The Rule of Law Conflict between Poland and the EU in the Light of Two Integration Discourses: Neofunctionalism and Intergovernmentalism. Study of MEPs Narratives
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University of Warsaw
Submission date: 2020-08-24
Final revision date: 2021-01-12
Publication date: 2021-06-18
Polish Sociological Review 2021;214(2):163-182
In order to better understand the Poland-EU conflict over the rule of law I interviewed selected Polish Members of European Parliament [MEPs] on EU integration in the peak of the controversy in 2018. Drawing from discourse analysis and “practice turn” in European studies I studied the MEPs narratives. They appeared to be deeply rooted in two discourses: neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism, both considered as dominant narratives in the EU studies. As right-wing MEPs were convinced the EU was politically biased, protecting sovereignty played a crucial role in their narratives regarding the rule of law conflict. The European People’s Party [EPP] and Socialists and Democrats [S&D] MEPs emphasized the need to abide by EU rules, but their attitude towards imposing sanctions against Poland was mixed. In the rule of law conflict they didn’t firmly stand by its side as a polity protecting its laws. The notion of sovereignty showed cleavages in their narratives, usually full of belief in the supranational community of values.
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