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Cristina Fasone and Diane Fromage
Over the last few years the process of European integration has been challenged by several crises. The prompt responses given to them often led the governments of the Member States rather than by EU institutions to take the lead, as for the political directions the integration should follow especially. Those unprecedented crises, and amongst them certainly is Brexit, have for the first time, to such a great extent, put on the table the question of differentiation within the EU, between Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries and, relatedly, between debtor and creditor countries; between Member States that favour more collaboration on the side of migration and the system of migration quotas and those refusing it; between exiting and remaining in the EU.
Who can (and arguably should) lead the EU in the hard times of the quests for more differentiation and, as some argue, in coping with the threat of disintegration? Could the European Commission play this role, in the post-Brexit context, as it did in previous stages of the process of integration and if so, how?
Drawing on the Commission’s White Paper on the future of Europe and its 5 scenarios for the EU 27 – “Carrying on”, “Nothing but the single market”, “Those who want more do more”, “Doing less more efficiently”, “Doing much more together” – the paper focuses on the role the Commission could play under the scenario of an increased differentiated integration within the EU-post Brexit. On the basis of the role fulfilled by the Commission over the first 60 years of European integration, the paper deals first with the potential the Commission has to cope with the challenge of differentiation. It then assesses what the effects of a leading role of the Commission would be on the interinstitutional balance within the EU.
Benjamin Leruth (University of Canberra)
Stefan Gänzle (University of Agder)
Jarle Trondal (University of Agder and University of Oslo)
Following the United Kingdom (UK)’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) on 23 June 2016, the process of European integration is now at a critical juncture. Leaving aside Greenland’s departure from the European Community in 1983 – because of its political union with Denmark, Greenland has been recognized as one of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the EU –, the United Kingdom is the first member state in the history of European integration to engage in a process of disintegration which may ultimately see full withdrawalfrom the EU in the spade of two years following the UK’s trigger of Article 50 TEU. This means that a new chapter in the rich literature on differentiated European integration is going to be opened. Obviously, the dusk has yet to settle before the impact on both the EU and the UK will become discernible and the future shape of the UK-EU relationship in the post-Brexit era will finally appear. Thus, it is a timely task for practitioners and scholars of various EU-related disciplines to ponder what the implications for the future of European integration are in more genuinely. Has European integration reached a tipping and is interstate cooperation reverting to the ‘old normal’ of intergovernmental relations of ‘sovereign states’ constituting the bedrock of international relations? We are convinced that, now more than ever, academics from different sub-fields of European studies and stakeholders should be brought together in order to discuss the causes and consequences of Brexit. It is through interdisciplinary co-operation that researchers will be able to fully grasp the new developments across and beyond Europe. To this end the Collaborative Research Network (CRN) on ‘Differentiated integration in the European Union after Brexit’ has been launched under the auspices of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES). It has been co-founded and directed by the authors of this working paper. The CRN aims at enabling such discussion between academics, stakeholders and practitioners.
As an area of research, specifying crucial conditions under which international public administration (IPA) may enjoy independence from member-state governments has become an increasingly vibrant research area. This special issue responds to three yet unresolved research tasks: (i) Systematically comparing IPAs by offering large-N data across cases; (ii) Taking organization seriously by identifying how the organisational architectures of IPAs affect decision-making processes and subsequently the pursuit of public policy making; (iii) Examining the varied consequences of the autonomization of IPAs, notably for member-state public sector governance and for the integration of transnational regulatory regimes.
One relatively unstudied development in the European Union’s evolving multilayered administrative system is the development of the ombudsman as a core institution of governance. At the national level, nearly all EU Member States have introduced an ombudsman. At the supranational level, there has been a European Ombudsman (EO) since 1995. This chapter sheds light on the strategies with which the EO proves itself able to build its capacity and adjust its institution successfully to the changing politico-administrative context. Drawing on an analysis of documents and a secondary analysis of existing empirical data, this chapter examines the institutional development of the EO over the past two decades. This chapter describes, first, the turbulent expansion of the European Union’s administrative system in terms of both administrative and accountability institutions. It then focusses on the EO’s development as an institutional ombudsman by examining three elements of its accountability capacity, together with the external, turbulent environment and political context in which it exists. The internal turbulence within the system may be seen in both the way the system is set up (administrative order and accountability landscape) and the way it works (accountability practices).
