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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 European Union Politics

28. COVID-19 and EU Health Policy  

Eleanor Brooks, Sarah Rozenblum, Scott L. Greer, and Anniek de Ruijter

This chapter explores the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the EU’s health policy. Health is an area where member states have historically been reluctant to cede powers. Consequently, the EU’s treaty competences in health are limited. The chapter introduces the extent and parameters of the EU’s role and the resulting patchwork of health policy and law which exists at European level. When COVID-19 emerged, the EU could not offer a comprehensive response, although the scale of the emergency put pressure on norms of solidarity and free movement. The chapter reviews the EU’s response within six different areas of (health and non-health) policy, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the EU’s efforts to fight and mitigate the pandemic using the public health, internal market, and fiscal governance dimensions of its health powers before discussing the implications of the pandemic and the EU’s response.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

10. Current and Future Challenges  

Amelia Amelia, Daniel Kenealy, and Richard Corbett

As it moves into the third decade of the 21st century, the EU faces a number of new and unprecedented challenges–as well as some perennial ones. The chapter opens with a discussion of the challenges posed by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (Brexit). It goes on to consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed a series of pre-existing internal and external policy challenges, as well as creating new ones. These in turn have raised questions about various aspects of the EU’s governance, from the size and scope of its budget to the quality of democracy across its member states; from the role of the Commission to decision-making rules in the Council. How well the EU responds to these many challenges will shape the future of the Union.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

1. Introduction: Approaches and Concepts  

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker

This chapter looks at how we consider the European Union (EU) today. The EU is now regarded as an international actor. In this way, the development of the EU, this chapter shows, as a system of international relations in itself can be related analytically to the place it occupies in the process of international relations, and to its position as a ‘power’ in the global arena. This sort of analysis, the chapter argues, facilitates an understanding of the ways in which the EU produces international action and the ways in which the international dimension enters into EU policymaking. This relates particularly to the many crises that have affected the EU in the last few years, such as the eurozone crisis, the war in Ukraine, Brexit, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

12. The Shadows of Empire: African Perceptions of Europe and the EU  

Adekeye Adebajo

This chapter considers the shaping of relations between Africa and Europe. It looks at how they continue to be adversely affected, by the historical trauma of five centuries of slavery and colonialism. The shadows of empire continue to cast over these bonds, as exemplified in the European Union’s (EU’s) heavy-handed and mercantilist negotiating approach during the conclusion of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African states between 2002 and 2016. Tensions could also be seen on issues relating to the poor treatment of African migrants by European governments, and a lack of African access to Covid-19 drugs. Some African leaders—particularly in the francophone world—embraced aspects of European colonial rule, as useful to their post-colonial development, but most leaders and citizens in Africa continue to note the destructive legacy and continued dominance of inherited European institutions and the unfair global structures of trade. Despite European talk of ‘equal partnership’ and its provision of development aid, non-reciprocal trade access (since revoked), and security assistance; the African side still often feels that an unequal, paternalistic relationship has continued with Europe, similar to the exploitative patterns of the past.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

9. The European Union and the Global Political Economy  

Amy Verdun

This chapter examines the position of the European Union (EU) in the global political economy (GPE). It also highlights key dimensions of change and development, and evaluates the EU’s impact on the operation of the contemporary GPE. It does this by examining key ideas in international political economy (IPE), by relating these to the growth of the EU, and by assessing the EU’s role in the GPE in three areas: European integration itself, the EU’s engagement in the GPE, and the EU’s claims to be a major economic power. The final part of the chapter brings these together with an analysis of global economic governance—in particular, the EU’s role in the financial, multilateral state system with its principles of global governance, and pays some attention to recent crises (such as the Covid-19 pandemic) and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Chapter

Cover Policy-Making in the European Union

20. The Stability of EU Policy-Making in a Turbulent World  

Mark A. Pollack, Christilla Roederer-Rynning, and Alasdair R. Young

This chapter examines trends in European Union policy-making during times of multiple, overlapping challenges. It first considers the main trends in EU policy-making that emerge from policy case studies, including experimentation with new modes of policy-making, often in conjunction with more established modes, leading to hybridization; renegotiation of the role of the member states (and their domestic institutions) in the EU policy process; and erosion of traditional boundaries between internal and external policies. The chapter proceeds by discussing the issue of national governance as well as the interaction between European and global governance. Finally, it explores how the EU has responded to the challenges of Brexit, the politicization of the Union, geopolitical upheaval, and the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Book

Cover The Institutions of the European Union

Edited by Dermot Hodson, Uwe Puetter, Sabine Saurugger, and John Peterson

The Institutions of the European Union is the key text for anyone wishing to understand the functions, powers, and composition of the EU’s institutions. Written and edited by a team of leading international experts, the text offers a comprehensive analysis and explanation of all the most important organizations and their roles in the governance and management of the EU. The fifth edition has been substantially revised, featuring a range of newly authored chapters and including coverage of the most important developments affecting the institutions of the European Union as they contend with the changing dynamics of European integration. Up-to-date chapters examine current challenges, including the rise of populism and how it is wielded by politicians to target EU institutions, the climate emergency, and the EU’s bold new policy commitments to make the Union climate neutral by 2050, as well as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Authoritative yet accessible, The Institutions of the European Union is the best guide to how institutions work together to provide political direction, manage the European Union, govern policies, and integrate contrasting interests within the EU.

