The Future of the European Union

analytical Essay
3850 words
3850 words

The Future of the European Union

The link between internationalization, governance and democracy is a central problem for politics as well as for political science. Even if clear evidence on the nature of this link is not yet available, the literature seems to support the view that internationalization both undermines the capacity for governance and puts into question traditional forms of democracy. Because it could be quite complicated to look at the EU model from a point of classical democratic nation-state, it seems to be reasonable to discuss this problem, not by abstract reasoning, but by focusing on a concrete case. European Union is the best case available, which in recent decades has developed into a new type of political system with enormous consequences on democracy and governance in its member states. Despite repeated attempts for major institutional reforms, this system is likely to persist in its basic structures for the future and is unlikely to develop into a federal state or to disintegrate into a classic international organization. The present state of democracy and governance in the EU is therefore worth to be analyzed, as it is not a mere transitory state. In the following, we will first present a perspective of this political system, which by its choice of concepts and theoretical tools allows for an open view on possible tendencies and problems with respect to democracy and governance in the EU. In the third part, we discuss those features of the EU's political system, which are most important for an understanding of its present state and its prospective development. The fourth part presents two highly stylized, ideal-typical system models, each of which includes differe...

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In this essay, the author

  • Argues that the link between internationalization, governance and democracy is a central problem for politics as well as for political science.
  • Argues that it is reasonable to discuss the eu model from a point of classical democratic nation-state, not by abstract reasoning, but by focusing on the concrete case.
  • Describes the features of the eu's political system that are important for an understanding of its present state and its prospective development.
  • Explains that the eu is a dynamic multi-level system based on the traditional concept of the state.
  • Analyzes how political discourse and actual european policy-making are often perceived as a dramatic fight between these two poles in which the respective players more or less succeed to push the reality of european integration in one of these directions.
  • Explains that zero-sum logic misses the essence of the integration process and makes less sense to understand and judge the european union by reference to one of these ideal models.
  • Explains that if the european union is viewed as a dynamic multi-level system, it could be compared with other political systems and their solutions of the problem of flexible and responsible governance.
  • Opines that the eu is neither a state nor an international organization and probably will not develop in either direction.
  • Explains that functional subsystems of society are europeanized to very different degrees and that the action capacity of actors on the european level and with regard to european affairs differs widely. the consequences of this trend for political responsibility and governance are not yet discussed.
  • Explains that the europeanization of functional systems does not proceed in parallel with the europeanisation of actors in these systems. economic transactions can take place in the entire eu without any significant difference to the domestic context.
  • Analyzes how the europeanization of the economy is made and institutionalized by a rapidly developing european economic law.
  • Argues that politics and society remain organized within nation-states, despite a general and long-term trend towards conversion in the western world.
  • Explains that political parties cannot be easily europeanized because of path-dependent development and the necessity to link them to a societal base.
  • Explains that the eu's economy and economic law are largely europeanized, whereas politics and society and constitutional law remain national. large enterprises and parts of the political executive can act effectively on the european level.
  • Explains that the european union is characterized by a decade-long process of institutional change that is both incremental and deep.
  • Explains that transfer of authority to private or semi-public institutions on the european level is another element in this general process of institutional change.
  • Explains that the maastricht treaty officially partitioned the eu into three pillars, without counting the other sub-systems of the union (schengen or the european monetary system).
  • Analyzes how the eu deals with the democracy and legitimacy issue. democracy is understood as the institutionalization of a set of procedures for the control of governance that guarantees the participation of those who are governed in the adoption of collectively binding decisions.
  • Argues that democracy in the eu can be justified only through that each system of governance takes collectively binding decisions and thus potentially intervenes massively into the lives of people.
