svētdiena, 2015. gada 17. maijs

The European Semester - new "overseer" tool.


When European Council agreed and started the new Europe 2020 strategy, which was the main plan in order to respond to the financial crisis and to follow the Lisbon Strategy that was expiring. The main idea was to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth within the European Union member states. There was also defined five headline goals in the fields of employment, Research and Development (R&D) innovation, climate change/energy, education and social exclusion. [1]
When European Union is examined, it may seem however far from being uniform in the policies addressed by the EU2020 headline goals. The Treaty of Lisbon determines the European Unions exclusive competency as regards competition, monetary policy for those Member States whose currency is the euro and the common commercial policy, shared competency for internal market, social policy, economic, social and territorial cohesion, environment and energy. Although, it is problematic for the European Union to set economic and employment policies for its Member States. Therefore, there was a need for some “overseer” tool to be created – and it was European Semester. It is designed to coordinate and harmonise Member States policies in this field. Against this background, the European Semester as a new key element of Economic Governance started in January 2011 with the objective to provide “ex-ante policy co-ordination”. Means that plans for the most important economic policy reforms are assessed and discussed at EU level before final decisions are taken at national level. In this process, the Commission and Council of Ministers can suggest changes to the plans. Major economic reforms in one Member State can cause economic spillover effects on other Member States. Such spillover effects are all the more relevant in an Economic and Monetary Union, as the crisis has underlined. Major economic reforms can produce economic spillover effects on other Member States via trade and competitiveness and via financial markets.[2]
In this paper will be examined the newly adopted European Semester, defining the main goal, the process of implementation of it for Member States and conclusion about its effectiveness.

Terms of References:
1.      Introduce with the material online from EUROPA website and other official sources, i.e. Eurodaconia;
2.      Examine the literature and give reasoned explanation and judgment over the European Semester;
3.      Provide with summary and conclusion about the European Semester.

Defining the European Semester

Nowadays there’s a lot of questions about the newly introduced system of European Semester. Some say that is one of the amongst the most important tools which civil society organizations have at their disposal to bring about  social change.
All Member States have committed to achieving the Europe 2020 targets and have translated them into national targets. But only if the individual efforts of all countries are coordinated and focused, can they result in the desired impact on growth.
Therefore, the European Union has set up a yearly cycle of economic policy coordination called the European Semester. Each year, the Commission undertakes a detailed analysis of EU Member States' plans of budgetary, macroeconomic and structural reforms and provides them with recommendations for the next 12-18 months.
The recent crises and the risk for the stability of the euro area have underlined vividly the interdependence and exposed the vulnerability of Member States, in particular inside the euro area. The European Union and Member States have taken coordinated and determined action: This included not only short-term measures to stabilise the financial sector, revitalise the economy or ensure the solvency of Greece and the stability of the Eurozone, but it also entailed the setting up of a medium- and long-term vision to put Europe on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth ("Europe 2020"). Now the time has come also to draw far-reaching lessons concerning the way economic policies are dealt with. Therefore, the Commission proposes to reinforce decisively the economic governance in the European Union. The aim of the Communication is to strengthen the functioning of the Stability and Growth Pact and extend surveillance to macro-economic imbalances. It proposes to align national budget and policy planning through the establishment of a "European Semester" for economic policy coordination, so that Member States would benefit from early coordination at European level as they prepare their national budgets and national reform programmes. Finally, the Commission considers it to be a first priority to make the European stabilisation mechanism decided by ECOFIN (Economic and Financial Affairs Council). Based on this experience, the Commission intends in the medium-to-long term make a proposal for a permanent crisis resolution mechanism.[3]
The main aim of the European Semester is to ensure co-ordination of the budgetary and economic policies that are defined under the Europe 2020 strategy. It is an annual cycle of political activities which primarily involves the European Commission and EU Member State governments, but it also relies on the participation of other actors:
·         EU institutional bodies – European Parliament and the Council of Ministers;
·         International NGO (non-governmental organizations) platforms;
·         Networks and local grassroots organizations.

The European Semester consists of four main core items:[4]
1.      The Annual Growth Survey – The first step of each new European Semester starts in November. It is called the Annual Growth Survey and it is drafted by the European Commission;
2.      National Reform Programme – the second step in the European semester is marked by the creation of National Reform Programmes: each EU member state needs to submit one by 15 April, which practically means that the European Commission receives 28 different NRPs within one month. Basically, NRPs are national responses to the EU-wide Annual Growth Survey. Sets out national economic and social targets for the upcoming year, taking into account the Europe-wide priorities by reaching the Europe 2020 targets;
3.      Country – Specific Recommendations (CSR) In the months April and May, the third main step takes place. The European Commission evaluates the different NRPs and formulates country specific recommendations for each EU member states. These CSRs are intended to influence the overall policy direction your country is taking – specific Latvia’s recommendations will be examined in the research part;
4.      CSR Implementation – from July onwards, a final and very crucial step takes place: following the adoption of the CSRs, EU member states are invited to implement them. The CSRs should be taken into consideration whilst each EU member state sets its national budget for the upcoming year, to ensure that there is an adequate financial basis for any required policy reforms. And then, towards the end of the same year, the cycle begins anew.

