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.

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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.

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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....

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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?

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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).

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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.

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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.

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WISC Instanbul 2005: Institutional Requirements: EU, the Amercas and East Asia

Abstract

This paper discusses the importance of institutions for successful international economic integration comparing the EU with NAFTA and the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) as well as some other regional integration schemes. Taking the point of departure in neo-liberal institutionalist theories of international regimes and rational theories of international integration, especially the contributions by Moravcsik and Mattli, the respective institutional designs of EU, NAFTA and AFTA are compared. The question is asked: Can both 'supranational' institutions à la EU and less supranational and more intergovernmental institutions à la NAFTA and AFTA create 'credible' commitments'? The answer seems to be yes for NAFTA but less so for AFTA. A brief comparison with other integration schemes such as APEC suggests that a certain legal formalization is necessary to 'lock-in' liberalization and limit defection. Further, it is noted that the EU has moved much beyond a free trade area (FTA) to create an internal market, an Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and a number of common policies. These common policies, especially the Structural Funds allow for some redistribution.

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Miami 2012: Comparative Regional Integration and credible commitments

Abstract

In this paper the author will outline some essential characteristics about the EU designed to assure 'credible commitments' and take a look at how other integration schemes, NAFTA and MERCOSUR in particular, have tried to secure 'credible commitments'. The main variables to be discussed include: the degree of completeness of the original contract to start an integration process, the degree of asymmetry among the main participants, the degree of pooling and delegation of authority, and the availability of leadership to overcome collective action problems.

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UBC 2007: Europe at beginning of 21st Century

Contents

"Europe at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges"

  • By Finn Laursen
  • CRC in EU Studies
  • Director, EU Centre of Excellence
  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
  • Background paper prepared for final keynote speech at conference at UBC, Vancouver, 19 April 2007
  • Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Where are we today?
    • Increasing functional scope: From coal and steel to EMU and Political Union
    • Increasing membership: From 6 to 27
    • Improving institutions: More QMV and EP involvement
  • How did we get there?
    • Spill-over and unintended consequences
    • Series of rational grand bargains
    • Agency: ideas and leaders
  • Current Challenges
    • Further enlargements: towards EU-35 and beyond
    • Policy reforms: CAP, employment, etc
    • Institutional reforms: efficiency and legitimacy
    • Political entrepreneurship
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Hebrew University Jerusalem 2007: Institutions vs Leadership

Contents

"Institutions vs. Leadership: Towards a Theory of Credible Commitments"

  • By Finn Laursen
  • Canada Research Chair in EU Studies
  • Director, EU Centre of Excellence
  • Professor, Department of Political Science
  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

[Preliminary draft. Comments invited]

Paper prepared for delivery at conference on supranational integration at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 18-20 March, 2007

Abstract

The paper will discuss the contribution of various IR and integration theories concerning 'credible commitments.' The term was probably first used by neo-liberal institutionalists, especially Robert Keohane, in the late 1980s. In the 1990s Andrew Moravcsik made it a defining element of his three-stage integration theory called liberal intergovernmentalism. According to Moravcsik the particular institutional choice of the European Communities, pooling and delegation of sovereignty, was a deliberate decision by the member states to create 'credible commitments'. During the so-called neo-neo debate within the IR discipline during the 1980s neo-realists had serious doubts about a committing kind of international cooperation. Were such to take place some kind of hegemonic leadership would be required, many argued. Among students of regional integration, Walter Mattli has emphasized the role of leadership as an important supply factor explaining the success of integration, making it more important than what he called 'commitment institutions'. So who are we to believe: does integration require supranational institutions – pooling and delegation – or is leadership more important? This paper tries to give some tentative answers.

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Strategies for World Federal Government: Early Debate Revisited

Contents

"Strategies for World Federal Government: The Early Debate Revisited"

  • Finn Laursen
  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

[Preliminary draft]

Paper prepared for delivery at workshop "Present Futures and Future Presents - World State Scenarios for the 21st Century" at Klitgaarden, Skagen, Denmark, 23-25 June, 2010.

Abstract

The World Movement for World Federal Government was formed in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1947. In the following years a wide-ranging debate took place inside this International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO). Was UN Charter revision necessarily the best approach to world federal government? Or should a more radical approach be chosen, such as the calling of a Peoples' World Convention? How would regional federations fit in with a global federal structure? What contributions could come from World Citizens' movements? Part of the debate also concerned the powers of a future world federal authority. Minimalists wanted these powers limited to security issues; maximalists wanted a world federal government that could also deal with socio-economic issues.

The focus of this paper will be the debates that took place at the annual congresses of the WMWFG from the beginning to the 1953 Congress in Copenhagen, where the UN approach gained the upper hand. It will briefly sketch the developments after the mid 1950s, where for some years World Peace through World Law by Grenville Clark and Louis B. Sohn (Harvard University Press, 1958) dominated the thinking. The paper will also mention the contributions of World Federalist Youth in the 1960s and 1970s, when the author was actively involved. The conclusions will briefly refer to some IR and regional integration literature.

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ISA Manzanillo 1997: EU and Greater China

Contents

"The EU, the Greater China Area and Globalization: The Case of the International Trade Regime"

  • By Finn Laursen
  • With the assistance of Berenice Lara-Laursen
  • The Thorkil Kristensen Institute
  • South Jutland University Centre
  • Niels Bohrs Vej 9
  • DK 6700 Esbjerg
  • Denmark

From Introduction:

The concept of the Greater China Area is not well defined. In this paper we use it to refer to the PRC (or Mainland China), the ROC (or Taiwan), as well as Hong Kong that returned to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997, and Macao which will return to Chinese sovereignty in 1999. The latter two are already members of the WTO.

The other unit dealt with in this paper is the European Union (EU), which has had a Common Commercial Policy (CCP) for a number of years and which is supposed to have a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) since the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union in 1993. We mention the latter because the question of PRC and ROC accession to the WTO is partly economic and partly political. However, the political question of diplomatic recognition was solved by the member states before the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty.

The purpose of the paper is to outline the EU commercial policy via-á-vis the PRC and ROC, especially concerning membership of the WTO. Since joining the multilateral trade regime usually involves the negotiation of an accession ticket the EU has had to develop a policy on the controversial issues associated with PRC and ROC membership first of GATT, then WTO.

The issues have to be seen in the context of growing trade between the EU and East-Asia in general, the Greater China Area in particular. The fact that the EU has trade deficits with China and Taiwan - although not with Hong Kong - is part of this context. In the political contest between the PRC and ROC all members states of the EU now have diplomatic relations with the PRC but not with the ROC. The EU has accepted that there is only one China and that the PRC represents that China. There are only informal relations with Taiwan even if Taiwan is an important trading partner of the EU.

Paper prepared for delivery at ISA-AMEI Conference, Manzanillo, Mexico, December 11-13, 1997.

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