Can the Politicization of European Integration Be Reversed?*

17 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2012

See all articles by Pieter de Wilde

Pieter de Wilde

Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB)

Michael Zürn


Date Written: March 2012


Following the failure of the Constitutional Treaty, executives of European Union (EU) Member States and the European Commission tried to take European integration as a political issue as much off the agenda as possible and limit involvement of citizens in EU decision‐making. This article assesses the viability of this attempt to combat politicization of European integration and comes to the conclusion that it is unlikely to succeed in the long run. Politicization, it is argued, is a direct consequence of the increasing authority of the EU. The executive response to reverse this trend, however, does not address its cause, but rather the intermediating factors in the form of political opportunity structure. Since the cause of politicization remains intact and intermediating factors are unlikely to be controlled by executives, this attempt to reverse politicization is not viable.

Suggested Citation

de Wilde, Pieter and Zürn, Michael, Can the Politicization of European Integration Be Reversed?* (March 2012). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 50, pp. 137-153, 2012. Available at SSRN: or

Pieter De Wilde (Contact Author)

Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785

Michael Zürn


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