‘WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE NETHERLANDS? INTOLERANCE, INTEGRATION AND MURDER’SEMINAR GIVEN BY Dr. LUKE ASHWORTH 5 APRIL 2005
On the 5 April 2005, Dr. Luke Ashworth gave an enormously topical seminar focussed on the Netherlands. He started off with some background information concerning the Netherlands, highlighting myths “within and without”, which have emerged with time. One such myth was how until recently the Netherlands was a close-knit Christian society. Another exclaimed that the Netherlands is a densely populated country that does not need more integration. It is full up.
Luke moved on then to further enlighten the audience on the Dutch condition. Founded as a Calvinist mercantile republic, the Netherlands has also seen the rise of liberalism and socialism. With regard to post-1945 however, Luke drew attention to the PvdA and KVP/CDA coalitions, the ‘pillars’ of the polder model: protestant-catholic-socialist, and how Dutch permissiveness has always been about social control.
Furthermore, Luke spoke about the rise of multiculturalism in the Netherlands. In so doing, he mentioned how Dutch society has always been heterogeneous: separate development of the social pillars. While also referring to Catholics, Friesians, The Sephardim and Intra-Protestant splits, the growth of Islam, EU gasterbeiders, Moroccans, Turks, ‘Yugoslavs’, and others.
In dealing with the area of ‘The Moral Panic’, both in 1999 and after 2002, Luke conversed with the group on a number of issues. Firstly, he spoke of the setting up of Leefbaar Nederland and how Pim Fortuyn was elected as leader of it. Secondly, he revealed how the idea emerged that Islam had never had the Enlightenment. Moreover, he spoke of Pim Fortuyn’s murder, the first Balkenende government, the collapse of the LPF and the second Balkenende government, and the murder of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch kristalnacht.
Islamophobia and xenophobia were then addressed, with Luke discussing free speech and the right to criticise Islam and other minority groups. Luke stressed how attitudes towards minority groups are becoming quite ingrained in the Netherlands, and stated that there is much confusion, and an assumption that multiculturalism is a choice, rather than a reality.
Before concluding, Luke put forward a question concerning Geert Wilders, as to whether he could be called the new Fortuyn? While then concluding with a statement from a Dutch Moslem student teacher who said: “integration has to come from both sides: it is not one way.” He finished on the note that the Netherlands does need immigration: emigration now exceeds immigration.
‘CRISES AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN EU-US RELATIONSTHE GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENCY IN PERSPECTIVE’PROFESSOR MIKE SMITH SPEAKS AT CEUROS SEMINAR
Professor Mike Smith is Jean Monnet Chair of European Politics, Head of Loughborough University’s Department of European Studies and Director of the University-based East Midlands Eurocentre. His current research includes: European-American relations since 1945, European Community external policy making, EC/US/Japan relations, and the role of the European Union in a changing European order, as well as general topics in international relations and policy making.
In order to introduce his seminar entitled: ‘Crises and Crisis Management in EU-US Relations: The George W. Bush Presidency in Perspective’, of the 21st April 2005, Professor Mike Smith explained that this paper is part of a series of papers he has been doing on EU-US relations. These papers he is conducting from two perspectives: historical and the key concepts of International Relations.
Professor Mike Smith’s paper began with a look at a history of transatlantic crises. after which he spoke about the rhetoric and reality of crises, and three sorts of divergence that help identify crisis, namely: analytical divergence (in terms of how crisis is identified?), Discursive divergence (describing a difference in which crisis is articulated) and prescriptive or normative divergence (addressing how or why is crisis to be managed).
The subsequent area which Professor Smith covered, was that of ‘a framework for analysis of EU-US crises’. In relation to this area he highlighted how people have gone on and on about EU-US relations being in crisis. What is imperative however, as he stressed, is that it is important to be careful about what you mean by crisis. In this way he put forward a number of scopes for looking at a crisis. These included: fundamental distinctions (for example: long and short term crises; crisis of the system; crisis in the system; chronic and acute crises), and also, key causal elements of a crisis if one looks at EU-US relations as a system, or rather a bi-polar system (power structures and power shifts; institutional asymmetries; ideational convergence and divergence).
‘The problem of management’ was the next matter dealt with. This, Professor Smith began with asking the question: why manage EU-US crises? After which, he put forward a number of further thought-provoking questions, such as: In whose interests is it? Is it for the common good or good relations? Or is it merely to win, or in some cases, to avoid losing?
