At a time when the economic troubles and bailouts of Greece and other European economies are casting significant doubt on the future viability of the Eurozone and the EU, it is crucial to examine the origins of the political will and leadership that is necessary to move the integration process forward. This book makes a significant conceptual and empirical contribution by elucidating the extent to which the integration process hinges not on institutions and norms, but on the relations among leaders. Vogt conducts a comparative diplomatic history of three critical junctures in the process of European integration: the creation of the Common Market (1955-1957), British accession (1969-1973), and the introduction of the Euro (1989-1993). He illustrates how personal diplomacy, leadership constellations, and the dynamics among leaders enable breakthroughs or inhibit accords. He also reveals how the EU's system of top-level decision-making that privileges institutionalised summitry has operated in the past and suggests - in a separate chapter - why it has come to atrophy and prove more dysfunctional of late.
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