The New Intergovernmentalism and EU Legislation

Paul James Cardwell

This paper considers the apparent decline in the amount of new EU legislation in the post-Maastricht period through the prism of New Intergovernmentalism. The aim of the paper is to establish whether this phenomena can be explained by the different logics in play in the post-Maastricht period of institutional change. The paper considers whether deliberation and consensus-building (which new intergovernmentalism suggests are now ends in themselves rather than a means to further supranationalist integration (Bickerton, Hodson and Puetter 2014)) is reflected in the EU's legislative output. Whilst the paper agrees that new intergovernmentalism goes some way in providing an explanation for the trajectory of legislation and legislative outputs, it has more difficulty in accounting for the drive towards de-regulation as a means fulfilling Treaty goals. Nevertheless, the deliberation and consensus-building hypothesis can help us understand how law (other than pieces of legislation) and legal dynamics play a role in the contemporary EU.

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