In speaking then about ‘a history of EU-US crises’, Professor Smith stated that crisis has been an integral part of the ‘Euro-American system’. The 1970s saw America as an ordinary country, the EC as a civilian power. The 1980s were those years of contending narratives of the new Europe, and the 1990s saw an adjustment, both of the EU and the US, to the disappearing superpower.
The final aspect of the paper looked at ‘the ‘four years’ crisis’ in perspective. Here, Professor Smith spoke of three types of crisis. Firstly, ‘a crisis of unilateralism’: describing management as manipulation provoked by the US, for US purposes in a sense. This arises out of American policy. Secondly, ‘a crisis of adjustment’: management as stabilisation. This adjustment is between the EU and the US, but with the US more active. Finally, ‘a crisis of mutual vulnerability’: management as self-preservation. This mutual vulnerability is, like the aforementioned, between the EU and the US.
In conclusion, Professor Smith pronounced that the problem faced with now is whether the EU and the US have developed a different view of how crises can be managed? This was followed by numerous questions from the audience, which revealed the huge interest that was in the room, based on what Professor Smith had said.
CIGDEM USTUN, PhD RESEARCHER IN CEUROS, REPORTS ON HER INTERNSHIP WITH THE OSCE IN COPENHAGEN
The parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE is the parliamentary dimension of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, whose primary task is to facilitate interparliamentary dialogue. My internship in the International Secretariat of this organisation started on 22nd March and will end on 20th September 2005.
I arrived in Copenhagen on 21st March. Two of the other interns and the General Services Officer came to pick me up from the airport. This was really a big relief. It is sometimes difficult to find your way in a country that you don’t know anything about, especially the language!!
The workplace is a relaxed environment in contrast to my expectations. There are no strict rules on clothes, and usually nobody needs to work outside of the working hours, 9 am to 5 pm.
The assignments that are given to an intern change based on the nationality of the intern, but there are also assignments that are given regardless of the nationality or areas of personal interest.
One of the assignments that is given regardless of the nationality is writing updates on countries where the OSCE has missions. The countries that are given to me are Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM and Croatia. I am responsible for writing updates on these countries, usually every two weeks if there are no crisis situations or elections happening in these countries. If there are elections taking place, then the next day I need to write the updates.
Another assignment that is given regardless of the nationality this year is the database that the OSCE PA is trying to build up. The database is on the CVs of the members of the delegations from all of the member countries. Either information obtained from each delegation’s secretariat, or from each government’s webpage, is used to build up the database.
The other assignments depend on your nationality and your research or areas of interest. In one of the assignments that is given to me, both the interest area and the nationality have played a role. President of the OSCE PA, Mr. Alcee Hasting, is going to be attending a conference on Black Sea cooperation which is organised by the Greek government and ICBSS. I am assigned to write a speech for him that he will be giving on the cooperation between Europe and Black Sea countries. This is in fact interesting but at the same time challenging. Interesting because it helps me to learn about Black Sea cooperation and the issues that they are interested in, but at the same time challenging because it is the first time that I have needed to write a speech for someone else and on an issue that I do not have enough experience.
Another assignment that was given to me is to work with Tina Schon, who is the programme officer in the Secretariat. She works with the Secretary General on issues related to the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security as well as the Ad Hoc Committee on Transparency and Accountability. She asked me to work with her in the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security. My main responsibility is to follow the meetings of the OSCE PA and work on the amendments that are made in this Committee in these meetings.
The upcoming meeting, at this stage, is the Expanded Bureau Meeting 2005, in April in Copenhagen. In this meeting the Bureau of the Assembly is joined by the Officers of the three General Committees. This meeting takes place once a year in April, for further preparations for the July Annual Session that will take place in Washington this year. All the interns are expected to participate in this Annual Session. The theme for the Annual Session this year is 30 Years Since Helsinki: Challenges Ahead.
One other assignment given to me based on the nationality and area of interest, was to work on Mediterranean issues with Gustavo Pallares, adviser to the President and has responsibility for Mediterranean matters in the OSCE PA.
