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Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

18. Enlargement  

Ana E. Juncos and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

The process of enlargement has transformed the European Union. It has had far-reaching implications for the shape and definition of Europe, and for the institutional set-up and the major policies of the Union. This has been accomplished through a number of enlargement rounds, which the first section of the chapter analyses in detail. This is followed by a review of the enlargement process itself, with a focus on the use of conditionality and the role of the main actors involved. The contributions of neo-functionalism, liberal intergovernmentalism, and social constructivism to explaining the EU’s geographical expansion are evaluated in the third section of the chapter. The success and prospect of future enlargement are discussed in the context of wider EU developments, especially the effect of the economic crisis in the euro area, ‘enlargement fatigue’, the domestic context in the candidate countries, and Brexit.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

2. How Did We Get Here?  

Desmond Dinan

This chapter focuses on the historical development of the EU. The history of the EU began when European governments responded to a series of domestic, regional, and global challenges after World War II by establishing new transnational institutions in order to accelerate political and economic integration. These challenges ranged from postwar 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 EC 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.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

9. From Deadlock to Dynamism  

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.

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.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

5. The Triumph of Community Europe  

Craig Parsons

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.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

14. Enlargement, the Neighbourhood, and European Order  

Karen E. Smith

This chapter examines the European Union's key decisions on enlargement as well as the EU's influence on its European neighbours and on the shape of European order. It begins with an overview of the ‘concentric circles’ approach adopted by the EU — then the European Community — to put off the prospect of enlargement and instead proceed with economic and political integration, while strengthening its relations with its European neighbours. It then considers the Copenhagen European Council of June 1993, the Luxembourg and Helsinki European Councils, and the EU's big-bang enlargement. It also analyses the EU's relations with South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, and the ‘wider Europe’. Finally, it explains why the EU member states agreed to a radical reshaping of the European order through enlargement and assesses the future of the enlargement project.

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 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 Origins and Evolution of the European Union

12. The Enlarging European Union  

Anna Michalski

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.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

15. The European Parliament  

This chapter focuses on the European Parliament (EP), the one directly elected institution of the European Union. It first provides an overview of the EP’s composition and functions, before discussing the struggle for increased powers within the EP. It then considers debates and research on the EP. The focus of contemporary research on the EP includes political behaviour and EP elections, the internal politics and organization of the EP, and inter-institutional bargaining between the EP, the European Council, and the European Commission. One theme of the academic debate is the extent to which the EP has become an effective independent actor in the affairs of the EU.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

22. What kind of power? European Union enlargement and beyond  

Lisbeth Aggestam

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.

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 International Relations and the European Union

13. An End to Enlargement: The EU, its Neighbourhood, and European Order  

Karen E. Smith

Between the period of the end of the Cold War and now, the European Union (EU) has enlarged four times. In 2016, on the eve of the Brexit referendum in the UK, it had a total membership of 28 countries, almost half of which (11 member states) are in Central and South-Eastern Europe. By enlarging, the EU wanted to consolidate the democratic and economic reforms in post-communist countries, and spread security and prosperity eastwards. Its enlargement policy involved an obvious carrot-and-stick policy, to encourage reforms, mainly through the application of membership conditionality. However, 30 or so years on from the end of the Cold War, the potential of EU enlargement to reshape European order is clearly currently in jeopardy: the fragile consensus favouring the enlargement project has become more brittle, and rather than generating a secure and prosperous European order, the EU has found itself surrounded by an ‘arc of crisis’, with wars and atrocities in its ‘backyard’. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 is proving to be the most serious threat to European order since the end of the Cold War. The EU will have to adjust to a much more insecure and threatening environment. The EU’s influence in its neighbourhood is tempered not just by Russia, but also by China and Turkey.

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 Integration Theory

3. Neofunctionalism  

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.

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

15. The Europeanization of Interest Groups and Social Movements  

Sabine Saurugger

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.

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.