The Annual Growth Survey – helpful hand for each Member State

Regarding the issue of fiscal consolidation, the Annual Growth Survey states that Member States have the conflicting priorities of discipline versus flexibility, namely on the one hand the need to support the credibility of monetary policy while on the other hand the need for economic stimulus. Therefore, Member States have to adjust their structural budget balances of more than 0,5% of GDP in order to bring debt ratios close to the 60% requirement. On the track to sustainable public finances, all Member States are required to “keep public expenditure growth firmly below the rate of medium term trend GDP growth, while prioritising sustainable growth-friendly expenditures in areas such as research, innovation education and energy.”[5] According to the actual debt ratio, Member States are given additional recommendations.
AGS refer to excessive surplus/deficit current account that the Member States have to correct. Whereas adjusting the wage-setting arrangements, especially the wage-indexation mechanisms appear as one of the lever that the Member States running deficit current account may pull, the Euro-Plus-Pact insists very much on that. When drafting its proposals for the country-specific recommendations, the Commission chose to lean on the Euro-Plus-Pact and hereby, discarded non-cost factors such as the knowledge intensity of export or the geographical distribution of export. Furthermore, the Commission neglected to address Member States with large current account surpluses although it urged them in the AGS to "identify and tackle the sources of persistently weak domestic demand".
According to the Annual Growth Survey, the stability of the financial sector must be reinforced by regulation and supervision as well as restructuring of banks. The latter recommendation should ensure its “long-term viability and (…) a properly functioning credit channel.”[6]
In order to align Member States on the achievement of the EU2020 targets, the
Commission suggests a set of measures and instruments grouped under the headings of “making work more attractive” and “getting unemployed back to work” in its Annual Growth Survey. Under the former heading, the Commission urges all Member States in this document to shift “taxes away from labour”, to gear “tax benefit systems, flexible work arrangements and childcare facilities” as well as to “reduce undeclared work.” Under the latter heading, the Commission suggests three main instruments: [7]
1.      provide incentives to work through support of self-employment, time-limited support, conditionality linking training and job search;
2.      ensure coherence between the level of income taxes and unemployment benefits;
3.      adapt the unemployment insurance system.

According to the European Commission within the AGS, labour market rigidities restrain the access to labour markets. At the same time, education is considered as variable to improve access to it especially for young people. On the flexibility side, the European Commission suggested in its Annual Growth Survey to diminish “labour market rigidity” and to promote education in order to help young people to enter the job market. Moreover, a more simple recognition procedure of professional qualifications should facilitate free circulation of “citizens, workers and researchers.” Moreover, more open-ended contracts should replace temporary or precarious contracts.[8]

Specific Country Recommendations – Latvia

Introducing with the new Countries report – 2015, the author was amazed how detailed and explained it was. It is one of the tool for citizens in Latvia to assess the economic growth and follow within the steps of policy makers in his own country – to check if the targets are completed or not (being in progress).
A measurement will be given – compared against 2014 commitments for Lavia and reached goals of it.

In the following table, authors explains the meaning of the levels of progress (assessment level): [1]
·         No progress: The Member State has neither announced nor adopted any measures to address the CSR. This category also applies if a Member State has commissioned a study group to evaluate possible measures.
·         Limited progress: The Member State has announced some measures to address the CSR, but these measures appear insufficient and/or their adoption/implementation is at risk.
·         Some progress: The Member State has announced or adopted measures to address the CSR. These measures are promising, but not all of them have been implemented yet and implementation is not certain in all cases.
·         Substantial progress: The Member State has adopted measures, most of which have been implemented. These measures go a long way in addressing the CSR.
·         Fully addressed: The Member State has adopted and implemented measures that address the CSR appropriately.

Evaluating the Latvia’s situation in specific recommendation process, author assumes that overall country has only some progress where the Member State has announced or adopted measures to address the CSR. These measures are promising, but not all of them have been implemented yet and implementation is not certain in all cases.


After the recent economic crisis, there was a need for stronger economic governance and better policy coordination tool between the EU Member States.
In a Union of highly integrated economies, enhanced policy coordination can help prevent discrepancies and contribute to ensuring convergence and stability in the EU as a whole, and in its member states
As a part of a wider reform of the EU economic governance, the European Council decided to establish the European Semester in 2010. The legal basis for the process is the so-called 'six-pack' - 6 legislative acts that reformed the Stability and Growth Pact. The first European Semester cycle took place in 2011.

Main key objectives for European Semester:
·         to contribute to ensuring convergence and stability in the EU
·         to contribute to ensuring sound public finances
·         to foster economic growth
·         to prevent excessive macroeconomic imbalances in the EU
·         to implement the Europe 2020 strategy

Monitoring progress and ensuring the active involvement of EU countries are key elements of the strategy. The European Semester, an annual cycle of macro-economic, budgetary and structural policy coordination. The key stages in the European semester are as follows:
·         In January, the Commission issues its Annual Growth Survey, which sets out EU priorities for the coming year to boost growth and job creation.
·         In February, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament discuss the Annual Growth Survey.
·         In March, EU Heads of State and Government (i.e. the European Council) issue EU guidance for national policies on the basis of the Annual Growth Survey.
·         In April, Member States submit their plans for sound public finances (Stability or Convergence Programmes) and reforms and measures to make progress towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (National Reform Programmes).

