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About this book

This major new text on EU policy-making provides a concise but systematic introduction to the main policy areas in which the EU is active and the way in which EU policy is made, explaining how and why the EU's policy portfolio has developed as it has and the distinctive characteristics of each broad policy area.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Abstract
The purpose of this book is to examine what the European Union (EU) does, and how and why it does it. That is to say, it examines the nature of the EU’s policy responsibilities and policy processes and seeks to explain why they are as they are.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 1. The Policy Portfolio

Abstract
This chapter examines the EU’s policy portfolio. The most distinctive feature of this portfolio is that it has continued to expand since the founding of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957. The result of this expansion is that today there are many policies in which the EU is actively involved, or even for which it has prime responsibility, that previously had been under the sole control of the individual member states. A very important example is that of monetary policy, in which even in the 1970s the EU had minimal involvement. Since 2002, for those member states that relinquished their national currencies and adopted the euro, all major monetary decisions have been taken at the EU level.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 2. Understanding the Policy Portfolio

Abstract
As seen in Chapter 1, the EU’s policy portfolio is extensive, with just about every area of public policy featuring in some way. It is furthermore an evolving policy portfolio, with new policy responsibilities frequently being added and existing policy responsibilities being extended almost constantly. And it is also a highly complex policy portfolio, most particularly in respect of the varying degrees of EU involvement, which range from the extensive — as with agriculture, fishing and external trade — to the marginal — as with education, health and social welfare.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 3. The Principal Policy Institutions

Abstract
This chapter examines the EU’s principal policy institutions. It is assumed that readers have some prior familiarity with the institutions and so the chapter does not, as a general text on the EU might, examine such features of the institutions as their organizational structures and memberships. Some core information on such matters is presented in boxes, but otherwise the chapter directs its attention wholly to how the institutions affect policy matters. (Readers may wish to consult comprehensive texts such as Bache et al., 2011; Nugent, 2010; Peterson and Shackleton, 2012, for in-depth treatments of EU institutions.)
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 4. Other Important Policy Actors

Abstract
In addition to the principal institutional policy actors that were examined in Chapter 3, there are other actors that also feature prominently in EU policy processes. Three of these are different sorts of institutional actors: representational institutions, European agencies and specialized policy institutions. Representational institutions and European agencies are examined in this chapter, while specialized policy institutions — such as the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European External Action Service (EEAS) — are examined at appropriate points in relevant policy chapters later in the book.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 5. Key Features of Policy Processes

Abstract
The EU’s arrangements for making policy — that is, its policy processes — display many distinctive features. This chapter identifies and analyses the most striking and important of these, grouping them under the following sub-headings: the large and increasing number of policy processes; the complexity of policy processes; the varying mixtures of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism; the ways in which policy processes are constructed and operate to ensure that all member states have confidence in the EU system; the dispersal of leadership; the consensual nature of (most) policy processes; the role of ideology; the production of policy outputs; variations in the speed of policy processes; and the impact of differentiation.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 6. The Policy Cycle

Abstract
This chapter applies the policy cycle approach to EU policy processes. In so doing, it shows that even though the EU is a highly distinctive political system, the policy cycle is as much a feature of its policy processes as it is of ‘normal’ political systems. A theme running through the chapter is that what happens within the policy cycle in the EU varies considerably across policy areas, both within and between policy stages. The variations occur in response to such differences as the number and nature of the policy actors, the powers of the policy actors, and the policy procedures — both formal and informal — that apply.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 7. Policy-making Modes

Abstract
This chapter focuses on policy-making ‘modes’ — that is, the ways in which the EU makes decisions. The first section of the chapter introduces the four modes the EU has developed: the Community method; intensive transgovernmentalism; supranational centralization; and new modes of governance. The EU has developed multiple policy-making modes because a balance is needed between, on the one hand, policy-making efficiency and, on the other, the frequent differences of opinion among member states as to the extent to which they perceive the need for an EU-level policy (and are therefore willing to accept a policy-making mode that locates decision-making power ‘in Brussels’). The next four sections explain and dissect the four policymaking modes. These sections are followed by a discussion of the relations between these modes and policy areas. While the existence of four different policy-making modes can be challenging to readers who are new to EU studies, this chapter offers guidance which should prove helpful when studying the policies themselves.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 8. The Internal Market

