News archive 2009


New RECON Online Working Papers

A new working paper examines the challenges with regard to implementation of the precautionary principle in the field of European Community regulation of GMOs (RECON Online Working Paper 2009/14), while another paper investigates whether there has been an Europeanisation of Turkish foreign policy as a result of Turkey’s accession negotiations with the EU (RECON Online Working Paper 2009/15). In a third paper, a theoretical and operational framework that guides the empirical research on the prospects of parliamentary mode of representation at the EU level is developed (RECON Online Working Paper 2009/16). A fourth paper focuses on alternative institutional options for conducting policy dialogue within the context of CFSP (RECON Online Working Paper 2009/17), while a final paper paper contributes to the debate on how we can understand the increasingly high level of common EU foreign policies (RECON Online Working Paper 2009/18). All RECON publications.



New RECON report

A new report has been published in RECON's report series: RECON Report 10, The Sinews of European Peace: Reconstituting the Democratic Legitimacy of the Socio-Economic Constitution of the European Union, edited by Raúl Letelier and Agustín José Menéndez. The process of European integration and the establishment of the welfare state were for a long time regarded as the two sinews of European peace. The contributions to this report elucidate the extent to which these two great European transformations are related to the constitutional design of the institutional structure and the decision-making processes of the European Union. Special attention is paid to the relationship between the most prominent part of the economic constitution of the Union (the economic freedoms) and the key socio-economic policies of the Union (from fiscal policy to labour relationships). All RECON publications.



EU Commissioner Špidla opened the Midterm Conference

Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, opened the RECON Midterm Conference 9 October 2009. In his opening speech, Commissioner Špidla discussed the concept of freedom and how it may be conceived, in political and economic terms. Read more.



Two PhD fellowships vacant at ARENA, University of Oslo

Two positions as PhD fellows are available at ARENA, University of Oslo.The research focus for the first fellowship should be within one of thecore research areas of ARENA, while the second second fellowship iswithin the field of European foreign and security policy. The deadlinefor application is 10 November 2009. Read more 



RECON midterm conference

Can democracy be reconstituted at the European level, and if so, in what form? Are we now witnessing the third transformation of democracy - to a post-national form - thus succeeding city-state and nation state based versions of democracy? These are core questions that will be discussed at RECON‘s Midterm Conference in Prague on 9-10 October 2009. More than 100 researchers as well as policy makers, civil society actors and representatives from the general public will gather to discuss the RECON project’s focus on the future of democracy in Europe. The aim is to engage participants in a constructive discussion on the theoretical models underlying the project, as well as taking stock of RECON’s research halfway through the project. Vladimir Spidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, will open the conference. Read more.



New RECON publications 

RECON Report 7 deals with new approaches to supra- and transnational law-generating structures. RECON Report 8 comprise contributions from all RECON work packages, each applying the RECON framework to its subject area with attention to methodological issues and the main lines of debate. RECON Report 9 explores how the European Union has affected national constitution. In his new book, Der Sinn von Demokratie, RECON researcher Daniel Gaus argues that the criticism of the discourse-theoretical argument on democracy for being utopian is based on a misreading of Habermas’ theory. All RECON publications.



New RECON working papers 

A new working paper proposes an analytical framework and a methodology of how to analyze civil society as ‘social constituency’ (RECON Online Working Paper 2009/7),whereas in another paper it is argued that reasons and norms must be given explanatory force in social action (RECON Online Working Paper 2009/8). A third working paper asks how control mechanisms structuring the involvement of national parliaments in EU policy-formulation affect the size and scope of conflict of parliamentary debates (RECON Online Working Paper 2009/9), while a final paper investigates the spreading phenomenon of Euroscepticism (RECON Working Paper 2009/10). All RECON publications.



New RECON partner

The University of Hamburg (UHAM) has joined the RECON consortium. UHAM is Germany's fifth largest university and has taken over the project from the University of Bath, following Prof. Antje Wiener's transfer. The RECON team at UHAM will continue the work in RECON's work package 6, The Foreign and Security Dimension, and will be responsible for a comparative analysis of elite groups of different national background who operate in transnational and domestic settings in the sector of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Read more



New address for the website on Europeanisation of national constitutions

The website on the Europeanisation of national constitutions has moved to The website was launched by CEPC in 2007 as an important contribution to RECON's WP 2 - The Constitutionalisation of the EU, the Europeanisation of National Constitutions, and Constitutionalism Compared. Following the transfer of the RECON project from CEPC to CSIC in Madrid in 2008, the website has been moved to a new domain. The website is under development and will be updated throughout the lifetime of the project. Read more.



Excellent review of RECON

A recent review of RECON’s second year of activities praises the project for its contribution to the academic community worldwide. 'This project does not have to keep up with current state of the art but it sets for the moment standards in the state of the art.' Read more.



Special issue on civil society and democracy in Europe

WP 5 coordinators Ulrike Liebert (UniHB) and Hans-Jörg Trenz (ARENA) are editors of a recent special issue of Policy and Society. The issue 'New approaches to civil society in Europe' brings together contributions aimed atmapping as well as further developing the current state of the art in civil society research in interdisciplinary conceptual, normative, and empirical terms. In addition to the editors, contributors to the special issue are Klaus Eder, Beate Kohler-Koch, Christine Quittkat, Carlo Ruzza and Stijn Smismans. Read more.



New book on politics and religion in France and Belgium

François Forêt (ULB) is the editor of a new volume on politics and religion in France and Belgium. The book explores the question of the Christian heritage of Europe with a comparative look at two countries, and is the result of a workshop held in Brussels in January 2008. The author is a member of RECON’s WP 5, which analyses how civil society and the public sphere shape the democratic reconstitution of Europe. Read more.



New book: European Integration from Rome to Berlin

A new book, European Integration from Rome to Berlin: 1957-2007, edited by RECON researchers Julio Baquero and Carlos Closa (CSIC), was recently published with Peter Lang. The volume takes an interdisciplinary approach and seeks to draw on the lessons of history, while shedding new light on the current and future challenges that the European Union faces. The authors are members of RECON's WP 2, which analyses the impact of the dual processes of EU constitutionalisation and Europeanisation of national constitutions on the reconstitution of democracy in Europe. Read more.



New RECON publications 

RECON Report 6 addresses the role of parliaments on all levels in the democratic control of European security policy. RECON Report 5 brings together contributions aimed at empirically and theoretically mapping the current state of the art in civil society research. In a new working paper, the EU’s second pillar procedure is assessed for its putative lack of democratic qualities (RECON Online Working Paper 2008/20), whereas another paper presents a study of mass media coverage of humanitarian and military interventions (RECON Online Working Paper 2008/19). All RECON publications.