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Newsletter February 2007

CEUROS REPRESENTED AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY POSTGRADUATE CONFERENCE

The BMW Centre for German and European Studies at the University of Georgetown, located just outside Washington D.C., hosts an annual conference on European Integration for postgraduate students. The 11th conference took place from 1-3 February, and CEUROS was represented by Annelin Andersen and Barry Hussey, who were two of only fifteen students selected for the conference. The participants came from all over Europe, USA and Canada, and the span of research interests was large – the papers presented represented several different approaches to research, both topically and methodologically. The keynote speech was given by the former president of Poland, Alexander Kwasniewski, who addressed the challenges of enlargement, as well as the reasons for the non-ratification of the Constitutional Treaty.
The panels of the conference were divided into five sessions: Critiquing European History, Cultural Values, Identity, Legitimacy and European Economics and the European Union in International Affairs. Annelin was on the identity panel, and presented a paper applying two competing hypotheses to explain Euroscepticism in Sweden; the cliché of the Swedish ‘people’s home,’ also labelled Swedish ‘exceptionalism,’ and Gabel and Palmer’s utilitarian hypothesis, which assumes that economic macro-and micro factors will be the strongest proxies people rely upon when forming opinions to European integration. A theoretical and empirical discussion of the two hypothesis concluded that the Swedes rely more on identity factors, which also constitutes a feeling of ‘being different’ to Europe, and less on economics, given the material security brought about by the welfare state arrangements. Barry was a panellist on the International Affairs panel, and his paper first looked at the misunderstood relationship between Realist International Relations theory and Intergovernmentalism as ‘EU-modified Realism’, in an attempt to show that Realism was uninvolved in integration debates, or conversely misrepresented by Intergovernmentalism. The paper then went on to examine the possible utility of reexamining Realism in the context of the EU as a strategic actor in the international system as a critical alternative to the dominant normative power Europe discourse. All panels and sessions were attended by large numbers of students and faculty at Georgetown, and both Annelin and Barry received several questions and positive feedback on their papers and presentations. The conference was rounded off with dinner in a restaurant close to the White House, and the participants who were not too exhausted after the sessions continued to explore the nightlife of Washington. On the whole, the conference was very well organized, the sessions very interesting and we made useful contacts with fellow academics, and we would absolutely recommend our colleagues to go next year.

Annelin Andersen and Barry Hussey


REPORT ON BISA CONFERENCE IN UCC

The 31st BISA annual conference was hosted by the Department of History at University College Cork in December 2006. The event comprised 117 panels spread over three days. 
Europe and Terrorism, the panel at which I presented, was chaired by Andrew Cottey of UCC. Christoph Meyer from Birkbeck, London opened the panel with his paper Constructing a European Counter-Terror Strategy: Do Intra-European Differences in Threat Perceptions and Strategic Culture Matter? Restricted by time, he did not get a chance to cover the European aspect of the paper but presented an interesting commentary on the ‘new terrorism threat’.
Cornelia Beyer of Universitat Koblenz-Landau, Germany presented her paper The European Union as a Security Policy Actor? The Case of Counter-Terrorism.She explored the question of whether the EU can be considered an actor within the field of security by looking at the concept of ‘actorness’ from an International Relations perspective. She concluded that the EU does show characteristics of an actor within the field of counterterrorism, albeit a weak one not devoid of limitations.
My own paper was entitled EU Security versus Civil Liberties: The Case of PNR data transfer. It used the case of the transfer of PNR data by EU airlines to US authorities to highlight the delicate balancing act with which the EU is faced when introducing counter-terrorism measures, whereby on the one hand it strives to create an area of security for its citizens while at the same time it needs to protect their fundamental freedoms.
As a backdrop to the case study, the paper looked at the developments in the EU after the attacks of 11 September 2001 and the tradition of data protection in both the EU and the US. The case study itself began by looking at the legal implications of, and initial reactions to, the U.S. Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 19 November 2001 which required all airlines flying to, from or through the U.S. to supply the U.S. Customs Services, upon request, with Passenger Name Records (PNR). The paper then followed the progression of the debate which lead to an agreement between the EU and the US regarding the transfer of PNR , and the ECJ annulment of this agreement in May 2006. Finally it considered the current status of the issue and concluded that the EU needs to exercise more caution and take the opinion of the democratically elected parliament and data protection groups more seriously when considering agreements with the US regarding the transfer of personal data of EU citizens.

Sharon Nolan


BOOK NOTE

The ethics of territorial borders:drawing lines in the shifting sand
John Williams (Basingstoke: Palgrave 2006) ISBN 0230002528
This is a short but very rich book. In less than 200 pages Williams manages to discuss not only recent thinking on territorial borders by political geographers, realists, and neo-realists, post-structuralists, globalization theorists, constructivists and the English School, but also to deliver some valuable comments on 9/11, war on terror, Iraq, the just war tradition, torture, and the nature of contemporary political theory. Add to this a core chapter on Hannah Arendt’s notion of toleration and diversity, and the reader might think it’s all too much. It’s not: Williams in fact puts it all together to tell a coherent, and extremely interesting story.

Chris Brown LSE (abridged)


CEUROS SEMINARS SPRING 2007

2 March 2007 EUROSCEPTICISM IN SWEDEN Annelin Andersen ER009 1100-1200

9 March 2007 KEEPING CLOSE BUT KEEPING ITS DISTANCE: NORWAY AND THE EUROPEAN UNION Annelin Andersen ER009 1100-1200

23 March 2007 THE CHANNEL TUNNEL AS A REGIONAL FOCUS Matthew Cannon ER009 1100-1200

30 March 2007 THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD IN IRELAND: THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT Brid Moloney ER009 1100-1200

13 April 2007 THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE WESTERN BALKANS John O’Brennan ER009 0900-1045

EU SECURITY vs CIVIL LIBERTIES: THE PNR DATA TRANSFER CASE Sharon Nolan ER009 1100-1200

20 April 2007 ALBANIA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION Esmeralda Gassie ER009 1100-1200

27 April 2007 THE CZECH REPUBLIC: RELUCTANT EUROPEANS? Annelin Andersen ER009 1100-1200


Next issue - March 2007