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Integrating EuropeInformal Politics and Institutional Change$
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Jeffrey Stacey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584765.001.0001

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8 Conclusion

8 Conclusion

(p.228) 8 Conclusion
Integrating Europe

Jeffrey Stacey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The evidence indicates that the impact of informal interorganizational dynamics, when viewed as a whole, is modest but significant. The central question of this book asks whether informal accords contribute to mere institutionalization or actual integration of the EU's Member States. Upon confirming that informal interorganizational dynamics engender both institutionalization and integration, the phenomenon of national‐to‐supranational sovereignty transfers can no longer be fully explained by the conventional unit of analysis—the interstate Treaty. Analysis of the formal treaty agreements that comprise the overall Treaty must be supplemented by analysis of the informal accords that at times serve to supplement them, and at others to supplant them. Moreover, numerous rules contained in formal treaties are nothing more than the incorporation of previous informal accords, transforming specific bundles of informal rules into formal laws via their being swept up under Treaty auspices, usually with minimal alteration of content. Thus, observers of the EU cannot afford to ignore the informal sphere; and even if they were prohibitively to do so, paying exclusive attention to the formal sphere one is forced to acknowledge a multiplicity of rules whose origins are directly traceable to the informal sphere.

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