New kids on the European block : Finnish and Swedish adaptation to the European Union?
This thesis examines Finnish and Swedish membership in the European Union since the two Nordic countries joined (along with Austria) in January 1995 to become "new kids on the European block." The author compares the strategies that national decision-makers have pursued in EU policy-making to assess the nature and extent of their adaptation to the European Union. This analysis relies on case studies of three policy areas: 1) Economic and Monetary Union (with a focus on the decision on whether or not to adopt the Euro in the first wave); 2) relations with non-EU neighbours in Northern Europe (with particular attention given to EU enlargement and the Northern Dimension Initiative); and 3) public access to documents. Although the thesis concentrates primarily on empirical analysis, it also provides a theoretical critique. The author argues that differences in the historical backgrounds, institutions, cultures, and identities of Finland and Sweden have led to differences in their approaches to the EU. The thesis presents a challenge to existing theoretical frameworks that leave little or no room for the four factors that are emphasised here, with particular attention given to the approaches of Andrew Moravcsik (1998) and Christine Ingebritsen (1998).