The Nordic Countries and the EU: How European Integration Integrates and Disintegrates States Domestically
The paper discusses the effects of European integration on national administrations. Focusing on the Nordic countries, it is found that both an intergovernmental and an organizational perspective have something to contribute to our understanding of Europeanization.
This chapter covers the Nordic member states Denmark, Finland and Sweden, as well as the “associated” countries Norway and Iceland, although the latter are not formal members of the EU. It follows the general template by presenting the history and politics of the European issue in these countries, their efforts at influencing EU level policy-making, and how the EU level impacts on their politics, institutions and policies. Basically, two theoretical perspectives are introduced in order to interpret EU-member state relationships. From an intergovernmental perspective, a member country is supposed to act coherently on the European scene, and its integrity is notseriously threatened by international cooperation. However, from an organisational perspective, international and supranational institutions might be organised in such a way that they encourage cooperation and conflict across nation-states, for example, along sectoral, functional, partisan and ideological lines. Research shows that European integration in many situations strengthens national coherence and consistency. However, under certain conditions, national political systems might slightly disintegrate domestically.