the European Union

  • The Migration Crisis from the East-Central European Perspective: Challenges for Regional Security

    Nowadays, the common denominator of involvement of the EastCentral Europe in the international arena, and above all, the premise determining community of interest expressed in the European Union is the migration crisis. Despite the different circumstances of activity in the context of the migration crisis, states in the region express similar opinions on the consequences of immigration for security in the region. Above all, they emphasise the implications of immigration for the internal security of states. Given the complex nature of migration, this article focuses on the phenomenon of immigration in the EU, determining the causes of the escalation of the influx of immigrants and, above all, identifying the consequences for the security of states of East-Central Europe.

  • The EU-China Economic Relations: a Harmful Competition or a Strategic Cooperation?

    The People’s Republic of China currently possesses the second biggest national economy in the world, smaller only to that of the United States. It is also a matter of time for China to become the greatest economic power, at least regarding share in aggregated global GDP and the sphere of international trade. Growing engagement of China in global economic development and its dependence on other participants of trade exchanges have made this country a  more ‘responsible shareholder’ of the international economic system. China has a  great development interest in upholding a  stable world economic situation, and especially in proper economic relations with the United States and the European Union, on whose markets its healthy development largely depends. Whether China will soon become a “mature, responsible and attractive superpower” depends to a significant degree not only on its efforts but also on proper relations with major trade and investment partners around the world. It seems that mutually beneficial economic relations between the PRC and the European Union (founded on mutually beneficial and strategic cooperation and not on serious and opaque competition) constitute one of the key factors determining this scenario’s validity. Unfortunately, for the time being, many problems arise in this relationship. They come from both sides requiring a proper diagnosis, as well as a scientific analysis including both assessment and prognosis. The presented scientific article tries to meet these expectations.

  • The Government’s Policy in the Field of Hard Coal Mining Restructuration as an Element of Poland’s Energy Security

    Coal is the primary energy source affecting Poland’s energy security. It is because deposits of this raw material are available in Poland. Unlike natural gas or oil reserves, which are limited in the country. The high cost of extracting Polish coal in comparison with coal prices on the world market has made it necessary to adopt Polish mining to functioning in market economy conditions. The paper presents the evolution of Polish government policy towards the activity of coal mines in the years 1990–2015. This article aims to present government policy on restructuring coal mining after 2015 and showing its effects. The stages of consolidation of the power industry with the mining industry are shown. The above issues are presented in the context of the European Union’s energy and climate policy, paying particular attention to the share of renewable energy sources in the energy and fuel balance and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

  • The State of Democracy in Poland and Europe

    The exclusive interview with Mr Lech Wałęsa, the legendary leader of “Solidarity” Trade Union, the Noble Peace Prize Laureate in 1983 and the President of Poland from 1990 to 1995, on the state of democracy in Poland and Europe, presents Mr Wałęsa’s perspective on challenges that contemporary political leaders have to face. It discusses four major areas: a historical consideration of Poland’s post-communist transformation, a today’s perspective on democracy in Poland, an evaluation of country’s role in united Europe and a discussion of processes that threaten democracy in Poland and Europe. In the interview, Mr Wałęsa shares his hopes and fears, and he presents main ideas for the new political times. His assessments do not focus only on the today’s state of democracy, but he also tries to consider how the democracy may look like in the future. As a result, the Polish Political Science Yearbook publishes a unique conversation with the legend of the struggle against Communist dictatorships in Europe that shows Mr Wałęsa’s personal remarks on the democracy, the globalised World and modern technologies. 

  • European Federation as a Systemic Response to the Crisis of Leadership in Europe?

    The idea of European federation keeps recurring in politicians' and intellectuals' discourses on the future of the European Union. The logic of global rivalry of “large territories” favors this in particular, as it somehow forces Europe’s states to enter into a tighter integration if they want to realize their politics. The biggest challenge which the Union faces is the problem of leadership, understood both in the context of internal policy and relationally towards the surrounding. The problem, however, is the diversity of the member states and the unrelenting tension between particular concern about a national interest and European universalism. European federation sensu stricto, just because of this diversity has still been a utopian project. The future of the European Union most probably lies in a new intermediate model, as unique as the European Commonwealths used to be in the 1950s.

