The financial crisis has triggered demands to halt and even reverse the expansion of European Union (EU) policies. But have these and previous demands actually resulted in policy dismantling? The existing literature has charted the rise of dismantling discourses such as subsidiarity and better regulation, but has not examined the net effect on the acquis. For the first time, this contribution addresses this gap in the literature through an empirical study of policy change between 1992 and 2014. It is guided by a coding framework which captures the direction of policy change. It reveals that, despite its disposition towards consensualism, the EU has become a new locus of policy dismantling. However, not all policies targeted have been cut; many have stayed the same and some have even expanded. It concludes by identifying new directions for research on a topic that has continually fallen into the analytical blind spot of EU scholars.
- European Union