55,382 research outputs found

    Croatian Accession to the European Union: Facing the Challenges of Negotiations

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    This chapter summarizes the findings of the three year long project of monitoring Croatia’s preparations for EU accession, if and when it comes, performed by a group of Croatian researchers. The first hypothesis is that a kind of real integration of Croatia in the European space already exists and that it should be further deepened through improvements of the relevant institutions and harmonisation with European standards and requirements. The second is that despite the professed dedication of Croatia’s government to joining the EU and encouraging signals from the EU, hesitations in structural and institutional reforms may hamper not only the success of future negotiations and delay Croatia’s accession, but also the transformation to a modern and efficient state. The first part of the chapter analyses the changes in the last couple of years in Croatia regarding the administrative and judicial structure, economic sustainability and democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms; the second part emphasizes the effects of the latest EU enlargement, competitive pressures and market forces, the free movement of workers, knowledge and innovations, social issues, the real estate market and spatial planning, and regional policy. The chapter ends with conclusions and recommendations. We would lay stress on the necessity of structural reforms in legislation, the judiciary and the public administration, the restructuring of agriculture and shipbuilding, the privatization of public utilities and tourism; patient and shrewd negotiations with the EU, and the possibility of bearing in mind some kind of virtual membership that could help us deepen de facto integration even without de jure membership status. Croatia’s future will depend on capabilities of the government to implement and enforce the reforms and on the readiness of citizens to endure necessary adjustments even when they are painful, making certain sacrifices in the present for the sake of benefit in the future.European Union, Croatia, accession, transformation

    Croatian Accession to the European Union: Institutional Challenges

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    The objective of this chapter is to sum up the results of the monitoring of Croatia's accession to the European Union (EU). This is a project in which a number of authors have taken part, each of them wanting in his or her own area to draw the attention of the politicians, experts, the media and the public to the requirements of the EU, and the weaknesses and strengths of Croatia, and to offer their recommendations for a better and faster accession to the EU, as well as a better and faster development of both the economy and society. After an introduction in which stress is placed on the importance of institutions for the development of the economy and society, the second part starts off optimistically with the opinions of others concerning us, goes on pessimistically with EU views about itself and its own development, and in part three the results are summed up in terms of topics – macroeconomics, the budget deficit, poverty, inequality and social exclusion, the rule of law and the judiciary, governance and the public administration, consumer and environmental protection, and legal aspects of the protection of ethnic minorities, science and higher education, and social values. In the fourth part, there is consideration of what has changed in Croatia during the year since the printing of the previous book; in the fifth, the degree of Croatian preparedness to join the EU is discussed; in the sixth, recommendations are offered for as good an adjustment as possible; and in the seventh, conclusions. Very briefly, it can be concluded that Croatia is working hard at implementing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and at adjusting to EU requirements, but that a better implementation of regulations will be required, together with a more rapid establishment of new, and a better functioning of existing, institutions. Crucial in this respect are problems in the public administration, in conjunction with the establishment and strengthening of the institutions essential for market liberalisation. This project too shows, once again, that irrespective of developments within the EU itself and its attitude with respect to Croatia, the country needs to work on its own institutions, launch the necessary reforms as rapidly and thoroughly as possible, and achieve better results in knowledge and education; in addition, the active participation of all those involved in the process is also a matter of vital importance.European Union, Croatia, institutional adjustment

    Croatian Accession to the European Union: Economic and Legal Challenges

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    This chapter aims to summarise and analyse the project that involves the work of a group of experts whose ambition it is to help those who make the political decisions, the media and interested readers to understand the requirements of the EU and the situation in Croatia, to draw concrete conclusions and make recommendations for essential measures. Part one raises the question of whether the EU is fiction or reality, part two puts Croatia in the context of the EU, while the third part concentrates on macroeconomics, banking and finances, taxes, government aid, trade policy, power, agriculture, employment and unemployment, the legal system, the non-governmental sector and equality between men and women. Part four analyses key questions of Croatia’s accession to the EU – regulation within the EU itself, the normative and real harmonisation of Croatia and the EU, Croatian advantages and its points of vulnerability, and a comparison of Croatia with member countries and candidate countries. The chapter also offers a number of recommendations for individual areas, while particular stress is placed upon recommendations that relate to the importance of the public administration and the independent agencies, the question of whether it is better to make adjustments at once or only when they are essential, and the attitude to regional initiatives. The message of the paper is that most of the criteria of Maastricht, Copenhagen and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement are posed in such a way that they can only be of benefit to the country. Our goal ought to be to live in a society that meets as many of these criteria as possible, and whether Croatia will, in so doing, be a member of the EU or of some other association, or an association with some other name that will be relevant at the time Croatia has achieved all this is less important. The EU may help Croatia in its economic and social development, but only the citizens of Croatia can achieve economic development, institutions that are more efficient, and a society that is going to respect the laws and the rights of individuals.European Union, Croatia, economic and legal adjustment

