Group 1- A secondary analysis of Eurobarometer data: Does EU’s legitimacy suffer from the ‘management of the migration crisis’? An analysis of opinion surveys in selected member states.
Huda A., Razan G., Dor G.
With the European Union’s (EU) image as a civilian, humanitarian, and normative power, migrants from several areas around the world found in Europe a safe sanctuary escaping war, death, and fear. However, this created a serious crisis that trembled the fundamental norms of the EU such as the solidarity among its states and its image as a legitimate entity. Throughout this research, we are going to highlight the most appropriate measurements of legitimacy to develop a systematic analysis of the term itself on an EU level. We are going to conduct a secondary analysis of the Eurobarometer surveys in selected member states and at specific points of time to answer the question of whether the EU’s legitimacy suffers from the management of the migration crisis on not. The Eurobarometer does not mention the notion of legitimacy directly in its opinion surveys. Therefore, we are bound to address this concept throughout some terms that are employed by Eurobarometer survey questions and at the same time have the ability to display the components of the notion of legitimacy, hence, terms such as trust, image, voice, and optimism are used in our research.
Group 2- Quantitative Analysis of Voting Patterns: Did Eurosceptic Parties Vote Together in EP9?
Noor M., Mutasem A., Ghalya H.
Euroscepticism is increasingly becoming a constant presence on the EU’s political stage. Part of such presence, as far as this paper is concerned, is two main Eurosceptic parties from the 9th European Parliament: Identity and Democracy Group (ID) and European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) which, combined, as per the Parliament’s website (europarl.europa.eu), laid their claim to (135 seats) composing 17.98% of the seats in the recent elections (EP9 of 2019) as compared to (118 seats) making up 15.71% of the seats in the previous European Parliament elections (EP8 of 2014). Our main focus, in the present study, is to examine the voting behavior (voting patterns) of the above-mentioned two Eurosceptic party groups in the 9th European Parliament (EP9) in terms of whether they voted together or not with respect to different policy areas. To study the voting patterns of these groups, as such, we sought to employ quantitative analysis methods to analyze voting data which we sourced from (votewatch.eu), scanning the period from the beginning of January 2019 until the end of December 2020. We put forth the hypothesis that Eurosceptic parties voted together in the 2019 European parliament elections, showing consistency and coherence in their voting behavior, with reference to the two groups above, and seek to empirically prove this hypothesis below.
Group 3- Discourse analysis: European imaginaries of EU heads of state and governments in 2020.
Amal H., Majdi A., Daniella G.
Social imaginary is a useful tool to obtain a better understanding of a specific society. It is the set of values, institutions, laws, and symbols through which people imagine their social whole. Therefore, the discourse of EU MS’s imaginaries can provide a unique insight on the future vision of the EU, namely explain how heads of states and governments perceive the future of the European integration project. Focusing on the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, our research destined to shed light on how European leaders see the future of the EU. Using the method of discourse analysis (specifically; content analysis), we dive into the vision of the 27 MS leaders through the glass of a well-established IA theory – liberal intergovernmentalism. Our goal is to answer the following question: which European imaginaries do the discourses of EU heads of states and governments reflect and what do they tell us about the EU and its future integration, during the COVID-19 pandemic? We have collected heads of states’ quotes from speeches, press releases, and EU conferences and analysed them in a qualitative manner. By applying the framework of liberal intergovernmentalism, we draw our conclusion. This research contributes to the field of European integration by analysing discourse surrounding a new, challenging phenomenon for the EU and the world – a viral pandemic.
Group 4- The power of the renewable energy industry in influencing the 2030 climate & energy framework (2014 & 2018) of the EU.
Dana A., Jamil A., Lana N., Maher A.
