Journal of European Integration

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 0703-6337
Publications
Article
This paper addresses the issue of fiscal policy coordination in the context of the current crisis. It first aims at clarifying the economic rationale for fiscal policy coordination in a monetary union with decentralized fiscal authorities, and at exploring the foundations of the kind of coordination devices chosen, as well as the incentives and constraints on member states' governments arising from the fiscal rules in the Euro zone, both in tranquil and in stormy economic times. We then proceed with an analysis of the difficulties arising from the heterogeneous nature of the Euro zone. The third section explores some of the possible causes of heterogeneity, with an emphasis on the issue of collective action and country size, with the co-existence of large and small countries, facing different incentives and constraints, hence tending to adopt divergent strategies in the occurrence of common macro-economic shocks. The possible evolution in automatic fiscal stabilizers is then addressed, followed by a section documenting the size and structure of national fiscal stimulus packages. The concluding section advocates a better mix of rules and discretionary coordination for fiscal policies in the Euro zone.
 
Overall number of COREUs, by year  
Percentage of COREU per Classification
Article
The COREU/CORTESY network, through which member states exchange documents related to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is a crucial but little known instrument in the EU system of foreign policy making. This paper aims to shed light on how it works and what function it serves. It starts by recalling the circumstances in which the COREU was created and the original function it was given. It then proceeds by looking at how it currently works. It charts the exponential growth of messages exchanged and it analyses the role various actors play in exchanging messages. Finally, the paper addresses the functions played by the system in EU foreign policy making and shows that the practice among member states is gone well beyond what the system was originally intended for.
 
Article
Since unification, the debate about Germany's poor economic performance has focused on supply-side weaknesses, and the associated reform agenda sought to make low-skill labour markets more flexible. We question this diagnosis using three lines of argument. First, effective restructuring of the supply side in the core advanced industries was carried out by the private sector using institutions of the coordinated economy, including unions, works councils and blockholder owners. Second, the implementation of orthodox labour market and welfare state reforms created a flexible labour market at the lower end. Third, low growth and high unemployment are largely accounted for by the persistent weakness of domestic aggregate demand, rather than by the failure to reform the supply side. Strong growth in recent years reflects the successful restructuring of the core economy. To explain these developments, we identify the external pressures on companies in the context of increased global competition, the continuing value of the institutions of the coordinated market economy to the private sector and the constraints imposed on the use of stabilizing macroeconomic policy by these institutions. We also suggest how changes in political coalitions allowed orthodox labour market reforms to be implemented in a consensus political system.
 
Article
The purpose of this article is to explore the question of European identity. The EU consists of Member States whose national identities are well entrenched. The question of a European identity must therefore be seen in relation to entrenched national identities. Does a European identity have to supplant the national ones? Can it supplement or transform these? How much of a transformation is necessary? Will a European identity be a novel, post‐national type of identity? The article explores the question of a European identity by drawing on the analytical categories associated with the politics of recognition and by applying these to different conceptions of the EU qua polity. Four different options are explored and the conclusion is that ‐ although the picture is complex ‐ the EU appears to be in the process of developing a post‐national type of identity.
 
Article
This article introduces the topic of this special issue, namely the study of the EU as a global actor and the role of interregionalism. It starts with mapping out the general theme and the key questions that guide the issue, such as: to what extent are regions becoming ‘actors' of world politics; what is the strength of interregionalism in the EU's foreign policies towards regions and across sectors; why is interregionalism being pursued and who are the actors driving such policy; and what are the implications for world order and global governance? Region–to–region interactions are no novelty, as such, but they have only recently started to emerge on a more comprehensive scale. Interregionalism is related to changes in world order and needs therefore to be historically situated. The authors suggest that interregionalism needs to be related both to globalisation and to the restructuring of the nation–state, but above all to ‘the regionalist movement'. In the second section, the emergence of interregionalism is presented from an historical perspective and the concept of interregionalism is discussed. The article ends with a brief overview of the structure and content of the special issue as a whole.
 
