Europeanisation: the myths and the facts

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Europeanisation is one of those annoying terms that seem to emerge from obscurity to pepper academic and policy-0related 'eurospeak', but which remain elusive in meaning. The term broadly seems to refer to a process of change: where European ideas, values, policies, culture and a variety of organisational principles and practices are transferred from Europe (the continent or EUI) to member states or non-members who have to comply with Europe in order to achieve their goals (usually trade, aid or EU membership). Yet despite its increasingly frequent use - and heated arguments about the desirability or otherwise of the process - the precise meaning of the concept remains difficult to pin down. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the meaning conferred to Europeanisation may largely depend on whether those deploying the term have a generally positive or negative view of Europe. Those who see Europe as 'a good thing' may focus on the transference of a particular set of ideas: democracy, human rights, tolerance, a preference for negotiation, as well as Mozart or other 'high culture'. The less positively inclined may highlight instead straight cucumbers, bureaucratisation, inefficiency, neo-imperialism, exploitation and exclusion and, perhaps, The Eurovision Song Contest or Euro-trash. This essay will attempt to bring some clarity to a rather disorderly field of academic debate. First, it addresses the question of what Europeanisation is; second, it examines its historical origin and the validity of its foundations, issues rarely addressed by scholars of Europeanisation. This requires us to delve into depths of history, beyond the customary limit of 1945.
TidsskriftPublic Policy Research (Online)
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)86-91
StatusUdgivet - 2006
Udgivet eksterntJa