Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Widening and Deepening: Reforming the European Union

Berglöf, Erik
Burkart, Mike
Paltseva, Elena
Volume: 98
Number: 2
Pages: 133 - 137
Month: May
ISSN-Print: 2574-0768
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2008
Keywords: Club-in-the-club; Reform; Resistance to change; Unanimity

The article explores solutions to problems arising from the integration of countries into the European Union (EU). The article describes how the EU is able to sustain the forces of integration by maintaining the threat of forming an inner core of select member countries fully committed to EU policies. Less committed members respond by extending membership to more countries to prevent deeper integration. The article offers theories regarding ways to maintain equilibrium in the EU by balancing the pressure towards deeper integration while widening membership to more states. Topics discussed include the consumption economics of member states, the effect of EU unanimity policies on the process of reform, and the capacity of inner organizations to coerce weaker members to exert more effort.