European Union in an Environment of Two-Level Changes

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university, Faculty of social and political sciences
Nowadays, the functioning of the European Union as an institution, as a community of values and its integration process is conditioned by changes on two levels. On one hand, these are changes at the level of the international system and, on the other, at the internal level of member states. In the methodological sense, both are treated as independent variables, and the European Union's functioning is a dependent variable. Firstly, for many years in the EU study on the conditions of globalization processes, growing international interdependencies, and a changing polarity of the global system, the main focus was on the independent variables functioning at the international system. Therefore, we speak of forces operating at the level of the international system that condition the EU and integration processes. These "forces" in so far research were given a dominant meaning, marginalizing the internal ones in the conditions of a shaped political consensus of the European Union as a community of liberal values and the nature of political systems of member states. Nowadays, the main forces determining the functioning of the European Union at the level of the international system include: 1) climate change, 2) United States foreign policy and the transatlantic relations, 3) China's economic power and economic penetration processes. Secondly, in the conditions of crisis in the Euro zone, but especially in the previously unknown migration pressure, processes of euroscepticism and populism are changing the preferred values and are creating challenges for both the liberal political order and for the political cohesion of the European Union and even some member states. Thus, a second, intra-state level of independent variables, conditioning the functioning of the member states and integration processes appeared. Therefore, the purpose of the presentation – on one hand – is to focus on ontology and to identify independent variables existing at both levels, conditioning the European Union and integration processes. On the other hand it is to focus on the epistemological analysis of the functioning of the European Union and the proposal of a research tool. A proposal is made to identify variables that condition the functioning of the European Union at the same time at the level of the international system and at the level of internal affairs of the Member States.
European Union, Levels of analysis, The level of the international system, The level of member states, Euroscepticism, Populism, ევროკავშირი, ანალიზის დონეები, საერთაშორისო სისტემის დონე, წევრი ქვეყნების დონე, ევროსკეპტიციზმი, პოპულიზმი