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The European governance by the yardstick of the Lisbon Treaty: what is the situation of governmance?


Even if the concept of governance is the subject of debate concerning its heuristic nature (Paye, 2007 or Senarclens, 1998), the analysis of this concept in its relationship with others such as << government >> or << State >> could prove pertinent in what it reveals on itself but also on the transformations of the modern State, even more so in the light of the observation of the phenomenon of the shift from << government >> to << governance >> (1). In this regard, the study of this phenomenon in the case of the European Union deserved to be attempted. Thus, in a previous contribution (Vercauteren, 2007), the question had been raised concerning the extent to which, in a context of crisis of transformation of the State, such a shift could be observed in the case of the Europe process. Reflection developed at the time led to a positive answer to this question not only on the basis of the semantic observation of the concepts of << government >> and << governance >> but also because of the practices developed during the advancement of the process of European integration.

On the basis of this observation, the question should be raised concerning the extent to which this movement is affected by the Treaty of Lisbon and this in the light of the concept of << governmance >>. This then makes it possible to arrive logically at the hypothesis according to which, rather than a shift from << government >> to << governance >>, more or less marked or slowed down, the evolution under way with the Treaty of Lisbon expresses or confirms a movement of interactions between the two elements of the binomial, marking perhaps the transformation of governance into a << new European governance >> of which certain contours are emerging. This interactive dimension thus attests in another way to the dynamic character underlined in several studies of the European integration process (Jachtenfuchs M & B. Kohler-Koch, 1996, Littoz-Monnet A., 2010) (2). This will then lead us, by way of conclusion, to query the political nature of the European process. Such questioning is justified insofar as the answer to this question constitutes an additional element, making it possible to assess the result of the interaction between << government >> and << governance >> in the European integration process.

1. What type of European governance?

In the analysis mentioned previously on the question of the shift from << government >> to << governance >> in the European process, the positive response, was, however, accompanied by several characteristics emerging from this movement:

- the ambivalent nature of the relationship that the State maintains with governance: a State that is both accomplice and victim of governance, an accomplice insofar as it is an essential decision-maker in the future of European governance; a victim insofar as this governance has the effect of restricting or supervising more closely the government considered in its organic dimension and making it just one actor amongst others in an increasingly complex game;

- rather than the advent of a << governance without government >> (Rosenau & Czempiel, 1992), the coexistence of the two elements forming a binomial in the building of a united Europe;

- a European governance covering more extensive and varied fields of competence;

- this extension progressively leads European governance into a plural dimension, a << multi governance >> composed of a series of specific processes according to the fields or challenges formalised, for example, by the three pillars of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992.

These characteristics, in particular the ambivalent nature of the relationship between State and governance, then make it possible to underline the incomplete character of the shift of << government >> to << governance >> within the EU. This incomplete character of the shift can be explained not so much because the Member States do not intend the process of European integration to mean their disappearance at long term into a sort of European super-State but is more the result of contradictions, paradoxes or ambiguities in the behaviours and attitudes of States with regard to European governance. Such well-known contradictions and ambiguities are not only reflected in the different cleavages between Member States (for example between Europhiles and Eurosceptics, between << large >> and << small >> Member States, between << new >> and << longstanding >> Member States... ) but also in the behaviours of each Member State particularly marked by pro-European voluntarism in certain areas and reluctance in others and this according to its national interest.

How can we sum up all the contradictions, paradoxes or ambiguities of States? By << governmance >> which can be defined as the attempts of States to resist the shift -from << government >> to << governance >> or by something in between the two, hesitant and uncertain, that characterises what is no longer exactly an exclusively inter-State European system and not really a system entirely under European governance3. << Governmance >> therefore marks this situation in which the transition from << government >> to << governance >>, presented for a moment by certain as unavoidable seems to mark time given the contradictions of the system and its actors, and also the resistance which is offered by States.

