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Constructing a Policy-Making State?Policy Dynamics in the EU$
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Jeremy Richardson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604104.001.0001

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Promoting Policy Dynamism: The Pathways Interlinking Neo-functionalism and Intergovernmentalism

Promoting Policy Dynamism: The Pathways Interlinking Neo-functionalism and Intergovernmentalism

Chapter:
(p.292) 15 Promoting Policy Dynamism: The Pathways Interlinking Neo-functionalism and Intergovernmentalism
Source:
Constructing a Policy-Making State?
Author(s):

Gerda Falkner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604104.003.0015

The EU’s founding fathers had the protection of the EU’s constituent units as a key concern and set up significant hurdles to policy innovation in the absence of unanimous governmental agreement. Over time, these institutional design features were somewhat eroded but not removed. Nonetheless, the problem of how to innovate has, at times, been overcome through eclectic means. There are indeed some well known and quite visible practices as well as some less expected and more obscure strategies that have propelled the EU’s policy system beyond what has for a long time been expected from a situation of ‘joint-decision trap’. This chapter argues that there are two strategic moves the European Commission and, at times, other actors such as the European Court of Justice can use to actively overcome member state opposition: first, sidelining some or even all national governments; and, second, manipulating relevant policy preferences. These two basic strategies can be seen to interconnect the diverging basic assumptions of intergovernmentalism and classic neofunctionalism as ‘passerelles’.

Keywords:   EU decision-making, unanimity requirements, integration theory, intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism

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