This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Is The European Union More Than A Regional State System?

1928 words - 8 pages

The international order in Europe has gone through dramatic change during the last sixty years. It took two appalling wars at the beginning of last century for the continent's leaders to realise the dangers of nationalism and the traditional balance-of-power politics, with which it is often associated. Their response to the devastation of total war was to lay the premises for European cooperation, which today is institutionalised as the European Union. The extraordinarily long period of peace that the continent has enjoyed after the Second World War is enough to prove that the project for European unity has been a remarkable success. In the 21st century, cooperation takes place at a scope and depth unparalleled by any other regional union in the world.Throughout its existence, the EU has also been the subject of intense intellectual debate. The main rivals in this debate are the ones that stress the supranational character and the autonomous power institutions have in the European Union and the ones who claim that it is only a regional state-system where national governments play the decisive role. The former is commonly referred to as the federalist school of thought while the latter go by the name of the intergovernmentalists. These main camps have throughout the years developed various subdivisions with slightly different theories. However for our purposes the very broad definition mentioned above is used when referred to the federalists or intergovernmentalists. The essay will start by outlining the intergovernmentalist argument, then move on to discuss the response of the federalists to show that the European Union is much more than one of world's many regional state systems.The intergovernmentalist approach to the European Union is often closely aligned with realism in more general International Relations theory. It focuses on the role of the state, and the power that national governments have in shaping EU policy. The core presumption of this state-centrism is that integration doesn't challenge the autonomy of nation-states. This makes the European Union merely a forum for cooperation between sovereign states, where its institutions have little or no power independent of the national governments. Thus integration is driven by the interests and actions of nation states. The big decisions are made through series of bargains where the outcome is determined by the relative powers of member states. As state interests tend to differ, a supranational community beyond the state is difficult and can even increase the sense of difference felt among the participants. The intergovernmentalists tend to substantiate their claims with facts concerning decision-making in the European Union. Big decisions are made by the Council of Ministers as the main legislative body of the EU. The intergovernmentalists also make the strong normative statement that cooperation is unrelated to ideology regarding a common future for Europeans. Rather, integration is...

Find Another Essay On Is the European Union more than a regional state-system?

Anatomy of a Regional Trading Bloc : The European Union (from the date of Formation to the year 2003)

7615 words - 30 pages multilateral, regional and bilateral initiatives, the European Union has maintained its markets largely open - except for textiles and agriculture - says a new WTO report on the trade policies on the EU. The EU's position as the world's leading exporter of goods and the second largest importer is testimony both to the importance of trade to the European consumer and producer, and to the significance of the EU as a market for most WTO Members, notably

The Evolution of the European Union into a Full Supranational Federal State

1671 words - 7 pages The Evolution of the European Union into a Full Supranational Federal State Is it both likely and desirable that the European Union will gradually evolve into a full supranational federal state? In order to elaborate on the statement above, one has to become familiar with the process of European Integration; therefore I would first like to show a quick overview of the history of the EU. After the WWII it has become clear that the best

The European Union is it a Failure?

1663 words - 7 pages A overview of the European Union it's workings, problems etc. -IntroductionEurope made up more than 30 countries and even more distinct cultures; it is now trying to adjust to new economic systems throughout the world. Today with the trend toward big trading blocks like: N.A.F.T.A. or G.N.A.T.T. Europe is trying to advance it's old Trading block called the European Economic Community (EEC) to become the European Union. The current membership of

Is the European Monetary Union a disaster? ? Discuss

3423 words - 14 pages establish a Monetary Union, such as the so-called “Werner- Plans” in 1979 through the European Monetary System (EMS), failed though. In 2002 the EMU finally was put into full effect. Now that the Euro- countries have experienced three years with the Euro, it is possible to make a preliminary assessment of the Euro.       In order to detect whether ‘EMU is a disaster’ one has first to establish the meaning and context in

