Debates about the nature of the relationship between the EU institutions and the member states have heated up as the reach and the membership of the EU have expanded, and as more Europeans have come to feel its influence. Within their home states, they know approximately what to expect from their home governments, that is, if they follow public affairs. But there is much less understanding about the political status of the member states within the EU. As we saw in Chapter 2, the EU has some qualities that are federal, others that are confederal, and yet others that fit none of the mainstream explanations of how power is shared, divided, or expressed. And even if we could agree on how to characterize the EU, it is, like all systems of government or governance, in a constant state of evolution.
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