The term normative power has been used and developed with an aim of grasping the role and the identity of EU. The aptitude to define what is normal in global politics can only depend on the third parties perception of its practices. Normative powers always requires that the non EU states always perceive that the EU as embodying all the norms it has espoused and to perceive the norms as attractive as well as perceive the EU as a normative power that is norm driven and not interest driven.
The paper aims to analyze on Macedonia and Croatia’s development on EU norms, the perception of the third parties as far as normative power is concerned and whether or not EU can really be referred as a normative power. Introduction Since the initiation of the security policy and common foreign in the year 1992 on the European Union treaty, the EU has worked extremely carefully on fostering some foreign policies. EU has always presented itself as the theorized and the normative force in the global politics. It has always been seen as the leader in promoting humanitarian issues and international peace.
It has placed vast emphasis on democracy, international law, International institutions, human rights and multilateralism as far as its foreign policy is concerned. Is EU really geared towards security, survival and power? Is the EU still a normative power? This paper is seeking to examine the extent at which the third parties perceive EU as normative power, the accession of Macedonia and Croatia and their normative analysis as far as EU is concerned. However, in an international environ that is turning out to be so dangerous, the EU policy identity seems to change.
While some people perceive EU as actions as predominantly and distinctly norm driven, to some extent the norms are not central to their identity. Comparative analysis of Macedonia and Croatia in the EU process Yugoslavia is no longer in existence. Many have even forgotten the onset of ethnic cleansing and war that shattered the peaceful federation. Yugoslavia according to most people was bound to fail since it was just an artificial nation with no human rights, real wealth or democracy. It had 24 million people who were affected by poverty (Steven, 2007). Croatia is finally free and enjoying its democratic government.
Macedonia are still having problems though the power of democracy still prevails on interethnic rivalry and going through pervasive economic, social and political strains (Steven, 2007). Croatia’s freedom as far as economy is concerned is 59. 2 (Croatia, 2010). Its score is higher as it is 4. 1 as compared to last year thus improving the government spending scores, investment freedom and property rights protection. Croatia is doing well though its still below world and regional averages. Croatia has enhanced its public finance management and the regulations are now more streamlined.
It has also come up with a more competitive financial system through the implementation of regulatory frameworks as well as privatization. Its weakness has its roots from the interference of the government that has eroded the flexibility and efficiency of the economy (Croatia, 2009). The non transparent and burdensome regulations of the administration at the local level have continued to be of a great challenge to the entrepreneurs thus there are low productivity levels and job growth. There has also been political interference and corruption in regard of the judiciary thus resisting the economic freedom.
The rapid industrialization after II world war made Croatia to be the most prosperous in the former Yugoslavia. Croatia is ranked seventh as far as the global top economic reformists are concerned (McDonald, 2006). As communism collapsed in Yugoslavia and Easter Europe started to unravel on ethnic as well as religious lines Croatia declared their independence in the year 1991. Croatia has hence pursued great integration to the Euro-Atlantic community. It is a member of NATO and does hope to join EU in the year 2011 though political violence as well as the government’s allegations of corruption might end up slowing the whole process.
Croatia has a low corporate rate of tax and high tax income. The highest rate of tax is 45% and the corporate tax being 20% (Croatia, 2010). The government’s expenditure is quite high though the rate of inflation in the past years has been minimal and averaged 5. 0 in the year 2006 and the year 2008. Some of the problems that the country has to overcome are: insufficient stimulation and dynamic environment, lack of innovative knowledge and insufficient cooperation in the science industry (Svarc, 2006).
The government also does influence the prices through the owned enterprises. The state controls a very significant economic pattern. In order to adopt the EU norms and laws as well as the practices, there ought to be transparency and fulfill its commitments against fighting corruption. Though the government is quite committed to the judicial reforms, there is still much that needs to be taken care of. Despite the fact that there are intellectual rights of property legislation, there is a continuous counterfeiting and piracy of the digital media.
Croatia today has to deal with reconstruction, devastated buildings after the war on Serbian aggression, infrastructure, reconstructing the economy, democratization and the privatization of the property (Vida, 2001). On the other hand, Macedonia has continued to lack enough institutional support for its property rights as well as the fight on corruption. Its court system is still highly prone to corruption though unlike Croatia it ranks high as far as the economic freedom is concerned with 65. 7 and an increase of 4. 5 from last year (Macedonia, 2010). Macedonia enjoys trade freedom, monetary and fiscal freedom.
