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European Integration, the State and Global Governance: An Initial Exploration

Uwe Wunderlich

A system of multilevel global governance is emerging where authority is increasingly being shared between several layers of decision-making. In this climate the regional level is emerging increasingly as an intermediate level of governance between the state and global level institutions. Whilst global governance has become an important concept within both academia and policy decision-making circles there remains a significant amount of uncertainty regarding how such governance is being, and should be constructed and at which level it should be located.In this context, much can be learned from analysing the European Union (EU). Indeed, European Studies has made considerable progress in our understanding not only of regional governance, but in our understanding of supranational governance in general. There are several advantages of using the EU as an example for supranational global governance. First, the European integration can look back at a long history, and has developed an institution that managed to emerge as an international actor in its own right. Second, the EU is resting on the principle of pooled sovereignty. It has created a hybrid and very unique model of regionally-based governance, combining intergovernmental cooperation with supranational features. And third, the EU already represents a system of multilevel governance combining institutionalised and regulated cooperation between national governments, local authorities and institutions with supranational powers with a well-codified and highly evolved international legal framework. Thus, the study of the EU and the European studies literature more generally promise to offer interesting insights into questions surrounding global supranational governance.This paper aims to assess the linkages between European integration and the global governance framework. It aspires primarily to develop a roadmap for future research. Several issues will be addressed within the framework of the paper:<ul><li>the role of the EU (as an institution) as an actor in the global governance framework</li><li>the relationship between European Integration (as a process) and modes of global governance</li><li>the relationship between European Integration (as a process) and modes of global governance</li><li>the role of the nation-state between regional integration and global governance.</li></ul>

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