The power of the centre

Central governments and the macro-implementation of EU public policy

In spring 1990, Greece had a new conservative government after eight years of socialist rule. Two broad strategies to steer post-transposition implementation can be envisaged. First, governments may seek to be more pro-active by taking account of the exigencies of implementation in previous stages of the Eoropean Union (EU) policy process. Second, they may adopt specific measures such as the recruitment of more and better trained staff, which shall seek to ensure better implementation at street-level. This book sets out to examine the first strategy in an effort to draw wider lessons regarding the development of the process of European integration. Specifically, it seeks to examine the way in which national central governments deal with the exigencies of the implementation of EU public policy. Focusing on the central governments of Greece, France and the UK and the case of public procurement, it provides an institutionalist account of the dynamics of implementation. Patterns of implementation mirror the way in which these actors participate in the formulation of EU public policy. Drawing on implementation theory, the concept of macro-implementation is introduced. Next, the book examines the patterns of institutional change in the concrete cases of Greece, France and the UK. It presents the EU's public procurement policy and maps the institutional terrain in the three central governments with a focus on the handling of public procurement policy. After discussing the transposition of EU public procurement directives in Greece, France and the UK, the book looks at their macro-implementation between 1981 and 2006.

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