Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.

 

Europe

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Consumer Valuation of Energy Supply Security: An Analysis of Survey Results in Three EU Countries

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Date added: 12/27/2010
Date modified: 12/27/2010
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By Wan-Jung Chou, Alistair Hunt,  Anil Markandya, Andrea Bigano, Roberta Pierfederici and Stephane La Branche

This study investigates consumer valuation of the security of various types of energy supply, namely electricity, natural gas and transport fuels (oil). Research for the paper was carried out in the context of the SECURE project (Security of Energy Considering its Uncertainties, Risks and Economic Implications), funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme. The project develops appropriate tools for evaluating the vulnerability of the EU to the different energy supply risks, and for promoting the optimisation of EU energy insecurity mitigation strategies, including investment, demand side management and dialogue with producing countries.
Wan-Jung Chou and Alistair Hunt are research officers at the University of Bath. Anil Markandya is scientific director of BC3 Basque Centre for Climate Change and Professor of Economics at the University of Bath. Andrea Bigano is senior researcher and Roberta Pierfederici junior researcher at FEEM. Stephane La Branche is associate researcher at the Institute of Political Studies, Grenoble.

Rendez-vous with Eastern Europe

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Date added: 12/27/2010
Date modified: 12/27/2010
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By Michael Emerson

With multiple top-level political meetings scheduled in the near future to review progress of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP), Michael Emerson examines the EU’s posture in two key areas – free trade and visa liberalisation – where something could be done promptly and which would mean something tangible for the states in the region. Instead, he is disappointed to report that the EU has devised long, long processes of conditionality for the partner countries to meet and has deferred concrete benefits to the distant future.
Michael Emerson is Senior Research Fellow and head of the EU Foreign, Security and Neighbourhood Policies research programme at CEPS. He is the former EU ambassador to Russia.

The European Union and the Balkans: between Symbiosis and Integration?

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Date added: 12/27/2010
Date modified: 12/27/2010
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Kyriakos D. Kentrotis | Romanian Journal of European Affairs, vol 10, no3, 2010

The European Union continues to constitute an incomplete economic-political entity at intergovernmental and supranational level. The EU is seeking to establish appropriate functional superstructures extending beyond the narrow confines of trade, the economy and free market rules to accommodate its integral progress as a new force for prosperity, democracy and peace in the world. On the map of the Balkans, the local political actors continue to define their choices in line with their historic experience and stereotypes, especially as regards their neighbours and the Great Powers of the moment. The Balkan countries, which in any case are still seeking to consolidate their conventional state structures, need much more time to find their place within this unfinished supranational European structure. In both cases the actors involved, whether in the EU or in the Balkans, are grappling with the challenges of global politics from their different starting-points, but it is not easy to overcome the boundaries of their national sovereignty

The Creeping Nationalisation of the EU Enlargement Policy

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Date added: 12/06/2010
Date modified: 12/06/2010
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Author: Christophe Hillion

Often presented as the "most successful EU policy", enlargement has  undoubtedly been one of the most significant undertakings of the European Union over the last two decades. The recent admission of numerous states to the Union has however exposed various shortcomings in the way that policy is carried out. In the context of growing scepticism about further EU expansion, the response to those shortcomings has, on the whole, taken the form of a strengthening of Member States’ influence and control. This report examines the implications of this development on the policy’s effectiveness.

Windfall Gains of the EU Membership Process

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Date added: 12/06/2010
Date modified: 12/06/2010
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Refik Erzan
Bogazici University, Istanbul
Turkey - EU Observatory 2007
June 14-15, Istanbul

Turkish economy demonstrated a remarkable performance in the aftermath of the 2000/2001 crisis and the subsequent reforms. Together with the IMF, the EU has provided an important anchor in this process. In addition, the decision to start membership negotiations in December 2004 and the implementation of this decision in October 2005 gave a major boost to the Turkish economy, particularly in terms of FDI. The purpose of this essay is to highlight the essential anchor role of the EU for sustained high growth in Turkey, and, the difference that high growth makes in transforming Turkey into a very attractive prize for the EU.