Article
During the past two years Greek migration policy has seen important developments concerning the legislative framework for irregular migration/asylum management and migrant integration. Given that several among these developments are related to the transposition of related EU directives, one obvious answer might be that of Europeanization: these developments had less to do with the Greek government’s plans about migration, rather they were the direct impact of Europeanization; Greece simply transposed relevant EU directives. I am arguing here for a more careful reading of the Europeanization effect which not only distinguishes the differential impact of Europeanization on policies and discourses, but also actually shows how Europeanization tendencies at different level can contrast one another. The findings of this paper contribute to a better understanding of Europeanization processes. They highlight that Europeanization involves also resistance to Europe especially at times of crisis.
 
Article
This paper posits three phases in EU financial market regulation. First, for the 1990s, established scholarship suggests leadership by public actors in the context of development of the single market and relations with the USA. We adopt this analysis, characterising it as ‘public–private’ regulation. Second, in the new millennium regulation shifted towards ‘private–public’, with regulators paying more attention to the demands of large financial firms. This tendency is explored through a critical study of ‘technical’ decision‐making by EU regulators, focusing upon the Committee of European Securities Regulators and rating credit agencies. Third, as from 201027. EU. 2010. Regulation (EU) No. 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority), amending Decision No. 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/77/EC http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:331:0084:0119:EN:PDF View all references EU policy‐makers react to the spillover of the financial crisis from markets to member states, some limits to private–public governance have been underlined. The paper concludes with a discussion of positions taken by the European Parliament, moderating claims made for ‘technical’ rule‐making and opening up the possibility of wider intellectual and policy debate.
 
Article
This paper analyzes the underexplored relationship between European Union agencies (EUAs) and the member states. It is argued that the vertical link constitutes a hitherto unexplored source of political accountability for EUAs. In particular, member states’ representation on the EUAs’ management boards (MBs) can be considered as an instance of vertical political accountability and, therefore, also as a possible substitute for input legitimacy — a feature EUAs are conventionally seen to be lacking. However, drawing on document analysis and survey data, the empirical results reveal a rather ambivalent picture of MBs’ vertical political accountability. The strong vertical political accountability relationships expected are only present for one EUA out of six. It can also be shown that more powerful EUAs are not held more accountable than less powerful ones.
 
Analytical framework 
Article
The creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) has a significant impact not only on European foreign policy-making, but also, more widely, on the transformation of the European political order, and represents a further step in the evolution of a European administrative space. Analysing the EEAS as an instance of European administrative space will inform on the shape of the Euro-polity, in that more independent European administrative capacities in area of core state-powers could be interpreted as an indicator for a shift of the EU’s political order. Based on direct observation, document analysis and expert interviews with EEAS officials, the paper presents a first overview of the outcomes of this capacity-building exercise, suggests a comprehensive conceptual framework for analysis and concludes that the EEAS can be seen as an instance of the European administrative space.
 
Article
Recent literature notes that national parliaments’ growing relevance in European Union (EU) affairs might have led to the empowerment of legislative bureaucrats rather than elected politicians, an argument that we may label the “bureaucratisation thesis”. This paper suggests that a delegation approach is most suitable for studying the democratic relevance of legislative bureaucracy in EU affairs. From a delegation perspective, however, parliamentary political-administrative relations are likely to work effectively instead of creating democratic deficits. According to this “delegation thesis”, parliamentarians are likely to restrict the bureaucratic domain, refrain from delegating exclusive competences, delegate selectively to party group officials and, thus, constrain bureaucratic opportunities to influence policy to positive agenda-shaping. An exploratory analysis of agenda-setting in EU affairs in the German parliament provides tentative support for these arguments.
 
Article
Most studies about the role of independent agencies in the European context focus on the driving forces that condition the incentives of political actors to delegate policy making competencies, and that influence the agency design and the consequences of delegation for democratic control. However interesting, these studies often disregard the question of the legitimacy of the agencies in the post delegation phase. This article aims at redressing this important blind spot of the current literature by highlighting the need for procedural input-legitimacy at the stage of agency operation. It argues that procedural credibility is a fundamental property that explains the need for an increased interaction between agencies and stakeholders at the post-delegation stage. The article examines three prominent cases of agencies in Europe, namely the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Medicines Agency (EMeA), and the European Patent Office (EPO) in order to assess the extent to which the institutionalisation of stakeholder networks facilitate credible knowledge that enhances their input and output legitimacy. The concluding remarks bring these results under the general perspective of democracy and new modes of governance in the EU.
 
