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The Social Construction of the Acquis Communautaire: A Cornerstone of the European Edifice

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  • Jorgensen, Knud Erik
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    The acquis communautaire is almost always (self-re)presented as a rock hard principle, as something applicant countries have to adapt to. Employing a Nietzsche-Foucauldian genealogical method, the paper explores an important instance of intersubjectivity of meaning among European integrators, or, in concrete terms, the genealogy of the acquis . The paper explores how the acquis has become such a powerful non-negotiable condition for accession and traces one origin of the acquis back to the early 1960s, to the first round of (failed) negotiations on enlargement. The paper argues that currently there are at least two meanings of the acquis : (i) a political principle and, (ii) a legal principle, constituting a crucial aspect of constitutionalization in the European Union. Finally, the paper concludes that despite various direct political attacks, and despite the worries of several scholars, the acquis seems not at all to be an endangered principle.

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    Article provided by European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A) in its journal European Integration online Papers (EIoP).

    Volume (Year): 3 (1999)
    Issue (Month): (04)

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    Handle: RePEc:erp:eiopxx:p0038
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    1. Price, Richard, 1995. "A genealogy of the chemical weapons taboo," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(01), pages 73-103, December.
    2. Christiansen, Thomas & Jorgensen, Knud Erik, 1999. "The Amsterdam Process: A Structurationist Perspective on EU Treaty Reform," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 3, 01.
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