·         In May, the Commission assesses these Programmes.
·         In June, the Commission provides country-specific recommendations as appropriate. The European Council discusses and endorses the recommendations.
·         In July, the Council of the European Union formally adopts the country-specific recommendations.
·         In Autumn, the Governments present the budget draft to their Parliaments.

[1]COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Country Report Latvia 2015. Available online: [Accessed: 2015.05.17.]

[1] Eugene Eteris. “Modern European Law For Businessmen: Lisbon Treaty in Action”. RSU. Rīga: 2012. P. 14 - 16
[2] Next steps towards a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union: Early co-ordination and contractual arrangements. Available online: [Accessed: 2015.05.17.]
[3]Mastering economic interdependence: Commission proposes reinforced economic governance in the EU IP/10/561 Brussels, 12 May 2010 [Accessed: 2015.05.17.]
[4] EUROPEAN SEMESTER. Available online: [Accessed: 2015.05.17.]
[5] European Commission, Annual Growth Survey COM (2011) 11 final, op.cit., 12/01/2010, p.4,
[6] European Commission, Annual Growth Survey COM (2011) 11 final, op.cit., 12/01/2010, p.5,
[7] Ibid, p.6.
[8] European Commission, COM (2011) 11 final, Annual Growth Survey, op.cit., 12/01/2010, p.8,

trešdiena, 2015. gada 14. janvāris

Tuvāk patstāvībai – enerģētiskā neatkarība

Jaunais Krievijas smagsvars - Gazprom.
Saasinoties Eiropas un Austrumu ģeopolitiskajām attiecībām, aizvien vairāk tiek pievērsta uzmanība enerģētikas jautājumam gan Latvijā, gan Eiropā. Viens no būtiskākajiem uzdevumiem Latvijai ir nodrošināt, lai līdz 2017. gadam tiktu sagatavots Enerģētikas rīcības plāns, kas paredz sakārtot infrastruktūru, nodrošinot jaunu enerģijas avotu lietošanu mājsaimniecībām. Tieši 2017. gadā Latvijai noslēdzas saistītais līgums ar Krievijas uzņēmumu „Gazprom”, kurš ne tikai piegādā mums gāzi, bet arī cenšas ietekmēt Latvijas enerģētikas politiku.
Uzsākot darbu jaunievēlētajai Eiropas Komisijai, tika definēti kopējie dalībvalstu attīstības ceļi nākamajiem pieciem gadiem. Viena no galvenajām prioritātēm ir droša, konkurētspējīga un ilgtspējīga enerģija Eiropai, lai tā kļūtu mazāk atkarīga no trešajām valstīm. Pašreiz Eiropa pārāk stipri paļaujas uz degvielas un gāzes importu, kas nosaka, ka ne tikai Latvijai, bet arī Lietuvai un Igaunijai vajadzēs meklēt risinājumus, kā kļūt energoneatkarīgām no Krievijas gāzes.
Fakts: jo tuvāka atrašanās Krievijai, jo vairāk jāmaksā par gāzi. Tas ir skaidrojams ar to, ka Eiropas centrālās daļas un Rietumu/Dienvidu valstīm ir pieejami alternatīvi varianti, no kurienes gāzi ņemt, kā arī 2012. gadā atklātais „Nordstream” alternatīvais gāzes vads samazināja „Gazprom” gāzes cenas.
Viens no galvenajiem uzdevumiem enerģētikas jomā Latvijai ir gāzes liberalizācija jeb gāzes tirgus atvēršana. Šobrīd Lietuva ir pirmā no Baltijas valstīm, kas sekmīgi uzcēlusi sašķidrinātās gāzes termināli, kas spēj nodrošināt 90% no Baltijas valstu kopējā pieprasījuma un nodrošināt Baltijas valstis ar gāzes rezervēm krīzes gadījumā. Latvijai būtu jālemj par Inčukalna gāzes termināļa izmantošanu, bet, lai šāds lēmums taptu, nepieciešama visu valdošo partiju politiskā griba, apņēmība un drosme. „Gazprom” lobisti, saprotams, iestājas pret šo iniciatīvu. Pašreiz politiķiem vajadzētu meklēt ilgtermiņa risinājumus, lai samazinātu klimata pārmaiņu ietekmi nākamajām paaudzēm, kā arī saglabātu enerģijas pieejamību.
Oskars Jepsis
Nacionālās apvienības jauniešu organizācijas biedrs
deputāta Eināra Cilinska palīgs

trešdiena, 2014. gada 17. decembris

Some view points about the Treaty of Lisbon


In the past decades, the European Union has expanded significantly from the original six members states in 1957 till twenty eight member states in 2013. This enlargement can be explained in many various ways of different influence from policies and treaties. One of the most important treaties are the Treaty of Lisbon that provides instruments and security considerations to normative and discursive reasons. The European Union enhance efficiency and coherence, ranging from economic and trade policy and gradually supplementing new sectors for example – social policy, immigration policy, energy policy and justice or home affairs. This process has been implented by many various treaties, including most notably the Treaty of Rome. Critics claiming that the treaty of Lisbon were paving the way for an unelected European super-state, while proponents presented them as the way forward for a bigger EU in the 21st century.
This course paper will be about understanding the Treaty of Lisbon – the ratification on 2009, if it represents another step towards an even closer union in the process of European integration through many spheres. The new process after the ratification have strenghtened the notion of a democratic deficit. The Treaty of Lisbon have delimitated the competences of EU better because there is an increased effectivity of the institutions and efficiency of the decision making process. Jerzy Buzek stated that The Lisbon Treaty will help EU deliver on citizens expectations. Let EU be successful and not just have the potential of success.

