From initially defining new governance processes as external to "traditional" forms of EU law, a number of academic scholars have begun to argue that methods like the OMC can be seen as indicative of a broader "transformation" of European law-making. The transformation thesis relies on seeing the OMC as an evolving legal mechanism, in which features such as peer review, and the participation of 'new' constitutional actors, can take the place of traditional forms of legal accountability and participation. At the same time, the transformation thesis remains empirically under-developed. Taking the new streamlined OMC process in social inclusion and social protection as its starting point, this paper will seek to remedy that gap. The paper evaluates the transformation thesis using interview data gained from the recent Commission evaluation of the OMC SPSI ( conducted from 2005-2006). While the OMC SPSI displays evidence for a number of its features - it also displays some of the limits of the 'transformation' idea. While the OMC as it stands indicates elements of a more 'dynamic' form of accountability and subsidiarity in the EU order, its lack of critical review and transparency, and failure to include local or regional actors casts doubt on its suitability as a replacement for traditional legal accountability mechanisms. As much as 'transformation' may offer an attractive future for EU law, its dynamic vision for open coordination remains largely unrealised.
In the discussions on the need for fiscal rules and their usefulness in a monetary union, researchers have not agreed if financial markets have a sufficiently disciplining effect on governments, which would mean that the fiscal rules are not necessary. This paper investigates whether the European Union's main fiscal rule, the Stability and Growth Pact, could be substituted by financial markets, taking into account the effects of the latest financial and economic crisis. The findings presented in this paper suggest that there is certain interaction between financial markets and governments' decisions on fiscal policies and that this reaction has become stronger after the beginning of the crisis. However, the institutional setup and market conditions in the European Union are such that this interaction is biased and thus the paper concludes that the Union needs to have fiscal rules.
The distinction between negative and positive integration that has played a pivotal role in understanding the dynamics of the common market is also instrumental in explaining the dynamics of criminal law co-operation in the EU. Despite manifold differences between common market governance and criminal law cooperation, the introduction of mutual recognition as the lead principle has privileged the abolition of obstacles to cross-border law enforcement (negative integration) over the adoption of common standards (positive integration). As an analysis of the measures taken thus far demonstrates, criminal law cooperation has been biased towards law enforcement at the expense of individual rights.
As the European Union (EU) has strengthened, scholars have emphasized the development of multilevel governance structures and the salience of subnational actors. With the launch of the Open Method of Coordination and the increasing development of nonbinding regulations, we must re-consider the potential of this type of governance instrument to serve as an intergovernmental and intra-governmental coordinative mechanism; thus contributing to the development of multilevel governance structures. This paper addresses this issue by focusing on the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and its potential to serve as an intra-governmental coordinative instrument. I argue that this nonbinding instrument does informally (de facto) influence intra-governmental relations in member states. In addition, subnational actors have transferred many of these soft principles to lower levels of government. These propositions are explored using data gathered in the EU, Spain, Belgium, and Sweden at both the national and the sub national levels.
This article seeks to explain the varying, and sometimes intriguing, outcomes of the past three revisions of the Treaty concerning the Community's Common Commercial Policy (CCP). The analysis particularly focuses on the development of competence and decision rules, i.e. the process of (further) supranationalisation, of the CCP. Subjecting the external trade policy outcomes of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon to causal analysis, the paper argues that stagnancy and change across cases can be explained by four factors: (i) functional pressures; (ii) the role of supranational institutions; (iii) socialisation, deliberation and learning processes; and (iv) countervailing forces.
An increasing number of authors describe the European Union as an advanced form of transgovernmentalism. Whether called Europeanization, supranational intergovernmentalism, multilevel governance, administrative fusion or Brusselisation, the transgovernmentalist thesis states that European politics is shaped by the growing interaction of national government officials at every level of the decision-making process. This paper tests the transgovernmentalist thesis by looking at patterns of formal and informal cooperation in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The data is based on a questionnaire circulated among 73 defence officials in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Brussels-based institutions. The results are analyzed through social network analysis. We find that the governance of ESDP is characterized by a weak form of transgovernmentalism, in which cross-border links do exist but formal state actors occupy strategic positions. In particular, two groups display transgovernmental features: a core policy group of crisis management and capability development officials in and around the Council, and a Franco-German group of capital-based defence actors.
This article aims to fill a gap in the theoretical literature on European integration by providing a dynamic and multi-level explanatory framework of the dynamics of European integration - defined as the locus of governance shifts from the national to the European level. While with the development of governance approaches, the multi-actorness of the EU has been taken into account, the objective of understanding how interactions between different actors explain dynamics of integration has been abandoned. Thus, the article shows that by focusing on dynamic patterns of interaction between subnational, state and supranational actors, some core dynamics of the European integration process can be better captured. A dynamic and multi-level model of interaction, termed 'reversed intergovernmentalism', is proposed here. The model posits that governments' intervention at the EU level often takes place as a reaction to developments orchestrated by Community institutions, but that, through their reaction, states in turn foster both the process of integration and another form of EU intervention in such a way that the very nature of EU integration can also divert from initial EU agendas. Setting itself against existing theories of European integration, the argument shows that integration dynamics can only be fully understood within a process of interaction and reciprocal feedback between actors at different levels of governance.
