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This substantially updated and revised edition offers a comprehensive overview of the challenges confronting the political system as well as the international politics of the European Union. It draws from a spectrum of regional integration theories to determine what the Union actually is and how it is developing, examining the constitutional politics of the European Union, from the Single European Act to the Treaty of Nice and beyond. The ongoing debate on the future of Europe links together the questions of democracy and legitimacy, competences and rights, and the prospects for European polity-building. The aim is to contribute to a better understanding of the emerging European polity and the questions that further treaty reform generates for the future of the regional system. The authors also assess the evolving European security architecture; the limits and possibilities of a genuine European foreign, security and defence policy; and the role of the EU in the post-Cold War international system. Common themes involve debates about stability and instability, continuity and change, multipolarity and leadership, co-operation and discord, power capabilities and patterns of behaviour. The book traces the defining features of the ‘new order’ in Europe and incorporates an analysis of the post-September 11th context.

political integration, a dynamic absent in Mitrany’s functionalist account (Mitrany 1943 [1966]). Functional integration is essentially economic in nature. It refers to the build up of pressure created by incomplete integration by modern interdependent economies. The focus on the economic rationale for integration in the face of mounting international pressures is a strand of neo-functional thought similar in conception to other theoretical accounts of regional integration. Moravcsik, a leading critic of neo-functionalism remarked, ‘the focus on economic interests may

in Sports law and policy in the European Union

, although at a very low level due to the low ‘ambition’ towards the region. Secondly, in 1985, Mercosur countries also started their own regional integration programme. This stage proved to be key in the development of EU–Mercosur relations because it established a new emphasis on EU policy towards Latin America by establishing channels for communication between the two regions, particularly through the development of the annual EU–Rio Group meetings; without this engagement, the EU and Mercosur would not have developed their relationship, and the fact that it came at

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:
Open Access (free)
Relations between the European Union and Mercosur

aspirations. Here it is suggested that if the EU increased its involvement in international affairs, it would be expected that the EU would become further involved in Latin America. The third way of explaining the development of EU policy towards Latin America is related to the promotion of regional integration abroad. This argument suggests that if there is greater regional integration within Latin America, then it is likely that the EU’s involvement in the region will also increase. The fourth explanation that is offered in the literature relates to the EU’s long

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:

an agreement would cover the same areas as the preceding option, but would be reinforced by the introduction of joint financial instruments through the raising of substantial funds by both parties. Compared with the other options, this would be a proactive approach on the part of the EU aimed at accelerating the regional integration process by acting upstream even of initiatives by Mercosur and its members. Source:  European Commission (1994a). •  To improve the efficiency of the EU’s external activities by establishing a new framework for relations with partners

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:

. Such an inquiry is of particular theoretical interest as none of the previously dominant paradigms of regional integration in Europe provide an overall hermeneutic pattern. Rather, different theoretical accounts intermesh with enormous complexity as to the outcome of the twin Intergovernmental Conferences of 1990/91. A possible explanation is that from a phase of integration in the mid-1980s, when expected ‘spillovers’ monopolised the interest of the academic community, we moved into a situation where a process of ‘overspill’ became manifest:3 the scope of

in Theory and reform in the European Union

negotiated at the same time as the association agreement with the EU. As far as the global aspirations expectation is concerned, again the EU should have been more active in order to achieve the first inter-regional agreement in history and not leave Latin America lagging behind on the EU’s overall external relations agenda. The idea that the EU would act as an external federator suggests that the EU’s priority would be to promote regional integration in other parts of the world, and the next argument – which points towards the long-standing political, economic and

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:
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The study of European Union relations with Mercosur

of the international sphere. At the very least, the EU is considered ‘a force’ in the international arena: ‘The EU has become a force in international affairs, especially in trade, development cooperation, the promotion of regional integration, democracy and good governance, human rights and, to an increasing extent, also in security policies’ (Soderbaum and Van Langenhove 2005: 250). Although it is accepted that the EU is involved in all of these areas, this does not imply ‘actorness’ or ‘presence’. According to Bretherton and Vogler (2006: 27), there are three

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:

. External federator The argument which suggests the EU’s role was that of an external federator can be accepted in the first (Chapter 4) and second stages (Chapter 5) but not in the third stage (Chapters 6 and 7). Alongside the argument of counterbalancing the US, this is the most common argument in the existing literature. It is clear that the EU had allocated resources to Mercosur institutions and other Latin American regional groups in order to promote regional integration. The EU had even created the Centre for Economic and Financial Research to support regional

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:

–Latin American relations and EU–Mercosur relations was so significant that it could be considered to be the interchangeable, or at least the most important feature of EU–Latin America relations, as explained in the previous chapter. During the 1980s, the EU was an exceptional witness through the EU–Rio Group meetings of Mercosur advances in regional integration which gained momentum in 1985 with Argentina and Brazil signing their first agreement. EU policy-making towards Mercosur 53 With that agreement, Argentina and Brazil played a fundamental role in terms of developing

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur: