As two of the longest-serving prime ministers in Europe, Tony Blair and Bertie
Ahern were in power during one of the most tumultuous periods of European
integration. This book offers an insight into how they responded to the demands
and opportunities of European Union (EU) membership at the national level.
Drawing on extensive interviews with key figures, it explores how the two
leaders sought to radically reshape the EU national policy-making process in the
UK and Ireland in order to further their strategic policy agendas. The book
therefore asks three key questions. How did the national EU policy process
change between 1997 and 2007? To what extent did the UK and Irish policy
processes converge or diverge? Did the reforms enhance the projection of
national policy? These empirical and comparative questions are related to
broader theoretical and conceptual debates concerning Europeanisation. By
employing conceptual and analytical frameworks, the book considers what these
reforms tell us about the nature of the ‘EU effect’ in different member states.
Do governments simply adjust to EU-level pressures for change or try to adapt
strategically in order to maximise their influence? Are the changes attributable
to political agency or do they derive from longer-term structural developments
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.
At the heart of the European integration process is the political economy debate over whether the EU should be a market-making project, or if it should combine this with integration in employment and social policy. What has been the impact of the 2004 and 2007 rounds of enlargement upon the political economy of European integration? EU enlargement, the clash of capitalisms and the European social dimension analyses the impact of the 2004 and 2007 enlargements upon the politics of European integration within EU employment and social policy. This book analyses the main policy negotiations in the field and analyses the political positions and contributions of the Central and Eastern European Member States. Through an analyses of the negotiations of the Services Directive, the revision of the Working Time Directive and the Europe 2020 poverty target, the book argues that the addition of the Central and Eastern European states has strengthened liberal forces at the EU level and undermined integration with EU employment and social policy.
This book takes up traditional approaches to political science. It aims to offer a mixture of conventional and specific analyses and insights for different groups of readers. In view of the European Union's multi-level and multi-actor polity, the book highlights the complex procedural and institutional set-up of nation states preparing and implementing decisions made by the institutions of the European Community (EC). In looking at the emerging and evolving realities of the European polity, it shows how European institutions and Member States (re-)act and interact in a new institutional and procedural set-up. It explores how governmental and non-governmental actors in different national settings adapt to common challenges, constraints and opportunities for which they are mainly themselves responsible. The book discusses the Belgian policy toward European integration as a significant demonstration of its commitment to multilateralism and international co-operation in security and economic affairs. Attitudes to European integration in Denmark, Germany, Finland, Greece, and Spain are discussed. Tendencies towards 'Europeanisation' and 'sectoralisation' of the ministerial administration during the process of European integration and the typical administrative pluralism of the Italian political system seem to have mutually reinforced each other. Strong multi-level players are able to increase their access and influence at both levels and to use their position on one level for strengthening their say on the other. German and Belgian regions might develop into these kinds of actors. A persistent trend during the 1990s is traced towards stronger national performers, particularly in terms of adaptations and reactions to Maastricht Treaty.
This book offers a timely exploration of the nature and scale of the emergent EU human rights regime by critically examining how and why EU intervention in human rights matters (with a key focus on child protection in Romania) as part of Eastern enlargement, has had feedback effects on the EU’s own institutional and policy structures. By drawing on the human rights conditionality (particularly in relation to children’s rights) as applied to Romania, this book demonstrates that the feedback effects regarding children’s rights have transformed the EU institutions’ role and scope in this policy area both in EU internal and external human rights dimensions. The process-tracing dimension illustrates why policy issues emerge on EU political agenda, which is in line with agenda-setting processes, and why they persist over time, which reflects historical institutionalist accounts. It is also shown that Eastern enlargement has raised the profile of Roma protection, international adoptions, the disabled and mental health at the EU level. The impact of these developments has been further reinforced by the constitutional and legal provisions included in the Lisbon Treaty. It is argued that Eastern enlargement along with the post-Lisbon constitutional changes have generated the emergence of a more robust and well-defined EU human rights regime in terms of its constitutional, legal and institutional clout.