However, it cannot be concluded that << governmance >> is a permanent state, since it can, on the one hand, be considered as a kind of << barometric swamp >>, to use a meteorological metaphor, a situation of fog in appearance which undergoes no changes during a certain period, or on the other hand, be understood as a process of seeking a new balance within the European Union between actors of different natures with diverse or even contradictory interests, in the face of new or evolving challenges and which also has a part to play in the transformation of the State in crisis.

2. The impact of the Treaty of Lisbon

How is European governmance expressed from the standpoint of the Treaty of Lisbon and its follow-up? To answer such a question, it is not a case of carrying out a new comparative analysis as such of the Treaty of Lisbon with regard to previous treaties4 but of isolating the elements that make it possible to assess the state of governmance on the basis of the observations made in the introduction to the present contribution.

Amongst the changes introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon with regard to former treaties, five can be highlighted:

1) A better structuring of the power that the European Council is recognised as having, stemming from the provisions which, on the one hand, give it a permanent President (Art 9. B, Paragraphs 5 and 6), and, on the other hand, also authorise it in some cases, given the increasing number of Council members, to act by a qualified majority. The question which then arises is whether the permanent President will confine himself/ herself - or will be confined -- to the more administrative and procedural role of << moderator >> of the meeting or if he/she will decide to take over a role of leadership (as Jacques Delors did in another function). The first few months suggest that the first President, Herman Van Rompuy, has chosen both, but with prudence: taking the initiative of convening European summits during crises (such as the Greek crisis) and establishing new relationships with the President of the Commission and the six-monthly Presidency of the Council of the European Union (the Council of Ministers).

2) The extension of the powers of the European Parliament: even if it does not as yet have the right to take legislative initiatives which are still vested in the monopoly of the Commission, the already existing procedure of co-decision in which it participates with the Council of Ministers has been extended to cover some forty-one new fields. Furthermore, it is now called upon to elect the President of the European Commission, by the majority of its members--as proposed by the European Council.

3) The adaptation of the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the organisation of the groups of three States (Presidency trios) for a period of eighteen months (5).

4) In addition to the election of its President, already mentioned, the number of the Commission's members has been reduced in principle (from 2014 onwards) to two-thirds of the number of Member States.

5) Amongst its members, the Commission has seen the creation of the Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy aiming at unifying foreign policy, a foreign policy which up until then had been shared between the Council of Ministers and the Commission, depending on the challenges and fields concerned. This unification is embodied by the dual status given to the person holding that office: both High Representative and Vice-Chairman of the Commission. He/she therefore chairs the meetings of the Council of Ministers devoted to foreign affairs, and ensures the coordination of external matters relating to trade, development cooperation and humanitarian aid. He/she now has a European External Action Service at his/her disposal.

Such changes do not, however, take place without causing a certain number of difficulties. First of all, the complexity of the provisions of the Treaty itself is increased by many appended Protocols which could weaken the efficiency of implementation (which is contrary to the objective of efficiency pursued by governance thus making it more fragile). Secondly, the largest number of groups of the Council of Ministers, at the head of which the rotating Presidency system is maintained, can also turn out to be a source of problems. Many people have queried the tensions which can arise between the many Presidents that the European institutions now have: European Council, Council of Ministers, European Commission, High Representative (for the Council devoted to Foreign Affairs) not to mention the President of the European Parliament. This makes it possible to highlight a weakness that is still present in European governance: the absence of a << European >> arbitrator in case of disagreement between European partners, which brings us back to the inevitable compromises and therefore contributes to the burden of governance. Furthermore, despite the advances of majority voting in the legislative process, these are frustrated by maintaining in this same procedure a number of kinds of decision-making requiring the unanimous vote of the representatives of States and by the postponement of the new method of calculating the qualified majority until the deadline of 2014-2017. Finally, the new reduced composition of the Commission is certainly likely to facilitate its operating procedures. However, this advantage is impeded by the requirement of the egalitarian rotation of States. In this spirit, on the one hand, the postponement to 2014 of the full implementation of the provisions of the Treaty in this regard and, on the other, the possibility offered to the European Council to modify, unanimously, the number of Commissioners (Article 17, Paragraph 5) undermine the ultimate implementation of the principle inscribed in the Treaty of Lisbon and therefore of the benefits that could be drawn by the Commission in terms of governance in its objective of efficiency.

