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EU actors under pressure: Politicisation and depoliticisation as strategic responses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-341
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Volume27
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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Abstract

This contribution conceptualises bottom-up politicisation in Europe’s multi-level system. EU-level actors, we argue, respond strategically to the functional and political pressures ‘travelling up’ from the member states. Perceiving domestic dissensus as either constraining or enabling, actors display both self-restraint and assertiveness in their responses. Motivated by the survival of the EU as a system ‘under attack’, and by the preservation of their own substantive and procedural powers, actors choose to either politicise or depoliticise decision-making, behaviour and policy outcomes at the supranational level. As a collection, this Special Issue demonstrate that the choices actors make ‘under stress’ at the EU-level—ranging from ‘restrained depoliticisation’ to ‘assertive politicisation’—are, indeed, conditional on how bottom-up pressures are perceived and processed.

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