The corporate and personal income tax is quite competitive. The court system lets the country down on the grounds that it is usually prone to political interference, human trafficking, drug smuggling, weapons and corruption. Since the time it gained the independence from Yugoslavia in the year 1991, Macedonia has always been economically and politically troubled. The country has high rate of unemployment, poor economic growth rate, informal rate of economic activities and ethnic problems. Greece went ahead to block their invitation to join NATO since it believed that its reputation does not properly acknowledge the Greek region.
The rate of inflation has been high ranging to 6. 4% in the year 2006 and 2008 (Macedonia, 2010). The government continues to subsidize agriculture. The bureaucracy and legal system in this country is slow, corrupt, and inefficient and there is lack of resources. The financial system of Macedonia is still undeveloped and the capital markets are still ranking behind. Protection of the property rights is completely weak. There is lack of effective rule of the law and uncertainty as far as property rights are concerned in getting land titles, real property and it undermines the development as well as investment.
Corruption in Macedonia is found in all government branches and mostly among the judicial and police system. For it to survive in the EU laws and norms, then there should be enforcement of laws against money laundering, corruption and drug abuse. The decision on EU accession of any country is only made on the grounds of a very sound judgment and assessment and not just by screening of EU law to national law. There is a need then for Macedonia and Croatia to strengthen the quality of the regional and local administration as well as their governance in readiness for EU membership.
Establishment of high quality and subsidiary administration in all the levels is a major prerequisite that the two countries need in order to be members of EU. In Macedonia, the capacity for administration is still quite inadequate and there is lack of accountability and transparency of the regional and local authorities (Eurasia review, 2010). Macedonia and Croatia assession; EU Due to the violent conflicts that has marked the Western Balkans history , the EU has considered it to be a major priority to enhance the development of stability, peace, freedom and prosperity in Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo and Herzegovina.
Macedonia is referred in the EU documents as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia because of a major conflict on the name of the country which is actually identical to a province in Greek. Despite the fact that EU is a normative power, the process of accession is in process through a vast deep recession with economic crises and financial strains that are affecting both EU and the candidate countries. Macedonia which is the poorest country among the six Yugoslav republics has been trying hard to demonstrate some of its Western credentials in order to become the member of the EU (Macdonald, 2007).
The rule of law, inter ethnic issues and judicial reforms are among the priorities of the government to tackle. There has been ethnic crisis in Macedonia as Albanian violence is still the major factor as far as Macedonian politics are concerned (Macdonald, 2007). Other challenges that are facing Macedonia is corruption and looking for alternative source of energy. The country is still far from the requirements of EU to be made a member state. The parliament of Europe has offered a positive verdict on the efforts of Macedonia and Croatia to finally qualify for the membership.
According to the article “Croatia accession negotiations set to conclude this year”, the accession negotiations are expected to wound up this year and leave a positive impact on other Western Balkan in Europe. The accession process was adopted on Croatia on 10th of February by 582 votes. However there has been diminishing of public support for membership in Croatia. The EU in the year 2008 opened two chapters of norms on free movement of the workers, employment and social policy. Concerning Macedonia, negotiations are to be started in the near future.
It ought to redouble its efforts in order to come up with straight norms and clear their name which is familiar to that of a Greek city. Due to their name, they are still finding unable to commence on the accession talks with EU. EU has a major duty to make sure that the membership hope still remains to be quite a strong reform incentive. Croatia though has gone through a lot of reforms, thus bringing it almost to an end of the negotiations, it should step up and fight corruption as well as reform the whole judiciary.
It should also improve their efforts in solving the major questions with the neighboring countries on border issues. This is quite imperative as far as Croatia’s European hope is concerned. Some of the norms that Croatia is so far taking care of are the issue of security. The EU should honor the commitments of Macedonia and encourage them to comply with the values and principles of EU. Croatia has already met the political conditions of EU that were spelled in the accession roadmap. There has been progress of norms that are in respect of the law.
There is still much that ought to be done in administrative and judicial reform, the rights of the minority, corruption and refugee return. The cooperation of the former Yugoslavia International Criminal Tribunal has already been sustained though European commission is expressing concern on the difficulties that are encountered by this tribunal on accessing some of the useful documents. As far as the economic issues are concerned, Croatia has already been considered to have a functional economic market already stable and advanced like some that do exist in EU member states.
The European Council decided that accession negotiations for Croatia would be due as from 17 March of the year 2005 if at all there was cooperation with ICTY. Since there was no full cooperation the accession negotiations were hence postponed. The accession process started on October of the year 2005 after there was cooperation. Croatia became the second country who signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with EU. The SAA covers areas like regional cooperation, political dialogue, and EU policies like freedom, security and justice.
