Horizontal networking
Reconfiguring coordination
in Managing Europe from home
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Mechanisms of coordination refer to those ‘horizontal’ processes that embed strategic networking in regularised practices, facilitate and structure interaction, and create relationships of mutual interdependency. They include formal structures of decision making and coordination (such as standing committees), as well as informal processes of consultation and communication (for example through ad hoc meetings, circulation lists or correspondence). Within the European Union (EU) network, these mechanisms are critical for coordinating policy across departmental boundaries. The chapter first provides an overview of horizontal networking within the EU network immediately after accession in 1973 and how it evolved through to 1997. It then explores its development during the administrations of Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, using the 2004 and 2005 EU presidencies in Ireland and the UK as comparative case studies of the particularly elaborate mechanisms that are put in place for its duration.

Managing Europe from home

The changing face of European policy making under Blair and Ahern


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