Article
With the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union (EU) now possesses advanced human rights institutions such as the binding Charter of Fundamental Rights and a Fundamental Rights Agency. The rights agency, created as an institutional enhancement providing rights assessments to the EU and member states while conducting dialogue with civil society organizations, aims at safeguarding and promoting the rights of residents in the Union. Based on interview and survey data, this article analyzes the degree of input- and output-legitimacy of the EU’s participatory rights regime, with a particular focus on the agency’s interaction with civil society. It is argued that while such cooperation optimizes human rights attainment in a transnational manner, it is simultaneously being constrained by its embeddedness in the agency, which in turn has to mitigate demands by member states, the EU institutions and the claims of CSOs.
 
Article
Irrespective of their final outcome, the Arab uprisings have changed the region profoundly with important consequences for external actors as well. Since 1995, the European Union has been extremely active in the Middle East and North Africa with a number of policies put in place to achieve often contrasting objectives. The uprisings have exposed the problems affecting these polices and have led the EU to rethink regional relations. The scholarship on EU-MENA relations has provided over time numerous and powerful insights into the workings, shortcomings and success of the EU in the region, but the uprisings demand a radical change in the way in which the MENA is approached. This review article looks at the contribution that the scholarship has made in this field and suggests a new research agenda, which could lead to better informed and more effective policy-making.
 
Article
This article examines why and how agents weaken the incentives to control of their principals when the EU negotiates international agreements. Based on analyses of various EU decision-making processes on international trade and environmental agreements, this article argues that the EU negotiator-as-agent has a number of tools to affect the cost-benefit analysis on the basis of which the member states-as-principals decide on the activation of their control mechanisms. In order to avoid that the member states reject the international agreement reached by the EU negotiator (the Commission and/or the Presidency), the latter needs to reduce the range of behavioural options of the former. Three strategic paths are available to the agent to weaken its principals' control incentives: (a) calibrating the member states' involvement in the international negotiations, (b) being the first mover in determining its own instructions, and (c) exploiting the inconclusiveness among the member states.
 
Article
This paper discusses the emergence of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), from the launch of the policy idea in 2005 to the first EIT board decisions on knowledge and innovation communities in 2009. Earlier attempts to set- up a European institute have either failed or have taken a very long time and the initial idea of the EIT was risky and controversial. This raises the question of how and why the idea of the EIT took root so quickly. The analysis builds upon Kingdon’s work and shows the important role of Barroso as policy entrepreneur and of contextual factors keeping the policy window open for a surprisingly long time.
 
Article
This article reveals that the European Union has made some modest progress towards according concrete substance to the security–development link. In particular, an increased focus on supporting governance reforms acts as a potential link between security and development objectives within several layers of European policies. However, what the link means in practice is still contested. Few in the EU would doubt that security and development go together; but differences abound over what this implies for the allocation of finite resources and the nature of diplomatic engagements. The EU still has no clearly thought‐out vision of the balance or direction of causality between these two policy goals, but rather an ad hoc approach based on the rather easy assumption that “all good things go together”.
 
Article
The externalization of the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) as part of the EU’s wider external relations has received increasing scholarly attention in the last years. An important and reoccurring theme within this field, which has occupied scholars and policy-makers alike, has been the EU’s counter-terrorism cooperation with third states. Initially viewed as a ‘paper tiger’ in international efforts to combat terrorism, recent studies have illustrated the increasing activism of the EU in international counter-terrorism cooperation. However, these studies have exclusively drawn on North American or ENP case studies. By analysing the EU’s counter-terrorism with ASEAN this article tries to extend the empirical basis of contemporary scholarship to the case study of EU–ASEAN cooperation. It thereby attempts to examine prospects and limits of the externalization of JHA with a special focus on counter-terrorism policies beyond the immediate EU neighbourhood.
 
Article
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published [following peer-review] in Revue d'Integration Europeenne, published by and copyright Routledge. Cyprus's smallness influenced its decision to seek EU membership and is now shaping its behaviour as a member state. Although Cyprus's size limits what it can seek to achieve in the EU, strategies allow it partly to overcome these limitations. In important respects Cyprus is a 'special' small EU state because of the way in which 'the Cyprus Problem' dominates much of its political focus and because it is the member state most geographically distanced from Brussels.
 