CEUROS PARTICIPANTS ACTIVE AS CONFERENCE SEASON GETS UNDER WAY
With the advent of the conference season, CEUROS participants were seen at several international conferences. Neil Robinson was at the BASEES conference in Cambridge; Eddie Moxon-Browne and Lucia Quaglia presented a joint paper at EUSA in Austin Texas; Barrie Wharton spoke in Athens; and Brid Quinn and Bernadette Connaughton were in two separate panels at the ECPR in Granada. Abstracts of some of these papers appear below….
Eddie Moxon-Browne and Lucia Quaglia
‘What Makes a Good EU Presidency? Italy and Ireland Compared’
What makes a ‘good’ EU Presidency? A comparison between the two most recent Italian and Irish experiences in office can be instrumental in evaluating the crucial factors that affect presidency performance. The argument is developed in three main stages. Firstly, four key roles are selected in order to benchmark presidencies. Secondly, these roles are applied to the empirical record as criteria to devise a score-card of the two presidencies under consideration. Thirdly, the factors that affect the performance of the presidency are elicited, and are related to two mainstream theoretical approaches deployed in the study of the EU. It is argued here that socially constructed elements, such as expertise in EU affairs, political credibility, and attitudes towards European integration, have more explanatory leverage than purely power-based factors, such as country size, economic and political weight.
Bernadette Connaughton, Nick Rees and Brid Quinn
‘Rhetoric or Reality? Responding to the challenge of sustainable development and new governance patterns in Ireland’
ECPR Workshop 17: Initiating Sustainable Development: Patterns of Sub-National Engagement and their Significance. The authors of the paper are Bernadette Connaughton, Nicholas Rees, Brid Quinn.
The paper considers the emergence of new governance patterns in Ireland as sub-national actors engage in the implementation of sustainable development strategies. Governance has become an umbrella concept for a wide variety of phenomena about governing. Governance highlights the role of the state in ‘steering’ action within complex social systems (Kooiman, 1993). It signifies a set of elusive but potentially deeply significant shifts in the way in which government seeks to govern (Pierre and Peters, 2000), primarily in involving a wider array of social actors in making and implementing policy. Environmental governance is evolving towards a model emphasizing a network style and participatory forms of policy formulation (Lenschow, 1999; Knill and Lenschow, 2000; Baker, 2001) with the participation and consultation of relevant public and private actors in the policy formulation process. The paper questions whether policy innovations and rhetoric at central government level have resulted in the emergence of an effective institutional framework for the implementation of sustainable development initiatives, or have prolonged institutional paralysis. As waste production is one of the best indicators of progress towards sustainable development (EU, 1999:10), waste management will be considered given that waste has emerged as one of the most politically contentious issues in Ireland (Taylor, 2001). It is argued that despite progress in institutional reform and ongoing learning, the successful implementation of sustainable waste management policies is impeded by poor public participation, insufficient resource allocation and the continued perception that economic growth and employment are of primary importance.
‘From 'Clash of Civilizations' to Cultural Tolerance: The role of
Muslim Communities in a United Europe’
The tragic events of September 11th, 2001 with the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York by Al-Qaeda terrorists catapulted Islam and the Islamist movement onto television screens and the front pages of newspapers worldwide. The events of that momentous day have left an indelible imprint on the mindset of contemporary society and subsequent military campaigns and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq have maintained the Islamist movement at the forefront of global attention. However, this concern with the growth of “political” Islam is not new and over the last forty years, the rise of Islam or more correctly, the Islamist movement as a political force across the Muslim world is a phenomenon which has been greeted with fear and trepidation by both European governments and academics . The rapidly changing face of the new Europe and the evolving nature of the immigrant Muslim communities, a fragmented diaspora within a fragmented continent, render the issue an extremely difficult one to address and it is undoubtedly a question which requires a multi-layered analysis as its study within neat geographical or chronological parameters will only be able to offer misleading results which may not be merely erroneous but also more importantly, of significant danger. The study of the position of Muslim immigrants in Europe and their future role in European society therefore requires a framework which not only investigates socio-political factors but moreover, one which also examines the cultural present and future of Muslims in European society for it will be the ability of the European cultural sponge to absorb Muslim communities which will determine their real future on the European societal and political landscape. The saturation level of this sponge remains unknown and in the case of Muslims in Europe, it depends on a variety of factors ranging from rising unemployment in Europe coupled with increased Muslim immigration to Muslim communities’ resistance to absorption and cultural integration and the implications that this presents for the future of European unity.