A more democratic and transparent Europe

Strenghtening the European Parliament and the role of national parliaments, giving citizens more opportunities to Express their views and ensuring a clearer division of responsibilities at European and national level.
Elected from all member states, the European Parliament after the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon have greater influence and new powers in relation to the EU legslation, the EU budget and international agreements. There is more space for policy-making alloted to the co-decision procedurel thus most of the EU legislative procedures. The European Parliament has gained equal footing with the Council, respresenting each Member States.
More involvement of national parliaments is a great advantage for the member states to have more influence on decision making in areas that can affect them or something contrary nonane. National parliaments are more likely to engage in the work of the EU, in particular through a new mechanism to monitor the implementation of the principle of subsidiarity, that is, whether the EU should only act in cases where the results can be better achieved by action at EU level. In addition to the strengthened role of the European Parliament, it will promote democracy and enhance the legitimacy of the European Union.
As an democratic union and the role of human right defender, in the Treaty of Lisbon, after ratification, citizens have now greater role in participation of activities in the EU. Thanks ot the Citizens initiative, one million citizens from different member states may invite the Commission to draw up proposals for a new policy.
The relationship between member States and the European Union will become more clearer thanks to the precise division of competences. the Treaty of Lisbon concerns the abolition of the three-pillar structure of the EU. three types of competence and draws up a non-exhaustive list of the fields concerned in each case:[1]
·         exclusive competences (Article 3 of the TFEU): the EU alone is able to legislate and adopt binding acts in these fields. The Member States’ role is therefore limited to applying these acts, unless the Union authorises them to adopt certain acts themselves;
·         shared competences (Article 4 of the TFEU): the EU and Member States are authorised to adopt binding acts in these fields. However, Member States may exercise their competence only in so far as the EU has not exercised, or has decided not to exercise, its own competence;
·         supporting competences (Article 6 of the TFEU): the EU can only intervene to support, coordinate or complement the action of Member States. Consequently, it has no legislative power in these fields and may not interfere in the exercise of these competences reserved for Member States.

A more efficient Europe

Using simplified working methods and voting rules, streamlined and modern istitutions of the European Union of 28 member states and improving function in a number of priority areas of the EU now.
Effective decision-making process. Qualified majority in voting system of the Council has also introduced new policies to decision-making faster and more efficiently. From 2014, a qualified majority will be calculated on the basis of Member States and their citizens double majority, reflecting the dual legitimacy of the European Union. Double majority will be reached if a decision is taken 55% of the Member States, with a population that corresponds to at least 65% of the EU population.
Stable and streamlined institutional framework. The Treaty of Lisbon establishes a permanent European Council President position, which is elected for 2,5 years, to take into account the results of the European elections, the election of the President of the Commission, to establish a new framework of the European parliament in the future, in addition, the Agreement makes clearer rules on enhanced cooperation and finance.
A better life for Europeans. The Treaty of Lisbon improves the EU’s ability to act in various policy areas which are priorities of our time in the EU and its citizens. This applies especially to the area of freedom, security and justice policies, such as the fight against terrorism or crime.
A better life for Europeans. The Treaty of Lisbon improves the EU's ability to act in various policy areas which are priorities of our time in the EU and its citizens. This applies especially to the area of ​​freedom, security and justice policies, such as the fight against terrorism or crime. Less affected areas such as energy policy, public health, civil protection, climate change, services of general interest, research, space, territorial cohesion, commercial policy, humanitarian aid, sport, tourism and administrative cooperation.

Rights and values​​, freedom, solidarity and security in Europe

Expressing the values ​​of the EU, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights into European primary law, providing for new solidarity mechanisms and ensuring better protection for European citizens.
Democratic values​​. The Lisbon Treaty further reinforces the values ​​and objectives since the European Union inception. These values ​​lead to an European population point of reference and demonstrate what Europe has to offer its partners worldwide.
Civil rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Treaty of Lisbon preserves existing rights while introducing new ones. It especially fundamental rights guaranteed by the Charter and the principles of freedom, giving it legally binding rules. This applies to civil, political, economic and social rights.
European civil liberties. The Treaty of Lisbon preserves and reinforces the four freedoms of European citizens as well as political, economic and social freedom.
Solidarity between Member States. The Lisbon Treaty states that the European Union and its Member States shall act jointly in solidarity if a Member State or a terrorist attack occurs in the natural or man-made disaster. Also highlighted the energy solidarity.
Greater security for all. Expanding the European Union's capacity in the area of ​​freedom, security and justice, the EU can better fight against crime and terrorism. New provisions on civil protection, humanitarian aid and public health also improves the Union's ability to respond to threats to the safety of citizens.

