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The New IntergovernmentalismStates and Supranational Actors in the Post-Maastricht Era$
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Christopher J. Bickerton, Dermot Hodson, and Uwe Puetter

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703617.001.0001

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Institutionalist Dynamics behind the New Intergovernmentalism

Institutionalist Dynamics behind the New Intergovernmentalism

The Continuous Process of EU Treaty Reform

(p.90) 4 Institutionalist Dynamics behind the New Intergovernmentalism
The New Intergovernmentalism

Thomas Christiansen

Oxford University Press

The process of EU treaty reform has been a microcosm of the integration paradox. Since 1992, growing popular resistance towards further integration has resulted in complications in the course of ratification of treaty changes agreed by governments, and on multiple occasions the results of referendums in different member states have opposed such reforms. Nevertheless, the two decades since Maastricht have been witness to an intense and fairly continuous process of treaty change, and transfers of competences have further intensified in response to the sovereign debt crises in the Eurozone. This chapter advances an institutionalist perspective on this treaty reform process and, in doing so, provides support for two key arguments underpinning new intergovernmentalism: the persistence of disequilibrium within the European construction and the impossibility of distinguishing between ‘high’ and ‘low politics’ in EU decision-making.

Keywords:   European Union, integration theory, integration paradox, new intergovernmentalism, treaty reform, ratification, agenda-setting

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