    The Case Against Powers

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    Powers ontologies are currently enjoying a resurgence. This would be dispiriting news for the moderns; in their eyes, to imbue bodies with powers is to slide back into the scholastic slime from which they helped philosophy crawl. I focus on Descartes’s ‘little souls’ argument, which points to a genuine and, I think persisting, defect in powers theories. The problem is that an Aristotelian power is intrinsic to whatever has it. Once this move is accepted, it becomes very hard to see how humble matter could have such a thing. It is as if each empowered object were possessed of a little soul that directs it and governs its behavior. Instead of attempting to resurrect the Aristotelian power theory, contemporary philosophers would be best served by taking their inspiration from its early modern replacement, devised by John Locke and Robert Boyle. On this view, powers are internal relations, not monadic properties intrinsic to their bearers. This move at once drains away the mysterious directedness of Aristotelian powers and solves the contemporary version of the little souls argument, Neil Williams’s ‘problem of fit.

    Weak Mixing and Analyticity of the Pressure in the Ising Model

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    We prove that the pressure (or free energy) of the finite range ferromagnetic Ising model on Zd\mathbb{Z}^d is analytic as a function of both the inverse temperature β\beta and the magnetic field hh whenever the model has the exponential weak mixing property. We also prove the exponential weak mixing property whenever h≠0h\neq 0. Together with known results on the regime h=0,β<βch=0,\beta<\beta_c, this implies both analyticity and weak mixing in all the domain of (β,h)(\beta,h) outside of the transition line [βc,∞)×{0}[\beta_c,\infty)\times \{0\}. The proof of analyticity uses a graphical representation of the Glauber dynamic due to Schonmann and cluster expansion. The proof of weak mixing uses the random cluster representation.Comment: Updated Bibliograph

    Croatian Accession to the European Union

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    Removal of singularities and Gromov compactness for symplectic vortices

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    We prove that the moduli space of gauge equivalence classes of symplectic vortices with uniformly bounded energy in a compact Hamiltonian manifold admits a Gromov compactification by polystable vortices. This extends results of Mundet i Riera and Tian for circle actions to the case of arbitrary compact Lie groups. Our argument relies on an a priori estimate for vortices that allows us to apply techniques used by McDuff and Salamon in their proof of Gromov compactness for pseudoholomorphic curves. As an intermediate result we prove a removable singularity theorem for vortices.Comment: Minor changes and correction

    Leges sive natura: Bacon, Spinoza, and a Forgotten Concept of Law

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    The way of laws is as much a defining feature of the modern period as the way of ideas; but the way of laws is hardly without its forks. Both before and after Descartes, there are philosophers using the concept to carve out a very different position from his, one that is entirely disconnected from God or God’s will. I argue that Francis Bacon and Baruch Spinoza treat laws as dispositions that derive from a thing’s nature. This reading upends the currently orthodox treatment of Spinoza’s laws as infinite modes, and calls for a re-conception of his metaphysics of causation

    Leibniz on Sensation and the Limits of Reason

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    I argue that Leibniz’s doctrine of sensory representation is intended in part to close an explanatory gap in his philosophical system. Unlike the twentieth century explanatory gap, which stretches between neural states on one side and phenomenal character on the other, Leibniz’s gap lies between experiences of secondary qualities like color and taste and the objects that cause them. The problem is that the precise arrangement and distribution of such experiences can never be given a full explanation. In response, Leibniz appeals to representation. I argue that the sense in which Leibnizian sensations are representations is too weak to close his explanatory gap. In the end, he must appeal to the doctrine of the best possible world
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