Research on EU conditionality in equality policy in Hungary shows that while the formal EU acquis has been transposed in a fast and successful way, its enforcement and application largely lag behind. Most researchers explain this weak enforcement with factors such as state capacity problems, the absence of inclusive policy making, and low norm resonance at the domestic level. This paper analyzes how changes in EU influence in the post-accession, post-conditionality period contribute to maintaining compliance with and improving the enforcement of EU equality policy in Hungary. It aims to understand implementation processes that take place in the post-accession period through the Hungarian case of equality policy. The paper argues that in order to capture the impact of the EU in the post-accession period, one must look beyond formal transposition-related mechanisms and increasingly at financial assistance and social learning mechanisms. While mechanisms connected to formal transposition might suggest major drawbacks in formal compliance, financial assistance and social learning mechanisms seem to address more directly the application and enforcement problems that Hungary faces in the equality realm. The paper shows that these mechanisms directly and indirectly impact the most crucial factors that determine enforcement - state capacity, the strength and involvement of civil society, and norm resonance. A slow but steady move toward sustainable improvement in enforcement is indicated.
In this article, we analyse the development of new modes of governance in EU employment and social policy over the past two decades. In this field, a number of innovations can be observed. First, with the Maastricht Treaty, the right to draw up legislation was given to European social partners. Second, with the European Employment Strategy and the Open Method of Coordination, new instruments of coordinating national policies were introduced to EU policy-making. Recently, the latter instrument was incorporated into the social dialogue. Hence, we contend that a double voluntarism takes places that not only delegates responsibility for social policy to the social partners but also relies on soft rather than on hard law.
Democratic accountability is an aspect that seems to have been almost entirely overlooked in discussions on the evolving role of the European External Action Service (EEAS). In modern democratic societies, it is increasingly difficult to sustain the claim that foreign policy and diplomacy are incompatible with democratic decision-making and accountability. What is more, for the external service representing the EU as an entity aspiring to play the role of a mentor in state-and democracy-building processes in various countries around the world, ensuring democratic accountability necessarily becomes a key concern. While this is the case, the literature on the EEAS has at best only partially addressed this issue thus far. This article seeks to bridge that gap and discuss ways of how democratic accountability could be ensured in the EEAS in its various possible organizational configurations. It hence addresses some of the key issues addressed by this special issue - institutionalization of administrative arrangements in support of the ESDP, the role of non-elected officials in the EU's external relations and, indeed, evolving mechanisms for ensuring political control of the EU's external action. In the first section, the paper discusses the notion of democratic accountability and reviews the state of the debate regarding democratic accountability in the EEAS. Three models of a democratic order in the EU are then suggested (cf. Eriksen and Fossum) and based on those, three scenarios of developing democratic accountability in the EEAS are elaborated upon - the EEAS as a support agency for member state diplomacy; the EEAS as a federal foreign service of the EU; and the EEAS as a cosmopolitan normative entrepreneur.
Research focusing on the leader-laggard dynamic in EU policy-making has significantly contributed to our understanding of why EU policies often go beyond the least common denominator and why policies look the way they do. The literature has also provided plausible arguments about the incentives for leader states to do so, but it has given less attention to the question of how leader states achieve this outcome. This article aims to shed some light on this question by focusing on the expert strategy: the mobilisation of government officials and related experts who possess a high level of content expertise to advance leader states' interest in EU policy-making. The expert strategy is analysed with reference to the Dutch government's involvement in EU chemical policy (REACH).
This paper investigates how the cooperation of European institutions (the EU, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE) in democracy promotion affects the success of European conditionality on party financing in the East European Neighbourhood. It examines the two major European-level factors, the determinacy of requirements and the rewards, based on the Ukrainian, Moldovan and Georgian case studies and a cross-case comparative analysis before and during Action Plans' period. The paper shows that there exists a European-level influence on party financing changes in line with the European standards set by the Venice Commission. Also, the cooperation of European institutions in democracy promotion contributes to the success of the common European leverage in the field of party financing. Although the EU lacks a specific party financing conditionality in Action Plans, the reference to the standards set by the Council of Europe and the OSCE increases indirectly the determinacy of its requirements and offers domestic elites a clearer picture of its demands. At the same time, the EU's merit in the joint European influence on party financing lies in its increased leverage on aspiring European members, even in the case of low credibility of EU membership.