The 2009 Lisbon Treaty sought to enhance the coherence of EU foreign policies by improving the conditions for collective action in the EU-level foreign relations system, including its interaction with member states. Several innovations aimed to facilitate collective action: the establishment of the European External Action Service, bringing EU institutions and member state officials together, is the most important. Policy-level innovations, in turn, have included a string of ‘comprehensive’, ‘joined-up’, and ‘whole-of-government’ approaches that have explicitly focussed on linking the various instruments in the EU’s tool box. Have these reforms led to improved policy coherence? We focus on a key domain that illustrates Europe’s engagement with the changing global context: the nexus of security and development policy. Drawing on post-Lisbon Treaty policy documents and interviews with officials from the EU foreign relations bureaucracy, we argue that collective action at the EU-level has improved somewhat since 2010. This has been accompanied by some improvements in the coherence of security and development policy. Nevertheless, decisionmaking is still affected by bureaucratic actors catering to specific constituencies and, accordingly, the coherence of security and development policies remains challenged. The EU institutions lack the strategic direction that would be provided by clear prioritisation of global policy objectives, but this is not possible in a system that lacks clear hierarchy. Without combining strategic direction with effective changes in the foreign relations apparatus, reforms aimed at improving collective action can only make a marginal impact on policy coherence.
Universities are increasingly pressurized to respond to external imperatives and demands, while, at the same time, being expected to enhance both their efficiency and accountability. This is leading to the local adoption of key, structural and cultural features associated with the model or global script of the entrepreneurial university. This chapter undertakes a critical analysis of the premises associated with the latter model, and provides new insights on the sustainability of the “entrepreneurial turn in higher education” against the backdrop of the challenges facing European universities.
The spitzenkandidaten procedure has been described as a coup d’état of the parliament against the council; a counter-revolution of the S&D against the PPE; something short of an illegal move against the treaties. This paper addresses these concerns in the following way. Firstly, a description of the origins and the development of the spitzenkandidaten procedure will be provided. A closer look at the process leading to this procedure will help to better understand its nature. The new procedure for the election of the president is neither a coup d’état of the parliament, nor a counter-revolution of the socialists; it is not opposed to the treaties, and it is not irreversible. To the contrary, the spitzenkandidaten procedure enhances article 17(7). It represents the institutionalisation of a ‘best practice’, which was partially already there in the past, and it can still be overcome in extreme cases.
On 15 July 2014 the European Parliament elected Jean Claude Juncker, the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, as the next President of the European Commission. It was the final act in a process which had proved more controversial than the appointment of any of Juncker’s predecessors. His nomination as a candidate on 27 June by the Heads of State and Government in the European Council was only agreed after two countries, Hungary and the United Kingdom, openly voiced their opposition and explicitly requested a vote. Never had the European Council taken such an important decision by majority vote, rather than seeking a consensus acceptable to all.
There is a growing body of literature shedding light on processes of strategy making within public universities. Yet, to date, only a handful of studies have analysed the role that organizational identity plays in such processes. This paper addresses this knowledge gap, by investigating how identity mediates processes of organizational change across two comprehensive universities based in Northern Europe. Our data and analysis reveal that identity has the potential to provide organizations, like universities, with substantial flexibility during strategic change processes, not only as a tool for legitimating change in the eyes of internal and external constituencies, but also as a strategic mechanism for coping with an increasingly turbulent and volatile external environment. The paper is part of recent re-discovering of the role played by the more tacit dimensions of organizations (culture, identity, logics, etc.) operating within highly institutionalised environments.
