The European Council and European Governance. The Commanding Heights of the EU

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Publication Date 2014
ISBN 978-0-41-585733-8
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In recent years, the failure of the constitutional process, the difficult ratification and implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, as well as the several crises affecting Europe have revitalized the debate on the nature of the European polity and the balance of powers in Brussels. This book explains the redistribution of power in the post-Lisbon EU with a focus on the European Council.

Reform of institutions and the creation of new political functions at the top of the European Union have raised fresh questions about leadership and accountability. This book argues that the European Union exhibits a political order with hierarchies, mechanisms of domination and legitimating narratives. As such, it can be understood by analysing what happens at its summit. Taking the European Council as the nexus of European political governance, contributors consider council and rotating presidencies' co-operation, rivalry and opposition.

The book combines approaches through events, processes and political structures, issues and the biographical trajectories of actors and explores how the founding compromise of European integration between sovereignty and supranationality is affected by the evolving nature of this new European political model which aims to combine cooperation and integration.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction, François Foret and Yann-Sven Rittelmeyer

PART I | The European Council as an institution and a policy-maker

2. The Institutional Consecration of the European Council: Symbolism beyond Formal Texts | Yann-Sven Rittelmeyer
3. More than a Prestigious Spokesperson – the Role of Summits and the European Council in European Political Co-operation (EPC), 1969–1981 | Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol
4. EU High Politics – the Policy Agenda of the European Council, 1975–2011 | Petya Alexandrova, Marcello Carammia and Arco Timmermans

PART II | The EU Presidency and the European Council – complementary or competitive?

5. What's Left of the Rotating Presidency? The Future of ‘National’ Presidencies | Simone Bunse and Christopher Klein
6. The Communautarization of the Council Presidency – Intra-institutional Dimensions and Inter-institutional Effect | Ana Mar Fernández Pasarín
7. The Council Presidency and the European Council – Towards Collective Leadership in the EU | Steven Van Hecke and Peter Bursens

PART III | Legitimization of the European Union
8. An Expectation–Outcome Gap Writ Large – the Felipe González Reflection Group Revisited | Lars Hoffman and Hartmut Mayer
9. Legitimacy in Numbers? Communicative Aspects of the Post-Lisbon EU | François Foret
10. Problems of Compound Representation in the European Union after Lisbon | Christopher Lord

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