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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.

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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 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.

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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 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 Politics in the European Union

11. The EU in Crisis (2009–19)  

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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Cover Politics in the European Union

3. Theorizing Consequences  

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.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

11. The European Union, the Soviet Union, and the End of the Cold War  

Jeffrey J. Anderson

This chapter examines the connection between German unification and the economic and monetary union (EMU), with particular emphasis on the relationship between the acceleration of European integration in the late 1980s and the seismic geopolitical shifts in Central and Eastern Europe, culminating in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Following a review of relations between the European Community (EC) and the Soviet Union on the eve of those momentous events, the chapter explains how the rapid integration in Western Europe became intertwined with disintegration in Central and Eastern Europe. It shows that the collapse of the Soviet bloc had a profound impact on the European Union as ten newly-independent Central and Eastern European states clamoured for membership. The chapter concludes with an assessment of EU enlargement in the post-Cold War period.

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Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

13. A Special Case  

The United Kingdom and the European Union

Desmond Dinan

This chapter examines the United Kingdom's troubled relationship with the movement for European integration and with the European Union more generally. Citing speeches made by leading British politicians over the last seventy years, including Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Margaret Thatcher, and David Cameron, the chapter outlines four distinct stages of British association with the EU: a period of detachment in the early years; involvement in a lengthy accession process and renegotiation of membership terms; engagement in effort to reform the budget and launch the single market programme; and growing disillusionment as the EU strengthened along supranational lines and extended its policy remit, notably by embracing the economic and monetary union (EMU). These periods cover a range of important developments, such as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), the EMU, and the Single European Act.

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Cover Politics in the European Union

10. From Amsterdam to Lisbon (2000–09)  

This chapter examines the new strategy adopted in March 2000 by a special European Council in Lisbon to make the European Union (EU) more competitive, culminating in the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon. The Amsterdam Treaty had scarcely entered into force before further Treaty reform emerged on the agenda. Throughout the year 2000, a new intergovernmental conference met to address outstanding institutional issues that had not been settled at Amsterdam. It concluded in December 2000 with the longest European Council in history, which led to the Treaty of Nice. The chapter first considers the Nice Treaty, before discussing the Lisbon Strategy, the European Security and Defence Policy, the Constitutional Treaty, the issue of enlargement, the European Parliament (EP), and the nomination of a new European Commission. It ends with a discussion of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

6. The ‘Other’ European Communities and the Origins of the European Economic Community (the Early 1950s to the 1960s)  

This chapter focuses on the ‘other’ European communities and the origins of the European Economic Community (EEC). Negotiations over a plan for a European Defence Community (EDC) ran parallel to those over the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Connected with the EDC was a proposal to create a European Political Community (EPC) to provide democratic European structures for co-ordinating foreign policies. This chapter first considers the Pleven Plan for an EDC, before discussing the development of the EDC/EPC plan and the ultimate failure to reach agreement in 1954. It also analyses the Messina negotiations and the road to the Treaties of Rome. Finally, it looks at the experience of the other organization that was created at the same time as the EEC, the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), which, like the ECSC, was institutionally merged with the EEC in 1967.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

8. The Revival of European Integration (the Mid-1970s to the Late 1980s)  

This chapter examines the revival of European integration from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s. It first considers leadership changes in the European Commission before turning to the European Council and the European Monetary System (EMS), the Commission’s southern enlargements, and the British budget rebate. It then discusses leadership changes in the Commission from 1981 to 1982, the Single European Act (SEA), and the European Council meeting at Fontainebleau in June 1984. It also looks at the initiatives of various Commission presidents such as Roy Jenkins, Gaston Thorn, and Jacques Delors. Finally, it describes the implementation of the SEA, widely seen as the big breakthrough in the revival of European integration.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

14. The European Union  

A Constitutional Order in the Making

Berthold Rittberger

This chapter examines how the European Union acquired distinctive constitution-like features. It begins with a discussion of three routes to constitutionalization: the first is through changes in the EU's primary law; the second focuses on ‘in between’ constitutionalization; and the third leads directly to the European Court of Justice and its jurisprudence. The chapter proceeds by discussing two developments that have shaped the EU constitutional order almost since the beginning: the emergence of a body of EU law constituting a set of higher-order legal rules, and the consolidation of the constitutional principle of representative democracy. It explains how the supremacy and direct effect of EU law, as well as the EU court's concern with the protection of fundamental rights, helped transform the EU into a constitutional polity. It also considers how the extension of the legislative, budgetary, and other powers of the European Parliament animated the constitutional principle.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

7. Under the Shadow of Stagflation  

European Integration in the 1970s

Richard T. Griffiths

This chapter examines European integration during the 1970s. The 1970s is often portrayed as a dismal decade in the history of European integration, when the European Community (EC) experienced severe turbulence as it digested Britain's accession and was buffeted by the global economic downturn. Stagflation and Eurosclerosis — sluggish economic growth combined with institutional immobility — ensued. At the same time, however, the Community developed in important ways. The European Court of Justice generated an impressive body of case law, and the EC coped with the challenges of enlargement, the break-up of the international monetary system, and the consequences of slower economic growth. The chapter rejects the notion that the 1970s was a dismal decade in the history of European integration and describes it as a transitional period between the launch of the Community in the 1960s and the acceleration of European integration in the 1980s.

Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

4. Liberal Intergovernmentalism  

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.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

3. Engaging the World  

The European Union and the Processes of International Relations

Geoffrey Edwards

This chapter examines the ways in which the European Union enters into international relations and engages with key processes in the world arena. It first provides a historical background on the interaction of an evolving EU with the rest of the world before discussing the main patterns of relationships and interactions in the areas in which Europe has been active. It then considers two centres of enduring tensions in the EU's external engagement: EU's engagement with processes of international cooperation and conflict, and with processes of global governance. It also looks at tensions that arise between the collective ‘European’ and national positions. They are between: Europeanization and national foreign policy; rhetoric and achievement; big and small member states; old and new Europe; and the concept of civilian power Europe and the EU as an international security actor with access to military forces.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

7. The Role of the Member States  

The Europeanization of Foreign Policy?

Reuben Wong

This chapter examines the viability of Europeanization as an alternative approach to understanding the foreign policies of European Union member states. It first considers the meanings of Europeanization before proposing an operational definition of Europeanization, linking and contrasting it with the dominant European integration theories, namely neo-functionalism and intergovernmentalism. Three dimensions of Europeanization in national foreign policy are discussed: adaptation and policy convergence, national projection, and identity reconstruction. The chapter also compares Europeanization and intergovernmentalism in the study of national foreign policy and concludes with an overview of challenges involved in Europeanization research. It argues that the Europeanization concept, despite lacking theoretical consistency, remains useful and explains why this is so.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

9. Legitimate and Democratic? The European Union’s International Role  

Christopher Lord

This chapter examines the legitimacy and democratic control of the European Union's international policies. It first explains why, with whom, and by what standards the EU's international role need to be legitimate before discussing the issue of democratic control involving the European Parliament (EP) and national parliaments. More specifically, it considers the member states' mantra that the legitimacy of EU decisions is ‘founded on the principle of representative democracy’, delivered through the representation of citizens in the EP and national democracies in the European Council, the Councils, and their own national parliaments. It also emphasizes the great variety in the EU's international policy procedures and concludes by assessing how legitimacy might enable or constrain the development of the EU as an international actor.