due to the Commission being the implementer of the Council decisions. This has meant that its discourse reproduced the mismatch in the statements contained in some documents and a silence on these issues in other. This endangers the successful inclusion of the “new” member states into the ESM. Secondly, in the case of the UK this is done through linking it with “the US” and “de-regulators”, which emerge from the discourse of the Commission as “Others”, thus constructing Britain as an internal “Other”. Thus, in this case it is a result of a particular understanding of the ESM by the Commission and its (sometimes unsuccessful) strive to secure the adherence to it of all member states. The discourse of the Commission also articulates external “Others”, particularly the US and low wage economies, which constructs the external border of the Union through defining the main characteristics of the European model of socio-economic arrangement and identifying the geographical areas that adhere to them. These emerging external borders of the Union in recent years have been put under the limelight due to the increased internal and external demands for it to define its relations with its immediate “outside”. These have given rise to another string of ambiguous border configurations by the Commission, which I examine in the next chapter.
THE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY – AN AMBIGUOUS
CONFIGURATION OF EUROPEAN BORDERS 1
6.1. Introduction So far I have examined policy areas that focused primarily on issues internal to the EU. In the last empirical chapter of the study, I turn my attention to a policy area that is dealing with the exterior of the Union, the ENP. Given this, it configures slightly different borders. Although the articulations still construct EU borders, because of the external nature of this policy, the bordering configurations are also directly related to the construction and reconstruction of European borders. This renders the distinction between de-bordering, construction and reconstruction of EU‟s borders irrelevant at times because their focus is on the inside of the Union. Thus, in this chapter the analysis is structured primarily around the configuration of territorial/ identity borders rather than the categories employed in the other chapters. Time-wise, the ENP is the youngest of the policies included in the research and in distinction to the rest of the issues examined in the thesis it was not directly boosted by the SEA. Instead, it is more directly related to the emergence of the third pillar within the Treaty of the EU in 1992. As such, there are a number of reasons that make it an interesting case study for this research. Firstly, as an external policy field, it provides an illustration of the border configurations in Commission discourse on such matters. Secondly, this is an area that similarly to border controls is clearly related to borders. Thirdly, it is of interest due to the wide controversies in recent years surrounding the issue of the EU‟s external borders, both inside and outside (in the neighbouring countries) the Union. These make it paramount to examine the configuration of borders in this policy area through the Commission discourse in order to provide a comprehensive 1 A slightly different version of this chapter was published in Geopolitics. See Valentina Kostadinova, „The Commission, ENP and Construction of Borders‟, Geopolitics, 14: 2 (2009), pp. 235-255.
228 account of the problem. My major argument is that similar to the configurations of borders in the other policy areas examined so far, the Commission discourse on the ENP is ambiguous. Therefore, instead of unequivocally preventing the emergence of new dividing lines between the EU and its neighbours, some of the Commission articulations create the perception that significant differences exist between them, thus recreating divisions in Europe. In order to make this argument, the chapter proceeds as follows. The first section provides an outline of the ENP, explains the powers of the Commission in this policy area and presents the major articulations that configure borders. The second section looks at how the speeches of Commission officials and its ENP-related policy proposals articulate the achievement of the envisaged common area. In the third section I show how this discourse contributes to the emergence of territorial and identity borders of the EU. The fourth section examines how, contrary to the policy‟s stated aims, the Commission ENP discourse facilitates the emergence of divisions in Europe.
6.2. Development of the ENP and Main Commission Articulations that Configure Borders From its inception, the ENP was directly related to border configuration. 2 It was shaped in the early 2000s when the Eastern Enlargement of the EU was looming and there was an on-going debate about the future of the external borders of the Union. In effect, the advance of the ENP was the response to these developments. The policy first started to take shape in early 2002 with efforts towards the “Wider Europe” initiative, which was particularly aimed towards Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia. The Copenhagen 2 Despite that relation between the ENP and borders the vast majority of academic research on this policy is not explicitly employing the concept of borders. See for example Fraser Cameron, Rosa Balfour, „The European Neighbourhood Policy as a Conflict Prevention Tool‟, European Policy Centre, Issue Paper No. 47, June 2006; Michaela Dodini, Marco Fantini, „The EU Neighbourhood Policy: Implications for Economic Growth and Stability‟, Journal of Common Market Studies, 44: 3 (2006), pp. 507-532; Elisabeth JohanssonNogues, „A Ring of Friends? The Implications of the European Neighbourhood Policy for the Mediterranean‟, Mediterranean Politics, 9: 2 (2004), pp. 240-247; Ivailo Gatev, The EU’s Neighbourhood Policy towards Ukraine, paper presented at the European Foreign Policy Conference, held at London School of Economics, 2-3 July 2004; Heather Grabbe, „How the EU should help its Neighbours?, Centre for European Reform, June
2004. For a more thorough review of the relevant research on this issue see Valentina Kostadinova, „The Commission, ENP and Construction of Borders‟, Geopolitics, 14: 2 (2009), pp. 235-255, pp. 237-238 229 European Council formally adopted the initiative in December 2002 but on the insistence of the Southern EU members also included the non-member states on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The number of ENP countries rose further in June 2004 when the Caucasian republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia also became official European Union partners in this policy. In the meantime, Russia and Algeria had declined participation and instead insisted on developing its relations with the EU on a separate track.3 The European Commission formally initiated the ENP in March 2003 with its Communication on the “Wider Europe Neighbourhood”.4 The main aim of this policy, as summarised by the Commissioner responsible for External Relations and the ENP Benita Ferrero-Waldner is “… to expand the zone of prosperity, stability and security …” beyond the borders of the EU. 5 The roots of this aim go back to the European Security Strategy, which outlines as major security threats to the EU in the post-Cold War era terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts, state failure, and organised crime. 6 Thus, one of the conclusions of the Security Strategy is that the “… internal threat to our security has an important external dimension: cross-border trafficking in drugs, women, illegal immigrants and weapons … Such criminal activities are often associated with weak or failing states.”7 As a result, a key strategic objective for addressing these threats is for the countries on the borders of the EU to be well-governed, because: “Neighbours who are engaged in violent conflict, weak states where organized crime flourishes, dysfunctional societies or exploding population growth on its borders all pose problems for Europe.”8 Immediately after the end of the Cold War the tool for achieving stability in the EU‟s neighbourhood was the accession of some of the former Communist countries into the 3 This summary is based on Karen Smith, „The Outsiders: the European Neighbourhood Policy‟, International Affairs, 81: 4 (2005), pp. 757-773, p. 759. Another source that provides an overview of the evolution of the ENP is Elizabeth Johansson-Nogues, „The EU and its Neighbourhood: an Overview‟ in Katja Weber, Michael
Smith, Michael Baun (eds), Governing Europe’s Neighbourhood: Partners or Periphery? (Manchester:
Manchester University Press, 2007), pp. 21-35 4 European Commission, Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: a New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours, COM (2003) 104 final, 11.03.2003 5 Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Neighbourhood Policy, SPEECH/06/149, 07.03.2006, p. 2 6 In „A Secure Europe in a Better World – European Security Strategy‟, available at http://consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/78367.pdf, accessed on 21.08.2006, pp. 3-4 7 Ibid., p. 4 8 Ibid., p. 7 230 EU, which was done through the Enlargement policy. As a result, borders have been transformed and as the Literature Review in Chapter Two showed, it prompted a debate about how the Union‟s relations with its neighbours are best conceived of. However, more recent speeches of high-ranking EU officials and EU documents show that gradually a position that the Union cannot enlarge “ad finitum” is becoming ever more pronounced.