Dilemmas of European Integration: The Ambiguities and Pitfalls of Integration by Stealth

Paperback | February 20, 2009

byGiandomenico Majone

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If one lesson emerges clearly from fifty years of European integration it is that political aims should be pursued by overtly political means, and not by roundabout economic or legal strategies. The functionalist strategy of promoting spillovers from one economic sector to another has failedto achieve a steady progress towards a federal union, as Jean Monnet and other functionalists had hoped. On the other hand, the unanticipated results of 'integration through law' have included over-regulation and an institutional framework which is too rigid to allow significant policy andinstitutional innovations. Thus, integration by stealth has produced sub-optimal policies and a steady loss of legitimacy by the supranational institutions. Both the functionalist approach and the classic Community Method are becoming obsolete. This major statement from a leading European scholar provides the most thorough analysis currently available of the pitfalls and ambiguities of 50 years of European integration, without losing sight of its benefits. Majone provides a clear demonstration of how a number of European policies -including environmental protection - lack a logically defensible rationale, while showing how, in other cases, objectives may be better achieved by re-nationalizing the policy in question. He also shows how, in an information-rich environment, co-ordination by mutual adjustment becomes possible,meaning that member states are no longer as dependent on central institutions as in the past. He explains how the challenge for future research is to investigate methods-other than delegation to supranational institutions-by which member states can credibly commit themselves to collective action.Dilemmas of European Integration concludes by explaining exactly why the model of a United States of Europe is bound to fail-not just due to lack of popular support, but because it finds itself unable to deliver the public goods which Europeans expect to receive from a full fledged government.Although failing as a would-be federation, the present Union could become an effective confederation, built on the solid foundation of market integration. The new Constitutional Treaty, Majone argues, seems to point in this direction.

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If one lesson emerges clearly from fifty years of European integration it is that political aims should be pursued by overtly political means, and not by roundabout economic or legal strategies. The functionalist strategy of promoting spillovers from one economic sector to another has failedto achieve a steady progress towards a federa...

Giandomenico Majone was Professor of Public Policy at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy from 1987 to 1995. Before joining EUI, he held teaching/research positions at a number of European and American universities. After leaving EUI, he has been a Visiting Professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pagesPublished:February 20, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199556806

ISBN - 13:9780199556809

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. From Community to Diverse Union2. Integration and Democracy: The Big Trade-Off3. The Community Method4. Delegation of Powers and the Fiduciary Principle5. Institutional Balance Versus Institutional Innovation6. Policy Dilemmas7. Positive and Negative Integration8. Beyond Intergovernmentalism9. International Economic Integration, The Nation-State, and Democracy: An Impossible Trinity?10. The Future of the Union: Montesquieu Versus Madison

Editorial Reviews

"Majone's intellectual journey has resulted in this book having strengths which make it unsurpassed as a point of first reference for all students, teachers and policy-makers interested in the European Union. It combines Majone's unrivalled insights into the nature of the policy-making processand his eye for detail with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the European Union, and an increasing eagerness to engage, albeit in a highly practical way, with broader questions of political theory and justification." --(West European Politics)