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Vous consultezThe process of europeanization
AuteurNeil Fligstein du même auteur
Much of the debate over the nature and trajectory of the European Union has taken place in narrow theoretical and empirical contexts. In the political science literature, three issues hâve dominated. First, there has been a long discussion over whether or not the European Union is more an intergovernmental organization or a supranational entity  The intergovernmentalist position is admirably defended...
suite. The core of this discussion has focused on whether or not European states hâve granted sovereignty to the European Union. The basic question is to ask if, over time, the EU is coming more and more to resemble a traditional state. Second, there has been a lot of discussion about the intégration and opération of the EU as a légal System.  See, for example J. Weiler (1990), R. Dehousse (1994), and...
suite This discussion has considered the degree to which EU law has "de facto" produced a European légal system akin to the fédéral system of law in the U.S. and in essence, "federalized" or "constitutionalized" the various Treaties. Finally, there is a large and growing literature about how particular policies are actually formulated at the EU level.  The papers in H. Wallace (1998) examine the complex processes...
suite This literature has tried to capture the dynamics of the formation of particular policy fields by characterizing them as being constituted by interest group politics or policy networks.
2 Thèse three discussions hâve produced a large amount of empirical work and important insights into the structure and functioning of the EU. But, this focus on the politics of the organizations of the EU tends to study thèse political processes in relative isolation from the larger social and économie processes in which they are embedded. The basic point I wish to make is that the EU political and légal projects hâve changed the way that people within Europe, but outside of the Brussels complex, hâve interacted over time. I call this, the process of Europeanization. In particular, people hâve expanded their économie interactions within Europe and changed the way in which European firms operate. They hâve also increased the opportunities for people in Europe to begin to interact more with one another on a routine basis through nongovernmental organizations, such as professional associations or hobby groups.
3 At this point in time, there has been relatively little study of thèse effects. My main point is that it is likely that it is thèse changes which hâve begun to feed back into national political projects and EU politics. The increased interactions between citizens and firms has come to produce more demand for European coopération of a certain variety. In this way, a kind of spillover has evolved, sometimes in unintended ways, but often along explicable lines.
4 In this essay, I propose some simple ways to begin to study the process of Europeanization outside of the context of the formai politics of the EU. Then I suggest some hypothèses about what such a point of view suggests might be going on in Europe and what puzzles it begins to unravel. Finally, I présent a few "facts" to begin to show exactly what I hâve in mind. My purpose hère is to open up a new kind of discussion about the European project by including the study of Europeanization outside of the political sphère and considering the relations between the political, économie, and social arenas. I believe that this idea, the process of Europeanization, captures something important that is going on in Europe, but something that is rarely studied because it is difficult to get a handle on.
5 Europeanization can be defined as the création of new social arenas where groups (be they states, nonprofit organizations, sets of individuals, or firms) from more than two countries meet to interact on a regular basis. It is important to grasp the gênerai éléments of the theoretical perspective before applying it to the study of Europe. The problem of understanding the basic dynamics of social arenas and the rôle of actors in them originates theoretically in the "new institutionalisms" across the social sciences  P. Hall and R. Taylor (1996) provide a nice overview of...
suite. The basic theoretical question is to understand how local social orders (or arenas) get established, how they are structured, and what their relations are to other local orders.
6 A social arena or local social order implies groups who gather together. What makes this a social arena is that members of the groups become aware of one another and corne to take one another into account in their interactions. They corne to share a sensé of boundaries, purposes, and meanings about other groups' position, intentions, and actions. But a local social order also implies that groups share a common view of the rules governing the arena. Thèse rules can be shared understandings, customs, local cultures, or norms or even laws. Arenas tend to be Systems of power where actors hâve rôles, often in hierarchical relation to one another. One of the distinct feature of such a social arena is that is exists for some period of time and the groups in the arena can identify the other important groups in the arena. There can be turnover in group members and arenas can form and be transformed. The théories of how social arenas form are heterogeneous with respect to mechanisms. Some theorists focus on rational choice and game theoretic processes, others stress the rôle of preexisting institutions, the relative power of actors, and the rôle of cultural framing in producing new orders.
7 Social arenas are related to one another. Actors in one arena may be highly dépendent on actors in another arena. The actions of people or groups in a particular arena can, thus, hâve enormous conséquences for actors in other arenas where actors are dépendent. Social arenas can be more interdependent as well. Constant exchange between two social arenas might make them interdependent. Either form of relationship implies that actors can be profoundly effected by crises induced in neighboring arenas. In this way, a crisis in a particular arena can spread to related arenas. Similarly, the actions of groups in a particular arena can open up opportunities for actors in new arenas.
8 This very abstract logic can be applied to making sensé of Europeanization. In essence, what we hâve been observing in Europe for the past 40 years, is the growth of new social arenas where firms, governments, and organizations comprised of citizens from European societies hâve corne to construct new local orders. If we conceive of Europeanization as ail of the social arenas where groups from three or more European countries interact, then it should be obvious that Europeanization, so far, has mainly been studied at the level of politics, either the politics of the EU political and légal apparatus in Brussels or the politics of the large scale treaty negotiations between governments. Thus, we know quite a bit about the formai institutions of the EU, the politics of their arenas or policy domains, and the arena of the European Court of Justice. We also hâve well developed empirical studies of how bargaining proceeded to create the EU, produce the Single European Act and the Treaty on European Union.
9 But, this view of Europeanization is only part of Europeanization. We know that Europeanization is occurring in the economy as firms from différent societies compete more and more. We also know that Europeanization goes on in the social sphère. People travel, share music, literature, and other forms of popular culture, and interact with people more formally in professional associations and nonprofit organizations, like hobby and sports groups. Moreover, the média hâve corne to define "Europe" as a source of news and a constraint and opportunity to do politics. What we do not know is the degree to which thèse phenomena are related.
10 My discussion of the existence of social arenas suggests that existing arenas, particularly political ones create crises and opportunities for actors in other social arenas. This means that we ought to expect that changes brought about by the Treaties and the politics of the EU should create opportunities for both économie and social actors to interact. Once those actors hâve begun to interact, their problems will be European wide, and while national governments will be involved, Brussels may become one of the venues for solving them. Actors who are already involved in European arenas will also hâve a différent attitude towards the EU in their own national politics. Their préférences for more Europeanization of rules in order to facilitate more forms of interaction will translate as well into political programs for national political parties. So, for example, members of professions like the law and accountancy may begin to interact more across national borders. As a resuit, they hâve an interest in having their governments insure the récognition of their credentials across borders.
11 The process I am describing is akin to what Ernest Haas called "spillover" over 40 years ago  See E. Haas (1958). ...
suite. Haas thought that agreements on a given set of issues in the EU would spillover to other sets of issues. The main mechanism, for Hass, however, was that agreements would produce their own contradictions. Thèse "contradictions" could only be solved by more coopération. The main agents of this spillover would be firms, the EU bureaucracy, and académies, and the main locus of action would be Brussels. I hâve a more expansive idea of what spillover. I hypothesize that what the EU has done is to create the possibility for arenas of interaction for firms and other groups outside of the formai political processes of governing. It is thèse opportunities which hâve taken a long time to develop. As they hâve developed, they hâve created or transformed both markets and individual European societies. Groups from across the societies hâve developed linkages in explicable ways. I will propose some hypothèses about the direction of Europeanization and provide some évidence to support such a view.
12 The most obvious implication of the various Treaty negotiations and the outpouring of secondary législation from Brussels is to effect économie activity across Europe. It is odd that one of the least studied phenomena in EU studies is the actual effects of the création of European wide rules on those to whom the rules apply. The Single Market Program of the EU had three main effects on European business (Fligstein and I. Mara-drita). First, it predominantly made it easier to engage in exchange of goods and services for firms interested in doing so across Europe by reducing rules pertaining to border crossings, custom inspection, billing, insurance, and payment. Second, it changed the rules by which previously national markets were closed from foreign compétition in the fields of airlines, trucking, banking, insurance, utilities, télécommunications, and professional services. Finally, it made it difficult for governments to use any remaining nontariff trade barriers, such as health and safety standards, to protect national businesses, thereby opening up ostensible already open markets to compétition.
