European politics at the beginning of the 21st century : Do theories of international relations explain current European politics?
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Today we witness something unprecedented in European history: sovereign states delegate a great deal of their sovereignty to international and supranational bodies – and this happens peacefully, with no wars, seemingly voluntarily. At the same time, centrifugal forces obstruct the 'unification' of Europe. Theories of international relations which are invoked to explain these processes tell us very little about why the countries of Europe want or do not want to 'get closer' to each other. What is it then, what explains best the creation of an 'ever closer union', paralleled by an increasing willingness of others to leave that same Union'? The present study asserts that it is history, and not this or that theory, that explains European politics at the threshold of the third millennium. It tells what the concept of Europe means today, what sort of a Europe is likely to emerge if the project of a larger and deeper European Union will be pursued, and finally, it tells why the European Union is bound to collapse if regulation rather than deregulation will characterize it in the years to come.