To agree or not to agree? Explaining the cohesiveness of the European Union in the Group of Twenty

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Series Details Vol.23, No.6, June 2016, p906-924
Publication Date June 2016
ISSN 1350-1763
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The article assesses whether the homogeneity of preferences of the largest member states is required for European Union (EU) cohesiveness to materialize ahead of the Group of Twenty (G20) meetings. In particular, it examines the economic preferences of France, Germany and the United Kingdom against the content of the EU-agreed negotiating stance in the G20 Leaders meetings that took place from 2008 to 2012. The analysis focuses on the three main economic dossiers that have characterized the G20 Leaders agenda since its creation, namely: financial regulation, fiscal policy co-ordination and macroeconomic imbalances. In doing so, the article argues and illustrates that preference homogeneity was not a necessary condition for EU cohesiveness but medium levels of cohesiveness materialized on issues and at times when the economic preferences of the large member states were fundamentally different, provided that the issues under negotiations were not politically salient.

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