Papers by Finn Laursen

Papers by Finn Laursen
Academia Sinica 1994: EU Trade Policy and Taiwan

Abstract

LAURSEN, Finn, "EC Trade Policy, GATT and the ROC"

This paper deals with the trade relations between the European Community (EC) and the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan. It gives some historical background, outlines how the EC makes trade policy and traces recent developments in EC-ROC trade. Given the EC's non-recognition of the ROC the question of management of (non)-relations arises. Largely the EC has managed its relations with the ROC through unilateral measures, including autonomously set quotas in the area of textiles and clothing and anti-dumping duties imposed on some ROC products. The national quotas that some member states imposed on some products until recently have now been abolished in connection with the completion of the EC's internal market. The EC has also used a non-governmental organization, Eurochambres, to conclude a couple of agreements with the ROC, and informal policy consultations have taken place. The EC now supports GATT membership of the ROC as long as the ROC accepts all the obligations this entails. ROC membership in GATT, or the new World Trade Organization (WTO) to be established, should allow for further pragmatic improvements in EC-ROC relations.

Academia Sinica 2008: EU-Taiwan Relations

Abstract

In this paper we analyze recent issues in the relations between the European Union (EU) and Taiwan. We give some general background concerning the One China principle, which means that there are no diplomatic relations between the EU or its member states and Taiwan. On the other hand Taiwan is an important trading partner of the EU, so pragmatic means of communication about trade-related issues have been developed. The EU supported Taiwan's membership of the WTO and has opened a representative office in Taipei in 2003. The EU has a more formalized relationship with the People's Republic of China (PRC), which goes back to 1975. The EU has lately spoken out more often on cross-strait issues, occasionally criticizing both sides to the conflict. The EU has supported increased cross-straits communications and a reduction of tensions between Taiwan and China. In the economic area the EU has various complaints about non-tariff-barriers (NTBs) to trade in Taiwan.

Danish ECSA 2011: EU's 'external action' post-Lisbon

Introduction

The Lisbon Treaty formally abolished the pillar structure introduced by the Maastricht Treaty and gives the whole union legal personality. It also has a section on ‘external action’ in the part referred to as the Treaty on European Union (Title V, TEU). This part includes general provisions on ‘external action’ but is most specific on Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union also has a section on ‘External Action by the Union’ (Part Five, TFEU). This section has general provisions as well as more specific provisions on common commercial policy, cooperation with third countries and humanitarian aid, restrictive measures, international agreements, the Union’s relations with international organisations and third countries as well as a solidarity clause.So it quickly appears that the old distinction between external economic relations (pillar 1) and CFSP (pillar 2) is still there despite the abolition of the pillars....

ECSA-Canada 2008: Study of EU Treaty Reforms

Abstract

This paper endeavours to give an overview of some of the existing research on Intergovernmental Conferences (IGCs) and the role they have played in negotiating the founding treaties of the European Communities (EC) in the 1950s and their later reforms, including the creation of the European Union (EU) in 1992. It outlines the most important approaches to the study of IGCs and treaty-making, viz. liberal intergovernmentalism and various neo-institutionalist approaches. It argues that liberal intergovernmentalism remains an important approach, but it underestimates the role of domestic politics and need for leadership to overcome collective action problems. This role of leadership can be played by Community institutions (Commission and Council Secretariat) as well as the Presidency or individual member states. Liberal intergovernmentalism also fails to explain the continuous empowerment of the European Parliament, which can best be explained by sociological institutionalism. The role of referenda in some cases suggests that treaty reforms must be studied as 2-level games.

EUSA 2011: EU-China Strategic Partnership

From Introduction

This paper deals with EU-China relations as a case of the EU's strategic partnerships. It will study the concept of strategic partnerships and see how the EU officially has tried to define these partnerships. As is well known, China is an emergent power which plays an increasing role internationally. With its huge market the EU has clear commercial and financial interests in developing good relations with China as well as integrating China in the global political economy, in particular the WTO framework. As it was said in a recent factsheet from the EU: "Since bilateral ties between the EU and China were established thirty five years ago, trade relations have expanded from €4 billion in 1978 to €296 billion in 2009. Today, the EU is China's most important trading partner, while for the EU, China is second only to the United States."

