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Europeanisation in Times of Crisis



The aim of this article is to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of Europeanisation studies when used to study periods of crisis. The conceptual consensus surrounding the definition of ‘Europeanisation’, understood as the impact of European integration at the domestic level (the so-called ‘top-down approach’), is put under pressure in a crisis situation, where the salience of an issue increases and leads to high politicisation and resistances at the domestic level. These resistances trigger the political adjustments at the European Union (EU) level. The article will illustrate these difficulties in analysing the impact of the EU's new economic governance instruments: the implementation of these instruments has led to opposition at the domestic level, which then immediately influences policy frames at the EU level. Based on the concepts of ‘timing’ and ‘politicisation’, this article will develop a model that enlarges the top-down Europeanisation concept in order to account for crucial feedback loops that occur in situations of crisis.

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