The EU and NATO not only share three quarters of their membership, since the ushering in of the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy in 1999, the two organizations’ efforts in crisis management also appear to duplicate each other. This phenomenon is indicative of a broader trend: As international organizations expand in scope and membership, their organizational boundaries begin to overlap. In her article “The politics of overlapping organizations: hostage-taking, forum-shopping and brokering” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Stephanie C. Hofmann asks how such overlap impacts international organizations’ execution of their mandates. As some states are a member of only one organization whereas others hold dual membership, Stephanie argues that overlap between organizations results in a variety of strategies for governments to pursue their preferences. Organizational overlap accords new veto opportunities to single membership states and empowers them vis-à-vis dual membership states, while the latter can choose the organizational venue that best serves their interests or broker informal solutions, avoiding the procurement of expensive resources and resulting in more coherent multilateral engagement. Stephanie’s analysis of the EU-NATO overlap identifies the United Kingdom as a key broker, often offering informal solutions to alleviate complexities in crises management, which – against the backdrop of the United Kingdom’s nearing exit from the EU – suggests “that with Brexit, informal resource-based solutions will be harder to achieve.”
As a growing volume of EU legislation needs to be incorporated into national law, the transfer of policy competencies to the supranational level has left its mark on the portfolio of tasks for EU member states’ legislators. Looking beyond such immediate effects of Europeanization on the dynamics in domestic legislatures, Daniela Beyer argues that the transfer of competencies has shaped policy-making in EU member states in an indirect – and yet unnoticed – way. In her article “The neglected effects of Europeanization in the member states – policy-making in directly EU-influenced and sovereign domains” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Daniela shows that the shifting of policy competencies to the European level frees up legislators’ policy-making capacities in domains that remained under member states’ sovereign control. National legislators can devote more attention and resources to such policy issues and change the way policy is produced in these domains. Analysing 35 years of policy-making in the German federal legislature, Daniela shows “that deepening European integration has an influence on member states’ domestic agenda composition, and thus on changing patterns for both their sovereign and directly EU-influenced policy-making.”
The legal doctrines of direct effect and supremacy of supranational law offer EU citizens an avenue to challenge member states’ breaches of EU policy in national courts, fostering European integration through law. Against this backdrop, some observers have argued that the EU deliberately frames its policies in the language of rights, a phenomenon known as ‘Eurolegalism’. In his article “The visibility of environmental rights in the EU legal order: Eurolegalism in action?” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Chris Hilson explores whether and to what extent rights-framed litigation has featured in the domain of EU environmental policy in recent decades. Chris shows that except for substantive legislative rights, the visibility of all types of EU environmental rights has increased in EU litigation cases since 1990, particularly following an EU legislative package aimed at fully implementing international law contained in the 2001 Aarhus Convention and the Lisbon Treaty’s incorporation of environmental rights contained in the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. Chris’s analysis shows that “a Eurolegalism relying on rights frames has been a relative latecomer to the environment as a policy area”, with the recent upshot in EU environmental rights partly due to new legal opportunities following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the positive signals this sent to litigants and judges.
The European Union’s fundamental principles of free movement of persons and non-discrimination challenge the traditional closure of the welfare state. Whereas this appeared largely unproblematic before Eastern enlargement, the increased heterogeneity in economic development and welfare provision among EU Member States has spurred fears about potential welfare migration. JEPP’s most recent special issue on “Free movement and non-discrimination in an unequal Union” edited by Susanne K. Schmidt, Michael Blauberger and Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen addresses this increasingly salient subject. The special issue brings together a collection of articles of the TransJudFare project as well as other experts to explore the current dynamics, scope and limits of free movement and equal treatment for EU citizens on the move.
The contributions are covering three main issues: One part is discussing the normative basis and the legal evolution of EU citizenship, free movement and cross-border access to social benefits. Another part analyses the politicisation of free movement from the perspective of individual attitudes and domestic institutions. A third part examines the theoretical and empirical nexus between European free movement and its reconciliation with the welfare state’s need for closure with regard to social benefits and study grants.
By analysing free movement and equal treatment from multiple perspectives, this special issue adds to several core debates in current EU studies. This includes the (im)balance between liberal market freedoms and social protection; the relative power of judicial and political decision-making in the EU; the gap between abstract EU legal principles and Member State implementation on the ground; and, lastly, the differences between actual problem pressure and patterns of politicisation.