Postfunctionalist scholarship has long argued that EU integration leads to the politicization of European policymaking accompanied by growing public objection to additional transfers of authority to the EU-level. Yoav Raskin and Tal Sadeh explore the mechanism through which European integration increases voters’ support for political parties that oppose the transfer of authority in their article “Responsive voters – how European integration empowers Eurosceptic parties”. As a result of a mixed-method design, they find that the timing and type of EU events matter. Eurosceptic parties particularly benefit from integration events that have a potential for high media profile, signal reduced state autonomy, and occur in proximity to national elections. Even if mainstream parties counter the claims of Eurosceptic parties, the net effect is a ratcheting up of electoral support for the latter. By creating a salient political issue that crosscuts mainstream cleavages and empowers Eurosceptic parties, the authors project that European integration may become increasingly self-undermining through empowering its own opposition.
International institutions often take recourse to pretrial bargaining procedures to prevent accidental noncompliance with international law arising from, for example, government misinterpretation or lack of administrative capacity. Pretrial bargaining allows settling cases involving accidental noncompliance before going to court, which frees up resources for cases involving intentional noncompliance. In their article “Improving the efficiency of pretrial bargaining in disputes over noncompliance with international law: encouraging evidence from the European Union”, Sivaram Cheruvu and Joshua Fjelstul investigate how international institutions can improve the efficiency of pretrial bargaining. Their analysis of EU Pilot, a policy initiative designed to enhance the efficiency of pretrial bargaining in the EU, yields promising results. As such, EU Pilot significantly improves the efficiency of pretrial bargaining, speeding up the initial phase of bargaining by approximately 74 days. The authors summarize their findings with a piece of advice geared at policymakers seeking to counter noncompliance: “improving communication with implementing actors during the policy implementation process is a viable policy solution to improve the efficiency of bargaining in pretrial dispute-settlement procedures without resorting to sanctioning mechanisms.”
In any democratic system, political decision-makers should shape policies according to public preferences. In the context of the EU, the public-to-policy linkage is often thought to be weak. In their article “A responsive relationship? setting the political agenda in the European Union”, Magda Giurcanu and Petia Kostadinova research the extent to which the European Commission responds to the preferences of the European public. They find that the Commission’s efforts to respond to public dissatisfaction with the EU already began during the first Barroso Presidency. The comparison between Europarties’ pledges issued during the 2004 EP elections and subsequent Commission policy priorities reveals that the Commission and the EP generally address the same topics in their public statements. Three conditions facilitate the Commission’s consideration of the EP’s agenda: (1) when levels of Euroscepticism are high, both in terms of principled opposition and critical positions towards European integration; (2) when the public cares deeply about the policies under consideration; and (3) when the topic of the policy proposal falls under a Commission Directorate best described as friendly to the public. Thus, the authors conclude that despite being an unelected body, the Commission strategically responds to pressures from below by taking into account the EP’s policy agenda in its policy priorities.
The 2020 Journal Citation Reports release by Clarivate Analytics sees JEPP’s impact factor increase from 4.177 in 2019 to 7.339 in 2020 (note that the increase in the impact factor score is – in parts – due to the fact that Clarivate changed the way how the impact factors were calculated). JEPP thus continues to be ranked in the top 10 of all Political Science journals (6/182) and now ranks top in the Public Administration category (1/47).
JEPP was also able to hold on to its excellent third place in the 2021 Google Scholar Metrics ranking for Political Science, with an h-index of 63, up from 55 (only APSR and AJPS have slightly higher scores).
To top off yet another year of good news, JEPP continues to do very well on CiteScore provided by Scopus, with a score of 8.1 (up from 7.7), which implies that JEPP is ranked 2/165 in Public Administration and 20/1269 in the catch-all Sociology and Political Science category.
We won’t tire of thanking our family of authors who have chosen JEPP as the venue to publish their research, our board members and reviewers for their outstanding and continuing support, and our readers without whom JEPP would have never made it this far!