Article
The aim of this article is to test two hypotheses regarding bureaucratic role perceptions and the implementation of EU policies at the Member State level. A comparison of national agencies in two different executive settings, the Danish and the Swedish, yields the conclusion that established theories on bureaucratic role perceptions explain differences in policy-making in the late stage of the EU policy process. Interview data supports the first hypothesis: that the main difference between Danish and Swedish national-level bureaucrats is that between perceiving oneself as a national servant (Denmark) and as an independent expert (Sweden). The second hypothesis tested here is that national-level bureaucrats under certain circumstances will perceive themselves as EU servants, and make implementation choices accordingly. Convincing evidence supporting this hypothesis is not found — not even in the case of the food-policy agencies, which are regarded here as the most likely to foster EU servants.
 
Article
This article uses the CEFTA experience to explore interactions between subregional integration and the EU pre-accession process. It covers the following issues. What contributions did CEFTA make to the EU membership endeavour? In which ways did the EU membership drive impact on the subregional cooperation process? Were restrictions on the form of integration applied (basic trade liberalisation in the CEFTA case) a conscious choice or are there inbuilt limits to subregional integration pursued in the EU pre-accession context? What factors influenced the institutionalisation and widening issues? Does the CEFTA experience offer any lessons for other subregional integration exercises, including those already underway - as in the West Balkans - or purportedly on the agenda - as in the 'United Economic Space' planned by certain former Soviet states? The discussion is organised as follows: introduction/preliminaries; the origins of CEFTA; the evolution of CEFTA cooperation; outcomes of CEFTA cooperation; the future of CEFTA. (Informaworld)
 
Article
The article examines problems of implementation of minority rights in Central Eastern Europe and explores the reasons for the implementation deficit in Estonia and Slovakia. Full implementation of minority rights norms is hampered by a combination of several factors. First, European Union conditionality was primarily focused only on the formal adoption of minority rights standards but not their proper application. Second, minority rights norms do not resonate successfully with domestically held norms. Third, minority rights norms are vaguely formulated and allow for arbitrary interpretations which complicate the application of these norms. A fourth factor examined, limitations in administrative capacities, did not play a significant role in Estonia or Slovakia.
 
Article
This article aims to critically assess claims that the Internet could facilitate the participation of civil society organisations in (European) policy-making processes. Participation is a much contested notion, strongly interlinked with power and the ability to change outcomes. While deliberation and consultation are put forward as ways to counter the crisis of representative democracy, they raise numerous questions at the same time. Civil society is a similarly contested notion, which prompts academics, as well as policy makers, to delineate the different spheres of influence. Thus, civil society cannot be conceived of as a single actor. It is comprised of very distinct organisations, employing different strategies to achieve different goals. By analysing the results of an indicative survey of civil society organisations active within the Convention on the Future of Europe, this article evaluates the constraining and enabling factors of this innovative policy-making approach from a civil society perspective, assesses the potential of the Internet to facilitate the process and addresses the issue of intra-movement tensions and differences.
 
Article
A buzzword in the EU since four decades already, coherence is at the centre of the Lisbon Treaty. The risk of incoherence is deeply embedded in the institutional framework of EU external policies. Coherence is seen as a permanent quest, while incoherence carries a negative baggage. Goal-oriented coherence is expected to lead to the EU’s effectiveness, legitimacy and credibility as an international actor, but this positive causality has not been questioned all too often in the literature. This paper aims to fill this void: why, to what extent and for which problems is coherence a ‘miracle solution’? To what extent does coherence actually impact on the EU’s international status? The paper will discuss different theoretical perspectives to the coherence debate. It aims to contribute to the theoretical understanding of coherence in EU external policies and to better explain EU efforts towards enhancing coherence.
 
Article
Cohesion is an important EU policy domain that was originally primarily about regional development, but which has since acquired wider objectives. This article examines the definition of cohesion and how cohesion policy has evolved in the EU. It then looks at the impact of cohesion policy as a process in European integration, before focusing on possible reforms of cohesion policy. Five main dimensions of reform explored are the underlying remit of the policy, whether it should be retained in richer member states and regions, the linkages between innovation and cohesion, legitimacy issues and the economic governance role of cohesion policy. The article concludes that new thinking is needed to deal with the many unresolved issues around the future of cohesion policy.
 
