This chapter focuses on the historical development of the European Union. The history of the EU began when European governments responded to a series of domestic, regional, and global challenges after the Second World War by establishing new transnational institutions in order to accelerate political and economic integration. These challenges ranged from post-war reconstruction to the Cold War, and then to globalization. Driven largely by mutually compatible national interests, Franco-German bargains, and American influence, politicians responded by establishing the European Communities in the 1950s and the EU in the 1990s. The chapter examines the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community, the European Community, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), enlargement, constitution building, and the Eurozone crisis.
This chapter focuses on the member states of the European Union. It first considers six factors that determine how a state engages with the EU: the date of entry, size, wealth, state structure, economic ideology, and integration preference. It then examines how member states behave in the EU’s institutions and seek to influence the outcome of negotiations in Brussels. It also discusses the informal and formal activities of the member states before concluding with an overview of the insights offered by theory in analysing the relationship between the EU and its member states. The chapter clarifies some key concepts and terms such as Europeanization, acquis communautaire, and flexible integration, and explains how the EU’s intergovernmental conferences work.
The European Community in the 1980s
N. Piers Ludlow
This chapter examines the origins of the European Community's (EC) transformation, arguing that the most important factor was the emergence of a new degree of consensus among economic and political leaders about what ‘Europe’ should do. In the course of the mid-1980s, the EC went from being a seemingly moribund entity to a rapidly developing success story. The launch of the single market programme revitalized the EC, helped it overcome long-standing institutional paralyses, created onward pressure for yet more integration, and forced the rest of the world to pay heed to the European integration process once more. The chapter explains how the apparently narrow target of establishing an internal market within the EC encouraged multiple other efforts to integrate Western Europe more closely. It also considers the important role played by national governments and the European Council in shaping the direction of European integration.
Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson, and Richard Corbett
This chapter considers the impact of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) decision to leave the EU. In June 2016, the UK held a referendum on continuing its EU membership. The UK voted to leave the EU by a narrow margin, but one large enough for its new Prime Minister (after David Cameron, who called the referendum, resigned), Theresa May, to call ‘Brexit’ (the process of Britain exiting the EU) ‘the settled will of the British people’. The result sent shock waves across Europe. This chapter seeks to explain how and why the Brexit vote occurred and what might happen—both to the UK and to the EU—as a result. Possible outcomes of the negotiations on Brexit are considered with a view to assessing their impact on the UK, the EU, and the future of European integration.
Antje Wiener, Tanja A. Börzel, and Thomas Risse
European Integration Theory provides an overview of the major approaches to European integration, from federalism and neofunctionalism to liberal intergovernmentalism, social constructivism, normative theory, and critical political economy. Each chapter represents a contribution to the ‘mosaic of integration theory’. The contributors reflect on the development, achievements, and problems of their respective approach. In the fully revised and updated third edition, the contributors examine current crises with regard to the economy, migration, and security. Two concluding chapters assess, comparatively, the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, and look at the emerging issues. The third edition includes new contributions on the topics of regional integration, discourse analysis, federalism, and critical political economy.
This chapter examines patterns of national integration and international disintegration in the decades before World War II. It first provides an overview of integration and disintegration before World War I, along with World War I and postwar reconstruction, before discussing the challenge of the New Order envisioned by Adolf Hitler. It argues that national integration was a source of myths that formed an obstacle to the consolidation of incipient European integration. It also shows that economic integration did not lead inexorably to political unification and that visions of empire, central to the history of the major European states, challenged the supposed pre-eminence of the nation state and were bound up, in varying degrees, with some visions of integration. Finally, the chapter explains how integration, often assumed to be a peaceful process in contrast to the violent proclivities of nationalism and the nation state, has not always taken a benign form.
This chapter examines the competition of ideas in France for intra-European cooperation in the 1950s, ranging from traditional intergovernmental arrangements to the sharing of national sovereignty. In particular, it considers how strong political leadership and the formation of crosscutting coalitions that commanded a majority of parliamentary support at critical junctures contributed to the triumph of Community Europe, in the form of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC). The chapter argues that the future of European integration, which followed the Community model, hinged on electoral outcomes and parliamentary manoeuvrings in France that had less to do with the forcefulness of the ideas at issue than with unrelated political developments. It also looks at the demise of the European Defence Community (EDC) that paved the way for the ECSC and EEC projects.
Andrew Moravcsik and Frank Schimmelfennig
This chapter focuses on liberal intergovernmentalism (LI), which has acquired the status of a ‘baseline theory’ in the study of regional integration: an essential first-cut explanation against which other theories are often compared. The chapter argues that LI has achieved this dominant status due to its theoretical soundness, empirical power, and utility as a foundation for synthesis with other explanations. After providing an overview of LI’s main assumptions and propositions, the chapter illustrates LI’s scope and empirical power with two recent cases: migration policy and the euro. It closes by considering common criticisms levelled against LI, as well as the scope conditions under which it is most likely to explain state behaviour. This chapter concludes by emphasizing LI’s openness to dialogue and synthesis with other theories and reiterating its status as a baseline theory of European integration.
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.
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.
This chapter examines the dynamics of Europeanization of interest groups and social movements in European Union member states. European integration has influenced interest groups and social movements since the beginning of the process in the 1950s. However, transformation has been induced by other elements such as globalization or the transformation of the state. Drawing on findings from empirical studies, this chapter analyses the change in interests, strategies, and internal organizational structures of interest groups and social movements, both in the ‘old’ and ‘new’ member states. It shows that the Europeanization of interest groups and social movements is highly differentiated, according to public policy areas, group types, and national origins. It concludes in analysing more recent developments such as interest group and social movement reactions to austerity politics as well as Brexit.
