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The European Council and the CouncilNew intergovernmentalism and institutional change$
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Uwe Puetter

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716242.001.0001

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Deliberative Intergovernmentalism and Institutional Change

Deliberative Intergovernmentalism and Institutional Change

(p.33) 2 Deliberative Intergovernmentalism and Institutional Change
The European Council and the Council

Uwe Puetter

Oxford University Press

Deliberative intergovernmentalism as a novel analytical framework in the field of integration theory focuses on understanding the new intergovernmentalism in EU policy-making and the centrality of the European Council and the Council within it. The shift from community method decision-making to policy coordination as the preferred governance mode within the new areas of EU activity is understood to result in a process of profound institutional change. Deliberation and consensus seeking become crucial at all stages of the policy process, as policy initiation and the enforcement of common rules are no longer delegated to supranational institutions. The dependency on consensus triggers constant attempts at institutional engineering aimed at improving the consensus generation function of the European Council and the Council as the lead forums for policy coordination among member states. This implies that conventional understandings, especially of the Council, which equate collective EU decision-making with law-making, largely fail to explain post-Maastricht institutional change.

Keywords:   institutional change, community method, intergovernmentalism, supranationalism, integration theory, consensus, deliberation, institutional engineering

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