Good Institution in Multiple Perspectives: What makes EU Different -Seungmin Song

The European Union is one of the most well organized international organizations as regional governance. The complexity of the institution and the level of intergovernmental integration that EU achieved make hard to compare with other international organizations. Even though EU was created in similar time period with some other international organizations, it developed more than others because of interdependence and normative power that made more integration possible throughout the decades.

As Rosamond explains, the EU was an economic tool and evolved into more comprehensive institution over time. After WWII, six founding states integrate steel and coal economically. Even though it was an economic integration, “it was explicitly designed to solve Europe’s major security dilemma: the enmity between France and Germany.” Overtime, the EU added more components in the institution; now EU has both intergovernmental and supranational institution, such as The Commissions and Council of Ministers. Starting with economic integration, the EU has evolved into an international organization that oversees not only economic activities between member states, but in other areas as well.

The economic integration in steel and coal after WWII created lasting economic interdependence among member states, which has reduced the conflicts between states. The international community recognized this peace keeping ability and rewarded EU the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012. The economic interdependency and ability to create this interdependency gave EU the governing authority of integration on other areas as well, such as Justice and Home Affair and Foreign and Security Policy.

EU and its member states are more corporative and reflective not only because interdependency that member states have in EU, but also because of normative power. Before EU was created, Europe had been through a long history and the series of World Wars together. Through their experiences, Europe recognizes more than other regions how state affects the other, especially when they are so close geographically. After the creation of EU, the EU spread the “core norm,” such as human rights and sustainable development, effectively among member states. As the EU spreads the norm, both EU and member states’ behaviors reflect on those norms, which result corporative behavior between them.

The EU is both an example of a highly developed international organization, and it achieved a level of intergovernmental integration. According to neoliberalism, an institution should be a tool to generate cooperation among states, and according to constructivism, an institution should generate shared norms to create cooperation. EU demonstrates a well-developed institution in both perspectives: creating interdependency and shared norms. Even though some people might argue EU becomes more fragile, yet it is not consider this well established structure and the complexity that it has unlike any other international organization.


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