IPSA 2009: Denmark's ratification of Lisbon Treaty

Abstract

Given the fact that the Lisbon Treaty is rather similar to the Constitutional Treaty in content, it looks surprising that Denmark could avoid a referendum on the former when it had previously been decided that a referendum would have been necessary to ratify the latter. This paper will give some background on the Danish Constitution and transfer of sovereignty to supranational organisations and give a brief overview of how these rules have been applied in connection with the Accession Treaty in 1972 and subsequent treaty reforms. Denmark ratified the Treaty of Nice without a referendum. The decision whether to have a referendum is officially a legal one, but one can ask whether political considerations enter too. Given the negative referendum votes on the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and on joining the euro in 2000 the government is eager to avoid the use of referendums. The reason for this is partly that the Danish public is sceptical about European integration. This affects parliamentary politics and it makes treaty reform a difficult two-level game in Denmark.

ISA 2009: Explaning the Lisbon Treaty

Introduction

The European Union is currently based on the treaty framework which emerged as the Treaty of Nice entered into force in 2003 (European Union, 2003). The Constitutional Treaty elaborated during the Convention on the Future of Europe, 2002-2003, and finally negotiated during the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), 2003-2004, proposed a number of changes in that framework, but the treaty was rejected in referenda in France and the Netherlands in May and June 2005 (Laursen, 2008). After a reflection period it was decided to negotiate a so-called Reform Treaty. The German Presidency played an important role in securing agreement on a mandate for a new IGC in June 2007. During the Portuguese Presidency in the autumn of 2007 that IGC then produced a new treaty, the Lisbon Treaty (European Union 2007).

In this paper we shall explore the process of producing this latest EU treaty, outline the most important institutional changes of the treaty, and discuss its significance. Will the Lisbon Treaty improve the efficiency, democratic legitimacy "as well as the coherence of its external action," as the mandate from June 2007 claimed it should?

Miami 2008 II: Treaty of Lisbon: What's in it?

From Introduction

The Lisbon Treaty has retained most of the institutional changes of the Constitutional Treaty (de Poncins, 2008; Griller and Ziller, 2008; Sauron, 2008; and Weidenfeld, 2008). It amends the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC), the latter being renamed The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). All references to symbols of constitutionalism, including flag, anthem and motto, have been removed. Legislative acts will not be called laws and framework laws, but retain the old names of regulations and directives. The new post in the Constitutional Treaty of Union Minister for Foreign Affairs has been renamed High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR). Nor does the new treaty explicitly say that Union law has primacy, although it will have such primacy based on case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) going back to the early years of European integration. The IGC confirmed this in Declaration no. 17 attached to the treaty: "The Conference recalls that in accordance with well settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Treaties and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the Treaties have primacy over the law of Member States, under the conditions laid down by the said case law" (European Union, 2008, p. 344, see also Wouters et al., 2008, p. 190).

Miami 2008: Theory and Practice of Regional Integration

Introduction

In this paper I shall briefly outline the classical theories of integration, especially neofunctionalism, which dominated the debate about European integration from the very beginning in the 1950s until the early 1990s.

Next I want to outline what I consider the most important contribution to integration theory in the last 10-15 years, namely Andrew Moravcsik's liberal intergovernmentalism.

Then I will look at some of the most important critiques of liberal intergovernmentalism, especially public choice institutionalism and sociological institutionalism.

I will finish with a brief case study, asking what we can learn in theory and practice from the rise and fall of the Constitutional Treaty.

Rio de Janeiro 2009: Leadership and instirutions: EU and MERCOSUR

Abstract

According to Andrew Moravcsik the EU has tried to secure "credible commitments" by pooling and delegating sovereignty to common institutions. The European Commission and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have what some scholars call supranational powers. An increasing number of decisions in the Council of Ministers can be taken by a qualified majority vote (QMV). According to other scholars, including Walter Mattli, leadership is important to overcome "collective action problems" in international cooperation. This paper will contrast these different explanations of successful regional integration and compare the EU with integration in South America, MERCOSUR in particular. What is the current state of regional integration in South America? To what extent has MERCOSUR created autonomous common institutions? Have some member states been able to provide leadership, and if so, to what effect? The discussion will be put into a comparative perspective, referring also to other integration experiences in other parts of the world.

Dr. Finn Laursen