The politicisation of European integration and its consequences: member state behaviour in the European semester
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European integration has become increasingly politicised. This has led to an interesting new research agenda which analyzes the role that identity and mass politics play in regional integration in Europe. While much of the literature explores the drivers of politicisation, far less deals with its specific consequences. This thesis will seek to address this gap in the literature and analyze the consequences of the politicisation of European integration in terms of member state behaviour. The acceptance of supranational coordination and control is the specific aspect of member state behaviour that will be examined. Drawing from a postfunctionalist approach, it will develop and test the hypothesis that the higher the level of politicisation in a member state, the less likely the member state is to accept supranational coordination and control of its economic policies. The level of politicisation will be measured using two indicators: 1) popular support for the EU and 2) electoral support for Eurosceptic parties. Acceptance of supranational coordination and control will be analyzed by focusing on the European Semester, and measured through progress implementing country-specific recommendations that are issued from the European Commission to the member states. To test the hypothesis, the research will examine 27 EU member states during the post-Eurozone crisis period 2011-2018. After measuring the variables, a bivariate analysis of the independent and dependent variables will show a weak level of correlation. A stronger degree of correlation is prevented by outliers that feature a low level of politicisation and a low level of progress implementing CSRs. This suggests that politicisation is one variable amongst others which affect the acceptance of supranational coordination and control, opening up avenues for future research.
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