The EU commission has already recognized the efforts of the country to gain stability on macroeconomic with low rates of inflation. Croatia’s financial assistance is offered under the pre accession assistance instrument and the country according to “EU-Croatia relations” article, Croatia will be a beneficiary of a 200 million crisis package from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) of the West Balkan region. Initially, Croatia was expected to be a member of EU in the year 2009, but the border problems with Slovenia finally dashed all the hope that Croatia had of Joining EU last year.
Despite the fact there have been so many advances on most areas; some numbers of chapters are still not formally closed because of the blockage of Slovenia in the council. Macedonia has been having Association agreement and stabilization with EU for the last six years. There is evaluation of whole progress which is usually on annually basis. Since the year 2002, the first report showed that Macedonia was doing well on regional cooperation area and some good relations with the neighbors only.
Other progress that has been recently reported are based on political situations as they have been termed as successful and stable as far as implementation of the agreement of the Ohrid Framework Agreement is concerned (Marija, N. d). There have also been reforms in the army and the major strains are unemployment, corruption, law investments and the rule of law. One of the major obstacles in the EU process on Western Balkan countries is as far as the EU visa regime is concerned (Marija, n. d)). It is a major limitation to traveling, learning, seeing and getting positive experiences of EU.
All the member states of EU have already imposed visa on Western Balkan countries in exclusion of Croatia. EU as a normative power and norms The European Union has always been considered as a divergent type of a global actor. For many years, the EU has been referred as the civilian power, the soft power as well as the normative power as far as the international relations are concerned. The three concepts have always been used with the idea to pursue ‘normalization’ and domestication of the global relations by taking care of the global problems in the contractual politics sphere (Lavenex, 2004).
The introduction of the normative power idea, Manners (2002, 2006) refers EU as the actor of foreign policy whose intention is to instill, diffuse and shape therefore ‘normalizing’ the values and rules of the international affairs via coercive means. The Lisbon treaty asserts that the EU would only be guided and would only promote its values on what the union has actually founded including democracy, freedom, human rights and rule of law (Natalie, 2008). The EU has always been regarded as possessing some silent power to discipline (Bjorkadahl, 2005).
The Western Balkans has been a vital testing ground for EU as they develop their external roles. These states are searching for some new norms that will replace the ones that were accompanied by communism and conflicts (Bjorkdahl, 2005). Since their independence they have always been exposed to some normative influence from EU and the international communities. The EU has confirmed its major interest in the integration of these states into the political and economic mainstream of Europe.
This has hence placed the EU in a vast and a strong position in using its normative powers in influencing states. The main explanation for the assumed ‘normative’ responsibility in the foreign policies have been focused on the nature of EU and what it has been primarily doing outside its main borders. Most people claim that the numerous layers of EU’s authority on government, courts, parliaments, public opinion and EU institutions do create sets of constraints that usually make the EU’s pursuit of real politics unlikely (H.
Smith, 2002). Others have focused on the EU’s institution settings channels and filter the interests of the member states. Others argue that EU’s normative policies are as a result of the divergent ways that the union does view the world. After many centuries as far as warfare is concerned, the members of the EU family appreciates that integration and cooperation are the main route to shared prosperity, peace and security. This Kantian logic extends to the foreign policy realm endangering the normative EU policies.
Therefore, EU is usually conceived as the post modern actor whose unlike the modern states do not base its policies on balancing of power and the zero logic. It acts on beliefs that cooperating with the third countries as well as strengthening them can be the only means in pursuing their own interests. A vast sense and changed comprehension of understanding of the crucial issue of security in the inside has led the Union to promote well governed and developed environs on the outside. In contrast others allege that the normative base on which the EU usually views the whole world is based on its weakness (Kagan, 2003).
The Union intends to promote a world that is Kantian because of the major weakness of the instruments of foreign policies and its major incoherent apparatus that are incapable of confronting the real threats as well as the challenges that it does face. A normative foreign policy should both satisfy the means as well as goals. In order to have powerful normative policies international actors should pursue the normative goals via normative means. The EU dream usually emphasize on relationships that are community based over the individual autonomy.
They prefer cultural diversity over being assimilated and a quality life over wealth and sustainable development rather than unlimited growth of material. They advocate for human rights and global cooperation over the exercising of power unilaterally. Manners (2002) assert that the EU’s normative powers should be set alongside the civilian and military conceptions that are traditional. Manners also affirm that EU is divergent to other polities on its commitment to principles and individual rights.
