Politicisation of European Integration: Bringing the Process into Focus
This conceptual paper provides a working definition of politicisation of European integration, based on a literature review.
Pieter de Wilde
This conceptual paper provides a working definition of politicisation of European integration, based on a literature review. Politicisation has often been used by political scientists interested in European integration. We observe that research using the concept is rarely interested in the process of politicisation, but rather in its product. By answering why politicisation is relevant to European integration, where it can be observed, and what causes it, this study argues there is a need for further investigation of the process of politicisation to address remaining vagueness and fragmentation in the literature concerning its product. Despite initial appearances, I argue that research on politicisation shares a common overarching understanding of the concept. The literature shares a broad societal understanding of politics and targets the increasing involvement of a broad range of societal actors in European politics. Based on these observations, the process of politicisation of European integration is defined as an increase in polarisation of opinions, interests or values and the extent to which they are publicly advanced towards the process of policy formulation within the European Union.