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Tectonic Shifts of European Integration

Identifying Deliberation and Change in the Everyday Practice of Decision Making in EU's Justice and Home Affairs

Tectonic Shifts of European Integration
  • Year of publication 2015
  • 434 pages
Author:Santino Lo Bianco
Category: Social Sciences Public Administration
Icon_printbook 978‐94‐6236‐590‐2 | paperback | 1st edition | € 50,50 / $ 68,17 / £ 53,53
Icon_ebook 978‐94‐6274‐360‐1 | ebook | € 49,99 / $ 67,48 / £ 52,98

This study seeks to understand how European integration works. It examines the gradual, unobtrusive changes that happen in the daily flurry of decision-making activity in the European Union (EU). Specifically, it identifies and explains occurrences of change in the EU’s police and justice cooperation. The study thereby captures the EU as an evolving polity where – in view of its institutionally dense environment – interests of a multitude of parties interacting on routine basis are more likely to intermesh, rather than compete. On the basis of three case studies, involving discourse analysis of policy documents and interviews with people from the professional field, the study seeks to capture instances where actors under given circumstances engage in deliberative discourse which induces them to shift or change their interests towards a common understanding that provides the basis for a policy outcome. The basic finding is that when arguments carry the day, negotiating parties are less inclined to take recourse to interstate or ‘intergovernmental’ tactics that would enable them to maximize their own national interests. One of the implications of the study’s findings is that we need to re-evaluate the generalisation that the EU is being mould and made only through interstate bargaining politics, even in policy areas where the paradigms of national statehood and sovereignty are well-established (such as justice and home affairs). It also means that the scope for member state action to shape EU policy on an individual basis is quite limited and that it is contingent on a wide variety of conditions operating at the day-to-day level of EU decision making.

Target group

Political scientists, management experts and civil servants within the government and the EU.

Author's information

Santino Lo Bianco is lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences since 2001, with a specialization in Law and Governance in the EU. In the past, he worked for six years at an autonomous institute commissioned by the Netherlands Foreign Affairs Ministry to deliver reports, studies and seminars on international and transatlantic security issues. His research interest is in subjects at the confines between political and integration theory and law in the European context, such as institutional adaptation of the EU, EU decision-making and policy change, European (legal) integration and justice and police cooperation in the EU.