The European Union (EU) is not a state, though it has some statelike attributes; it is not an empire, though it includes many former European imperial powers; and it is not a federation, though Euro-federalists seek to make it one. There is, however, no need to argue that the Union is a singularity, nor to invent novel terminology, such as that deployed by “neo-functionalists” and “intergovernmentalists” to capture its legal and political form. The EU is a confederation, but with consociational characteristics in its decision-making styles. This conceptualization facilitates understanding and helps explain the patterns of crises within the Union.
O'Leary, B. (2020), "The Nature of the European Union", Duina, F. and Merand, F. (Ed.) Europe's Malaise (Research in Political Sociology, Vol. 27), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 17-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0895-993520200000027003Download as .RIS
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