He identifies the core norm as liberty, democracy, peace, rule of the law, and respect for human rights. Other minor norms are anti discrimination, social solidarity, good governance, sustainable development and others. The norms are usually diffused through EU membership as well as application and diplomatic means. EU agreements with countries from the third world included the provisions of political dialogues on human rights and democracy. Studies show that EU’s stance is short of a coherent attainment of a sustainable development to be called a normative power.
Third parties and EU normative power The origins of EU norms can be traced on the historical experience of Europe. The norms that usually guide the EU’s conduct internationally stand dynamically as they are related to identity practices of EU. Some of the EU norms are social liberty, human rights, consensual democracy, equality, good governance, social solidarity and sustainable development. During the past decades the notion that EU is an important and a relevant international actor with normative powers has been widely accepted.
Consequently, though much attention has been paid to the major question on whether or not there is foreign policy or EU is really a normative power as it alleges, (Bull, 1977) , analyses tends to move in directions of asking what really characterizes a normative power and EU foreign policies. It is the EU’s aptitude to expand its model and make sure that there is stability as well as security through political and economic ladders rather than through the military means that usually constitute its novelty and strength as a global actor.
EU as it is is both a normative as well as a civilian power that promotes the norms and values of the international system. The argument of EU being a civilizing and a normative power raises more questions than answers. It hence provokes a rational debate. Is EU really a normative power as far as other third parties are concerned? What constitutes a normative power? It is therefore imperative to Endeavour on the latest developments of EU defense and security. In the year 2003, EU, finally launched their first mission that was military based.
It was hence followed by the UN request from the EU to assist them in the DRC in June of the year 2003 (Helena, N. d). The EU has now gone ahead to expand its battle forces to enhance on its military ability. The whole issue of acquiring the military weakens the argument that EU is a normative power (Helena, N. d). Different observers and third parties perceive the whole issue differently. If we were to unpack this argument that EU is normative then it will raise some dimensions. First, it shows that EU is different and therefore has a novel system of power internationally.
Second the divergence of novelty encompasses EU’S pursuit to spread some values and norms. According to Ian Manners (2002), “the central component of normative power Europe is that EU exists as being different to pre-existing political forms, and that this particular difference make it to act in a normative way”. However this argument actually has insufficient precision. There are divergent interpretations and understandings of what it means to refer EU as being normative. The impression that EU is a source of goodness and has positive norms should be scrutinized as well as be specified and accounted for.
It is patent that EU rhetoric is not sufficient to establish them as a normative power unless the third parties think of them to be so. The EU’s lack of the military instruments is usually mentioned in referring EU as a normative power. It is lucid that EU is the global vast trading power and the biggest donor as far as humanitarian assistance is concerned thus making important impact to the international system through divergent means and not only military. The stability treaty to the Southern Europe, its administration of the police mission and Mostar in Bosnia are clear examples of the EU’s patent role of being a civilian power.
Now that EU is coming up with military capabilities then can it still be called normative? Are the conceptions that EU is a civilian power as well as normative power being linked together? With the military means on its disposal, then the EU is capable of coming up with threats. It might not even need to pay attention to interests, perspectives, actors or rational arguments to get what it wants. The major criticisms that evoked of the role of EU in crises of the former Yugoslavia indicates that for a normative power, the powerlessness to act is considered by most people to be quite problematic as it is in the capacity to actually act.
Is EU after promoting norms or its own self interest? There is a common claim that EU’S policies are not derived from desires to just promote its interests but seen by a certain comprehension of what actually is right and should be done. However not everybody does agree that EU is not after its own interests. Most people claim that the EU’s approach to third countries on Human rights is basically inspired by the gradualist philosophy seeking a controlled change as well as self interest.
The EU’S image is usually characterized by blindness that is curious to their interest. However, the union usually tends to show the international society that is a source of positive norms (Fierke & Wiener, 1999). It is complex to see EU emphasizing on norms and values as something that is only particular to them. The policies of the US also fit well within the argument of normative power. The issue of regarding normative power in the terms of diffusing norms, values and ideas is a characteristic that has been noted by many that it is not common to EU.
Rationalists and realists often argue that EU major aim is to promote its major selfish and self interests but arguments from normative power allege that basically self interests are not the major drive of EU’s foreign policy as they can be replaced by norms and values (Gulce, 2008). Manners defines the major core norms that does constitute the normative basis of the EU to be liberty, peace, rule of the law, democracy and respect as well as important freedoms and human rights. It is therefore natural to go ahead and expect security policy and common foreign of EU to actually reflect on its major norms.
