From ECSC to European Union: An Analysis of the Evolution of the Institutions of European Integration

  • Dr.Sc. Constantine Hadjilambrinos ILIRIA College
Keywords: European integration history, European institutions, European Coal and Steel Community, European Union,


The policymaking process of the European Union (EU) is particularly convoluted and reflects an institutional structure that is unique among governance entities. The institutional structure of the Union is complex, with a multitude of co-decision making and advisory bodies. The ways in which these institutions interact in the Union’s policymaking process (i.e., the EU’s organizational structure) is governed by a complex set of treaties. We argue that institutional and organizational structures have normative content because they embody specific ideologies of integration. A historical analysis of the evolution of European integration reveals that the peculiarities of the European Union's institutional and organizational structure are a result of the influence of three distinct ideologies about the desired nature of international organization: functionalism, intergovernmentalism, and federalism. The Union's roots as the European Coal and Steel Community and the ideas of Jean Monnet concerning the shape and path of European integration, moderated by federalist and intergovernmentalist ideas, were fundamental in determining the European Union’s institutional structure and shaping its policymaking process.


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