From its antecedents in the 1950s, successive forms of European integration were intended to be leaderless. They have succeeded only too well in demonstrating that much can be achieved without sustained leadership. The attachment to national sovereignty of most of the European elites and mass populations has meant that confederalism has been implicitly accepted for the foreseeable future. This book attempts to clarify three clusters of issues. First, as European integration has advanced, who has provided the impetus? Particular insiders have episodically exerted decisive innovative influence, despite the need to conciliate the jealous champions of national sovereignty. Three case studies are offered: economic and monetary policy, environmental policy and technology policy. The second part examines why the European Union is currently leaderless. The weakened Commission and the increasingly assertive European Council and Council of Ministers have contended for control of agenda-setting but it is in the sphere of foreign and security policy that the EU's logic of leaderlessness has been most conspicuous. Finally, reduced capacity of the Franco-German tandem to offer acceptable leadership and British incapacity to join or replace them in providing overall leadership is also discussed.
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