13 Firms and the political représentatives of industries played a major rôle in the évolution of the Single Market. We know that thèse groups were in favor of the Single Market and had a high degree of awareness of it (Ludlow 1998). From survey research done by the European Commission in 1987, we know that 80% of the managers of enterprises across the major industrial groups across Europe were aware of the Single Market Program.  These results are reported in N. Fligstein and P. Brantley...
suite Most of thèse managers saw the Single Market as an opportunity and not a threat. Not surprisingly, managers in firms whose industries were least open to compétition were most concerned about how their firms would fare in the Single Market (Fligstein and Brantley, 1995). The high level of awareness of the Single Market by business people meant that they would certainly prépare to take advantage of the market opening project.
14 Hypothesis 1 : The Single Market should hâve created opportunities for firms to enter markets where they previously had not been. This process of économie Europeanization of firms should hâve increased the amount of trade in Western Europe and it should also hâve caused European firms to more and more focus their activities in Europe.
15 The Single Market presented large European firms with the opportunity to engage in more cross border trade close to home by making it cheaper to do and opening markets previously closed. This should generally hâve increased intra-European trade. Moreover, since large European firms were already aware of such opportunities close to home, it would be surprising if intra-European trade did not rise as a percentage of total European trade. The new opportunities for many European firms were not in the U.S. or Asia, but in the market where they were already participants and that were close to home; i.e. Europe.
16 Table 1 présents évidence on European trade from 1980-1997. European trade increased from beginning in 1985 with the announcement of the Single Market. It also increased as a percentage of total world trade in line with hypothesis 1.
17 While there is much discussion about the globalization of trade in the past 20 years, there is substantial évidence to suggest that much of globalization is really about Europeanization. The European share of world trade increased from 1980-1995 from about 39% to about 45%. This occurred as world trade increased from about 11% of world GDP to about 16% of world GDP. Above, I showed that intra-European trade increased as a percentage of ail European trade. Taken together, thèse facts suggest that about half of world trade is done within the borders of the EU, this share of world trade increased even as world trade increased 50% in volume, and European firms came more and more to focus on Europe. The Single Market is rarely mentioned in discussions of globalization. But, in fact, it may hâve been one of the most important forces pushing world trade upward in the past 15 years.
Percent of EU Exports to the EU.
18 Hypothesis 2 : The Single Market caused European firms to reorganize themselves on a European wide basis. This reorganization produced a merger movement where the main partners shifted from national mergers to European wide mergers.
Number of Mergers and Joint Ventures for 1000 largest EU firms
Percentage of mergers of 1000 largest EU corporations within nation, across EU, and by nonEU firms
19 The arenas that made up the major markets for large European corporations were going to be reorganized by the Single Market. Firms that wanted to enter new markets in other countries had to gain entry. The main way that firms use to gain entry to new markets is mergers. Thus, we would hâve expected that Europeanization of markets implies more cross border mergers between large corporations. Some studies présent évidence on the merger activities of the 1000 largest European firms from 1980-1992. A merger movement began in Europe in 1986 right at the time of the announcement of the Single Market. The merger movement peaked in 1991 as the Single Market deadline of 1992 approached. In 1980, half of the mergers were taking place within each society. But as the merger movement heated up, cross European border mergers increased as a percentage of ail mergers. As the merger movement died down, the mergers returned to their national pattern. This is évidence that the largest European corporations prepared for the Single Market by using mergers with their counterparts in other countries.
20 The évidence just prevented is certainly consistent with the gênerai argument I am making about Europeanization. The political project of changing the rules governing trade in Europe has resulted in an increase in trade and a reorganization of the activities of the largest European corporations. In essence, changing the rules presented firms with the opportunity to expand their activities across Europe. Thèse corporations are now more focused on serving the European market and treating that market as a single market. But, are they now political or légal implications that dérive from this change in the organization of European économie activity ? Hère we consider two important ones.
21 Hypothesis 3 : Economie Europeanization should drive firms and their organized représentatives to use the European légal System more and to try and get directives passed in order to aid market access. It should also encourage thèse firms to form new lobbying organizations in Brussels.
