Previous research shows that Differentiated Integration (DI) in areas of core state powers works according to a postfunctional logic, in response to concerns about national autonomy and sovereignty. Against this backdrop, scholars usually expect that the policies and practices ensuing from formal DI are equally differentiated. This article presents theoretical and empirical evidence to suggest otherwise. It argues that, while postfunctionalism explains the emergence of formal DI, its practical consequences are driven by functional pressures. The interdependencies produced by the integration process create functional incentives for states with opt-outs to work towards ‘reintegration’ by converging with EU policies. The result of this process is a decoupling between differentiated rules and similar practices. The plausibility of this argument is tested by applying process tracing techniques to the case of Denmark in Justice and Home Affairs.
Marta Migliorati (2021). Postfunctional differentiation, functional reintegration: the Danish case in Justice and Home Affairs. Journal of European Public Policy.