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Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

1. Introduction  

Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

This chapter comprises a very brief introduction to European Union (EU) politics. It aims to help those students who are completely new to the EU by drawing attention to some general background information and context, which should help to make sense of the chapters that follow. To that end this introductory chapter begins by explaining what the EU is, why it was originally set up, and what the EU does. The chapter ends by explaining how the book is organized.

Book

Cover The European Union

Edited by Daniel Kenealy, Amelia Hadfield, Richard Corbett, and John Peterson

The European Union: How Does It Work? is a perfect introduction to the European Union, providing concise, accessible coverage of the main actors, policies, and developments in the EU. An expert team of leading scholars and practitioners cuts through the complexity to explain how the EU works in theory and practice. The book equips readers with the knowledge and skills required to master the subject. Helpful learning features throughout the text help to develop readers’ understanding of the EU. ‘How it really works’ boxes demonstrate the working of the EU in practice, and challenge readers to contrast this with theoretical perspectives. ‘Key terms and concepts’ boxes provide concise definitions or summaries of words and ideas that are essential to understanding the EU. And each chapter contains ‘Spotlight’ boxes exploring specific cases that highlight how the EU works, what it does, or how it has evolved. Taken together, these features encourage readers to think critically about the reality of politics in the EU. This edition explores ongoing challenges to the EU, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and the erosion of democratic standards in some EU member states.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

13. The European Commission  

This chapter examines the European Commission’s functions and structure, along with its role in policy making. The Commission initiates legislation, may act as a mediator, manages some policy areas, is guardian of the Treaties, is a key actor in international relations, and the ‘conscience of the European Union’. The chapter proceeds by discussing the debate on the extent to which the Commission is an autonomous political actor or simply an agent of the member states. Finally, it analyses the increasing challenges faced by the Commission in securing effective implementation of EU policies and its response to concerns over its financial management of EU programmes.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

5. European Foreign Policy and the Role of Member States: Europeanization or Renationalization?  

Spyros Economides

The field of European Foreign Policy has become an established area of academic study concentrating on the international relations of the European Union (EU). However, we should not neglect the central role played by member states in the definition, formulation, and implementation of the EU’s foreign policy. This chapter explains why we should consider the impact that EU membership, and participation in the EU foreign policy system, has on member states of the EU (or on those wishing to join). This is where the term, the Europeanization of foreign policy, derives. This chapter begins by setting out the conventional definitions and components of the Europeanization of foreign policy. While accepting the basic conceptualization of the term, the chapter questions the viability of the existing dominant assumptions and characterizations of Europeanization and proposes a new typology with more direct policy implications. Finally, the chapter engages with the idea of renationalization and de-Europeanization of European foreign policy.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

8. Europeanization  

Tanja A. Börzel and Diana Panke

The chapter first explains what Europeanization means and outlines the main approaches to studying this phenomenon. The second section describes why this concept has become so prominent in research on the European Union (EU) and its member states. In the third section, the chapter reviews the state of the art with particular reference to how the EU affects states (‘top-down’ Europeanization). It illustrates the theoretical arguments with empirical examples. Similarly, the fourth section examines how states can influence the EU (‘bottom-up’ Europeanization) and provides some theoretical explanations for the empirical patterns observed. This is followed by a section that presents an overview of research that looks at linkages between bottom-up and top-down Europeanization, and considers the future of Europeanization research with regard to the EU’s recent and current crises and challenges. This chapter argues that Europeanization will remain an important field of EU research for the foreseeable future.

Book

Cover The Member States of the European Union

Edited by Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

The Member States of the European Union combines a study of individual member states with an examination of the broader process of Europeanization. Examining both sides of this crucial relationship, this text provides a useful guide to EU member state relations. This third edition has been updated to summer 2019 and includes chapters on eight member states from different geographical regions and dates of accession. These are followed by seven thematic chapters on the Europeanization of structures, actors, and processes within the pre-Brexit EU 28. The Member States of the European Union helps understanding the influence of Member States in the EU but also the impact the EU has on the domestic institutions, politics, and policies of each member state.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

1. The European Union and its Member States: An Overview  

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

This chapter provides an overview of the European Union and its member states. It first explains why the member states matter in the EU before discussing the role of member states in the EU, with particular emphasis on three approaches to understanding member state–EU relations: intergovernmentalism, institutionalism, and governance approaches. It then examines the Europeanization of the member states as well as the revival of domestic politics approaches, which claim that it is impossible to understand the EU in light of its politicization during the 2010s. It concludes by presenting the logic and structure of this volume: how the relationship between the EU and its member states will be portrayed in the chapters that follow.

