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Debating the neo-functionalist theory. From the period of coal and steel to the Eurozone crisis

Has the neo-functionalism been ” defeated ” in the debate about European integration theories? Since the 1960’s the neo-functionalism has been submitted to criticism and debated among the academics of European studies. Parts of the discourse have been based on arguments that neo-functionalism is not a theory. However, the debate still continues in 2010´s as the European Union is further developing during the ” post-Eurozone crisis period “. This study is limited to and based on the several articles discussing the ” pros and cons ” , advantages and disadvantages, relevance and irrelevance of the neo-functionalism within the framework of regional integration. The study discusses thematically in several cases the questions regarding the current discourse, exploring the arguments about possibilities for the theory of neo-functionalism to be modified. One of the findings is that neo-functionalism can be combined with the theory of federalism, as well as that the theory can be used for research relating the regional integration in general. Therefore I argue in the study that neo-functionalism, despite its problems and perceived shortcomings, still presents a relevant, reliable and useful theory for the regional integration research.

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