John Peterson and Dermot Hodson
This chapter examines what is enduring about the character of the European Union institutions, however fragile the wider political process of European integration seems to be. It also considers where the EU as an institutional system has been and where it is going. The chapter begins by discussing the interdependence of EU institutions, noting that they are obliged to work together to deliver collective governance even as they and European governments try to solve multiple crises that sap political time and attention. It then explores the problems faced by the EU’s institutional system with respect to leadership, management, and integration of interests, along with the Community method. It concludes with an assessment of the accountability conundrum: how the EU institutions, in the absence of a truly European polity, can become more accountable to citizens and thus a more legitimate level of governance.
Arne Niemann, Zoe Lefkofridi, and Philippe C. Schmitter
This chapter focuses on neofunctionalism, one of the earlier theories of regional integration. Neofunctionalist theory was first formulated in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but began to receive increasing criticism from the mid1960s, particularly because of several adverse empirical developments, the culmination of which was the Empty Chair crisis of 1965–66 when French President Charles de Gaulle effectively paralysed the European Community. With the resurgence of the European integration process in the mid1980s, neofunctionalism made a substantial comeback. After providing an overview of neofunctionalism’s intellectual roots, the chapter examines early neofunctionalism’s core assumptions and hypotheses, including its central notion of ‘spillover’. It then considers the criticisms that have been levelled against it before turning to later revisions of the theory. Finally, this chapter applies the theory critically to explain the nature and probable outcome of the sovereign debt crisis.
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 helps to make sense of the chapters that follow. To that end the chapter begins by questioning whether the EU is ‘in crisis’. It goes on to reflect on what the EU is, why it was originally set up, who has and can join, who pays (and how much), what the EU does, and what role citizens play in the EU. The chapter ends by explaining how the book is organized.
This chapter brings together what have usually been presented as separate ‘consequences’ of European integration. First, it examines Europeanization: the process through which domestic politics and polities are changed by their engagement with the EU. Second, it considers three literatures that capture contemporary challenges to integration: a new domestic politicization of the EU; the rise of Euroscepticism; and a questioning of whether the EU is experiencing disintegration. Third, a continuing challenge for the EU has been its democratic legitimacy, and rising Europeanization is linked to questions of legitimacy of the EU amongst the public. This chapter deals with these interrelated phenomena: the EU’s impact on its member states and the issues arising.
Central to Brexit
Alasdair R. Young
This chapter examines the renewal of the single European market (SEM) as a major turning point in European policy-making. It presents the argument that many of the analyses that proliferated in response to the Single European Act (SEA) and the SEM overstated their novelty and understated some of the surrounding factors that helped to induce their ‘success’. The chapter first provides a historical background on how the single market was established before discussing the politics of policy-making in the SEM. It explains how new ideas about market regulation permeated the European Union policy process and facilitated legislative activism and important changes in the policy-implementing processes, culminating in the ‘1992 programme’ to make the single market a reality. Although the task of ‘completing’ the single market remains unfinished, the chapter shows that it has moved to the heart of European integration and altered the pattern of state–market relations in Europe. As a consequence, the single market has played a central role in the Brexit process. The Brexit process has also revealed how far the single market has developed.
This chapter examines the pervasiveness and importance of enlargement in the history of European integration. It first considers the principles, conditions, and instruments of enlargement before discussing the roles of various institutional actors and the candidate states. It then shows how, faced with the likelihood of large-scale Central and Eastern European accession, the European Union extended the requirements for membership to include the candidate countries' democratic credentials and economic competitiveness. The first enlargement included Britain, Denmark, and Ireland, followed by Greece, Spain, and Portugal, the European Free Trade Association, the Central and Eastern European countries, Cyprus, and Malta. The chapter also explains how the EU has developed a variety of strategies to deal with growing differences among the member states' socio-economic situations and policy needs without formally resorting to a division of its membership in concentric circles, core and peripheral groups, or alternative frameworks.
This chapter examines the complexity of the European Union as a foreign policy actor by focusing on its so-called Big Bang enlargement. Three of the largest EU members — Britain, France, and Germany — differed in their beliefs about the implications of enlargement for their own national interests, shifts to the existing balance of power within the EU, the impact on the functioning of EU institutions, and the future of the integration process. The chapter first provides an overview of EU foreign policy before discussing the historic decision to enlarge the EU in 2004 and 2007. In particular, it analyses the significance of European norms in reshaping member states’ interests and the supranational role of the European Commission in framing and implementing the decision to enlarge the EU. It also considers the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as an alternative when the powerful instrument of the EU enlargement is no longer available.
This chapter looks at the changing nature of ideology in Europe. It also delves into the issue of voter preference and considers how that has changed over time. It is all too often assumed that voters, as well as parties, exist along a single ideological left-to-right continuum. However, the truth is that there more deviations from this continuum than we might have in the past assumed. With the emergence of new salient issues, such as immigration, the environment and European integration, the old assumptions no longer hold true. The chapter also looks at populism, which it defines as a thin-central ideology. The final questions of this chapter are: how has populism challenged our current model of democracy? What does the future hold in this regard?
Edward Best and Thomas Christiansen
This chapter examines the different regional arrangements that have emerged around the globe. It considers whether there has been a uniform process of regional cooperation and integration across all continents, the driving forces in the establishment of various forms of regional cooperation, and the extent to which cooperation at the regional level changes the nature of international politics. After clarifying the various concepts and definitions associated with regionalism, the chapter discusses relevant developments in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. In particular, it looks at regional arrangements in Eurasia and the post-Soviet states. It also explores the process of European integration as well as the similarities and the differences among the various regional arrangements, with particular emphasis on the unique circumstances that shaped the emergence of the European Union. There is an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether regional cooperation strengthens the state.