What Lies Beyond a Confederal Europe?

Christopher Ansell and Rebecca Chen

in The State of the European Union Vol. 7

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780199283958
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603297 | DOI:
What Lies Beyond a Confederal Europe?

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The institutional frictions between the Parliament and the Commission during the ‘mad cow’ crisis are emblematic of the dynamic, unfinished nature of the federal project for Europe. The EU still retains many of the qualities of an international organization, but has also developed a government-like institutional structure. This government is conventionally described as confederal because it is dominated by its member states, but in some respects, the EU is more federal than confederal. As the complexity of EU food safety regulation illustrates, this amalgam of intergovernmental, confederal, and federal features gives the EU its distinctive character.

Keywords: federalism; confederalism; intergovernmentalism; Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; mad cow disease; food safety regulation; democratic deficit

Chapter.  8429 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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