The EU has integrated core state powers in a largely unsustainable manner. Why is this?
In this introduction to a special issue on Germany, the authors take an in-depth look at national preference-formation. They trace the impact of state elites, as emphasised by functionalist theories, and mass publics and political parties, as stressed by postfunctionalism. The authors find that across policy fields and with striking continuity over time, Germany acts as a normal member state. The country prefers the regulation of national capacities over the creation of European capacities, and (increasingly) the intergovernmental rather than supranational control of those capacities. Only in existential crises, Germany supports European capacity-building under intergovernmental control. This leads to unstable integration but is not an indicator of hegemonic dominance. Crucial from both a practical and theoretical perspective, there exists no major gap between state elites and political parties or public opinion on German preferences.
Christian Freudlsperger, Markus Jachtenfuchs et al. (2021) A member state like any other? Germany and the European integration of core state powers. Journal of European Integration, Volume 43, Issue 2.