Europe as a world partner

Bringing together Europe's external policy tools, both new policy development and implementation. The Treaty of Lisbon gives Europe a clear voice in relations with partners around the world. Europe's economic, humanitarian, political and diplomatic strengths to resound European interests and values ​​around the world, subject to the particular interests of the Union for Foreign Affairs of the Member States.
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who will also be Vice-President, raise the impact, coherence and visibility of EU external action. A new body - the European External Action Service - to provide resources and support to the High Representative.
The European Union, obtaining legal personality will strengthen position to negotiate, more effective on the world stage and a can be more visible partner for third countries and international organizations.
With the development of the European Security and Defence Policy will preserve special decision-making procedures, but also pave the way for enhanced cooperation between some Member States, the merger of the group.


The European Union is a political structure which runs by democratic ideology. The Treaty of Lisbon makes this union more democratic and more open due to the changes of the world. National parliaments and the European Parliament recieves more power within legislative side. It also acquires a greater role in determining the budget - the old split between "compulsory" and "non-compulsory" expenditure has been canceled. Parliament will decide on the entire EU budget, together with the Council.
In this way, elected officials will have an important role, a more important role than before, in comparison to EU officials that are appointed by different institutions. We find that this change should increase the legitimacy of the EU, as decisions are brought closer to the ordinary citizens through their representatives.
Members of consent will be required for different international agreements for which negotiations leading to the European Union - such as international trade.
Have more power means more responsibility. Along with the new mandate for its decisions more than ever a direct impact on the life of the population. Parliament in all its activities fully comply with EU citizens' rights under the Treaty of Lisbon included in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
MEPs will have a new role in its relations with other EU institutions. The following election results will directly affect the choice of candidate for President of the Commission. Commission as a whole, including the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Affairs, before the takeover will receive the approval of the Parliament.
Finally, the Lisbon Treaty gives the European Parliament the right to propose changes to the contract.


·         P. Craig, The Treaty of Lisbon, process, architecture and substance (2008) 33(2) European Law Review, p.137–166.
·         Foreign policy provisions [viewed: 2014.10.30.]
·         The Treaty of Lisbon. [viewed: 2014.10.30.]
·         Sebastian Kurpas and Ben Crum. The Treaty of Lisbon: Implementing the Institutional Innovations. 2007:. CEPS, EGMONT and EPC. P. 143

[1] Division of competencies within the European Union. Available online: [viewed: 2014.10.29.]

trešdiena, 2014. gada 8. oktobris

Fritreiderisms vai protekcionisms - kuru no tiem izvēlēties mūsdienu valstīm?


Neo-liberāļi kā indivīdi, kas izdara racionālus ekonomiskās un sociālās izvēles tikai ejot caur tirgu. Valsts ir vienīgais aizgādnis pār sabiedrības interesēm un viņu apmierināšanu, un tās lēmumi un darbi ir vienīgā uzticamā izteiksme, ar vai bez brīvām vēlēšanām. Kamēr viena ideoloģija cenšas pakārtot valsts tirgu pēc savām interesēm, kā arī citu valsts tirgus, ko var izdarīt manipulējot ar sabiedrības gribu. Alternatīva starp abām ekonomiskajām ideoloģijām vai modeļiem – protekcionismu vai fritreiderismu ir tāda, ka gan valsts, gan tirgus darbojas sabiedrības labā, nevis sabiedrība kalpo priekš tirgus.

Cauri gadsimtiem, valsts ekonomiskie un politiskie mērķi ir attīstījušies līdz tādam līmenim, ka īsti neko saprast nevar, kura ekonomiskā politika būtu jāīsteno valstij, kurai ir pietiekami daudz iespēju vai varbūt tādu nav. Protekcionisms var būt labs līdz tam brīdim, kas valsts iekšējais tirgus un konkurētspējīgums ir tādā līmeni, ka spēj ieiet starptautiskajā tirgū. Darbā tiks apskatītas un definētas ekonomiskās tirdzniecības teorijas – protekcionisms un fritreiderisms jeb ekonomiskā liberalizācija. Sniedzot piemērus, tiks noteiktas tās plusi un mīnusi, kā arī kurā brīdī ir nepieciešams izmantot mūsdienu valstīm, atkarībā no situācijas.

