A supranational organization is an international organization with the right to make decisions on behalf of their members. In this essay I will present reasons why states choose to engage themselves in such relationship. My arguments will be presented as general advantages in the nature of delegating, economic reasons, reasons because of international relations and international commitment, and finally reasons connected to the national level. I will briefly present some alterative views at the end. Examples from the European Union will be used to illustrate my points through this essay. I will also draw on the principal-agent-theory where this is reasonable.
The principal-agent-theory could be used as an analytical perspective to explain why states choose to involve themselves in a supranational authority relationship. The theory states that a possible solution for the principal, which here would be the government (but also citizens) when experiencing problems in decision making, could be to delegate authority to an agent which will act on their behalf (Østerud et al. 2004: 222–223). As an introduction it could be useful to point out some general advantages in favor of delegating power. The basic assumption here is that states will gain benefits from this type of cooperation, and that these benefits will be bigger than the cost of delegating. The citizens and governments in these states, the principal, will then support further integration depending on how this relationship with the agent turns out.
There are certain fundamental traits and effects of organizing which have a positive value in itself. The European Union is in a unique position when it comes to integration among supranational institutions, and could be used as an example. In the EU you find high level of expertise in all areas, competence and specialization is broad and present. It seems obvious that specialized agents can carry out policies more efficient than national...
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