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Cover European Union Politics

22. Economic and Monetary Union  

Amy Verdun

This chapter introduces economic and monetary union (EMU), describingthe key components of EMU and what happens when countries join. EMU was the result of decades of collaboration and learning, divided here into three periods: 1969–91, from the agreement to creation to its inclusion in the Treaty on European Union (TEU); 1992–2002, from having the plans for EMU to the irrevocable fixing of exchange rates; and 2002 onwards, with EMU established and euro banknotes and coins circulating in member states. The chapter reviews various theoretical explanations, both economic and political, for the creation of EMU and considers some criticisms of EMU. The chapter discusses how EMU has fared under the global financial crisis, the sovereign debt crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These crises highlighted various imperfections in the design of EMU and provided opportunities for further development. This chapter discusses changes made since 2009 to address those flaws and what may be yet to come.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

29. The Future of the EU  

Brigid Laffan

This chapter is structured around four scenarios on the future of the European Union (EU): ‘Disintegration’, ‘Piecemeal Adjustment’, ‘Functional Federalism’, and ‘A European Sovereignty’. The EU is now facing the immense challenges of climate change, the accelerating digital transformation, Europe’s unstable neighborhood and the impact on Europe’s role in the world arising from the return of Great Power competition, all against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The perennial questions about the EU remain—how does it collectively amass sufficient political authority to address Europe’s challenges while maintaining its legitimacy? How can it be resilient as a Union while managing the deep diversity that characterizes Europe? Disintegrative fissures cannot be ignored. Piecemeal Adjustment continues to have resonance, as does Functional Federalism,. ‘A European Sovereignty’ sometimes defined as ‘strategic autonomy’ emerged on the political agenda with the election of French President Macron in May 2017.

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Cover The Institutions of the European Union

11. The institutions of Economic and Monetary Union:  

from the euro crisis to COVID-19

Dermot Hodson

Since 1999, a subset of EU member states—known collectively as the euro area—has delegated exclusive competence for monetary policy to the European Central Bank (ECB), while giving limited powers to the European Commission, ECOFIN, and the Eurogroup in other areas of economic policy. The euro crisis provided the first major test of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), as a sovereign debt crisis spread between member states and threatened to tear the single currency apart. The ECB and two new institutions—the European Stability Mechanism and Euro Summit—helped to keep the euro area together but at significant economic and political cost. EU institutions were better prepared for the initial economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the crisis still produced important institutional changes. The COVID-19 recovery fund Next Generation EU gives the Commission and Council a major new role in economic policy, albeit a temporary one for now. The EMU illustrates three key dimensions of EU institutional politics: the tension between intergovernmental versus supranational institutions, leaders versus followers, and legitimacy versus contestation. It also reveals the explanatory power of new institutionalism among other theoretical perspectives.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

3. Carrying the EU Forward: The Era of Lisbon  

Clive Church and David Phinnemore

This chapter explores how the EU ended a long period of constitutional change by agreeing the Treaty of Lisbon and used it to face new challenges of financial crisis, Brexit, and Covid-19—the latter events leading to thoughts that further treaty change might be needed. The process started with the 2002–03 Convention on the Future of Europe leadin to the Constitutional Treaty of 2004 and in October 2007 produced the Treaty of Lisbon which eventually entered into force on 1 December 2009. Its implementation was complicated by the eurozone crisis, resulting in extra-treaty arrangements and another treaty amendment. Although the official appetite for treaty reform all but evaporated in the 2010s, the UK’s June 2016 vote to quit the EU raised the hopes for further changes. The end of the 2010s and into the 2020s saw Brexit being negotiated within the terms of the Treaty of European Union the EU’s treaty agreeing measures to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Calls for treaty revision continued but active steps to re-negotiate the consolidated treaties have not yet begun.

Chapter

Cover Policy-Making in the European Union

7. Economic and Monetary Union  

An Enduring Experiment?

Dermot Hodson

This chapter examines the role of the economic and monetary union (EMU) in the European Union’s macroeconomic policy-making. As of 2015, nineteen members of the euro area have exchanged national currencies for the euro and delegated responsibility for monetary policy and financial supervision to the European Central Bank (ECB). EMU is a high-stakes experiment in new modes of EU policy-making insofar as the governance of the euro area relies on alternatives to the traditional Community method, including policy coordination, intensive transgovernmentalism, and delegation to de novo bodies. The chapter first provides an overview of the origins of the EMU before discussing the launch of the single currency, the sovereign debt crisis, and economic responses to Covid-19. It also considers variations on the Community method, taking into account the ECB and the European Stability Mechanism.