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‘The European Union is the result of a number of bold moves in the immediate postwar period and a painstaking process of small steps made afterwards often as a result of crises. This created an extraordinarily complex web of institutions interacting (sometimes fighting) with each other. It is fair to say that no single individual is capable of understanding the full complexity of this construction. Annette Bongardt and Francisco Torres, the authors of this important book, managed beautifully to peer through the complexities of European integration to unveil its essential features. As a result, we are blessed with a book that finds the right balance between simplicity, needed to understand, and complexity without which our understanding remains shallow’. 

Paul De Grauwe

John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy

The London School of Economics and Political Science

‘These lessons provide a lucid and complete overview from WWII to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Students at the Católica Lisbon have been lucky to attend this course. The book makes the lectures accessible to all – students, researchers, lecturers, policymakers and the general public – interested in the Economics and Politics of European integration’.

Vitor Gaspar

Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department 

International Monetary Fund

‘This book offers a comprehensive overview of the political economy of Europe. Covering the basics of European institutions and governance, policy and history, it provides excellent insights into complex matters, using an accessible writing style. It is a “must read” for students of European integration’.

Amy Verdun

Professor of Political Science

and Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration Studies

University of Victoria


List of boxes 

List of figures

List of tables


Introduction to the second edition

Chapter 1

A brief overview of the European integration process from WWII to the present

1.1 Background and factors conducive to European integration 

1.2 Differing approaches to a trade-led integration 

1.2.1 Stages of economic integration

1.2.2 Club benefits and knock-on effects

1.3 The foundations of the EU’s economic model: the Single Market, Economic and Monetary Union and the European Green Deal (pillar in the making)