Article
In the past decade, the EU has experimented with various types of consultation mechanism intended to address perceived deficits in policy knowledge and decisionmaking legitimacy within the European system. This paper examines attempts by the European Commission to build up its legitimacy and mandate for future policy action via various formal mechanisms, focusing on the extent to which the relationship between the Commission and its civil society groups is collaborative or consultative. In particular, it focuses on two such experiments: the DG Trade Civil Society Dialogue (CSD) and the DG SANCO platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Both create new kinds of institutionalised links between the Commission and civil society groups, but their form varies. DG Trade, a strong and relatively autonomous DG, developed a consultative model of engagement in which the DG gains legitimation by consulting with civil society groups but need not listen to them. DG SANCO, working in areas where the EU competencies are weak, adopts a collaborative model in which it can set the agenda and structure debates but fundamentally depends on its civil society partners, rather than its own legal powers, to achieve its goals.
 
Article
Comitology is an important part of the EU’s regulatory framework. Hence, lobbying by outside interests is to be expected. However, lobbying in the comitology system has received almost no scholarly attention. This paper provides the first understanding of the subject by analysing the access of business interests to actors in the comitology system. The analysis is designed as a most likely study of two cases, aviation safety and CO2 quotas. Based on Bouwen’s rationalist theory of access goods, the empirical analysis shows that lobbying is prevalent, especially by sectoral interests providing expert knowledge and targeted mainly at the Commission, but also at the member states in the comitology committees, and the European Parliament. The case studies therefore indicate that lobbying is widespread in the comitology system and important to study in order to understand the outputs from this part of the EU political system.
 
Article
This paper examines the implications of the single market in insurance for regulation of private health insurance in the European Union. It considers areas of uncertainty in interpreting the third non-life insurance directive, particularly with regard to when and how governments may regulate private health insurance, and questions the Directive’s capacity to promote consumer and social protection in health insurance markets. The Directive reflects the regulatory norms of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when boundaries between ‘social security’ and ‘normal economic activity’ were still relatively well defined in most member states. Today these boundaries are increasingly blurred, and as governments look to private health insurance to ease pressure on public budgets, uncertainty about the scope of the Directive and concerns about its restrictions on material regulation are likely to grow.
 
Article
This article explores the impact of domestic politics on the implementation of European Union (EU) directives in the Netherlands. Its central argument is that member states can change their views on EU policies during the implementation of the directive. The resulting new mismatch between domestic and European policies can cause a divergence in policy outlook among EU members, deadlock situations and attempts to change or reverse the directive. Thus far, EU implementation studies consider mismatches between EU and domestic norms mainly as a problem of delayed implementation and assume that governments eventually achieve full compliance. In contrast, we argue that domestic responses to EU directives could cause a continuous flow of severe criticism at the domestic level. This feedback could lead to a reinterpretation of the directive at the national level, but also to attempts to change the directive at the EU level. We use the EU directive on Foot and Mouth Disease as a case study to illustrate how shifting values in Dutch politics have caused such strong feedback.
 
Article
At the turn of the twentieth century, 191 countries agreed to realize the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The European Union (EU) has incorporated many of these goals into its development policies. However, the effect of the MDGs on the construction of EU development policy has not been achieved through a homogenous diffusion of global development norms, but through a heterogeneous process: some MDGs have had a greater impact on EU policy formation than others. By reconceptualizing the EU as a receiver of norms, this paper aims to locate the scope conditions of global norm convergence in EU development policy through a comparison of disaster risk reduction and urban development in slum dwellings. Informed through world society theory, the findings point to the importance of norm ‘theorization’ in explaining the scope conditions of norm diffusion.
 
Article
This article explores the relationship between Europeanization and EU integration in the field of judicial politics. It claims that the process of Europeanization engenders contention which creates demands for increased supranational governance. To illustrate this duality, the article draws on the waves of reforms aiming to consolidate the independence of the judiciary in the new Member States of the EU. What is at stake from a political and normative point of view is the post-conditionality debate, the discussion around the Copenhagen dilemma and — conversely — the need to define at the EU level a set of effective mechanisms and instruments of compliance. Empirically, the article discloses the dead angles of Europeanization and reveals that policy implementation in the Copenhagen framework creates functional and political pressures for further integration. In the field of judicial politics, the power of the EU oscillates between spill-over and spill-back.
 