Book

Cover European Union Politics

Edited by Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

European Union Politics is the most complete and issues-led introductory textbook on the European Union. Alongside rigorous coverage of the theory, institutions, and policies of the EU, the book engages with contemporary debates, and current crises. The seventh edition has been substantially updated, with significantly revised chapters on Brexit and the CJEU, as well as two new chapters covering the EU response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the European migration and refugee crisis. The text’s accessible writing style makes it the ideal starting point for anyone wishing to fully understand the workings of this complex and ever-evolving system. Throughout the book, students are supported by helpful learning features, including key points, questions, and examples.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

6. The Implementation of EU Foreign Policy  

Ana E. Juncos

This chapter considers the implementation of European Union (EU) foreign policy by looking at how intra-EU and international dynamics have shaped the role of the EU as a subsystem, process, and power in international relations. The chapter starts off by discussing the challenges relating to the implementation of foreign policy. Next, it examines the specificities of the EU as an international actor. The complexities involved in EU foreign policy implementation are examined through a closer look at the division of competences, availability of resources, and definition of interests at the EU and national levels. The chapter then follows with a discussion of the key (diplomatic, economic, and security) capabilities the EU can deploy at the international level. It considers how they have evolved over time in response to broader international trends. The final part of this chapter provides a tentative assessment of the EU’s performance as a power and its limits, reflecting on the myriad of challenges EU foreign policy faces in a more geopolitical and contested world.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

6. The Problem of Coherence in the European Union’s International Relations  

Carmen Gebhard

This chapter examines the problem of coherence in the European Union's international relations. The EU consists of an extremely complex system of institutional structures. One of the implications of this complexity is coherence, or the ambition and necessity to bring the various parts of the EU's external relations together to increase strategic convergence and ensure procedural efficiency. The chapter first provides a historical overview of the concept of coherence and the debates around it before discussing different conceptual dimensions of coherence. It then describes the neutral, benign, and malign ‘faces’ that coherence assumes in political and academic debates. Based on this conceptual framework, the chapter explores the current legal basis of the Treaty of Lisbon as well as the EU's comprehensive approach to external action in crises and conflicts as one of the key political initiatives aimed at fostering the objectives laid down in primary law.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

4. EU Member States  

Ramona Coman and Daniel Kenealy

This chapter focuses on the member states of the EU. It begins by considering how two different theories—liberal intergovernmentalism and postfunctionalism—explain member states’ engagement with the EU and the different visions of EU integration held by the member states. It goes on to explore the important role of the member states in the EU’s decision-making processes with a focus on the coalitions and cleavages among the member states, the importance of the rotating presidency of the Council (of ministers), and the increasing role of the European Council in setting the EU’s political agenda. The chapter discusses key concepts such as Europeanization, euroscepticism, and differentiated integration, which help understand the challenges faced by a Union of 27 diverse member states.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

9. Enlargement and Wider Europe  

Ulrich Sedelmeier and Graham Avery

The EU has expanded many times and many countries still aspire to join. Enlargement illustrates the success of the European model of integration. It has also provided the EU with a powerful tool to influence domestic politics in would-be members. But enlargement also poses fundamental challenges. It has implications both for how the EU works (its structure and institutions) and for what it does (its policies). The chapter first compares ‘widening’ and ‘deepening’ before discussing enlargement as a form of soft power. It then explains how the EU has expanded and why countries want to join. It also looks at wider Europe and the EU’s relationship with Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland, as well as prospective members in the Balkan countries. The chapter goes on to consider the EU’s relationship with Turkey and the European Neighbourhood Policy. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the potential limits of EU expansion and an evaluation of the enlargement process.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

11. The United Kingdom: Towards a Parting of the Ways  

Anand Menon and Luigi Scazzieri

This chapter examines the history of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European integration process. The chapter dissects the long-term trends in public opinion and the more contingent, short-term factors that led to the referendum vote to leave the European Union. The UK was a late joiner and therefore unable to shape the early institutional development of the EEC. British political parties and public opinion were always ambiguous about membership and increasingly Eurosceptic from the early 1990s. Yet the UK had a significant impact on the EU’s development, in the development of the single market programme and eastward enlargement. If Brexit goes through, Britain will nevertheless maintain relations with the EU in all policy areas from agriculture to energy and foreign policy. Europeanization will remain a useful theoretical tool to analyse EU–UK relations even if the UK leaves the Union.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

16. The Europeanization of Member State Policy  

Claudio M. Radaelli

How are the policies of the member states affected by their membership of the European Union? What are the concepts and explanations in this field? Can Europeanization be reversed? This chapter examines the effects of the the public policy functions of European Union on domestic policy. It introduces the relevant concepts, and then illustrates types and modes of Europeanization. On balance, we find that the Europeanization processes have not created homogeneity or policy convergence. Rather, the Europeanization effect is differential: it differs by policy area and political system. And there are good theoretical reasons for this, grounded in the causal theories addressing the question how the EU affects domestic policy via adaptational pressure and/or domestic agency. Finally, the chapter explores a question raised by the decision of the UK to leave the EU and in diverse ways by the attempts to de-regulate or reverse the overall domestic burden of EU regulations. These categories of decisions, initiatives, and policies can be called de-Europeanization or Europeanization in reverse gear. We therefore appraise the prospect for significant de-Europeanization. The pressures for de-Europeanization are strong, but the EU regulatory regime is certainly resilient. For sure we have not seen a bonfire of EU regulations, although Europeanization effects can be reduced by withdrawing proposals or by reducing the stringency of implementation requirements.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