Departing from the observation that both analysts and practitioners face problems of meaningful categorization of social order in general and the European political-administrative system in particular, this paper suggests a conceptual frame through which European administrative order may be understood. Providing such a frame is important, because the catalogue of categories of the European Union (EU) polity developed so far fails to acknowledge sufficiently its administrative dimension. Given that the ongoing political transformation in the EU implies ever more administrative interaction between political levels in order to coordinate, manage and implement policies, this administrative dimension becomes ever more important. This paper thus sets out a three-folded agenda: Firstly, it offers a supplementary conceptual frame that takes the ‘administrative dimension’ seriously. It is suggested that the European politico-administrative organism should be conceived as a European multilevel administrative system (MLA). Secondly, the paper explains how the MLA approach differ from one of its main conceptual rivals – the multilevel governance approach (MLG). Finally, the paper offers some empirical illustrations of the value of the developed MLA approach for our understanding of the contemporary European administrative system.
The Emerging Core of the EU’s Macro-regional Governance Architecture: Mapping the Roles, Tasks and Self-Perceptions of Priority Area Coordinators and Horizontal Action Leaders in the EU Strategies for the Baltic Sea and the Danube Regions
Macro-regional strategies of the European Union (EU), such as the ones for the Baltic Sea and the Danube Regions, are relatively new elements of EU cohesion policy. Targeting EU member and partner countries alike, these strategies aim at developing an integrated framework for collective action in priority areas such as the transport infrastructure, economic development and protection of the environment. With regard to policy coordination and implementation, the strategies have encouraged the establishment of a system of Priority Area Coordinators (PACs) and Horizontal Action Leaders (HALs), which operate as highly flexible and increasingly networked bureaucracy across borders. Drawing on data from a survey conducted amongst PACs and HALs, this study explores the factors that empower and constraint PACs/HALs in their day-to-day work. It demonstrates that this transnational governmental network (TGN) between participating countries and other stakeholders has significantly extended the ‘reach’ of the European Commission into (sub-)national bureaucracies of EU members and partner countries.
Formulating and implementing public policy in Europe has historically been a prerogative of national administrations. This paper explores how these prerogatives may have become challenged with the ‘autonomization’ of the European Union’s (EU’s) foreign affairs administration (The European External Action Service (EEAS)). The ambition of this paper is two-fold: First, to assess how independent EEAS personnel are when making decisions, thus measuring actor-level autonomy. Secondly, to account for actor-level autonomy by applying two key variables in administrative sciences: bureaucratic structure and geographical location of administrative systems. Benefiting from two new data sets, a survey and elite interviews of EEAS officials, two empirical observations are highlighted. First, EEAS officials demonstrate considerable behavioural independence even against attempts from member-state governments to restrain this. Secondly, the behavioural autonomy of EEAS staff is explained primarily with reference to the supply of organizational capacities inside the EEAS and less by the geographical location of staff. Thus, the bureaucratic structure of the EEAS serves to safeguard bureaucratic autonomy in EU’s new foreign affairs administration. By comparison, the geographical location of EEAS staff is a relatively weak, albeit not absent, signifier of behavioural autonomy.
The EU’s newly established diplomatic service, the European External Action Service (EEAS), has attracted research interest from several sub-disciplines in political science and law. Two gaps in the contemporary literature, however, persist: i) a lack of empirical data on the establishment and organisation of the service, and ii) a dearth of theoretical research programmes that aim at ‘contextualizing’ the EEAS within broader conceptual debates in international relations, public administration, and law. This research note seeks to remedy these shortcomings by studying how national administrations reacted and adapted to the first waves of recruitment within the EEAS using a unique new dataset on the recruitment of member-state diplomats to the EEAS. It thus explores an empirical issue that was widely discussed among both academic and non-academic observers, and represented a key practical question for many national foreign ministries, at the time of the EEAS’ launch. Our analysis indicates that, contrary to early fears of ‘colonialisation’ of the EEAS through member-states diplomats, the EEAS has managed to hold a firm grip on the recruitment process, which overall has been largely informed by European Commission recruitment procedures and practices thus far.
