Centre Formation in the European Union

Stefano Bartolini

in Restructuring Europe

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780199286430
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603242 | DOI:
Centre Formation in the European Union

Show Summary Details


This chapter devotes attention to the specific features of the new centre at the European level, and focuses on the peculiarities of its institutional design. The typical centre-building features of territorial expansion, legal centralization, integration of the national and supra-national techno-bureaucratic infrastructure, and competence accretion have developed together with a persisting weak territoriality, an unclear competence attribution in vertical and horizontal senses, a partial constitutional empowerment of the subjects qua economic agents, and uncertain legitimacy sources. This configuration points to an ‘elite consolidation’, resulting from an alliance between national rulers (the national governments, the MPs) and the supra-national techno-bureaucratic centre builders (in the Commission, the Court, the European Central Bank). It is argued that any attempt to separate the powers, distribute the competencies, and strengthen direct forms of legitimacy would upset the inter-elite form of control on which this consolidation has rested to date.

Keywords: treaties; constitutionalisation; competence accretion; competence distribution; enlargement; territoriality; legitimacy; legal integration; techno-bureaucratic integration

Chapter.  27655 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.