While it has been diffusing its values and norms to the outsiders, it started from its neighborhood. Enlargement have been proved to be the most successful external policy of the whole Union. However, though the EU has been successful in its enlargement process it is not meant to conclude that it will be applicable to other areas. A country like Egypt has head its own success since it became the member of EU. Since the time of its inception, Egypt has been playing a major role in the process as it has been the spokesperson of all the Arab groups.
The EU is the poorest expression of what is termed as the international system (Hedley, 2008). The perception of those who are non members of EU has always been neglected but it’s quite imperative. A country like Russia has had its own taking on the issue of EU. Its understanding on EU went through many evolutions. For more of European’s history European integration was including the evolution of the post cold war and Russia perceived EU, as an intergovernmental instrument in the European power’s hands. EU has been widely ignored and Russia has preferred the bilateral ties with EU powers.
Most observers of Russia and EU relations have pointed that Russia did fail to comprehend the nature of the EU development and integration. The observers as well as the practitioners interpret EU as a political superpower in the making. The interests that the EU has have always been understood in territorial and traditional terms and they usually clash with most Countries’ policies. The EU is known to be an established and a major actor as far as world politics is concerned. Though they do not usually succeed the member states usually speak in one voice in the international affairs that include trade.
However, coordination always remains to be a major problem as was shown by the downfall negotiations between European trade commissioner and the president of France. This then leads us to ask on what actor EU really is. According to manners EU is a distinct actor whose practices are norm driven. Some scholars have questioned the distinctiveness of EU alleging that it is a major interest driven just like every other actor in the global politics. Bull asserts, “Europe is not an actor in international affairs and does not seem likely to become one”.
Manners also affirms that that EU can only become a normative power and have strategic security if only it ensures there is some sustainable global rates of development. The major and common aspect of any universal norm is to actually attract imitation from the actors who are not members of EU (Elisabeth & Francisco, n. d). But this is not always the case (Elisabeth & Francisco, n. d). Norm diffusion is usually passive or active. The passive one is where the third parties decide to imitate the norms and the model of EU. In active the purpose of the EU is to project its so called norms to the political world.
What EU has always considered to be “normal” might not be normal to others. Also what it takes to be the confirmation of its identity as well as self image might not be what is intended by others to be. The EU must aim to being a civil power and sustain its global development to retain its normative power. The issue of whether EU is a normative power or not has raised numerous questions and some claim that it is really normative while others feel it is not. Some people allege that EU’s attainment is more normative than empirical. Is EU so divergent to claim that it really symbolizes a normative power?
The relativists believe EU simply promotes its norms similarly to the contemporary powers and historical empires. However, most of the third parties believe that its normative differences stem from historical context, legal and political constitution as well as hybrid politics. The EU got created from post war historical environs which had loathed the nationalists thus leading to barbaric war as well as genocide. Hence there was the creation of policies and community institutions that had taken place in the context where EU were so committed in pooling resources in order to strengthen and preserve liberty and peace.
Hiski (2008) analyzes the EU’s policy in the context of it being an actor and coming up with some normative powers in the global politics. He asserts that that the EU’s neighborhood policies are usually seen as the substitute of the union and is the key drive of EU’s normative power in the entire Europe. He also affirms that the EU is at risk of losing the capacity to stabilize the neighbors and might even lose justification and legitimacy among them. He concludes by saying that the recent form of EU is basically far from universal remedy.
The EU suffers in the fact it lacks legitimacy because of its incapacity to answer some rational questions to the neighbors on their call for a full institutional and political issues that belong to the European people. Thomas (2005), draws his argument from the Turkey and EU relationships as well as the Mediterranean- Euro partnership and the sanctions against Australia and argues that the third parties have not been recognized and alleging that EU major aim is to represent itself as an affirmative power in the global politics. There needs to be more reflexivity as far as representing EU as the normative power is concerned.
The non governmental organizations have always been quite critical on EU being considered to be driven by normative powers and concerns. They allege that the requests of the EU tabled in 2002 asked the government to open service sectors to compete with them. They argued that EU targeted the poor countries to have market access and continue their interests that were not norms based. The World Development Movement got some leaked documents showing that EU was proposing on a compulsory and a quantified liberalization service from developing countries to fulfill their own interests.
In relation to these critiques, then where does the whole idea of a normative power leave EU? Does the way it carry its affairs mostly on developing countries portray they are norm based or self interest based? Is the whole rhetoric of diffusion of norms