  • Explains that democracy requires a functioning political infrastructure that mediates between decision-makers and citizens. however, parties and the media belong to those institutions, which are most strongly linked to the historical development of the respective states.
  • Explains that the eu is faced with a dilemma between efficiency and democracy. the european market requires political decision-making powers at the european level, but their democratic control is hampered by structural problems of europeanization.
  • Argues that the political debate focuses on whether the eu should or is likely to become either a federal state or an association of states.
  • Explains that there are two common theories of eu political organization models, which are not conceptually based on the image of the state.
  • Explains that the economic community model is strongly influenced by german ways of thinking about the relationship between politics, law and the economy, but its features can be combined to a model of the eu which is not linked to particular look at institutions and society.
  • Argues that economic integration is a necessary reaction to the requirements of economic globalization and an explicit goal.
  • Argues that the economic community should be institutionalized in a constitution as it offers the best protection against opportunistic interests.
  • Opines that the separation of politics and economy picks out a number of criteria for assessing the legitimacy and efficiency of the eu.
  • Explains that the territorial scope of the ec model does not apply to the network model, which is characterized by a multitude of institutions, participation channels and actors.
  • Explains the concept of a "europe of the regions", wherein different regions cooperate to solve common problems. the open structure of networks suggests that legitimation cannot be achieved by classical means of democratic control.
  • Explains that pluralism is a distinctive feature of the network model. state and societal actors participate in varying combinations in the decision making process.
  • Analyzes how perspectives for policy development will be influenced by three trends: uneven europeanization, permanent institutional change and structural problems of democracy.
  • Opines that the european internal market is institutionalized in a kind of economic constitution and stabilized by particular interests in the eu.
  • Cites svein s. andersen and kjell eliassen's the european union and the erosion of parliamentary democracy: a study of post-parliamentary governance.
  • Describes burley, anne-marie, and mattli's "europe before the court. a political theory of legal integration".
  • Cites connolly, william e., the ethos of pluralization, minneapolis/london, 1995, pp. 135-161.
  • Analyzes diez's book, "postmoderne und europäische integration: die dominanz des staatsmodells, die verwantwortung gegenüber dem anderen und die konstruktion eines alternativen horizonts".
  • Cites garrett, geoffrey, and barry r. weingast in judith goldstein and robert o. keohane's ideas and foreign policy.
  • Explains haas, ernst b., beyond the nation-state. functionalism and international organization, stanford.
  • Cites habermas, jürgen, «citizenship and national identity. some reflections on the future of europe», praxis international.
  • Cites held, david, «democracy, the nation-state and the global system», economy and society, 20 (1991).
  • Explains held, david, democracy and the global order. from the modern state to cosmopolitan governance, cambridge, 1995.
  • Cites héritier, adrienne, christoph knill, and susanne mingers' regulatory competition and the transformation of the state.
  • Analyzes hoffmann's book, "obstinate or obsolete? the fate of the nation-state in the case of western europe".
  • Cites joerges, christian, on political science and the role of law in the process of european integration, european law journal, 2 (1996), pp.
  • Cites kielmansegg, peter graf: «integration und demokratie», in markus jachtenfuchs and beate kohler-koch.
  • Analyzes kohler-koch's book, "changing patterns of interest intermediation in the european union".
  • Opines that leibfried, stephan, «the social dimension of the european union.l en route to positively joint sovereignty?», journal of european social policy, vol.
  • Cites majone, giandomenico, in gert brüggemeier's verfassungen für ein ziviles europa, baden-baden, 1994a.
  • Analyzes majone's article, "the rise of the regulatory state in europe", in west european politics.
  • Explains mayntz, renate, rosewitz, schimank, and stichweh's differenzierung und verselbständigung, zur entwicklung gesellschaftlicher teilsysteme.
  • Analyzes morav?k's why the european community strengthens the state, in domestic politics and international cooperation.
  • Explains ruggie's book territoriality and beyond: problematizing modernity in international relations.
  • Explains schmitter, philippe c., and streeck: the organization of business interests.
  • Analyzes sharp, manu. and mussler's "the economic constitution of the european community. from rome to maastricht".
  • Explains stubb, alexander c.-g., «a categorization of differentiated integration».
  • Explains that therborn, göran, european modernity and beyond: the trajectory of european societies, 1945-2000, london, sage, 1995.
  • Analyzes weiler's article, "community, member states and european integration: is the law relevant?"
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