This article explores the EU’s efforts to reunify and reconstruct Mostar through the seminal experiment of EUAM (1994-1996), which combined peacebuilding with urban reconstruction in an innovative way. The aim is to identify lessons to be learned from the experiences of EUAM that can assist the EU to adjust its peacebuilding approach to better address post-conflict divides in cities where the EU currently is engaged. Cities divided by violent conflict tend to freeze the conflict, as they remained divided regardless of a conflict settlement, and they become serious obstacles to peace and a challenge to peacebuilding. Far too little is known about the role of urban space in building peace in ethno-nationally contested cities. By marrying critical urban studies with critical peacebuilding literature this article brings novelty to EU-studies and advances our understanding of the EU’s role in peacebuilding as well as in the Western Balkans.
The European Union was a major participant in postconflict reconstruction in Kosovo and continues to be the leading international actor. This article examines the effectiveness of the EU’s contribution to developing Kosovo’s government institutions and the implementation of its development assistance programs. The EU faced practical difficulties at the very start of its engagement which undermined its impact, and there are ongoing deficiencies in the EU’s approach to development assistance. There are also questions about the appropriateness of the EU’s strategy in Kosovo from the perspective of Kosovo’s economic development. It is argued that EU assistance activities, based on the accession process and compliance with ‘European standards,’ are excessively complex, are oriented more towards benefiting the EU and its members, and may not address the development problems of Kosovo, or agree with the priorities of Kosovo’s population.
Over the past two decades the economic relations between the European Union and Asia have increased exponentially, yet policy responses have lagged behind. Tracing EU official documents since the mid-1990s, this paper shows how the EU continues to perceive its position in Asia as weak, and how it has been shaped by USA actions in the region, and competitiveness concerns. The paper focuses on current trends in free trade agreement negotiations and argues that the EU’s policy has been guided by fear of competition with the USA, and to a lesser extent with Japan and China. A short case study section compares the EU and USA FTAs with South Korea (the only ones finalized thus far) and shows how their similar content reveals a game of competition and of preventing future discrimination. A final section draws some implications from this case study for ongoing negotiations in the region.
Many academics in the Western world favour Human Enhancement (HE) with the motto: “if we can, we should.” It is hard to deny the appeal of the idea of sparing or ridding human beings of some of our “weaknesses.” This idea is instinctively appealing, but once certain factors are considered, the morality of such an approach becomes less convincing. This article analyses the political dimension of HE, defining whether or not the European Union (EU) has a common stance on the issue. If HE is morally condemned at a theoretical level, the practical question arises of whether the EU shares a moral stance on the issue. A positive answer to this question will help reinforce a European identity, whereas a negative one will push us to question its appropriateness and will help to provide the necessary tools to change the current state of affairs.
Every second issue, the Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies will publish the winners from the previous year’s Contemporary European Studies Association of Australia (CESAA) Essay Competition.
The winners of the 2011 CESAA Essay Competition were:
Postgraduate: Simone Abel (University of New South Wales). Undergraduate: Dan Norrie (Monash University)
The CESAA Essay Competition facilitates greater awareness of developments in European affairs, thereby promoting a closer cooperation between Australia and the European Union. Considering the always present ‘tyranny of distance,’ the Essay Competition is a wonderful way for students to maintain contact with the ‘European Community’ in Australia. There are also more tangible benefits: the competition presents an excellent opportunity for students to have their ideas peer reviewed and of course, there are prizes awarded.