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Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Description Far from displaying a uniform pattern of integration, the European Union varies significantly across policy areas, institutional development and individual countries. Why do some policies such as the Single Market attract non-EU member states, while some member states choose to opt out of other EU policies? In answering these questions, this innovative new text provides a state-of-the-art introduction to the study of European integration.

The authors introduce the most important theories of European integration and apply these to the trajectories of key EU policy areas - including the single market, monetary policy, foreign and security policy, and justice and home affairs. The political rhetoric on differentiation also follows different patterns. On the contrary, differentiated integration is often perceived, especially in Member States that recently joined the EU, as a path towards the creation of first-class and second-class membership of the Union.

According to the Rapporteur, differentiation should reflect the idea that Europe does not work on a one-size fits all approach, but can adapt to the needs and wishes of its citizens. Therefore, differentiation should be a constitutional tool to ensure flexibility when needed without compromising the entire political system and the equality between citizens.

The need for differentiation. Various studies demonstrate that differentiation has been concomitant to the EU integration deepening and widening. The debate should therefore not be about pro-differentiation versus anti-differentiation but about how to organise differentiation within the EU, what kind of mechanisms are acceptable, under which conditions and in which domains. When looking at policy areas and their variation in terms of differentiation, we can observe that interdependence works as a driver of integration while politicization often works as an obstacle to integration.

The consequence of this observation is that differentiation tends to emerge in cases of high interdependence and high politicization. This also explains when the types of differentiation in the EU have evolved over time. Before the s, we had more vertical differentiation variation of the level of centralisation in certain policy areas but on the whole EU territory but no horizontal one same degree of centralisation but variation of the territory on which the policy applies.

Horizontal integration has grown with the level of politicization of the topics and with the widening of the EU.


The result is that, while the EU has very integrated policies when it comes to low politicized area like the harmonization of goods and market regulation, it has very differentiated policies in core political areas like monetary policies, defence and foreign affairs, fundamental rights, taxation, social affairs etc. Challenges of differentiated integration. Indeed, with the exception of the Financial Transaction Tax, all the different cases of enhanced cooperation could have been adopted with qualified majority.

It is worthwhile noting that some enhanced cooperation are only done to avoid the veto power of only two Member States the European unitary patent has 26 Member States participating! Less politicized areas have led to more integrated policies internal market rules etc. However, in an interdependent, interconnected and democratic political entity, such as the EU, differentiation cannot be acceptable in all fields. This has led to a complex and non-understandable systems for citizens, which reduces the accountability of public decisions.

The way forward. Without Treaty change:. Instead of a group of Member States moving forward with European integration, opt-outs are permitting Member States to move backward towards less integration. Therefore, they should be eliminated. Therefore, differentiation should not lead to more complex decision-making processes that would undermine the accountability of EU institutions.

One way to ensure this is to make sure differentiation always takes place within the treaties framework, be it enhanced cooperation Art. While the insufficient level of preparedness for example, criteria for joining the euro or Schengen are not met yet is a legitimate factor to provide for temporary multispeed solutions, unwillingness cannot be legitimate in every fields, especially when it has negative impacts on the other Member States or on the EU as a whole.

In addition, the policy fields which would be open to differentiation would say a lot about what kind of EU we want to build in the future. As the EU is democratic space based on shared values and objectives, the Rapporteur believes that no differentiation should be possible in terms of existing fundamental rights and values and in domains where non-participating members generate negative externalities on the others, such as social and economic dumping.

With Treaty change:. Full membership would mean full compliance with primary law and with the policies that are excluded from the possibility of launching enhanced cooperation. Associated members would participate in certain policies only and would not be fully integrated into the EU decision-making processes. For this reason, the Rapporteur believes that, when competences attribution allows it, regions should be permitted to participate in cases of enhanced cooperation as well as should candidate countries.

If the initiative is positive, the Commission could decide to initiate a legislative proposal. This could allow regional trans-border initiatives to be tested and financed within the EU framework. Welcomes the progress made in the work on the Banking Union over the last few years; recalls that the negotiations for its completion must continue so as to successfully achieve risk reduction and a fiscal backstop for the Single Resolution Fund SRF ; calls for the ESM to be reformed so that it could serve as a fiscal backstop to the SRF; welcomes, in this regard, the statement made at the Euro Summit on 29 June affirming that the ESM will provide the common backstop to the SRF and be strengthened further; welcomes and strongly encourages initiatives from some Member States to consider joining the Banking Union;.

The other problem would be whether, in an ever more heterogeneous EU, there are sufficiently pervasive common interests that link the Member States. Unfortunately, the literature does not specify how the evolution of the congruence of the common interests in the EU could be determined. Hoffmann, Obstinate or obsolete? Eilstrup-Sangiovanni ed. Webber, op. In addition, the absence or scarcity of common interests does not necessarily eliminate common institutions, although it could lead to their erosion.

The result could be increased differentiation as a result of partial disintegration. However, the problem is that neofunctionalism only contemplates the gradual withdrawal of all the Member States from a given policy area and a corresponding reinstatement of EU-level competences at the national level. This assumption is problematic for at least two reasons. Firstly, it is highly probable that some members may wish to continue and even strengthen integration in a given area, even as other members may wish to withdraw from this area.

Secondly, it is doubtful whether the competences, once transferred to the European level, can be simply restored at the national level. Partial EU disintegration does not mean that there will be no other forms of integration between states at the regional level or the transfer of some of the competences to the sub-national level. Given the economic interdependence, the return to the Westphalian order of nation-states is hardly an option, and clearly not the most viable one.

At the same time, contemporary neo-institutionalist theorizing seems to have abandoned the possibility of spill-back altogether. According to its premises, the growth of European-level governmental structures and formal and informal rules results in a self-sustained dynamic of institutionalisation, which is locking member governments ever more closely into the EU.