Dominant visions have tended towards imagining Europe as an object - an entity of one sort or another. This book explores the different spaces of Europe/European Union (EU). The first part of the book presents research critically examining actor practices within familiar spaces of action - the European Parliament and the European Commission. It makes the case for the salience of research which distinguishes between spaces of 'frontstage' and 'backstage' politics and shows the interactions between the two. One cannot understand how EU gender mainstreaming policy really works unless one engages with the processes and actors involved. The second part presents research showing how, through their political work, a range of individuals and groups have sought to reconcile Europe with social representations of their industry or their nation to bring about change. It presents a case study of impact assessment of flatfish stocks in the North Sea, and contributes to the cross-fertilisation of Science and Technology Studies with a political sociology of the EU. The book shows how actors are pursuing regional interests, and the work they do in referencing Europe promotes agendas in the 'home' contexts of Scotland and canton Zurich. The final part of the book explores practices of EU government which either have been under-explored hitherto or are newly emerging. These are the knowledge work of a European consultant; measurement work to define and create a European education policy space; collective private action to give social meaning to sustainable Europe.
This book explains how and why the European Union has started to intervene in the cultural policy sector—understood here as the public policies aimed at supporting and regulating the arts and cultural industries. It is a comprehensive account of the Communitarisation process of the cultural policy sector. Before 1992, no legal basis for EU intervention in the field of culture appeared in the Treaties. Member states were, in any case, reluctant to share their competences in a policy sector considered to be an area of national sovereignty. In such circumstances, how was the Communitarisation of the policy sector ever possible? Who were the policy actors that played a role in this process? What were their motives? And why were certain actors more influential than others?
It is some thirty-five years since the United Kingdom joined what is now called the European Union. What has been the impact of the EU on UK central government? Has it been transformed or merely adapted to new pressures and requirements? This book explores the ‘Europeanisation’ of the work of civil servants and ministers and how they engage with the EU. Drawing on fresh empirical evidence—including interviews with over 200 serving and retired officials and ministers—it offers a comprehensive analysis of the spreading impact of European integration across government. The study is placed in the context of political divisions over the European Union but the book outlines the often neglected way in which the EU has transformed the business of government. This account charts the process from the Macmillan government's 1961 application to join the European Communities through to the end of Tony Blair's premiership. The book examines the character and timing of responses across government, covering the core government departments and also those more recently affected, such as the Ministry of Defence. It argues that central government has organized itself efficiently to deal with the demands of EU membership despite the often controversial party-political divisions over Europe. However, in placing the book's findings in comparative context, the conclusion is that the effectiveness of UK governments in the EU has been less striking.
This book a study on the work of the Eurogroup—monthly informal meetings between euro area finance ministers, the Commission and the European Central Bank. It demonstrates how this small, secretive circle of senior decision-makers shapes European economic governance through a routinised informal policy dialogue. Although the role of the Eurogroup has been contested since before the group's creation, its actual operation has never been subject to systematic evaluation. This book opens the doors of the meeting room and shows how an understanding of the interplay of formal provisions and informal processes is pivotal to the analysis of euro area governance. The book advances the conceptual understanding of informal negotiations among senior European and national decision-makers, and provides an in-depth analysis of historical episodes of policy coordination. As other areas of European decision-making rely increasingly on informal, voluntary policy coordination amongst member states, the Eurogroup model can be seen as a template for other policy areas.
The European Union and its member states are investing in ambitious programmes for ‘better regulation’ and targets of regulatory quality. This book lifts the veil of excessively optimistic propositions covering the whole better-regulation agenda, and provides a conceptual framework to handle the political complexity of regulatory governance. It approaches better regulation as an emerging public policy, with its own political context, actors, problems, rules of interaction, instruments, activities and impacts. Focusing on the key tools of impact assessment, consultation, simplification and access to legislation, the chapters provide empirical evidence on the progress made in the member states and in Brussels, drawing on an extensive research project and an original survey of directors of better-regulation programmes in Europe. They show how indicators define, measure and appraise better-regulation policy, linking measures to policy processes in which the stakeholders learn by monitoring. Although better regulation is a top priority for competitiveness in Europe and the legitimacy of EU policy, the level of commitment and the development of tools vary considerably. The major challenge for better regulation is institutionalisation—this calls for clear choices in terms of what the EU wants from better regulation.