Assessing the European Union's prospects for cohesion
Giorgianni, Anthony Peter
Yost, David S.
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This thesis assesses the prospects for building a constitutional structure for the European Union (EU) that will secure popular support and protect national sovereignty, in the light of four theories of political integration: functionalism, neotunctionalism, federalism, and concurrent majority. The thesis assumes that the people in the nation-states comprising the EU wish, for the most part, to retain a significant measure of sovereignty as part of their national identity. The thesis concludes that functionalism and neofunctionalism rely too much on the elite decision-making process to preserve popular sovereignty and that they would, in the long term, strip the EU member states of their sovereignty. Federalism is also likely to be repellent to many in the EU countries because it tends to transfer the sovereignty of the states to the central govermnent, and the process of judicial review may leave the member states with no protection from encroachment by the central government. The theory of concurrent majority, the thesis deterinines, holds the greatest promise for maintaining and deepening the cohesiveness of the EU. A concurrent majority system would allow the member states to retain their sovereignty, and the ultimate interpretation of the EU -"constitution" would rest with the states collectively. The thesis recommends that a clearly written constitution be drawn up at the 1996 EU Intergovernmental Conference to be ratified by the citizens of the member states, if they wish to ensure protection for national rights and sovereignty.
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