Institutional change entails balancing multiple competing, inconsistent and often loosely coupled demands and concerns, often simultaneously. The ambition of this chapter is to discuss how organizations balance seemingly conflicting patterns of behaviour and change. Two common dynamics often observed in organizations are discussed below: First, organizations viewed as sets of formal structures and routines that systematically bias organizational performance and change, and secondly, organizations as loosely coupled structures that enable improvisation with respect to organizational performance and change. How organizations live with and practice such seemingly contradictory dynamics is empirically illuminated in two types of organizations that are seldom analysed in tandem – university organizations and jazz orchestras. These conflicting organizational dynamics pinpoint one classical dilemma in university and jazz life beleaguered on the inherent trade-off between instrumental design and the logic of hierarchy on the one hand and individual artistic autonomy and professional neutrality on the other. ‘[T]he purpose of developing the jazz metaphor is to draw out the collaborative, spontaneous and artful aspects of organizing in contradiction to the engineered, planned and controlled models that dominate modern management thoughts’. This dilemma highlights competing understandings of organizational life, of institutional change, and of what the pursuit of organizational goals ultimately entails.
One persistent theme in public administration is whether a government portfolio should be organized as an integrated ministry or as a dual organization composed of a ministerial department and one or several semi-detached agencies. ‘Agencification’ has, partly due to the New Public Management (NPM) wave, been high on the agenda of administrative policy-makers for two decades. Two decades of NPM reforms have made the agencification phenomenon highly topical and this also attracted considerable scholarly attention. Students have focused on the causes of agencification as well as its consequences (e.g. Christensen and Lægreid 2006; Lægreid and Verhoest 2010; Pollitt and Bouckaert 2004; Pollitt et al. 2004). One noticeable bias in this literature is that the vast majority of the ‘agencification’ scholarship is geared towards administrative history, reform and change and less on the effects of agencification (e.g. Pollitt et al. 2004). Moreover, to the extent that this literature has explored effects of agencification, organization structures, procedures and legal capacities have served as key independent variables (see below).
A comprehensive understanding of agencification needs to answer three sets of questions:
- What is agencification?
- What explains agencification?
- What implications does agencification yield?
Abstract: With the adoption of the EU Strategies for the Baltic Sea Region in 2009 and the Danube Region in 2011, the European Union (EU) set out to forge a new ‘macro-regional’ approach focussing on functional and territorial cooperation in areas such as transport and environmental policy. Drawing on the multi-level governance approach, this paper argues that the EU’s macro-regional strategies affect (1) horizontal interplay between the EU and macro-regional institutions; (2) vertical interplay within macro-regions, in particular the involvement of subnational authorities and civil society; and (3) the relationship between EU member states and non-member states. The macro-regional policy process provides the European Commission with a central role in various phases of policy-making and implementation of macro-regional strategies. The paper discusses whether ‘macro-regionalisation’ leads to a new form of EU governance and demonstrates that macro-regional strategies change existing institutions because they co-opt non-EU institutions into EU policy-making; affect the implementation of existing legislation which can be stimulated by macro-regionalisation; and transform existing funding schemes since they require an alignment of project funding through Structural Funds.
Since the early 1990s, the relationship between Norway and the European Union EU became increasingly complex and accounts for about three quarters of the European legislation. Despite the outcome of the 1994 referendum on EU membership, the various Norwegian governments progressively decided to keep on deepening their cooperation with Brussels. The main objectives of this paper are to describe this complex Norway-EU relationship, how it evolved since the early 1990s, and how it constitutes a relevant example of both internal and external differentiated integration. An overview of the different types of differentiated integration and the evolution of its categorisation are firstly given. The range of agreements between Norway and the EU is analysed per policy areas. In order to explain why Norwegian governments adopted specific positions regarding European integration since the early 1990s, some explanatory factors are then briefly outlined. Finally, it is concluded that as full EU membership does not seem to be a politically viable option in Norway for the past decades, differentiated integration is likely to remain central in the long run.
