Furthering or Fighting Core State Power Integration? The Post-Maastricht Ambiguities of German EU Policy

24 and 25 June 2019, Hertie School, Berlin

Which role does Germany play in core state power (CSP) integration? Since Maastricht, the EU has increasingly expanded into member states' coercive force, public finances and administration. However, combining regulatory interventionism with a minimum of redistribution and supranational capacity-building, the Union opted for an unsustainable mode of CSP integration. In addition, CSPs have proven susceptible to national identity politics and mass politicization. Consequently, they are the most vulnerable field of the EU - as exemplified by the Euro and Schengen crises. In an attempt to answer the question of how and why the Union has chosen this unsustainable path of CSP integration, we engage in an in-depth analysis of German EU policy since Maastricht.

Why Germany? First, the reunified country has arguably become Europe's economic and political powerhouse. The recent crises illustrated this leading role but also Germany's starkly varying approach to different fields of CSP integration. Second, Germany is a critical case for change. Once lauded a motor of integration, the German stance on the EU and its finalité became more ambiguous after Maastricht. Not only has the country witnessed the rise of the Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany. The traditionally pro-European Christian Democratic Union, too, has exposed increasing rifts on EU affairs. Angela Merkel, in this vein, seems more critical of supranational modes of integration than her predecessors were, with her conception of the Union method deviating substantially from the traditional Community method. Third, from a theoretical viewpoint, the German case sheds light on the institutional, political and ideational factors that underlie a central member state's formation of preferences on CSP integration.

  • Which role has Germany played in the emergence of the above-described mode of CSP integration?
  • Which institutional, political and ideational factors underlie the German approach to CSP integration?
  • When, where and why have German governments chosen to further or to fight CSP integration?

To prepare a joint publication approaching the puzzle of German EU policy post-Maastricht, we gather a group of scholars for an in-depth debate over two days at the Delors Institute.

Workshop Date and Venue

  • 24 & 25 June 2019
  • Hertie School, Friedrichstr. 194, 10117 Berlin, Germany