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Newsletter October 2005


Among new postgraduate researchers to arrive at CEUROS in September was Sharon Nolan who has been awarded the Anna Lindh Fellowship, named in memory of the former Swedish Foreign Minister, and financed by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. Sharon’s research topic is not only newsworthy but is also likely to preoccupy the EU for years to come. It concerns policies formulated to combat terrorism, and focuses particularly on the delicate balance that needs to be struck between the security of citizens, and respect for their civil liberties. An additional perspective in the two-year research project will be the tension between US and EU conceptions of how the ‘war against terrorism’ should best be prosecuted. 
Sharon hails from Co Galway, she graduated from UL in 2003, and spent the intervening year teaching English as a foreign language in South Korea.


A three-year TEMPUS project , coordinated by the College of Europe in Bruges and with partners in two universities and the government in the Republic of Macedonia is now at the half way stage. Its principal objective is to establish a self-supporting European Training Centre in Skopje where policy-makers and opinion formers within Macedonia can prepare the country’s population for EU membership negotiations. In late September, at Lake Ohrid, on the border with Albania, both Eddie Moxon-Browne and Bernadette Andreosso, from CEUROS, contributed to a ten-day training session designed specifically for civil servants working in ministries directly affected by the forthcoming negotiations. One of the spin-off benefits of this project is that postgraduate researchers can travel in both directions to collect data. Last year Maria Tzankova, a PhD researcher from CEUROS, interviewed members of the PROXIMA mission in Macedonia as part of her investigation into EU security policy, while Aleksandra Ovcarov, a PhD researcher from the Faculty of Economics in Skopje, will visit CEUROS in November 2005 to gather information about the EU labour market for her doctoral research.


A recent essay, titled ‘Foreign Direct Investment in Turkey: The Implications of EU Accession’ has been published (Turkish Studies, vol. 6, No 3, September 2005) by Assia Hadjit (Université libre de Bruxelles) and Edward Moxon-Browne (University of Limerick). It analyses the topical question of Turkish accession to the European Union but from a financial perspective. 
Although Turkey’s reform programme in 1980 opened its market to the rest of the world and the liberation of capital movements in 1989 increased the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI), the country still attracts relatively low levels of investments compared to countries of similar size, such as Argentina and Mexico.
The essay investigates the factors which obstruct the increase of foreign investors in the country considering the data of a study carried out by FIAS (Foreign Investment Agency Service) of the World Bank. According to this analysis, the paucity of investment has to be attributed to seven problems: economic crises, political instability provoked by a weak government coalitions, government bureaucracy, a weak judicial system, taxation, corruption, deficient infrastructure and the informal economy.
How much will the prospect of EU accession have an influence on the attraction of inward investment? Its position as a delayed entrant has deterred foreign investors from entering Turkey. However it appears evident that the prospect for future EU membership (negotiations begin in autumn 2005) is having a positive impact on FDI. In fact the implementation of the acquis communautaire demonstrates Turkey’s capacity to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union, and thus it gives more guarantees of sustained stability to foreign investors. On the other hand, Turkey is still in a weak position. Indeed, it hasn’t been successful – in contrast to Central European countries – in carrying out reforms in order to comply with the Copenhagen criteria; and even the EU-Turkey customs union – created in 1996 – didn’t have much impact on levels of FDI.
Moreover, many EU countries are reticent about Turkish accession, and have raised the possibility of stopping the process of membership and creating a privileged partnership or extending associate membership. These alternatives would not help Turkey to become a major pole for FDI because, according to the authors, EU membership is a precondition for increased foreign investments in Turkey.

Ilenia Bertorello


John O‘Brennan has argued in a recent Irish Times article that the reform programme in Turkey will be more likely to succeed if the EU makes a firm offer of EU membership and pursues the negotiations in good faith. While conceding that recent events in Turkey might throw doubt on the authenticity of the reform programme, John takes the longer view stating that the record since 2002 hasn’t been that bad. Since then the government has pushed through four major reform packages some of which required significant changes in the Turkish legal code. Among the changes were: abolition of the death penalty; a clampdown on torture by the police; reform of the judiciary; the release of political prisoners; reduced power for the military; greater freedom for the media; and more cultural, educational and language freedom for minority groups, especially the Kurds. “None of these measures would have been adopted without EU pressure” is John’s conclusion. 
Later the same day, Dr O’Brennan appeared on the Pat Kenny show where his views were given a further airing to a wider audience.


After the negative referenda in France and the Netherlands which have delayed its ratification and postponed the date of its entrance into force (originally planned for 2009), the European Constitution remains a topical theme. But what were the steps that led to the drawing up of the text? Edward Moxon-Browne analyses, in a chapter contained in the publication The value(s) of a Constitution for Europe (edited by Peter G. Xuereb, 2004), the extent to which the Irish Presidency in 2004 was decisive in the adoption of the new Treaty which provided a Constitution for Europe.

The title summarizes the dilemma the Irish Presidency faced: ignore the problem or tackle it? Although the matter of the unfinished IGC is mentioned first in the programme, at the beginning very little was said about it, but by far the most important issue to be inherited by Ireland became the resolution of the dispute that created deadlock in the final week of 2003 under the Italian Presidency.

At the time it was written (at its mid-way stage, March 2004), the success of the Irish Presidency was already predictable. The approach used by Ahern’s team was based essentially on bilateral diplomacy to reduce the ‘distance’ between positions, succeeding also in gaining the trust of all principal protagonists. The essay highlights that Ireland’s perception was also influenced by the attitudes towards it that had accumulated during the past. Indeed, it is rated the ‘most globalised country in the world’ and admired for a ‘Celtic tiger syndrome’ that seems to provide an inspirational role model for some of the accession countries.

A factor that contributed to its success was the attitude of the Irish presidency emphasising that everyone needed to make some concessions in tandem with other EU member-states. This helped to create an atmosphere of ‘shared sacrifice’.
Also, the author recognizes that the Presidency owed much to fortuitous circumstances as well, since, for example, the Madrid bombings on 11 March had given the Irish presidency an unexpected bonus in terms of a change of government in Spain (the present Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero’s European vocation is stronger than his predecessor’s) and a broader mood of solidarity in Europe.

Ilenia Bertorello

The next issue of CEUROS Newsletter appears 19 November