There are long-standing debates amongst scholars of European Union politics over the relative importance of member states and supranational institutions in determining what happens in the EU. This paper treats the case of ‘Brexit’ as a case study, considering the positions of the EU institutions, France, Germany and the V4, focusing particularly on dissociation issues, questions of migration, the customs union and trade, and the UK’s relationship to the single market during the first year of exit negotiations. It finds that while there are distinct national priorities, EU institutions have been able to synthesise these rather effectively into a common position which meets member states’ priorities as well as their own, confirming the claims of those who emphasise the ability of EU institutions to drive European integration and act on behalf of member states.
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Funding: This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency (Agentúra na Podporu Výskumu a Vývoja) [grant no. APVV-16-0062]. The seminar held in Berlin was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Britain in a Changing Europe Programme and that in Bratislava by the Aston Centre for Europe [grant no. ES/M000796/1].
- European Union
- Visegrad Group