European Integration in Past and Present

561
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-1-53-66

V. Sheynis (sheynis31@gmail.com), 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The outlook on integration processes in Europe prevalent in the Soviet-Russian official doctrine, academic literature and political journalism has been changing substantially: from ideologically prescribed perceptions through careful adaptation to reality – to multidisciplinary research on actual processes, considerably contributed by the scientists of IMEMO and other Russian research institutes. However, the exacerbation of relations with the West brings some authors back to politically charged presentment of processes in Europe. The European integration has traveled a long and complicated way from a multisectoral cartel agreement to the European Union (EU), a kind of a national states confederation, and from the six countries’ association – to the conglomerate of 28 states embracing almost all of Europe west of the former USSR borders (and stepping outside of them in Baltics). Territorial expansion has boosted the Union’s heterogeneity and put it to the challenging tasks of setting and realization of a conjoint line in world politics, negotiating counter-integration outbursts. In its path, the EU has faced significant successes and throwbacks. The association, at first economic, has spilled over to politics and the law, having arrived at common defense and security policy shaping. Human rights and fundamental freedoms – the core values of the European civilization which have become its historical contribution to the world development – are recorded as rightful principles of the EU. By overcoming conservative attitudes of the national sovereignty devotees, the level of regulation has been raising from intergovernmental to supranational. The failure of the European Constitution project in referendums in France and Holland (the Netherlands) was partly countervailed by conclusion of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 which authorized the EU for its own legal personality and renewed its institutional structure. At the present stage, the aggravation of global problems, internal and external contradictions, the emergence of new challenges and threats has set the EU ambitious tasks with no clear solutions. All this promises Europe a tortuous future. However, its crowning achievements are irreversible, and the integration process which has been dominating over half a century will hardly be halted or redirected. 

Keywords: European Union, European Council of Europe, European Comission, European Parliament, Eurosceptics, Lisbon Treaty of 2009, European Parliament elections 


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For citation:
Sheinis V. European Integration in Past and Present. World Eсonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 53-66. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-1-53-66



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