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Integration Theory And Policy Development In The EU - Essay Example

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The paper "Integration Theory And Policy Development In The EU " seeks to explain the role of integration theory in EU policy development. The study of integration theory forms the basis for understanding various policy developments in the European Union…
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Integration Theory And Policy Development In The EU
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Integration Theory And Policy Development In The EU

Download file to see previous pages... The EU ozone policy grew from scientific research conducted on the ozone layer in the 70’s which showed that industrial pollutants including those produced by certain home appliances and household sprays were having great and far-reaching effects on the ozone layer surrounding the Earth. To minimize potential hazards and set international standards, the EU together with its executive body the European Commission partook in the framing of multilateral environmental agreements. Since the EU was the biggest exporter of CFC’s due to surplus production, its involvement in developing an ozone policy was crucial. However, the EU is dependent on the effectiveness of the EC and the subsequent participation of the member states into agreeing with the policy. In implementing this EU policy, the two grand theories of integration, neo-functionalism, and intergovernmental work in different ways. One of the earliest policies that illustrated the theory of neo-functionalism was the Common Agricultural Policy in the 1960s (Lindberg 1963). A neo-functionalistic approach uses the technical and scientific knowledge of ozone depletion data and the substances causing the effect, to allow technocrats in the EC to draw out schemes that curtail or eliminate the use of ozone depletion substances (ODS). Integration using the neo-functionalistic method permits a sharing of scientific knowledge among similar sectors in the various member states, enabling manufacturing and technology companies in those states to implement a common strategy....
Integration also causes a natural spill over of knowledge and activities into other associated sectors (EPSnet). A functional-spill over occurs when certain processes are functionally connected to each other due to the intermeshing of the economy (Lindberg and Scheingold 1970: 117). The common goal of eliminating ODS needs no mandate and thus the populace of the EU is left out. The formation and implementation of an agreement relating to regional issues compels the various states to adopt the common policy (Schmitter 1969). A few public interest and environmental groups may be involved in the process and together a common strategy may be formulated but by and large the institutions of the EU are on their own in the decision making process. The problem that may arise is when a state is slow to implement the policy thus stalling the integration process.
On the other hand, an intergovernmental approach would elevate discretionary powers of the EU member states rather than the supranational institutions. Since the states themselves remain the principal arbiters of integration, they possess decision making powers as to whether or not the EU ozone policy should be implemented locally. Here too more powers rest with the national executives of the states and their advisory boards. Their decision to accept or reject the EU ozone policy can override the power of the supranational institutions of the EU such as the European Commission. The consequence is that unequal implementation in the entire EU with some states applying the ozone policy while others rejecting it or delaying its implementation. With the intergovernmental approach the main issue of ozone depletion is never truly addressed by common consensus. Various ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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