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Chapter

Desmond Dinan

This chapter focuses on the historical development of the European Union. The history of the EU began when European governments responded to a series of domestic, regional, and global challenges after the Second World War by establishing new transnational institutions in order to accelerate political and economic integration. These challenges ranged from post-war reconstruction to the Cold War, and then to globalization. Driven largely by mutually compatible national interests, Franco-German bargains, and American influence, politicians responded by establishing the European Communities in the 1950s and the EU in the 1990s. The chapter examines the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community, the European Community, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), enlargement, constitution building, and the Eurozone crisis.

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This chapter examines social constructivism as an approach to the study of European integration and a challenge to more rationalist approaches such as liberal intergovernmentalism and versions of neofunctionalism. It first defines social constructivism before discussing the constructivist emphasis on the mutual constitutiveness of agency and structure, along with communicative and discursive practices, in the context of the study of European integration. It then considers the question of European identity as a particular subject area to which research inspired by social constructivism can contribute, paying attention to the contested nature of European identity, ‘Europeanness’ and national identities, and contested meanings of Europe and the European Union. The chapter also analyses constructivist contributions to the study of EU enlargement and concludes with reflections on the future of European integration research inspired by social constructivism.

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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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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.

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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.

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This volume introduces the reader to European Union politics. It traces the historical evolution of the European Community from 1945 to early 2012. and examines theoretical and conceptual approaches that have been put forward to explain European integration and EU politics. It also takes an in-depth look at various European institutions such as the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, and the Court of Justice. It also considers a sample of European policies, such as external economic policy, foreign policy, social policy, and policies on freedom, security, and justice. This introductory chapter explains what the EU is, why it was set up, what it does, who can join, who pays, and what role citizens play in the EU. It concludes with an overview of the chapters that follow.

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Tanja A. Börzel and Diana Panke

This chapter examines the concept of Europeanization and why it has become prominent in research on the European Union and its member states. It first explains what Europeanization means before discussing the main approaches used in studying Europeanization. It then reviews the state of the art with particular reference to ‘top-down’ Europeanization (how the EU affects states) and illustrates the theoretical arguments with empirical examples. It also considers ‘bottom-up’ Europeanization (how states can influence the EU), offers some theoretical explanations for the empirical patterns observed, and provides an overview of research that explores the relationship between bottom-up and top-down Europeanization. Finally, it reflects on the future of Europeanization research and suggests that Europeanization will continue to be an important field of EU research for the foreseeable future.

Chapter

Tanja A. Börzel and Diana Panke

The first section of the chapter explains what Europeanization means and outlines the main approaches to studying this phenomenon. The second section describes why this concept has become so prominent in research on the European Union (EU) and its member states. In the third section, the chapter reviews the state of the art with particular reference to how the EU affects states (‘top-down’ Europeanization). It illustrates the theoretical arguments with empirical examples. Similarly, the fourth section examines how states can influence the EU (‘bottom-up’ Europeanization) and provides some theoretical explanations for the empirical patterns observed. This is followed by a section that presents an overview of research that looks at linkages between bottom-up and top-down Europeanization, and considers the future of Europeanization research with regard to EU’s recent and current crises and challenges. The conclusion argues that Europeanization, despite the crises the EU has been facing, will remain an important field of EU research for the foreseeable future.

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This chapter examines the inhabitants of, and working visitors to, the Council of Ministers’s headquarters in Brussels. The Council of Ministers has always occupied an important position among the European institutions and in European policy-making. As a European Union institution, it is involved in all areas of EU activity, both by legislating in tandem with the European Parliament (EP) and by coordinating the member states’ policies in particular fields. The chapter first traces the origins of the present-day Council of Ministers before discussing its hierarchy and what the Council does. It then considers how the Council deals with the other EU institutions such as the European Council, the EP, and the European Commission. It shows that the Council embodies the enduring tension between supranationalism and intergovernmentalism as explanatory tools for understanding the construction of the EU.

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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

Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez

This volume has examined the state of the art in European integration theorizing with chapters which have presented and reflected upon the core theoretical contributions that have been developed since the early stages of studying European integration and governance. This concluding chapter provides a historical overview of the type and focus of each theoretical approach to European integration. It compares the respective strengths and weaknesses of each approach according to the definitions of ‘theorizing’ and ‘integration’ developed in the introduction. It also considers the first edition’s outlook on constitutional development and identifies current challenges that lie ahead. It argues that the different theoretical perspectives discussed in this edition demonstrate an emerging robustness of European integration theory. It suggests that the variation in approaching the respective ‘test cases’ of European enlargement reveals the need for both rigorously prescriptive and normative approaches to European integration.

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

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

Helen Wallace and Christine Reh

This chapter examines the European Union’s institutional design and how its institutions interact with national institutions in five different policy modes. It first considers the evolving role and internal functioning of the European Commission, Council of the EU, European Council, European Parliament, and Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It also discusses quasi-autonomous agencies, in particular the European Central Bank (ECB), institutionalized control and scrutiny, and non-state actors. It concludes with an analysis of five EU policy modes that capture the different patterns of interaction between EU and national institutions: the classical Community method, the regulatory mode, the distributional mode, the policy coordination mode, and intensive transgovernmentalism.

Chapter

Desmond Dinan

This chapter focuses on the historical development of the European Union. The history of the EU began when European governments responded to a series of domestic, regional, and global challenges after the Second World War by establishing new transnational institutions in order to accelerate political and economic integration. These challenges ranged from post-war reconstruction, to the Cold War, and then to globalization. Driven largely by mutually compatible national interests, Franco-German bargains, and American influence, politicians responded by establishing the European communities in the 1950s and the EU in the 1990s. The chapter examines the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community, the European Community, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), enlargement, constitution building, and the Eurozone crisis.

Chapter

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 include 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, and how far it will continue to move in that direction in the future.

Chapter

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

This chapter examines the complexity of the European Union as a foreign policy actor by focusing on its so-called Big Bang enlargement. Three of the largest EU members — Britain, France, and Germany — differed in their beliefs about the implications of enlargement for their own national interests, shifts to the existing balance of power within the EU, the impact on the functioning of EU institutions, and the future of the integration process. The chapter first provides an overview of EU foreign policy before discussing the historic decision to enlarge the EU in 2004 and 2007. In particular, it analyses the significance of European norms in reshaping member states’ interests and the supranational role of the European Commission in framing and implementing the decision to enlarge the EU. It also considers the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as an alternative when the powerful instrument of the EU enlargement is no longer available.

Chapter

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

This chapter focuses on the expansion of the European Union and the widening of Europe. Enlargement is often seen as the EU's most successful foreign policy. It has extended prosperity, stability, and good governance to neighbouring countries by means of its membership criteria. However, enlargement is much more than foreign policy: it is the process whereby the external becomes internal. It is about how non-member countries become members, and shape the development of the EU itself. The chapter first compares widening and deepening before discussing enlargement as soft power. It then explains how the EU has expanded and why countries want to join. It also looks at prospective member states: the Balkan countries, Turkey, Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland. Finally, it examines the European Neighbourhood Policy.