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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.

Chapter

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.

Book

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.

Chapter

11. Social Policy  

Between Legal Integration and Politicization

John Bachtler and Carlos Mendez

Social policy in the European Union (EU) is characterized by a fundamental puzzle: integration has happened despite member-state opposition to the delegation of welfare competences. While the policy has developed in small and modest steps, over time, this has led to a considerable expansion of the policy remit. Negative integration pushed by judicial decision-making is often regarded as a main driver for social integration. Positive integration through EU legislation is, however, just as defining for EU social policy, and politics is very evident when EU member states negotiate social regulation. More recently, the policy has been marked by deep politicization.

Book

Edited by Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson, and Richard Corbett

The European Union: How Does It Work? is a perfect first introduction to the European Union, providing concise, accessible coverage of all the main actors, policies, and developments in the EU. An expert team of leading scholars and practitioners cuts through the complexity to explain clearly how the EU works in theory and practice. The book equips readers with the knowledge and skills required to master the subject. Throughout the text engaging and innovative features such as ‘How it really works’ and ‘Compared to what?’ boxes support the analysis, helping readers to think broadly and critically about the reality of EU politics and policy-making. This edition reflects the ongoing changes in the European Union in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis, and also the changing global context in which the EU operates. In addition, it features a discussion of the topical debate about the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU.

Chapter

Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson, and Richard Corbett

This introductory chapter discusses the practical and analytical reasons for studying the European Union. It also considers some of the main conceptual approaches to understanding the EU: international relations approaches; the comparative politics approach; the sociological/cultural approach; and the public policy approach. Furthermore, it outlines three broad themes that help the reader make sense of the EU: experimentation and change; power sharing and consensus; and scope and capacity. Finally, it provides an overview of the chapters that follow, which cover topics ranging from an historical overview of the EU’s development to the EU’s relations with the wider world, EU enlargement, the EU’s foray into security policy, and the EU’s growing role as a global actor.

Chapter

John Peterson, Daniel Kenealy, and Richard Corbett

The EU is extraordinary, complex and—in important respects—unique. This concluding chapter revisits three key themes that guide understanding of the EU: experimentation and change; power sharing and consensus; and scope and capacity. It also returns to the question: how can we best explain the EU and how it works? The chapter reviews leading theoretical approaches and identifies what each approach claims is most important to explain about the EU, and why. Finally, the chapter confronts the question: ‘Where do we go from here’? Does knowing how the EU works give us clues about how it might work in the future?

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.

Book

Origins and Evolution of the European Union provides an authoritative account of the emergence and evolution of the European Union from the aftermath of World War II to the uncertainties of the present era. It explains the forces, events, and individuals that have shaped one of the most unusual and controversial political entities in history. This second edition covers key issues including the antecedents of European integration in the years before World War II; the challenges of reconstruction and reconciliation in the early post-war period; the ups and downs of European integration in 1960s and 1970s; the acceleration of European integration in the late 1980s and early 1990s; almost-continuous enlargement; the eurozone crisis; the constitutionalization of the EU; and Britain's troubled membership. The text is updated throughout and includes new chapters focusing on the United Kingdom and European integration, and the constitutionalization of the EU.

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.

Chapter

The development of European integration has meant that member states have experienced Europeanization and as a consequence the EU has become a more politicized issue in domestic politics. Politicization has come over time and as a consequence of the decline of a permissive consensus and takes some very different forms. The chapter considers the place of the domestic politicization of European integration in theories of European integration and then reviews different periods of the history of European integration, highlighting the growing phenomena of Europeanization and politicization. The chapter then looks at Euroscepticism and its meaning and different forms and identifying which parties can currently be identified as Eurosceptic and what issues Euroscepticism blends with in different member states. The chapter then offers a typology for understanding the different ways in which the politicization of European integration plays out in the party systems of member states.

Chapter

John Peterson and Dermot Hodson

This chapter examines what is enduring about the character of the European Union institutions, however fragile the wider political process of European integration seems to be. It also considers where the EU as an institutional system has been and where it is going. The chapter begins by discussing the interdependence of EU institutions, noting that they are obliged to work together to deliver collective governance even as they and European governments try to solve multiple crises that sap political time and attention. It then explores the problems faced by the EU’s institutional system with respect to leadership, management, and integration of interests, along with the Community method. It concludes with an assessment of the accountability conundrum: how the EU institutions, in the absence of a truly European polity, can become more accountable to citizens and thus a more legitimate level of governance.