The amendments made by the Treaty of Lisbon to earlier texts have become the subject of diverging interpretations, of which two currents of thought amongst many others can be underlined, thereby making it possible to advance in answering the question of the impact of the Treaty of Lisbon on European governmance: on the one hand, the criticism of the increase of intergovernmentalism (Lagasse N. and Lagasse Ch-E., 2010) and, on the other hand, the observation of the reinforcement of the institutions (Council, Commission and Parliament) of the << Community method >> (Notre Europe, 2009). Are these two interpretations contradictory or would it be necessary to consider that one of the elements of the binomial << government >>/<< governance >> would triumph over the other, or again that both of them would end up reinforced?

The impossibility to answer these questions conclusively straight away reflects the continuing ambivalent nature of the relationships between the State (that is, the government in its institutional dimension) and the governance that has emerged from the Treaty. Why is this ambivalence maintained and what form does it take?

In its original sense proposed by the World Bank (World Bank, 1992), governance implied, in a liberal perspective, that the system, through its improved operating procedures induced by governance, would find a new global balance all by itself. However, the crisis of global governance (Held 2006), particularly in the financial field, and the growing operational difficulties of European governance inspired by this concept of the World Bank, indicate that this was not the case. It is therefore important, first of all, to note the extent to which the global context contributes to the call for a new and even greater role of the State in the management of modern-day challenges (Vercauteren, 2010). In addition, to return more specifically to the European question, the reinforcement of intergovernmentalism can be explained for several reasons: the impact of persistent disagreements between Member States, particularly on the importance of the << Community method>> (6) in European governance, the increasing number of Member States and the growing weight of the criticisms of the limits of efficiency of European governance, especially action carried out by the EU bodies. The first two factors have contributed to making European governance more cumbersome and therefore to strengthening the criticism against it, encouraging in this way the determination of several States towards intergovernmentalism.

But the return of a greater focus on intergovernmentalism does not necessarily lessen the ambivalence of the relationship between State and European governance. The Treaty of Lisbon, in fact, does not seem to modify fundamentally the nature of victim and accomplice of the relationships between States and European governance, which re-emerge as even more complex than before. This is underlined by Jean-Louis Quermonne when he observes the growing complexification << of the processes of the drafting of decisions, the decision itself and its implementation >> (7). To break such a deadlock which seems to condemn European governance to more complexity and which will run counter to its goal of efficiency, States can either have recourse to reinforced cooperation, which tends to change the settings to certain governments or gradually introduce new subject matter into the Union's spheres of competence. However, this involves the cumbersome procedure of revising the Treaties and consequently moves the cursor towards governance.

The persisting ambivalence of the nature of the relationship between Member States and European governance thus gives an image of European governmance which can perhaps be summarised as follows: if, in the logic of governance, States tend to find themselves engulfed by a series of complex processes, these same States, despite the growing difficulties they encounter in fulfilling their missions, are not ready to make the decision to be governed and, through the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon, co-decide new rules in a context of crisis, the effects of which reinforce the European << regime >>, to use the phrase of Stephen Krassner (Krassner, 1995) (8), which is proving to be increasingly compelling for the Member States. Moreover, the resurgent intergovernmentalism shows an attempt on the part of States to regain the control of the process of governance whose legitimacy has been weakened by its crisis.

Even if we have lingered a long time until now on the ambivalence of the relationships between States and European governance, there is another characteristic that is worthy of note, although more briefly, given the space allowed for this contribution. The multi-governance observed in the introduction to Paragraph 1 (see above) is confirmed by the Treaty of Lisbon, particularly in the three types of spheres of competence of the Union: exclusive competences, shared competences and coordination competences. This multi-governance can also be expressed in another way by the typology given by Quermonne (9): the Community method, diplomatic practice supervised by the institutions of the European Union, particularly in the field of CFSP, and << the open method of coordination >> which still lacks a real power of proposal that the Commission is recognised as having to enable it to meet the desired goal of efficiency.

