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European IntegrationFrom Nation-States to Member States$
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Chris J. Bickerton

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606252

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606252.001.0001

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Europe’s Compromising Union

Europe’s Compromising Union

(p.21) 1 Europe’s Compromising Union
European Integration

Christopher J. Bickerton

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 analyses, from an empirical perspective, four key aspects of the EU—its foreign policy, economic policy, internal security policy, and its ‘constitutional experiment’ of the early 21st century. In each of these areas, the relevant institutions and decision-making procedures correspond neither to the presumption that the EU is merely the sedimentation of inter-state bargains nor to the notion of an emerging pan-European superstate or integrated political system at the EU level. National representatives and national officials remain at the heart of European governance but act very differently from traditional diplomats engaged in state-to-state negotiations. Their orientation towards consensus and compromise, and the dominance of expertise over ideology as sources of authority within decision-making and as the main form of public justification, contrast with older forms of inter-state cooperation. The chapter concludes that these features of European integration can best be understood by focusing on processes of state transformation.

Keywords:   European integration, supranationalism, intergovernmentalism, expertise, consensus, compromise

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