The process of identifying elites has been the subject of theoretical analyses developed in political sociology. Historians have also contributed to the study of the “decision-making groups” at work during the beginnings of European construction.
European elites from a number of states in North-western Europe mobilized around the creation of the first communities. The question of their enlargement led to a degree of divergence upon the accession of Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Later, the impact of the transformations that took place during the 1980s sparked new debates but did not call into question the fundamental role of elites in European construction.