Baldwin ed. Scharpf, No exit from the euro-rescuing trap?

“Differentiated Integration in the EU: Developments, Patterns, and Logics”

Lindberg and S. Finally, we may turn to comparative federalism for some answers on patterns of disintegration. In theory, the disintegration of federal systems in Canada or Belgium could be of use here. However, disintegration of federal entities is usually conceptualized only in terms of disintegration into nation-states, as part of secession studies.

Moreover, federalism studies offer a wide range of explanations on the durability of multinational systems, such as common interests, shared ideology, economic disparities, compatibility of values, cultural community, economy of scale, as well as effective guarantees of autonomy of the respective members. Although this approach does not privilege a nation-state as a result of disintegration,26 it fails to explain the links between various factors responsible for the process. These factors — the degree of mobilization of resources by the centre, opportunities for social mobility, economic welfare, political participation, sense of unity, defence of the imperial economic position when confronted with competition from other imperial centres - are simply considered in an enumerative fashion.

Thus judicial, partisan and socio-political safeguards are required to prevent federations from falling apart. Haas, Turbulent fields and the theory of regional integration. Stone Sweet and W. Overall, it can be concluded that the traditional international relations theories and European integration theories provide only limited insight into the possible mechanisms of the disintegration of the European Union. Moreover, they all focus on the progress of integration, thus their input into its regress or disintegration can be only deduced implicitly.

If they deal with disintegration at all, they treat it as a linear backward process leading away from supranational centralization to the return of the nation-state.

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Traditional theories are thus unable to conceptualize disintegration as a differentiated process that leads to modified forms of integration, both in horizontal areas of integration and vertical methods of integration terms. An alternative systematic theory of polity formation and possible disintegration of the European Union was provided in a recent article by Hans Vollaard30 in his interpretation of the seminal work of Stefano Bartolini. As long as actors can effectively voice opposition within the system, they will refrain from considering exit strategies that are regarded as costly and risky the uncertainty factor.

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Kelemen, Built to last? Meunier and K. McNamara eds. Vollaard, op. The key issue is how the dissatisfaction is processed through use of voice and exit strategies. The use of exit and voice by actors such as Member States, companies, citizens, and regions depends on the mutual dependence between the external consolidation and internal structuring of the EU.

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Meanwhile, the uneven distribution of exit options among regions, citizens, and companies generates continuing dissatisfaction. The limited possibility to voice eurosceptic dissatisfaction at the EU level fosters a tendency towards exit. Exit is facilitated by greater eurosceptic dissatisfaction combined with fewer voice options at the EU level, lower European loyalty, lower perceived costs of exit and better chances of alternative integrative schemes that provide goods and values.

In light of the above, full exits beyond the British case are not very likely. Thus dissatisfaction will rather lead to partial exits, such as further opt- outs, low levels of compliance and low budgetary solidarity. As a result, full exits will be either isolated cases or will not take place at all. The disintegration process will thus not lead to the re-establishment of a Europe of nation states, but rather to a proliferation of various 33 Ibidem, p. In fact, empirical evidence points to the fact that the European example of transfer of national competences to supranational central institutions has elicited defensive reactions rather than emulative responses.

There are three major features that distinguish the European Union from other regional organizations established at the turn of s and s: 1 significantly higher levels of centralization 36 H. Dosen- rode ed. Warleigh-Lack and L. Pelkmans, European Integration, Logman, London , p. From the point of view of the differentiated integration research agenda, the main advantage of turning to comparative regionalism is that it makes it possible to conceptualize differentiation as a neutral and to-be- anticipated feature of regional integration. He points out that all these regional groupings are subject to one or more forms of differentiation, be it multi-speed, concentric circles, or integration a la carte.

Warleigh-Lack, op.

Great Britain and Differentiated Integration in Europe |

Andersen and N. Sitter, Differentiated integration: what is it, and how much can the EU accommodate? Hettne and F. Differentiation based on concentric circles means that divergences are long-term and various tiers of Member States are organized around an integration core. Finally, a la carte differentiation means that members choose freely in which policies they wish to take part in and different policy regimes co-exist, without a hard core.

In his analysis Warleigh-Lack demonstrates that almost all forms of differentiation exist within the selected regional groupings.

There are no signs of disintegration in those organizations; on the contrary — integration is progressing in a number of areas. Moreover, the frequency of usage of various forms of differentiated integration suggests that differentiation is a normal feature of regional integration rather than a sign of degradation, decay, or imminent collapse. Wunderlich, The EU — an actor sui generis? Fiszer et al. A Forecast, Logos Verlag, Berlin , pp. Similarly, disintegration should not be seen as a linear process leading to the disappearance of supranational institutions and reinstatement of sovereign nation-states.

This paper argues that although differentiated integration should not be considered as equal to or leading to disintegration, growing differentiation could nevertheless be the result of disintegration processes. However, that does not exclude further parallel integration and consolidation processes. It is probable that future developments in the European Union will combine accelerated integration for some, disintegration for others, and greater differentiation in commitments to policies and institutions for all the members.

Traditional theories of European integration are not particularly helpful with regard to determination of the mechanisms and conditions leading to disintegration. An alternative conceptual framework advocated by S. Bartolini and H. Vollaard suggests that partial exits are more probable than full exits, thus leading to differentiation but not outright disintegration, understood as the withdrawal of subsequent Member States from the European Union. Finally, comparative regionalism shows that differentiation is an enduring feature of cooperation and integration within other regional organizations and does not make them less effective, more unstable, or more vulnerable to outright disintegration.

Moreover, differentiation could be beneficial by fostering more adaptation, flexibility and stability. In fact, it is neither differentiation nor uniformity of the system that guarantees its success, but its stability and adaptability.