  • The Europeanization of the Polish Safety Policy in the Context of its Participation in National Armed Military Forces Missions in the European Union

    For some time now, an issue of the Europeanization has been quite deeply explored in literature on political science. Numerous authors take on that subject in a variety of contexts, which means that it is a problem that is very interesting from a scientifi c point of view. Th ere are plenty of Polish scientists researching this area, as well as a great number of foreign publications. An interest of Europeanization’s processes is most often investigated in the context of public politics. In this article, by the use of a nomological – deductive approach, the author endeavors to make an explanation of the term Europeanization and also to show to what extend and how the Europeanization of Polish armed forces succeeded in the context of their participation in missions lead by the European Union.

  • Between the Centre and the Periphery of European Integration? Ten Years of Polish Membership in the European Union

    Europe, slowly but surely, appears to be recovering from one of the most damaging financial crises ever, but still our continent dangles in a sort of political suspension. The “Eastern Enlargement” from 2004 has been digested badly by the European Union. Currently, we are witnessing an overwhelming shortage of common ideas for the Community consisting of the twenty eight Member States, which is striking and, is in fact a grievous phenomenon. A number of exclusive political and economic initiatives realized beyond the institutional skeleton of the Union evolve, at least partially, into disruption of pure solidarity and rudimentary concord among nations. The multi-tier Europe, evidently faltering at a political crossroads, is gradually rising from the diff erentiation of the Community and, in consequence, presupposes some kind of socio-political and economic Centre and Periphery.

  • The Influence of the Common Agricultural Policy and EU Funds on Rural Development after the Accession of Poland to the European Union

    The basic function of agricultural areas is, according to the European Charter for Rural Areas, agriculture and preservation of the natural environment based on a well-functioning agricultural sector that operates in harmony with nature. The Council Regulation (EC) 1257/1999 on support for rural development from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee was adopted in 1999. The programmes that are currently binding in the territory of Poland were developed in accordance with the EU policy expressed in the abovementioned acts and other documents concerning development of rural areas. These included: the Rural Development Programme that focused on social and environmental aspects, as well as a part of the Sectoral Operational Programme devoted to the development of rural areas, as well as restructuring and modernisation of the food sector. Based on the priorities of the Council regulation, two strategic objectives have been set: 1) Improvement of competitiveness of the agriculture and food economy, 2) Sustainable development of rural areas. Implementation of these objectives requires the support of the Common Agricultural Policy. Polish European Union membership contributed to setting its objectives and increasing the ability to subsidise economic entities, as well as develop both the food and rural areas economy.

  • Book Review: Joanna Marszałek–Kawa, Constitutional Status and Functions of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland Following the Accession to the European Union, ELIPSA Publishing House, Warsaw 2012, p. 713

    The monograph of Joanna Marszałek-Kawa concerns one of the key problems of the European integration process: the impact of European Union membership on the position of the national parliament. It is clear that EU membership affects the constitutional status and functions of national legislature in a number of ways. The author hypothesised the following: „After the accession of Poland to the European Union, both the Polish constitutional status and functions of the Sejm of the RP have significantly changed. The Council of Ministers became an authority that partly assumed its competences, which in practice should be viewed as dominance of an executive over a legislative branch. As a result of accession, prerogatives of the Sejm were significantly reduced in favour of the government. The fall of legislative sovereignty took place when the amendments made were more and more oft en assessed.” 

  • Itogi rossijjsko-belorusskikh otnoshenijj: 2000–2016

    The essence of Russia’s relations with Belarus after the end of the 20th century boils down to a specific kind of balance. Thanks to its presence in the institutional forms of close cooperation such as the CSTO, the Union State or the Eurasian Economic Union Minsk enjoys the openness of Russian market and very low prices of imported resources (especially crude oil and gas). What Moscow receives in return can be classified as a sort of intangible goods: greater prestige and a „friendly hegemonic” position in international relations. The balance of the game falls in favor of Lukashenko who takes advantage of his country’s location between the Russian Federation and the EU: Moscow is permanently blackmailed with the possibility of Minsk’s hypothetical turn toward the Western partners.