Protekcionisma un ekonomikas liberālisma būtība

Protekcionisms ir ekonomiskā politika, lai ierobežotu tirdzniecību ar tādiem pasākumiem kā tarifi, kvotas un dažādi administratīvie noteikumi. To bieži izmanto, lai novērstu dažu preču importu, lai nosargātu vietējo tirgu no lētām, importētām precēm.
Protekcionisms bieži tiek uzskatīts par šķērsli brīvai tirdzniecībai. Pats vārds „protekcionisms”, šķiet uzburt it kā negatīvu tēlu izolētai darbībai, piešķirot subsīdijas nozarēm, kas citādi nebūtu godīgi pret pārējiem. (Tas var palīdzēt noteikt, kāpēc dažās nozarēs vajadzētu stingri atbalstīt protekcionismu par sevi.)
Ierobežojumu atcelšanas mēģinājumi cenšas atbrīvot ekonomisko aktivitāte no saistošajiem noteikumiem, ko valsts uzliek. Kā pamats brīvās tirdzniecības darbība ir starp tautām, ideja ir ļaut pašplūsmā regulēt tirgu, kur maksimāli efektīvi notiek konkurences uzlabošana, kā arī būtu labumu guvēji visas ieinteresējošās puses. Tomēr, ierobežojumu atcelšana, kad to piemēro plašākām sabiedrības daļām, var būt kaitējoša tām valsts iedzīvotāju pūlim, ja noteikumu atcelšana nozīmē bezrūpīgu attieksmi pret vides noteikumiem, veselības un izglītības pakalpojumiem un citām nozarēm. Kopumā, korporatīvās organizācijas var sagraut iekšzemes attīstītās nozares, starptautiskajām korporācijām ir vairāk iespēju, resursu, finansiālie līdzekļi un ietekme, lai izkonkurēto vietējos ražotājus. [1]
Bieži vien tās valstis, kas veicina brīvās tirdzniecības attīstību pasaulē, vēlas protekcionismu atvēlēt sev pašiem. Kaut arī brīva tirdzniecība jeb fritreiderisms varētu būt iespējamā turpmākā versija, kur varētu darboties godīga tirdzniecība. Taču, lai tā būtu godīga un bez maksas, tad attīstītajām valstīm nevajadzētu turpināt protekcionisma praksi dažās tās nozarēs, bet liekulīgi prasot (dažreiz piespiežot) jaunattīstības valstīm atteikties šādus pasākumus veikt, uz to, ka tā veicina brīvās tirdzniecības ierobežojumus un darbojas negodīgi savā labā. [2]
Daži aspekti, kā bagātās valstis var izmantot protekcionismu:
·         Iejaukšanās lietās, piemēram, tehnoloģiju nodošanā (pēctecībā), vai izkropļot tirgus funkcijas;
·         Nodrošinot plašas subsīdijas vietējiem uzņēmumiem (piemēram, tekstilizstrādājumu nozarei, lauksaimniecībai, apavu ražotājiem un pat intelektuālo īpašumu attīstībai, vienlaikus prasot citiem atcelt noteikumus un kļūt atkarīgas no importa precēm, kā arī atstāt tirgus patiesajā dabas stāvoklī;
·         Vienpusējas tirdzniecības nolīgumi;
·         Militārās ekspedīcijas – atver un paplašina resursu pieejamību.

Jaunām nozarēm, aizsargājot un kopjot tos var būt pozitīvs rezultāts, un vēsturiski tas ir pierādīts, ka praktiski visas rūpnieciski attīstītas valstis ir izmantojušas šo pieeju. Attīstītas valstis pēdējo 30 gadu laikā piespiež jaunattīstības valstis agresīvi pamest jebkuru protekcionismu, pirms to ekonomikas ir gatavas iekļautas pasaules tirgus struktūrā (kaut gan protekcionisms ir palīdzējis ASV un Eiropai plaukt). Kopējais viedoklis ir tikai divejāds un aprobežots šobrīd – vai nu par tirgu vai pret to. Tomēr, mazāk apspriež kādas valsts varas ietekmi uz tirgu un citu valstu problēmu risināšanu. Brīvai tirdzniecībai kā pašai ideoloģijai vai teorijai pastāv daudz vērtīgu un spēcīgu punktu, kas piesaistīja neskaitāmus tās atbalstītājus. Realitātē tā var būt ļoti atšķirīga, jo, kā iepriekš tika minēts, attīstītās valstis spiež trešās valstis uzturēt tās.
Ādams Smits, bieži tiek uzskatīts kā tēvu mūsdienu brīvās tirgus kapitālismam ar savu slaveno grāmatu „The Wealth of Nations”, kas apraksta Angliju tolaik piedzīvotu transformāciju, nosakot, ka brīvais tirgus dažos scenārijos bija ļoti izdevīga, lai celtu labklājības līmeni. Viņš arī izgudroja absolūtās priekšrocības tirdzniecības teoriju. Tajā tika pausts viedoklis, ka valstī ir jāražo tās preces, kuras ir visizdevīgāk ražot, jo ir resursu pārbagātība. Katra valsts specializējas to preču izgatavošanā, kuru ražošana ir vislētākā un efektīvākā. Absolūtā priekšrocības teorija balstījās uz tirdzniecību starp divām valstīm; tikai divas preces tiek tirgotas; brīvā tirdzniecība pastāv starp valstīm; vienīgais ražošanas faktors ir darbs.  Galvenā doma, ko A.Smits uzsvēra savā teorijā, ka brīvā starptautiskā tirdzniecība saasina ražotāju konkurenci, tādejādi veicinot darba izlietojuma samazināšanos vienas preces vienības ražošanai.[3] 
Tomēr, absolūtā priekšrocības teorijai bija vairāki ierobežojumi, kuras konstatēja D.Rikardo. Viena no galvenajām problēmām, ko kritiķis atklāja, bija, ka valstij nav nekādu absolūto priekšrocību, tā nevarēs tirgoties, piedalīties starptautiskajā tirdzniecībā. Salīdzinošā priekšrocības teorija bija attīstīta un padziļināta versija no A.Smita – absolūtās priekšrocības teorijas. Pēc D.Rikardo domām, preču cenas pilnīgās konkurences tirgū ir vienlīdzīgas darba izlietojumam preču ražošanā. Katrai valstij piemita salīdzināmās priekšrocības – vienmēr būs kāda prece, kuru ražošana būs efektīvāka, nekā citu preču ražošana, pastāvot esošajam izmaksu samēram.[4]
Viņš arī pastāstīja par merkantilismu, lielo biznesu, kā arī skaidroja, ka valsts iejaukšanās tirgū vien kaitē pašai tās ekonomikai.[5] Tolaik, Lielbritānijas Impērija izmantoja brīvo tirdzniecību, lai kaitētu citām tautām, valstīm, pat Amerikai, kas cieta pēc tās politikas realizācijas, kur brīvais tirgus neļāva attīstīties iekšzemes tirgum. Depresijas rezultātā, daļēji no „laissez faire” kapitālisms n merkantilisms noveda pie daudzu Eiropas tautu vēršanās pie protekcionisma, lai saglabātu konkurence savā starpā. Pasaules karš sākās pēc lielajām sacensībām, kuras bija pārāk intensīvas un postošas. Amerikāņu milzīgais kapitāls pārveidoja Eiropu, palīdzot tai atkopties no ekonomiskās stagnācijas, un pat arī „Āzijas tīģervalstis”, visi sekoja protekcionisma pasākumiem, jo bija nepieciešams nostabilizēt ekonomisko stāvokli, lai pārceltos uz brīvo tirgu.  [6]
Šķiet grūti iegūt pareizo līdzsvaru starp tirgus barjeru atcelšanu un protekcionismu, jo īpaši starp attīstītajām un jaunattīstības valstīm.