Article
Political science has discovered the European Court of Justice,’ as Armstrong notes in an article published 15 years ago, ‘[b]ut has it discovered law?’ Today, the answer to this question is an ambivalent one. Although political science has developed a certain sense of the structural necessities arising from the rules of law and the complexity of the judicial process in a multilevel governance system, it still lacks an approach that conceptualizes it as a self-contained framework of integration. Here, it will be argued that a contextualist approach could fill this gap in current research. From this perspective, the law itself — not, first and foremost, its most prominent actors — propels integration through a phenomenon that could be best described as a three-dimensional transclusion of the European legal order.
 
Total social expenditures (% GDP) corrected for cyclical and demographic trends.  
Total social expenditures (% GDP) 
Article
Quantitative evidence based on social expenditure suggests that since Esping-Andersen’s seminal study on welfare regimes, there has been a certain general convergence towards a European Social Model (ESM). The data, controlled for cyclical and demographic effects, show that, in recent years, social expenditures of EU-15 member states have converged, whereas in the mature non-EU welfare states this has not been the case. In this long-term quantitative view, a tentative suggestion would be that Europeanization might be prevailing over path dependence of distinct models. However, the data also show a certain deviation from the model - the post-communist new member states (NMS) form a distinct group. This is confirmed by a cluster analysis based on social benefit generosity. To provide a background to these findings and, especially, to highlight the avenues for further investigation, the paper also looks at the institutional arrangements in the NMS. In particular, it draws attention to pension systems as a particularly sizeable component of the welfare state to illustrate how far most of the post-communist EU members diverge in terms of the institutional arrangements of their welfare systems. It seems, then, that while the ‘deepening’ of European integration in other policy areas has been accompanied by a convergence towards a ESM in the EU-15 countries, the ‘widening’ of the EU has meant, at the same time, that there is now a group of states within the EU that diverge significantly from the dominant model.
 
Total social expenditures (%GDP), three-year averages
Expenditures on active labour market policies, three-year averages
Expenditures on specific ALMP areas, three-year averages
Article
Since the adoption of the European Employment Strategy and the Lisbon strategy, convergence of social protection goals and labour market policies across EU countries features prominently on the European agenda. Embedded in convergence, Europeanisation and welfare state literature, this paper examines the role of European integration in changing social policies. It shows that since 1995, social expenditures of EU member states have converged and increased on average, whereas those of non-EU countries have diverged, corrected for cyclical and demographic effects. This EU-specific convergence pattern of social expenditures leads to the subsequent question whether or not national policies also have converged. Relying on disaggregated expenditure data and policy indicators, this study shows an EU-specific trend of increasing activation of labour market policies. However, within this scope of activation, countries have opted for different mixes of policy instruments.
 
Article
The European Union's (EU) drawn-out trade negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) could result in the first region-to-region free trade agreement. The EU's motives for advancing interregional negotiations with the GCC have not been primarily focused on creating trade, which is argued to be relatively limited for the EU. Instead, the EU's motives for continuing negotiations with the GCC are explained by the EU's geopolitical and ideational interests and to a lesser extent by interest group influences. We do not find, however, strong evidence of EU bureaucratic motives to negotiate with the GCC. Based on these findings, this paper suggests that the recent reawakening of EU-GCC negotiations can be explained by the relative increase in the geopolitical importance of the Gulf.
 
Article
The Council of Europe is a significant presence in European integration but, although appreciated by human rights lawyers, its varied policy competences and outputs are largely overlooked by social scientists. Functional and intergovernmental theoretical approaches are considered for their potential insights. The workings of the COE are analysed, using evidence from official sources and participant interviews, to establish the nature of the policy process. Five key institutional aspects are discussed: access to membership, policy coverage, the institutional apparatus, decision procedures and processes, and mechanisms to ensure output compliance. Substantial contributions by national officials and experts, and the importance of publicly accepted norms in setting the limits within which policy consensus can be achieved are important features. Both functionalism and intergovernmentalism offer insights into the incremental operation and flexible policy achievements of the COE. Its explicit commitment to promoting democratic values reduces the need to choose between the two theoretical approaches.
 
