The European Commission and the integration of Europe: Images of governance

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Publication Date 2001
ISBN 0-521-80667-4 (Hbk)
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Book abstract:

'Supranational', 'sovereign identities' - politicians within Europe argue fiercely on these issues and their views are given ample press coverage but what are the views of European Commission officials about the direction of Europe - the Eurocrats.

This book examines the preferences of top European Commission officials on these topics and others and by analysis of data collected through 137 interviews concludes that the divisions within national parties, governments and national publics are reflected within the leadership of the European Commission.

Are actions shaped by preferences? And if so how are preferences themselves shaped? These are 2 of the questions explored in the opening background provided in Chapter 1. The data, methodology and people at the centre of this analysis are introduced in Chapter 2. In chapter 3, the author examines the stance of Commission officials on basic issues of governance and reinforces the text with in-depth interviews of 137 top officials. The four dimensions of those basic governance issues - supranational interest, capitalism, the international body as principal and the conflicting national diversities are discussed further in chapters 4-7. The final chapter draws together the empirical evidence of the study and concludes that most of the time a top official cares about the values and world views that he/she holds and therefore uses the position held at the heart of the European Union to make those values count for those with whom he/she identifies.

The book will be of interest to students academics and researchers engaged in the fields of European Studies both within Europe and world-wide.

Liesbet Hooghe is Associate Professor of Political Science of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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