Chapter

Nathaniel Copsey and Karolina Pomorska

This chapter examines the pattern of Poland’s relations with the European Union during the period 1989–2011. Poland took an early decision in 1989 to place European integration at the centre of its plans for democratization and modernization. Post-accession opinion in Poland on the EU was initially divided between an increasingly Europhile public and an occasionally Eurosceptic political class. By the time of the Polish Presidency of the EU in 2011, however, Poland had largely shed its reputation for awkwardness and had achieved a few policy successes, particularly in relations with its Eastern neighbours. The chapter explains how Poland came to join the EU and assesses the impact of its EU membership on domestic politics, public opinion, institutions, governance, and public policy. It concludes by considering the re-emergent divide between elite and public attitudes since the 2015 elections and tensions with the EU over the rule of law.

Chapter

Dimitris Papadimitriou and Sotirios Zartaloudis

This chapter explores Greece’s turbulent and ambivalent relationship with European integration. Despite initial hesitation during the initial stages of EU membership, Greece grew into one of the most pro-European member states. This enthusiasm ended abruptly after 2010 with the eurozone crisis and resultant EU–IMF bailout agreements that necessitated unpopular reforms and austerity. Consequently, Greece witnessed a seismic change in its party system, with a dramatic increase in the popularity of anti-system parties on both the Left and the Right of the political spectrum. Euroscepticism became more prevalent among Greek voters who blamed foreign actors (such as the EU, the IMF, Germany) and their domestic interlocutors for the country’s economic hardship. Greece’s Europeanization has been difficult, not least because of endemic weaknesses in public administration and the public policy process. EU-driven adaptational pressures on policy, polity, and institutions have been severely mitigated by entrenched veto points at the domestic level.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the European Union as a subsystem of international relations. It examines the following questions, taking into account the historical context in which EU foreign policy has developed as well as the theoretical pluralism that has characterized its study. First, how has the EU dealt with its own international relations internally? Second, what are the ideas and principles underlying EU foreign policy? Third, what is the EU's collective action capacity in relation to the rest of the world? The chapter illustrates interstate dynamics as a result of European integration by focusing on the cases of France, Germany, and Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). It also considers the EU's international identity and its role as a collective actor.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which comprises two courts: the CJEU and the General Court. It first provides an overview of the CJEU’s structure and functions, and then discusses some of its main rulings and their significance. It further considers rulings on the powers of the institutions, some key legal judgments made in response to questions referred to the CJEU by national courts, the impact of CJEU rulings on EU policy, and post-Maastricht trends in the CJEU 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 been able to effectively curb the CJEU’s radical jurisprudence.

Chapter

11. Social Policy  

Left to the Judges and the Markets?

Stephan Leibfried

This chapter examines the European Union’s social policy. In the 1980s and 1990s, the EU accumulated significant regulatory mandates in social policy, reaching out more recently to anti-discrimination politics. Yet due to pressures from integrated markets, member governments have lost more control over national welfare policies than the EU has gained in transferred authority, although this development may have stopped, affected by the EU’s responses to the economic crises since 2008. The chapter first considers the limited success of activist social policy before discussing European integration and market compatibility requirements, focusing on the freedom of movement for workers and freedom to provide services and their implications for European competition policy. It also explores how European integration affects national welfare states and concludes with an assessment of Europe’s multi-tiered social policy.

Chapter

This chapter examines the range of critical perspectives now applied to the European Union, including social constructivism, critical political economy, critical social theory, critical feminism, and post-structuralism. These critical—often termed ‘post-positivist’—approaches emphasize the constructed and changeable nature of the social and political world. Many such approaches reject the notion that social reality can be objectively observed and argue that various agents, including policy actors and scholars themselves, are involved in its construction. They highlight the less obvious manifestations of power that pervade the interrelated worlds of political action and political theorizing. It is important to consider why these more critical perspectives have been absent for so long within mainstream studies of the EU.

Chapter

Thomas Christiansen

This chapter provides an overview of the ‘governance turn’ in the study of European integration. Opening with a discussion of the reasons why governance as a concept and as a practice has become so prevalent in Europe, the chapter goes on to discuss the various ways in which the governance approach has evolved. Two strands of this literature—‘multilevel governance’ and the ‘regulatory state’—are examined in greater detail here. The chapter then introduces some of the important normative debates to which the ‘governance turn’ has given rise, before concluding with some observations about the relevance of the governance approach in the current phase of European integration.