Niilo Kauppi
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book provides a critical analysis of the democratic stalemate in European politics. It presents current theories of European integration and elaborates an alternative, structural constructivist theory of European integration. The book examines transformations in French European policy and France's foreign policy rhetoric. It analyses the integration of French politicians and civil servants into European Union institutions. The book looks particularly at the characteristics of French Member of the European Parliament (MEPs) compared to other political groups in French politics, and at the status of the European Parliament in the career patterns of French politicians. It discusses the European Parliament elections of 1999 from the point of view of the challenges they presented to French and Finnish society and state institutions.

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