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By Marlene Wind (auth.)

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To some extent this re¯ects the disappointment of hopes and expectations which were unreal from the outset. (Wallace, 1982, p. ) The EU amounts to more than the sum of micro-level decisions. It may very well be, as intergovernmentalists have argued, that states guard their sovereignty very carefully when it comes to EU policy making in the Council. It may also be that when they delegate certain jobs to institutions they attempt to keep them on a short leash. The crucial question is, however, whether ± considering the complexity of modern society in general ± such control and oversight is possible.

Member states would only surrender power to an international body if as Hoffmann put it, they deliberately decided no longer to put the `essential interests of the nation' above the particular interests of certain categories of nationals (elites, interest groups and so on),14 a development that Hoffmann considered very unlikely and in no way desirable. The same line of argument has been echoed by some of the most in¯uential American IR scholars of European integration in the 1980s and 1990s, prominent among whom are Andrew Moravcsik, Geoffery Garrett and Barry Weingast.

It constitutes an incremental web of practice-based formal and informal rules and norms that can be very dif®cult if not impossible to alter radically. To this are added the myriad small decisions that are brought into the EU not by grand treaty amendments but as products of day-today politics and legal±institutional practice (Wincott, 1995, p. 604). The EU committees, for instance, contribute signi®cantly to the setting of legislative standards but are often entirely beyond the reach of the national executives (Dehousse, 2001; Joerges and Vos, 1999).

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