Abstract
The name of the policy project that has been at the heart of the European integration process since the early days of the European Communities in the 1950s has not remained constant. Over the years, the term ‘common market’ — an economic term associated with regional trading blocs — has gradually been replaced in everyday usage by Single European Market, single market, and increasingly — and, since the Lisbon Treaty, the only name that is now used in the EU’s treaties — internal market.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 9. Building a Socio-economic Union: Agriculture, Cohesion, Environment and Growth Policies

Abstract
In this chapter we examine a number of policies associated with the economic union stage of integration, which was defined in Chapter 2. Considering the importance of these policies in the modern democratic state, economic union could be considered the pivotal stage of European integration.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 10. Economic and Monetary Union

Abstract
This chapter focuses on Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). That is, it focuses on the economic and monetary system which has its heart the single currency — the euro — that has been adopted by most of the EU’s member states.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 11. The Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

Abstract
The area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ) has been a rapidly expanding aspect of EU policy activity since the mid-1990s. It consists of those policies falling within what was formerly known as Justice and Home Affairs (JHA).
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 12. Trade Policy

Abstract
This chapter examines the EU’s trade policy. While the policy is not completely common, it is with its Common Commercial Policy (CCP) — the EU’s term for trade policy — that the EU most resembles a state actor in external affairs, exercising an exclusive competence to negotiate accords on behalf of all EU member states in most areas of external trade. This requirement of the EU to act in a unified way in international trade negotiations, when coupled with the very considerable volume of external EU trade, makes the EU an extremely important international trade actor.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 13. Foreign and External Security Policy

Abstract
The EU has two interrelated policies to deal with foreign and external security matters: the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Despite the national sensitivities associated with foreign and external security policies, a number of factors have resulted in an EU policy system based on intensive transgovernmentalism coming to be established in these areas (Giegerich and Wallace, 2010).
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 14. The EU’s Budget

Abstract
The EU’s budget is, in relative terms, very modest in size — accounting for only 1 per cent of EU GNI and less than 3 per cent of total public expenditure in the EU. So, while the 2011 EU budget was almost € 142 billion, the sum of the national budgets in EU member states was more than €6,300 billion (European Commission, 2012i). But despite this relative modesty, the nature of the budget’s revenues and expenditures and the behaviour of the budget’s decision-makers reveal much about the EU’s policy priorities and policy-making processes. Because, behind each revenue source is a tug-of-war between integrationists and intergovernmentalists and between ‘getters’ and ‘givers’. And beneath each expenditure item lie an array of — often sharply clashing — policy priorities and images of the EU’s purpose.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent

Chapter 15. Achievements, Challenges and Prospects

Abstract
We have framed much of our explanation of the evolution of EU policies and policy processes through a framework we set out in Chapter 2 based on the economics of regional integration and the politics of federalism. On the economic side, the internal market has always been at the EU’s ‘policy core’. However, the demands of this core have been voracious, with the aim of trying to ensure that the market is truly ‘common’ having resulted in a spreading out from the rather nebulous attachment to the ‘four freedoms’ in the EEC Treaty to a situation whereby the market in some way touches virtually every area of public policy. Many EU policies that are not typically connected to the market have been brought within the EU framework at least partly for market-related reasons. Thus, as we explained in Chapters 8 and 13, an important reason why foreign and defence policies have been developed has been to support the expanding internal market, with effective foreign relations providing opportunities for opening up foreign markets to EU goods and services. Similarly, a more integrated European defence policy helps to support economies of scale in weaponry development and production in a high-tech, dynamic industry that strengthens the EU’s knowledge base and fuels demand for technicians, engineers and scientists.
Laurie Buonanno, Neill Nugent
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