European Integration And The European Union

2920 Words Mar 16th, 2015 12 Pages
Throughout the development of the European Union, many political thinkers tried to give their interpretation of EU, to theorize its essence to give a clear picture and show the path that EU is most likely to take in future. Those have organized themselves in several schools of thought, out of which there are two dominant ones- intergovernmentalism and neo-functionalism. The former was first mentioned by Stanley Hoffmann- professor of Harvard University and then picked up by others.
The latter approach was introduced by Ernst Bernard Haas- a German-American scientist. Both approaches capture at least some of the essence of the EU today, however it is also fair to say that they are out of date, and have less adequate explanations of the process of integration, than they had 50 years ago. In order to answer the question, it is important to mention the timeframe. The whole period of European integration has to be taken into account in order to show that the two dominant approaches had been topical at different phases, and in a sense, had shaped the future behavior. The essay will look at the two dominant schools of thought, try to explain the workings of them, consider criticisms and show that, by no doubt, intergovernmentalism and neo-functionalism capture the essence of the EU today to some extent, but real history of EU and some theoretical defects shows that none of those theories capture the actual essence of the European Union. The conclusion shows that at the moment,…
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