3. Towards a new balance in governmance or towards a << new kind of governance >>?

Up until the Treaty of Lisbon, European governance played a part in the shift of government towards governance while maintaining the coexistence of the two, in spite of the fact that the Convention, on the one hand, and the draft Constitutional Treaty on the other, seemed to mark a certain upward trend in the emergence of a European dimension of << government >> by the symbolic aspects included in the project (currency, flag and anthem, European Minister for Foreign Affairs...) and a certain decrease or halt in the shift towards governance or at least an attempt to create a new balance between the two elements of the binomial. However, many critics of those who supported European federalism against intergovernmentalism regretted not only the weakening of the << Community method >> but also the decline of supranationalism which it had been possible to observe over the past few years. Yet in a number of cases, such as the Schengen Agreement, the evolution of the European Process has progressively led some issues, initially managed on an intergovernmental basis, towards a more Community-based management. Furthermore, the effects of the intergovernmentalist trend of the Treaty of Lisbon are not unequivocal: the fields covered by European integration are increasingly wide-ranging and diversified, admittedly not only by intergovernmental procedures but also in the attribution of larger spheres of competence to institutions such as the European Parliament. The history of European integration and its most recent step taken by the Treaty of Lisbon therefore indicates that intergovernmentalism and supranationalism are not always irreconcilable.

This is, in a certain way, what can be observed in the shared competences for which the Treaty of Lisbon makes provision. Rather, then, than speaking about rivalry between the two approaches, are we not witnessing a new stage of hybridisation of the two, which would strengthen the hypothesis of Quermonne concerning intergovernmental federalism (Quermonne, 2008) or again the quest for a new balance from which each would emerge reinforced, which corresponds to the observation of the reinforcement of the three institutions of the Community method (Notre Europe, 2009). Thus, instead of constituting a new stage in the shift from << government >> to << governance>> or inversely, governmance, as it appears in the light of the Lisbon Treaty would seem to indicate even more that the two elements of the binomial are modified by this.

The work of Littoz-Monnet on << reversed intergovernamentalism >> testifies to such a phenomenon of change (Littoz-Monnet A., 2010). In her analysis of the Open method of Coordination (OMC), she shows how some initiatives of the Commission have sparked off opposition from Member States and, by the application of the OMC, their re-orientation towards new Commission proposals more in keeping with the wishes of the States concerned and which are then taken on board.

European Governmance thus appears less like a << barometric swamp >> as described in the introduction than a new perspective of dynamic relationships between the two elements of the binomial. These dynamics are marked by the fact that behind the issue of Governmance the question is hidden of how to govern in today's world and more particularly within the EU. One element of the answer to this question lies in an assessment that has already been made: even if the modern-day use of contemporary governance has been designed and deployed by political entrepreneurs who were not States, there is an attempt to reappropriate the control of this by public actors in response, on the one hand, to the crisis of governance and, on the other, to today's challenges to which the global or European organs of governance have not been able to find effective or pertinent answers. More determined to resist the shift towards << governance >> which, in the perspective of the World Bank, tended to marginalise them, States will thus participate in the development of a << new European governance >> that they intend to take part in as more assertive co-deciders but which is also more binding. The << new governance >> thus falls within the continuation of the evolution of the former on one aspect: it is again what Yves Palau observed concerning the period preceding the Treaty of Lisbon, the product of a co-production of two categories of actors: << that of the possessors of a scientific capital (experts, academics ...) and that of those who have a more directly political capital (politicians, high-ranking civil servants, high-level representatives ...). (10 11)

Amongst the characteristics of this << new governance >>, we can observe that its spirit remains marked by the managerial logic more than by the logic of << participatory democracy >> as indicated with regard to the participatory approach by Marie-Helene Bacque, Henri Rey and Yves Sintomer (Bacque et. al., 2005). This managerial character is confirmed by the absence of a project with an explicit political goal accepted by all Member States, the political nature of the process proving to be more implicit, as will be specified later. This lack of an explicit political project (Buffotot, 2010) is one of the elements preventing the cursor of governmance from returning radically towards << government >> in its dimension of a more global goal of political regime (12).