Til tross for EUs overnasjonale karakter på de fleste politikkområder, har det vært vanlig å si at også medlemsstatene nyter en form for administrativ suverenitet. Med dette menes at selv om EUs politikk (for eksempel i form av lover) kommer i stand på en overnasjonal måte, har det likevel i hovedsak vært opp til nasjonale myndigheter å stå for den pålagte gjennomføringen. Ved at EUs lover i stor grad har vært gitt i form av direktiver, kan dette ha gitt nasjonale myndigheter betydelig rom for tilpasning i iverksettingsfasen. Mye tyder imidlertid på at også den administrative suvereniteten er under press. Vi ser en tendens til at Kommisjonen, ofte understøttet av et raskt voksende antall EU-byråer, involverer seg direkte i hvordan EU-lovgivning skal praktiseres ved å samarbeide tett med nasjonale direktorater og tilsyn, gjerne uten å innlemme nasjonale departementer tilsvarende. EU-myndighetene mangler egne etater på det nasjonale nivået, men synes altså i stedet å knytte seg sterkt til allerede relativt fristilte nasjonale direktorater og tilsyn som således får en «to-hattet» rolle i forhold til eget departement på den ene siden, og i forhold til Kommisjonen og EU-byråer på den andre siden. I en viss forstand blir således nasjonale direktorater og tilsyn deler av to administrasjoner; en nasjonal så vel som en felles unionsadministrasjon. Vi viser i dette kapitlet at norsk forvaltnings virkemåte under EØS-avtalen i praksis ikke synes vesentlig forskjellig fra virkemåten til medlemsstatenes forvaltning når det gjelder iverksettingsfasen. Også den norske «administrative suvereniteten» er således under press.
‘Security’ has become prominent in official EU development discourse in recent years, and references to security concerns are routinely included in policy statements and documents. Our objective in this paper is to determine whether security concerns have had a growing influence over EU development policy and aid allocation. If so, we are interested in whether this trend can properly be understood as ‘securitisation’ in the critical sense that resources are being diverted away from socio-economic development, or whether we should see it as a positive trend towards greater coherence in EU development policy.
This paper challenges widely held claims that international bureaucracies lack the potential to profoundly shape the behaviour, roles and identities of its personnel, and that the role of international civil servants are primarily shaped by where the officials come from. It is argued and empirically suggested that international bureaucracies may possess considerable clout to shape some basic behavioural perceptions among its personnel. The rise of what is phrased as ‘actor-level supranationalism’ among international civil servants suggests that international bureaucracies ‘matter’ and adds value beyond being mere secretariats of member-state governments – thus serving a ‘common good’. Benefiting from a large and novel set of interviews with civil servants from the European Commission, the OECD Secretariat and the WTO Secretariat, ‘actor-level supranationalism’ is shown to rise through internal and external processes of socialisation and adaptation. Actor-level supranationalism is associated with four factors: (i) the length of tenure among international civil servants, (ii) types of prior institutional affiliations of these officials, (iii) size and scope of administrative capacities of international bureaucracies, and (iv) the power and autonomy of international bureaucracies.
The Treaty of Lisbon introduced significant institutional changes for European Union’s (EU’s) external relations administration, notably the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS). Beside staff transferred from the Council Secretariat-General and the European Commission, the EEAS’ workforce is set to consist of approximately 33 per cent officials temporarily assigned from member-states by June 2013. This paper analyses to what extent and under what conditions the recruitment practice of member-state officials into EEAS is independent of government influence. The data draws on interviews with public officials from all 27 member-states as well as the EEAS charged with the selection of national public servants to the EEAS. Our findings suggest substantial independence in the recruitment of domestic government officials to the EEAS. We argue that this serves as a hard case of political order transformation since it happens in a policy field historically marked by national control and a lack of EU capacity. Independent recruitment of staff to the EEAS is facilitated under two conditions: (i) the supply of administrative capacities at EU level strengthen the EEAS’ capacity to nurture an independent recruitment of its personnel, and (ii) the recruitment of EEAS personnel is fashioned by pre-existing organisational traditions, practices and formats.
European integration triggers contrasting views from Belgian political elites. Proponents of con-federalism, further decentralization and separatism point to the decreasing importance of the central government level within a more integrated Europe as well as to the growing relevance of regions within contemporary Europe. Opponents of separatism generally favor a strong central government arguing that Europe will not easily accept separatism and that further decentralization may substantially weaken the European position of Belgium and its regions. This paper aims to clarify the European factor in the ‘Belgian Question’. Our argument consists of two parts. First, we discuss the political-administrative consequences of the institutional interpenetration of the Belgian federation within the EU polity. Second, we explore how European economic integration impacts upon politics within the Belgian federation. Our main conclusion is that both aspects of European integration entail a differentiated outcome; while the first triggers cooperation, the second stimulates ongoing decentralization pressures.
