The Review of International Organizations

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 59–75

How the court made a federation of the EU


DOI: 10.1007/s11558-006-9001-y

Cite this article as:
Josselin, JM. & Marciano, A. Rev Int Org (2007) 2: 59. doi:10.1007/s11558-006-9001-y


We analyze the European institutional integration that took place in the 1950s and 1960s as a two-stage process. Firstly, an explicitly political project aims at establishing a European political community. The project is abandoned in the mid-1950s and political integration stops. At that time, the institutions of the Union take the form of a confederation. In a second stage, because of the failure of the European political community, a legal process of integration driven by the European Court of Justice takes place. This second stage of unification is more centralizing and in effect leads to a federalization of the European institutional structure. The transformation of the political structure of the European Union thus appears to result from the actions and decisions of a legal entity, the European Court of Justice.


European UnionAgency theoryEuropean Court of JusticeFederationCentralizationHistory of the EU

JEL Codes


Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de Rennes 1 and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique—CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), Faculté des Sciences EconomiquesRennes cedexFrance
  2. 2.Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne (OMI-EDJ) and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique—EconomiX (UMR CNRS 7166), Faculté des Sciences EconomiquesReims cedexFrance