The End of European Integration
By Paul Taylor
Routledge – 2007 – 192 pages
This book provides an innovative examination of the European Union as it departs from its path of integration. Indeed, so far has it departed that it could be described as having entered a new reality. The original reality was that captured in the evocative phrase in its founding agreement, the Treaty of Rome, that it should be an ever-closer union of peoples. Largely that was the path followed until the 1990s, but by the early twenty-first century there have been signs that it is turning into an ordinary international organization in which there is little overriding sense of purpose.
This book discusses the indications of this development and explains why it happened only a decade or so after a peak of popular enthusiasm in the early 1990s. The question was whether the EU would become less important for the member states, as seemed to be the case for the British, or whether the German pattern, in which the EU remained important, would prevail. This book concludes that the former is more likely in part because of problems with the policies of the European Union and its conduct, but more specifically because of the current prevailing political culture in Western Europe. Paul Taylor warns that the current problems are underestimated and that there is the risk of casually throwing away the considerable achievements of the integration process.
The End of European Integration will be of interest to all those with an interest in European integration, whether for or against. It will also interest students of European studies, European politics, and politics and international relations in general.
'Paul Taylor’s The End of European Integration is one of the new millennium’s most thoughtful contributions to Europeanist scholarship. He skilfully situates Europeans and the European Union within the unpromising context of early 21st century world politics, where insecurities are manifold, political leaders are distrusted, failing institutions resist reform and expressions of idealism provoke sarcastic rejoinders. By challenging the popular and, for some, very inviting notion that "Europe will run the 21st century," Taylor’s persuasive analysis drives to the conclusion that this will not happen. Taylor’s scholarship is impeccable, but his findings are provocative and his conclusions will incite serious debate.' - Donald Puchala, Byrnes Professor of International Studies, University of South Carolina, USA
‘Paul Taylor not only provides us with a novel and balanced account of the grounds for the present discontent with European Integration but even more unusually goes beyond this to suggest that the areas of defence and social policy provide a potential platform for further progress.’ -William E Paterson OBE, University of Birmingham, UK
"Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections." - CHOICE
1. The Waxings and Wanings of European Integration 2. The Case against Europe 3. The anti-Europeans 4. The Challenges to EU governance 5. Integration Theory in the early twenty-first century: a setting for disintegration? 6. The EU in foreign policy: capacity in the economic and social organizations of the United Nations 7. European values: why bother? 8. A New European Project: defence, social policy and the Budget 9. Conclusions
Paul Taylor is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, UK. From 2001 to 2004 he was Director of the European Institute at the same institution.