"Balancing Integration and Flexibility in the European Union: Constitutional Dispositions and Dynamics of Coordination"
Comparative European Politics
Reason for embargo
The European Union (EU) is a multilevel system with expanding boundaries. The composition of its constituent governments changes over time and with it the institutional architecture structuring their interactions. Despite the system’s increasing complexity through enlargement, the EU is still dominated by multilateral institutions directed towards maintaining the equality of constituent units both in day-to-day decision-making as in matters of competence allocation. It has made increasing usage of more flexible mechanisms (for example, opt-out, mutual recognition and the open method of coordination (OMC)). Nonetheless, we do not find a uniform movement from ‘hard’ EU-wide regulation to ‘soft’ modes of coordination or from multilevel interaction involving all member states to diversified arrangements which reflects the equality of the member states as the constituent units in this confederal system. Party–political incongruence, in contrast, does not play a crucial role. Although member states are governed by different parties, this does not translate into patterns of conflict, as parties are disconnected and do not compete directly across the various arenas of the European multilevel system.
Vol. 12, Issue 4/5, pp. 384 - 403