Two new BRIGG working papers published in September

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  • 2011•09•26     Bruges

    The Bruges Regional Integration & Global Governance (BRIGG) papers are a series of joint working papers published by the College of Europe and the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS).

    The BRIGG series serves as a platform for contributions by scholars and practitioners on topics relevant to the European Union and other forums of regionalism, viewed from a comparative perspective. The papers are made available worldwide, free of charge, through electronic publication on both the College of Europe and UNU-CRIS websites.

    In September, two BRIGG papers were published.

    BRIGG paper W-2011/3, “As Time Goes By: EU Climate Change Actorness from Rio to Copenhagen” by Thomas James Uldall Heidener, draws on the theoretical concept of “actorness” to analyse the conditions required for the European Union to remain an “actor” in the area of climate change.

    During the past two decades, the EU increasingly has been regarded as an important international actor in environmental politics. The failure of the EU in 2009 to instigate an ambitious post-2012 environmental framework agreement at the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, however, was seen by some as signaling a change in the EU’s status as an international climate change actor.

    This paper addresses the question of what conditions allowed the EU to be an actor in the first place, and argues that for the EU to remain an actor, four criteria — recognition, authority, cohesion and autonomy — need to be satisfied. While these four criteria were present at the 1992 Rio Summit and at COP3 in Kyoto in 1997, the EU exhibited a lack of autonomy and cohesion at COP15 in Copenhagen.

    BRIGG paper W-2011/4, “The EU Strategy for the Danube Region: What Potential Contribution to Regional Stability and Co-operation?” by Mojca Kodric, presents an analysis of a recent initiative aimed at enhancing sub-regional cooperation through collaboration on a series of cross-border projects.

    The paper analyses the strategy’s preparation and consultation stages, assessing the extent to which the strategy incorporates an effective external dimension capable of enhancing regional stability and cooperation. It further analyses three existing sub-regional frameworks — the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the Northern Dimension and the Black Sea Economic Co-operation — to identify a set of common indicators of successful sub-regional policy: equal partnership, joint ownership, diverse stakeholder involvement, adequate funding and institutional capacity, a strong level of commitment, and common interests and objectives.

    When applied to the external dimension of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region, these indicators reveal several weaknesses that may reduce the strategy’s overall effectiveness. The paper identifies areas for improvement and provides a comprehensive case study that could be analysed within a broader theoretical framework.

    See the BRIGG Working Papers page on the UNU- CRIS website for a list of all BRIGG papers, with links for downloading the individuals papers.