‘IRELAND AND THE EU CONSTITUTION: CHANGING ATTITUDES?’KEYNOTE ADDRESS GIVEN BY PROFESSOR NICK REES
Nick Rees gave the keynote address on "Ireland and the EU Constitution: Changing Attitudes?" at the 16th Colmcille Winter School (25-27 February), which this year was focussed on examining the possible implications of the European Union Constitution for Ireland. The conference, which was organised at the Colmcille Heritage Centre, near Letterkenny in Co. Donegal, was attended by about 150 delegates from a range of public sector organisations, local authorities and VECs over the three days. The audience was addressed by a number of speakers including Seán Ó Neachtain, MEP, Prof. Séamus Ó Cinnéide (NUI Maynooth), Dr David Phinnemore (QUB), Prof. James Wickham (Trinity College Dublin) and Senator Jim Higgins, MEP.
‘REFORGING THE WEAKEST LINK: GLOBAL POLITICAL ECONOMY AND POST-SOVIET CHANGE IN RUSSIA, UKRAINE AND BELARUS. ed. Neil Robinson. Ashgate 2004.
Extracts from a recent review in International Affairs are reproduced here:
The catastrophic downfall of economic output and living standards that resulted from the Gorbachev-Yeltsin reforms renders Russia’s transition to capitalism a mystery. Such is the confusion that one of the book’s authors (Anastasia Nesvetailova) suggests throwing out the term and the school affiliated with it as intrinsically ‘teleological, ethnocentrically triumphalist and disrespectful of cross-national variation’ (p. 137). Rather than talking of unilinear and structurally similar ‘transitions’, she represents post-communist Europe and Eurasia’s role in the global market economy as that of the resource addenda of the core capitalist states, an export-oriented periphery that has been deprived of its earlier achievements to make room for the present round of global accumulation of capital. The chapter marshals impressive statistical evidence to argue that the post-socialist opening to the world in the era of globalisation could not but plunge the whole region ‘into an uneven, dependent pattern of capitalist development’ (p. 140). How this newly added, and traditionally weakest, link in global capitalism will be ‘reforged’ will be determined by the success of national elites in finding a niche for themselves in the oligopolistic markets of the West. Nesvetailova sees global market economy and its political economy and its political and economic actors as key agents of post-communist transformation in the former Soviet Union and other countries of the eastern bloc. She is predictably pessimistic, although the statistics cited leave hardly any space for a more cheerful interpretation. The chapter lays the blame for the 50 per cent drop in post-Soviet GDP over the ten years of 'reform' at the feet of the western architects of a global neo-liberal project that bulldozes over the national interests of 'latecomers'.Neil Robinson, on the contrary, attributes Russia and Eurasia's failure mostly to domestic, endogenous causes. The state-socialist economy leads to economic inefficiencies, the central planning system inevitably stalls development and economic isolation exacerbates such problems as particularistic exchanges, soft budget constraints and rent-seeking behaviour. Robinson posits that opening up to the international economy was the Soviets' last hope for successful modernisation. However, he does not explain the disaster that followed. Was it, as Yeltsin's ex-Prime Minister Egor Gaidar has said, too little of a shock for successful 'therapy'? Or was it too much of a shock, too rudely applied, in all the wrong spots? Nesvetailova is clearly of the latter opinion. Robinson does not engage with the argument, referring to Russia's entrenched rentierism and path dependency instead. The country's abysmal performance is attributed to the availability of natural resource rents, which create dependency on energy exports and sustain the tradition of 'patrimonial' governance.
The book does a good job in presenting the economic situation and recent developments in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. However, its chronological range does not extend much further than the financial crisis of 1998. Russia's tentative progress against the background of an unprecedented hike in oil prices and Russia's alleged transformation into an export-dependent 'petro-state' remain unaddressed questions. An excellent empirical chapter on foreign trade is clearly undertheorised. Overall, the conceptual link between global market economy and post-Soviet change deserves further exploration, particularly in relation to the post-Soviet period itself. The project clearly merits scholarly attention.
Malin Stegmann McCallion
16.00 5th May 2005
“Cleaning Up The Regional Mess? Explaining Sweden’s Regional Pilot Project”
First Secretary – Embassy of Slovenia
1200 9th May 2005 Europe Day
The Role of Slovenia in European Integration