The functioning of the European Union (EU) has been explored extensively in recent years. The dominant prism through which to look at the EU is still one of locus: i.e. whether decisions are made in the capitals of its member states or in Brussels. This debate is contained in the dualism between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism, but drawing the boundaries between the two concepts is still undone. This article attempts to contribute to solving this problem by investigating the restrictive measures policy of the EU in order to identify three conditions under which intergovernmentalism should be used. First, when EU institutions are dependent on EU member states for information and expertise; second, when decision-making powers rest mainly in EU capitals; and three, when there are no exclusive fora for decision-making in Brussels. The study of the restrictive measures of the European Union does not meet any of these three conditions; therefore the article argues that the concept of supranational intergovernmentalism offers useful insights to understand the EU security governance of CFSP sanctions. The article is divided into four parts. The first introduces the debate on security governance and justifies the selection of this specific approach to the study of sanctions. The second part presents the restrictive measures policy of the European Union and justifies its pertinence to the field of security. The third part of the article investigates the emerging patterns in security governance by testing the three conditions on the decision-making process for EU restrictive measures. Finally, the conclusion summarises the main argument and indicates ways forward in the study of EU sanctions from a governance perspective.
European security governance, restrictive measures, intergovernmentalism, supranationalism, supranational intergovernmentalism
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