Title: Institutional Hokey-Pokey: The Politics of Multispeed Integration in the European Union (PDF 4.7MB)

Author(s): Christian B. Jensen and Jonathan B. Slapin

Paper number and date: WP 10-1, April 2010

Abstract: Following the Irish “no” vote on the Lisbon Treaty, there have been renewed calls by states desiring deeper integration to pursue a multispeed Europe. This would allow those states to pursue more ambitious projects quicker without being hindered by laggards. At other times, laggards have desired a multispeed approach to integration to avoid implementing policies to which they object. Moreover, these proposals have been at times resisted and at times accepted by both camps. This raises an interesting puzzle. Under what circumstances will laggards propose/object to a multispeed Europe, and under what conditions will federalists propose/object to a multispeed Europe? Using spatial models, we investigate the institutional rules and member state preference configurations that lead either camp to accept or resist multispeed proposals. We determine instances in which each camp are hurt and helped by the existance of multiple options, paying particular attention to how a multispeed approach would affect member state bargaining power after the choice is made. Finally, we present a series of case studies to demonstrate that the preference configurations we examine do, in fact, lead states to pursue the policies with regard to a multispeed Europe that we expect.

Keywords: Lisbon Treaty ...

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