Furthermore, one of the peculiarities of the present governance can still be found in the << new governance >>, namely, the absence of a << European >> arbitrator already noted earlier. As Jean-Louis Quermonne indicates, << No authority has sufficient legitimacy to pronounce it >>. This new governance therefore remains marked by the weight of the necessary compromises in case of disagreements.

This absence of a << European >> arbitrator is another factor which indirectly strengthens the determination of governments to try to regain control of governance, all the more so as they refuse to let themselves be outstripped by the multi-level governance observed by Hooghe, marked by the absence or weakness of a central coordination with changing combinations and actor networks (Hooghe Liesbet and Marks Gary., 2001). Thus, the new European governance appears as a process that is both multi-faceted and multi-level in which, however, two tendencies can be observed: one which has been remarkable for over ten years, moving in the direction of deregulation and liberalisation in a certain number of sectors such as that of telecommunications and the other, moving in the direction of a desire for regulation -- more long-standing, for example, in the field of public health and consumer protection - and more recently in the determination of the formal standards governing, for example, financial markets. It must however be recognised that even if the first movement, which has been the subject of criticisms and has recently marked a pause, is endeavouring to survive or even to gain the upper hand, the second remains marked by adhocism under the pressure of events and crises, or even by the compartmentalisation of the challenges (environment, finance, legal affairs ...) more than by the need to integrate each new measure into a framework of global cohesion between all the issues--or even of a political project, short of considering the hypothesis, still to be proved, of a step by step tactic.

4. Of what political nature?

Imperceptibly, the reflection on European governance thus leads us to question the political nature of the European process, for ultimately, in the dynamic perspective of << governmance >>, the rise of intergovernmentalism leads to a new balance between the two elements of the << government >>/<< governance >> binomial. Intergovernmentalism, by removing the cursor from the old governance, contributes to the emergence of the new. The dynamic of governmance thus continues, affecting both elements and challenging the political nature of the process. Should we thus speak of an original governmentality of the EU? This is somehow the sense that Quermonne's intuition takes on when he descibes the EU as being neither a federal State nor a Confederation, but rather a << political actor who, without giving birth to a super-State, generates an authentic public authority of another type >> (13). European governmance is thus marked not only by reversed intergovernmentalism but, more importantly, by a test synthesis of supranationality and intergovernmentalism.

Admittedly, the question of the political nature of European integration has not failed to generate responses in different directions, most of which are often converging, to say what it is not - a State and even less a Nation State - but also diverging when it comes to defining it more positively: Federation of States, (Magnette, 2006), Empire (Zielonka, 2007), or a system of governance (Borraz and Giraudon 2008). It is interesting to note that these three responses are trying to avoid the Stato-National paradigm either by borrowing from pre-State history (the Empire) (Leca, 2007) or by trying to reconcile opposites (Federation of States) or again by trying to outline a regime to come (governance).

All this can lead to trying to specify the new governance by comparing the European process with some more classic heuristic models of political science such as those developed by authors such as David Easton (Easton, 1965). Thus measured by the yardstick of the model of this latter, European integration can resemble an Eastonian State-type political proto-system on the basis of several elements:

* a common currency (but this is weakened by the absence of a common economic policy or the lack of a European economic government);

* a European Parliament with spheres of competence that are reinforced from one treaty to another (from the Maastricht Treaty to the Treaty of Lisbon);

* a European legal system with a Court of Justice of the EU and a hierarchy of standards at the summit of which can be found European Law;

* a proto-Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an administration and a specific << diplomatic corps >>;

* a President of the European Council;

* an EU executive body.

