Why states choose integration
October 6, 2011
What is the European Union?

International Organization

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No autonomous powers
No authority to impose its rulings on its
members
Federation
 European Union

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Voluntary integration among sovereign states
EU inst. make laws and policies binding on the
MS
What is integration?
Integration: sharing and pooling sovereignty vs.
transfer or delegation of sovereignty and
supranationalism
Integration: “process by which political leaders and
citizens in separate countries create new common
governing institutions, giving these institutions
jurisdictional powers and shift some of their
loyalties and expectations to that new level of
government (McCormick, 2002, p. 13)
Separate individual decisions vs. joint decisions OR
delegate decisions to new institutions
What is supranationalism?
Supranationalism: “a process by which national
governments share sovereignty with
transnational institutions whose laws and policies
are binding on those governments”

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majority voting by national representatives in
order to make decisions
executive authority and parliamentary body
independent of national control
independent court whose jurisprudence is binding
at the national level, level of member states
Levels of Integration
1- General liberalization of tariff and quotas
(GATT/WTO).
2- Free Trade Areas: removal of tariffs, quotas and
NTBs (NAFTA, Israel-Turkey etc..)
3- Customs Union: FTA + Common External Tariffs
(Free movement of goods).
4- Common Market: Fully integrated market with
four freedoms, free movement of goods, capital,
people and services, extensive harmonization of
laws.
5- Economic/Monetary Union (common fiscal and
monetary policies with common currency)
6- Political Union ?
How to explain European integration:
theories of integration
Theorizing about “explaining integration” vs.
“analyzing governance” and “constructing
the EU” in T. Diez and A. Wiener,
“Introducing the mosaic of integration
theory” in Wiener and Diez, eds.,
European integration theory (Oxford
University Press, 2004).
Early theorizing on European Integration
Functionalism
 Mitrany (1943), Excerpts in Nelsen and
Stubb. Boulder: Lynne Rienner. 99-119.

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Break away from the link between authority
and territory
international cooperation on functionally
specific fields
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More efficient provision
Help transfer loyalties to int’l level
Evolution of cooperation
Functionalism in practice

Jean Monnet
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Preoccupation with the technical and noncontroversial issues
Institutions
Functionalism in Practice: R. Schuman
The Schuman Declaration (1950)
“Europe will not be made all at once or according to a
single plan. It will be built through concrete
achievements which first create a de facto solidarity”
Theorizing on European Integration
Functionalism
 Critique:
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Linear and automatic integration?
No theory of politics
Neofunctionalism:
E. H aas, The Uniting of Europe (1968) also
excerpts reprinted in elsen and Stubb. 2003. The
European Union: Readings on the Theory and
Practice of European Integration, Boulder: Lynne
Rienner. pp. 145-9.; P. Schmitter, “Three NeoFunctional Hypothesis about international
integration” International Organization, Vol. 23,
Neofunctionalism
1) Clarified the dependent variable (the
outcome to be explained)
2) Clarified the concept of “spillover”
3) Attempted to develop a theory of politics
and to insert political agency
- Spillover
- Institutions
4) Scientific study of the phenomena of
regional integration
Political integration
“the process whereby political actors in
several distinct national settings are
persuaded to shift their loyalties,
expectations and political activities
toward a new center, whose institutions
possess or demand jurisdiction over the
preexisting national states. The end result
of a process of political integration is a
new political community, superimposed
over the preexisting ones”
The background conditions
- Pluralistic social structure
- High level of economic and industrial
development
- Ideological homogeneity
Given the background conditions, how does
integration happen?
1. The Concept of Spillover
Main mechanism of change
 Spillover refers to a situation in which a
given action creates a situation in which
the original goal can be assured only by
taking further action..
 Functional (from sector to sector), political
(support for further integration/barrier to
retreat) and cultivated spillover
(Commission fosters pressure
groups/interests i.e. Erasmus)
 Some sectors have more integrative
potential

2. Interest Groups
Political parties, interest groups (UNICE,
ETUC)
 Supranational orientation
 Transnational cooperation to achieve
common goals

3. Supranational Institutions

Significance of supranational institutions
and their leaders

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“Elite socialization”
Working with supranationally-oriented
interests
Neofunctionalism, evolution
Initial success of neofunctionalism
(From ECSC to EEC & beyond)
 Slow pace of integration, de Gaulle &
nationalism
 Revived again in the 1990s
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De-emphasized spillover, emphasized
institutions
Critiques of Neofunctionalism
Slow pace of integration (mid 60s- mid
80s)
 States still important
 No elite socialization
 International context of regional
integration
 Theory of regional integration OR
empirical generalization?

Intergovernmentalism
Basic literature: S. Hoffman, “Obstinate or
Obsolete? The Fate of the Nation-State and the
case of Western Europe” Deadalus, Vol. 95, 1966,
pp. 862-915 and The European Sisyphus: Essays
on Europe, 1964-1995 (Boulder, 1995).
Reaction to the “empty chair crisis” June 1965 –
January 1966 provoked by Charles de Gaulle and
resolved with the “Luxembourg Compromise”
calling for unanimity decision making at the
Council.
Main Features I
Organized interest vs. political
calculations: integration only possible
when governments want it and suit their
interest
 Governments uniquely powerful actors
and determine integration by national
interest
 Where national interests coincide closer
cooperation but not in the area of “high
politics”
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Main Features II
Governments can not be overwhelmed by
pressure groups to integrate but political
calculations matter most:
- impact of integration on economy
- electoral performance of party in
government
 interest groups may influence low politics
but only influence ultimate arbiter
government because:
- posses legal sovereignty
- political legitimacy

Liberal Intergovernmentalism
Basic literature: A. Moravcsik, The Choice for
Europe (Cornell University Press, 1998) and
“Preferences and Power in the EC” JCMS, Vol. 31,
No. 4, 1993.
Reaction to the Treaty on the European Union.
Main Features
the notion of two level games
 domestic political processes determine
national interest (balance of interests
within a state)
 reconciliation of national interests at the
table of Council of Ministers:
- 1st – reach agreement on common
policy response to problem to be solved
- 2nd – reach agreement on appropriate
arrangement e.g. treaties etc…

Hence
major choice of integration reflection of
preferences of national governments not
preferences of supranational
considerations
 national preferences balance of economic
interests rather than political biases of
politicians or national strategic concerns
 outcomes a function of

- relative bargaining,
- prevent defection rather than federalist
agenda
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Why states choose integration