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How well is neo-functionalism still able to account for the evolution of the European Union - Essay Example

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When it comes to regulations; the organization is a leading global and regional force in sectors such as environmental, industrial and agricultural standardization policies. Additionally, EU is a super power when it comes to international trade (Moravcsik 2005, 349). …
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How well is neo-functionalism still able to account for the evolution of the European Union
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Download file to see previous pages Studied critically, the EU policies positions Europe as a silent superpower having power that equals or supersedes the one held by US in almost all aspects expect that of deployment of military forces (Moravscik, 2005, p. 349). The European Commission receives preferential treatment and recognition in international secretariats as the powers of the European Parliament continue to increase steadily over years.
From 1950s, scholars have described European Union as an institution on an upward growth path and in course of achieving ever closer ties (Moravcsik 2005, 350). He asserts that such thinking is linked to neo-functionalism, forming one of the two main theories considered in analyzing EU integration; neo-functionalism and inter-governmentalism (Moga 2009, 796). Both theories have been criticized, amended although they consist of strong theoretical arguments useful in understanding integration. The theory of neo-functionalism emerged in mid 1950s and is used to explain regional integration where countries do away with barriers to trade to enforce free trade. Neo-functionalism is heavily connected to the strategies used in integration (Rosamond 2000, 10). Jean Monnet, described by various authors as the principal architect of the European integration and a founding father of EU adopted an approach that aimed at bringing integration in similar sectors with an aim of bringing attaining spillover effects which would further the integration process (Rosamond 2000, 11). The theory was developed by Earns Haas where he reformulated the principles of functionalist and analyzed them in the context of regional organizations. Neo-functionalist views integration as driven by creation of institutions although they were not originally aimed to do this. Neo-functionalism postulates that with the formation central supranational sate, the role of nationalism and national states declines. In addition to positive spill over, the other mechanisms seen as driving integration include technocratic automaticity and change of domestic alliances (Moga 2009, 796). An example of positive spill over is a situation in which a sector such as coal and steel under the governance of a single central institution cause so much pressure to the other associated areas of policy including taxation and wages and influences integration (Wallace 2004, 15). Change in domestic alliance happens when various state interest groups, elites and associations transfer their loyalty to supranational institutions and away from national institutions. This is usually fuelled by a realization that supranational institutions offer better paths for achieving the desired goals rather than national institutions (Wallace 2004, 16). This leads to grouping of individuals having pro-European ideas and persuades national leaders to shift their alliance to an integrated region (Wallace 2005, 17). Technocratic automaticity views integration as being boosted by supranational institutions which become stronger than member states. This paper will evaluate how well neo-functionalism can still be used to account for the evolution within the European Union and the discussion will be based on the various developments that have occurred during the past two decades. Inter- govermentalism looks at integration from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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