This paper aims to trace the lobbying participation on the articulation of both, ‘Climate and Energy Framework 2030’ of 2014 and ‘A Clean Planet for all 2050 strategy’ of 2018, as the latter being a revision of the former. In order to establish a basic understanding of lobbying, this research sheds the light on the concept of lobbying before applying the concept to the European Union (EU). Hence, a focus on the Renewable Energy Industry (REI) would take place in analyzing interests and influence within the union, especially on power dynamics in the decision-making process of the EU first and the European Commission (EC) second. Therefore, this contribution will apply the EAR instrument proposed by Bas Arts and Piet Verschuren (1999), which provides a view of the nature of influence within the EU. The results taken from the analysis of the two frameworks are compared to elaborate the change of the power of influence groups (IG) in the EU and, thus, the change that happened on the formation of the second framework as opposed to the first.
Group 5- Process tracing: The enforcement mechanism of EU law in situations of member state’s non-compliance: The case of water pollution caused by nitrates (Germany 2016).
Lina O., Sana Z., Saif A.
According to article 4(3) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), Member States are obliged to implement EU Directives, by taking any appropriate measures to ensure the adequate implementation thereof. Non-compliance with EU law is considered one of the most frequent problems EU institutions have to deal with. To ensure compliance, the Commission and the ECJ employ three consecutive mechanisms; infringement proceedings, issuance of judgments, and threats of imposing sanctions.
This paper examines the de facto and de jure enforcement mechanisms by applying the concept of process tracing on the case of Nitrate Pollution of 2016, in which Germany failed to comply with the Nitrate Directive of 1991. This paper also tackles the reasons for noncompliance, i.e., the notion of the implementation deficit in light of the case.
Group 6- Did the introduction of ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ for European Parliament elections affect voter participation in selected countries?
Mutasem H., Nisreen A., Laila A.
The electoral turnout of the European Parliament (EP) elections has been decreasing steadily. As a result, the European Parliament, inspired by the Lisbon Treaty, sought to make the 2014 EP elections different by introducing the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ procedure, or the ‘lead candidates’, in which political groups nominated their lead candidates for the tough position of the President of the Commission. The Commission has explicitly supported the Parliament’s innovation in a step to encourage the Europeans’ turnout, thus strengthen the democracy against the argument of the EU’s democratic deficit. Using the qualitative analysis approach, we collected data about EP8 (2014) and EP9 (2019) elections in Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands and analyzed the quantitative data to answer the following question: Did the introduction of ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ for European Parliament elections affect voter participation in those countries? Therefore, our main focus in this paper lies on the comparative analysis of the electoral turnout in both EP8 (2014) and EP9 (2019) elections and the electoral systems of the selected countries to examine whether the introduction of the Spitzenkandidaten innovation impacted voter participation. We, however, conclude that the Spitzenkandidaten procedure has failed to constitute a noticeable change in voter participation.
Group 7- The development of the EU's climate change adaptation policy from green paper to white paper to strategy.
Saeda A. , Alaa S., Sharon L.
For more than a decade, climate change has been a topic of heated discussion at various policy-making levels. It has been an issue that poses several threats on a global level in general, and the EU level in particular. The European Union has held several meetings to discuss the challenges and impacts of climate change and the measures that should be initiated by the Union to counter those challenges and impacts. In 2007, the green paper was launched by the EU in an effort to promote climate change adaptation at a national and global level, where the member states unanimously agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. This was later followed by a framework for adaptation with the white paper in 2009. Finally, the EU developed the strategy in 2013, where it discussed the several different areas impacted by climate change along with the adaptation policies to counter those impacts. Using a document analysis approach, this research aims to look at the three respective documents in an effort to highlight any differences between the actors, phrasing, arguments, or policy recommendations by posing the question: what role did the changes in the phrasing, arguments, and policy recommendations play in the development of the EU’s climate change adaptation policy?
Group 8- When does a temporary reintroduction of border controls happen in the Schengen area?
Joud K., Aline N., Mahmoud A.
Schengen states are consistently facing many challenges over time. In our project, we will examine the legal provisions and the cases of the temporary reintroduction of border control in the Schengen states. We will explore how the Schengen states initiate the legal provisions and under which articles reintroductions occur by mapping each article to each case according to the European Commission’s list of notifications of the temporary reintroduction of border control.