Attīstītās nācijas panākumi

Globalizācijas laikmetā var tikt salīdzinātas ar attīstības ceļu iepriekšējos gadu desmitos, kas bija parasti vairāk vērsta uz iekšu. Pirms 1980, daudzas valstis diezgan apzināti pieņēma politiku, kas paredzēja ierobežot savu ekonomiku no pasaules tirgu, lai sniegtu saviem vietējiem uzņēmumiem iespēju attīstīt savu ražošanas iespējas un līmeni, līdz tādam līmenim, lai varētu būt konkurētspējīgi pasaules tirgos. Attīstības politika, izmantojot importa aizstāšanu, piemēram, bieži bija saistīta ar aizsardzības tarifiem un subsīdijām galvenajām nozarēm. Bieži šāda situācija pieprasīja papildus investora kapitālu no ārvalstīm, lai nodarbinātu vietējos darbiniekus ar kvalificētām pozīcijām, un iegādātos no vietējiem ražotājiem resursus, kā arī nodrošināt tehnoloģijas pārņemšanu. Tā bija arī bieži jaunattīstības valstīm, kur krasi ierobežoja kapitāla plūsmas. Tas tika darīts vairāku iemesl dēļ:
·         Lai uzlabotu valūtas stabilitāti;
·         Lai veicinātu gan ārvalstu korporāciju un iedzīvotāju līdzekļus investēt lielā daudzumā vietējā valūtā pašmāju tirgū (uzņēmumos);
·         Izmantojot iegūtos līdzekļus no valūtas maiņa kursa, investēt rūpniecībā vai attīstības politikā.

Vēsturiskais salīdzinājums trim galvenajām Rietumeiropas ekonomikām, ar pašreizējo situāciju jaunattīstības valstīs un vismazāk attīstītajām valstīm, rada vairākas lietas:
·         19.gadsimta beigās, kad ienāumi uz vienu iedzīvotāju (pēc pirktspējas paritātes), Anmerikas Savienotajās Valstīs bija līdzīgā līmenī, kā jaunattīstības valstis šodien (tas ir aptuveni 3000$ 1990.gadā), tajā laikā piemēroja tarifus ražošanas importa produktiem, kas bija tuvu pie 50 procentiem, salīdzinot ar 8,1 procentiem jaunattīstības valstīs un 13,6 procentiem vismazāk attīstītajās valstīs šodien.
·         1950. gadā, kad jau ASV bija neapstrīdams rūpniecības hegemons ar ienākumiem gandrīz trīs reizes vairāk uz vienu iedzīvotāju nekā  jaunattīstības valstīs šodien, tās vidējā piemērotā rūpniecības tarifu likme uz vienu iedzīvotāju bija augstāks ne tikai par vidējo likmi.
·         Kad ASV bija tāds ienākums, kā šobrīd Brazīlijai vai Ķīnai uz vienu iedzīvotāju, tās piemērotās tarifu likmes bija četras reizes lielākas. Ja tās ienākumi uz vienu iedzīvotāju bija līdzīgs kā Indijai šodien (tas ir, ap 19.gadsimta vidu), tās vidējais tarifs bija divreiz augstāks.
Neskatoties uz augstajiem tarifiem, kas iepriekšējā periodā bija, tobrīd transporta un informācijas izmaksas bija daudzas reizes lielāks nekā šodien, līdz ar to, tas sniedza dabisku aizsardzību no importa, it īpaši uz Eiropas atzaru. Vēl svarīgāk ir šā brīža produktivitātes plaisa starp mūsdienu attīstītajām valstīm un jaunattīstības valstīm. Tas nozīmē, ka šobrīd jaunattīstības valstīm ir nepieciešams noteikt daudz augstākus likmes tarifu, nekā toreizējās attīstības valstis, lai nodrošinātu tādu pašu pakāpi faktisko aizsardzību savās nozarēs. Piemēram, ASV 1913.gadā bija tādi paši ienākumi uz vienu iedzīvotāju, kā Brazīlijai šodien, tā jau bija viena no attīstītākajām ekonomikām pasaulē, kur nebija ražīguma plaisa ar tās laika rūpniecības līderi – Apvienoto Karalisti. [1]

