The European Union and diminished state sovereignty

Carmen E. Pavel*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In A Republican Europe of States, Richard Bellamy embraces neither the anti-internationalism of the sovereign statist, not the unbounded trust in international institutions of the European federalists. He proposes instead a model for the European union he calls ‘republican intergovernmentalism.’ This model seeks to preserve internal state sovereignty while arguing that mutually agreed rules for regulating external sovereignty are necessary and beneficial. I argue instead that creating a supranational structure like the European Union cannot be accomplished without a reduction in the internal sovereign authority of member states. This a potentially legitimate reduction of sovereign authority for states, but a reduction nonetheless. The most important consequence of the conceptual claim that state sovereignty is diminished is that the delegation of authority to supranational institutions which has this cost ought to be publicly discussed and negotiated at the national level in member states to avoid misunderstandings and backlash against the legitimate authority of the EU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-603
Number of pages8
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Issue number4
Early online date4 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • differentiated integration
  • European union
  • republican intergovernmentalism
  • republicanism
  • sovereignty


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