N° 34, 2011/2 – Promoting Europe in Stages

PE34

edited by Philippe Aldrin, Dorota Dakowska, 2011/2 (n°34)

 

Philippe Aldrin, Dorota Dakowska – Legitimating Europe without Brussels? A Look at Small Business Owners in Europe: Between Decentering and Recentering

 

Julien Weisbein – The French Federation of European Centers (1960–2000). The Evolution of a Grass-Roots Activism for Europe

Since its creation in 1961, the French Federation of European Centers (FFME) aims to inform populations about European integration in their urban area, thus providing a local setting for EU issues. Today, the organization plays an important role among actors dealing with EU-related information. Nevertheless, this emphasis on a local perspective has been challenged in the past by political and ideological views on federalism and since the beginning of the 1990s has been significantly transformed by the increasing professionalization of the managers of these Centers. Internal dynamics (i.e., the institutionalization of the network of European centers) as well as external relations with other associations aiming to promote the EU such as the European Movement or the Union for a Federal Europe but also with supranational actors such as the International Federation of European Centers have shaped this dialectic between a politicized and a neutral conception of European integration.

 

Florence Le Cam, Jean-Michel Utard – Web-Based Discourses. Cafébabel or the Various Ways of Formulating a European Discourse

Beyond the prophetic discourse on the Internet virtues to promote the emergence of a European public sphere, the Web gives rise to various investments to promote Europe, ranging from institutions to “ordinary citizens. Our case study, Cafebabel. com, highlights the ambiguities of a paradoxical position between an approach based on the stated willingness to encourage the expression of European citizens, and a proximity to informational sources, combined with a relative dependence of institutional resources which determine its existence and survival. The study of enunciative situations shows the difficulties in producing the standards of a legitimate, but non institutional, speech about Europe.

 

Philippe Aldrin, Nicolas Hubé – Becoming Europe’s Ambassadors: A Political Analysis of the First Pan-European Deliberative Poll Experiment. A Political Reading of the First Experience of European Deliberative Democracy

The first pan-European deliberative poll (Tomorrow’s Europe) took place within in the European Parliament’s building in Brussels in October 2007. Using local observations, the authors propose to analyze the various representations of the Entrepreneurs for Europe who imagined and organized this European public space in miniature. For three days, they watched how four hundred people from the twenty-seven EU Member States talked about the future of Europe within a scientifically proven framework. Beyond the intellectual and political debate on the artificialness or non-representativeness of this incarnation of European citizenship, the authors are primarily interested in the representations of institutions here EU institutions, think tanks, and other partners in European public affairs on people’s perceptions of Europe. The authors use scientific theories and methods (primarily from political science), the prescribed protocol for the deliberation, and the communication and media strategies of Tomorrow’s Europe presenting Europhile multiculturalism as a way of building a European public sphere. The experiment can be likened to an experience of a new policy instrument capable of constructing a European civil society and make its views predictable.

 

Stéphanie Wojcik – Participatory Deliberation… and Then? The European Citizen Consultation Experiment in 2009

This paper outlines the political issues raised by the 2009 European Citizen Consultations (ECC) for European Communication. Under the aegis of the European Commission, various types of Entrepreneurs for Europe (associations, businesses, think tanks, and NGOs) were involved in designing and organizing the ECC. This process involved national and face-to-face consultations based on the mini-public principle and Web-based deliberation platforms in each of the 27 member countries. Citizens were invited to produce recommendations on the economic and social future of Europe intended for MEPs before the European elections of June 2009. The analysis of this experience highlights the binding nature of the political architecture of the EU as it relates to the implementation of deliberative democracy at the European level, which leads to the blurring of boundaries between public communication and participatory deliberation in generating support for the EU. It also shows the shortcomings of European communication, the importance of mediators whose actions may be contradictory in practice, and the unexpected behavior of citizens when taking part in the various phases of the ECC, who were sometimes reluctant to express their opinions within the framework defined by the Entrepreneurs who sought to educate them on the virtues of Europe as much as to reveal the ephemeral and fragile development of their sense of European belonging.

 

Dorota Dakowska – Toward a Politicization of the European Public Debate. The Institutionalization of European Political Foundations

The creation of political foundations at the EU level, made possible thanks to a Regulation adopted in December 2007, is a breakthrough compared to the European Commissions previous position on party affiliated organisations at both national and European levels. This evolution is part of the reorientation of the European communication policies, which seems to be an attempt to reach citizens who are somewhat indifferent to European affairs. This article analyses the mobilisation of political entrepreneurs in the European Parliament and of national foundations networks, lobbying the Commission and Council representatives. The Commissions initiative needs to be considered in the political context of the aftermath of the 2005 constitutional referenda defeat. The article proposes a critical analysis of the foundations contribution to the politicisation of the European public debate. It analyses their communication strategies to see how they respond to the European objectives of proximity and dialogue.

 

Varia

 

Antoine Rayroux – Adaptation, Projection, or Convergence? The Europeanization of Defense and the EUFOR Chad/CAR Intervention. The Europeanization of Defense and the EUFOR Chad/CAR Military Intervention

This research applies the concept of Europeanisation to the EU Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) in order to argue that the latter’s articulation with member states defense policies stems from a simultaneous move of projection and adaptation of national policies. This logic of europeanisation is illustrated by a comparative study of French and Irish involvement in the military intervention EUFOR Chad/Central African Republic: While France increasingly places its security policy towards Africa in a multilateral framework, Ireland is giving up parts of the constitutive elements of its neutrality policy.

 

Areas of Research

 

Mathias Delori – The Influence of Memory on Foreign Policy. An Exploration of the Historical Imaginings of French, UK, and German Defense and Security Policy Experts

 

Comparative Readings

 

Christophe Bouillaud – Is Euroskepticism Merely a Word?

 

Critical Readings

 

Valentin Behr – The Present Past: Memorial “Deposits” and Historicizing Actions in Central and Eastern Europe

 

Sara Casella Colombeau – The Making of Europeans: A Process of Socialization and European Construction