- Dermot Hodson
- and John Peterson
This edition examines why and how European Union institutions matter. It discusses the origins and development of EU institutions as well as their structures, functions, and powers. It also considers how a particular institution fits into the EU’s long wider institutional system, which theories help us best to understand the institution, and how the institution is likely to be changed by the EU’s long constitutional crisis and continued turmoil over the euro. This chapter provides a brief history and a taxonomy of EU institutions and considers the crises confronting EU institutions, including the referendum vote in the United Kingdom in 2016 to leave the EU. It also describes three competing theoretical approaches to the study of EU institutions: integration theory, the new institutionalism, and the separation of powers tradition. Finally, it looks at debates about the accountability of EU institutions.