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Governing in Europe: Effective and Democratic?$
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Fritz Scharpf

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198295457

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198295457.001.0001

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The European Contribution

The European Contribution

(p.156) Chapter 5 The European Contribution
Governing in Europe: Effective and Democratic?

Fritz Scharpf

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that, in Europe, there are unexploited opportunities for increasing the problem-solving capacity of the multi-level polity. It shows that the Amsterdam commitment to coordinated employment strategies may have greater potential than is generally assumed, especially when it is seen in conjunction with simultaneous changes in the practices of negative integration. These changes suggest that the European Commission as well as the European Court of Justice are now tending towards a ‘balancing’ approach that gives greater weight to policy goals other than the maximisation of free competition. On the other hand, the Amsterdam Summit failed to exploit the considerable potential of differentiated integration that would allow member states with similar problems or similar institutional conditions to use European-level decision processes for achieving coordinated reforms. Nevertheless, regulations at two levels, or ‘regulations on a sliding scale’, may be the only practical way to maintain the momentum of positive integration, especially in light of the dramatically increasing divergence of problems and interests among member states that is to be expected after the eastern enlargement.

Keywords:   Europe, negative integration, economic integration, European Commission, employment, competition, regulations, positive integration, differentiated integration, reforms

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