National Politics and European Integration
Show Less

National Politics and European Integration

From the Constitution to the Lisbon Treaty

Edited by Maurizio Carbone

This book discusses the domestic politics of treaty reform in the European Union, from the failed referendums on the Constitutional Treaty held in France and the Netherlands in May-June 2005 to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 9: The Benelux Countries: How Politicization Upset a Pro-integration Coalition

Peter Bursens and Ben Crum


9. The Benelux countries: how politicization upset a prointegration coalition Peter Bursens and Ben Crum INTRODUCTION In analyses of European Union (EU) Member States, the Benelux countries – Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – are often lumped together. Such an approach appears to be justified because of the structural similarities between the three countries. They are geographically concentrated on the west flank of the EU, have closely connected histories and are small and open economies, highly dependent on international trade. They are also relatively small states which, left to themselves, are unlikely to make their mark on international politics. Hence, all three rely on international cooperation to provide for their international security and economic prosperity. These shared features serve to account for similar positions towards European cooperation. Together, the three Benelux countries have been at the forefront of European integration. In fact, the Benelux Treaty, which originates from 1944 and was renewed in 2008, can be seen as a precursor of European integration. As such, the three countries were among the founding fathers of the European Communities in the 1950s. Up to today they are ‘full members’ of the EU without invoking any opt-outs and always involved in avant garde initiatives like the Schengen cooperation and the single currency. In addition the three peoples have expressed continuous support for their country’s EU membership, topping the Eurobarometer rankings before, during and after the constitutional process (see Table 9.1). Such an understanding of the natural convergence of preferences for European integration due to structural...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.