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Chapter

Desmond Dinan

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tanja A. Börzel and Diana Panke

The first section of the chapter 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 EU’s recent and current crises and challenges. The conclusion argues that Europeanization, despite the crises the EU has been facing, will remain an important field of EU research for the foreseeable future.

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This chapter examines the inhabitants of, and working visitors to, the Council of Ministers’s headquarters in Brussels. The Council of Ministers has always occupied an important position among the European institutions and in European policy-making. As a European Union institution, it is involved in all areas of EU activity, both by legislating in tandem with the European Parliament (EP) and by coordinating the member states’ policies in particular fields. The chapter first traces the origins of the present-day Council of Ministers before discussing its hierarchy and what the Council does. It then considers how the Council deals with the other EU institutions such as the European Council, the EP, and the European Commission. It shows that the Council embodies the enduring tension between supranationalism and intergovernmentalism as explanatory tools for understanding the construction of the EU.

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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.

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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.

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Helen Wallace and Christine Reh

This chapter examines the European Union’s institutional design and how its institutions interact with national institutions in five different policy modes. It first considers the evolving role and internal functioning of the European Commission, Council of the EU, European Council, European Parliament, and Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It also discusses quasi-autonomous agencies, in particular the European Central Bank (ECB), institutionalized control and scrutiny, and non-state actors. It concludes with an analysis of five EU policy modes that capture the different patterns of interaction between EU and national institutions: the classical Community method, the regulatory mode, the distributional mode, the policy coordination mode, and intensive transgovernmentalism.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This chapter examines the crises that dominated the period after the Lisbon Treaty was adopted in 2009: first, the eurozone crisis that began in 2009 and threatened the existence of the single currency; second, the refugee crisis that unfolded from 2015 as large numbers of refugees fled an intensifying war in Syria and attempted perilous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea; third, Britain’s decision to leave the EU, which followed a referendum on membership in 2016; and finally, the challenge of populist politics in the EU, with reference to the emergence of governments led by or including populist parties in Hungary, Poland, and Italy. The chapter then considers other developments during this period, including elections to the European Parliament (EP) in 2014 and 2019, a further enlargement to include Croatia in 2013, and the launch of the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy. It also looks at the United Kingdom’s adoption of a series of measures that raised doubts about its future relationship with the EU.

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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.

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Brigid Laffan

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.

Chapter

Ulrich Sedelmeier and Graham Avery

The EU has expanded many times and many countries still aspire to join. It has extended the prospect of membership to countries in the Balkans and Turkey and has developed a ‘neighbourhood’ policy towards other countries, some of which may want to join in the future. 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 soft power. It then explains how the EU has expanded and why countries want to join. It also looks at prospective member states: the Balkan countries, Turkey, Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland. Finally, it examines the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Chapter

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.

Chapter

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

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.

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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.