"This major new text provides an authoritative introduction to all aspects of politics and policy in the European Union. Written in the author's inimitably accessible style, it brings the European Union to life, giving readers a sense of the color and flavor of European Union politics and its impact on the citizens of Europe. * A major new introductory text specifically designed for students studying the European Union for the first time * Broad and detailed coverage of all aspects of European Union politics and policy and the nature of European integration * Written in the author's inimitably lively and accessible style - an extremely student-friendly new addition to a generally dry and dusty field * Readable and relevant, and alive to the human side of the European Union and the impact it has on the lives of Europe's citizens * Packed with a wide range of maps, charts, photos, and boxed features, including profiles of key figures in the theory and practice of European integration and country profiles of member states * Companion website includes updated materials, self test questions and answers, a searchable chronology glossary of terms, weblinks, and further reading and an instructor's site providing additional teaching resources"--
The European Community : from 1945 to 1985 / Derek W. Urwin -- Towards European Union / David Phinnemore -- The rise and fall of the Constitutional Treaty / Clive Church and David Phinnemore -- Federalism and federation / Michael Burgess -- Neo-functionalism / Carsten Strøby-Jensen -- Intergovernmentalism / Michelle Cini -- New theories of European integration / Ben Rosamond -- The European Commission / Morten Egeberg -- The Council of the European Union / Jeffrey Lewis -- The European Parliament / Roger Scully -- The courts of the European Union / Ilias Kapsis -- Interest groups and the European Union / Rainer Eising -- European Union external relations / Michael Smith -- The EU's foreign, security, and defence policies / Robert Dover -- The single market / Michelle Egan -- The EU's social dimension / Gerda Falkner -- Regional Europe / Angela K. Bourne -- Justice and home affairs / Emek M. Uçarer -- Economic and monetary union / Amy Verdun -- The common agricultural policy / Eve Fouilleux -- Democracy and the European polity / Dimitris Chryssochoou -- Public opinion and the EU / Lauren M. McLaren -- Differentiated European integration / Kerstin Junge -- Europeanization / Lucia Quaglia, Mari Neuvonen, Machiko Miyakoshi, and Michelle Cini -- Enlargement / Ian Barnes and Pamela Barnes
The study of cross-national policy convergence has become highly popular in political science. The academic popularity of the topic significantly increased in the 1990s. There is an ever-growing body of research that inves-tigates the occurrence and the underlying driving forces of policy conver-gence. Notwithstanding these efforts, we still have a limited understanding of the extent and causes of policy convergence. Both conceptual and methodo-logical heterogeneity impose important restrictions on the comparability of the empirical findings. Whether a study finds convergence, divergence or persistence of policies depends very much on the measurement concepts used. As an abstract state-ment, this seems trivial. However, Seeliger (1996) has already pointed to the fact that, in empirical convergence analyses, little attention is paid to these problems. This contribution presents a selection of the many methodological problems one is confronted with in convergence analysis. It focuses on the convergence of policies. However, similar problems may arise with respect to the convergence of institutions, culture, habits, etc. Furthermore, this contri-bution focuses on problems of measurement, leaving aside problems of explain-ing convergence. The problems will be illustrated using data from the research project ‘Environmental Policy Convergence in Europe ’ (ENVIPOLCON).1 Problems of measurement of similarity The measurement of policy convergence faces a number of problems, relating both to ‘policy ’ and to ‘convergence’. Usually, policy convergence is broadly pe er
Solidarity is one of most contentious and contested concepts in European Union (EU) politics. At the same time, it was, and remains, a central value of European integration that has been more and more institutionalized over time. The numerous codifications in the EU treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, along with the increasingly frequent references to the value in political declarations and decisions, prove the value's growing significance.Yet, there also exists a fundamental divide between rhetorical commitments to solidarity and the practice of the EU and its member states. The most recent crises of the EU have shown the instrumentality and strategic use of the concept in order to promote particular political positions rather than work toward a more common understanding of European solidarity.This makes the application of solidarity in the EU a question not just of arriving at definitional clarity, but also of developing practices that reflect solidarity in concrete cases. Such practices are inextricably linked with three grounds for action: voluntariness, selflessness, and identification.Despite, or precisely because of, these difficulties in defining, concertizing, and implementing solidarity as a European value, there is a rising interest in solidarity in various fields of studies, such as political science, sociology, philosophy, law, and history, making it an interdisciplinary and multidimensional subject matter.
Together, the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of the European Union form the bicameral legislature of the European Union (EU). However, as the analysis of voting behavior shows, decision-making is structured differently in the two institutions. In the EP, competition takes place between European party groups along a left-right and a rising pro-anti EU integration dimension. In the Council, ideology and party politics play a minor role. Voting behavior of ministers is determined by different national interests on an issue-by-issue basis. Furthermore, voting in the Council is dominated by the so-called culture of consensus. Despite the extension of qualified majority voting (QMV) to most areas of EU decision-making, many legislative proposals are adopted unanimously. Even if there is dissent, it is usually only one or two member states voting against the proposal. This makes it difficult to discover patterns of conflict and coalition formation through Council voting data. At the same time, consensus-seeking is something the Council and the EP have in common. In the EP, voting cohesion is high not only within groups but also in the EP plenary as a whole, with a grand coalition between Social Democrats and Conservatives forming frequently, often including the Liberals as well as parties on the left side of the political spectrum. Notwithstanding signs of a decline in consensual decision-making in the wake of the financial and the migration crisis, voting cohesion dominates within the Council and the EP, as well as across institutions in bicameral decision-making.