This paper reports the European integration of the inherent state prerogative to formulate and implement public policy. It is suggested that the European integration of core state powers necessitates the supply of independent and integrated bureaucratic capacities at a ‘European level’. The rise of a genuinely European public administration is conceived of as executive centre formation. The paper suggests that the integration of public administration may be explained by organizational capacity building by stealth.
Temaet på NEON konferansen i år er “Organisering og størrelse”. Tittelen på mitt foredrag er: “Perspektiver på størrelse og styringslogikk i organisasjoner.” Jeg har valgt to hovedpunkt: 1) størrelse og effektivitet, og 2) størrelse og styringslogikk. På hvert av hovedpunktene er jeg er opptatt av typiske feilslutninger når det gjelder størrelse. Både innenfor privat virksomhet og offentlig sektor er det tradisjonelt antatt at stort er bra, og større er bedre. Men vi kan ikke bestemme a priori om det å vokse og bli større er bedre enn alternativene. Vi kan bare øke sannsynligheten for at strategier for å bli større skal gi de positive forventede effekter, gjennom grundige analyser av forutsetninger i det enkelte konkrete tilfelle, og systematisk planlegging. De faktiske effekter av for eksempel fusjoner kan bare bestemmes etter hvert som man implementerer strategier, og får kunnskap om sammenhenger mellom størrelse og hvordan det hele fungerer.
In this explorative article we will try to identify some issues and questions about how the Norwegian municipalities are preparing to implement the Cooperation reform and the new health care legislation. Our main focus is on examples of measures municipalities in three Norwegian inter-municipality regions so far have developed with respect to the Cooperation reform which will be implemented from spring 2012. By comparing and contrasting this three regions, with different history and adjustment patterns, our aim is to investigate inter-municipal cooperation as an suitable organizational solutions the municipalities can use in their struggle to prepare for their new extended role as health care providers. We will also explore factors that could explain why some inter-municipality regions have progressed better than others in their collaborative efforts to adapt to the future health challenges.
Analyses of the rising capacity for coordination within the Secretariats-General of the European Commission and Council have concentrated on their effects within these respective institutions. This article, in contrast, argues that the presence/absence of coordination capacities developed within an institution may have an important bearing also on the relations between institutions (e.g., in inter-institutional negotiations). The empirical analysis traces the negotiation process leading up to the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and finds substantial support for the theoretical argument.
Despite advances in contemporary research on the European administrative space (EAS), no widespread understanding about its meaning, mechanisms and significance yet exists. This research agenda paper offers a comprehensive conceptualisation of EAS and takes stock of accumulated lessons learned. It is suggested that the rise of EAS features a transformation of administrative order that analytically can be grasped in terms of four analytical dimensions: independence, integration, co-optation and institutionalisation. Taken together, these elements suggest that EAS features the transformation of the inherent administrative order and the rise of an emergent common administrative system. The purpose of this research agenda paper essay is three-folded. Our first ambition is conceptual by offering a new account of EAS. The second ambition is empirical examining the varied and rich research agendas currently under way. Our final ambition is to stimulate further research along the conceptual map suggested. The empirical laboratory consists of key institutions of EAS, notably the European Commission, the European Parliament administration, EU agencies, EU committees, and domestic agencies.
While our knowledge on the form and functioning of governing networks steadily increases, there are still holes in our knowledge of the impact of these networks. Using a multidimensional approach to measuring impacts, this article reports the perceived effects of the so-called regional councils in Norway. Impact is measured along four dimensions: impact on service provision, capacity to solve border-crossing problems, capacity to influence external actors and ability to develop collaborative relations in the network. As shown by earlier studies, trust between participants in the network play a crucial role in creating impact. In addition, consensus in the networks seems to be an equally important predictor of impact. Also, contextual elements like network size, economic asymmetry and interdependence, as well as organizational elements like administrative capacity and network age, have several direct effects on the perceived impacts, although not always in the predicted direction. Consequences for the role of managing networks are discussed, as well as the limits of the networks themselves.
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