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ECPR 50th Anniversary Fund

Crises, Dissention and Socialization: How Do European Crises Impact on the Socialization in the Political and Security Committee of the EU?

European Union
Foreign Policy
International Relations
August Danielson
Uppsala Universitet
Anna Michalski
Uppsala Universitet
August Danielson
Uppsala Universitet

Cooperation in the intergovernmental organs of the European Union (EU) is sustained by the socialization of state agents and their internalization of the EU’s norms and identity. But what happens when crises impact on the member states’ willingness to comply with principles and values of European integration along with the goals of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)? In this paper, we identify the impact on the conditions for socialization in the Political and Security Committee (PSC) brought about by the crises facing the Union in recent years and the manifest unwillingness of some member states to comply with the unstated rules of engagement in the CFSP. We argue that the counter-norm behaviour of some national representatives has been contained by three factors: First, the strong ethos of consensus-seeking of the PSC coupled with a high respect for national interests and standpoints; second, the role played by the EEAS and the increasingly deliberate methods of pre-negotiation; third, by various practical changes to the PSC’s working methods. Overall, our argument that the national governments have a crucial role in making socialization possible by supporting or hindering socialization in the PSC is substantiated. Theoretically, therefore, the role of the national government is underestimated in earlier research on international socialization due to an under-conceptualization of the phenomenon.
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