European integration in the Euro crisis: the limits of postfunctionalism



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European integration in the Euro crisis: the limits of postfunctionalism

Frank Schimmelfennig

ETH Zurich

European Politics Research Group

Haldeneggsteig 4

8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 632 8062, Fax: +41 44 632 1289

franksch@ethz.ch




Abstract


The Euro crisis presents a puzzle to the postfunctionalist approach to European integration. In spite of unprecedented social hardships, politicization, loss of popular support, and political turmoil in the Eurozone, the Euro-crisis has produced major new steps of technocratic supranational integration. The article shows that integration during the euro crisis can be sufficiently explained by a neofunctionalist account based on path dependency, endogenous preference change, and functional spillover. Finally, it explores three mechanisms that have helped to shield EU-level reform from a constraining dissensus: euro-compatible government formation, avoidance of referendums, and delegation to technocratic supranational organizations.
Keywords: Euro crisis; neofunctionalism; path dependency; postfunctionalism




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