Europe Reloaded: Differentiation or Fusion?
Title: Europe Reloaded: Differentiation or Fusion?
Citation: Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2011
The European Union (EU) has come under pressure from different sides: First, it is undergoing a period of institutional and political reforms which are, however, progressing only slowly. Secondly, its shape is being influenced decisively by the inclusion of new member states. The guiding question of the volume is: In how far may the development of the EU be described and explained in relation to the two competing terms “differentiation” and “fusion”? The term “fusion“, coined by Wolfgang Wessels, describes European integration as the dynamic process of more and more political tasks being exercised by the EC/EU as a result of the insufficiency of national capacities to act independently in a time of interdependent problems and structures. However, this development is accompanied by a process of growing institutional and procedural differentiation and complexity of the EU system. Each chapter of the volume analyses the interrelation between the two central dynamics “fusion” and “differentiation” in the EU system. The key terms “differentiation” and “fusion” are thus applied by high-ranking academics from across Europe with regard to European politics, policies and the evolution of the European polity.