1.4 Challenges to the functioning of the club: Enlargements versus deepening (treaty change)

1.4.1 On the Lisbon Treaty

1.4.2 Crises responses in the absence of treaty change

Chapter 2

What is the EU and how is it governed? Institutions, governance and legitimacy

2.1 The main European Union institutions

2.2 The EU supranational legal system

2.2.1 Primary and secondary law

2.2.2 Case-law

2.2.3 The EU decision-making process and (the ordinary legislative procedure)

2.3 Legitimacy concepts and multi-level governance

2.3.1 Different types of legitimacy: categories and criteria

2.3.2 Dealing with transnational problems: the growing felt need for democracy and multi-level governance 93

Chapter 3

How far should integration go? Scope (and progress) of EU integration 

3.1 How far has European integration gone and at what pace? 

3.2 The theory of fiscal federalism 

3.3 How is the EU governed?

3.3.1 The attribution of competences in the EU

3.3.2 Main governance modes in the EU

3.4 The EU budget and own resources

3.4.1 The EU’s annual and long-term budgets

3.4.2 Towards an EU fiscal capacity?

3.5 The need for and provision of European public goods and financing through own resources

3.6 Case study: The EU’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic — vaccine strategy

3.6.1 Competences

3.6.2 Supply issues

3.6.3 Demand issues

Chapter 4

The EU’s optimum size: the limits of differentiated integration

4.1 On the EU’s optimum size and sustainability

4.2 Some lessons from Brexit for differentiated integration

4.3 European integration amid some calls for regional autonomy or independence

4.3.1 Does successful European integration encourage regional demand for more regional autonomy and/or independence?

4.4 Case study: Increasing differentiation until separation — the case of Brexit

4.4.1 The UK’s opt-out from EMU and its collision course with EU integration

4.4.2 The UK’s opt-out from EU economic governance and its blocking attitude

4.4.3 Why did Brexit take so long?

Chapter 5

EU trade: trade liberalisation and new trade dynamics

5.1 Trade liberalisation and integration: economic logic and effects

5.2 Brief history of EU trade policy

5.3 On the implementation of EU objectives through trade: towards a more active EU trade policy

5.4 EU institutions for trade policy 

5.5 EU trade agreements: from multilateral towards preferential trade agreements

5.6 The EU’s new generation of deep trade (and economic) agreements: a qualitative change from conventional FTAs

5.7 Case study: The politicisation of trade agreements — CETA and TTIP

5.7.1 Welfare costs of DTAs: costs of single market regulation or diverse preferences?

5.7.2 Competence distribution and the issue of governance of mixed agreements

5.7.3 Upholding the European model in light of spillovers from international trade

5.8 Pulling things together: the EU as a global actor in a changed trade context

5.9 A note on the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement as an outlier

Chapter 6

The European single market, regulation and competition policy

6.1 The European Single Market

6.1.1 Benefits of market liberalisation

6.1.2 Deepening integration: political economy factors on the road to the single market

6.1.3 Moving up the integration ladder: Single Market programme and governance

6.1.4 The economic case for the single market: the (allocative) efficiency rationale

6.2 Market rules and regulation in the European Union

6.2.1 How the EU regulates

6.2.2 Case study: the services directive

6.2.3 Internal and external dimensions

6.3 EU competition policy

6.3.1 Rationale and EU competition rules

6.3.2 The evolution of EU competition policy

6.3.3 Governance issues 

6.4 Economic reform and modernisation of the economic and institutional framework in which markets and economic actors operate 

6.4.1 The EU’s economic agendas: the Lisbon strategy 

6.4.2 Economic governance: Implementation through the Open Method of Coordination 

Chapter 7

Environment, climate and energy policies and beyond — The European Green Deal 

7.1 How environmental policy and governance evolved in the EU

7.2 Making the market work for the environment: Pricing environmental damage

7.3 From a prisoner’s dilemma to a green development strategy: domestic and international dimensions 

7.4 Case study: The European Green Deal 

7.4.1 What is the European Green Deal and why it is important 

7.4.2 Environmental sustainability and beyond: sustainability in sensu lato is a paradigm change

7.4.3 The European climate law and delegated acts 

Chapter 8

The building up of a monetary union: the role of economic ideas

8.1 Two divergent views on the means to achieve monetary integration in Europe: some theoretical background 

8.2 Evolution: Converging preferences on inflation and the role of monetary policy

8.3 Case study: the role of European epistemic communities

8.4 The first test to the commitment to exchange rate and price stability: the asymmetric shock of German reunification

8.5 Outcome: an EMU unbalanced in its monetary and economic spheres 

Chapter 9

Monetary Union: Costs, benefits, adjustment and sustainability 

9.1 The choice of the exchange rate regime

9.2 A framework of analysis for the sustainability of EMU 

9.2.1 Sustainable (instead of Optimum) Currency Areas

9.2.2 How may SCA criteria compensate each other when addressing asymmetric shocks?

9.2.3 How do the various criteria play out with respect to the decision to join a monetary union?

9.3 Economic and political endogeneities

9.4 The fragility of a monetary union without a complete economic union

9.5 Case study: The main causes of the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area and the necessary steps to complete EMU

9.5.1 The economists’ consensus on EMU’s fragilities 

9.5.2 The lack of (political) agreement on how to complete EMU 

Chapter 10

The ECB’s monetary policy, independence and accountability 

10.1 How the Euro system functions: ECB objectives, strategy and instruments

10.1.1 Price stability as the ECB’s primary objective 

10.1.2 The ECB’s monetary policy strategy 

10.1.3 Monetary policy instruments 

10.1.4 Other monetary policy tools 

10.1.5 Exchange rate policy 

10.2 How euro area economies fared under a ‘one size fits all’ monetary policy during the initial phase of EMU

10.3 EMU as a case of supranational regulation 

10.3.1 Central bank independence and accountability: the ECB as a special case 

10.3.2 Throughput legitimacy 

10.4 The ECB’s “institutional loneliness” in EU multi-level governance 

10.5 Supporting the green transition in line with the EU’s net-zero objective 

10.6 Case study: The monetary dialogue between the EP and the ECB 

Chapter 11

The crises and the search for a sustainable integration strategy 

11.1 Today’s EU: in a permanent crisis mode and more political 

11.2 From a (sustainable) crisis exit to a sustainable integration strategy? 

11.3 The need to address negative spillovers into the fiscal and monetary domains 

11.4 Does the ‘crisis mode’ contribute to reinforcing the EGD and thereby to EMU’s and the EU’s sustainability? 

11.5 The EGD is attracting opposition at various levels 

11.6 On the main challenges for Europe’s future and sustainability 

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UCP Editora
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Ciências Sociais » Ciência Política
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