The Effect of International Economic Organisations on the Sovereignty

of National Government and the EU Accession Process

Rastislav Diovčoš


The incentive to the selection of this topic arose from the discussions, which takes place in every, not only applicant country, and deals with the enlargement of the European Union and the growing interdependence within the state system of the world as a whole. The differences among member states and applying countries are gaping in almost every sphere of the life - ranging from structural issues connected with value orientations of the people and economy to the institutions. Consciousness of not being at least economically equal intensify fear of loosing independence among people and among elite even more.

In this research I would like to demonstrate the influence of the international organisations on the sovereignty of the state. It is not only the sovereignty of the state in the Westphalian sense and its relation with the supranational organisation which is being reconstructed in the last decades. The issue symbolises the wide range of problems. There are several endogenous and exogenous factors which influence these processes of changes. Discussing these issues many questions arise. It is extremely difficult to describe them and to come to the methodological solution whether this problem could be understood as a linear, one-way, in the sense of dependence or if it could be understood in the term know as a turbulent world, an organic system of interdependence made of the state posing as principal actors which voluntarily enter the relations.

Crucial for understanding this new situation in the international relations is the existence of informal rules. This means that even the state unit does not join any formal institution the member states have created a context where you have to accept these rules if you want to co-operate with them. In some sense the non-member state is forced to adhere the rules because it is dependent on their support.

What globalisation principally signifies for international relations is the reduced ability of the state to monitor and control a wide range of global flows and activities that impinge upon its territory, while not falling within its jurisdiction, or competence to exercise its jurisdiction. If the globalisation is believed to be eroding the effectiveness of state performance, it follows that this will inevitably show up in any discussion of sovereignty. In these interpretations, the state is passive in the face of globalisation.

One of the questions which are often discussed is if states do produce sovereignty in the same sense as they produce security or manage the economy. Indeed, do they produce sovereignty at all? Is sovereignty something that states do, or something they are? Traditionally, sovereignty is an enabling precondition rather than a function in its own right. The state can, for instance, generate security for its citizens because that is what, on their behalf, it has a sovereign entitlement to do. Sovereignty can thus be considered an instance of a constitutive rule, within whose ambit its regulative functions can be performed. In sum, sovereignty seems to produce the state rather than the state producing sovereignty.

Sovereignty and globalisation are normally depicted as locked in zero-sum game. One of the most remarkable features of the twentieth century is the globalisation of sovereign statehood. We know that globalisation is happening because of the changing practices of sovereignty. As a result of this the territorial state will continue to operate as an influential institution, but the presence or absence of sovereignty will be much less the defining characteristic of its structure or mode of action.

When talking about globalisation among public moving from telephones and internet proves more in multinational corporations and supranational organisations. They are the ones who are typical representatives of the globalisation. Together with the states and civil society they represent the tops of the triangle of the actors in the arena of the international society. Supranational organisations – does not matter of which kind – but mainly political and economical can only function effectively if they have some rights which come from the rights originally given to the states. One of the reasons that can explain the existence of such organisations is that states trying to solve the same problems cannot be efficient enough. Regarding realistic approach in the international relations theory the financial support is never unconditional and the supporters who have to protect their ”investments” need to have some guaranties such as condition of some reforms within the system of the state. Even this could be understood in the negative terms as a loss of sovereignty the conditions are set before the contract is accepted the dilemma of refusing or not is purely philosophical and has nothing to do with the political analysis.

Globalisation is not simply about the diminution of sovereignty in the sense of the state’s ability to manage its own affairs. More fundamentally, it is about the reconstitution of sovereignty with the reshaping of the state itself. Krasner uses the argument: ”if anything, State control has actually increased over the long term: de facto sovereignty has been strengthened rather than weakened”. The pervasive theme of commentary is that globalisation problematizes sovereignty because it raises important issues about territoriality. For instance, the unsettling effect of globalisation has been described as a new situation in which decisions and outcomes do not correspond with the choices of sovereign wills and are not contained by the boundaries within which they operate.

Rather then sovereignty eroding as a consequence of globalisation it is being transformed. There is plenty of it around, but the sites for its concentration have changed over the last two decades. Indications of such transformation are to be found mainly in the new identities and less territorialized practices.

Although institutions such as IMF or World bank play an important role in world economy, although globalisation can be considered positive, it is always seen as the economic concept, but we forget, that these institutions influence not only economic area but also influence political and other spheres.