22 Stone-Sweet and Brunell hâve written a remarkable paper that shows that the main fact that explains court cases being brought to the European Court of Justice, is the level of and growth in trade across Europe (Stone-Sweet and Brunell, 1998). Since the Single Market increased trade across Europe, it has meant that firms from différent countries now face commercial market problems more frequently. As a resuit, this has brought them to use the judicial apparatus of the EU more systematically. But this is not the only effect the increased économie activity has had on the politics of the EU. One could argue that increased trade which produced more litigation hâve increased the demand for more and clearer rules guiding trade across Europe. This should be reflected two ways. First, we should be witnessing an increase in the number of firms and industries that open up shop in Brussels to lobby for new directives. Second, we should see an increase in the number of directives being produced in Brussels.
23 Table 5 présents évidence on this hypothèses. We observe that at the beginning of the EU, there was the founding of a large number of lobbying organizations, there was a slight increase during the 1970s and a décline around 1980. Thèse patterns correspond to what one would expect. When the EU appeared to be in crisis in the late 1970s and early 1980s, few groups felt compelled to open up lobbying offices in Brussels. But beginning in 1985, we see an increase in lobbying group founding in Brussels and during the 1990s, this has even increased. This pattern is consistent with our view that what is driving the Brussels project along is the perception by actors, mostly in the economy, that lobbying in Brussels is increasingly important as the health of their firms and industries corne to dépend on trade more and more.
Number of lobbying groups founded
24 A similar pattern can be seen in the production of directives. There was an increase in the number of directives passed in the EU during the 1960s and 1970s. Again, this leveled off during the crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s. With the Single European Act and the change in voting rules, the number of directives produced in the EU expanded hugely. While thèse descriptive patterns do not establish the causal links between the growth of the intra-European economy, the growth of court cases, the growth in lobbying, and the growth in directives, they are suggestive that ail of thèse features of Europeanization hâve moved together. The advantage of the Europeanization perspective in the économie and political contexts is that they provide an opportunity to begin to understand how the process of Europeanization over time has created new économie opportunities. The création of thèse opportunities has changed the logic of managers, particularly of large firms, to shift to a more European conception of their market. This, in turn, has fed back into the politics of the EU.
25 There are a large number of ways to begin to analyze how Europeanization has created opportunities for people from différent societies to interact. There has been explosive growth in trans-European organizations beyond those who are narrowly concerned with lobbying in Brussels. Organizations of académies, professionals, teachers, and hobbyists hâve increased their activities, their memberships, and their connections to one another. Moreover, scholars are just beginning to think about how travel, consumption, and a common média change patterns of interaction. Thèse social interactions, however, are harder to ground in terms of their causes and conséquences. It is hard to see exactly what the implication is, for example, if people interested in mushroom gathering across Europe create an organization, and hâve extensive activities. In récent years, there has been discussion of creating a European football league modeled on American nationally organized professional sports. We know there has been a large growth in thèse types of organizations, but it is difficult to gauge their significance.
26 I would like to ground this short discussion around the question of a European identity. One of the puzzles of Europeanization is given how much action there is in Brussels and given how integrated the European économies hâve become, there is not much sensé that people who live in the nation states of Europe think of themselves as Europeans. Most political scientists believe that at the core of the nation state is the identification of citizens with the nation. The legitimacy of governments is supposed to hinge on people thinking of themselves as part of the collective political, social, and économie project. For some, since the people of Europe do not think of themselves as Europeans, the European Union can never become a legitimate government.
27 I want to take issue with this characterization of the issue of identity in two ways. First, the issue of European identity is not this simple. The Eurobarometer Surveys hâve been asking questions on and off about whether or not people in Europe consider themselves to be Europeans. In 1995, only 5% of the people viewed themselves as Europeans. But, about 20% of the people think of themselves as primarily Europeans and some other national identity, another 40% of the people think of themselves sometimes as Europeans. This simple question shows that how one wants to think about the question of identity is important. 80% of the people in Europe sometimes think of themselves as European and so only 20% never think of themselves as European. This is évidence that there is more Europe than most observers think. But, only 20% of Europeans mostly think of themselves as Europeans and therefore 80% of the people are more firmly wedded to their national identities.
