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Chapter

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

This chapter focuses on the current state of the EU and the prospects for Europeanization. Resistance to Europeanization exists, yet the EU still exercises continued attraction to states on its periphery that are waiting for the opportunity of EU membership. In reviewing the academic debate on forms of resistance to Europeanization we first explore the literature on EU disintegration, before turning to concrete examples of member state resistance. Prompted by Brexit, as a concrete manifestation of such resistance, we then assess the difficulty for a member state to leave the EU and its sphere of influence completely. Finally, we turn to the state of play with enlargement, also highlighting the impact of Europeanization upon European states outside the EU.

Chapter

Christopher Bickerton

This chapter explores the role of member states in European integration. It first looks at the idea of member statehood, exploring its ambiguities and arguing for a more sophisticated understanding of what it means to be a ‘member state’ of the EU. The chapter considers in detail the role played by member states in the EU, highlighting in particular the centrality of member state governments and their power to EU policy-making and its institutions. At the same time it notes the relative absence of member state publics. The chapter ends with a reflection on whether there is a return of the nation-state, with its associated trends of nationalism and inter-state rivalry.

Book

Edited by Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

The Member States of the European Union combines a study of individual member states with an examination of the broader process of Europeanization. Examining both sides of this crucial relationship, this text provides a useful guide to EU member state relations. This second edition has been updated to take in the latest round of EU enlargement and includes chapters on eight member states from different geographical regions and dates of accession. These are followed by seven thematic chapters on the Europeanization of structures, actors, and processes within the EU 27.

Chapter

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

This chapter provides an overview of the European Union and its member states. It first explains why the member states matter in the EU before discussing the role of member states in the EU, with particular emphasis on three approaches to understanding member state-EU relations: intergovernmentalism, institutionalism, and governance approaches. It then examines the Europeanization of the member states as well as the domestic politics approach, which claims that it is impossible to understand the EU without considering domestic politics. It concludes by presenting the logic and structure of this volume: how the relationship between the EU and its member states will be portrayed in the chapters that follow.

Chapter

Hussein Kassim and Vanessa Buth

This chapter examines the impact of Europeanization on member state institutions. Membership in the European Union imposes a variety of constraints and burdens on countries, but it also affords important opportunities and makes available significant resources. Integration initially reinforced the decline of national legislatures, but they have fought back in the last decade. National courts have assumed new functions and become part of a wider Community of law. At the same, the precise effects of the EU have varied cross-nationally as the demands of membership have interacted with differing constitutional arrangements, legal traditions, and political cultures. Moreover, national institutions such as governments, parliaments, and courts have left their mark on the EU and determine to a large extent the capacities of the Union as a system. The chapter considers how EU membership has affected national governments, national parliaments, and national courts.

Chapter

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

This chapter provides an overview of the European Union and its member states. It first explains why the member states matter in the EU before discussing the role of member states in the EU, with particular emphasis on three approaches to understanding member state–EU relations: intergovernmentalism, institutionalism, and governance approaches. It then examines the Europeanization of the member states as well as the revival of domestic politics approaches, which claim that it is impossible to understand the EU in light of its politicization during the 2010s. It concludes by presenting the logic and structure of this volume: how the relationship between the EU and its member states will be portrayed in the chapters that follow.

Book

Edited by Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

The Member States of the European Union combines a study of individual member states with an examination of the broader process of Europeanization. Examining both sides of this crucial relationship, this text provides a useful guide to EU member state relations. This third edition has been updated to summer 2019 and includes chapters on eight member states from different geographical regions and dates of accession. These are followed by seven thematic chapters on the Europeanization of structures, actors, and processes within the pre-Brexit EU 28. The Member States of the European Union helps understanding the influence of Member States in the EU but also the impact the EU has on the domestic institutions, politics, and policies of each member state.

Chapter

Michael Smith and Rebecca Steffenson

This chapter examines the evolution of the European Union's relations with the United States. More specifically, it looks at the ways in which EU–US relations enter into the international relations of the EU as well as the implications for key areas of the EU's growing international activity. The chapter begins with an overview of the changing shape and focus of the EU–US relationship as it enters into economic, political, and security questions. It then considers the impact of EU–US relations on the EU's system of international relations, on the EU's role in the processes of international relations, and on the EU's position as a ‘power’ in international relations. It shows that the EU–US relationship has played a key (and contradictory) role in development of the EU's foreign policy mechanisms.

