Chapter VI: European integration discourse and compliance with European norms: making a supranational order
Chapter VI European integration discourse and compliance with European norms: making a supranational order The power of European integration discourse has been best demonstrated by the complex process of compliance with European norms. In fact, analysis of the relations between discourse and norms may serve as a theory of supranational order making. After all, the European Union is a supranational political system no matter whether it is perceived as a federation in the making or as a confederal system closer to an international organization. The debate between those in favour of intergovernmental governance and those stressing the need for further development of supranational common institutions and policies has been to a great extent focused on the question of how to build an effective decision making system while preserving specific priorities (different for the two parties in the debate) regarding distribution of competences between the Union and the Member States. The discourse employed in this debate happens to be a medium which not only articulates specific norms but also imposes quite definite conditions to compliance with them. The norms agreed do not necessarily conform with one or another of those two attitudes regarding the form of a political system of the EU. Therefore, we observe a number of situations when the norms that are expected to be followed by all contradict – directly or indirectly –the political orientations (regarding the nature of the political system of the EU) of specific actors. Moreover, the meaning of fundamental concepts depends on the overall structure...
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