28 I want to argue that this ambiguity is real. Most people in Europe are uninvolved in Europeanization of the direct économie, political, or social varieties. Thus, their main expériences of people from other societies is through the média and travel. Most Europeans do not know how linked up their économies and governments are, and certainly most do not belong to transnational organizations. Europe, for better or worse is the Europe of political, économie, and social élites. One would expect that those who hâve the most direct and continuous expériences of others in other societies would be most likely to think of themselves as Europeans. But since the number of people in this position is restricted, we would expect to find very few "true" Europeans.
29 Hypothesis 4 : European identity hinges on extensive interaction with people from other European societies. Therefore, we expect that people who are most involved in European arenas (social, political, and économie) are most likely to see themselves as European. In spite of ail of the European activity, only a small percentage of the political and économie élite hâve thèse interactions routinely. The 5% of the European population who think of themselves primarily as "Europeans" are probably mostly members of this élite.
30 If we ask the question, "who tends to think of themselves as a European ?", my answer would be that those who hâve direct expérience with people from other parts of Europe are more likely to see themselves as part of Europe than those who are do not.  Thèse results are summarized from N. Fligstein "The...
suite We hâve little systematic évidence of this kind of contact, but one hypothesis would be that the distribution of individuals with European expériences should vary by social status and class. Thus, the young, the educated, those with professional and managerial jobs, and those who work for governments are more likely to hâve routine interactions with people from other societies. The "young" hâve founded a youth culture that is pan-European, while the elderly still remember Europe at war and the divisions between Germany and Italy and the rest of Europe. Educated people are more likely to be members of groups who cooperate across Europe and thus, are more likely to know other Europeans. Those with professional and managerial jobs are more likely to encounter one another through business. Finally, those who work for governments will frequently get to interact with their counterparts from other societies. From their interactions, they will get to know others from around Europe. Most will continue to see themselves as having a national identity, but interaction with others will also produce more of a sensé of similarity than différence. I hâve used régression analysis to look at the data from the Eurobarometers and confirmed my hypothesis. Those who are likely to hâve more interaction with people from other societies do tend to think of themselves more as Europeans.
31 Over time what will this mean ? If économie Europeanization continues, and political and légal intégration remains on the agenda, then thèse will be forces to produce more social Europeanization. Activities in the social sphère hâve their own logic and dynamic as well. Individuals and groups driven by new conceptions of collective interest will find themselves wanting to get to know people from other countries. So, for example, recently, the European business schools hâve organized a European wide system of accréditation. They hâve done so to increase their collective legitimacy as providing training for European managers. But, in doing so, they also raise their collective European awareness of one another and create a social arena where other forms of exchange are possible.
32 It is almost unthinkable that western European governments would become belligerent towards one another. While people across Europe (particularly older people), continue to see those in other societies as "foreign", it is almost impossible to think of any conditions under which war would be possible in Western Europe. This is the most remarkable achievement of the EU and indeed, one of the central goals of the original proponents of the EU, Monnet and Schumann. But, this change in the past 50 years from governments who were in almost a constant state of war to the most peaceful area of the world where many societies co-exist is remarkable.
33 My central thesis hère, is that one of the main ways to make sensé of this, is to realize that the more and more that people get to know each other and find themselves in situations where their coopération produce individual and collective benefits, the less and less likely they are to be hostile to each other. Moreover, as European political coopération has increased, it has presented firms and ordinary people with the opportunity to expand interaction with each other. This increased social and économie interaction then effects how citizens and firms think of who they are and what their interests are. This, of course, feeds back into the political process, both within governments, but also the EU. It is this gênerai sensé that the Europeanization project has been good for individuals and groups that explains why anti-EU political parties hâve had a difficult time. From the point of view of citizens and firms who hâve interactions with those from other societies, thèse interactions hâve primarily been bénéficiai.
34 This paper has tried to outline some of the main ways in which économie, political, and social intégration hâve been related to each other. But my purpose hère is not to close down this avenue of thinking, but instead to open it up. Scholars who are interested in the kinds of puzzles and contradictions that Europeanization produces will get a lot further if the begin to think of the process of Europeanization not narrowly as a political project. They will be able to examine what kinds of social arenas hâve come into existence and what kinds hâve not. They will be able to begin to think about the opportunities and constraints that this uneven process créâtes. This is an exciting frontier for research that will help clarify the extent, direction, and perhaps, even the trajectory of Europeanization.