As far as these last aspects are concerned, are we not in fact witnessing imperceptibly the gestation of a Weberian-type bureaucracy? An attempt to draw closer to Weberian thought could then be included in the definition of European integration as it has developed over more than half a century. The paraphrase of the definition of Weber (Weber, 1995) would give: << a political entity of an institutional character when and for as long as a bureaucracy claims, in the application of rules and regulations, the accomplishment of the missions which are entrusted to it >>. In addition to the fact that this paraphrase does not mention the important reference to the << monopoly of the legitimate use of violence >>, this attempt calls for several remarks making it possible to moderate the scope of the exercise, certain aspects of the definition corresponding more than others to the reality of the European situation:

a) the political nature of the European project at the stage that is has reached, despite criticism or rejections from Eurosceptics, cannot be called into question if we take the adjective << political >> in its sense of what relates to the organisation and wielding of power in a determined community, and in what is relative to the art of government taken in its sense of the act of governing, all these practices then leading to governmentality (Foucault quoted by Lascoumes, 2004). This political dimension is also justified by four other elements:

1 the political dimension is present in the objective of preserving peace in Europe, a goal never called into question even if this aspect, by its exceptional length with regard to the history of our continent, would seem to go without saying today;

2 the political dimension is confirmed by the presence of institutions such as the Council of Ministers, a Parliament and a Court of Justice, which makes it possible to encounter two fundamental characteristics of pluralistic democracy, namely: elective bodies and the respect of a legally constituted State;

3 the European initiative is also political in its dimension of regime - defined as a mode of organisation of government--by the strengthening of its democratic dimension through the reinforcement of the powers of the European Parliament and the recent European Citizens' Initiative (Article 8 B, paragraph 4 of the Treaty of Lisbon);

4 it is political, finally, because its field of intervention now extends to more sovereign matters such as justice and internal affairs, currency or foreign policy, an extension formalised by their explicit mention in the latest European Treaties

b) what has already been said makes it possible to observe the extent to which the institutional nature is explicit, and this since the earliest ages of European integration. However, it is necessary to note the extent to which the institutional dimension, which is progressive, does not fail to influence the question of governmance. Yves Palau observes in this regard that European governance is an empirical construction -- like European integration itself - finally assumed--an initiative of systemisation that Simon Bulmer calls "governance regime" (14). Repeated injunctions for good or better governance are aimed at achieving a system "that can ultimately be described as institutionalised and which is probably in the process of being institutionalised. In this sense, it is possible to assume that in the final analysis, the idea of governance will be combined with government and will merge with it as a contemporary mode of the management of governmentality" (15).

c) The political initiative depends on a political bureaucracy that shows itself to be differentiated between the apparatus of European institutions, institutions that are becoming diversified (Commission, Council, Agencies ...) and those of the Member States, these latter being able to be considered in some measure as part of the European bureaucracy as they participate, within the scope of multi-level governance, in the drafting and implementation of European standards. (16)

In general, the process of European integration, viewed in the perspective of its historical evolution, despite the storms that it has weathered, appears to be growing stronger while at the same time undergoing a transformation. Its reinforcement is substanciated not only by the increase of the spheres of competence of the first pillar, by the emergence formalised in the treaties of the two other pillars, and also by the << ratchet effect >> (17) often underlined, by virtue of which the global field of action (in various modes of procedure) of the European Union sometimes experiences the status quo and sometimes undergoes an extension. This would tend to indicate that not only the political nature of the integration but also the return of the cursor of governmance towards << government >> seems inevitable.

