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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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The European Council

The European Council

The Centre of New Intergovernmentalism

(p.165) 8 The European Council
The New Intergovernmentalism

Uwe Puetter

Oxford University Press

The European Council embodies the new intergovernmentalism as no other decision-making body. Summits of European Union heads of state or government have traditionally focused on providing long-term political guidance and brokering compromises over institutional questions. Since 1992, the European Council has assumed a key coordinating role in the most sensitive of the Union’s new policy areas: economic governance, foreign policy, and justice and home affairs. It has also emerged as the crisis manager in chief through ad-hoc summits focusing on pressing political problems. European Council meetings are geared towards policy deliberation among the Union’s most senior decision-makers. Drawing on data on European Council agendas over the last two decades, this chapter explores how crisis management and new areas of EU activity have come to dominate meetings of EU heads of state or government since 1992 and how this determines the character and focus of European integration during this period.

Keywords:   European Union, integration theory, integration paradox, new intergovernmentalism, European Council, deliberation

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