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The State of the European Union Vol. 7With US or Against US? European Trends in American Perspective$
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Nicolas Jabko and Craig Parsons

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199283958.001.0001

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What Lies Beyond a Confederal Europe?

What Lies Beyond a Confederal Europe?

Chapter:
(p.391) 17 What Lies Beyond a Confederal Europe?
Source:
The State of the European Union Vol. 7
Author(s):

Christopher Ansell (Contributor Webpage)

Rebecca Chen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199283958.003.0017

The institutional frictions between the Parliament and the Commission during the ‘mad cow’ crisis are emblematic of the dynamic, unfinished nature of the federal project for Europe. The EU still retains many of the qualities of an international organization, but has also developed a government-like institutional structure. This government is conventionally described as confederal because it is dominated by its member states, but in some respects, the EU is more federal than confederal. As the complexity of EU food safety regulation illustrates, this amalgam of intergovernmental, confederal, and federal features gives the EU its distinctive character.

Keywords:   federalism, confederalism, intergovernmentalism, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, mad cow disease, food safety regulation, democratic deficit

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