3. Europeanization: Concept, Theory, and Methods  

Theofanis Exadaktylos, Paolo R. Graziano, and Maarten P. Vink

This chapter explores a number of fundamental issues that arise when studying Europeanization. It first explains what Europeanization is and what it is not, why some parts of political life seem more affected by the process of European integration than others, and how to interpret variation between member states of the European Union. It then considers the theoretical debates about the relevance of Europeanization, focusing on new institutionalism, goodness of fit, mediating factors, and domestic compliance. It also provides examples of Europeanization studies. It reviews main trends in Europeanization research on policy domains, politics, and polity. Finally, the chapter considers research design issues in Europeanization studies.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

14. The European Union  

A Constitutional Order in the Making

Berthold Rittberger

This chapter examines how the European Union acquired distinctive constitution-like features. It begins with a discussion of three routes to constitutionalization: the first is through changes in the EU's primary law; the second focuses on ‘in between’ constitutionalization; and the third leads directly to the European Court of Justice and its jurisprudence. The chapter proceeds by discussing two developments that have shaped the EU constitutional order almost since the beginning: the emergence of a body of EU law constituting a set of higher-order legal rules, and the consolidation of the constitutional principle of representative democracy. It explains how the supremacy and direct effect of EU law, as well as the EU court's concern with the protection of fundamental rights, helped transform the EU into a constitutional polity. It also considers how the extension of the legislative, budgetary, and other powers of the European Parliament animated the constitutional principle.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

2. The European Union: Establishment and Development  

David Phinnemore

The focus of this chapter is the emergence of the European Communities in the 1950s, their evolution in the three decades thereafter, and the establishment and early development of the European Union (EU) in the 1990s. The chapter explores key developments in the first five decades of European integration and some of the tensions that have shaped them. It considers the ambitions of the architects and supporters of the European Communities and how their hopes and aspirations played out as integration became a reality in the 1950s and 1960s. It looks at how their ambitions grew and how the process then lost momentum in the 1970s before the idea of ‘European union’ was rekindled in the 1980s with the Single European Act (1986) and the Single Market project. These acted as catalysts for a new era of dynamic European integration with the now expanded Communities at its core. The chapter then explores how, through the adoption and implementation of the Treaty on European Union (1992), the European Union was established. The chapter assesses the unique and incomplete form of the new ‘union’ and examines the impact on it of reforms introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) and the Treaty of Nice (2000) as the EU sought to prepare itself for the further enlargement and the challenges of the initial years of the twenty-first century.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

13. A Special Case  

The United Kingdom and the European Union

Desmond Dinan

This chapter examines the United Kingdom's troubled relationship with the movement for European integration and with the European Union more generally. Citing speeches made by leading British politicians over the last seventy years, including Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Margaret Thatcher, and David Cameron, the chapter outlines four distinct stages of British association with the EU: a period of detachment in the early years; involvement in a lengthy accession process and renegotiation of membership terms; engagement in effort to reform the budget and launch the single market programme; and growing disillusionment as the EU strengthened along supranational lines and extended its policy remit, notably by embracing the economic and monetary union (EMU). These periods cover a range of important developments, such as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), the EMU, and the Single European Act.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

17. The EU and the USA: Competitive Cooperation in a Turbulent World  

Michael Smith and Rebecca Steffenson

This chapter examines the evolution of the European Union’s (EU’s) relations with the United States. More specifically, it looks at the ways in which EU–US relations enter into the international relations of the EU as well as the implications for key areas of the EU’s growing international activity. The chapter begins with an overview of the changing shape and focus of the EU–US relationship as it enters into economic, political, and security questions. It then considers the impact of EU–US relations on the EU’s system of international relations, on the EU’s role in the processes of international relations, and on the EU’s position as a ‘power’ in international relations. It shows that the EU–US relationship has played a key (and contradictory) role in development of the EU’s foreign policy mechanisms.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

17. The European Union and the USA  

Michael Smith and Rebecca Steffenson

This chapter examines the evolution of the European Union's relations with the United States. More specifically, it looks at the ways in which EU–US relations enter into the international relations of the EU as well as the implications for key areas of the EU's growing international activity. The chapter begins with an overview of the changing shape and focus of the EU–US relationship as it enters into economic, political, and security questions. It then considers the impact of EU–US relations on the EU's system of international relations, on the EU's role in the processes of international relations, and on the EU's position as a ‘power’ in international relations. It shows that the EU–US relationship has played a key (and contradictory) role in development of the EU's foreign policy mechanisms.