Nabadzīgās valsts attīstības ceļš – protekcionisms

Dažos aspektos, ekonomiskā politika varētu būt destruktīvākas nekā masu iznīcināšanas ieroči. Izskatot šo jautājumu, ir svarīgi pieturēties, ka veiksmīga industrializācija ir kumulatīvs process, kas ietver attīstības posmus, kur vienā posmā uz otru, izveidojas jaunas nozares ar augstākām pievienotām vērtībām un tehnoloģijas attīstību. Jo ātrāk norisinās ekonomiskā attīstība valstī, ražošana un eksports sastāv galvenokārt no pirmās nepieciešamības precēm, bet imports veido galvenokārt dažādus ražojumus, kuri ir kapitāl ietilpīgi un darbietilpīgi izstrādājumi. Tomēr, vēsture pierāda to, ka dabas resursu bagātība valstī, pat tad, jā saistīta ar labi attīstītu cilvēkresursu bāzi, automātiski nenoved pie pārstrādes un diversifikāciju. Bez aktīvas politikas, kuru mērķim jābūt tādam, lai veicinātu un atbalstītu šādas darbības. Ražotāji piedāvā labākas izaugsmes iespējas (nekā preču apstrādes nozarēs), ne tikai tāpēc, ka tie varētu veikt straujāku produktivitātes izaugsmi un darbības lauku paplašināšanu, bet tāpēc, ka viņi spēj izvairīties no nelabvēlīgiem noteikumiem tirdzniecībā.
Sākumperiodā, jaunattīstības valstij vajadzētu paplašināt savu resursu pieejamību ražotājiem, ka arī noteikt politiku, lai ražotu darbietilpīgas preces. Vajadzētu noteikt arī atbalstus un aizsardzību iekšzemes tirgū.
Kad tradicionālās nozares ir nobriedušas un kļūst konkurētspējīgākas, jaunām nozarēm vajadzētu parādīties pašām bez valsts palīdzības un nostiprināties. Nepieciešama efektīva industrializācijas stratēģijai, kas nosaka prioritātes nozarei, kā arī sniedz atbalstu, ilgtermiņā var veiksmīgi konkurēt starptautiskajos tirgos. Industrializācijai vajadzētu koncentrēties pēc iespējams uz tehnoloģiju ietilpīgām nozarēm, jo darbietilpīgas preces veiksmīgi attīsta valsts ekonomiku uz augšu. Šāda pieeju izmantoja Koreja, kura šobrīd ir viena no industrializācijas magnātiem pasaulē. Koreja necentās saglabāt konkurētspēju, noteiktu algu izmaksu vai piedāvāt aizsardzību tradicionālām nozarēm ar augstiem tarifiem, viņi izvēlās strauji uzlabot tās, paaugstinot produktivitāte, eksportu un ienākumus. Atbalsta rīki, piemēram, tarifus uz rūpnieciskiem produktiem, dažādu veidu subsīdijas, var būt nepieciešama ieejot brīvajā tirgū, dažreiz uz ilgāku laiku. [2]

Secinājumi un pārskats par tēmu būs nākamajā rakstā. 

Oskars Jepsis

[1] Yilmaz Akyüz, The WTO Negotiations On Industrial Tariffs: What Is At Stake For Developing Countries?, Third World Network, May 2005, pp. 10—13
[2] Yilmaz Akyüz, The WTO Negotiations On Industrial Tariffs: What Is At Stake For Developing Countries?, Third World Network, May 2005, pp. 16-26

[1] J.W. Smith, The World’s Wasted Wealth 2, (Institute for Economic Democracy, 1994), p. 66 – 70
[2] Lauge Stetting, Knud Erik Svendsen, Ebbe Yndgaard, Global Change and Transformation. 1993. p. 239 - 249
[3] Ch.W.L. Hill. International Business. Competing in the Global Marketplace. Mc Graw-Hill, 2007, p. 169 – 171.
[4] Oļevskis G. Starptautiskā tirdzniecība, Rīga, RSEBAA, 2003., 30. – 36. lpp.
[5] A. Smith, Free trade, and protection, a reprint of Book IV & Chapters II& III of Book V of "The wealth of nations", New York: Random House, Inc.,1937, pp. 415
[6] Krugman, Paul R. (1987). "Is Free Trade Passe?". The Journal of Economic Perspectives 1 (2): p. 131–144.