Frank Schimmelfennig

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Governments, Raison D’Etat, and European Integration

In the recent crises of the EU, member state governments found themselves in a quandary. On the one hand, international interdependence and deficient policy regimes call for more supranational integration. On the other hand, Eurosceptic publics and voters constrain what governments can commit to in the EU. In this paper, I argue that this is a quandary of their making. Governments designed European integration with a view to maximizing their own autonomy against both domestic and transnational society. Whereas they vested the EU with high supranational authority, they sought to retain sovereignty, capacity, and legitimacy. This imbalance has not only exacerbated the crises of the EU, but also made it difficult to find an adequate solution.

Link to full paper here.