The Euro Civil Service in (times Of) Crisis. The Weakening Sociological Foundations of a Pivot Group and the European Political Order

Didier Georgakakis, georgakakis2.pdf

The corps of the European civil servant was thought as the only corps of permanents of Europe to represent an equivalent to what the civil service is for the State; in other words, an independent, competent and visionary base for stabilizing the numerous political and eco-nomic conflicts of interest resulting from an Ever Closer Union. But through a series of proc-esses, this base is living deep transformations that make it progressively much closer from the staff of a classic international organisation than the custodians of a state in formation. This move, which appeared in a heavy context of management reforms, enlargements, institutional changes and the euro crisis, represents an important shift with a number of consequences in terms of power, frustrations, internal tensions between the staff and around the definition of European public policies, if not broadly, on the capacity of the institutions to embody an European future. Based on a book to be published and containing an important empirical ma-terial, this presentation focuses on the consequences of this change, both toward the process of European integration and the current "crisis" situation, two notions that are theoretically discussed and redefine at this occasion. Instead of taking the crisis as a series of external or institutional factors, it argues that the combination of the weakening sociological foundations of this pivot group meets the absence of an autonomous political authority and the more and more distant and divergent attitude toward Europe taken by the main groups of European elites (economic, political, intellectual), and create an unprecedented historical and sociological configuration.

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