Article
As EU founder member, France early on and for many years equated mere presence with influence on 'la construction europeenne'. It defined size in terms of grandeur and rank, which had far greater connotations than simple numbers of votes and seats. The Franco-German relationship also multiplied French influence. But over time, and particularly since the 2004 EU enlargement, French leaders have had to pay closer attention to the qualitiative and quantitative dimensions of member state size, and reconsider the tactics of power and influence - not to mention leadership - within the EU. This paper reviews the details of a France cut down to size in an enlarged and enlarging EU.
 
Article
In Cyprus, the EU cleavage has never gained a prominent position in domestic party competition, at least hitherto. However, the EU could become politicized as a result of recent economic developments. The article analyses party responses to the EU and suggests that Cyprus party politics towards the EU are largely determined by: (a) strategic factors relating to party competition and governmentability, (b) the country’s specific circumstances, i.e. the unresolved Cyprus problem and (c) public opinion. Nonetheless, a turn to the economy is already evident in most recent times.
 
Article
Without radically upsetting the institutional and political balance of the European Union, the Commission's White Paper on Governance (2001) proposes a new basis for the EU's institutional legitimacy. However, this conceptual re-foundation gives rise to new and fundamental questions. To speak of governance within democracy is indeed unthinkable unless "democracy" is redefined as a form of government where the legitimacy of public action (as well as its efficiency) is made possible by a "proceduralization" of law. The failure to promote legitimacy with concepts borrowed from the vocabulary of the nation-state is nevertheless puzzling: Should "participatory democracy" be considered a substitute for representative democracy? Even if this is not the case, it is uncertain whether "participatory democracy" sufficiently embodies the democratic ideal, at least at the European level.
 
Article
Representation and democracy are not always complementary. Sometimes the one undermines the other. Too much democracy can create a representation deficit, as occurs when majorities oppress or neglect minorities. However, the opposite can also arise. The over representation of different groups can undermine the processes of authorisation and accountability of representatives to those they are supposed to serve. The EU offers multiple channels of representation. In some respects, this multiplicity reflects the diversity of the peoples, individuals and interests represented within the EU. Yet in overcoming a potential representation deficit in EU policy making, this arrangement leads to a representation surplus and creates a democratic deficit.
 
Yardsticks for the assessment of democratic legitimacy of SMGs 
Article
During the past few years, the European Union has made increasing use of the so called soft modes of governance, modes based on voluntary and non-sanctioning forms of public action where state and non-state actors interact in extensive networks to solve complex social problems. This article deals with the issue of the democratic credentials of soft modes of governance at the European Union level. Starting by recognising that they entail an authoritative allocation of normative standards that have a wide societal reach, the article argues that a careful examination of the democratic legitimacy of these soft modes of governance needs to take into account their diverse nature. By pointing out different theoretical concepts of democracy, the article elaborates an analytical framework based on a series of yardsticks for the assessment of the democratic legitimacy of SMGs in the EU, thus providing a much-needed conceptual clarification for a research agenda that is ultimately an empirical one.
 
Article
With few exceptions, parliament administrations, including secretariat officials and party group staff, have been relatively unexplored. However, a small, but growing, literature on the administration of the European Parliament (EP) indicates that officials play a role in the policy process that goes beyond technical and procedural questions. On this background, this article therefore aims at, first, finding out who the people working in the EP secretariat and group secretariats are, and, second, investigating whether it matters who these people are. Based on an online survey, we unveil the bureaucrats’ nationality, gender, educational background and former and future career (plans). However, none of the background factors display statistically significant (controlled) associations with staff decision behaviour. Thus, individual processes of pre-socialization outside the EP is not a significant explanation of staff decision behaviour. What matters is whether officials are employed by the EP secretariat or by the political groups (‘organizational affiliation’) and their length of service in EU institutions (‘organizational re-socialization’). It is argued that demography may still play a symbolic role.
 
EU regulatory policies and domestic institutional change
Article
When analysing processes of domestic institutional and political change in Central and Eastern Europe, political scientists frequently refer to the concept of Europeanization. This article focuses the policy-analytical framework as one central Europeanization approach and addresses the question of whether this approach is applicable to explain domestic change beyond the core of EU member states. The policy- analytical approach systematically analyses the impact of different modes of EU governance on process and outcome of national institutional and policy change. The article demonstrates that in distinguishing the different potential of compliance, compe- tition and communication to trigger domestic adjustments, the policy-analytical approach proves to be a useful tool for predicting domestic change in states outside the EU. It helps generate differentiated hypotheses about the potential impacts of EU policies in Central and Eastern European candidate countries that are likely to join the EU in the foreseeable future and in non-member states with only minimal or no accession prospects.
 