35 One of the central paradoxes of Europeanization is that while it is very intensive for the minority of Europeans who engage in cross border trade, the politics of Brussels, or who work in decisionmaking positions within the national government, the European project has not very deeply effected the "average" person. Most people who work for firms or governments, even those, whose jobs are highly dépendent on trade, do not fully understand how integrated they are with people from the other societies. This problem can hâve two ultimate solutions. First, political parties and governments can increasingly "run" against Brussels thereby capturing possible anti-EU sentiments and slowing down the process of Europeanization. Thus, the lack of democracy in the EU and the gênerai lack of knowledge about the level of interdependency of European societies will eventually undermine support for Europe amongst the 80% of the population who do not see Europe as their project. But, there is a second alternative. More and more people can eventually see their short and long term interests as effected by Europeanization. This can be because of jobs, shared popular culture, or more expériences with people from other societies. Haas more or less thought this was on scénario in 1957.
36 This problem goes beyond what people hâve called the "démocratie déficit". It is not just the institutions of Brussels that are distant from people's daily concerns. It is the fact that most people are unaware of how much Europe exists and what its positive and négative effects are. Their main expériences of Europe are through the média and travel. While one of the strengths of the EU is its extensiveness, particularly in the economy, it is also socially very thin. It is this lack of awareness and contact between most people and the high level of interdependency of European économie and political life that form the crux of the situation of Europe today.
Burley A.-M. and W. Mattli (1993), "Europe before the Court : A political theory of Légal intégration", International Organization, 47 :41-76.
Dehousse Renaud (1994), The European Court of Justice, Paris, Montchrestien
Fligstein N. (forthcoming) "Fields, power, and social skill : A critique of the "New Institutional Théories" in P. Miller (éd.) (forthcoming)/>ower and Organization, London, Sage
Fligstein N. "The Process of Europeanization", chapter 6, Unpublished Manuscript
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Fligstein N. and P. Brantley (1995) "The Single Market Program and the Interests of Business" in B. Eichengreen and J. Frieden (éd.) The Political Economy of European Intégration, Berlin, Springer-Verlag
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[ 1] The intergovernmentalist position is admirably defended in A. Moravscik (1998). A book filled with papers showing how various policy domains of the EU can be characterized as supranational is W. Sandholtz and A. Stone-Sweet (1998)
[ 2] See, for example J. Weiler (1990), R. Dehousse (1994), and A.-M. Burley and W. Mattli.
[ 3] The papers in H. Wallace (1998) examine the complex processes of EU decision-making. The papers in S. Mazey and J. Richardson (1994) focus on the rôle of lobbying groups in the making of directives. A. Héritier (1996) considers how policy networks that form across Europe effect governmental régulation.
[ 4] P. Hall and R. Taylor (1996) provide a nice overview of this literature. N Fligstein examines the literature more critically in "Fields, power, and social skill : A critique of the "New Institutional Théories" in P. Miller (éd.), Power and Organization, London : Sage, fortheoming.
[ 5] See E. Haas (1958).
[ 6] These results are reported in N. Fligstein and P. Brantley (1995).
[ 7] Thèse results are summarized from N. Fligstein "The Process of Europeanization", chapter 6, Unpublished Manuscript.
The author's central thesis is that one of the main ways to make sensé of Europeanization is to realize that the more and more that people get to know each other and find themselves in situations where their coopération produce individual and collective benefits, the less and less likely they are to be hostile to each other. Moreover, as European political coopération has increased, it has presentedfirms and ordinary people with the opportunity to expand interaction with each other. This increased social and économie interaction then effects how citizens and firms think ofwho they are and what their interests are. While one of the strengths ofthe EU is its extensiveness, particularly in the economy, it is also socially very thin. It is this lack of awareness and contact between most people and the high level of interdependency of European économie and political life thatform the crux ofthe situation of Europe today.
PLAN DE L'ARTICLE
- Définition of Europeanization
- The Opening ofNew Economie European Spaces
- Some Implications of Economie Europeanization
- Aspects of Social Europeanization
POUR CITER CET ARTICLE
Neil Fligstein « The process of europeanization », Politique européenne 1/2000 (n° 1), p. 25-42.
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-politique-europeenne-2000-1-page-25.htm.