  • The Essence, Premises and Perspectives of Modernisation of the European Union

    Modernisation of the European Union or just another modifi cation? Such a dilemma appears regularly during all inter-governmental conferences, specially before and after approving another revision treaty for the European Union. To answer such a question, fi rst the essence and meaning of these terms has to be explained, and to do so, the best option is to refer to their etymology. And so, according to the PWN “Dictionary of Foreign Words”, ‘modification’ »latin modification = measuring« is a change, transformation, remake; a modifi ed object, while ‘modernisation’ »fr. moderne = modern« is making something modern or making something contemporary’. Therefore, modernisation shall mean a broader and deeper process, these are actions leading to radical transformations and changes as compared to modifi cation, which usually precedes modernisation. It may then be said that as far as the European Union is concerned, commencing from its origination by the Maastricht treaty of 7th February 1992 till the latest revision treaty, i.e. the Lisbon treaty which became eff ective on 1st December 2009, we only witnessed its successive (permanent) modifi cation, that is slow transformations which were generally named extension and enhancement processes. Today, after nearly twenty years of remakes and use, the European Union needs not only a radical overhaul but rather modernisation, meaning its update and adapting to contemporary times. Today, the European Union requires adaptation to challenges and requirements of the 21st century determined by acceleration and globalisation progressing within all spheres of life.

  • Russia and the European Union’s new member states: their cooperation and rivalry in the field of energy

    Relations between Russia and the European Union are particularly important in the sphere of the production, transmission and use of energy resources as it is in this field where Russia possesses its key strategic assets, and the European Union heavily relies on supplies of oil and natural gas from this country. Russia wants to be perceived as a superpower by the European Union countries and believes that having such a status will contribute to its further progress. In order to accomplish this goal it should take advantage of its superior position in the field of power industry. In the past, both in the times of czarism and the Soviet Union, Imperial Russia built its status as a world power primarily by using its military potential to expand its territory. We compare this tradition to Russia’s present attitude, the latter is undoubtedly less dangerous and it may become the basis for mutually advantageous cooperation.

  • The Cultural Identity of Germansin Opole Silesia in the Aspect of Poland's Integration with EU

  • Nowe otwarcie w polityce Litwy wobec Białorusi? Relacje litewsko-białoruskie po 2006 r.

    In the first half of 1990s, Lithuanian–Belarusian relationships were characterised by their low intensity. This situation remained unchanged also when Alexander Lukashenko came to power in Belarus in 1994. Lithuania and Belarus followed a completely different course in their political, economic and military integration. The European and Atlantic course won in the Lithuanian politics, while in the Belarusian politics the Eastern direction prevailed. After presidential elections in 2001, bilateral relations in Belarus were frozen. Only in 2007 there was a convergence of Lithuanian and Belarusian interests, when increasing Russian influence started to pose a threat to their sovereignty. There was a new opening in Lithuanian policy towards Belarus. Political and economic cooperation tightened. An extent of Lithuanian investments in Belarus also increased. Belarus has played an increasingly important role in Lithuanian politics. Lithuania also acts as a mediator in a conflict between Belarus and EU. Both countries also criticised Russian involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. In the nearest future, further development of economic and political cooperation between these two countries should be expected.

  • Rosyjska polityka integracyjna w Azji Centralnej wobec aktywności Unii Europejskiej na tym obszarze Część II

    The competition of Western states and Russia for influence in the area of Central Asia has a long history. Located in the centre of the continent, the Central Asian region is a kind of link between China and the countries of Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, the Middle East and a number of Islamic countries in the south, the Caucasus, Turkey, Europe and Russia – to the west and north. The beginning of the current development of the geopolitical situation in Central Asia falls on time of disintegration of the Soviet Union and emergence of independent republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The presented article describes the geopolitical situation of the region.