To make such a statement, however, calls for great prudence. It is, in fact, important to note that over the years, the extension of the field of action of the European Union is increasingly and more directly affecting the attributes of sovereignty of Member States. This does not take place without giving rise to reservations or even causing greater resistance to the Union, which equally revives the calling into question of its legitimacy. Also, the observation of the return of the cursor to << government >> means mentioning two alternatives which could present themselves with regard to what this concept covers:

- The most current practice leads us to consider that the notion of government refers to the executive bodies of the Member States, which would tend to reinforce the weight of intergovernmentalism in European governance.

- The other hypothesis is to envisage the concept of government at the European level this time, but as a reality that is in the process of being developed including the participation of the executives of Member States in an integration in which many people recognise the extent to which its political nature is still of a hybrid character.

The European Union by the yardstick of the Treaty of Lisbon thus continues to escape any classification both of political theory and classical public law. This character which cannot be reduced to categories is no less exempt from the need to regularly confront this European experience with existing paradigms in order to try to determine and understand its nature. In the final analysis, the European process is and will remain subjected to the constraint of having to constantly prove its legitimacy which depends on its capacity to accomplish many synergies: between the Member States and the Community institutions or, in other words between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism, between inclusiveness, the basis of democratic legitimacy, and efficiency in carrying out the missions conferred, but also between << government >> and << governance >>.


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23. Vercauteren, Pierre (2007), "L'art de gouverner de l'Union Europeenne : un glissement du gouvernement vers la gouvernance ?", Delcourt, Barbara; Paye, Oliver et Vercauteren, Pierre (eds.), La gouvernance europeenne : un nouvel art de gouverner ?, Louvain-la-Neuve, Academia Bruylant, pp. 61-80.

24. Vercauteren, Pierre (2010), << Crise financiere et crise multiple : la gouvernance globale et l'intervention de l'Etat >> in Dujardin, Vincent; De Cordt, Yves; Costa, Rafael, de Moriame, Virginie (eds.), La crise economique et financiere de 2008-2009 : l'entree dans le 21e siecle ?, Bruxelles, P.I.E. Peter Lang, pp. 177-193.

25. World Bank (1992), Governance and Development, Washington D.C.

26. Zielonka, Jan (2007), Europe as Empire : The Nature of the Enlarged European Union, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Pierre Vercauteren *

* Pierre Vercauteren is professor at the department of Political Sciences of the Catholic University of Mons, (FUCaM), in Belgium. He primarily teaches international relations and the theory of the State. He is Secretary General of the international research network REGIMEN (Reseau d'Etude sur la Globalisation et la Gouvernance Internationale et les Mutations de l'Etat et des Nations). Contact:

(1) See in this regard particularly Leszek Balcerowicz, "Toward a Limited State", in Cato Journal, vol. 24, no.3, Fall, 2004, pp. 185-204.

(2) It is important at this stage to specify the concepts of << government >> and << governance >> for the present contribution. In his works, Michel Senellart grasps the full scope of << government >> in relation to the State when he says that this has established itself as the foundation of civil order and the principle of governmental practices. Government is thus defined in terms of practices and goals. Over and above its institutional form, it is the expression of the foundations of civil order. Through this approach, Senellart also indicates that the art of governing, in this concept which has been passed down through the centuries from the mediaeval << regimen >>, is a form of exercise of sovereign power. Heir to the << regimen >>, the government carries within itself the polysemy of its forebear: in addition to the use of appropriate means to manage the city, it is obliged to follow the principle of a << happy medium >>, invested with the mission of protection and many others ... The government thus has a triple dimension: a formal body responsible for the actions of governing, a practice through the particular and effective way of governing and a dimension of a more global goal of political regime. See Michel Senellart, Les arts de gouverner: Du Regimen medieval au concept de gouvernement, Paris, Seuil, 1995. As for the concept of << governance >>, this is defined on the basis of the concept of the World Bank: << the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country's economic and social resources for development >>, in World Bank, 1992, Governance and Development, Washington D.C. 1992, p. 1.

(3) Such a hesitation is often expressed--although in a very imperfect way--by the tension between supranationality and intergovernmentalism.

