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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

This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’s) policy activity in the area of freedom, security, and justice (AFSJ). Introduced mainly by the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, the AFSJ was initially given the name Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). The AFSJ was greatly enhanced by the Treaty of Lisbon and has matured over time, despite the controversy surrounding the way in which it strikes at national sovereignty. A key characteristic of JHA, later AFSJ, has been the use of differentiated integration. The chapter first provides a historical background on the AFSJ, focusing on the policy dynamics and JHA structures under the Treaty on European Union (TEU) as well as the reforms of the Treaty of Amsterdam. It then considers the AFSJ’s institutional character and policy content, before examining the refugee crisis. It concludes with an assessment of key explanations and debates relating to the AFSJ.

Chapter

This chapter examines theories of European Union governance. As European integration progressed, the academic focus began to shift from explaining the integration process to understanding the EU as a political system. As such, EU scholars increasingly drew on approaches from the study of domestic and comparative politics. This chapter surveys a number of approaches that focus on the EU as a political system. These approaches are quite varied and include new institutionalism, governance, and policy network approaches. At the end of the chapter attention is turned to some of the overall characterizations of EU governance that also offer valuable insights: supranational governance; new intergovernmentalism; and differentiated integration.