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The Role of European Political Parties in the Convention on the Future of Europe

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11 2.4. Towards a “Europe des partis”? These first attempts to consider the role of European parties in the process of integration lacked the systematisation of grand integration theories, but they necessarily suffered the period of institutional stagnation in which they were conceived and the lack of a consistent theoretical corpus on the subject. Moreover, as pointed out by Bardi (1994, in Katz and Mair, 1994: 357), “since 1979 […] no formal steps of any importance towards the transnationalization of European parties have been taken”, thus failing to meet the expectations and the predictions of many scholars and analysts. An impulse towards a revitalization of high theorizing, however, started in the mid 80s with the conclusion of the SEA. As we have already seen in the case of the neofunctionalist- intergovernmentalist dispute, this first set of major amendments to the founding treaties provided the occasion for a revival of old paradigms (Rosamond, 2000: 99). Nevertheless, apart from Haas’ analysis, which reserves a place in his theoretical framework for the formation of transnational political links as a result of political spill-over, one may argue, from the brief overview conducted in the previous sections, that in the old neofunctionalist- intergovernmentalist dispute there is not a great emphasis placed on the role of a European party system. This theoretical deficiency had some empirical roots in the institutional asset of the European Community, characterised by a structural weakness of the European Parliament, and in the lack of accountability of European institutions. In a few words, in the lack of politicisation of the European Community, still perceived as a technocratic construction. From a theoretical point of view, however, the two variants of the IR approach cannot go beyond a “Europe des patries” because they share some basic assumptions limiting the scope of their analysis. As argued by Hix and Lord (1997: 202), these theories maintain that, although the EU is a hybrid form of international organisation, the central actors of integration are still the European nation-states. According to these authors, the EU has developed into an object of observation that cannot be analysed only within the IR framework: As the EU develops beyond a pure Europe des patries, the ability of the IR paradigm to explain how EU politics works is reduced (Hix and Lord, 1997: 202) The underlying principle was that, given the inner complexity and specificity of the EU political system, a reconceptualization of the subject was necessary in order to address it from the right perspective, and not as a simple aggregate of rational actors maximising their utility functions by

Anteprima della Tesi di Matteo Fumerio

Anteprima della tesi: The Role of European Political Parties in the Convention on the Future of Europe, Pagina 9

Tesi di Master

Autore: Matteo Fumerio Contatta »

Composta da 83 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 457 click dal 20/03/2004.


Consultata integralmente 2 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.