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Negotiating the Single European Act: national interests and conventional statecraft in the European Community

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  • Moravcsik, Andrew

Abstract

The unexpected approval in 1986 of the Single European Act and its program for completing the European Community's internal market by 1992 did not, according to the historical data presented in this article, result from an elite alliance of the European Community Commission, European Parliament, and pan-European business groups. Instead, it rested on interstate bargains involving Britain, France, and Germany, for which the two essential preconditions were the convergence of European economic policy prescriptions following the French turnaround in 1983 and the bargaining leverage that France and Germany gained by threatening to create a “two-track†Europe and exclude Britain. This suggests that theories stressing supranational factors, including certain variants of neofunctionalism, should be supplanted by an “intergovernmental institutionalise†approach combining a realist emphasis on state power and national interests with a proper appreciation of the important role of domestic factors in determining the goals that governments pursue.

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  • Moravcsik, Andrew, 1991. "Negotiating the Single European Act: national interests and conventional statecraft in the European Community," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 19-56, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:45:y:1991:i:01:p:19-56_00
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