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Chapter

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

This chapter focuses on the current state of the EU and the prospects for Europeanization. Resistance to Europeanization exists, yet the EU still exercises continued attraction to states on its periphery that are waiting for the opportunity of EU membership. In reviewing the academic debate on forms of resistance to Europeanization we first explore the literature on EU disintegration, before turning to concrete examples of member state resistance. Prompted by Brexit, as a concrete manifestation of such resistance, we then assess the difficulty for a member state to leave the EU and its sphere of influence completely. Finally, we turn to the state of play with enlargement, also highlighting the impact of Europeanization upon European states outside the EU.

Chapter

Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

This chapter examines the so-called ‘Brexit’ phenomenon, the first time an existing EU member state has voted in a referendum to leave the Union. The chapter examines the historical context that shaped the UK’s decision to join the EEC and its subsequent relationship with the EU. It charts the events leading to the EU referendum, including the campaign and explains the reasons for the narrow ‘Leave’ vote in the referendum. The Brexit negotiations under Article 50 are discussed by focusing on process, actors, and outcomes, specifically the content of the March 2018 Draft Withdrawal Agreement. The penultimate section of the chapter explains Brexit by drawing on the extant European integration literature with a focus on the concepts of disintegration, differentiated integration, Europeanization, and politicization, while surveying the likely scenarios for a future EU–UK relationship. The chapter ends discussing the impact and implications of Brexit for the EU.

Chapter

Brigid Laffan

This chapter is structured around four scenarios on the future of the EU: ‘Disintegration’, ‘Piecemeal Adjustment’, ‘Functional Federalism’, and ‘A European Sovereignty’. The chapter argues that, although systemic disintegration is unlikely, there are disintegrative fissures in the EU arising from Brexit, the victories of secessionist movements in Catalonia, and heightened political volatility across the continent. The political battle concerning the future of the Union is a battle that cuts across all four scenarios. It is evident that disintegrative fissures cannot be ignored. ‘Piecemeal Adjustment’, the dominant response to the EU crisis and to events on Europe’s borders, continues to have resonance, as does ‘Functional Federalism’, defined as further integration but in specific fields. The fourth scenario, ‘a European Sovereignty’ has re-emerged on the political agenda with the election of French President Macron in May 2017. The discussion of the four scenarios is followed by a review of the external challenges bearing down on Europe and the Franco-German relationship as intervening factors that will shape any future scenario for the EU.

Chapter

Brigid Laffan

This chapter is structured around four scenarios on the future of the European Union (EU): ‘Disintegration’, ‘Piecemeal Adjustment’, ‘Functional Federalism’, and ‘A European Sovereignty’. The EU is now facing the immense challenges of climate change, the accelerating digital transformation, Europe’s unstable neighborhood and the impact on Europe’s role in the world arising from the return of Great Power competition, all against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The perennial questions about the EU remain—how does it collectively amass sufficient political authority to address Europe’s challenges while maintaining its legitimacy? How can it be resilient as a Union while managing the deep diversity that characterizes Europe? Disintegrative fissures cannot be ignored. Piecemeal Adjustment continues to have resonance, as does Functional Federalism,. ‘A European Sovereignty’ sometimes defined as ‘strategic autonomy’ emerged on the political agenda with the election of French President Macron in May 2017.