European Union in perspective: the legacy of Jean Monnet

Myrto Tsakatika

in Political Responsibility and the European Union

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780719075155
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701621 | DOI:
European Union in perspective: the legacy of Jean Monnet

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This chapter provides an account of why the EU system of governance presents such serious shortcomings in terms of political responsibility. It starts by going through the principal theories of European integration, in an effort to see what kinds of explanation could be derived from them with regard to the EU's alleged failures of political responsibility. Neo-functionalist, liberal intergovernmentalis and new institutionalist approaches are shown to yield different accounts. By adopting a historical-sociological institutionalist framework, the chapter goes on to show, more specifically, why the problems of political responsibility in the EU emerged: it looks at the legacy of Jean Monnet, whose ideas and methods for European integration exerted a strong influence upon the building of Europe. The main question that is addressed is whether there was something in Monnet's system of thought and action that could have caused problems for the development of political responsibility in the EU, insofar as the rationale behind his approach was influential in the building of the Union.

Keywords: EU; governance; political responsibility; Jean Monnet; European integration

Chapter.  12688 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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