(4) Reference is made here to the many studies carried out in this sense, particularly the excellent working paper of Quentin Michel (ed.), Gregory Piet, Teresa Elola Calderon, Sylvain Paile, Analyse comparative du Traite de Lisbonne au regard du Traite de Nice et du projet de traite constitutionnel, departement de science politique, Universite de Liege (working paper), 2007, p. 228 or again Jean-Louis Quermonne, L'Union Europeenne dans le temps long, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2008.

(5) This organisation of the six-monthly rotating presidency by group of three States for a period of eighteen months is planned for all fields with the exception of Foreign Affairs and the Common Security Policy which is now chaired by right by the High Representative ... (Article 9 E, Paragraph 3 of the Treaty of Lisbon). (cf. infra 5).

(6) For the record, this << community method >> is composed of the Commission (right to take initiatives), the Council of Ministers (decision-making), and the European Parliament (associated with the decisions according to the different modalities).

(7) Jean-Louis Quermonne J-L, op.cit., p. 7.

(8) The << regime >> is defined by Stephen Krasner as << principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actor expectations converge in a given issue-area >>, in Stephen D. Krasner (ed.), International Regime, New York, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, eighth printing, 1995, p. 1.

(9) Jean-Louis Quermonne, op.cit., p. 140.

(10) Yves Palau, << La gouvernance : entre novation discursive et tradition theorique >> in Barbara Delcourt., Olivier Paye, Pierre Vercauteren (eds.), La gouvernance europeenne : un nouvel art de gouverner ?, Louvain-la-Neuve, Academia Bruylant 2007, p. 165.

(11) Jean-Louis Quermonne, op. cit., p. 64.

(12) Cf. footnote 2, the third dimension of government underlined by Michel Sennelart.

(13) Jean-Louis Quermonne, op. cit., p. 17.

(14) Simon J. Bulmer defines "governance regime" as "The framework employed is that of the governance regime. The term governance encapsulates some key aspects of the empirical reality of the EU and is thus appropriate because the EU represents governance without a formal government and is not just concerned with formal institutions but can encompass procedures, norms, conventions and policy instruments as a core around which interest groups and other actor cluster (...) Finally regimes can be seen as purposive arrangements, formal and informal, which govern the interface between the private and the public domain." In Simon J. Bulmer, "The Governance of the European Union: a new institutionalist approach", in Journal of Public Policy, Oct-Dec, vol. 13, no 4, 1993, p. 371.

(15) Yves Palau, op. cit., p. 180. Concerning the conceptual discussion between governance and governmentality, reference can be made, in particular, to the works of John Crowley, << Usages de la gouvernance et de la gouvernementalite >> in Critique Internationale, 4/2003, no 21, pp. 52-61.

(16) On this point, if an overly generalising vision would tend to encapsulate the Community and national apparatus in a same bureaucratic whole, it is nevertheless necessary to note, in a functional perspective, that in spite of the experience gained over decades in the field, for example, of the creation of standards or the implementation of policies, both levels are on more than one occasion in rivalry rather than in cooperation or symbiosis. But this can equally be observed within State bureaucracies. On the other hand, on a more formal level, the authority on which a national administration depends is clearly distinct from the European authority, even though the action of this same national administration is signposted by the Community legal framework in increasingly extensive matters laid down by the Treaties.

(17) In its strictest sense, the ratchet effect is defined as the prohibition to make any modifications to regulations adopted pursuant to Directives and that are contrary to the objectives of these Directives (See especially Roberta Panizza, << Sources et portee du droit de l'Union Europeenne >>, in Fiches Techniques sur l'Union Europeenne, December 2009, language=fr&id=73&ftuId=FTU 1.2.1.htmll consulted in December 2010. However, over the years, the term "ratchet effect" has taken on a broader meaning in the sense specified in the body of this text (See, for example, Sylvain Kahn, Geopolitique de l'Union Europeenne, Paris, Armand Colin, 2009).
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Author:Vercauteren, Pierre
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Date:Jun 1, 2011
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