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Bilateral international relations

Study on judicial cooperation, mutual legal assistance and extradition of drug traffickers and other drug

related crime offenders, between the EU and its Member States and Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries
Publisher: 
Publications Office
City: 
Luxemburg
Volume, number, page: 
320 p.
Category: 
Abstract: 
The main goal of this study is to provide facts and figures as well as a detailed analysis on the function, use, obstacles to the implementation of, and any potential gaps in, Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) existing mechanisms and extradition agreements. It also addresses other relevant elements to
allow for an initial evaluation based on the relevant information. This is to enable a decision to be made on whether, and if so how, judicial cooperation should/could be improved and with which instruments. It includes an evaluation of the need and the potential added value of entering into EU level MLA and extradition agreements, while also taking into account de facto situations such as the functioning of the judicial system and the application of fundamental principles. Within this main framework the objectives of this report are addressed in to offer outcomes which stem from the research process. The research strategy combines a general study of the existing cooperation between EU Member States and LAC countries, with a detailed study of judicial cooperation in Latin America, based on thorough research of particular LAC and European countries, together with a specific analysis of some variables related to this subject matter.

Differences in the perception of interest representation:

a comparision of Brasília and Brussels lobbying activity
Publisher: 
CPDOC - FGV
City: 
Rio de Janeiro
Volume, number, page: 
68 p.
Category: 
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
The research topic of this paper is focused on the analysis of how trade associations perceive lobbying in Brussels and in Brasília. The analysis will be centered on business associations located in Brasília and Brussels as the two core centers of decision-making and as an attraction for the lobbying practice. The underlying principles behind the comparison between Brussels and Brasilia are two. Firstof all because the European Union and Brazil have maintained diplomatic relations since 1960. Through these relations they have built up close historical, cultural, economic and political ties. Their bilateral political relations culminated in 2007 with the establishment of a Strategic Partnership (EEAS website,n.d.). Over the years, Brazil has become a key interlocutor for the EU and it is the most important market for the EU in Latin America (European Commission, 2007). Taking into account the relations between EU and Brazil, this research could contribute to the reciprocal knowledge about the perception of lobby in the respective systems and the importance of the non-market strategy when conducting business. Second both EU and Brazilian systems have a multi-level governance structure: 28 Member States in the EU and 26 Member States in Brazil; in both systems there are three main institutions targeted by lobbying practice. The objective is to compare how differences in the institutional environments affect the perception and practice of lobbying, where institutions are defined as ‘‘regulative, normative, and cognitive structures and activities that provide stability and meaning to social behavior’’ (Peng et al., 2009). Brussels, the self-proclaimed 'Capital of Europe', is the headquarters of the European Union and has one of the highest concentrations of political power in the world. Four of the seven Institutions of the European Union are based in Brussels: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council and the European Commission (EU website, n.d.). As the power of the EU institutions has grown, Brussels has become a magnet for lobbyists, with the latest estimates ranging from between 15,000 and 30,000 professionals representing companies, industry sectors, farmers, civil society groups, unions etc. (Burson Marsteller, 2013). Brasília is the capital of Brazil and the seat of government of the Federal District and the three branches of the federal government of Brazilian legislative, executive and judiciary. The 4 city also hosts 124 foreign embassies. The presence of the formal representations of companies and trade associations in Brasília is very limited, but the governmental interests remain there and the professionals dealing with government affairs commute there. In the European Union, Brussels has established a Transparency Register that allows the interactions between the European institutions and citizen’s associations, NGOs, businesses, trade and professional organizations, trade unions and think tanks. The register provides citizens with a direct and single access to information about who is engaged in This process is important for the quality of democracy, and for its capacity to deliver adequate policies, matching activities aimed at influencing the EU decision-making process, which interests are being pursued and what level of resources are invested in these activities (Celgene, n.d). It offers a single code of conduct, binding all organizations and self-employed individuals who accept to 'play by the rules' in full respect of ethical principles (EC website, n.d). A complaints and sanctions mechanism ensures the enforcement of the rules and addresses suspected breaches of the code. In Brazil, there is no specific legislation regulating lobbying. The National Congress is currently discussing dozens of bills that address regulation of lobbying and the action of interest groups (De Aragão, 2012), but none of them has been enacted for the moment. This work will focus on class lobbying (Oliveira, 2004), which refers to the performance of the federation of national labour or industrial unions, like CNI (National Industry Confederation) in Brazil and the European Banking Federation (EBF) in Brussels. Their performance aims to influence the Executive and Legislative branches in order to defend the interests of their affiliates. When representing unions and federations, class entities cover a wide range of different and, more often than not, conflicting interests. That is why they are limited to defending the consensual and majority interest of their affiliates (Oliveira, 2004). The basic assumption of this work is that institutions matter (Peng et al, 2009) and that the trade associations and their affiliates, when doing business, have to take into account the institutional and regulatory framework where they do business.

The European Parliament and its International Relations

The European Parliament and its international relations
Publisher: 
Routledge
City: 
London
Volume, number, page: 
304 p.
Category: 
Abstract: 
This book analyses the role of the European Parliament as an international actor and presents a new debate about its role outside the EU territory. It explores different policy areas including human rights, international aid, trade, crisis management and the environment to provide a systematic analysis of the modern global role of the European Parliament. The book also considers the European Parliament’s regional interactions with Africa, Latin America, the United States, Asia and the Middle East. With a common analytical framework and research covering the lifespan of the European Parliament from its first direct elections in 1979 to the present day, this comprehensive volume presents an unparalleled analysis of one of the most important institutions in the European Union.

The European Union as a Conveniently-conflicted Counter-hegemon through Trade

Publisher: 
UACES
City: 
London
Volume, number, page: 
9:4, pp.560-577
Abstract: 
This article addresses the failure by scholars of EU trade policy to fully explain the difficulties faced in realising the ‘normative’ goals contained within the European Union’s external trade policy and the conviction that it might be a ‘force for good’ through trade. In seeking to account for and, in particular, move beyond the failure to fully explain these difficulties, the article adopts a critical social science approach that focuses on relations of domination and the (potentially misleading) appearances that such relations tend to uphold. In contrast to the traditional view of the EU as a potential ‘force for good’, we conceptualise it as a site of domination, focusing in particular on three mechanisms through which this domination is achieved – expansive market (capitalist) exchange, the ‘Othering’ that tends to accompany such processes of expansion, and the de-politicisation necessary to achieve and/or legitimate these processes. The article proceeds to explore recent developments in EU trade policy, and in particular the Global Europe agenda and associated new generation of free trade agreements with trade partners in Asia and Latin America. In doing so, the article examines the extent to which processes of market expansion, Othering and de-politicisation have been realised in recent EU trade policy. It argues for a conceptualisation of the European Union as a conveniently-conflicted counter-hegemon through trade, whereby the EU presents itself as a potential “force for good” through trade, but simultaneously avoids the realisation of that potential (and justifies its non-realisation) by evoking the conveniently-conflicted status that arises from institutional constraints and both internal disagreements and external differences. This account, we claim, is both more plausible than the existing empirical accounts in that it is able to explain the consistent promotion of an apparently unrealisable ‘progressive’ agenda by the European Union, and an improvement upon those accounts in that it illuminates and demystifies relations of domination and certain ideas that act to uphold them.
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