ABSTRACT

Assessing the consequences of European integration is a complex endeavour, as is European integration as a whole: the integration process and the EU itself, a “moving target” for the descriptive and analytical attempts of social scientists (Bieling/Lerch 2013), has led to very different theoretical and political approaches to understand its nature; formation; characteristics; and, indeed, consequences (see the introduction to this volume). What I want to emphasise here is that, most of the time, the reasons for disagreement lie in differing distinctions and definitions of the subject of study and differing perspectives. In other words: what part you look at will determine what you learn; and what you learn from case studies obviously determines what you conclude.