The European Union is a Strong and Powerful Organization

1408 words - 6 pages per state (27 commissioners) organized so as to be independent of national interests. The body is the origin of the European Union law and the monopoly of legislative initiative in the territories of the former Community structure. It is responsible for the daily activities of the Union and has the task of controlling the implementation of laws and treaties ("The Guardian of the Treaties”). The Commission is headed by a president whose name was

The European Union and a Divided Cyprus

1513 words - 6 pages occupying a member state ( 12/14/03). What role does the nation of Turkey play? The fear of the European Union is that the two sides of Cyprus will not reach a settlement before May 2004 and this will put Turkey, also a candidate for membership in the Union, at jeopardy of not gaining membership, especially if it does not remove the 30,000 troops from northern Cyprus. However, a settlement would do just the opposite for

Social Justice Is More Than A Definition

1449 words - 6 pages of life. Some of the issues are poverty, immigration, racism, and government, as well as women, gay, and minority groups’ rights, amongst many others. The aim of those who advocate for social justice is to reach equality throughout. For example, it raises the issue of why is there poverty in the world? Why is there such a big gap between the wealthy and the poor? What can we do about it? Why are some races given more privileges than others

The European Union

1022 words - 5 pages stronger institution. The Parliament is the only institution where people within its member state directly elect members, which makes them the most democratic institution in the EU. Supranational fiscal union is another reform I consider to be important for the European Union. The role of the fiscal union would be to avoid further crisis and building up a stronger framework around the financial system in the European Union. My third improvement

The European Union extended

4864 words - 19 pages April 2003: the 10 accession treaties are signed in Athens.1 May 2004: the 10 new member states join the EU.December 2004: decision on whether to start accession talks with Turkey.2007: the year set by the Copenhagen European Council for Bulgaria and Romania to become EU members.4. How does the Union work?The European Union is more than just a confederation of countries, but it is not a federal State. It is, in fact, something entirely new and

The European Union

4598 words - 18 pages The creation of a single document intended to guide the European Union will greatly affect many aspects of the distinct nations within the Union. The legal system being created and solidified is one such aspect of the Constitution that threatens the unique culture of Europe. The opening of borders within the European Union allows for the free movement of people and goods across countries. Thus, cultural exchange becomes more likely than ever

The European Union

935 words - 4 pages       The European Union is a supranational government body that is, by definition, changing the traditional role of the nation state and sovereignty in Europe. This Union was formed voluntarily by states with similar goals and is unique in its conception and design to the European continent. Although The EU (European Union) is strengthening Europe economically and politically the states that form it have surrendered

Similar Essays

The European Union: More Economic Union Than Political Union

2186 words - 9 pages formulated its system into a hybrid one made up of supranational autonomous institutions, where the member states are the deciding organs of the intergovernmental negotiated decisions (Albi, & Ziller, 2006). There have however been opinions that the EU has been more of a balance seeking concept rather than a common goal one. The proponents of such view see the Union as an attempt by the member states to have an edge in the global market whereas as

Regional Economic Integration And The European Union

993 words - 4 pages This paper will evaluate regional economic integration and its role in promoting global business and will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of it. The European Union (EU) will be looked at and discussed and the different countries involved in that union will be evaluated as well as their stage of economic development.The world is changing rapidly. One hundred years ago the world was very much separated by borders. With the advent of

The European Union Vs. A Federal System

978 words - 4 pages Introduction Before discussing the notion that the European Union (EU) possesses a federal character, one has to define federalism (federal system). A Federal system is a system of government where power and sovereignty are shared constitutionally between a central authority and subunits. The central authority retains primary sovereignty while the subunits (state, province etc.) retain a degree of autonomy. Examples of federal countries

The Democratic Deficit In The European Union Remains More Acute Than Ever Law Essay

2385 words - 10 pages ‘Despite the institutional reforms brought in by the Treaty of Lisbon (which came into force in 2009), the democratic deficit in the European Union remains more acute than ever.’ There has been a consistent argument that the European Union suffers from a ‘democratic deficit’. Citizens of the European Union feel alienated and perceive a lack of democratic structure and process within the European Council, The European Parliament, and the