  • Euroazjatycka Wspólnota Gospodarcza i Szanghajska Organizacja Współpracy jako alternatywa dla Turcji wobec braku członkostwa w Unii Europejskiej

    Turkey formally applied for membership in the European Union (EU) on April 14, 1987, but it took 12 years to get candidate status at the Helsinki summit of 1999. The year 2014 brought no breakthrough in the negotiations between the EU and Turkey. Public opinion polls show that many Turkish citizens have no hope of joining the EU. Waiting too long for membership in the EU is causing a lot of controversy in Turkey and is one of the most frequently raised issues in the political discourse. In the last three years, the Turkish political class and socjety became more and more sympathetic to perceived integration initiatives in the Eastern direction. Turkey has opened a new road in the form of accession to the Eurasian Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. What will happen if Turkey will support its way in this direction? How long can Turkey wait for admission to the EU? Where would it be better for Turkey? The Eastern Alliance or the Western?

  • Rossijjskaja integracionnaja politika v Centralnojj Azii po otnosheniju k aktivnosti Evropejjskogo Sojuza na ehtojj territorii Chast 1

    The competition of Western states and Russia for influence in the area of Central Asia has a long history. Located in the centre of the continent, the Central Asian region is a kind of link between China and the countries of Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, the Middle East and a number of Islamic countries in the south, the Caucasus, Turkey, Europe and Russia – to the west and north. The beginning of the current development of the geopolitical situation in Central Asia falls on time of disintegration of the Soviet Union and emergence of independent republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The presented article describes the geopolitical situation of the region.

  • Od koncepcji do Strategii Bezpieczeństwa Narodowego Ukrainy Ewolucja polityki bezpieczeństwa narodowego Ukrainy w latach 1991–2012

    The geopolitical situation of Ukraine and the threats of the modern world, such as international terrorism, organized crime, illegal emigration, as well as international and internal conflicts necessitate conducting an effective foreign policy and national security policy. Choosing the vector of its foreign policy, Ukraine also made a choice of the concept of its national security. The analysis of the concept of national security of Ukraine in the years 1991–2012 allows to verify the thesis put forward in the introduction of the paper that the evolution of the concept of the national security policy in a significant way mirrors the evolution of the foreign policy of Ukraine. Both the security policy and the foreign policy can be described as having multiple polarity, balancing between the Euro-Atlantic and the Euro-Asian spheres of influence.

  • Russlands Energiepolitik als Teil der russischen Außenpolitik

    This publication is part of the doctoral thesis, written in German with the title: Die Energiepolitik der Russischen Föderation im Zeitraum 2000–2009 und derem Auswirkungen für die energetische Sicherheit der EU (The Russian energy Policy 2000–2009 and its impact on the European energy security). The article presents how the Russian Federation is using its energy resources to achieve their current and future foreign policy goals. The author makes an attempt to explain a numer of fundamental issues relating on the one hand to the main motives of the Russian Federation in this field and on the other to its methods. He also analyses the Russian energy strategy and its negative impact on the energy security of the European Union. As important elements of this strategy the ”Gas-OPEC” as well as the direct and indirect investments of Gazprom in EU are mentioned. It is claimed that the implementation of pipeline projects by the Russian Federation (Nord-Stream and South-Stream) isn’t carried out at the bilateral relations level randomly – Nord-Stream (Russia-Germany), South-Stream (Russia-Italy) – but rather is seen as an opportunity to strengthen Russia’s relations with selected countries. This can be seen as an attempt to make the European Union weaker as a multilateral organization.

  • Wsparcie Unii Europejskiej dla Romów w Polsce

    Forms of support for Roma in Poland coming from the European Union revolve mainly around the projects under the Human Capital Operational Programme and on the basis of the Community Initiative Equal Programme. Among the realized projects the special place is occupied by these concerned with the fight against unemployment and with the support of education among the Roma minority.

    The projects, implemented throughout the years, provide a chance to change the perception of the Roma minority by the society. For the opportunity to participate in a holistic educational process and open access to the labour market seem to be the only way to improve the existing living standards.

    The advantage of the projects which certainly cannot be overlooked is the fact that the proposed aid enables a change in living conditions of entire Roma families, while respecting their culture, customs and traditions. For only in this way an improvement of the living conditions of the Roma people and a gradual integration with the rest of the society are possible.

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