This paper conducts a multi-value Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) of the formal adoption and sustainability of minority protection rules in four new EU member states (Poland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia) over a twelve-year period including pre- and post-accession phases (1997-2008) and five minority protection related issue areas (nondiscrimination, language use, education, citizenship, integration of Roma) based on four conditions (external incentives, government position, veto players, size of minorities), in order to investigate under which external and domestic conditions minority protection and nondiscrimination measures are adopted, maintained or revoked in new member states before and after accession to the EU.
The aim of this paper is not only to assess whether the European Employment Strategy (EES) has had an impact on national labour market reforms, but to also evaluate the effects of partisan politics on the EES and vice versa. After establishing three causal mechanisms through which the EES may have an effect on domestic reforms, this paper carefully traces the institutional evolution of activation and childcare policy in Austria and Ireland. It is argued that the EES has been effective in amplifying and accelerating the introduction of early interventions and case management in Austria, while even triggering such developments in Ireland. In both cases, partisan actors were willing to embrace, if not strategically utilize, the EES to issue and legitimize such changes. At early stages, money offered through the European Social Fund was also critical in initiating such programmatic changes. The introduction of public childcare, in turn, was opposed by conservative politicians in both countries throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. Only after the launch of the Barcelona summit, which established hard targets for childcare places, governments gradually began to seek a politically viable compromise, acceptable to conservative political actors. Such a compromise was built on simultaneously expanding public childcare places and universal child benefits. While the former satisfies progressive actors and voters, the latter allows mothers to stay at home ( at least part of the time) and thus strengthens traditional family values. This compromise became possible only due to the EES and associated targets, which increased political awareness, offered a benchmark, empowered societal actors, and - perhaps most importantly - softened the categorical resistance of conservative politicians to the provision of public childcare.
Immediately after the formal introduction of the ESDP by the Nice European Council in 2000, the new policy was equipped with a starting set of governance structures and procedures for crisis management operations. In 2003, these new arrangements were tested for the first time in the context of military operations, which opened the door for relevant adjustments and adaptations. This article compares and contrasts the relevant institutional developments in the context of the first two EU-led military operations - EUFOR Concordia and EUFOR Artemis - and aims at shedding light on the early processes of the institutionalisation of crisis management governance arrangements. In particular it looks at the role of experiential learning in prompting three complementary processes of institutionalisation: the formalisation and stabilisation of procedures; the importance of inter- and intra- institutional coordination; and the ability of individual actors to influence institutional development.
The present paper studies how European integration might affect the migration of workers in the enlarged EU. Unlike the reduced-form migration models, we base our empirical analysis on the theory of economic geography a la Krugman (1991), which provides an alternative modelling of migration pull and push factors. Parameters of the theoretical model are estimated econometrically using historical migration data. Our empirical findings suggest that European integration would trigger selective migration between the countries in the enlarged EU. In the Baltics, Lithuania would gain about 7.25% of the total work force. In the Visegrad Four, the share of the mobile labour force would increase the most in Hungary, 8.35%, compared to the pre-integration state. Our predictions for the East-West migration are moderate and lower than those of reduced-form models: between 5.44% (from the Baltics) and 3.61% (from the Visegrad Four) would emigrate to the EU North. Because migrants not only follow market potential, but also shape the region's market potential, the long-run agglomeration forces are sufficiently weak to make a swift emergence of a core-periphery pattern in the enlarged EU very unlikely.
"Although liberal intergovernmentalism claims that economic interest groups shape national preferences towards integration, while neofunctionalism assumes that these groups support integration for its expected economic benefits, these approaches cannot account for variation in EU integration across policy areas. We employ an analytical framework to explain divergent firm preferences towards integration in the EU-wide internal energy market. Building on Weber and Hallerberg’s (2001) specification of transaction costs and external (competitive) threat as independent variables in their model of divergence in firm preferences towards ‘binding’ EU rules, our analysis incorporates domestic market structure and firms’ international relationships as intervening (contextual) variables. Testing our argument in four cases - Germany, Italy, France and the UK - confirms that distinct national institutions promote divergent attitudes towards the internal energy market because domestic market structures and firms’ international settings respond to transaction costs and external threat in this market within the context of member states’ traditional local models of capitalism. In relation to theories of European integration, this study underscores the importance of varieties of capitalism in preference formation vis-à-vis integration, offering additional insights into the conditions under which national institutions have been influential in response to common external pressures in the energy market.
This article re-examines the division between "optimists" and "pessimists" within the literature on the Open Method of Coordination's (OMC) effectiveness. Each of those "camps" tends to focus on a different question. "Optimists" are more concerned with the question of whether the OMC exerts an influence on the national level and through which mechanisms, whilst "pessimists" concentrate on the question of whether the OMC can "strengthen" EU social policy and therefore European welfare states. This article combines these two perspectives and argues that the OMC is indeed capable of influencing national policies through the dissemination of ideas and "learning" as the "optimists" stress. However, policy "learning" at the member state level is shaped and constrained by a variety of internal and external pressures. Against the hopes of most of the OMC "optimists", this makes the OMC largely ineffective in preventing welfare state retrenchment.