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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 Commission and the New Intergovernmentalism

The Commission and the New Intergovernmentalism

Calm within the Storm?

(p.185) 9 The Commission and the New Intergovernmentalism
The New Intergovernmentalism

John Peterson

Oxford University Press

The Maastricht Treaty marked a step change towards closer European integration. Extension of the EU’s policy remit endowed the European Commission with a buoyant agenda for designing more ambitious policy solutions. Yet, two decades on, the Commission and EU have internalized far more modest ambitions than seemed likely in the early 1990s. This chapter develops two key arguments to explain why. First, Europe’s political appetite to delegate to the Commission has waned markedly post-Maastricht. Second, changes within the Commission may also have been a factor. The Commission, during the presidency of José Manuel Barroso, became more ‘intergovernmental’, with a College that mirrored the composition of the Council for the first time, but was also unprecedentedly presidential. Senior officials working within the Commission also appear to be more circumspect about the European project than existing theories of European integration tend to assume.

Keywords:   European Union, integration theory, integration paradox, new intergovernmentalism, European Commission, de novo institutions

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