Chapter

This chapter explores recent changes in European politics and looks to the future for European democracy as it stands now. The chapter explores the ongoing political change that can be seen within European countries and also at the European Union (EU) level. It aims to highlight four important debates about the state of democracy in Europe. These are: the debates about the rise of political fragmentation and its consequences for democracy; democratic backsliding in central and eastern Europe; the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the EU on democracy; and the democratic deficit in EU politics.

Book

Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

European Union Politics equips readers to understand the European Union and the topical debates and issues which surround it. Alongside comprehensive coverage of the history, theory, institutions, and policies of the EU, it features a whole section on contemporary issues and current debates, including democracy and legitimacy in the EU, public opinion, the economic crisis, and a brand new chapter on the future of the EU. Helpful learning features throughout the text, including key points, questions, and examples, support learning.

Chapter

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

This chapter examines the problem of coherence in the European Union's international relations. The EU consists of an extremely complex system of institutional structures. One of the implications of this complexity is coherence, or the ambition and necessity to bring the various parts of the EU's external relations together to increase strategic convergence and ensure procedural efficiency. The chapter first provides a historical overview of the concept of coherence and the debates around it before discussing different conceptual dimensions of coherence. It then describes the neutral, benign, and malign ‘faces’ that coherence assumes in political and academic debates. Based on this conceptual framework, the chapter explores the current legal basis of the Treaty of Lisbon as well as the EU's comprehensive approach to external action in crises and conflicts as one of the key political initiatives aimed at fostering the objectives laid down in primary law.

Chapter

This chapter explores diplomacy and the conduct of foreign policy, which are fundamental to relations between political communities and have been practised for thousands of years. In the contemporary period, diplomatic and foreign policy practices usually involve fully professionalized state bureaucracies. But alongside formal state diplomacy, other important actors contribute as well, from Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to special envoys or third-party mediators tasked with specific missions. There are also special forms of diplomacy such as ‘summit diplomacy’ and ‘public diplomacy’, both of which have assumed increasing importance in contemporary practice. Foreign policy behaviour itself is a closely related but distinctive field of study focusing on the strategies that states adopt in their relations with each other and which reflect, in turn, the pressures that governments face in either the domestic or external sphere. The chapter then considers the foreign and security policy of the EU which now has a role and an identity as an international actor in its own right. Finally, it presents a brief account of Wikileaks, which illustrates another very different kind of actor in the field.

Chapter

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.

Book

Edited by Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán

European Union Politics equips readers to understand the European Union and the topical debates and issues which surround it. Alongside comprehensive coverage of the history, theory, institutions, and policies of the EU, it features chapters on contemporary issues and current debates, including democracy and legitimacy in the EU, citizens and public opinion, the economic crisis, and a new chapter on Brexit. Helpful learning features throughout the text, including key points, questions, and examples, support learning.

Chapter

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

This chapter provides an overview of the elements that make up the European Council and the Council of the European Union, including the strategic, executive-like authority of the European Council; the formal legislative role of the national ministers who meet in the policy-specific formations of the Council of the EU; and the preparatory and expert working committees involved in day-to-day negotiations. The chapter begins with a discussion of the Council system’s evolving hierarchy and enigmatic traits, the layers of the Council system, and how the Council system works. It also looks at the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and goes on to examine the supporting roles provided by a shared, rotating presidency and the Council system’s own bureaucracy, the General Secretariat of the Council.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the European Court of Justice (ECJ), one of the three courts that make up the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU); the others are the General Court and the EU Civil Service Tribunal. It first provides an overview of the ECJ’s structure and functions before discussing some of its main rulings and their significance. It then considers rulings on the powers of the institutions, some key legal judgments made in response to questions referred to the ECJ by national courts, the impact of ECJ rulings on EU policy, and post-Maastricht trends in the ECJ and EU law. It also assesses the evolving political reactions towards the judgments of the Court, along with the debate over whether the member states have lost control of the process of European integration because of the ECJ’s radical jurisprudence.

Chapter

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

Timm Beichelt and Simon Bulmer

This chapter examines Germany’s profile as a European Union member state. It is divided into two parts, looking at EU-Germany relations from both bottom-up and top-down perspectives. The first considers Germany’s increasing influence on the EU, notably during the eurozone and refugee crises. It considers the question of whether Germany has assumed the role of the EU’s hegemon. At the same time the chapter argues that Germany is a very Europeanized member state. It uses the comparative politics paradigm by considering public opinion on Europe, the European dimension of party politics, and the Federal Republic’s major political institutions and their role in European policy. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the two perspectives, seeking a balance between the arguments for a German Europe and a Europeanized Germany.