Article
This paper provides an up-to-date overview of the gradual development of differentiated integration and the ensuing changes in the nature of European integration. It considers the dynamics of deepening and widening of the EU and proposes the metaphor of a 'European Onion' that is designed to capture the bigger picture. Further, this paper expands upon the centripetal effects of differentiated integration and shows its potential to generate more cooperative public opinion in future enlargement rounds. Finally a state of play in European integration theory is offered that incorporates differentiated integration.
 
Article
This paper discusses the eastward enlargement process of the EU in the framework of a simple war of attrition bargaining game. Both players ? the existing EU members and the applicants ? benefit from enlargement, yet for the applicants reform to the acquis is costly, while the EU prefers substantially reformed candidates. A waiting game unfolds. Within this framework the present enlargement round is analyzed and policy results are deduced. For example, it is shown that delegating the evaluation of applicants to a third party, compensating applicants for their reform efforts or increasing the benefits for new members are all effective negotiation strategies for the EU that have been applied in the process.
 
Article
Explanations of support for European Union policies are often conceived in terms of utilitarian cost-benefits analysis, yet recent scholarship has demonstrated that ‘soft’ variables, such as identity, are sometimes more useful for explaining preferences about European integration. This article tests a hypothesised link between European identity and support for integrative economic policies to respond to economic crisis in the Eurozone. Data to test the hypothesis are from a novel survey of European university students (n = 1872) conducted in autumn 2012 in four Eurozone countries (France, Germany, Italy and Spain). Given the economic nature of the policies in question, this is a case where utilitarian calculations might be expected to drive preferences. Yet in each of the four countries, European identity is found to have a significant positive relationship with support for further economic integration, even when controlling for material considerations that might otherwise have been thought to explain these preferences.
 
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The last decennia, pension systems of many western countries have been under increasing pressure. Ageing populations have lead to situations of more liabilities than contributions, resulting in budgetary pressure in the short run and harming the financial sustainability in the long run. Prospects have even gotten worse due to the current global financial crisis. Depending on the type of pension plan, the impact of the current crisis differs across countries. In general, countries in which pension plans comprise more funded elements are, due to their dependence on investment performance, more affected than countries with more unfunded elements. Another relevant variable here is whether pensions are individually or collectively arranged. The more individual pension plans are, especially defined-contribution pensions schemes, the more individual retirees will be affected. Moreover, the financial crisis also generates different impacts within countries, along the lines of generations. This impact again varies with the type of pension plan, but retirees and people near to retirement are generally more affected than younger workers. Without doubt, these consequences of the crisis will call for pension reforms.
 
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Elections to the European Parliament have been unable to capture the public’s interest— turnout remains far lower than most national elections and many who do vote appear more concerned with sending messages of approval to national political parties than electing representatives at the EU level. This paper seeks to explain why the public does not take these elections seriously. A common explanation is that the public simply does not care about EU politics. In addition to this ‘issue-based’ argument, this article considers where a lack of trust in the European Parliament itself may lead many individuals to abstain from EP elections. Using pre and post-election survey data, results suggest that perceptions of the EP indeed have a significant effect on the decision to vote in EP elections.
 
GDP growth rate, deficit/surplus in EU by country, 2001-2004
Article
The Stability and Growth Pact, originally designed to protect the integrity of monetary union based on price stability and fiscal discipline, has created a rift between states and institutions. Larger states like Germany and France have repeatedly violated the terms of the pact, while smaller states like the Netherlands and Austria have steadfastly defended it. This paper explores how size has affected the economic interests of the Eurozone countries and how these interests will translate into policy changes, taking into account the possibility of coalitions forming between states as well as across institutions, with the European Central Bank taking the position of the smaller states in defending the original pact.
 
Top-cited authors
Michael W. Bauer
  • European University Institute
Pieter de Wilde
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Luk Van Langenhove
  • United Nations University (UNU)
Stefan Becker
  • Thünen Institute
Florian Trauner
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel