14. February 2022

ZEI Discussion Papers ZEI Discussion Papers

In 2022 ZEI published new Discussion Papers: about the situation of the Western Balkan states in the EU, the origins of the Treaties of Rome of 1957 and the political scientist Karl Dietrich Bracher.

ZEI Discussion Papers
ZEI Discussion Papers © ZEI
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ZEI Discussion Paper C 272 / 2022

Europäische Parteien als Antrieb für die europäische Integration? - Merit Thummes

Political parties at the European level are still largely unknown to most citizens in the European Union, even 30 years after their inclusion in primary law by the Maastricht Treaty. The introduction of these so-called Europarties was linked the mission of forming a European awareness and expressing the political will of the union’s citizens. It was accompanied by the hope that the parties could be a driving force for European integration, especially regarding a European society. So far, the Europarties have largely failed to fulfill this task. After giving an overview on the current situation of parties at the European level, the article presents proposals for reform and possible opportunities that would arise from party politicization at the European level.


ZEI Discussion Paper C 271 / 2022

EU enlargement into the Western Balkans: a gloomy prospect gets gloomier - Milenko Petrovic

Nearly two decades after the EU stated in the 2003 Thessaloniki agenda that all the Western Balkan states ‘will be an integral part of a united Europe’, Croatia is the only one of them to have succeeded in reaching this goal. Of the remaining Western Balkan states, only Montenegro and Serbia have opened the accession negotiations with the EU, albeit with very slim prospects to close all 30+ negotiation chapters any time in the foreseeable future. The others are further behind; they are either still waiting to open accession negotiations (as is the case with the other two official candidates for EU membership – Albania and Macedonia) or even achieve full candidate status (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo). Facing post-2004/07 ‘enlargement fatigue’ and numerous internal problems and crises since the late 2000s/early 2010s, the EU’s political elite and wider public, particularly in its core member states, seem to have lost any interest in further enlargement and in assisting the Western Balkan hopefuls to become part of ‘a united Europe’. Prospects for acceleration of any Western Balkan state’s accession process in the 2020s are very slim.


ZEI Discussion Paper C 270 / 2022

The Signing of the Rome Treaties 65 Years Ago: Origins, Provisions and Effects - Michael Gehler

The Treaties of Rome formed the basis for decades of Western European unification. Their creation was based on a compromise between France and the Federal Republic of Germany on the establishment of an atomic and an economic community as well as on a cross-camp political consensus. On 25 March 1957, the sovereignty of (Western) Europe was already at stake: The Treaties of Rome were in fact a response to Europe's disempowerment in World War I and a reaction to Europe's self-destruction in World War II. They were a demonstration of inner-European self-determination vis-à-vis the center and east of Europe dominated by communism from the USSR, by means of securing prosperity in the west and outside-European self-assertion, among other things, through the inclusion of overseas territories.


ZEI Discussion Paper C 269 / 2022

Karl Dietrich Bracher (1922-2016). Aus der Geschichte lernen - Ludger Kühnhardt

Karl Dietrich Bracher is one of the leading founders of political science in Germany after the Second World War. He worked at the University of Bonn for almost three decades. His influence as a public intellectual spanned contemporary history from the dissolution of the Weimar Republic, the National Socialist dictatorship and the re-establishment of German democracy to the developments of European integration. His contributions tothe history of ideas in the 20th century have lasting value for the political culture. To mark Karl Dietrich Bracher's centenary, ZEI Director Professor Ludger Kühnhardt, Bracher's last academic assistant in the 1980s, is reconstructing his work and its impact. He recalls Bracher's life up to his death in 2016 with personal impressions.


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